Leander ISD says it will not require masks at school, following governor's order

Texas Education Agency said Aug. 12 that it is "refraining from issuing updated public health guidance" due to conflicting local orders and Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that prohibits mask mandates from governments. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency said Aug. 12 that it is "refraining from issuing updated public health guidance" due to conflicting local orders and Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that prohibits mask mandates from governments. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Texas Education Agency said Aug. 12 that it is "refraining from issuing updated public health guidance" due to conflicting local orders and Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that prohibits mask mandates from governments. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

On the first day of school, Leander ISD issued a statement that it will not require masks at school for students and staff. This is consistent with previous statements that the district "highly recommends" masks.

"Leander ISD continues to strongly recommend wearing masks to keep our schools open for in-person learning and to safeguard the health of our students, teachers, and staff. Both of our local health agencies recommend masks for anyone two years of age or older," a release said. "Until we receive different guidance from the state, we plan to follow the governor’s order (GA-38)."

Pflugerville ISD also began school Aug. 12 and, similar to LISD, will not require masks at school after the conflicting orders.

The Texas Education Agency said Aug. 12 that it is "refraining from issuing updated public health guidance" due to conflicting local orders and Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order that prohibits mask mandates from governments.



This comes as other Texas governments, including Austin ISD, Travis County/Austin and Dallas County, have ordered masks mandates this week—defying Abbott's July 29 order.


On Aug. 11, Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued an order that requires masks at public schools as well as on city and county premises. Leander ISD has several campuses within Travis County in the southern area of the district.

The district remains in its "yellow" level of COVID-19 transmission. In the yellow stage, masks are recommended indoors; desks may be arranged as needed with 3 feet of distance if possible; and twice-daily hand-washing sessions are recommended for elementary students, according to the district's protocols last updated Aug. 10.

There have been 30 reported coronavirus cases at LISD campuses since Aug. 7 and 33 total cases since Aug. 5, according to the district's case dashboard. The district is asking staff and families to self-report COVID-19 cases online.

LISD expanded its virtual learning program Aug. 10 to allow over 2,000 more students to learn remotely for the first nine weeks of school. These additional students, who are from kindergarten to sixth grade, will begin school online Aug. 19.

The district will contact trace students from prekindergarten through sixth grade and inform families if their student was in close contact of a case, Superintendent Bruce Gearing said to the school board Aug. 5. For other grades, families will be notified at a classroom level. Gearing said this will be a different level of contact tracing because students are in multiple classrooms during the day.
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.



MOST RECENT

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said Sept. 23 though the district has been awarded emergency funding, it has only had access to a fraction of it. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD superintendent lays out barriers to receiving emergency funding

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said while it seems that the district has received "millions and millions," it has been able to use a fraction of granted emergency funds.

Perfect Game plans to build 16 new turf baseball and softball fields with seating and amenities on 80 acres northeast of RM 1431 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard. (Screenshot courtesy city of Cedar Park)
Perfect Game headquarters, 80-acre complex coming to Cedar Park

Perfect Game will build 16 new turf baseball and softball fields and a new headquarters facility in Cedar Park.

Jeremiah's Italian Ice, a Florida-based company, sells gelato, Italian ice and soft ice cream treats. (Courtesy Jeremiah's Italian Ice)
Jeremiah's Italian Ice shop coming to Leander

Franchise owners Bob and Terra Carilli expect to open the store in 2022. 

Several parents of New Caney ISD students spoke at the district's Sept. 20 board meetings about recent allegations that a student brought a firearm to Porter High School's Sept. 18 homecoming dance. NCISD Superintendent Matt Calvert stressed that no gunshots were fired at the event, and that the district is investigating the allegations. (Wesley Gardner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI Nation roundup: Round Rock ISD trustees considered for censuring; New Caney ISD addresses allegations of student with gun at campus event and more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Sept. 23.

Flights between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and London-Heathrow will resume Oct. 13 for the first time in 17 months. (Courtesy Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
British Airways to resume service from Austin to London in October

The flights will run three days per week and include COVID-19 safety measures for passengers.

The Austin metropolitan statistical area surpasses COVID-19 pandemic job losses. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin regains all pandemic job loss, San Antonio nearly misses top 10 best performing metros in the country

The Austin and San Antonio metropolitan statistical areas continue their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilco Workspaces offers coworking, meeting, event and studio spaces for small and large groups. (Courtesy Wilco Workspaces)
New coworking spaces open, plus 3 more Cedar Park and Leander updates

Wilco Workspaces opened in July and offers coworking, meeting, event and studio spaces.

Leander City Council has requested a transit study to look at "transit demand, service costs and capital costs" for the city's current transit services. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Leander City Council requests transit study

The study is expected to be complete in January and consider "transit demand, service costs and capital costs" for the city's current transit services. 

 Redistricting is one of the items on the Texas Legislature's third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Senate releases proposed redistricting maps as special session begins

Redistricting is one of the items on the third special session, and the state Senate released proposed maps on Sept. 18.

Photo of the Travis County sign
Travis County approves fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate

The newly approved rate, paired with higher home appraisal rates, will result in an increase in taxes for many homeowners.