New health protocols announced for 2021-2022 school year

The Houston Independent School District has updated its Ready, Set, Go! Back to School Plan and strengthened its protocols to ensure in-person experiences are as safe as possible during the 2021-2022 school year.

The reinstated protocols include:

  • Masks: Masks covering both the nose and mouth are required for all individuals inside all HISD schools, buildings, and buses regardless of vaccination status. Their use is encouraged outdoors.
  • Sanitization: All district schools and buildings will be cleaned, disinfected, and fogged nightly with hospital-grade disinfectants as a precautionary measure. Hand sanitizer and other cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided in all school, buildings, and buses.
  • Health Screening: Because they are not yet eligible for vaccines, elementary students will continue to undergo temperature screening upon arrival at school. Pending HISD Board of Education approval, all staff will be required to complete online self-assessments through the Axiom Medical CheckIn2Work health screening app before arriving at work.
  • Visitors: Visitation is limited to essential and pre-scheduled visitors, including individuals who have been pre-approved through the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) program. Parents registering their children for school also are allowed.
  • In-person gatherings: In-person gatherings, meetings, and events are permitted in HISD schools and buildings if all attendees wear masks and maintain 6 feet of physical distance. If these conditions cannot be met, the gathering must be held outdoors or virtually.
  • Uniforms: Student uniform policies will be flexible at all campuses.

These safety measures — and others — are explained in detail in HISD’s updated Ready, Set, Go! Back to School Plan. Students, parents, and staff are encouraged to review it carefully, and check the website often for updates as it is a dynamic, living document that will continue to be updated as conditions change.

The district also held staff and community webinars on Friday to help ensure families and employees understand the plan changes and their impact. Those who were unable to attend a session can review the presentation and watch a recording of the districtwide community webinar.

Please note: Updated mask and in-person gathering protocols take effect Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. All other updated protocols take effect in conjunction with the start of school on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.

HISD will continue to monitor local conditions and work closely with local public health officials to prioritize the safety of all students and staff.