Port Arthur Independent School District closing campuses starting Tuesday

Published 2:41 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

Effective Tuesday (March 17), all facilities and campuses of the Port Arthur Independent School District will be closed until further notice.

The school district started spreading the news at approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Parents and students are asked to obtain course work, which will be placed on the district and campus websites.

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Students are encouraged to keep up with coursework while the district facilities are closed.

“The educational advancement of PAISD students is of utmost concern while we navigate the next several weeks,” a release from PAISD stated.

The district will update parents and staff regarding the next steps and expected reopening of the district facilities when the information is available, Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie said.

Porterie’s concern lies in the education of the students. They are working to get educational activities online for students and working to get a feeding program in the community, but, he said, parents must be parents.

“If a student is sitting in a classroom and there are teachers and other students, the student is more apt to do the work,” he said.

Often if a student has an option to play games or basketball or even sleep, that is what the student might do.

Porterie doesn’t want to make light of the coronavirus and understands social distancing but said there needs to be a way to keep kids academically engaged through this period.

“For the first time in my lifetime there is a possibility that students will end school in March and possibly not return until August and that’s what concerns me,” he said.