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Central Texas schools adjust online learning, graduation plans following Gov. Abbott's order

Gov. Abbott announced Friday afternoon that all Texas schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

CENTRAL, Texas — Editor's Note: This story will be continuously updated as schools release their remote learning and graduation plans as districts remain closed for the rest of the academic year. 

Following Gov. Abbott's announcement that schools remain closed for the rest of the school year, Central Texas school districts are forming plans on how to continue teaching online and handle events like graduation.

Here's how area schools are adjusting:

Killeen ISD

In a letter to parents, Killeen ISD Superintendent John M. Craft indicated that they would go forward with a virtual graduation plan.

"As we continue to make decisions with our community’s health and safety at the forefront, we recognize the significance of awarding our Seniors their Killeen ISD high school diploma. In doing so, we remain committed to honoring our students and families in a manner that does not minimize this achievement. While we can never replace a traditional ceremony, the decision was made to provide a cap and gown to every Senior on behalf of the district. Students who have already purchased a cap and gown will receive a reimbursement from Herff Jones by July 1, 2020." 

Craft said the district will provide further details regarding the virtual graduation in the coming days.

Going into their fifth week of online instruction, the district also said it would continue to provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunch from 8:30-10:30 a.m. for students at previously designated locations through May 29. The exception would be Memorial Day on May 25.

The summer feeding schedule is currently set to being June 1. 

Craft also said the district is working on a plan for student and parents to retrieve belongings, obtain official records, return school items and distribute refunds for certain items purchased prior to the COVID-19 closings. 

Copperas Cove ISD

Copperas Cove ISD Superintendent Joe Burns sent out a letter to district parents indicated the district would continue to provide meals and remote learning material for the remainder of the school year. Meanwhile, the district is finalizing plans to host a virtual graduation. 

"As a district, we continue to work on plans for a virtual graduation ceremony to honor the Senior class of 2020. We remain committed to honoring our seniors and families in a manner that does not minimize this achievement. Campus administrators from Copperas Cove High School and Crossroads High School will be communicating with seniors in the coming days as plans are finalized."

Regarding remote learning and meal pick up:

"The current process of instructional packet pick up, remote learning through Schoology and packet drop-off will remain in place through May 28, 2020. Campuses will be open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5-7 p.m. for packet pick up. There will now be blue drop-off containers on each campus where parents or students can drop off completed packets at any time."

Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals will be available at Hettie Halstead Elementary, Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary, and Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy campuses. 

Breakfast will be available from 7:30-9 a.m. and lunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Weekend meals may be picked up with lunch on Fridays. 

Burns said he is also working out how to have students and seniors retrieve belongings or return school items and that campus administrators would be in contact with families as plans are finalized. 

Temple ISD

Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott said that remote learning and meals would continue as previously scheduled through May 28. 

Ott said in a letter to parents that virtual graduation plans are also being finalized and will be communicated with Temple High seniors and their families "very soon." 

"As a district, we are actively working on virtual plans for campus end of the year ceremonies to honor our students's achievements. More information will be provided to you by campus administrators in the next few days."

"I know this is not the way that any of us wanted to conclude the 2019-2020 school year. However, I am truly grateful to our students, staff and community for how we have, and will continue to support each other during this very difficult time."

Belton ISD

Belton ISD Superintendent Matt Smith said that remote learning would continue through the remainder of the school year through the end of May. He also indicated that the previously implemented meal service would continue through May 27. 

The brief letter to parents said that he would begin sharing the district's next steps following a board of trustees meeting next Monday. The letter did not mention graduation plans. 

"Please be patient as we work strategically to get you answers to a host of questions, including details about our end-of-year grading, postponed special events and plans for safely picking up personal items from campuses."

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