UPDATE 10/16: Belton ISD has additionally closed three campuses on Friday, October 17th, to facilitate additional cleaning and precautionary decontamination. See the press release, below.

Dear Parents,

North Belton Middle School, Sparta Elementary and the Belton Early Childhood School will remain closed on Friday, October 17, 2014 to allow us to clean and disinfect the three campuses.

All other campuses will be open tomorrow, and it is safe for students to attend those schools.

After consulting with local health officials and other experts, we decided to hire the same hazardous materials cleaning team that cleaned and sterilized facilities in Dallas. The team will arrive tomorrow morning and will disinfect North Belton Middle School and Sparta Elementary. Those are the campuses attended by the two students who traveled on Frontier Airlines Flight #1143. This approach exceeds the recommendations made by local health officials.

Additionally the district’s custodial and maintenance staff will conduct a thorough and deep cleaning of the Belton Early Childhood School. That campus was closed primarily, because pre-kindergarten students transit through their neighborhood elementary schools at the beginning and end of the day. In addition with Sparta Elementary closed, no one would be on that campus to supervise and feed the pre-kindergarten students.

The students who traveled on the flight did not ride on a bus this week. However all of the district’s buses were disinfected earlier today out of an abundance of caution. They will also be disinfected again this evening.

At this time, I anticipate that all of our schools will be open as normal on Monday.
I will remain in close contact with state and local health officials, and as more information becomes available, I will share it with you.

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ORIGINAL STORY: In the latest development of the ongoing Ebola scare in Central Texas, Belton ISD has decided to close three of its campuses—North Belton Middle School, Sparta Elementary, and the Belton Early Childhood School—on Thursday, October 16 to perform a thorough cleaning and to give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention time to "re-evaluate" the health risk to some of the passengers of Frontier Airlines flight #1143, which carried the 2nd diagnosed Ebola victim in Texas. Read Superintendent Kincannon's full message to the parents of Belton ISD students, below.

Dear Parents,

Three Belton ISD schools will be closed on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

The campuses that will be closed are North Belton Middle School, Sparta Elementary and the Belton Early Childhood School.

Late tonight, I learned that officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are re-evaluating the health risk to some passengers on Frontier Airlines Flight #1143 from Cleveland to Dallas. At this time, we do not know if this will include either of the two Belton ISD students who traveled on the flight.

The two students attend North Belton Middle School and Sparta Elementary. Some pre-kindergarten students at the Belton Early Childhood School transfer through Sparta Elementary at the beginning and end of the school day.

Canceling classes at the three campuses will allow us to thoroughly clean and disinfect the schools and buses that served them this week. It will also allow health officials additional time to re-assess the health risk to passengers on the plane.

I’m frustrated that we didn’t learn until late tonight that the CDC was re-evaluating the health risk. The health and safety of our students is my first priority.

All other campuses will be open tomorrow, and it is safe for students to attend those schools.

I will remain in close contact with state and local health officials. By law they have the authority to direct our response, and we rely on their expertise and the information that they provide to make decisions.

As more information becomes available, I will share it with you.