Dear Mexia ISD Family, August 26, 2021
Our staff has been working diligently since returning to school earlier this month. I am proud of everyone’s efforts to maintain a safe and healthy environment. Please know, our highest priority remains the health and safety of all students and staff. As Covid-19 cases are on the rise in our region, we continue to monitor the situation daily and implement changes to our disease mitigation practices as necessary.
There are many conversations happening across the state right now regarding mask mandates and competing guidance from multiple agencies. I want to thank you for your patience and cooperation as MISD endeavors to comply with the many, and sometimes conflicting, requirements. MISD is monitoring the updates daily and adjusting practices and procedures in an effort to comply with the latest communication. This is a fluid situation and is constantly changing.
Regarding recommending or requiring masks, the topic of mask requirements is currently in litigation statewide. All individuals are encouraged to make the choice they feel is most beneficial for their personal health. MISD has masks available for anyone who requests one. All MISD students and staff are equally accepted for choosing to wear or not to wear a face covering.
The Texas Education Agency, led by Commissioner Mike Morath, continues to hold frequent meetings with Texas school districts to discuss updates as Covid-19 transmission rates are increasing across the state. The latest information can be found here.
Based on the current guidance, listed below are the practices being implemented by Mexia ISD to ensure the health and safety of all staff and students:
- Wearing of masks is encouraged in all district buildings for individuals who desire to do so or who request one.
- Notification of parents/guardians if their child is considered a close contact for a positive case of COVID-19.
- Notification of all teachers, staff and families of all students in a classroom, extracurricular or after-school activity if a test-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participated in those classrooms or activities.
- In place of remote conferencing, teachers will provide assignments to students who are unable to attend school due to quarantine measures.
- Disinfecting classrooms, desks, common areas and high touch points during transitions when possible.
- Buses are disinfected after routes.
- Social distancing when and where possible.
- Spreading out student seating during lunches when possible, including allowing students to dine outdoors and other common areas.
- Limiting visitors on campus.
- Rotating schedules to limit students in hallways and restrooms.
- Plexiglass dividers are in many rooms and more are being added.
- Controlling foot traffic in hallways including one way direction to keep students separated as much as possible.
- Offering vaccination clinics free of charge to the community at the central office.
- Hand sanitizer is available at entrances throughout the district.
The health and safety of students and staff is a responsibility that MISD takes very seriously. Students learn best from teachers in a face-to-face instructional setting, connecting to peers and teachers through classroom interactions. Mexia ISD will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19 in our MISD community and implement prevention strategies to the largest extent practical.
The Texas Education Agency has modified the approved remote learning plan that was utilized in the 2020-21 school year. The details of the requirements can be found here. Mexia ISD continues to explore options and resources in an effort to offer remote conferencing for students. The current staffing structure as it aligns to the requirements put forth by the TEA prohibit Mexia ISD (and many districts around the state) from providing this an instructional option.
As the superintendent of Mexia ISD, I appreciate the trust, flexibility and confidence with which we have worked together during this past year and look forward to our continued partnership in safely educating our students.
Ryder Appleton Superintendent