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Most San Antonio School Districts Made Masks Optional Following State Supreme Court Stay

Edgewood Independent School District
Edgewood ISD is one of two Bexar County districts that required masks Aug. 16 after a stay from the state supreme court shed doubt on the legality of San Antonio's local mask mandate. Many Edgewood students and staff wore masks before it was required, including during this Meet the Teacher event at Las Palmas Leadership School for Girls.

Update on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.: Judge Toni Arteaga has sided with San Antonio and Bexar County in granting a temporary injunction on face mask mandates for schools, as well as city and county offices and buildings.

The Texas Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on San Antonio’s local mask mandate late Sunday afternoon, leaving parents and schools with very little time to find out about the change and decide how to respond before the start of the school week.

San Antonio and Bexar County officials said Sunday the local health directive requiring masks in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools remained in place, but most of San Antonio’s independent school districts returned to mask policies that comply with the governor’s state ban on mask mandates, including North East, Judson, East Central, Southwest, Harlandale, Alamo Heights, South San and Southside.

For many districts, the policy change came hours before the first day of the school year.

Two Bexar County school districts, Edgewood and San Antonio ISD, continued to require masks Monday despite the stay.

Edgewood ISD’s Superintendent, Eduardo Hernandez, tweeted that masks were required Sunday night. Edgewood spokeswoman Keyhla Calderon-Lugo said the district is keeping their mask mandate in place and waiting for the outcome of Monday’s hearing on the city and county’s lawsuit before deciding whether or not to change its policy.

Laura Short of SAISD said her district was asking students and staff to continue following the local mask mandate Monday.

“Already 99% of our families have made the personal decision to encourage their children to wear a mask to protect their children's health and for the safety of those around them,” Short said in an email.

San Antonio’s three military school districts, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland and Randolph Field, are located on base grounds and subject to base rules. A Pentagon directive currently requires masks indoors at Joint Base San Antonio, including the schools.

The legal status of the local school mask mandate is still in flux and likely to change throughout the week as lawsuits make their way through the courts.

Northside ISD, San Antonio’s largest school district, continued to follow the state ban on mask mandates last week instead of the local mask requirement. Northside Superintendent Brian Woods said he is waiting for the legal battle to play out before making a final policy decision for the district’s first day of school on Aug. 23.

Masks Required 

  • Edgewood ISD
  • San Antonio ISD
  • Fort Sam Houston ISD
  • Lackland ISD
  • Randolph Fields ISD
  • Compass Rose charter school

Masks Not Required

  • Northside ISD
  • North East ISD
  • Judson ISD
  • East Central ISD
  • Southwest ISD
  • Harlandale ISD
  • South San Antonio ISD
  • Alamo Heights ISD
  • Southside ISD
  • KIPP Texas - San Antonio

This story will be updated.

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Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@TPR.org and on Twitter at @cmpcamille. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.