Plano ISD will make face masks optional at all district campuses, facilities and events in the fall.

While that health and safety protocol change will go into effect for the 2021-22 school year, the district also dropped the mask requirement for students and staff engaging in outdoor physical activity on May 10, according to a video message from Superintendent Sara Bonser.

"Due to improved conditions in our community, the warmer weather and revised guidance from the local health department, Plano ISD will be making masks optional for students and staff who are engaging in physical activity outdoors and maintaining a safe social distance from other people not in the same household," Bonser said in the May 7 video. "This will remain in effect for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year."

During the PISD board of trustees' April 20 work session, staff said the district's instructional plan for next year is being built around a traditional face-to-face instructional schedule. Bonser said that plan does not include co-seating, hybrid or Plano ISD School at Home options. However, a virtual school choice is being developed and she said more information will be provided once legislative approval for funding is received.

Bonser said the PISD board of trustees will receive a more detailed report on the district's health and safety protocols during its May 18 meeting. With the removal of the mask requirement for the 2021-22 school year, the superintendent said district staff are looking forward to a return to "more normal operations and traditions."

"Plano ISD will continue to monitor trends and will adjust protocols accordingly should the need arise," Bonser said of making masks optional beginning in the fall semester. "We've come a long way and learned much during this time. As the conditions around COVID-19 continue to improve, the transmission rate remains relatively low and staff members have had the opportunity to receive their vaccinations from Plano ISD health services or other vaccine providers."