Three schools within the Killeen Independent School District will not be able to return to in-person class this week due to significant winter storm damage.
During a board meeting Tuesday, Killeen ISD Superintendent John Craft provided an update on when the district would be able to reopen following a week of winter weather school closures.
“Thursday is a big question mark,” Craft said. “We’ve communicated Thursday but everything is going to have to go perfect for Thursday to happen. We won’t really know until tomorrow.”
Three campuses — Skipcha Elementary, Audie Murphy Middle School, and Palo Alto Middle School — sustained damage significant enough to be unable to reopen this week, he said.
“Skipcha, Palo Alto, and Audie Murphy will not be ready to return by Thursday,” he said. “Skipcha may not be ready by Monday.”
A total of 54 district facilities were damaged during the winter storm, he said.
The decision to reopen the remaining school campuses in Killeen relies heavily on when the city’s boil-water notice will be lifted in Killeen.
“Right now, we are waiting on the accessibility of drinking water as being the pivot,” he said. “We have to give our cities the opportunities to have the water tested, so it’ll likely be tomorrow before we’re able to make the call district-wide.”
The district’s campuses in Harker Heights will likely not have potable water until Saturday, but Craft said the district may be able to still reopen those campuses with the knowledge that students may have to bring their own water.
“If parents have the ability, boil the water, send the water with those students at those campuses,” Craft said regarding students attending campuses in Harker Heights, which is expected to be under a boil-water notice until Saturday.
KISD teachers are asked to return to campuses Wednesday, unless otherwise instructed, to check on the condition of their classrooms.
The district’s superintendent was praised by board President JoAnn Purser and Secretary Brett Williams for his leadership during the unprecedented winter storm.
“I never thought we’d experience such an event in Central Texas,” Craft said. “I’m very very pleased with our efforts and recovery, but it’s taken an absolute team approach to get here. It really feels like the last two weeks has been like a year.”