CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As Corpus Christi Independent School District students, parents, and teachers wake up for another year of academics, the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant looms.
KRIS 6 News anchor Katia Uriarte spoke with CCISD Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez about the return to school during the ongoing pandemic.
When asked about whether CCISD would consider taking actions similar to Houston and Dallas and enforce mask mandates despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott's ban on mask mandates, Hernandez said they would consider it.
"If we saw that there was a situation where even what we have in place is not addressing it like we need it to, then we certainly would move closer to the consideration of doing what they have done in Houston and Dallas," said Hernandez.
Dallas ISD officials announced Monday morning that they will require students and teachers to wear masks on campus. Houston ISD’s superintendent, Millard House II, has said he wants to issue a mandate, too.
Hernandez said last week that virtual learning would be among the options if there was a COVID-19 outbreak in the schools.
This statement is important because most districts – including CCISD – have rejected a remote option for all students to start this school year due in part because the state will not compensate schools for virtual learning. Today was also the first time Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez or the district has addressed virtual options beyond that. For example, the only mention of remote learning in CCISD’s proposed reopening plan is for field trips, which will be virtual this year.
Speaking outside the CCISD convocation at American Bank Center earlier that day, Hernandez said the district discussed virtual learning as a standard option to start the year, but when it didn’t pass the legislature they abandoned the idea.
“What I would say that if it came to a point that the numbers were that alarming and we would need to re-evaluate we would certainly take a look at it at that time,” he said.
As all students are welcomed back to campus for in-person instruction Tuesday, Corpus Christi ISD said it has plans to keep students and staff safe.
The school district posted a return-to-in-person-instruction and continuity-of-services plan on its website last week outlining COVID-19 protocols for students and staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms, self-screenings, social distancing, and wearing a mask.
Katia Uriarte was also able to speak with Windsor Parks Elementary's teacher of the year, Rachel Beavers about how she feels about returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.