Dear KIPP Texas Families,
In mere hours, approximately 33,000 KIPPsters will join us for the 2021-22 school year. As we begin this year anxious about health and safety and excited to re-engage with in-person learning, we want to communicate some breaking news with you.
Earlier this evening, we learned that the Texas Supreme Court has temporarily acted on a county’s ability to mandate masks. Unfortunately, the “stay” means that the Governor’s order stands and masks cannot be mandated.
This is disappointing news as we believe wearing masks properly is one of the safest health measures in addition to getting vaccinated for those who can.
Many of you have asked why we are not pressing forward and mandating masks as we have seen some of the big districts do across the state. Typically, we would be bold. However, the truth is, the risks are different for charter schools versus traditional ISDs in this situation. Unlike traditional districts, we are under tighter scrutiny from the State, are more at risk of losing State funding that would not allow us to operate, have additional requirements related to renewing our charters, and in the most extreme situation, could run the risk of having our charter revoked. In other words, by defying the mask mandate, we could run the risk of being shut down, unlike a traditional district. These are real risks that we MUST take into consideration when making decisions.
What we can do, however, is re-ask that you commit to #MaskUpForKIPPsters and follow our Health and Safety protocols to protect our Team & Family. Wearing masks protects all of our Big and Little KIPPsters, especially our most vulnerable ones. Please join the thousands of Team & Family members who have stamped their commitment today. It takes seconds to #MaskUpForKIPPsters. Please opt-in to wear a mask tomorrow and every day until this pandemic is over. We can do this for ourselves and each other because this is what it means to be a Team and Family.
In addition, we will continue to do the other things that protect the health and safety of our Team & Family – social distancing to the extent possible, washing our hands frequently, cleaning and disinfecting, getting vaccinated, and considering the option of limited virtual learning for our KIPPsters who need it most.
Thank you for doing your part. Please get a good night’s rest. We can’t wait to see you tomorrow.