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Deep East Texas superintendents discuss new school year with COVID-19

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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DEEP EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - School has started in some districts with other start dates right around the corner and COVID-19 safety protocols are again top priority as students return.

Without mask mandates and the more contagious Delta variant emerging, East Texas school district superintendents are taking steps to prevent the virus from spreading.

Dr. Brent Hawkins, Superintendent Livingston ISD says, “we understand the Delta variant is definitely more contagious than what we encountered last year but we did go through summer school and so we have that data that, you know, that we feel like we could keep kids safe.”

Many superintendents from around the area are planning to use similar COVID-19 precautions to those used last school year.

David Flowers, Huntington ISD Superintendent said, “we still have our temperature checks that our student will walk through in the morning, we still have the hand sanitizer, we still have the cleaning Clorox 360. The custodial staff does a great job cleaning every building, every room in the district during the evening time.”

Due to Gov. Abbott’s mandate, mask requirements, as of now, not going to be implemented.

Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, Superintendent Nacogdoches ISD said regarding masks, “we will not in Nacogdoches, now I know [if] the governor makes an adjustment and we will pivot, we will make the adjustments accordingly when that time comes, we are prepared.”

The superintendents also said they are relying heavily on communication between parents and schools, using contact tracing, and being fully transparent.

Lufkin ISD Superintendent Lynn Torres says, “we’re going to reactivate our COVID dashboard so you can check with us every day, to see how many students have been affected, how many staff, and if we are going to have voluntary quarantine because now a parent can opt as to whether or not a child stays home.”

The superintendents also said that these protocols are not only helping contain COVID-19 but are also leaving positive changes, such as hand sanitizer in buses and more sanitary water fountains, to the daily life of students.

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