Hutto ISD to require masks starting Aug. 23
Hutto ISD joins several area districts in requiring masks. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Beginning Monday Aug. 23, Hutto ISD will require all staff, students and visitors to wear masks when inside a district facility and not at least six feet apart.
The Hutto ISD Board of Trustees approved the new policy in an emergency meeting held Aug. 19. Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas announced the policy in an online release the following day.
The district will consider medical exemptions to the mandate will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details on exemptions will be available in the district’s updated safety plan, which will be available online starting Aug. 23.
The decision to require masks was informed by local infection rates, vaccination rates and the availability of hospital and ICU beds, according to the release. The press release stated that 32 Hutto ISD staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since mid-July and 63 students were unable to attend the first day of school because they or someone in their household tested positive.
While a recent move from the Texas Supreme Court gave school districts cover for requiring masks, Hutto ISD officials said they will reconsider the mask rule if the legal situation changes.
“I regret that the joy of returning to school has been overshadowed with this contentious debate of whether or not schools have the authority to require masks,” Thomas said. “Regardless of position, I know we can all agree that we want our children to be safe and happy and want them to learn when they come to our schools. We will never lose sight of that mission.”