ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Starting a couple of weeks after students return from winter break, Round Rock Independent School District will be loosening COVID-19 protocols.
Starting Jan. 19, RRISD will begin allowing visitors back on campuses and will move from the mask matrix to “strongly encouraging mask use for all students, staff and visitors while at campuses and district facilities.”
“With the welcome news that COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children ages 5 to 11, we are amending our COVID-19 protocols to allow for a more traditional school environment,” RRISD Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez wrote.
Azaiez said they’re waiting two weeks after students return from winter break to make the changes, because it will allow staff to monitor for any potential spike in cases from the holidays.
Azaiez also thanked the community for the role they played in ensuring there were no major disruptions during the fall semester due to COVID-19 and encouraged families to test their kids and get eligible family members vaccinated.
“As we head into the holidays and prepare to return for spring semester, concerns remain for the possibility of another COVID-19 surge and the emergence of the omicron variant. We will continue to monitor the community health status and adjust protocols as necessary,” Azaiez wrote.
KXAN reached out to other districts in Central Texas to learn if they’re altering their protocols.
The Austin Independent School District told KXAN its current COVID-19 protocols will remain in place, including the mask mandate.
The Pflugerville Independent School District said as of Thursday, it will not have any changes in the spring, but district officials will review protocols early next semester. Additionally, the district will continue to offer virtual learning for the rest of the year.
A spokesperson for the Georgetown Independent School District told KXAN about 50 students are enrolled in its virtual learning program in grades K-12, which will continue during the spring.
While the district doesn’t anticipate any changes to COVID-19 protocols for the spring semester, officials did make a few adjustments for the holiday break and posted an announcement on its COVID-19 page.
The district is still asking students and staff to self report if they test positive and will notify families of positive cases they may have come in contact with.
The district will offer testing for students and staff; that service will resume Jan. 3. District leaders said they are also working to plan more vaccine clinics in early 2022. Dates for those are pending.
The Leander Independent School District won’t have changes to its COVID-19 protocols in the spring.
The district said all virtual learners will be back to in-person learning with the exception of 300 students who initially signed up for remote learning throughout the school year.
Eanes, Lake Travis ISDs
The Eanes and Lake Travis Independent School Districts said there will not be any major changes in their protocols at this time.