Humble ISD trustees amend mask policy, to reconsider mandate at May meeting

At a special school board meeting April 22, Humble ISD's board of trustees unanimously voted to amend two points of the district's mask policy, which was set at the March 9 board meeting. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
At a special school board meeting April 22, Humble ISD's board of trustees unanimously voted to amend two points of the district's mask policy, which was set at the March 9 board meeting. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

At a special school board meeting April 22, Humble ISD's board of trustees unanimously voted to amend two points of the district's mask policy, which was set at the March 9 board meeting. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Humble ISD has updated its mask policy to allow more flexibility during outdoor activities and to add more clarification on student groups exempt from the mandate.

The district's mask policy requires students, staff and campus visitors to cover their faces on campuses and district facilities and at district events when it is not feasible to maintain 6 feet of distance. However, it allows masks to be optional for specific age groups and activities.

The amendment changed part of the policy stating masks are optional for "any person younger than 10 years of age" to say "any elementary student." It also changed a part stating masks are optional for "any spectator at an outdoor event" to "any spectator or participant at an outdoor event or activity."

After the meeting, board President Robert Sitton said the policy was updated to clarify and answer questions from community members regarding the policy as well as to create more flexibility for students participating in outdoor end-of-year activities, such as graduation, senior picnics and prom.

"We realized our policy was pretty restrictive in those areas, so we just tweaked [it]," he said.


Additionally, Sitton said the board amended the age requirement to be more inclusive of students who were of varying ages in the same grade level. The update makes masks optional for all students in kindergarten thru fifth grade, he said.

As for the overall mask policy, Sitton said trustees will discuss and consider an item at the May 11 school board meeting that could make masks optional for all students and staff at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

"[The May vote] will not be ending the mandate in May, it will be to make masks optional," Sitton said during the April 22 meeting. "We'll discuss as a board to make masks optional at the end of the current school year. ... The idea is to go into the summer months with masks optional to see how it works out and moving forward into the the fall."

Click here for a detailed list of the district's updated mask policy.
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.