ASHLAND The Ashland Independent School District will close school K-12 for seven days including the Labor Day holiday.

School will close Thursday and will not resume again until Mon. Sept. 13. The district cited student and staff absenteeism as the reason for the closure.

Superintendent Sean Howard confirmed that the closure is COVID-related, but isn’t the only cause for empty seats. Howard said the district was at 79% attendance. Some of the students in the 21% out of class are in quarantine, but Howard said that isn’t the only reason.

The preschool and head start program will continue to operate on schedule, as the programs aren’t having the same issues. The program has the same attendance rates as normal, non-pandemic years, according to Howard.

The district has opted to not use non-traditional instruction (NTI) days during the closure. Howard said the limit on days had nothing to do with the choice.

“We know that in-person learning is much more effective than any type of virtual learning, so our stance is to have kids in front of teachers as many days as possible,” said Howard.

The days missed will be added on to the end of the school year. The number of days missed does not include the holiday for which students were scheduled to be out of class. Six total class days will be moved.

Extra-curricular activities will continue through the weekend with limited seating, according to a Facebook post by the district.

“There will be no extra-curricular activities beginning on Monday, Sept. 6,” the post states. “Extra-curricular activities will resume on Monday, Sept. 13.”

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