Mansfield ISD teachers and students had no clue that the days before Spring Break would be the last time they would see each other for a while.
Schools never reopened because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In fact, Texas Governor Greg Abbott closed schools through April 3, which later extended to a closure through at least May 1.
MISD launched its distance learning on March 23 to keep the learning process going, but teachers wanted to do something special to show families how much they are missed.
Before the shelter in place order that is now in effect in several counties, various Mansfield ISD schools hosted teacher parades.
“It was like teacher appreciation week and student appreciation week all in one,” said Jenny Roberson, principal of Judy K. Miller Elementary School.
Teachers caravanned through neighborhoods honking their cars, holding signs and waving to families. The kids waved back frantically as they saw all the familiar faces.
"They were jumping up and down, they were cheering like they saw celebrities coming down the road," explained Willie Wimbrey, principal of Annette Perry Elementary School. "Teachers and staff needed this just as much as the parents and students needed it."
The staff members kept social distancing in mind and did not share a ride. Students and parents were asked to not come close to the parade, and each student had to be accompanied by an adult near the front of their home.
Despite what is going on in the world, Lea Boiles, principal of Elizabeth Smith Elementary School said the teacher parades gave the community hope.
"It really helped us to face this with a smile in our hearts and on our faces and know that we really do love each other," said Boiles. "We were able to share that love with the community around us."
For the health and well-being of the Mansfield ISD community as measures continue to be taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), MISD schools, offices and facilities will remain closed.
The district will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with health officials and local authorities to determine a safe date to reopen.
For the latest information, visit the MISD comprehensive COVID-19 web page.