Students at Conroe ISD campuses return to in-person learning on Aug. 11 for the first day of the 2021-22 school year.

Superintendent Curtis Null held a virtual update on Aug. 6, during which he announced a temporary virtual program and provided updates regarding CISD COVID-19 policies for the 2021-22 school year.

On July 20, district officials said visitors were allowed to enter CISD buildings. However, during the virtual update, Null said many protocols are subject to change as positive COVID-19 cases increase in the community.

“I know we all love the first day of school. There’s something magical about walking our students in,” Null said during the virtual update. “But next week, we may have to limit the number of guests that are allowed in our buildings on the first day of school. We want to make sure that everyone stays safe.”

As of Aug. 10, CISD is continuing with its "Roadmap to Remaining Open" plan. The plan 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 not be required for anyone on any CISD campus. However, Null encouraged the use of masks during the Aug. 6 virtual update.

“We know as we enter this year that masks are not mandated, but I will encourage you to have your children wear masks,” Null said. “That will ensure their safety and the safety of all those around.”

Null said that for the week ending in Aug. 6, 40% of the CISD faculty who tested positive for COVID-19 were vaccinated. As of Aug. 10, there were 46 active cases among CISD employees, according to the CISD COVID-19 dashboard.

“A positive COVID[-19] test means they must be out of school for at least 10 days,” Null said. “That has a huge impact on the learning environment for your child.”

According to the district, individuals—including students, parents, faculty and staff—with a positive COVID-19 test will not be allowed to enter a CISD school.

Null stressed the importance of personal responsibility, which includes frequently washing hands, staying home when sick and keeping distance between people to help campuses stay open.

The district will not be continuing with close-contact tracing or close-contact quarantining. District officials said the decision to end the efforts was based off data the district gathered from the 2020-21 school year regarding students who tested positive after close contact.

CISD COVID-19 dashboard will continue to be updated, free coronavirus testing remains available, and the district will continue with the notification process that alerts parents when there is a positive test in their child's school or classroom.

Null said changes may be made to protocols based on the number of positive cases in the community.

“We may see additional changes in the coming weeks like limitation of visitors, limiting large group sizes, etcetera, as we work to make sure our schools can stay open,” Null said. “You can know that whatever the delta variant throws at us, we will respond appropriately to make sure that we can keep your children safe."