September 8, 2021 Email: Elementary School COVID Update
Posted by Tim Savoy on 9/8/2021
Dear Hays CISD Elementary Parents,
We continue to monitor real-time data regarding COVID-19, particularly how it is affecting our elementary school campuses. We know your children are the most vulnerable because there is not yet an approved vaccine option for students who are not 12-years-old.
Our number one goal is to keep everyone safe while maintaining the educational integrity in our classrooms. Closing classrooms has been critical to maintaining safety in about a dozen cases in our district so far this year; but this practice alone fails the test of the second, and equally important, part of our goal – educational integrity. We know, without a doubt, that the magic between students and teachers happens in-person, in classrooms.
We anticipated that we would likely see an increase in the number of positive cases on our campuses this year due to the increased number of students attending in person. Our actual data from the first three weeks of school confirms what we expected. Given that we are seeing the increases in cases; beginning today, we are implementing a process on all elementary school campuses that we have been developing in hopes that this will help to keep students safe and in class.
If you are fine with our district’s program of mask encouragement, you do not need to do anything. Our teachers will continue to have your children wear masks in classes, particularly in group collaborations. If you do not want us to encourage your children to wear masks you may affirm that position by completing the district’s Elementary Mask Preference Form (linked below) and returning it to your child’s teacher or campus by Monday, September 13, 2021.
No student is currently being required to wear a mask. We continue to encourage masks as we have said we would do. With this process, we will be able to take the guess work off of the plates of our teachers about which students should or should not be asked to wear their masks. And, we will be able to have a system in place to ensure that your wishes are respected.
Additionally, we anticipate that the governor will sign into shortly that will allow us to expand our virtual learning option to students up to 6th grade. This should provide parents with more choice in terms of COVID safety. We will have more information about that option soon, pending signature of the governor to allow schools the ability to offer the program.
The Hays CISD Academic Team