These San Antonio area school districts will still require students to wear face coverings

Abbott ended an eight-month-long statewide mask mandate on Tuesday

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SAN ANTONIO – Private and public businesses and service centers are beginning to announce their own changes to COVID-19 safety protocol following Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement of the state’s “100% reopening.” Since then, area school districts have explained their safety protocols going forward.

On Tuesday, Abbott reversed an eight-month-long state-wide mask mandate along with most other statewide COVID-19 orders he signed last year.

“Too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities,” Abbott said. “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%.”

On Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency issued new guidance in response to Executive Order GA-34 saying schools should continue to require masks for anyone over the age of 10, but that local school boards have the authority to modify or eliminate the policy.

Below is the latest updates from school districts in the San Antonio area following the TEA’s latest guidance:

Alamo Heights ISD - Before TEA’s guidance was announced, the district said it would continue to operate under its current health and safety protocols until further notice. KSAT has reached out for an update now that the TEA has released guidance but has not heard back.

Bandera ISD - The district said it will not change its current COVID-19 safety protocols following Abbott’s announcement. “Next week is our district’s scheduled spring break. As we have with any modifications to our guidelines, we will clearly communicate any updates prior to the beginning of school on Monday, March 15th,” officials said.

Boerne ISD - Based on this guidance from the Texas Education Agency, Boerne ISD will continue to require students PK-12 and all staff to wear masks for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. To view Boerne ISD’s COVID safety requirements please click here.

East Central ISD - The district said it will continue all COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols, including the requirement of face masks for students and staff. “We will continue with no changes to our protocols and keep everyone safe and healthy!”

Edgewood ISD - District officials on Tuesday said it will not ease safety restrictions, including face coverings, for campuses or district facilities pending guidance from the TEA. KSAT has reached out for an update now that the TEA has released guidance but has not heard back.

Floresville ISD - District officials said they will continue current mitigation efforts including the wearing of face coverings until further notice from the TEA. KSAT has reached out for an update now that the TEA has released guidance but has not heard back.

Harlandale ISD - The district will not make any changes to its face mask policy.

Idea Public Schools - IDEA Public Schools has announced that the district will continue with all current safety protocols in schools across Texas. For more information on IDEA Public Schools’ health recommendations, information and resources, health and safety protocols, and links to the CDC and state health departments, click here.

Judson ISD - Judson ISD said it will “continue the district’s COVID protocol at this time to provide a safe learning environment for our community.”

New Braunfels ISD - The district on Tuesday said it was waiting for guidance from the TEA but keeping its face mask policy in place until further notice. KSAT has reached out for an update now that the TEA has released guidance but has not heard back.

North East ISD - NEISD will continue to maintain current health and safety protocols, including the use of face masks. “Thank you for your ongoing partnership in maintaining safety and health protocols within North East ISD. In working together, we have successfully opened our schools and kept them open throughout this school year,” NEISD said in a statement to families. “Today, the Texas Education Agency stated in part, ‘Every student, teacher, or staff member shall wear a mask over the nose and mouth.’ In an effort to prioritize the safety and health of all students and employees, We appreciate your support and understanding.”

Northside ISD - The safety protocols in place in Northside ISD will remain in place for the remainder of the school year. This includes the requirement of face masks for students, staff, and visitors.

San Antonio ISD - Before TEA’s guidance was announced, the district said it will continue to follow our safety protocols on mask-wearing and align with Metro Health guidelines. “Safety remains a priority within SAISD, and the lack of a statewide mask mandate does not change our commitment to safe and healthy environments for our students and staff,” SAISD said in a statement to KSAT.

Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City - After receiving this updated guidance from the Texas Education Agency, SCUC ISD will continue to require face coverings for all students, employees and visitors to our campuses and district facilities as outlined above through the end of this school year.

South San Antonio ISD - South San ISD will continue to include required mask usage as part of COVID-19 safety protocols. “Your child’s safety is and will always be our top priority. As such, we have decided to continue with our mask mandate at South San ISD,” the district said in a letter to parents.

South Side ISD - Southside ISD will continue with masks, social distancing, and all of the safety protocols that we have in place. Nothing has changed for our school district.

Southwest ISD - Before TEA’s guidance was announced, the district said it would continue to follow its COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks. “SWISD campuses and facilities will continue to follow safety COVID-19 protocols and practices until we hear from our commissioner and local health leaders to make the best decisions for our families,” officials said.

This list will be updated as more schools in the area begin to examine their own COVID-19 safety protocols.

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About the Authors:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.