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Temporary Mask Mandate Extended

September 9, 2021

Crowley ISD is extending its temporary mask mandate another two weeks to run through Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Everyone two years of age and older will still be required to wear masks for all indoor instruction, indoor activities and on buses to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

The decision is based guidance of local, state and national health officials who strongly urge masks be required to be worn inside.

Crowley ISD will continue to provide mask breaks during the school day for students and staff.

Individuals with proof of a medical exemption for wearing face masks will be permitted to wear face shields.

This mask mandate is temporary and will be in effect in Crowley ISD through Sept. 24, 2021. During this time, the district will continue working closely with health officials to evaluate if the order should be extended another two weeks or allowed to expire based on medical guidance and current COVID-19 cases in our schools and community.

Crowley ISD temporarily requires face masks in all buildings and buses.


Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Crowley ISD is extending its temporary mask mandate another two weeks to run through Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.

This decision comes as Crowley ISD and other Texas school districts secured another legal victory today with a temporary injunction against Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order barring school districts from adopting mask mandates to protect their students and school communities.

The district also continues following the guidance of local, state and national health officials who strongly urge masks be required to be worn inside.

Everyone two years of age and older will still be required to wear masks for all indoor instruction, indoor activities and on buses to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland joined other school and health leaders in testifying during the temporary injunction hearing earlier this week.

“Masks play a crucial role in keeping students in school and schools open,” McFarland said. “We realize masks can be a burden and are uncomfortable – but masks make the difference.”

Crowley ISD will continue to provide mask breaks for students and staff. The district is also working with campus leaders to identify more opportunities for individuals to safely and briefly remove their masks during designated times in the school day.

Individuals with proof of a medical exemption for wearing face masks will be permitted to wear face shields.

This mask mandate is temporary and will be in effect in Crowley ISD through Sept. 10, 2021. During this time, the district will continue working closely with health officials to evaluate if the order should be extended another two weeks or allowed to expire based on medical guidance and current COVID-19 cases in our schools and community.


Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 at 7 a.m.

Crowley ISD’s temporary mask mandate is currently in effect through Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

Before announcing if the mask mandate will be extended another two weeks or not, the district is awaiting a legal ruling from a temporary injunction hearing that occurred earlier this week in Judge Catherine A. Mauzy’s 419th Civil District Court. That ruling is expected by Sunday, Aug. 29.

The district also continues working closely with health officials to evaluate if the order should be extended another two weeks or allowed to expire based on medical guidance and current COVID-19 cases in our schools and community.

After the court ruling is announced and based on the latest medical guidance, Crowley ISD will make an announcement about the future of its temporary mask mandate. Updates will be posted on the district website and sent in an email to all parents and staff.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work together to protect our students, staff and community.


Friday, Aug. 13, 2021 

Attorneys for Crowley ISD and seven other Texas school districts secured a victory today in a lawsuit filed against Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order barring school districts from adopting mask mandates to protect their students and school communities.

Judge Jan Soifer in the 345th Civil District Court granted a temporary restraining order Friday afternoon against the governor’s executive order. The Court will hear further arguments at a date to be determined next week.

Crowley ISD is represented by attorneys from O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo.

“We look forward to continuing to defend school boards’ right to adopt reasonable safety measures to protect the health and safety of their students, staff and communities,” the school districts’ attorneys said.

Other districts joining Crowley ISD in this filing are: La Joya ISD, Edinburgh Consolidated ISD, Hidalgo ISD, Brownsville ISD, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, Lasara ISD and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD.

To learn more about Crowley ISD’s temporary mask policy, please read below.


Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021

Crowley ISD will temporarily require face masks to be worn inside all buildings and on school buses. This order is:

  • Effective immediately for all employees.
  • Effective beginning the first day of school for students, families and visitors.

Everyone two years of age and older will be required to wear masks for all indoor instruction and indoor activities to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in our schools and community.

“Our priority in Crowley ISD is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff, and this order will help keep our schools open as COVID-19 cases are rapidly spreading across our community,” Superintendent Dr. Michael McFarland said. “We know masks work, so we are temporarily returning to the mask mandates that were successful last school year in slowing the spread during in-person learning.”

This current order is temporary and will be in effect in Crowley ISD through Aug. 27, 2021. During this time, the district will continue working closely with health officials to evaluate if the order should be extended another two weeks or allowed to expire based on medical guidance and current COVID-19 cases in our schools and community.

This decision is based on recent medical guidance received this week from doctors, scientists and health experts as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads rapidly.

In a letter from more than 100 physicians at Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, doctors strongly encouraged universal masking in Tarrant County schools, saying, “The rapid increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths locally and throughout the U.S. in recent weeks are alarming and require an appropriate response.”

The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics both also strongly encourage masking for all students and staff.

This decision is also based on legal guidance from the school district’s attorneys and other legal experts who say that the Texas governor’s order banning mask mandates in public schools was an executive overreach and violation of federal law, and that school districts have local control and authority to follow medical guidance to require masks. Crowley ISD intends to exercise our legal right to challenge the governor’s executive order in a court of law. We believe it is important that we stand up for the safety of our most vulnerable.

Superintendent McFarland said he and the Crowley ISD Board of Trustees are responsible for protecting our schools and community, and that this mask requirement has the school board’s full support.

“It has been proven that when masks are worn, the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 is reduced dramatically,” McFarland said. “We recognize that enforcing this action has been both politicized and made much more difficult than before, but we still believe that it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of the students we serve and each other.”

Enforcement
With prior mandates, we had significant success with mask wearing. However, if students, staff or visitors choose not to comply with the temporary mandate, we will use progressive discipline until compliance is achieved.

If an individual does not have a mask, they will be given one by the school/office or allowed to retrieve one. If they refuse this option, they will not be allowed entry into Crowley ISD buildings or buses until compliance is achieved.

Staff members who choose not to comply will be required to use their leave days or risk having their pay docked.

Medical Exemptions
Individuals with proof of a medical exemption for wearing face masks will be permitted to wear face shields.

Additional Protocols
In addition to requiring masks, Crowley ISD will perform contact tracing and notification of COVID cases in a manner deemed most effective by the CISD Director of Health Services while protecting the confidentiality of individuals and their healthcare information.

Crowley ISD will also continue to provide opportunities for all eligible persons to receive COVID vaccinations and will conduct rapid testing, with parental consent. Social distancing, self-screening and cleaning of facilities will also continue throughout the district.