HOUSTON — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is lifted the statewide mask mandate in early March, but some Houston-area school districts plan to keep their mask policies in place.
Here’s what Houston-area school districts are doing: If you notice an error or update to any of these policies, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Governor Greg Abbott announced today that he is lifting statewide mandates that relate to COVID-19, effective Wednesday, March 10, 2021. All safety protocols, including the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing, will remain in effect in Aldine ISD schools and facilities until further clarification is obtained."
"Alief ISD will continue to require masks and facial coverings in all schools and district facilities."
5/13 update: "Protocols for masks for students and staff will be optional, effective June 1, for all Alvin ISD facilities. In addition, use of facemasks at Alvin ISD outdoor activities -- including graduation ceremonies -- on Alvin ISD facilities would be optional effective May 12, 2021.
"Gov. Abbott rescinded his exec. order related to masks, effective 3/10/21. BISD will be working with the Texas Education Agency for guidance for public schools & will communicate with our parents, students and staff as soon as we can."
CLEAR CREEK ISD
Face coverings will continue to be mandatory through the end of May -- unless eating or drinking. Beginning June 1,CCISD will only require face coverings when six feet of distance cannot be maintained for both indoor and outdoor activities. This will take effect June 1, 2021.
For information on CCISD’s current health and safety protocols, please visit www.ccisd.net/covid19. We greatly appreciate students, staff and parents acting in accordance with these protocols."
COLLEGE OF THE MAINLAND
"At this time, all safety protocols currently in place, including the wearing of face coverings and social distancing, will remain in effect on COM campuses and facilities while we review the order and assess our options."
Masks will be recommended, but optional, for students and staff in Conroe ISD facilities starting on June 1. If conditions remain stable or improve throughout the summer, we look forward to masks also being optional for the 2021-2022 school year.
"CFISD consulted with local medical professionals who strongly recommend that we continue our health and safety protocols—including wearing masks."
FORT BEND ISD
5/18 UPDATE: "Effective June 5, 2021 students, staff, parents and visitors will no longer be required to wear masks in schools and in District buildings. However, any individual may wear a mask if they choose to do so. Personal choices about mask wearing is to be respected at all times by all staff, students, parents and visitors."
“Galveston ISD is committed to student safety and plans to continue its mitigation efforts and protocols requiring mask wearing and social distancing throughout the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
“The district consistently consults with medical experts at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and in particular with Dr. Richard E. Rupp, who is the medical director for Teen Health Center, Inc. which operates clinics at five Galveston ISD campuses.”
GOOSE CREEK ISD
"While Governor Abbott rescinded the statewide mask mandate effective Wednesday, March 10, Goose Creek CISD is awaiting further guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority, so at this time we will continue the safety protocols we have in place. After evaluating information from state and local authorities, we will notify our families of any changes to our protocols."
GALENA PARK ISD
"Until further notice, GPISD will continue to require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks on district property and at district events."
Galveston ISD is committed to student safety and plans to continue its mitigation efforts and protocols requiring mask wearing and social distancing throughout the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. “It is my belief that social distancing and masking should continue for now,” Dr. Richard Rupp with UTMB advised the district. “Masks are still needed. COVID-19 numbers, although down, are still high. There is a good chance of encountering someone with COVID in a public setting.”
5/13 Update: "The district will keep its current policy in place requiring the use of masks in our facilities and campuses. Our Communicable Disease Plan committee meets regularly and will review the new guidance to make operational recommendations. The health and safety of all of our students and staff is paramount. HISD will continue to monitor conditions and update COVID-19 protocols as needed. For more information on HISD’s safety measures, please visit www.HoustonISD.org/CDP.”
Humble ISD has updated its mask protocols as of April 22. The new protocol makes face coverings optional for all elementary school students. Prior to the update, masks were optional for students under 10 and required for students 10 and older.
The updated protocols also make face coverings optional for participants at an outdoor event or activity. Outdoor events and activities include recess, outdoor PE, senior picnics, or any other outdoor events or activities.
IDEA Public Schools
"IDEA Public Schools has announced that to keep staff, students, and families safe, the district will continue with all current safety protocols in schools across Texas."
Katy ISD will return to normal operations on June 1. "Students and staff will no longer be required to wear facial coverings, daily COVID-19 notifications will cease, the Katy Virtual Academy (as implemented this year) will end."
"Although we are expecting further guidance from TEA, for the safety & security of all HSPVA staff, students & community, campus safety protocols & procedures (including masks) will continue."
"In accordance with the updated Texas Education Agency Public Health Guidance, and in consultation with our healthcare partners at Houston Methodist, Klein ISD will continue to wear masks in all our schools and district facilities for all students and adults for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. As has been our protocol all year, masks will continue to be optional outside during the school day for students and staff when social distancing is possible or when engaged in physical activity."
"In a news conference this afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an Executive Order lifting the statewide mask mandate effective March 10, 2021. At this time, Lamar CISD is not adjusting any of its COVID-19 safety protocols, including the requirement to wear face coverings in all facilities. In the meantime, the District will continue to review guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and local authorities as we prepare to finish the spring semester safely and successfully. You can find more information on the District’s COVID-19 safety protocols here."
LA PORTE ISD
"La Porte ISD will continue upholding our current COVID-19 safety protocols through the 2020-21 school year, including the requirement that masks are to be worn by students, staff and others at district facilities.
Though Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide mask mandate expires on March 10, the Texas Education Agency provided guidance for school districts to continue mask policies.
In our successful efforts during the past year to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the district has worked closely with local and state health agencies and has followed the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the TEA. The CDC continues to recommend masks.
We will also maintain our social distancing protocols and intensive sanitizing regimen at all facilities. By working together, we remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of all students and staff in a nurturing environment."
“The District is aware that Governor Abbott has lifted and amended many of his COVID Mandates. We will not make any changes to our Planning Forward document until we receive guidance from the Texas Education Agency and the local health department.”
Magnolia ISD board approves removing mask mandate as of April 1 to give teachers time to get vaccinated.
“Governor Abbott has rescinded the statewide mask mandate effective, Wednesday, March 10. At this time, Pearland ISD awaits further guidance from Texas Education Agency (TEA) which oversees public school districts in the state. Because student and staff safety remains our priority, we will continue our mitigation efforts and protocols as originally mandated by TEA. We will notify everyone of any changes that may occur.”
PRAIRIE VIEW TAMU
"With the end of the spring semester only 6-8 weeks away, A&M system members should continue to follow system guidance, “Guidance for Spring Semester of 2021 and Related Issues” issued in October 2020 on testing, face coverings, classes, physical distancing, occupancy limitations, co-curricular activities, among other matters."
SANTA FE ISD
At the Santa Fe ISD school board meeting on Monday, March 29, the Board of Trustees voted to make masks for students and staff optional at district facilities, schools, and school related events on SFISD property. "SFISD has established safety protocols to mitigate, prevent and respond to the virus and will continue to follow and update these protocols based on local health district guidelines, with the primary focus on maximizing the potential for in-person learning for all students."
"On March 3, SISD received an updated Public Health Planning Guidance document from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding Gov. Abbott’s executive order to lift the mask mandate beginning March 10. This document explains the governing board of a Texas school system may make modifications or eliminate mask-related requirements allowing for more local control. Sheldon ISD prioritizes the safety of our students and staff and is continuing to follow the recommendations from the CDC. There will be no changes to our current mask-related process in our schools or buildings. We appreciate your continued partnership with Sheldon ISD, and please stay safe."
"Splendora ISD will continue with our current health and safety protocols, including the requirement that 1st-12th grade students wear masks."
"Spring ISD is aware of Gov. Abbott's decision to lift the mask mandate and some other COVID-19 restrictions. We're still evaluating how this decision, which doesn't go into effect until March 10, will impact school district operations. Our priority will remain the health and safety of our students, staff and families as we await additional guidance from the TEA and our county health officials. We pledge to keep everyone updated as we learn more."
SPRING BRANCH ISD
5/18 UPDATE: "On Monday night, May 24, the board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting and is expected to take action on a resolution making masks optional beginning May 25. No action regarding mask requirements at Spring Branch ISD will be taken before May 24. Current mask requirements will remain in effect until the board takes action on Monday, May 24."
4/1 UPDATE: Beginning April 12, Masks will be optional for elementary school students during outdoor recess activities. Student group meetings, such as student councils, along with student safety patrols, can resume. Masks and social distancing will be required for the indoor student group meetings, and students participating in the outdoor safety patrol activities will be required to wear masks.
They discontinued the mask mandate and they are now optional.
TEXAS CITY ISD
"TCISD will continue our current mitigation efforts and protocols that have been in place this school year, which includes wearing masks per CDC guidance. TEA should provide more info later."
Tomball ISD will continue to require masks for all students, teachers and staff through the last day of school on May 27. After that, masks will be optional.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
Current protocols remain in effect while UH reviews Governor Abbott’s March 2 executive order regarding the mask mandate and opening Texas businesses 100% to determine the safest path forward for our campus community. The health and well-being of our faculty, staff and students remains our highest priority.
VARNETT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
"The Varnett Public Schools will continue to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols until further clarification is received from the Texas Education Agency."
"Today Governor Abbott announced an executive order regarding masks which goes into effect March 10, 2021. We are requesting additional guidance from TEA regarding safety measures in schools. All current safety protocols will remain in effect until further info. is obtained."