Some Houston-area school districts defying Gov. Abbott's COVID orders

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Some Houston-area school districts defying Gov. Abbott's COVID orders
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With some classes back in session, here's what your child's district is doing to keep them safe from COVID. Some are defying Gov. Abbott's orders.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With some students back in school and others gearing up for the start of classes, some school districts are defying Gov. Greg Abbott's COVID-19 orders and requiring masks.

Below is a list of what school districts are doing to keep your child safe amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Aldine ISD

The school district is requiring all staff, students and visitors to wear a mask on all district buses and while on campuses and in administrative buildings.

"We believe this is the right decision for everyone's well-being," a statement from the district reads.

Alief ISD:

The school district is not requiring masks, but it is requesting that all students, staff and faculty wear masks on campus.

Alvin ISD

Staff who work with students in elementary or junior high schools will be required to wear a mask or face shield while indoors. The requirement, which is only temporary, goes into effect from Aug. 25 through Sept. 20.

"We consider the health and well-being of students and staff in all we do in Alvin ISD," the district wrote.

For more details, visit Alvin ISD's website.

Angleton ISD

The district said masks are optional for all students, workers and visitors and is pushing the latest CDC guidance on face coverings for children who aren't vaccinated.

Officials said in a video posted to its Facebook page that masks will be provided upon request.

SEE ALSO: Students wearing masks at school remains a polarized topic

For more on what Alief ISD is doing, visit the district's website.

Clear Creek ISD

Clear Creek ISD said its COVID protocols include strongly recommending that people on their campuses and facilities wear face coverings when they are indoors.

"In a school district located in two counties, governed by an independent school board of trustees, and required to follow the laws of the State of Texas and rules of the Texas Education Agency, Clear Creek ISD will continue to comply with Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order which prohibits a school district from mandating face coverings be worn indoors," the district said in a statement.

Crosby ISD

Crosby ISD told ABC13 it will comply with Gov. Abbott's orders, but is making masks readily available in classrooms and inside all campus buildings.

Cy-Fair ISD

Cy-Fair is obliging by Gov. Greg Abbott's orders prohibiting mask mandates and will make masks optional.

Officials said parents of pre-K through fifth grade students can ask campus administration to place their child with other masked students in classrooms and common areas when feasible.

SEE ALSO: Cy-Fair ISD announces temporary virtual learning options for 2021-2022 school year

See the full LEAD Safely 2021-22 plan and additional information about the temporary virtual learning option on CFISD's website.

Friendswood ISD

Friendswood ISD leaders are remaining flexible with COVID protocols, but so far there's no guidance encouraging the use of masks on campus.

Galena Park ISD

Galena Park provided updated guidance on Aug. 13 saying that it will require all students, staff, teachers and visitors to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, while indoors on school property and school buses, until further notice.

The district released its "Safe-Return Strategies" for the 2021-2022 school year, which include cleaning and disinfecting protocols, COVID-19 exclusions, COVID testing for students and staff, notifications of COVID cases and potential mitigation strategies.

For more details, visit the district's website.

Galveston ISD

Galveston is requiring all students and staff to wear masks at all district facilities and on buses when classes begin Aug. 23.

"This is a health and safety decision made for the purpose of keeping our children and our staff safe during the school day and at all district-sponsored events," the district said in a Facebook post.

For updated details on Galveston ISD's COVID protocols, visit its website.

Houston ISD

When students return to Houston ISD campuses on Aug. 23, they'll be required to wear a mask after the district's board of trustees voted to approve a mandate.

During an HISD safety plan webinar on Friday, Aug. 13, HISD Superintendent Millard House said students in pre-k through the third grade will get a one-minute "non-mask breathing break" during the school day.

In addition, he said students who don't comply with the mask mandate will be assigned to temporary online learning and will be marked absent.

To watch a recording of Friday's webinar, visit HISD's website or watch it on HISD's YouTube page.

Katy ISD

Face coverings and masks will remain optional on all Katy ISD campuses.

The district also stated virtual learning is now an option for students enrolled in kindergarten through the sixth grade.

SEE ALSO: Katy ISD approves virtual learning for K through 6th grade students

Online instruction through KVA will officially begin on Monday, Aug. 30, and extend through Friday, Oct. 15.

For updated details on Katy ISD's COVID protocols, visit its website.

Klein ISD

Face coverings are an option for employees, students and visitors, according to the district's website.

Pasadena ISD

The district is not enforcing a mask requirement as of Friday, Aug. 13, but strongly recommends the use of face coverings.

Pearland ISD

Pearland is recommending masks for all students, staff and visitors while indoors.

Spring Branch ISD

SBISD told ABC13 that it is advising parents that the CDC recommends masks be worn indoors by everyone over the age of 2.

"We strongly urge parents to make the best decision for their children regarding masks at school," the district said.

Spring ISD

Effective Monday, Aug. 16, Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson says the district will require mask wearing for all students, staff and visitors in all district buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

SEE ALSO: Spring ISD joins growing list of Texas districts defying Abbott's mask order

Spring ISD is the latest Texas district to defy Abbott's mask ban. They will also conduct contact tracing within Spring ISD, rather than referring positive cases to Harris County Public Health for tracing. They're committed to letting families and staff know of any positive COVID-19 cases.

Texas City ISD

After a board meeting, the school district said it voted to mandate that masks be worn by everyone on school busses and within school facilities. The mandate goes into effect on Aug. 18, until the level of positive cases warrants reconsideration, according to the district's Facebook page.

"Disposable masks will be made available to anyone who does not have one," the district wrote. "The district has been monitoring guidance from TEA and the Governor's Executive Order as well as legal cases regarding masks in hopes that the state would allow districts to make a decision based on their community needs."