March 9, 2021

Dear Fellow Hornets:

Until further notice, Huntsville ISD will continue all COVID-19 safety measures as outlined in our Hornet Return to School Plan, including the wearing of masks.  Governor Abbott’s recent Executive Order GA-34 issued on March 2, 2021 specifically addresses schools by stating, “Public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency.”  Guidance from the Texas Education Agency, issued the following day on March 3, 2021, was largely unchanged from previous guidance, stating in part, “Schools must comply with the following requirements: Every student, teacher, or staff member shall wear a mask over the nose and mouth when inside a school building, school facility, facility used for school activities, or when in an outdoor space on school property or used for school activities, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.”

Our safety protocols were established before the start of the school year following this same guidance from the Texas Education Agency, and have been instrumental in our ability to remain open for face to face instruction with minimal interruptions.  The other key to our success has been the cooperation and understanding of our staff, parents and students as we have worked together to operate during the pandemic.  With less than three months remaining in the school year, it seems prudent to continue our current plan until strong evidence indicates the protocols are no longer necessary in a school environment.  As a district, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and adjust when the time is right.

Lastly, we know this issue causes a near “50/50” decision - where half will be unhappy no matter what choice is made.  We hope everyone will respect and appreciate we are putting the safety of our staff and students first, as always, and help us finish the year strong. 

Sting ‘em,

Dr. Scott Sheppard

HISD Superintendent