Stony Point High School moves to remote classes until Dec. 1 due to COVID-19, district says

Williamson County

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Stony Point High School is closed for the rest of November “due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts,” the Round Rock Independent School District announced Monday.

The district posted on its website that all students at Stony Point High School will take classes remotely through Nov. 30, “effective immediately.” Campus will reopen Dec. 1, and all extracurricular activities are suspended until then, the district’s post said.

Meanwhile, this move by the school district has left parents with lingering questions.

“It’s just really hard to believe that it’s just Stony Point seeing these numbers—that’s the bottom line,” said Angela Chambers. “Either we have fantastic reporting going on or not everybody is reporting. This is just not possible.”

Chambers’ Stony Point High student attends virtual school but in-person football practice. This isn’t the first time Stony Point has reversed course on activities. In October, the district canceled Stony Point football practice for two weeks after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Chambers recognizes the need to protect students and staff from COVID-19, but questions the criteria for shutting down an entire school and extracurricular activities.

Round Rock ISD says there is no specific number that schools need to meet to shutdown—decisions are made on an individual campus basis.

Since Friday, Nov. 13, Stony Point has had two positive cases, nine probable cases and 39 close contacts identified.

“I do understand that they have to be protective of the kids, I totally understand that,” said Chambers.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District couldn’t speak to specifics at Stony Point, but it says it has traced some transmissions to the classroom, leading to extensive cleaning measures in some cases. Health officials do say, however, the majority of school clusters come from extracurriculars and off-campus interactions.

The Stony Point Tigers football team posted on its Twitter account that practice is canceled “until further notice.”

“Round Rock ISD works closely with both of our local health agencies, Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) and Austin Public Health (APH) to help guide decisions for our campuses related to COVID-19,” the post read.

“The length of time a campus remains closed is based on the recommendation from the health department in an effort to reduce transmission. During school closures, all areas of the campus will be deep cleaned and sanitized using hospital-grade disinfectants before the campus reopens for on-campus instruction.”

Round Rock says the district is not seeing high COVID-19 cases at any surrounding schools, and COVID-19 testing for Stony Point students will not be happening at this time.

“Our current contact tracing and campus protocols have allowed us to identify pretty quickly and accurately potential close contacts and advise them to quarantine and monitor for symptoms,” said a RRISD spokesperson. “In this instance, it was determined that in the best interest of safety and health for the Stony Point community that the campus transition to virtual learning until Dec. 1.”

Place 4 trustee, Cory Vessa, posted this on her Facebook page:

“The Board was not consulted on this decision. It was a decision made by administration on an emergent basis to prevent what was deemed to be a possible super spreader situation at the school. As contact tracing was done on recent positives, and as the Public Health Department monitored spread in the community, they felt this was the prudent course of action. Obviously, I have many questions I feel need to be addressed at Thursday’s meeting. I appreciate those that have reached out to aide in that effort,” said Vessa.

The district says it will provide updates on its website, as well as the Reimaging Education page and its social media accounts. The district’s break for Thanksgiving runs from Nov. 23-27.

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