HEWITT, Texas – COVID-19 guidelines have been issued for the Midway Independent School District’s 2021-2022 school year.

Superintendent George Kazanas released a statement Friday afternoon saying the district received guidance Thursday from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).

The statement said, in part:

“The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is always our top priority. Protocols will be in place to support healthy learning environments while mitigating the spread of infectious diseases. We will promote the continued use of hygiene practices that help protect students and staff from infectious diseases and utilize stringent cleaning practices. We will also implement 3-foot physical distancing whenever feasible.

“Students and staff must stay home when sick or experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms. Students and staff must self-report if they have tested positive for COVID-19. The TDSHS requires school systems to exclude persons from being at school who are actively sick with COVID-19 or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19. If an individual who has been in a school is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school district is required to notify its local health department and the TDSHS. Both entities maintain reporting dashboards.

“Midway ISD will provide information to the local health department to conduct close contact tracing and/or quarantine placement, as we do with other infectious diseases. According to the TEA, parents ‘may opt to keep their students at home during the recommended stay-at-home period.’

“Masks are no longer required and will be optional for students, staff and visitors. The wearing of masks is encouraged, however, due to the surge in COVID cases as a result of the Delta variant. Governor Abbott’s executive order 36, signed on May 21, 2021, prohibits school districts from requiring or mandating mask-wearing. Gov. Abbott further clarified in executive order 38 on July 29, 2021.

“Midway ISD will foster a culture that allows individuals to feel comfortable if they do choose to wear a mask. We are aware that medical entities such as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise that everyone school age and older should wear a mask. We encourage families to consider this advice, and expect all to be respectful and understanding of an individual’s decision to wear or not wear a mask.”

The district said it looks forward to continuing with traditional, in-person learning for all students in the 2021-2022 school year. Student academic achievement and progress will be monitored and supported by strong instructional practices and interventions on each campus.

All of these protocols can be found in more detail at www.midwayisd.org/coronavirus.

Source: Midway Independent School District