This afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will not extend the mask mandate. The previous directive from the Governor is now considered guidance.
Although the health directives that governed our schools’ operations have been converted to guidance, the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education strongly advise districts to continue to follow all measures that have allowed successful in-person learning to occur. Since Governor Asa Hutchinson’s announcement, the TASD Board of Directors have not made a formal decision to continue, modify, or eliminate policies on mask requirements. However, the Texarkana Arkansas School District will continue to require staff and students to wear masks until the board meets to discuss changes, if any, for the remainder of the school year.
While it is not possible to eliminate all risks associated with COVID-19, TASD has successfully provided in-person learning options since August 2020. This success can be attributed to the multiple layers of mitigation strategies that have been implemented in our district, such as social distancing, reduced class sizes, mask wearing, disinfecting and cleaning, handwashing, and physical distancing to the extent practical.