Houston-area school districts considering changes to COVID-19 protocols amid rise in cases

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As families prepare to send their kids back to school, many are worried about the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Dallas Independent School District has become the first in the state to defy Gov. Greg Abbott's order and require masks when school starts.

Houston ISD trustees will be voting on the same measure on Aug. 12.

SEE ALSO: HISD superintendent to propose mask mandate in all schools

"The last thing I want as a brand new superintendent in the largest school district in the state is any smoke or heat with the governor," explained HISD Superintendent Millard House. "My intent was solely focused on what we felt was best in Harris County, in HISD."

Fort Bend ISD and Conroe ISD have announced limited virtual schooling options. But, for most districts in the state, there will be no COVID-19 measures in place.

SEE ALSO: Fort Bend, Conroe ISD will offer limited virtual learning option for some students

"Things change every day. I can't send them to school right now and there's not a virtual option for him," said Tomball ISD parent Rachel Scott. "Right now, there's nothing for me to do."

"We don't know the vaccination status of our teachers. We have teachers in classrooms unmasked. We don't know what they do on a day-to-day basis and we don't know their exposure," explained Tomball ISD parent Elizabeth Segaloff. "So we have a room full of unvaccinated children unmasked."

In Katy, parents have created a petition calling on Katy ISD to make virtual learning an option for students who can't get the vaccine.

SEE ALSO: Mayor Turner and HISD push back against Gov. Abbott's ban against mask mandates

The governor has threatened fines for school districts that enact COVID requirements, but it's unclear how that will work.

"The money is there," added parent Michael Grigsby. "If you can build a football stadium in Tomball, you can fund virtual learning."

For more on your child's school COVID-19 policies, follow Pooja Lodhia on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.
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