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5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals prohibiting mask mandates in schools - Dec. 2, 2021

Dear SAISD Family Member, 

We hope you are enjoying a “Terrific Thursday” across our “79 Square Miles of Excellence.” We also recognize that you may desire more information regarding the Federal Appellate Court’s decision to temporarily restore Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order prohibiting mask mandates in schools.
In summary, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals restored the governor’s executive order after Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed an earlier decision by a federal district in Austin that allowed schools to enact mask mandates to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The case was originally filed in August by the advocacy group Disability Rights Texas, which argued that the governor’s order and the Texas Education Agency’s enforcement of the ban put disabled children at risk and denied them access to public education. An additional briefing and hearing on the matter will go before the 5th Circuit’s panel of judges at a later date.
This is how the ruling affects us in SAISD. For now, we are pausing our mask mandate requirement, just like we did with the vaccine mandate, to remain in compliance with the court’s decision. We are continuing to highly recommend our students and staff still wear a mask.
On Monday, Dec. 6, during the closed session of our regularly scheduled Board meeting, we will discuss with our Board of Trustees ways in which the district may move forward. 
The challenges that schools and children face at this moment in history are unlike any other that we, as a nation, have ever experienced. Our goal, from the very beginning of this pandemic, has been simple. Your safety and the safety of our children has always been our number one priority. We are proud to have taken every precaution, from masking and social distancing to weekly testing and frequent vaccination clinics. These admirable actions have resulted in extremely low COVID-19 positivity rates, and we will continue with these efforts. We are incredibly grateful that we have been able to maintain these efforts until vaccines became readily available for our students and staff.
It has been said that we should not limit our challenges, but instead challenge our limits. It is clearly evident if we fully devote ourselves to our dreams, we will conquer every challenge that comes before us, and we will become the exceptional school district that we aspire to be. On behalf of our Board of Trustees and the entire SAISD, we truly appreciate you and all that you do.
Have an exceptional day.
"Dr. J"
Robert Jaklich, Ed. D.
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
~Mahatma Gandhi


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