School cancellation extended

District faces changes as a result of the coronavirus

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Dado Ruvic

A glitch in mass produced COVID-19 testing kits has limited the supply of available tests. https://www.texastribune.org/2020/03/05/texas-coronavirus-response-what-state-officials-can-do/

Within the first few days of Comal’s extended spring break, San Antonio has confirmed five additional Coronavirus cases, Scholastic Aptitude Testing has been cancelled and Governor Greg Abbott has waived the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) for this school year.  In light of recent events such as these as well as the decisions made by neighboring school districts, Superintendent Andrew Kim announced an additional two week shut down with the hopes of resuming classes on April 6.

“My family traveled to Greece [over spring break],” sophomore Selena Sifuentes-Shaffer said.  “[While there,] my mom brought Airborne, her essential oils, hand sanitizers, and wipes so we could wipe down anything another person touched, like our passports and our luggage.  The school cancel[lation] has allowed my brother and I to not miss school because we traveled to a European country, and it’s suggested to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

The second COVID-19 case in San Antonio was confirmed March 14.  The patient had recently traveled to Japan and tested positive for the virus.  The third Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 15. The patient is a University Health System physician, and had recently traveled to Spain.  The hospital quarantined around a dozen staff members that the doctor came into contact with before testing positive. The fourth San Antonio confirmed case came yesterday and is also travel-related.  The fifth and sixth cases were confirmed this evening, one of which was transmitted via person-to-person contact. Along with these cases, an elderly man in Matagorda County has died due to COVID-19. This is the first virus-related death in the state.

FFA and rodeo participants, who have prepared for contests throughout the school year, experienced a jostling of their plans once COVID-19 hit. 

“Basically we spent thousands of dollars to show our animals in Houston and Austin and we were in line for eight hours after driving all night and the show got cancelled leaving us no 

other option but to drive all the way back home, being in the truck for 18 hours straight,” senior Karagan Dreibrodt said. “The animals didn’t have any water because they were cooped up in a trailer for hours so we had to stop in a neighborhood to give the animals water on the way home. Showing is a major part of our lives and to have my senior year end that way was devastating.”

College Board announced the cancellation of SAT testing until further notice this morning, and STAAR testing has been cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year. College Board has also announced that they plan on having a flexible Advanced Placement testing schedule in light of school cancellations.  AP testing was originally scheduled for early May.

“I think the rest of the school year is going to be hectic,” senior Blake Von Tilzer said.  “Especially for students in AP because most teachers meticulously do lesson plans so that all of the material can be covered by test day and losing an entire month is detrimental to that schedule.”

Information concerning the switch to online curriculum, or distance learning, has not yet come into plan.  Teachers were allowed the opportunity to go into school Monday morning in order to pick up any materials necessary to work from home.  The district has continued daily calls with health agencies and other school districts. They have expressed their awareness of the impact of school cancellations on families and continue to update staff and families via email.

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