NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – School districts are scrambling after Governor Greg Abbott announced the state-wide mask mandate would be rolled back next Wednesday, March 10.
Districts across North Texas are now waiting for the Texas Education Agency to issue new guidance.
“If the governor was going to lift the mandate, wouldn’t the Texas Education Agency have some type of guidance prepared and ready?” asked President of Texas AFT Zeph Capo.
Capo said he hopes districts will be allowed to continue with their current masking practices. He’s unclear though on if that will happen because the TEA guidance directly refers to the governor’s mask mandate.
For now, Dallas ISD plans to continue following CDC guidelines.
In a statement, the district said it doesn’t anticipate changes before the end of the school year.
Fort Worth ISD plans to continue with current requirements as well, absent new guidance from the TEA.
“My advice to parents would be that they should advocate with their school district to continue to follow best viral practices,” said Dr. James McDeavitt with Baylor University Medical Center. While he’s concerned the lift in restrictions is premature, he believes the worst is still behind us.
“I would advocate as we start to have more vaccine availability to vaccinate school teachers just because it takes that off the table as a concern,” he said. “Keep in mind that the spread from schools, largely has not been sitting in math class. It’s been after school activities.”
Here are the responses from more than 20 school districts in the DFW area to the Governor’s decision:
Argyle ISD is aware of Governor Abbott’s announcement Tuesday of his decision to rescind the statewide mask mandate beginning March 10. The district is awaiting additional guidance and information from the Texas Education Agency regarding this decision.
Argyle ISD will continue to require face coverings for all students, teachers and staff until further guidance is provided. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.
Arlington ISD (Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos)
Today, the Arlington ISD learned that the countywide mask mandate has been lifted for Tarrant County and the statewide mandate will be lifted next Wednesday. The district reached out to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for guidance on how the decision will impact safety protocols in schools. The TEA shared that guidance will be coming soon for schools. Until that guidance is provided, the Arlington ISD will continue to follow its existing safety protocols for all staff and students.
Cedar Hill ISD (Superintendent Dr. Gerald B. Hudson)
You may have learned that the state government lifted the mask mandate this afternoon. In doing so, they also gave cities, counties and school districts the opportunity to continue the mask requirement as they see fit.
Here at Cedar Hill Independent School District, we certainly believe the mask requirement should continue for the foreseeable future.
The masks have allowed us to return to a semblance of normalcy. They have prevented COVID-19 cases and allowed in-classroom learning to begin and thrive.
We believe in taking care of scholars, staff and their families. We need to be mindful of the health and well-being of others.
As we plan for the 2021-2022 school year, we understand that social distancing is a key component for CHISD.
I will be grateful for the day when we no longer have to wear masks, but we will not suspend this necessary public health measure until the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other medical leaders deem it safe.
Community ISD is aware that Gov. Abbott will remove the mask mandate, effective March 10, 2021. @teainfo is expected to provide some information and guidance on how this will impact our schools. We will communicate with staff, students and families as we learn more. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
We will follow CDC guidelines as these discussions continue internally. As of now, we do not anticipate changes before the end of the school year. However, as administration continues discussing we will keep everyone informed of what those developments may be.
Following the removal of the state-wide mask mandate by Gov. Greg Abbott effective March 10, Denton ISD remains committed to the protocols currently in place, including wearing face coverings.
The district’s current Health/Safety Protocols have been developed with guidance from local officials, including Denton County Health Services, and are based on protocols from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and recommendations from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
“Our teachers have yet to be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine, and they have been on the frontlines throughout the pandemic – keeping schools open for our students,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools. “We will look at our protocols based on the announcement, and the safety of our students and staff is paramount.”
Since the start of the 2020-21 school year, COVID-19 mitigation procedures such as the use of face coverings have kept district schools open and minimized risks to students and staff. Denton ISD, alongside other Denton County school districts, has experienced higher than average staff absenteeism and classes switched to virtual learning due to COVID-19 exposure.
Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced plans to rescind Executive Order No. GA-29, commonly known as the mask mandate, on Wednesday March 10. The district looks forward to continue guidance from the Governor and Texas Education Agency regarding how this will impact schools. Until then, face coverings will continue to be required in FISD schools.
Fort Worth ISD
As provided for in Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order of March 2, 2021, absent any new guidance from the Texas Education Agency, all current Fort Worth COVID-19 practices will remain in effect.
Grand Prairie ISD
Grand Prairie ISD is aware of the Governor’s order rescinding the statewide mask mandate. We are awaiting additional direction from the Texas Education Agency and our own local health officials. When we know more, we will communicate that to our families and staff.
“We are aware of the Executive Order from Governor Abbott lifting the statewide mask mandate beginning March 10. We anticipate further guidance from the Texas Education Agency and Tarrant County Public Health regarding how the executive order will affect school districts. At this time, there are no changes to our current COVID-19 safety protocols to announce. As we have with any modifications to our Fall or Spring guides, we will communicate updates with students, staff and parents prior to March 10 through email, social media and on the District website.”
We have received several inquiries from parents following Gov. Greg Abbott’s removal of the mask mandate effective March 10, 2021.
The safety of our students, staff and community members is always our top priority. We will continue with the safety protocols (https://bit.ly/3bYNTy8) that have been in place all year, which include masks for students in grades 1-12 and all employees and visitors.
Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the State mandates effective Wednesday, March 10 allowing businesses to return to 100% occupancy and no mandatory masks. While Joshua ISD is waiting on further guidance from TEA Commissioner Morath, we are asking all staff and students to continue following our current safety protocols including social distancing and required masks through Friday, March 12. through Friday, March 12.
The health and safety of our students and staff is the top goal in Joshua ISD, and all decisions will continue to be made in the best interest of our families. We will send updates as quickly as decisions are made for returning to school after Spring Break.
We are aware that Governor Abbott has issued Executive Order GA-34, which rescinds the mask mandate effective March 10, 2021. We are exploring what that means to us as a school district and awaiting further guidance from the Texas Education Agency. As we wait for this guidance, we are asking that all staff and students continue to follow our current safety protocols, including wearing masks, as noted in the Krum ISD COVID-19 Health and Hygiene Practices. As we learn more, we will communicate any decisions with families and staff.
Lake Dallas ISD
We are aware of the governor’s recent press statements removing the statewide “mask mandate,” which will go into effect March 10. At this time we are awaiting additional guidance from the Texas Education Agency regarding the governor’s order and its effect on schools.
We’re aware of the governor’s statement regarding the statewide mask mandate ending March 10. Our schools will remain in Level Orange until LISD has the opportunity to consult with local health experts & make an informed decision w/ the best interest of students & staff in mind.
Little Elm ISD
Little Elm ISD is aware of Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order to remove the mask mandate starting next Wednesday, March 10. The District will release additional information in response to this announcement in the coming days.
Royse City ISD
Royse City ISD is aware of Governor Abbott’s removal of the mask mandate effective March 10, 2021. We expect the Texas Educaiton Agency to provide some information and guidance on hos this impacts our schools. As we learn more, we will communicate with staff, students and families. Thank you for your support.
In light of @GovAbbott announcement, NISD is expecting further guidance from @teainfo. After we receive word on how this order affects school districts, we will evaluate our COVID protocols & communicate any decisions prior to the statewide COVID mandates are lifted on March 3.
WISD is aware that @GovAbbott has rescinded the statewide mask mandate effective 3/10/21. We are exploring what that means for us as a school district, and we are awaiting further guidance from @teainfo. As we learn more, we will provide updates to families and staff.
Gov. Abbott announced he is lifting the State mask mandate effective March 10th. While WISD is waiting on further guidance from TEA, we are asking staff & students to continue following our current safety protocols including social distancing and required masks until March 10th.