AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District announced Friday that it is closing all schools indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter from Superintendent Paul Cruz.

In his letter, Cruz stated that the district is taking multiple steps to ensure health and safety during the pandemic. He said the district is closing all AISD campuses indefinitely. They are also compensating all staff through the end of their contract or the fiscal year.

Read Cruz’s full letter below:

Dear Austin ISD Family,

I hope this note finds you well. During this time, there is much uncertainty surrounding health, compensation and job security. On behalf of Austin ISD, I am writing to assure you that one of our priorities is to take care of our exceptional staff members.

To that end, we will

1. Close our campuses indefinitely.
2. Compensate all staff through the end of the contract and/or fiscal year.
3. Remain flexible to your needs.

Life has changed for all of us. Education has changed. As we continue to experience changes on a daily basis, we are doing our best to plan, pivot and do our best by our students, families and staff. But we are also human and living in an unprecedented time, so we will make mistakes and ask for your patience, support and understanding. We are a team of innovative people rising up to the challenge. However, like you, I really miss the face-to-face daily interactions with our students, colleagues and community.

Thank you for remaining flexible and adapting so quickly to our new reality. Thank you for connecting with students and families one-on-one and through social media. The willingness our team has demonstrated to learn new skills and ensure the continuity of education for all of our students is both commendable and necessary.

As educators, you have always taken care of your students – that’s just who you are and who we are in Austin ISD. In this uncertain time, we need to be sure we check in on each other. I hope the commitments above provide you with a little bit of breathing room so that you can take care of yourselves and your families.

While current conditions have us working apart, I appreciate the commitment you have demonstrated in working through this together.

Paul Cruz, Ph.D.

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