Classes at Burnet Middle School moved Tuesday, Dec. 8, to remote instruction only and will remain so through Monday, Dec. 14, following the sudden death of principal Jeremy LeJeune, who had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his passing in an Austin hospital on Sunday evening.
In addition, all BMS extracurricular activities are canceled until in-person instruction resumes on Tuesday, Dec. 15, Superintendent Keith McBurnett said Monday.
“Even though COVID safety protocols were followed, in working with the Burnet County Medical Advisor (Dr. Juliette Madrigal), and out of an abundance of caution, several administrators, teachers, and office staff at Burnet Middle School that spent significant lengths of time with Mr. LeJeune last Thursday and Friday have been deemed close contact and are being required to quarantine,” McBurnett said.
“With the loss of Mr. LeJeune, and now these quarantines, Burnet Middle School cannot be operated safely with adequate student supervision. All other campuses will operate normally.”
LeJeune worked on campus Dec. 3-4 but determined he needed to seek medical attention at some point during the weekend. He had been battling a rare blood vessel disorder which required frequent treatment and hospitalizations and it is believed that while he was asymptomatic, a COVID-19 infection exacerbated his condition and contributed to his demise.
McBurnett said teachers will be conducting live Google Meets on their regular class schedule each day until in-person instruction resumes so students can stay on a regular schedule of course rotations. The district will also make WiFi hotspots available to those in need of internet connectivity and will also be distributing grab-and-go meals daily through Monday, Dec. 14, for families who need them as well.
“We recognize what a burden this is for families, and we apologize for the late notice, but we did not receive this official notification until a short time ago today (Monday)” McBurnett said. “The next five school days will be challenging for us all. Going remote may cause additional stress on top of the tragic news of the past day, so please do not hesitate to reach out if your student needs to talk during this time of grief.
“The BMS community has a reputation for working together as a team time and time again. Please partner with us to provide the best possible instructional solutions as we navigate this difficult time.”
The three assistant principals will each be overseeing their grade levels at the middle school for the time being:
• 6th Grade Assistant Principal: Stephanie Buckly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
• 7th Grade Assistant Principal: Kelly Bolin (email@example.com).
• 8th Grade Assistant Principal: Brad Behrendt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Counselors Nancy Middlebrooks (email@example.com), Vickie McElroy (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Hallie Behrens (email@example.com) are available by email to either correspond or to schedule a GMeet or phonecall for students in need of counseling, McBurnett added.