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Comal ISD Won’t Mandate Masks, Even for Students at Bexar County Campuses

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Comal ISD Won’t Mandate Masks, Even for Students at Bexar County Campuses

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Students are not required to wear masks when they meet their teachers for the first time this year. Image courtesy of Comal ISD.

Comal ISD students and teachers will not be required to wear masks when they return to classrooms on Aug. 24.

In an email to parents today, Supt. Andrew Kim said the wearing of face masks is up to the discretion of staff members, students and visitors, although he encouraged the use of face masks indoors for students who are under the age of 12.

The decision puts him at odds with the Bexar County Health Authority, which Tuesday mandated the wearing of face masks inside public schools despite an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott prohibiting such measures.

Five Comal County schools — Indian Springs, Kinder Ranch, Specht and Timberwood Park elementaries, and Pieper Ranch Middle School — are located in Bexar County.

“Our position on this issue, as it was last year, is that all Comal ISD schools will operate under the same standards, regardless of the county in which they are located,” Kim said. “As such, the wearing of face coverings, while encouraged, will be optional in all of our schools, including Bexar County.”

New Braunfels ISD also chose not to issue a mask mandate, but the San Marcos Daily Record reported today that San Marcos Consolidated ISD Board of Trustees will require masks for all students and employees. The board will reconsider its mandate in January.

Despite COVID-19, Kim said, “there is an eagerness across the district to once again make student progress our primary focus.”

“Certainly, we will have our challenges, but by taking personal responsibility for the health of our families and ourselves, we have the ability to make this a great school year,” he said.

The district’s 2021-22 Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan addresses the health-and-safety of students, teachers, staff as well as extracurricular activities during the school year.

COVID-19 vaccines are not required for on-campus instruction. Daily health screeners are no longer required.

Comal ISD will continue track information about COVID-19 cases on its COVID-19 Positive Case Dashboard even though it is not required to do so by the state.

Kim said parents will be notified of a positive case at their child’s campus.

Exclusion time for students and staff with a positive test result is 10 days from the onset of symptoms or test date. Local health officials will conduct contact tracing.

The district will continue to clean common areas daily, and deep cleaning will occur on a scheduled basis throughout the school year.

Tuesday’s COVID-19 Cases

According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, these are schools with current active positive cases:

High Schools

Canyon High School – 3
Canyon Lake High School – 0
Davenport High School – 3
Piper High School – information unavailable
Hill Country College Prep High School – 0
Memorial Early College High School – 0
Smithson Valley High School – 4
Comal Discipline Center – 0
Life Begins – 0

Middle Schools

Church Hill Middle School – 1
Canyon Middle School – 4
Danville Middle School – 1
Mountain Valley Middle School – 0
Pieper Ranch Miccle School – 0
Spring Branch Middle School – 0
Smithson Valley Middle School – 0

Elementary Schools

Arlon Seay Elementary School – 0
Bill Brown Elementary School – 1
Clear Spring Elementary School – 2
Freiheit Elementary School – 3
Goodwin Frazier Elementary School – 0
Garden Ridge Elementary School – 0
Hoffman Lane Elementary School – 0
Indian Springs Elementary School – 0
Johnson Ranch Elementary School – 0
Kinder Ranch Elementary School – 1
Morningside Elementary School – 1
Mountain Valley Elementary School – 0
Oak Creek Elementary School – 0
Rahe Bulverde Elementary School – 1
Specht Elementary School – 0
Startzville Elementary School – 0
Timberwood Elementary School – 0

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