TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas school districts are facing a big decision as children return from winter break this week as COVID-19 cases spike nationwide.

Some East Texas schools have already changed their policies while others say they are discussing what to do next about the rise in cases.

Districts with changed guidelines include Whitehouse ISD and Lufkin ISD. Whitehouse updated its website today with new COVID policies that follow new CDC guidelines, including a shorter quarantine period of five days for those infected with the virus.

Lufkin ISD is requiring masks for students and staff all this week. The district said that it will continue checking positive cases to see if an extended mandate is needed.

Meanwhile, Henderson ISD’s staff met Tuesday to discuss what to do next before students head back to class on Wednesday.

“We know those numbers are going up and that is a concern for us because we want to make sure that our kids are as healthy as possible, that we have a healthy environment for both our kids and our teachers as well. So it’s just kind of an ongoing process to make sure and kind of assess on a daily basis about where we are with our numbers.”


Longview ISD said they are continuing to monitor pandemic numbers, though as of now no changes have been made to their current guidelines.

“The safety and well-being of our students, employees, and community is our absolute top priority, and we will remain vigilant in making data-based decisions for the children and employees in our care,” said Longview ISD spokesperson Francisco Rojas.

Many school districts that have yet to change their COVID-19 protocols say they are encouraging students and staff to wear masks and social distance when possible.

Below is a list of COVID-19 schoolyear guidelines by district. Note that not every district had information readily available on their webpages, and those have been omitted.