Clear Creek ISD’s board of trustees approved a resolution Aug. 23 to provide district employees with 10 workdays of COVID-19 leave for the remainder of 2021. District leaders also answered questions and gave updates about the 2021-22 health and safety protocols.

A total 363 students and staff are COVID-19 positive as of the evening of Aug. 24; about 300 of those are students, and roughly half of those students are elementary-age. Another 649 students and staff are quarantining as of Aug. 24.

“Yes, we need to be cautious—but it’s also wonderful for our students to be experiencing the joy of learning in person,” Superintendent Eric Williams said during the Aug. 23 board meeting.

More than two dozen district parents and community members shared their thoughts on pandemic-related topics, including mask mandates and vaccines, during the meeting’s public comment portion. Board President Jay Cunningham said after public comment the district will continue to follow state law and not impose a mandate on face coverings at district facilities.

“The board is reading all comments that come into our individual emails while continuing to listen to teachers, parents [and] student comments on a wide variety of social media platforms as well as taking individual phone calls ... from all constituents,” Cunningham said. “Let me be clear: Your board will follow the governor's mandate for no masks.”

CCISD will inform staff and families of potential coronavirus exposures as they occur in school settings this school year, officials said. However, close contacts cannot be required to stay home if they are asymptomatic, and fully vaccinated, asymptomatic employees can continue to come to work if exposed.

The district is working with health providers to offer vaccination clinics at intermediate and high school campuses. Students must be of age and have parental consent to get vaccinated on campus. More than a dozen vaccine events have already happened across the district, officials said Aug. 23.

The COVID-19 leave resolution, which provides for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, applies retroactively to July 1, per board documents. The leave can be used in the event of the employee or a family member testing positive for the virus.

The district will re-evaluate its policy for employee sick leave at the start of 2022, officials said. This measure is intended to protect the health and safety of students and staff, maintain morale and reduce employee turnover.