Marfa ISD extends winter break 

MARFA — This week, the Marfa Independent School District announced an extension of its winter break schedule, which will now last from Monday, December 19, 2022, through Tuesday, January 10, 2023. 

Superintendent Oscar Aguero said the district accounts for 10 flexible days per year, which are to be used in case of inclement weather or health concerns, but has yet to use any this year, prompting the extended winter break. The days will not need to be made up. School districts in Texas must conduct 180 days of classroom instruction, and the longer break will not affect MISD’s ability to meet that requirement, per Aguero. 

Aguero said recent increased levels of illness on campus and a review of last year’s attendance data were also decision making factors. 

“COVID cases are kind of coming up, flu is up, and our attendance level dropped a little,” said Aguero. “Looking at last year’s attendance on that week, we were below 80%. We started looking at: ‘Are we going to be able to have good instruction on those days if we have 20% of our kids out?’” 

The district held a COVID-19 booster clinic in November where students and teachers could receive bivalent booster shots. Aguero said the district will likely host another in the new year in January. 

Finals take place the week before and will not be affected by the additional days off. No athletics events have been canceled or altered due to the new schedule, either, said Aguero. Teachers will work four additional days until December 22, utilizing the time to prepare for the new year or to take personal time. 

Marfa ISD students will be participating in a number of activities this weekend associated with the Marfa Holiday Bazaar. For more information on the schedule of events, see this week’s edition of The Big Bend Sentinel.