According to Conroe ISD officials, the district moved from COVID-19 safety alert Level 4 to Level 3 on Feb. 7, indicating a lower level of danger to students and staff.
Level 3 calls for continued enhanced cleaning protocols and size limits on indoor activities. However, Level 3 loosens restrictions on visitors in school buildings and event cancellations.
The district moved to Level 4 on Jan. 13 following an employee shortage due to COVID-19 isolations, which require COVID-19 infected employees to stay home. CISD Superintendent Curtis Null said that employee isolations and low availability of substitutes to fill empty classrooms could result in school closures.
According to the COVID-19 dashboard, on Jan. 15, 632 employees were in isolation, which was the highest number of employees in isolation recorded by the district. By Feb. 7, the number of employees in isolation dropped to 157.
In addition, the district’s substitute teacher fill rate has seen recovery since mid-January. On Jan. 24, the district reported the lowest substitute fill rate of 2022 with 57% of needed substitute positions filled. As of Feb. 7, 72% of the positions were filled.
Student attendance reached a 2022 high Feb.10 with 95% of students in attendance. Both employee and student positive reports and isolations are on a downward trend since the mid-January peak, according to the dashboard.
“This last little bump we had really impacted our staff,” Null said at The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Outlook Conference on Feb. 11. “That’s where we get vulnerable—is if we don’t have enough teachers, then you can’t safely open school. But we were able to get through what was a rough patch about a month ago, and now we see ourselves in a much better place.”
District guidance for COVID-19 protocols can be found at www.conroeisd.net/roadmap-to-reopening.