Back to School Information amidst a Pandemic

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The new school year is fast approaching. After more than a year of virtual learning and school closures due to Covid, many Dallas area families are wondering what this return to school will look like. For example, will children be required to wear masks or get the Covid vaccine? And what steps are being taken to minimize virus transmission? Dallas ISD will be holding virtual meetings July 27th-29th to address some parents’ questions. But here is what we know already.  

Despite the CDC recently recommended that all staff and students wear masks while at school, this is only a recommendation. Assistant Superintendent Vince Reyes let parents know that the District wishes to comply with CDC wishes as much as possible. “Please know that we’re going to continue to point to CDC recommendations as it pertains to mask-wearing,” Reyes said on Tuesday. Schools will provide masks for those students who wish to have them, but due to an order Governor Abbot signed in May, schools may not require masks.  

Likewise, schools cannot require students to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Only children over the age of 12 are eligible to get the vaccine. The state did see a decline in routine vaccinations during the pandemic, and parents are encouraged to make sure their children are up to date on their shots before school starts again in a few weeks. However, the state of Texas does allow for both medical and religious vaccine exemptions, so this is again a recommendation and not a requirement. 

While there will be some options for virtual learning this school year, they are based out of the Texas Virtual School Network and will not be offered by individual schools. This means that the majority of Texas students will be back in school buildings this fall. To help mitigate the possible spread of Covid, the DISD will have enhanced cleaning practices in place, including extra disinfection and air filter changes. “We want to keep the safety protocols that helped us make it through last year,” says Reyes.  

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