Bell County Shelter In Place Declaration
Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus, and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this Order requires all individuals anywhere in Bell County to shelter in place – that is, stay at home – except for certain essentials activities and work to provide essential business and government services or perform essential public infrastructure construction, including housing. This Order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020 and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to the limited exceptions and under the terms and conditions more particularly set forth below. For more information, click, Bell County Disaster Declaration.
It is currently believed that COVID-19 spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, much in the way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread. As always, we encourage you to follow healthy habits to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Priority Charter Schools is diligently monitoring current information regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). While there are no cases or suspected cases within the district, we want to share information with our families and community in response to recent news.
As Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the situation, PCS wants to ensure the most up-to-date information regarding how Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting our district. We are continuing to follow the guidance of our local, state, and federal health agencies to keep our community informed and healthy.
Update: March 19, 2020
Priority Charter Schools Family,
Like many of you, just moments ago I heard Governor Greg Abbott’s Emergency Declaration for the State of Texas and in particular his remarks concerning the closure of schools. The purpose of this email is to update you and clarify what this means for the students, parents and staff of Priority Charter Schools (PCS). Closure of school means that students will not receive face-to-face classroom instruction at their normally attended campus until at least April 3, 2020, or until a later date is announce at a later time by the Governor. However, it was made very clear, and even scrolled at the bottom of the Governor’s broadcast, that students will receive alternative means of instruction from their schools via online instruction, video, interactive instruction through Skype or Zoom (Internet), or through instructional packets and worksheets sent home by their respective campuses. In short, we as educators across Texas will still pursue our mission of educating our students. The good news is that the PCS campus and district staff have been preparing for this all week and we now know, from the Governor, that our plan will be implemented. Below is information pertaining to the four PCS campuses of when alternative means of instruction for our students will begin to include the specific campuses and dates of when instruction to our students will begin based on the Spring Break schedules.The Temple Charter Academy and Copperas Cove Charter Academy campuses will provide students with online, video, interactive instruction via the Internet, and home-based instructional packets from our teachers beginning Monday, March 23rd until at least April 3, 2020 and potentially longer depending on the course the COVID-19 pandemic takes.The PCS Georgetown Charter Academy and Cedar Park Charter Academy campuses will have their Spring Break extended for these two campuses from Monday, March 23rd- Wednesday March 25th. Beginning on Thursday, March 26th, the Georgetown and Cedar Park Charter Academies the teachers and staff will begin to provide students with online, video interactive instruction via the Internet, and home-based instruction packet from our teachers as well.All of us understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation and I honestly can’t tell you what will happen after April 3, 2020, in regards to school closures. Please know that the PCS Board of Directors, I, and my staff, are committed and determined to doing what is best for our students and families in regards to protecting their health and safety. Priority Charter Schools will continue to make decisions based on the recommendations and mandates from the CDC, Governor’s Office, TEA, DSHS, and local Public Health agencies in order to make the best decisions at the local level for our stakeholders.Again, thank you for your support of our schools as we continue provide instruction to our students through is fluid and historical time. Take care of each other and practice the safety measures to protect yourself, your family and your community. Please check our website at www.prioritycharterschools.org for additional updates and know that the district will continue to communicate with our staff and families using the SchoolMessenger system to send phone and email messages to our students and staff.Sincerely,
Scott Moger, Ed.D.
Priority Charter Schools
Update: March 18, 2020
To the Priority Charter School Parents, Students and Staff,
The purpose of this email is to update you as to the status of the four campuses that make up the Priority Charter School District. The Temple Charter Academy and Copperas Cove Charter Academy campuses will not be open to students next week to provide direct teacher-to-student instruction on the campus. Instead, our teachers and staff will provide students with online, video and home-based instruction packet from our teachers the week of March 23-27th as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our Georgetown Charter Academy and Cedar Park Charter Academy campuses are holding Spring Break this week (March 16-20) and are not affected by any closure. However, next week, March 23rd-27th we will extend Spring Break for these two campuses from Monday, March 23rd– Wednesday March 25th. Beginning on Thursday, March 26th, the Georgetown and Cedar Park Charter Academies the teachers and staff will begin to provide students with online, video and home-based instruction packet from our teachers as well. I will continue to monitor and communicate with you of any change in the event that we reopen and provide face-to-face instruction to our students attending the campuses versus receiving instruction at home.
All of us understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation and I honestly can’t tell you what will happen from week-to-week. However, I and my staff are committed to doing what is best for our students and families in regards to protecting their health and safety. Priority Charter Schools will continue to depend on the recommendations from the CDC and other experts for guidance. We will follow the lead and recommendations coming from TEA, DSHS, local Public Health agencies and working in coordination with our surrounding local school districts.
This particular decision was made due to the announcement made today, March 18, 2020, by Bell County Judge David Blackburn that the number of confirmed local coronavirus cases has climbed to five. Judge Blackburn issued a disaster declaration forcing all bars, gyms, entertainment venues to close and requiring restaurants to only allow take-out and drive-through orders. Judge Blackburn also prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people. Although the order does not apply to grocery stores, hospitals, offices, child care facilities, and schools the Bell County superintendents have made the decision to modify their instructional methods by closing their schools and delivering instruction to students using online, video and home-based instructional packets until further notice for the purpose of community health.
I have already notified the Bell County Public Health District, Region 12 ESC, the Texas Education Agency and the DSHS website for the week of March 23-27th . I, and my committed staff, will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic trends to gauge whether we can open our doors for instruction versus using alternative means to teach and provide instruction to our students.
Again, thank you for your support of our schools as we continue to tread unchartered waters.
Scott Moger, Ed.D.
Priority Charter Schools
Update: March 13, 2020
Dear Parents, Students and Staff of Priority Charter Schools,
Due to the latest announcements regarding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bell County, the Temple Charter Academy and Copperas Cove Academy campuses will extend Spring Break by one week from March 16, through Friday, March 20, 2020. The Georgetown Charter Academy and Cedar Park Charter Academy campuses already have their Spring Break scheduled during this same week and will not be effected at this time.
Priority Charter Schools (PCS) has made this decision in conjunction with other local school districts and with direction from the Bell County Health Department and State of Texas Health Department. The Priority Charter School Administration will continue to communicate with local and state health officials to monitor the status of this public health pandemic. Please understand that this is a fluid situation, and communication will be sent via the Priority Charter School website and through the SchoolMessenger Notification System.
To our families and staff, we encourage you and your families to take all of the necessary precautions as being communicated by the CDC, state and local public health agencies. Precautions include frequent hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, covering a cough or sneeze, and avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth.
While this was not an easy decision to make, the priority at Priority Charter Schools is the safety of our students, families and staff. In doing so, we hope to help protect our greater communities in which we serve including those that are the most vulnerable to the virus.
If you have any concerns that you have been exposed to the virus, or if you have any symptoms, you should contact your personal health provider as soon as possible. If your child or family member tests positive for the virus, please contact your campus principal immediately. If you are a Priority Charter School employee and you test positive for COVID-19, contact the PCS Human Resources immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, the safety and well-being of our students, parents, staff and communities is our utmost concern. The PCS Administration will continue to monitor and communicate with parents of any additional changes effecting the district through our website at www.prioritycharterschools.org and through SchoolMessenger. In addition, we encourage you to visit our district website as it is kept updated with factual information and links concerning COVID-19. I wish you and your family the best of health and well-being.
Scott Moger, Ed.D.
Priority Charter Schools
Frequently Asked Questions:
Priority Charter Schools is actively monitoring the latest updates available regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will stay abreast with any information from local government and public health officials, along with affiliates at the state and federal level. We are also providing stakeholders timely answers and relevant information pertaining to our district.
Q: How long will school be out?
- PCS schools will be closed through Friday, April 3. The district will continue to closely monitor the status of Covid-19 in each campus region through daily briefings with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Education Agency, and various counties and city officials.
- If the status of confirmed cases were to increase in our area, a longer term school closure may be needed to mitigate the spread of the disease. In this scenario, a long term instructional support solution would be needed to assist students and their families. The district is working on solutions for students and their families should that become necessary.
Q: What type of instructional support is PCS providing to students during school closure?
- TCA and CCA students will be provided an opportunity beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, to engage in instructional lessons via Google Classroom, Zoom, online programs and packets. Teachers will contact parents of each child to deliver personalized, lesson instructions.
- GCA and CPCA students will be provided an opportunity beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020, to engage in instructional lessons via Google Classroom, Zoom, online programs and packets. Teachers will contact parents of each child to deliver personalized, lesson instructions.
Q: Is PCS providing meals during the closure?
- PCS schools will not be providing school meals during this time; however, TEA has provided the link below to help parents find public schools offering breakfast and lunch meals. https://schoolmealfinder.hoonuit.com/
Q: Will extracurricular activities outside the normal school day continue as scheduled?
- Extracurricular, co-curricular and all before- and after- school activities have been canceled. Currently, there is not a timeline for when activities will resume.
Q: Who can I contact if I have a question specific to my child?
- Please reach out to your child’s teacher through email. If you are unable to contact your child’s teacher, please contact the school office, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., or call 254.206.2013. We will route your message to the appropriate staff member. All teacher’s emails are in first initial, last email@example.com format (i.e. Teacher: Jane Doe – firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Teachers will contact each TCA/CCA family and provide lesson instructions on Monday, March 23. Teachers will contact each GCA/CPCA family and provide lesson instructions on Thursday, March 26.
- All school offices will be open 8-4 to answer calls starting Monday, March 23.
Q: Are we still accepting new enrollment applicatons?
- Yes. Please contact the district registrar at email@example.com or 254.206.2697.
Q: How is attendance being recorded for my child?
- Each Friday, parents will complete and submit an attendance accountability form that will be attached to the district home page. Page and instructions will be available soon on the district website.
Q: What do I do if my child does not have technology for online learning instruction?
- Contact your child’s teacher or the school office for assistance.
Q: What if my child does not have internet access at home?
- Please click on the TEA link, Guidance to Districts on Providing Internet to Students, for information on how to receive free internet and broadband services.
Q: Do I still pay tuition for Pre-K?
- Please contact Jennifer Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254.206.2697
Q: Will the STAAR tests still take place this year?
- On, March 16th, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Governor Abbott is working closely with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19.
Q: Will we have to make up the days of school that we are missing this week? How will this affect graduation?
- The Texas Education Agency has assured school districts that a waiver will be granted for missed instructional minutes if a district provides some degree of instructional support to students impacted by the closure of schools. We anticipate graduation would not be impacted if schools are able to reopen in the next week or two. A statewide solution developed by the Texas Education Agency would be needed if schools remained closed for a longer period of time.