Two days after 19 children and two adults were fatally shot at an elementary school in Uvalde, a San Antonio school district announced Thursday it would end the school year early.
Citing “the best interest of our students and staff,” Harlandale Independent School District announced it will end the school year on Friday, June 3, just over a week before the scheduled last day of school, June 14.
The district’s announcement alluded to the tragedy in Uvalde, where a gunman entered Robb Elementary School and fatally shot the schoolchildren and two teachers on Tuesday.
“We understand that many of you are concerned for your children’s safety and we want to reassure you that we continue to do absolutely everything to provide the highest amount of safety for our children and staff here at Harlandale ISD,” Superintendent Gerardo Soto stated in a letter to parents. “With this being said we have decided to end the school year early for students.”
As the school year closes, Soto said Harlandale staff will plan for the 2022-23 school year and go over safety protocols, including the district’s current crisis response training.
For families and staff who do not have child care for students enrolled in Pre-K to fifth grade at Harlandale schools, the district will provide free child care at the child’s designated school during normal business hours.
“This time will further allow staff, students and the community to focus on their mental health,” wrote Soto.
Harlandale ISD serves about 12,500 students in four high schools, four middle schools and 13 elementary schools.
Some events and field trips that were already planned on campuses will be canceled and others will be rescheduled.
“No parent or teacher should have to deal with the tremendous amount of pain that the Uvalde community is having to face,” the letter stated.
As of Thursday afternoon, no other San Antonio-area school districts have made the decision to end the school year early as a result of the Uvalde school shooting.