WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The Connally Independent School District will require face masks inside all schools and district facilities beginning Tuesday, September 7, 2021, the district announced in a letter sent to parents Friday.
“As educators, it is our duty to keep our students safe and healthy,” said Connally ISD Superintendent Wesley Holt, “We feel instituting a face mask mandate is a step towards doing this.”
Students will not attend school on Monday in observance of Labor Day. District schools will provide face masks to all students who enter campus without a readily available face covering.
In the letter to parents, Holt revealed nearly 600 people participated in a two-day COVID-19 testing event for students, staff members and parents.
The positivity rate was 16 percent and many of those who tested positive were asymptomatic, Holt said.
This week, the school district decided to suspend classes at its campuses until after the holiday in order for a deep cleaning to commence at all of its facilities.
The district cited rising COVID-19 cases and the coronavirus-related deaths of two teachers as a reason for the shut down.
Natalia Chansler, 41, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High School, died Saturday, August 28 of complications from the virus.
Connally Junior High School seventh-grade social studies teacher David “Andy” McCormick, 49, died of COVID-19 on August 24.
“With the loss of two beloved teachers, we know that concerns for physical and mental health are heightened. We want to assure you that we are focused on measures to take care of our students and staff,” Holt said in a message sent to parents earlier this week.
Connally ISD is now encouraging all students 12 and older to get vaccinated against the virus.
It plans to offer a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic to the community on Monday, September 13 at the Connally High School gymnasium.
Written by Joe Villasana