Argyle ISD eases mask mandate for students during PE, recess

A school district in Denton County will allow masks for some students to be optional during PE and recess.

It comes a week after a heated school board meeting about mask use.

Vaccination played a big role in Monday night’s decision with Argyle ISD’s superintendent saying by May that every employee in the district who wants to be vaccinated will be fully vaccinated.

Board trustees say it’s one step towards moving back to normal life.

Parents at Argyle ISD are split between whether to keep masks or make them optional.

The superintendent recommended making masks optional for pre-K through eighth-graders actively participating in outdoor activities, recess and PE.

MORE: Argyle ISD keeps mask mandate for remainder of school year

Masks will now also be optional for spectators at outdoor sporting events like football, and no one will be required to wear a mask at the district’s outdoor graduation ceremony.

"Masks optional. Certainly, if someone wants to wear a mask, they absolutely can," said Argyle ISD Superintendent Telena Wright.

The superintendent noting that many of its employees may be fully vaccinated by May.

"By May 10, all employees will have the opportunity to be vaccinated and will have had time for the two shots," Wright said. "I think this is tremendous news for the employees at Argyle ISD."

All board trustees voted in favor of making masks optional for certain activities, calling it a practical move.

According to the district’s COVID dashboard, there are only two active cases among staff and one active student case. The district says 100 staff members have recovered and 241 students recovered from COVID-19.

"I think this is a step in the right direction. I think it’s a logical step," said Argyle ISD Board Trustee Leona McDade. "It seems like this issue has divided us and divided our community, but the interesting thing is we’re all trying to get to the same place. The people over here and the people over here, we’re all trying to get to the same place. It’s just a matter of how and when."

In addition to Denton County’s mass vaccination clinic for educators at Texas Motor Speedway, the district will also be hosting a vaccination clinic this Thursday morning at the middle school with the help of the Flower Mound Fire Department. The district will also be sending out a parent survey about other mask policies.