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'Our hands are tied': NEISD says parents' options will be limited for the 2021-'22 school year

The district is continuing to emphasize the important of sanitation and hygiene as COVID-19 continues to be a threat.

SAN ANTONIO — Parents of North East Independent School District students are speaking out.

District officials announced Monday they would continue to notify parents when new coronavirus cases are identified within the classrooms—and the response has been one of gratitude. 

“We heard resounding feedback that our parents really do appreciate those notifications. So we’re happy to do that,” said Aubrey Chancellor, executive director of communications for the district. “The two biggest things for us is the fact that you aren’t going to see required mask usage; that’s because the governor made it so that all school districts cannot require masks any more. The second thing is the fact we’re not offering virtual learning, because the state didn’t fund it.”

In other words, parents will have fewer options for their kids if they are alerted to a positive test. In another shift in COVID-19 procedure from last school year, only students who test positive will be required to quarantine. 

“Our hands are tied on many different things because the state has given us a directive, and as agents of the state, public schools must comply with those," Chancellor said. "But the things that are within our control we will continue to do."

She said the district will continue emphasizing the important of hygiene, sanitation and social distancing as the pandemic continues, its impact among the unvaccinated exacerbated by the raging Delta variant. 

“What we’ve seen so far is that this really has become the new normal thing. The students don’t really mind if one isn’t wearing (as mask) or one is wearing. We’re all respecting each other’s choices,” Chancellor said.

The district says quarantined students will still get their work to do at home, and virtual tutoring will be offered several times a week.