Conroe ISD presented an updated plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services at a July 20 board of trustees meeting. The plan, also known as the "Roadmap to Remaining Open," states policies and provides recommendations for students and faculty to better prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The 2021-22 school year will be conducted 100% in person. Masks will be not be required for anyone on any CISD campus. However, masks will be provided free of charge, according to the district.

District officials said as of July 20, visitors were allowed to enter the buildings. In addition, the CISD COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated, and free coronavirus testing remains available.

The district said it cannot prohibit students who test positive for the coronavirus from coming to school. However, the district recommends students who do test positive stay home. According to health guidelines that were set before the pandemic, a student cannot attend school with a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

There is no virtual learning option for students who are sent home for a fever or who choose to quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus. Officials said the plans are subject to change based on how the school year goes.

“We will continue to adjust this based on the current situation. ... When the plan was built three weeks ago, since then, hospitalization rates in the last two weeks have gone up 1,000% in Montgomery County,” CISD Superintendent Curtis Null said. “The situation has changed dramatically. If we’re still in that situation in August, then we will [do] more or less than what we’re doing.”

Chris McCord, executive director of operations for CISD, stressed the importance of personal responsibility, which includes frequently washing hands, staying home when sick and keeping distance between people. The district said that with limited mask use and in-person contact during the summer school session, one student and two faculty cases were reported among 5,000 students. The district credits the low case number to the recommendation that students and faculty to stay home when they feel sick.

"These protocols you see here worked fabulously throughout summer school," McCord said during the July 20 meeting. "We had surprisingly a few number of cases ... The real wild card is the delta variant, and that's what we will continue to track and follow."