WACO, Texas – Many schools are heading back to the classroom this week. Although Covid-19 cases are on the rise, many schools in Central Texas are keeping their protocols the same.

At both Killeen and Temple schools, there are no mask mandates except for at Fort Hood. That will not change for the start of the semester.

“Our mask protocol hasn’t changed,” TISD superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott said. “We strongly encourage it, and so some are wearing masks and some do not.”

Waco ISD on the other hand has had a mask mandate in place, and they will continue to do so.

KISD has partnered with the City of Killeen to provide free rapid testing tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the former Nolan Middle School. Waco ISD will also have testing tomorrow for students and staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the school and the Waco ISD stadium.

“This is an opportunity for anyone to go get that free rapid test,” KISD spokesperson Taina Maya said. “We did that because we know people have been traveling or they’ve been gathering with their families.”

KISD and TISD said it is best for the students’ education to be in person.

“The board of trustees really made the decision that they wanted to make sure learning was done in person in Killeen ISD,” Maya said.

Baylor University is starting classes back on January 18, but they have not yet made any final decisions on how that will look.

They are considering virtual learning until February 1 to lower population density on campus for the first two weeks of the semester. But, they will release more information on their plans later this week.