Guidance Update for Face Coverings (03/09/2021)

Leopard Nation,

As a result of the outstanding efforts of our staff, we have been able to open our schools for in-person learning this entire school year, as well as allowing our students to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. We only have 50 days of school left, and we all remember how devastating and detrimental it was to have schools closed last spring. After experiencing the loss of class time, extracurricular activities, and school events last spring, our mantra this school year has been that in VVISD we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep our schools open and our students connected. We have employed social distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, disinfecting, sneeze guards, contact tracing, quarantines, and multiple lunches. We are limiting visitors, keeping students in small groups... doing everything we reasonably can to keep our students and staff safe. As difficult as these precautions are at times, we are willing to do them to keep our schools open and students participating in multiple activities.

Governor Abbott rescinded his order of requiring the wearing of masks, however he did "strongly encourage people to wear face coverings wherever it is not feasible to maintain social distancing from another person not in the same household." The guidance released later from the Texas Education Agency stated that students at school must wear a mask wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distance from another person that is not in the same household.

The quarantine rules have not changed as a result of the recent order and guidelines. If a student or staff member is considered to have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person, and neither were wearing a mask, they must be quarantined at home. It is simply not feasible for our students and staff to be more than six feet apart for the entire school day, so requiring masks has resulted in fewer quarantines. We always treat each close contact on a case-to-case basis.

After considering these factors, the students and staff in Van Vleck ISD will continue to wear masks when it is unavoidable being in close contact with another person. VVISD will continue to implement our current COVID mitigation and prevention strategies of keeping our students and staff safe and our schools open.

I know that we are all longing to return to normal, but we want to keep our schools open and our student activities ongoing. Thank you for your cooperation, support, and entrusting us with your student.

Have a great rest of the school week and restful Spring Break next week!