Most Texas County schools return to classrooms this week in a situation that is much different when schools let out in May. There were signs that normalcy had returned and students and teachers eagerly anticipated summer school.

But last month the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus took over and cases spiked in southwest Missouri, causing Springfield hospitals to fill and Texas County Memorial Hospital suddenly saw its caseload exceed those experienced last year.

Special section on back-to-school.

For teachers, it is the third academic year disrupted by the pandemic. In the week proceeding Friday, the Texas County Health Department reported nearly 100 positive cases in the county. Some school districts have held limited open houses to introduce students to new academic environments.

Houston, Success, Raymondville and Summersville school districts open Monday. Cabool follows on Tuesday. Licking opens Wednesday. Plato moved back its opening day until Sept. 7.

On Sunday, parking spots and other street destinations at the Houston School District were receiving a fresh coat of white paint by the City of Houston’s grounds department.

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