mask mandate

North Texas School Districts Respond to End of Statewide Mask Mandate

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North Texas school districts are responding after Gov. Greg Abbott ended the statewide mask mandate, effective next Wednesday.

Many of the districts said they are awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency.

That group tweeted out Tuesday afternoon that updated guidance will be coming this week.

A spokesperson for Dallas ISD tells NBC 5 "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."

Fort Worth ISD said in a statement to NBC 5 that all current COVID-19 practices will remain in effect, saying "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."

Arlington ISD released a statement saying "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."

Allen ISD announced via Twitter that it is awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency after the Governor's announcement.

Denton ISD said in a statement that the district "remains committed to the protocols currently in place, including wearing face coverings." The statement went on to state "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.”

Birdville ISD released a statement on Twitter, saying "No changes to BISD COVID-19 safety protocol at this time. Updates made to our safety protocol will be shared when available."

Lewisville ISD released a statement on Twitter saying "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."

Frisco ISD said "The district looks forward to continued 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"

Grand Prairie ISD said it is awaiting more guidance from the Texas Education Agency.

Northwest ISD also said it is awaiting guidance from the TEA.

Waxahachie ISD is also awaiting guidance from the TEA.

Weatherford ISD said on Twitter "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."

Midlothian ISD said they are "waiting for further guidance from the TEA Commissioner Morath and our local health authority. We continue to require all staff and students to wear masks and follow our current health and safety protocols until Wednesday, March 10. Currently, we are operating under the health protocols found in the guidance by TEA. As soon as Texas school districts receive more information from the TEA and our local health authority, we will keep you informed of any changes that might occur beginning March 10."

Granbury ISD said on Twitter "We are exploring what that means to us as a school district and are awaiting further guidance from the Texas Education Agency."

Little Elm ISD released a statement on Twitter.

Ennis ISD says they will also wait on guidance from the TEA.

Everman ISD says it is also awaiting guidance from TEA.

Joshua ISD announced on Twitter that the district "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."

Royse City ISD is awaiting guidance from the TEA.

Cedar Hill ISD released the following statement: "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."

Burleson ISD said in a statement "Although the order directs districts to follow health protocols provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), TEA has not issued any updated health protocols related to the governor's order. Once we receive the TEA health protocols, we will update our district health protocols accordingly and will share them with staff, students and parents."

Mesquite ISD said "We will continue with current safety protocols, including masks, while we await guidance from the Texas Education Agency on how public schools will proceed. Once we receive more information we will communicate any changes with parents and staff."

Irving ISD said "Our number one priority continues to be the health and safety of our staff and students. The district is currently reviewing the Governor’s Executive Order and is awaiting further guidance from the Texas Education Agency. As we learn more information, we will promptly communicate with families and staff.  At this time, all students and staff are still required to wear masks until further notice."

Emily Donaldson with The Dallas Morning News joins NBC 5 to discuss how schools were left in the dark Tuesday when Gov. Greg Abbott announced the end of a statewide mask mandate. More: DallasNews.com
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