As the omicron variant spreads rapidly across North Texas, many Plano ISD parents are prepared to ask district leaders to tighten COVID-19 safety protocol. Ahead of Tuesday’s board meeting, one Plano mom says she’s concerned and watching the situation closely as she determines what’s best for her son.
Carmen Campbell’s 9-year-old son Bobby is thriving since returning to the classroom in September. Up until now, she’s been ok with him being back; especially since learning Bobby received a vaccine.
“So, Bobby participated in the Moderna study. And when Pfizer was approved, he was unblinded, so I know that he received two doses of Moderna,” said Campbell.
The omicron variant has changed things though, and she’s on pins and needles once again.
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“He told me this morning when he woke up before school, “Gosh mom, I’m a little nervous. I had trouble falling asleep.” We sent him in a high-quality mask good fitting K95 and we’re just hoping for the best,” Campbell said.
Bobby attends Mathews Elementary School in Plano. Like so many others, the district has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, 1,132 Plano ISD students were COVID positive. That’s roughly 2.3% of the entire student population. That number for teachers was 157. It was enough for the district to send a notice home to parents about changes to its safety guidelines.
The notice reads in part:
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“Due to rising COVID related case numbers in our community, the district has updated the guidelines for schoolwide events and activities to protect the health and wellbeing of Plano ISD students and staff. These revised guidelines will be in place through February 4, 2022, and will be reevaluated at that time.”
The guidelines address parent conferences, campus visitors, field trips, testing and quarantine. A group of vocal parents have said they’d like to see the district implement a mask mandate, which was not included in the latest guidelines.
According to data from UT Southwestern Medical Center, new pediatric hospital admissions are nearing peak levels seen during the delta surge in September.
Campbell, a physician herself, is on the front lines facing the disease but said she understands the decision isn’t easy for district leaders.
“I think it’s a complicated situation for them just given all the politics that have gone into it which is really unfortunate,” she said.
She’ll continue watching the numbers and ultimately wants as close to a normal school experience as possible for her son.
“It makes me very sad that so much of his childhood is going to be in the context of this pandemic,” said Campbell.
The Plano ISD Board meeting will take place tomorrow evening at 6:00 pm. For more information about COVID-19 safety guidelines visit https://www.pisd.edu/districtupdates.
For guidance and best practices from the CDC visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.