KIPP Aspire Academy students transition between classes. The charter network requires all students and teachers to wear masks.
Charter schools get more flexibility than traditional public school districts on curriculum and other state rules and standards — but not when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.
Charters in San Antonio, large and small, are in the same political and legal conflict as all public schools, somewhere between Gov. Greg Abbott’s order forbidding mask requirements and the local health authority’s order — backed by a lawsuit against the governor by the city and Bexar County — that they mask up.
KIPP Aspire Academy student Jose Mendoza finishes paperwork as students transition between classes. The charter network requires all students and teachers to wear masks.
Neither state nor local governments are enforcing either directive. The lawsuit’s outcome is uncertain. That leaves superintendents and school boards in control of their own COVID-19 safety protocols, for now. And not every parent is happy with the results.
“Of course, we have had some people say, ‘I don’t want to adhere to (mask-wearing)’” said Allen Smith, the superintendent of KIPP San Antonio Schools, one of the area’s largest charter networks. “But I’m not in the political space, nor do I want to be. I’m interested in keeping students safe.”
KIPP safety protocols and contact tracing look mostly similar to last year. Students are required to wear masks, screen for symptoms and social distance. Click here to read the full story.