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San Elizario ISD Trustees Support Superintendent’s Request for the Continued Use of Face Masks

Borrego Elementary School  students Celeste Chavez and Salvador Chavez

 

SAN ELIZARIO, TEXAS – On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, the San Elizario Independent School District (SEISD) Board of Trustees unanimously voted to support Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez's face mask recommendation.  The use of face masks by students and staff to include individuals visiting district buildings will continue.  This decision is in response to Governor Greg Abbott's announcement where he lifted the statewide mask mandate.  

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has updated its public health guidance to indicate that public schools can retain their current practices.  It also affirms that local school boards now have the local authority to make changes if they desire.  Through board action, trustees are now able to reverse the use of face masks.  In a TEA webinar with superintendents, Commissioner Mike Morath confirmed the information. 

While some districts throughout the state will take formal action to remove the required use of face masks, the SEISD is one of nine school districts in the Education Service Center (ESC) Region 19 El Paso County area to keep face coverings in place.  El Paso area superintendents expressed continuing the use of face masks in their respective school districts.  Following the governor's announcement, ESC Region 19 Executive Director Dr. Armando Aguirre met with area superintendents, and everyone in attendance agreed that wearing face masks was still a priority safety measure.   

Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez placed an agenda item reiterating the administration's recommendation.  "Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the SEISD has been operating under safety guidelines inclusive of wearing face masks to protect our students, staff, and anyone entering district property,” Meza-Chavez said.  "I have spoken to the City of San Elizario Mayor Antonio Araujo, and he too is in support of continuing the use of face masks to protect our community." 

For SEISD, the continued practice of safety precautions includes the use of face masks to continue to protect students, staff, and anyone entering district property is already administratively delineated in DH (LOCAL) policy.  The policy already contains the necessary language for the district to enforce the continued use of face coverings.  "The Board's approval is confirmation that the Team of Eight commits and is in agreement with the safety protocols in place," stated Meza-Chavez.  Other safety measures such as temperature checks upon entering district buildings, social distancing, washing of hands, and enhanced deep cleaning will continue.  San Elizario ISD will also continue to support teaching staff with individual desk shields.  

San Elizario ISD will continue with preset safety precautions and has begun allowing fans for outdoor sporting events.  "Our junior and senior student-athletes will be able to bring two parents to watch them play in our venues outdoors," said Athletic Director Christine Jaksch.  Even though Governor Abbott has opened everything at 100% capacity, the San Elizario ISD will keep the slow transition to reopen attendance to capacity for athletics events. 

Employees in the San Elizario ISD appreciate all the safety measures in place.  "Choosing to have our SEISD family continue to keep wearing our masks and to follow all safety measures is the right choice," states Special Education-Caseworker Yvonne C. Lomeli.

 

Pictured left to right: Borrego Elementary School students Celeste Chavez and Salvador Chavez