QISD masks will stay until April 1

By Larry Tucker
editor@wood.cm
Posted 3/17/21

Quitman ISD Superintendent Rhonda Turner sent a letter last Wednesday concerning COVID-19 since Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mandate that masks must be worn in public schools.

Turner has made recommendations which will be brought before the QISD school board at their March 22 meeting. Turner’s recommendation will be to lift the mandate at QISD for all outdoor events immediately, and for all indoor events, including regular classroom instruction, beginning April 1. 

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QISD masks will stay until April 1

Posted

Quitman ISD Superintendent Rhonda Turner sent a letter last Wednesday concerning COVID-19 since Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the mandate that masks must be worn in public schools.

Turner has made recommendations which will be brought before the QISD school board at their March 22 meeting. Turner’s recommendation will be to lift the mandate at QISD for all outdoor events immediately, and for all indoor events, including regular classroom instruction, beginning April 1. 

These recommendations are contingent on the following criteria being met: 

1) Access for educators who would like the vaccine. (Educators have been approved for the vaccine and Turner is working with local health entities to get the vaccine available on-site or in Quitman as soon as possible).

2) Community hospitalization numbers remain less than 15%.

3) There have not been any significant numbers of positive cases in the school. There have been no lab-confirmed cases in over three weeks.

“Upon board approval, we will be able to lift the mask mandate,” she said. “That is an important thing we need to do right away. We will be able to move forward at outdoor events and not having to wear mask outside (per UIL decisions) and I think that is really important for us. As far as lifting the mask mandate, it’s hard to believe it has been a whole year from when this began. Our children are going to be able to finally find some type of normalcy at school again. I think our students and our staff members have been tremendously important in our efforts to make sure that we were keeping everybody safe. I really applaud the Quitman community for their efforts. It’s been a valiant effort on everyone’s part to make sure we keep kids and staff safe. It’s just been a tough year.”

In the letter sent by Turner last week, she talked about how school changed at this time last year.

“We did school differently,” she said. “We had homework drop boxes, online learning, curbside meals for students and a life skills challenge that went global. Our daily vocabulary grew to include phrases like Zoom, social distancing, grace, masks, global pandemic, CDC and executive orders. We spent our summer planning and designing and then re-designing what school would look like. We developed ‘Strong Start’ documents to guide our safe return in ’20-21. In August of 2020, after being home for five months, we opened our doors. During the most challenging of times, we persevered.”

The QISD board will meet March 22 to act on the recommendations.