Masks to be required beginning Monday, Aug. 23

 
Following the guidance of our local health authority, Williamson Counties and Cities Health District, and the Centers for Disease Control, masks will be required in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. As the guidance changes, so may these requirements.
 
 
Exceptions include: 
 
  • When outside on the playgrounds, fields, carlines (unless grouped together for extended periods, i.e., waiters)
  • When eating inside the cafeteria
  • While eating a snack in the classroom, with teacher’s permission 
  • When drinking
  • For teachers when they are speaking in the classroom with six feet or more of distance between them and the students
 
Please know that we will support and work with families whose children have a health-related inability to wear a mask. Please contact our health team at nurse@mwschool.org so that we may notify your students’ teachers and emphasize other preventative measures against spreading the virus.
 
Violations of the mask requirement will be handled in a manner similar to violations of the uniform requirements. See page 23 of the Student/Parent Handbook.
 
 
Why are we doing this at this time?
 
  1. Seven students and staff members have tested positive in the first nine days of school. Across the state, four school districts closed campuses or delayed opening due to high student or employee case counts. If Meridian closes, additional days of instruction will have to be added to the calendar to compensate for the lost days as TEA will not issue missed day waivers this year. 
  2. Mask wearing among our younger students has dropped over the past week, and there has been some confusion and concern among families and staff members about how to encourage mask wearing when it cannot be enforced. 
  3. We are working with our attorneys now to write and submit a brief in support of the large school districts that have cases in various courts around the state asking that schools be allowed to protect students and staff with one of the few tools that is scientifically proven to be effective. We are very hopeful that the courts will rule in favor of our children. 
  4. The Texas Education Agency announced late evening Aug. 19 that it will not enforce Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on requiring masks until the matter is settled in the courts.
 
Each morning, we open our doors to welcome nearly 2,000 people, and we are charged with their health and safety. We do not take this responsibility lightly. Our Kindergarten through 6th graders, more than 1,000 children are unvaccinated. We have immunocompromised students and adults on campus. 
 
This decision is made with our community’s health in mind, and your support is appreciated so that we can come together as a school and come out stronger, united. This school year starts in the middle of much uncertainty and turmoil; let’s stand together to keep our children as safe as we can so that we can focus on their academic, social, and emotional health. 
 
In times like this, we work together as a community for our community. 
 
 
 
As always, parent/guardian feedback is welcome and can be emailed to mwscoo@mwschool.org
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