The Joshua ISD board of trustees unanimously voted to lift the district mask requirement during a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. The decision was made following Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent decision to lift the statewide mask order, and after reviewing three surveys that were sent out to district staff, students and parents and the community from March 8-12. The district also consulted with local health authorities, who gave their recommendation but also approved Joshua ISD’s plan going forward. The lift on JISD’s mask mandate is effective today.
In the survey, 52 percent of 2,269 parents and community members voted against the mask mandate out of 2,269 participants. Forty percent voted to keep the current requirement, while eight percent of respondents were not sure. Out of 630 employees that were surveyed, 47 percent voted to keep the mask requirement in place, 37 percent opposed, and 16 percent were not sure.
All Joshua ISD staff and students will have the option to wear a mask during the school day and at school-sponsored activities with the following exceptions:
- Masks must be worn by staff and students during all choir classes, choir rehearsals and choir performances.
- Masks must be worn by staff and students during elementary music classes, elementary music rehearsals and elementary music performances.
- Masks must be worn by elementary staff and elementary students when working on direct instruction with a teacher at a horseshoe table.
- Masks must be worn by staff and students when entering the nurse’s office.
- All band instruments must continue to be covered with bell covers during band class, during band rehearsals, and during band performances.
Protocols below will be followed for these Joshua ISD end of school year events:
UIL athletic events: Masks optional, 100% capacity for all events. JISD will continue issuing only electronic tickets to alleviate money exchange.
Graduations: Masks optional for both Joshua High School and New Horizon High School graduations and both graduations will be held at Owl Stadium. Each campus will determine the amount of tickets allowed per graduate.
End of year awards during the school day (indoors with guest): Must occur on June 1 or June 2. Each student will be allowed up to four guests. All guests must wear a mask.
End of year awards at night (Indoors with guest): Must occur May 24-27. Each student will be allowed up to four guests. All guests must wear a mask.
End of year awards (outside): Can occur on any date. The campus will determine the number of guests allowed. Masks are optional.
Concerts and performances: May occur outdoors or in a gym setting; Masks optional.
May occur in Acker Auditorium with the following requirements:
- All guest must wear masks
- Only two guests per student allowed
- Only one band, one choir or one class may perform in a concert or performance
“I think we made a good compromise,” JISD board President Ronnie Galbreath said. “We gave parents, students, and staff the option to wear a mask, and the surveys were a great tool for us. With the vaccinations that have occurred, and our already low getting lower, it is a good option.”
In the event that cases increase dramatically, district leaders will revisit previous mask requirements.