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Connally ISD closes all district campuses after 2nd teacher dies of COVID-19 in a week

The athletic director says the game against La Vega this Friday is still going on.

WACO, Texas — Shortly after Connally ISD decided to close Connally Junior High School following the news of its second teacher dying from COVID-19, the district decided to close down all of its campuses.

Natalia Chansler was a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High School. The district announced on Monday that she died from the coronavirus less than a week after the school's first teacher COVID-19 death.

David "Andy" McCormick was the first Connally Junior High School teacher to die from COVID-19. He died last Tuesday, Aug. 24,

Chansler was last on campus Wednesday, Aug. 25. She was entering her second year with Connally ISD. She previously taught at LaVega ISD and Waco ISD. 

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Based on the recommendation of the McLennan County Health Department and the increase in COVID-19 cases and absences of staff and students, all Connally ISD campuses will close  from August 31st to Sept. 6. 

In-person learning will resume next Tuesday, Sept. 7.

"Our hope is that the closure and holiday break will provide those who are positive with the virus or exposed to others with the virus, the time to isolate and recover. This closure will also allow time for deep cleaning and sanitizing of all CISD facilities," said Superintendent Wesley Holt in an email.

"Parents will receive information from their campus principal on how students will access remote conferencing with their assigned teacher, and the requirements for attendance purposes. We will do our best to keep learning in progress," he added.

The district will host a vaccination clinic on Sept. 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Connally High School Gymnasium for staff, parents and the community. 

Free meals will continue to be offered for all CISD students. Breakfast and lunch meals will be distributed from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in front of each campus.

Despite the closure, Head Football Coach Terry Gerik says the team will still play against La Vega Friday.


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