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Boerne ISD parents concerned about lack of mask mandates in school district

In the first two weeks of school, 93 cases have been reported throughout Boerne ISD.

BOERNE, Texas — Parents are asking questions about how Boerne Independent School District is keeping kids safe from COVID-19.

Since school started two weeks ago, 93 cases have been reported throughout the district of just over 10,000 students.

“I feel like BISD went into the year being very reactionary, and that’s kind of where we are,” Courtney Velek, a mom with two children in Boerne ISD told KENS 5.

Her concern is communication with the district.

“The notifications are going out, but that didn’t really start until TEA changed their guidance,” Velek said.

Another parent who wishes to remain anonymous says one of her kids is quarantined after a teacher got COVID-19.

“I need to be aware if I need to decide if we’re going to keep my child home, or do what’s best for my family”

A Boerne ISD spokesperson says they won’t be contact tracing, but notifications of a positive test within a class will be sent per Texas Education Agency guidelines. The district sent KENS 5 the following statement:

“Boerne ISD has had a great start to the school year. It is exciting to have our students back in the classroom. 

Our enrollment has increased to nearly 10,300 students this year, up from 9,509 a year ago. This is a strong indication that our community supports what we have been doing, and that people from across Texas and the United States move here because they align with our actions. The support we receive from our community is tremendous.

We continue to address mitigation strategies with our campuses including, social distancing of three feet when possible, use of plexiglass dividers, limiting eating and drinking in class, not sharing supplies, disinfection of surfaces throughout the instructional day, among other things. 

We currently offer remote conferencing for students who are COVID positive and students who need to quarantine.

On Friday's, Boerne ISD will send email notifications to parents with the updated COVID-19 numbers for their specific campus. We implemented this notification process last year and have continued it during the new school year.

In addition, we send exposure notifications when there is a positive COVID case in their child's class. This step follows the Texas Education Agency guidelines.

We also offer free COVID tests to all our students and staff. The tests are administered at our campuses and Central Office by appointment only.

As has been the case this school year, any student or staff member who would like to wear a mask are welcome to do so. We support whichever option our parents prefer, but we encourage the wearing of face masks.

Personal responsibility is also extremely important, if your child is not feeling well, do not send them to school, and have them wear a mask if you feel that is best.

Our focus continues to be on the health and safety of our students, in addition to providing the very best education in the current circumstances.”- Bryan Benway, Boerne ISD Director of Communications

Boerne ISD is reporting 93 cases this school year. KENS 5 is asking the district how many of the cases are among students and how many are among teachers.

For comparison, KENS 5 looked at how the cases compared to larger districts. Northside ISD reported 32 total cases, although the district started mandating masks this week.

North East ISD reported 352 cases, 291 among in-person students and 61 employees—although the district says 170 of those cases were reported on the first two days of school, saying those students had COVID prior to arriving on the first day of school.

Boerne ISD is not mandating masks, which is something Velek feels is needed.

“As concerned parents, as a community, we need the board to do something. We need this to change, whether it’s a mask or some other compromise to keep these kids safe,” Velek said.

Related links on KENS 5:

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