Argyle and Lewisville ISDs will maintain their current safety protocols, including the requirements to wear masks, through the end of the school year, the districts announced Thursday night.
In a letter to families, LISD Superintendent Dr. Kevin Rogers said that with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent decision to remove the statewide mask mandate, the Texas Education Agency has stated that local school districts still have the authority to enforce health and safety protocols as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
“Although I am hopeful we are turning a corner on the need for significant restrictions in our schools, we are not there yet,” Rogers said in the letter. “Ultimately, I’m responsible for the health and safety of 50,000 students and 6,500 staff members, which I take very seriously.”
Rogers said the protocols will remain in place through the end of the 2020-21 school year unless Denton County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide different guidance.
“As a longtime community member myself, I certainly understand there are various perspectives in the communities we serve regarding our decision to require masks, and I can respect the thoughts of those on both sides,” Rogers said. “I want to thank you for entrusting LISD with the education of your children, and for partnering with us through this incredibly challenging time. This has certainly been a year none of us will soon forget and I am as ready as anyone to be back to our pre-COVID times.”
Argyle ISD gave similar reasons in an email to families, saying it will continue to follow TEA’s requirements for all students, teachers and staff to wear a mask when inside a school building, school facility or facility used for school activities.
“The health and safety of our students, teachers and staff is our highest priority,” the AISD letter said. “We believe by continuing to wear masks it will allow us to remain successful in providing in-person learning at our campuses for the final 10 weeks of the school year. Our teachers and staff have been on the frontlines since August and we are excited they have now been prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Denton ISD has also said it will stick to its mask requirements, as well as Northwest ISD.