Full in-person learning returning for 2021-22

Per governor’s orders, CISD lifting mask mandate in fall


Akhila Gunturu

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that school districts would be prohibited from instituting mask mandates for the 2021-22 school year. As a result, Coppell ISD has announced that wearing masks will be optional in the fall.

Anjali Vishwanath, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Coppell ISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt announced the district will not require face masks for staff and students in the 2021-22 school year. 

Dr. Hunt also announced CISD is resuming full face-to-face instruction in the fall and will not offer a virtual option, including the proposed Virtual Academy.

“We floated the idea prior to the pandemic, in 2019, and when the pandemic hit, it bumped up our ability to offer [a Virtual Academy].” Dr. Hunt said.

Some students expressed interest in the Virtual Academy, such as Coppell Middle School East seventh grader Nithya Desaraju, sister of The Sidekick entertainment editor Neha Desaraju.

“My little sister is not yet vaccinated, so we’re being really careful, and we wanted to consider [her safety].” Nithya Desaraju said.

However, there was limited community interest in the program and the district received few applications, as most CISD students were ready to return to in-person learning. Additionally, many were hesitant because the course catalog was severely limited for the Virtual Academy, with no AP classes and very few electives. According to CISD director of communications Amanda Simpson, less than five percent of students in the district had expressed interest in joining the Virtual Academy.

On May 19, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting public schools from mandating masks, effective June 4. 

Coppell High School junior Sreshta Byreddy would prefer to see the mask mandate continue. 

“I remember coming to the high school sophomore year and the hallways were completely full – I couldn’t see where I was going,” Byreddy said. “ Imagine that situation without masks – I feel like that’s a very easy way to spread COVID-19, especially with the new strains.”

Byreddy started a petition to try to convince Gov. Abbott that opening all of the schools at full capacity with no mask requirements will be dangerous. At the time of writing, her petition has 37 signatures.

“I feel like CISD, along with other school districts, should petition Abbott to [reinstate] the mask mandate for the safety of the kids,” Byreddy said.

Teachers are excited to see students return to in-person learning, and CHS chemistry teacher Courtney Crosby is looking forward to seeing students again.

More information regarding the Virtual Academy, virtual learning, and COVID-19 precautions for next school year will be discussed at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Follow Anjali (@anjuvishwanath) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.