Williamson County held a joint conference with County Judge Bill Gravell and the superintendents from Williamson County schools. They spoke about plans for school closures, and additional services that could be made available during the closure, such as meal services.

This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics the committee took up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the hearing, but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.

 

Opening Statements

  • As of March 17, 2020, Williamson County has no reported cases of COVID-19
  • Starting March 23,¬†will¬†provide¬†breakfast or lunch in some form through one of William ISD school districts

 

Derrick Neal, Williamson County Health Department

  • Citizens must practice safe¬†distances;¬†no handshaking
  • Asks¬†no public gatherings are held for the next 8 weeks

 

Dr. Fred Brent, Superintendent Georgetown ISD

  • Have a conference call everyday with¬†TEA¬†Commissioner¬†Mike Morath
  • Have been coordinating with the county
  • Districts have been sharing resources
  • Working to ensure students will get credit for alternative instruction; aim to not¬†have make-up days
  • Monday, breakfast and lunch will be provided at three different locations
  • Information will be found on website concerning specifics
  • Chromebooks are being distributed to students in need; have 100¬†Wi-Fi¬†hotspot locations¬†for community members in need
  • Providing continued mental health and counseling services

 

Dr. Keith Brown, Taylor ISD

  • Began providing lunch and breakfast to students to Taylor ISD students on March¬†16
    • Program information can be found on Taylor ISD website
  • March 18 twelve mobile feeding sites will¬†begin delivering food to¬†neighborhoods in the¬†city of Taylor
  • More information on Taylor ISD website
  • DSHS and TEA hosting conference calls with school districts daily

 

Bill Chapman, Superintendent Jarrell ISD

  • Goal is to provide school without physical classes
  • Foodservice program will start Monday at an elementary in the district
  • Will have three to five meal drop off¬†locations
  • Further information can be found on Jarrell ISD‚Äôs website
  • Team is working to get online/low-tech options for at-home instruction

 

Dr. Steve Flores, Superintendent Roundrock ISD

  • Plans will be on¬†Roundrock¬†ISD‚Äôs website March 18
  • April 3 re-open date is not concrete

 

Dr. Bruce Gearing, Superintendent Leander ISD

  • Team is working digitally to ensure students are fed and have instructional opportunities
  • Closed until April 3, will be reassessed in the following weeks
  • Deep clean on facilities will occur and buildings will be shut down

 

Steve Snell, Superintendent Liberty Hill ISD

  • March 23, Liberty Hill¬†Junior¬†High will provide food¬†via a drive-thru service
  • Will provide¬†breakfast and lunch¬†at bus stops
    • Students will use their ID cards
  • Tele-instruction will¬†begin¬†soon
  • Working on plans for special education children

 

Dr. Selena Thomas, Superintendent Hutto ISD

  • Buildings are closed,¬†but¬†will¬†continue¬†instruction
  • Info will be posted on the website¬†by March 20
  • Schools will be closed¬†March 23¬†– April 3
  • Mentions daily calls with Commissioner Morath
  • Priorities are¬†feeding kids and online instruction

 

Dr. Tommy Hooker, Superintendent Thrall ISD

  • Information will be on¬†website and¬†Facebook
  • Grab and go breakfast/lunch programs¬†currently running
  • Praises¬†Region 13¬†Service Center
  • Mentions STARR testing suspension

 

Bill Gravell, Williamson County Judge

  • School districts have provided¬†their¬†school nurses
  • School districts have provided¬†their¬†bus mechanics
  • School districts (Hutto¬†and Liberty Hill) have provided peace officers
  • Will be standing up a daycare for¬†county¬†employees; could school districts provide breakfast and lunches
  • Making same requests for city officials
  • Effective 12 pm all county tax offices- public portion closed down
    • Online resources will be available

 

Audience Questions 

  • What¬†are¬†the next steps¬†– possible¬†restaurant¬†closures?
    • County is unsure at this time
    • If necessary, willing to sign another order
    • Will prioritize¬†Walmart, Target, Walgreens¬†and¬†CVS¬†to all¬†stay¬†open
    • May have additional guidance from office later today