New Caney ISD’s board of trustees discussed the district’s COVID-19 and vaccination plan at its March 15 meeting.

Board Vice President Creg Mixon said although Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the state mask mandate, he did not modify the quarantine or close contact restrictions. Currently, the Texas Education Agency requires a 14-day quarantine for positive COVID-19 cases and those who are in close contact with someone who tested positive. After Abbott lifted the mandate March 2, NCISD announced March 9 that masks would be required for the remainder of the school year.

Mixon, who said he was “very happy” to hear that masks were no longer mandated, said its important to keep masks on as they affect average daily attendance.

“So when they tie us directly to funding, and how do we fund this district, we're going to choose to continue to educate our kids and make our district run and not be penalized for making decisions like that,” Mixon said.

Mixon and the rest of the board do not wear masks during board meetings. Board secretary Elizabeth Harrell said she does not like masks but is happy with the district’s decision.

“I don't want to risk a shutdown or something having to be canceled because we have a small increase in numbers,” Harrell said.

The board also discussed staff vaccinations. All school and child care workers are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as of March 3. Interim Superintendent Matt Calvert said several providers will be in NCISD in the next few weeks to provide free vaccinations to all staff and their immediate families.

“All of our people can, if they want to, have the opportunity to get the vaccine by the end of the school year,” Calvert said.