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LIST: Central Texas school districts on their COVID-19 guidelines for back-to-school

Posted at 10:52 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:45:35-04

Many Texas school districts are announcing their back-to-school plans with COVID-19 mitigation efforts at the forefront; especially with the Texas Education Agency's updated COVID-19 guidance for on-campus learning and activities.

Some are announcing their decision to require masks, despite Gov. Greg Abbott's recent order that bans Texas schools from mandating masks; Houston's Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said on Tuesday, August 10 that the county will be filing a lawsuit challenging Abbott's order.

Below is what Central Texas schools have announced as their back to school plans for 2021-2022 year:

Killeen ISD

Killeen ISD announced its back-to-school plan for the start of school - Monday, August 16.

"Killeen ISD campuses located on Fort Hood must comply with the recent face covering mandate issued by the Deputy Secretary of Defense," said the school district in its back-to-school plans. "This mandate requires all KISD employees and students (vaccinated or not) to wear a face covering while inside Fort Hood facilities."

KISD operates the following schools on post: Audie Murphy Middle School, Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary, Montague Village Elementary, Meadows Elementary, Clear Creek Elementary, Clarke Elementary, Early College High School (Fort Hood Campus: Grades 9-10), and Venable Village Elementary.

  • KISD will be identifying and notifying 'close contacts' by phone,
  • Anyone fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine after coming in contact,
  • KISD recommends a 10-day isolation period for a nonvaccinated, unmasked person where close contact is defined,
  • A person can return to school/work as early as day 7 of isolation with a negative PCR test taken on or after day 5 of isolation. Alternatively, the individual may obtain a doctor’s note indicating an alternate diagnosis and return the following day, or obtain an acute infection test that comes back negative for COVID-19.

Waco ISD

Waco ISD announced its back-to-school plan for the start of school - Monday, August 23.

At this time only three percent of students in McLennan County between 12 to 17-years of age have been vaccinated.

The school district said it will do the following to reduce case numbers from rising in its schools:

  • Encourage the wearing of masks in all district buildings,
  • Encourage employees and students to get vaccinated when eligible,
  • Conduct contact tracing,
  • Notify parents/guardians if their child is considered a close contact for a positive case of COVID-19,
  • Notify faculty and staff if they are considered a close contact for a positive case of COVID-19,
  • Continue the use of rapid testing for students and staff,
  • Provide assignments to students who are unable to attend school after testing positive for COVID-19 or whose parents/guardians opt for them to quarantine after being identified as a close contact,
  • Monitor the attendance and achievement of students adjusting plans as needed.

Temple ISD

Temple ISD announced its back-to-school plan for the start of school - Tuesday, August 24.

“Temple ISD leadership has demonstrated that they are committed to staff and student safety through implementing protocols designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Janice Smith of the Bell County Public Health District. “They have been a model district in terms of implementing effective practices developed in collaboration with medical experts.

The school district said the following will be done in its back to school plans:

  • In-person instruction will be the only education delivery model for the 2021-22 school year,
  • Masks will be strongly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals, but will not be required,
  • Daily screening and self-reporting of symptoms for students and staff will continue to take place,
  • Campus visitors will be allowed, but will be screened and have their temperature checked,
  • Healthy habits will continue to be implemented to include frequent cleaning and sanitizing,
  • Continuity of services will be provided if a classroom, campus or entire district is forced to close by order of a medical or government authority,
  • The district dashboard will be discontinued because they are not required by the TEA,
  • The district will continue to notify staff, students and parents when there is a test-confirmed positive case consistent with the age eligibility requirements for vaccinations,
  • Close contact will require a quarantine period for unvaccinated individuals,
  • The district will continue all reporting processes to the health district and the TEA.

Brenham ISD

Brenham ISD announced its back-to-school plan for the start of school - Wednesday, August 18.

The school district will not be able to offer online learning but said it may revisit the COVID-19 Back-to-School plan if that becomes an option in the future.

Some changes in the back to school plan include:

  • School systems are not required to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing.
  • If school systems are made aware that an individual is a 'close contact', the school system should notify the student’s parents or staff member, whichever the case.
  • Parents of students who are determined to be close contacts of an individual with COVID-19 may opt to keep their students at home during the recommended stay-at-home period.
  • For individuals who are determined to be close contacts, the stay-at-home period can end for individuals experiencing no symptoms on Day 10 after close contact exposure, if no subsequent COVID-19 testing is performed.
  • Alternatively, students can end the stay-at-home period if they receive a negative result from a PCR acute infection test after the close contact exposure ends.

College Station ISD

College Station ISD announced its back-to-school plan for the start of school - Tuesday, August 17.

The school district said the following will be done in its back to school plans:

  • Students and staff who wish to wear face coverings are encouraged to do so.
  • CSISD will not offer virtual learning for the 2021-22 school year. The state did not fund a virtual learning option for the 2021-22 school year. Any person interested in virtual learning may do so via the Texas Virtual School’s Network.
  • Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend work/school. Students displaying symptoms at school will be screened by the nurse and sent home if COVID-19 is suspected.
  • Individuals who are known to have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 may choose to quarantine.
  • Staff and students who have COVID-19 are required to isolate and follow the district’s return guidelines as outlined in the district’s Mitigation and Response Plan. Positive cases will be reported to the Brazos County Health District and the Texas Department of State Health Services. CSISD will also publicly report the number of cases by location on our COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • CSISD will continue to encourage good hygiene among its staff and students by continuing heightened cleaning practices and hand sanitizer availability throughout its buildings.