Coppell ISD facilities will continue their mask requirements.
The Coppell ISD board of trustees voted on Monday in a 5-1-1 vote to extend its temporary mask mandate through Oct. 25 unless new legal or state action said otherwise.
Trustee David Caviness voted against the extension of the requirement, and trustee Nina Biswas abstained.
“We’re looking at a policy that expires today,” Caviness said. “I look at other districts with similar policies that are more restrictive. I think we have pretty clear TEA guidance that came out Sept. 17 basically saying we can’t require masks any longer.”
Trustee Manish Sethi said he was conflicted because of the recent policy change by the Texas Education Agency, but he wants to ensure the safety of students. Additionally, he said the financial impacts of litigation and loss of average daily attendance revenue if cases rise could weigh on the district.
“I am conflicted, but the weight of keeping a kid safe is much heavier,” Sethi said. “Until the point we do get some action from the state or TEA, we need to do everything we can to keep our kids safe.”
Superintendent Brad Hunt said of the 11,398 in-person students and 1,440 staff members, a little over 600 total have used the district’s mask exemption policy citing religious, medical, philosophical and administrative reasons.
Trustee Tracy Fisher said the number of cases for the district in September – five cases a day – is a higher rate than what is reported across all of Dallas County.
“The rate we would need to be at to be under control would be about 1.43 cases a day,” Fisher said. If we can drive it down to that, it would be better.”
Trustees agreed that it would be beneficial to continue brining students back into in-person learning and ensure they stay safe by require them to wear masks.