In a special meeting held Monday, Aug. 30, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees adopted the district’s 2021-22 Safe Return to School Plan. According to KISD Deputy Superintendent Leslie Haack, the …
In a special meeting held Monday, Aug. 30, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees adopted the district’s 2021-22 Safe Return to School Plan. According to KISD Deputy Superintendent Leslie Haack, the plan is flexible and the status of COVID-19 cases across all the district’s campuses is monitored regularly by the district’s COVID Emergency Operations Management team.
“Every day, the EOM mitigation meeting occurs,” Haack said. It’s Monday through Friday. We start at 3:30 (p.m.) and we meet on Sundays to get ready for the next day. And so, there’s quite a team of us and we’ve been added together. It includes representatives of the assistant superintendents, representatives from the departments – Athletics, Fine Arts is represented (as well as Career and Technology Education).”
Haack broke the district’s plan to mitigate COVID-19 across its campuses. The plan involves five stages with Stage 5 being the lowest level of risk for students and Stage 1 indicating the highest risk which would necessitate the district shutting down in-person learning and going fully remote.
“That is the last thing we want to do is suspend in-person learning and student program participation because if the in-person learning is suspended, it does impact all our student programs,” Haack said.
During a public hearing on the proposed policies, district residents spoke out against and in favor of a mask mandate at the district level. Two even suggested changing the district’s dress codes to make masking part of the district’s general policies. Other Texas districts such as Paris ISD and Texas City have implemented mask requirements in their dress codes.
However, much of the discussion included now-familiar arguments for and against mask mandates and a briefing by KISD General Counsel Justin Graham indicated that a district-level mask mandate wasn’t technically legal at this time. Graham said a ping-pong match of wills between Governor Gregg Abbott, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and those municipalities that have issued mask mandates since early August, including Harris and Fort Bend counties. As of Monday evening, he said, the district is prohibited from issuing a mask mandate under existing court actions.
“So, if (Superintendent) Gregorski and the board president wanted to mandate masks; you cannot do that,” Graham said.