COVID-19 Guidelines at Awty
Over the past eighteen months, students have been accustomed to expect the unexpected when it comes to attending school.
When will school be normal again? Are masks still going to be required? Am I still going to have to Zoom into class?
Students and parents have angst-filled concerns and questions about the COVID-19 guidelines for the 2021-22 school year, and whether there will be any differences from last year.
The Awty International School has opened up a bit more than last year; however, we are still sticking to basic procedures. Students are required to wear masks indoors, but they have the option of going mask-less outdoors if they maintain a distance of three feet. Furthermore, students have returned to the school’s rotating block schedule. Last year, we had to isolate in cohorts of 15-17 people. In addition, we have opened up all athletic activities. Team practices, meets, and games seem to be back to normal again as the majority of the student body and faculty are vaccinated.
Schools across the area have adopted similar safety protocols regarding COVID-19. Indoor masks and social distancing policies remain in effect whenever possible. As a high schooler that has experienced school during COVID-19 lockdowns, these revised protocols are like a breath of fresh air. With multiple vaccines now available to anyone twelve years and older, schools are cautiously attempting to return to some of their original routines.
In my opinion, the majority of schools are successfully implementing policies with mask mandates as COVID-19 cases in schools have remained at a relatively low rate since the beginning of the school year. Texas Governor Greg Abott issued a controversial ruling to ban mask mandates in public schools. However, multiple school districts across the state have not complied with the ruling in favor of safety and minimizing COVID-19 cases.
The school experience during this pandemic has improved over the past year, but there are still a number of challenges ahead. Although there has been politicization of the vaccine and mask wearing, schools are keenly focused on ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for students. With patience and cooperation from the entire community and guidance from our local leaders, my hope is that we will return to normalcy sooner than later.
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