A third Connally ISD staff member has passed away due to COVID-19, the district announced on Tuesday.
Angela Thompson, mother of four and an instructional aide at Connally Primary School, passed away Tuesday afternoon after a battle with COVID-19. Thompson was entering her third year as an employee at the school. Her spouse is also an employee with the school district and all four of her children graduated from Connally ISD schools.
"It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you the news of losing another Connally ISD staff member," said CISD in the letter to parents. "We extend our sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy to her family, students, and friends."
Thompson identified COVID symptoms upon returning from the summer break and was tested, according to CISD; she was last on campus a week and a half before the school year began, on Monday, Aug. 9.
"With the loss of a third team member, we know that concerns for physical and mental health are heightened," said the school district. "We want to assure you that we remain focused on measures to take care of our students and staff."
Dr. Emma Church, a Waco psychologist, said all of this loss can be hard to process, for adults and kids alike.
"They're just little adults, you know, they're having all these same feelings that we have in these situations, but they just need guidance and a place to tell them it's okay to feel this way," Church said.
The school district is asking for the community to unite against the fight with COVID-19, and said it will continue to work closely with the McLennan County Health Department to monitor COVID-19 rates among students and staff.
The district will be hosting a vaccination clinic on Oct. 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Connally High School for students, staff, parents, and the community.
"Students may react to the loss of a beloved staff member in different ways, expressing their feelings in response to the loss, some more intensely than others," said the school district. "Connally ISD counselors will be at the Connally Primary campus from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. this week to provide support."
The school asks that 'Cadet' family parents contact a counselor or therapist if their children exhibit any of the following behaviors:
- Restlessness, nervous behavior, fear of being alone
- Trouble concentrating (for many days/weeks after the incident)
- Difficulty sleeping, frequent nightmares (for extended periods)
- Repeatedly asking questions
- Concentrating/re-living previous losses and/or tragic events
- Change in eating or sleeping habits or significant changes in grades
- Loss of interest in activities that he or she previously found pleasure in doing
"Please do not hesitate to seek our support," said CISD. "This is an extremely difficult time for our cadet family, but we know that we will continue to support each other."