The issue of wearing face masks has become a highly polarizing issue. It is the district's intent to give clear guidance to parents and staff members in order to help them navigate this issue with facts about the law. It is also the district's intent to create a policy that meets the diverse needs of all students and all staff. Here is some information directly from the Texas Education Agency that parents may find beneficial.
- “Research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), among others, has found that while children do get infected by COVID-19 and some severe outcomes have been reported in children, relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized or have severe symptoms.” (TEA, July 7 2020)
- The TEA health and hygiene guidelines represent steps schools can take to significantly reduce the risks to students, teachers, staff, and their families.
- School systems should consider stringently applying recommended practices to adults on campuses, even when it might not be feasible to do so for students, to more fully protect adult teachers and staff who are generally at greater risk from COVID-19 than students.
In light of the July 2, 2020 Executive Order by Governor Greg Abbott regarding the mandatory wearing of face masks, TEA Commissioner, Mike Morath issued additional guidance to schools regarding face masks at school. Based on this guidance, CISD has developed the following protocols for staff, students, and visitors specifically regarding face masks.
- CISD has purchased neck gaiters (see image) for all students and staff so that they can wear them in place of regular face masks.
- If parents or students prefer regular face masks, the Texas Education Agency will deliver these to the district for distribution in the coming weeks.
- All CISD employees are required to wear face masks consistent with guidelines issued by TEA Commissioner, Mike Morath.
- All CISD students are asked to wear face masks when inside CISD facilities or vehicles.
- UIL Extracurricular guidance regarding face masks will be followed for all organizations.
- All visitors to CISD are required to wear face masks before entering any CISD facility.
- Exceptions to this policy are listed in the Governor's Executive Order (CLICK HERE).
- These guidelines are subject to change if and when different guidance from national, state or local authorities is received.
Again, I would like to stress that our #1 priority is educating every child in a safe environment. It is also our intent that we partner with all parents in meeting the needs of their children. The Carthage community has been extremely positive and flexible with all of the challenges the school has been presented since March 13, 2020, and we sincerely appreciate your support. We ask for your continued patience, understanding, and grace as we adapt to a decision that was presented before us yesterday.
We also look forward to the start of school on August 12 with both face to face and at-home-learning options. More guidance will be given in the next week.