How North Texas School Districts Cope with COVID – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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North Texas students are heading back to school this month. As COVID-19 cases increase in the state, some school districts in the region are taking action they hoped were behind them to slow the spread of the virus and keep students safe.

The Dallas ISD said it will require face masks on district properties starting Tuesday, defying an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that bans districts from imposing face masks.

The district is the only school district to date to require masks, but some other school districts in North Texas are “strongly” promoting masks and offering online options for students who cannot yet get immunized from Kindergarten to Kindergarten. the sixth year.

The Texas Education Agency said it would not give money to districts for virtual programs, however, leaving districts to offer online options to pay through federal and local funding.

Here’s how your North Texas school district is dealing with the latest increase in COVID-19 cases as the school year approaches.

(Districts are listed in alphabetical order)

Dallas ISD

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced Monday that the district will require masks on district property. The superintendent heads the largest school district in North Texas and the second in the state.

DISD also told NBC 5 last Friday that it was exploring virtual learning options.

“I’m ready to take a look and see what we can do because things have changed, the narrative has changed over the past six weeks,” Hinojosa said. “Maybe I should have the option in my back pocket because I don’t want the kids out of school somewhere.”

Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Dallas

The Catholic Diocese of Dallas announced a mask requirement starting Tuesday.

Many of its 31 schools in North Texas, which have about 15,000 students, had already adopted mask protocols.

But Superintendent Matt Vereecke cited “a clear and present danger to unvaccinated children” from the COVID-19 delta variant and the increase in COVID-19 cases in North Texas in a letter to parents for the tenure of mask.

Bishop Lynch and Bishop Dunne High Schools are two of the most notable schools in Dallas County.

Frisco ISD

Frisco ISD has become the first school district in North Texas to offer a virtual option to children in grades six and under who cannot yet receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Frisco ISD Superintendent Mike Waldrip said the move was due to “rapidly changing conditions” of COVID-19 in Texas and that e-learning worked last year.

“As a group, our virtual learners did better than our in-person learners, even when we factor in socioeconomic status, they always perform better,” said Waldrip.

Plano ISD

Plano ISD announced a parent-led temporary virtual learning option on Monday.

“In order to address the needs and concerns of our families with children enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 6 who cannot yet be immunized, the district will provide a temporary online asynchronous learning option for parents looking for a alternative to in-person learning, ”the district said in a press release.

Parents who wish to use the temporary virtual learning option must register by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Richardson ISD

Richardson ISD also offers a temporary “virtual classroom option” for students in grades six and under.

Superintendent Jeannie Stone announced virtual learning in an update on Monday, allowing parents to select the option until August 13.

The district also said the masks are “optional but strongly encouraged” in the update.

Although the Texas Education Agency has said that contact tracing is not required if and when positive cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in classrooms on August 5, Richardson ISD has said it will continue to search for contacts and to notify close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases.

Parents can then choose whether a non-symptomatic student identified as close contact will be quarantined.

Anyone can read more about Richardson’s virtual learning option here and parents can register here.

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