Port Arthur, Mid-County schools staying closed all month

Published 12:09 am Thursday, April 2, 2020

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NEDERLAND — A day after telling The Port Arthur News that school was scheduled to resume April 13, officials with the Nederland Independent School District pushed back the potential reopening of local campuses to May 4.

The Tuesday afternoon change followed an executive order the same day from Governor Greg Abbott calling for schools across the state to stay closed through April.

A statement from assistant superintendents Mike Laird and Stuart Kieschnick said the social distancing impacts of COVID-19 have created a rapidly evolving situation.

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“We are committed to assuring our students, faculty and staff are safe and healthy,” the statement read. “We will continue to communicate via the Nederland ISD website, social media pages and callout system.”

Port Neches-Groves Independent School District officials also said on Monday that schools would re-open by mid-April, only to walk back that projection following Tuesday’s declaration from the governor’s office.

PNGISD Superintendent Mike Gonzales said school officials remain hopeful students and staff would return soon.

“It is imperative that we remain positive and confident in our plan to overcome this pandemic,” Gonzales said in a statement. “I encourage the entire PNG community to maintain a close and positive working relationship with our teachers and campus administrators.”

PNG High School’s “Roaring 20’s Prom Night” has been officially postponed until a date that conforms to social distancing guidelines can be determined.

Port Arthur Independent School District’s return date was undetermined before the governor’s executive order and remains so as district officials assess the rapidly changing pandemic response.

On Wednesday, PAISD officials stressed the community must work together to fight COVID-19, suggesting everyone visit tea.texas.gov/staywell for “vitally important public health guidance to stop the spread.”

“If we stand apart as a community now, we will be together again soon,” a statement reads.

NISD pickups

In a release to the community, Nederland ISD officials said they would continue to provide school meal pickup service for children ages 18 and under.

Meal pickup is scheduled between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Meal pickup locations are Central Middle School, C.O. Wilson Middle School, Hillcrest Elementary and Nederland High School.

The Flexible Education Program plans will be posted to nederlandisd.org every Friday at 3 p.m.

Those who do not have access to a device can pick up printed packets Mondays and Tuesdays between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

All packets are distributed at Nederland High School. Elementary students can pick up theirs in front of the Performing Arts Center. Middle school students can receive theirs at the baseball field parking lot. High school students’ packets will be available at the front entrance.