Pearland ISD has decided to keep masks through the end the school year. The district has also decided to have prom, Superintendent John Kelly said at the board of trustees meeting March 9.

Refusing to wear a mask will be treated as a dress code violation, Kelly said. If students are repeatedly seen without masks, the district will insist on remote learning or in-school suspension, Kelly said. The district does not anticipate any issues with teachers wearing masks.

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness will also be on campus. However, the Texas Education Agency is not forcing students to come to campus to take the STAAR if they are not comfortable with in-person testing, Kelly said. Students will still have to pass their final exams to graduate.

“We want as many students to test as possible because we want to know how many kids are far behind as we prepare for the next year,” Kelly said. “For parents, it’s a good test for you to learn how much your child has learned.”

The district is continuing to test for COVID-19 and has enough tests to last through the end of the school year, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Larry Berger said. Of the people tested, 10% have been positive for COVID-19, Kelly said.

The district also provided an update on COVID-19 testing and vaccinations at the meeting.

“The city has bent over backwards to get educators vaccinated, and we are grateful,” Kelly said.

The district is considering an anonymous survey to see how many people are vaccinated so the district has the data without violating the privacy of the staff, Kelly said.

Pearland ISD is also looking at next year as the 2020-21 school year is wrapping up. One change likely to occur for next year is having some teachers who are solely teaching remote students and some who solely teach in-person students, Kelly said.

“What we have been told is that we cannot do this again next year,” he said. “We have pretty much decided we will have remote-only teachers next year and in-class-only teachers.”