As Spring Branch ISD begins the new school year on Aug. 16, 2021, masks or face coverings remain optional for students, staff, and visitors, but are strongly recommended as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The governor of Texas issued Executive Order No. GA-38 prohibiting school districts from requiring masks. On Aug. 12, 2021, the Harris County Local Health Authority issued a separate order requiring masks be worn in public schools, in conflict with the governor’s order. Subsequently, Harris County filed a temporary restraining order challenging the governor’s authority to prohibit mandatory mask wearing in public schools. On Aug. 13, a Harris County district court granted the temporary restraining order, thereby restoring the authority of the Harris County Health Authority to issue its mask order.
However, an appeal of a similar temporary restraining order in another county is pending before the Texas Supreme Court. Spring Branch ISD is closely monitoring the outcome of the appeal as it will determine whose order we must follow – the governor’s or Harris County’s.
Until the court issues a ruling that clears up the conflict between the governor’s order and the orders by local health authorities, individuals may choose to wear a mask or face covering at any Spring Branch ISD campus, facility, and on buses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are currently recommending universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
SBISD strongly recommends universal masking based on the most current CDC and AAP guidance. Staff, students, parents, and visitors will respect each individual’s personal choice in mask wearing.
All masks/face coverings shall be free of any images, words, and political slogans, with the exception of a SBISD school logo, district logo or college logo.
The district will continue to update our website and inform our families of any court rulings that change the district’s current reopening plan. At this time, the district will implement the current reopening plan and its COVID-19 health and safety protocols, which can be found on our website, www.springbranchisd.com.