HOUSTON – More than 100,000 students at Spring ISD and Conroe ISD will return to dozens of campuses in person in the coming days without the most obvious COVID-19 protocols.
The two districts said there will be no temperature checks and other screenings, no mask mandates, no social distancing, and no special virtual learning.
“It’s about time!” said some parents. But others are still uncomfortable amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“I don’t like it, personally. I wish my kid could stay home,” said Spring ISD parent Keona Scott.
“I just think that’s a bad idea,” said Markeshia Hall, who was picking up her younger brother from school on Tuesday.
Spring ISD will continue a regular schedule of cleaning and disinfecting buildings and buses, but most COVID-19 protocols are a thing of the past, for now.
“We’re trying to bring kids back to class as they would know it pre-COVID,” said Spring ISD head of emergency management Ken Culbreath, who is also the Spring ISD police chief. “The bus protocols are (also) pre-COVID. We will continue to examine the positive cases that we have on our campuses, both staff and student, and we will adjust our plan accordingly.”
Spring ISD will do away with its COVID-19 dashboard for now, but Conroe ISD said it’s keeping their dashboard.
On Tuesday, eight staff members and three students in Conroe ISD tested positive for COVID. On Monday, 16 staff members and four students tested positive for the virus.
At the beginning of the year, in January, at the height of the biggest COVID-19 wave, hundreds of students at Spring ISD tested positive as well as more than a hundred staff members.
Both districts will continue working with the Harris and Montgomery County health departments to report and track cases.
“We’re continually evaluating what government and local regulations put on us, and so we’re just adapting our plans,” said Culbreath.