Clear Creek ISD leaders revise COVID-19 health protocols, move mitigation stage closer to normal

Stage 4 of Clear Creek ISD's COVID-19 health mitigation protocols entails COVID-19 vaccines being available for school-age children and adults; weekly active positive case trends being stable in Galveston and Harris counties as well as in CCISD; and the district’s attendance rate being at least 90% of the historical average.(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Stage 4 of Clear Creek ISD's COVID-19 health mitigation protocols entails COVID-19 vaccines being available for school-age children and adults; weekly active positive case trends being stable in Galveston and Harris counties as well as in CCISD; and the district’s attendance rate being at least 90% of the historical average.(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Stage 4 of Clear Creek ISD's COVID-19 health mitigation protocols entails COVID-19 vaccines being available for school-age children and adults; weekly active positive case trends being stable in Galveston and Harris counties as well as in CCISD; and the district’s attendance rate being at least 90% of the historical average.(Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Clear Creek ISD leaders will announce new COVID-19 protocols for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year Nov. 9 with plans to move one stage closer to normal operations the morning of Nov. 10, Superintendent Eric Williams said during a Nov. 8 board of trustees workshop.

The district will move from Stage 3, the mitigation stage, to Stage 4, the monitoring stage, Nov. 10, Williams said. Stage 4 entails COVID-19 vaccines being available for school-age children and adults; weekly active positive case trends being stable in Galveston and Harris counties as well as in CCISD; and the district’s attendance rate being at least 90% of the historical average.

The revised protocols are not a change in philosophy, but do take into account trustee and community feedback that indicated a desire for clearer language, Williams said. As of the evening of Nov. 8, they are viewable here along with other board workshop documents.

The protocols will be continually examined and adjusted as needed to best serve the needs of all students, trustees and district leaders emphasized during discussions at the workshop.

“Until we get to that endemic level, we’re still going to have to continually modify, revise, review, look at our protocols,” board President Jay Cunningham said. “It is not a one size fits all, and it is almost impossible to get it right the first time because things change.”


The most significant change to the protocols is the inclusion of specific language dictating when the district will move between stages. CCISD can move to Stage 4 based on cases trending downward in Harris County, Galveston County and CCISD for three weeks, and based on the weekly case average remaining unchanged or decreasing, per the new protocol language.

Face coverings are recommended indoors for those unvaccinated for COVID-19 while the district is in Stage 4, and the increased cleaning protocols from Stage 3 will be maintained. The district will also continue reporting new COVID-19 cases.

However, Stage 4 removes restrictions around school activities. At first, the restriction removal will be in effect for all campuses except for elementary schools, officials said Nov. 8. Based on the timing of COVID-19 vaccine approval and availability for elementary-aged children, elementary schools will maintain some restrictions until after the holiday break.

Since early October, all campuses have hosted in-person events with parents in attendance, and community members have embraced the step towards pre-pandemic life, said Robert Bayard, deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Nov. 8.

“We’re thankful that our parents and community members are re-engaging with our schools,” he said.

Stage 5, normal operations, can be reached if local, state, and federal health authorities recognize COVID-19 as endemic. This would mean a situation where COVID-19 is constantly present in Harris and Galveston counties, eradication is unlikely, and immunizations and treatments are widely available, per the revised protocols.

The district can move back to Stage 3 from Stage 4 if case counts trend upward in either county or within CCISD, and after conversations with local health authorities.

Trustee Scott Bowen commended district leaders for rewording the protocols in a way that strikes a balance between maintaining local control and accounting for regional or national trends.

“The way these are written, they thread those needles very well,” he said.

Click here to visit CCISD’s COVID-19 landing page.
By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.


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