Central Texas school district returns to the classroom after COVID closure with masks required

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) -One week after closing their doors, Connally ISD students came back to the classroom Tuesday with some new protocols in place.

“We are seeing both students and staff all arrive fully masked,” Jill Bottelberghe, Connally ISD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, said.

All five schools were closed as COVID-19 cases spread throughout the district and it was announced two teachers at the junior high had died.

“After the death of two teachers within our school community, we took a really long hard look at all of the data,” Bottelberghe said.

Connally ISD announced the implementation of a mask mandate and hosted COVID testing.

Almost 600 people came out with more than 16 percent coming back positive.

“Obviously it was a shocking number,” Bottelberghe said.

“Just realizing that was the number of positive cases so that really made us stop, look and listen to what is going on.”

The district says identifying those cases and testing is important. The district leaders hope precautions help avoid any additional tragedies.

“Be very cognizant of their symptoms or be very cognizant if they’ve been in close contact with some who they have been COVID positive,” Bottelberghe said.

Their efforts don’t stop there. The district is offering vaccine to any students and staff at their free vaccine clinic Monday, September 13 from 5 to 7:30 in the high school gymnasium.

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