Belton ISD Announces COVID Response Plan for Start of School
Belton ISD is ready to welcome back students for the 2021-22 school year, but how are they handling the COVID-19 surge?
School Is (Almost) In Session
Most school districts are gearing up for another school year, with the majority of classes set to start next week. Here in Central Texas, COVID-19 cases are surging, leaving parents and kids worried about what to expect.
That concern has lead to school districts throughout Texas ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott's executive order, which bans school districts from enforcing mask mandates. Dallas, Houston, and Austin schools districts have stepped up to require masks anyway, setting up a showdown between the governor's office and those districts.
Only One Local Mandate So Far
Here in Central Texas, Killeen ISD will not issue a mask mandate, while school campuses on Fort Hood will require students and staff to wear masks.
Belton ISD made announcements via their website today detailing how they'll handle the start of school after receiving input from parents and guidance from the Texas Education Agency, the CDC, and local health organizations. Here's a portion of that announcement:
Wearing masks is highly recommended but not required. As a district, we encourage families to make informed decisions in consultation with their healthcare provider. We expect students and staff to respect the individual choices on this decision.
Contact Tracing & Notifications
Belton ISD will contact trace and provide notifications to any identified close contacts. In addition, the district will again provide campus notifications and an online Active Case Dashboard beginning on the first day of school.
We do not have a virtual learning option available at this time. We will continue to look for ways to address the operational and fiscal challenges of offering this as a choice for our families.
We will continue to monitor conditions, communicate updates and look forward to seeing students Wednesday morning.
Scenario 3 at BISD
Belton ISD will start the school year in Scenario 3, meaning they'll stay with enhanced safety precautions such as increased hand washing, cleaning and sanitizing, distancing when practical, and reinforcing that those who are sick should stay home.
The health and safety of students, staff, and faculty at Belton ISD is their top concern. Let's hope these measures are enough to ensure not only student safety, but the safety of faculty they come in contact with and people they encounter at home.