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Central Texas schools react after TEA changes COVID-19 reporting policies

Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 19:37:02-04

BELL COUNTY, Texas — The Delta variant is spreading quickly among kids and that has many parents worried about case numbers as kids heading back to school in Texas.

This is the first week of school for many districts in bell county and that includes Killeen ISD who is already several positive COVID cases in schools.

”Since Monday, the district has tracked about 40 cases of COVID-19 amongst students and staff.” said Taina Maya. Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, KISD.

Temple ISD, who starts school next week, is also reporting a number of positive cases

In fact, they have twice as many as they did before the start of school last year.

”When we took the same amount of time before the start of school, that 2-week window, last year we had 8 or 9 and this year we have more than that, 20 something.” said Dr. Bobby Ott. Superintendent, Temple ISD.

Until the latest guidance from the TEA, districts were not required to tell families of positive cases on campuses.

Killeen ISD wasn’t going to unless someone was in close contact with COVID positive person.

With the change in guidance from TEA, they now have to, and the district says they will do just that.

”It’s a large undertaking for Killeen ISD, as it is for any district, to notify our families. But we understand that is something that provides transparency, and we want to provide piece of mind.” said Maya.

Temple ISD is sticking with the same notification be email system that they had last year and that is the plan that Killeen ISD will use moving forward.

”Beginning Monday, we’ll be able to launch those daily emails to notify a parent or staff member if there is any confirmed positive on their child's campus or the place where they work in a department in Killeen ISD.” said Maya.

Both districts say they too are worried about major out breaks and are prepared to close schools if the need to.

Temple ISD says the have several school closer plans available if the need arises.

”We do have plans for those and those were approved be Bell County Health department. They actually vetted those plans and then we have presented them to the board and sent them out to parents.” said Dr. Ott.

Both Temple and Killeen ISD’s say they will follow all TEA notification guidance and they are working closely with the Bell County Health District in case there is a major outbreak in their schools.