By Jamie Swinnerton and Meagan Ellsworth, Employees writers
Within the wake of Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that statewide COVID-19 protocols can be lifted beginning March 10, Montgomery County college districts will proceed with current well being protocols however some will evaluation these guidelines.
The Texas Schooling Company mentioned Wednesday districts can proceed with present practices even after the statewide masks mandate expires subsequent week.
Following Abbott’s announcement, Conroe, Magnolia, Montgomery, Willis, New Caney, and Splendora faculties introduced they had been ready for steerage from the TEA and mentioned they might be imposing their present COVID-19 guidelines.
On Wednesday, the TEA issued a press release that mentioned “a public college system’s present practices on masks might proceed unchanged. Native college boards have full authority to find out their native masks coverage.”
Conroe ISD, the biggest district and employer within the county, mentioned it was reviewing the brand new steerage which helps the district’s present practices.
“District administration will likely be assembly with native well being authorities and advisory teams this week to debate the District’s well being and security protocols for the rest of the 12 months,” mentioned CISD Communications Director Sarah Blakelock in an e-mail. “All present security protocols will stay in impact till additional discover. Conroe ISD is dedicated to offering the most secure studying surroundings for its college students and employees and retaining faculties open.”
Splendora ISD may even be taking a while to evaluation its choices and the up to date steerage from TEA. Based on an e-mail from Splendora ISD spokesperson Deitra Johnson, the executive group will likely be assembly Thursday to debate choices.
“We are going to make a suggestion to our board for his or her consideration at a particular board assembly on Monday,” Johnson mentioned.
Montgomery ISD mentioned it was “reviewing all points of the TEA steerage and haven’t but made a remaining dedication.”
Willis, Magnolia, and New Caney districts had not introduced updates Wednesday night relating to their COVID-19 protocols previous March 10.
However public faculties should not the one faculties within the space utilizing this time to take inventory of their well being and security protocols. The John Cooper Faculty, a non-public college in The Woodlands with an enrollment of 1,244 college students, has introduced it is not going to be rolling again any protocols.
“At Cooper, our mitigation measures and protocols for college students, school, and employees will stay in impact, and we don’t intend to alter our masks coverage for the rest of the college 12 months,” in accordance with a message despatched to college students and their households. “The well being, security, and well-being of everybody in our faculty neighborhood will proceed to be our prime precedence.”
All college workers and little one care staff in Texas now are eligible to get vaccines, the Division of State Well being Companies introduced Wednesday after the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies despatched a nationwide directive to COVID-19 vaccination suppliers.
Till Wednesday, college workers couldn’t get a vaccine except they had been 65 or older, had considered one of a number of persistent medical situations or labored as a college nurse.
“This motion doesn’t change the opposite teams prioritized for vaccination in Texas,” State Well being Companies introduced. “Suppliers are inspired to proceed their efforts to vaccinate older adults for the reason that burden of COVID-19 falls most severely on folks age 65 and older.”
These eligible from the directive embody “those that·work in pre-primary, main, and secondary faculties, in addition to Head Begin and Early Head Begin applications (together with lecturers, employees, and bus drivers) and those that work as or for licensed little one care suppliers, together with center-based and household care suppliers.”
The announcement comes in the future after President Joe Biden directed states to prioritize college employees and childcare staff in vaccine plans.
Lone Star Faculty, which has a number of campuses and its fundamental administrative facility right here in Montgomery County, will likely be imposing its personal masks mandate.
“Whereas we respect the Governor’s choice, all LSC areas require college students and workers to put on a masks and observe social distancing,” the faculty system said in a tweet. “Because the vaccine turns into extensively obtainable we will return to regular within the foreseeable future.”
The school system moved practically half of its lessons utterly on-line final 12 months, and are limiting who could be on its campuses.
Masks and temperature checks have been a part of LSC’s well being protocols since college students returned to the classroom final semester. LSC directors and trustees have expressed delight of their success at retaining an infection charges low of their amenities, additionally crediting present security protocols.