Carthage ISD Superintendent John Wink discusses the district's plan of action in light of COVID-19.

Carthage ISD will delay student instruction a week and will roll out food service Monday in the wake of Gov. Abbott’s school closure order.

Teachers will be reporting to work this week to prepare for online instruction, but students will not start class until Monday, March 30, Superintendent John Wink said during a Sunday night Facebook livestream.

Wink briefly outlined the district’s plans and said more information would be given later this week.

“We have really been working hard to figure out what’s going on and what we’re going to do,” Wink said.

Wink called it a constantly-evolving situation, and said the plan that Carthage ISD would be rolling out this week is something that’s never existed before — and means that where they start out at is probably to change as time goes by.

“It’s going to be very exciting. It’s going to be very challenging. But I know we are up to the challenge,” Wink said.

Campus, District Accessibility

Wink said the the district would be practicing social distancing, and all Carthage ISD buildings would be closed to students and parents. The buildings will be open to teachers, although Wink said teachers who could work remotely would do so.

Wink said families who needed to do things like pick up medicine from their campus nurse should make arrangements through email.

Wink said the district would be answering phones during normal hours, but asked everyone to be patient as they expect a large volume of calls.

“Use email as much as possible,” Wink said.

Food Service

The district has set up a meal program for families and will be serving breakfast and lunch.

The district will offer grab and go meals and meal delivery beginning Monday, March 23. The meals are free and available to any student or community child 18 or under and to students with disabilities without regard to age.

Breakfast/lunch grab and goal meals will be available from 9 to 11 a.m. at only Libby Elementary School. Children must be present to receive grab and go meals. To pick up the meals, drive through the bus ramp at Libby Elementary.

Breakfast/lunch meals will also be delivered by school buses from 9 to 11 a.m. on the district’s normal routes. Students can wait at their regular bus stop. Buses will be delivering both breakfast and lunch at the same time.

For questions regarding food service, Wink said the best way to contact the district was through the email.

Wink said Monday’s food delivery would be a test run, and he asked for patience as they work out any issues.


State testing has been waived because of COVID-19, and Wink noted that high school students needing to take an EOC test would only have to pass the course.

Wink said teachers would be working this coming week to get ready for online instruction and that students would not have classes until Monday, March 30. The first week of instruction will be paper-based, and more information will be given later in the week, Wink said.

Wink said teachers would be checking in on their students’ needs this week.

He also offered some suggestions for parents, including building a normal schedule for kids, incorporating movement and activity into the day, spending time together as a family, and — if they’re up for it — “maybe do a Tik Tok with your kids.”


The district is building a plan to provide needed equipment and internet access to all students, Wink said. He said parents should look out for a survey so they can assess everyone’s needs.

Senior Events

Wink said the district will be working to make sure this year’s seniors have memory-making events. There will be a graduation ceremony, Wink said, but right now he doesn’t know what it will look like.


Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.