Safety precautions being taken by different school districts across the Greater Houston area

HOUSTON – COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, which has some districts and universities evaluating their safety precautions. Others have said they will not be following any special protocols for the upcoming year.

This is what each district has said about the upcoming school year:

Aldine ISD

All staff, students, and families are being encouraged to wear a mask on all Aldine ISD campuses and administrative buildings. Staff and students are encouraged to continue monitoring their health and taking precautions, including getting vaccinated if 12 or older, to protect themselves and others. Aldine ISD will continue to encourage students and staff to stay home if they are ill, watch their distance, wash their hands, and wear their masks. The districts will continue to make vaccines available to every Aldine ISD teacher and staff member and work with community partners to help ensure our community is educated and has access to testing and vaccines. Click here to read more.

Alief ISD

According to the district, masks will be optional for all staff and students to wear at their personal discretion and preference. Alief ISD will continue to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for all employees and students. Campus clinics will have facial coverings and other PPE items available for any employee or student upon request. Alief ISD will also be maintaining the additional cleaning and safety protocols such as social distancing. Parents and staff can read the in-detail guidelines at Aliefisd.net/safereturntoschoolplan.

Clear Creek ISD

The Clear Creek Independent School District will open and operate schools in the 2021-2022 school year with the activities and routines that are synonymous with Clear Creek ISD including but not limited to full use of classroom supplies and labs, campus performances, classroom celebrations and holiday lunches. Masks will be optional for students, teachers and staff. Visit CCISD.net/covid19 for more.

Conroe ISD

Like many other area school districts, the Conroe Independent School district will follow TEA recommendations and will do away with major COVID-19 protocols that were in place last year. The district website says there will not be temperature checks and other screenings, mask mandates, social distancing or special virtual learning. Conroe ISD will keep its COVID-19 dashboard updated. Students and staff will still be encouraged to maintain good hygiene and stay home if they are feeling sick. Students will be offered free lunch and breakfast. Read the full plan and other frequently asked questions on the Conroe ISD website.

Fort Bend ISD

Students, staff or visitors will not be required to wear masks on campuses. The district will continue to encourage good hygiene practices. There will be social distancing, but it will be reduced to 3 feet of distance between students or adults. Cleaning protocols will remain in place. FBISD will continue to work with the local health authorities and adjust our health and safety protocols as the need arises. Read the full back-to-school plan on FBISD’s website.

Friendswood ISD

Students, teachers, and staff will not be required to wear a mask. Social distancing protocols will not be implemented, but campuses will be cleaned thoroughly throughout the day. Teachers, students and staff will also be encouraged to practice good hygiene. HVAC systems have been adjusted to increase the intake of outside air. Read more on the Friendswood ISD website.

Galveston ISD

Face masks are not required for teachers, students or staff members. It is recommended that water fountains be used to fill up reusable bottles. Social distancing practices will be in place. After-school activities will continue per UIL guidelines. Click here to read more.

Houston ISD

According to HISD, there will be no temperature screenings but students, teachers and staff are encouraged to do the checks at home. Masks are optional for both students and staff inside, outside and on school transportation. HISD said there will be no social distancing protocols in place, and capacity limits have been lifted. Extracurricular activities can resume competitions and practices without limitations. Read more at Houstonisd.org/readysetgo.

Humble ISD

Humble ISD said masks are optional inside district facilities and at school-sponsored events. The district will continue publishing a COVID Dashboard that shows by building any cases reported through the links. Case information is shared with city and county public health departments and TEA. Read more here.

Katy ISD

Masks will be optional for all staff and students to wear at their personal discretion and preference. Katy ISD said it will continue to provide personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, for all employees and students. The district’s custodial teams will maintain a regular cleaning schedule to disinfect high traffic areas throughout the day, including door handles, restrooms, large group transition areas, and cafeteria between meals. Students, teachers and staff are encouraged to stay home if they are sick. Go to the Katy ISD website for more information.

Klein ISD

Klein ISD will follow the Texas Education Agency’s school health and operations requirements for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Face masks are optional. The district will continue to use enhanced cleaning protocols and hospital-grade/EPA-registered disinfectant products to clean classrooms, highly-used spaces, and buses daily. It will also be providing hand sanitizer stations on campuses, facilities, and buses. Click here for more information.

Pasadena ISD

Face masks are recommended but not required, according to the district. Students, teachers and staff are being asked to maintain 3 feet social distancing where feasible. The district said it may implement additional health and safety measures as is necessary. Visit the Pasadena ISD website for information.

Pearland ISD

Face coverings are optional for all staff and students. Staff and students will continue to be expected to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. Students, teachers and staff will be expected and encouraged to practice appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Those who have a temperature or are feeling sick should stay home. Click here for more information.

Spring Branch ISD

Students, teachers and staff may choose to wear face masks, but they are not required. Those who choose to wear one must not that their masks cannont have any images, words or political slogans with the exception of a SBISD school or district logo or college logo. All people on campuses will be encouraged to maintain at least 3 feet of social distancing whenever possible. Read the full list of protocols here.

Spring ISD

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. The district will also not be requiring masks, temperature checks and social distancing. It will also be eliminating the COVID-19 dashboard. However, the district is asking that the parent/guardian of any student who tests positive for COVID-19 let their campus know so the district can track trends and report to the Harris County Department of Health as required. See the full plan on the Spring ISD website.

Rice University

The university sent out a note to students and staff with the policies in place for the school year. According to the policies, masks are required indoors at all times for faculty, staff students and visitors with a few exceptions. In-person classes will continue as scheduled, however, some online classes are available. Indoor gatherings of over 100 people must be reviewed and approved. All of the buildings on campus have been modified to reduce transmission of the virus through maximum airflow settings, high-efficiency filters and UV-C lights in air circulation systems. Learn more at Rice.edu.

Texas Southern University

According to the TSU website, face masks are going to be encouraged but not required. Shared spaces and other high-touch areas will continue to be cleaned and sanitized daily. Disinfectants and hand sanitizer will be provided for use by departments and work units. Classes will be offered in-person, online and hybrid. Read more here.

University of Houston

The university plans to transition back to an in-person class schedule beginning fall 2021. This will include traditional face-to-face classes along with the regular complement of hybrid and online classes historically offered during a fall semester. Masks are no longer required for students, but all students and staff, “especially for individuals who are not fully vaccinated,” are encouraged to wear one. Read more in-depth protocols on the UH website.

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About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow-award winning reporter. Believer, father of five, Ironman finisher. Yo hablo Español.