Hallsville ISD becomes first of East Texas school districts to get rid of mask mandate

Education

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – After initial reactions to Governor Abbott ending the mask mandate in Texas, some schools have decided a few days after the announcement whether or not they will keep the mandate.

On Tuesday, Abbott announced that he would be lifting COVID-19 restrictions including a mask wearing mandate during a news conference at Mexican restaurant in Lubbock.

“State mandates are no longer needed,” the governor said, adding later that now is the time to “restore normalcy in the lives of Texans.”

On Thursday, the University Interscholastic League said that school boards can make their own decisions on their mask policy.

GETTING RID OF THE MASK MANDATE

HALLSVILLE ISD

Hallsville ISD met Friday morning and approved to discontinue the mandated masks and face coverings starting March 22nd the Monday after their spring break.

“We will continue to monitor and address all close contact tracing requirements as necessary,” Hallsville ISD said in a Facebook post.

MINEOLA ISD

Mineola ISD said that face masks and all other protocols will be followed for two weeks following Spring Break.

However, Mineola ISD said that on Monday, March 29, if COVID case counts and COVID testing remains low, the district will allow for masks to become optional for both students and employees.

KEEPING THE MASK MANDATE

TYLER ISD

Tyler ISD said they will continue to wear masks through the end of the school year.

In a YouTube video, Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford announced the decision on Friday March 5.

“Because of the time it takes to get a first and second dose, it will be a while before our beloved teachers can affectively fend off the illness and have peace of mind while teaching our children,” said Dr. Crawford. “That’s why I’m asking all of us to continue with the district’s current protocols, including wearing a mask to finish this year strong.”

“We agree that this is best for our staff and our students. We will certainly keep looking at the data through the end of the school year and if we can make adjustments to our protocols, we certainly will,” Dr. Crawford continued.

Dr. Crawford said that students and staff could see as soon as August, the return of school in a “traditional sense”

ALTO ISD

Alto ISD said they will continue to follow the COVID-19 health protocol recommendations and will continue the mask mandate.

Alto ISD said in a Facebook post that masks will be mandatory for every adulty and student, grades 5-12.

BULLARD ISD

As of Friday, March 5, Bullard ISD will continue to operate under current protocols which means students and staff will continue to wear face coverings.

The district said they will review the new guidance and evaluate the current protocols and work along side their local health authorities.

“We will communicate any updates and changes to our protocols as they are made,” Bullard ISD said in a Facebook post.

HAWKINS ISD

Hawkins ISD will continue the same guidelines put in place at the beginning of the year.

“We will communicate with you regarding any changes in the near future,” they said in a Facebook post.

LIVINGSTON ISD

Livingston ISD said they will continue the mask-wearing protocols. The district said they will monitor the health condition through the summer.

LONGVIEW ISD

Longview ISD said they would continue with COVID protocols for the rest of the school year.

In a statement, Longview ISD said they would possibly consider new COVID-19 protocols in the summer of 2021.

“Longview ISD will likely revisit this issue with our board each month, and possibly modify existing policies for the 2021-22 school year at some point this summer,” Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said. “But for now, we’re going to finish this school year under the current protocols, and continue to make data-based decisions going forward.”

Dr. Wilcox added, this decision is subject to change, based on any new information or regulations issued by governing authorities.

“Longview ISD will be sure to keep our families and community informed through our district website, social media, and through all-calls/emails,” he said.

For more information about COVID-19 and Longview ISD, please check our Coronavirus information portal at LISD.org/COVID.

MABANK ISD

Mabank ISD said that until further notice, the wearing of masks by employees, students and visitors, as well as other protocols in the MISD Return to School Guidelines will remain in effect.

PITTSBURG ISD

Pittsburg said they will continue to operate under the current guidelines during school, on school busses and at school activities.

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY

Stephen F. Austin State University also said that their mask mandate will remain in effect on campus until the end of the spring semester.

“After receiving input from the Student Government Association and our Faculty Senate, our SFA COVID-19 Operations Team has recommended that the face-covering requirement remain in effect on campus until the end of the semester,” SFA’s President Dr. Scott Gordon said in a statement. “I concur with this recommendation, and as a result SFA’s face-covering requirement will remain in place until further notice.”

VAN ISD

Van ISD decided on Friday to complete the few remaining weeks of the school year with their current COVID-19 safety measures in place.

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