It's the second straight year parents are worried about their children being safe at school.
The numbers as of Thursday night
Does back to class mean back to COVID?
New Caney Independent School District students were the first in the area to return to the classroom. Their first day of school was Aug. 9. Masks are optional for students in the district. In the 10 days they've been back, 216 of New Caney ISD's 16,127 students have tested positive. That comes out to about 1%.
Spring ISD returned to class on Aug. 11. The district now requires masks. Since the first day of school, the district has reported that 139 students have tested positive out of the student population of 33,689. That's less than half of 1%.
Conroe ISD's first day of school was also Aug. 11. The district is encouraging, but not requiring masks.
CISD has reported 783 active COVID cases in its student population of 66,900. That's about 1%.
On Friday, Aug. 13, CISD reported 57 new cases. By Monday, Aug. 16, that number had more than tripled and has remained high this week.
The district released this statement:
“On Monday, Conroe ISD had the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic. We are tracking this rise in cases and working closely with our local health entities on monitoring this current wave.”
Editor's note: The student enrollment numbers from New Caney ISD and Spring ISD are current as of August 2021. The numbers from Humble ISD and Conroe ISD are from January 2021.
What parents are saying
Just days into the new school year, parents like Jim McCloskey said the case numbers are concerning.
“I think unless they change something we’re going to be back to doing everything virtual because there will be nobody left who can either attend class or instruct classes," he said.
New TEA guidance
On Thursday, the Texas Education Agency announced that it's changing its guidance on the notification process if a student tests positive. Parents must now be notified if there is a positive COVID case in their child's classroom or other school programs.