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J.H. Hines Elementary, Cesar Chavez Middle School halt in-person classes, transition online due to COVID-19

Remote instruction for both schools begins Nov. 16 and will continue through the Thanksgiving Break. In-person learning will resume after the break on Nov. 30.

WACO, Texas — J.H. Hines Elementary School and Cesar Chavez Middle School in Waco will halt in-person classes starting Monday, November 16 and transition online as a result of COVID-19 infections and close contacts.

Both school principals sent out messages to families and employees announcing the closures. J.H. Hines Elementary Principal Everette Taylor said while three people have tested positive for the virus, around 10 teachers are in quarantine due to close contact with positive cases. At Cesar Chavez, Principal Alonzo McAdoo said more than a dozen teachers will be out for the 14-day isolation period along with a number of other employees.

Both principals said they have already contacted families of students and employees who were in close contact with those who tested positive. Due to the lack of staffing, the principals said it would be a "challenge" to supervise students without bringing them together in large groups. 

Remote instruction for both schools will be offered through the Thanksgiving Break and in-person classes will resume Monday, November 30. J.H. Hines families with students who have been attending in-person classes will be able to check out a device and a mobile hotspot for students without internet access at home. 

"Plans for the technology distribution are being finalized, and we will provide more details as soon as possible," Taylor said. 

For Cesar Chavez students, McAdoo said students should already have Chromebooks they regular take home. He said those experiencing problems or in need of a mobile hotspot can call the student help desk at 254-284-1072. 

The principals also assured that the campus would be cleaned and sanitized before the school reopens for in-person instruction.