TO: Northwest ISD Students, Parents/Caregivers, and Staff

FROM: Ryder Warren, Superintendent

SUBJECT: Superintendent Update

I hope everyone is having a great, safe week thus far. We have received many questions regarding Governor Abbott’s announcement this week about the new executive order rescinding state COVID mandates, including masks. I addressed NISD’s decision on this in last night’s Facebook Live presentation that you can see here, and below is an email I sent all NISD faculty and staff members. The Northwest ISD School Board and district leaders will continue to monitor our COVID responses for the remainder of the school year, and if any changes are made to our current protocols, that will be communicated out immediately. Everyone continue the work to stay safe, and thank you for supporting our children and our schools.
Ryder Warren
Superintendent of Schools

District Email to Staff – Sent March 3, 2021:

NISD Team,
It’s been a whirlwind for the last 24 hours since the Governor made the announcement that he is rescinding all COVID protocols next Wednesday. As you can imagine, I am receiving much advice and opinions from staff and parents/caregivers about future decisions regarding this, and that communication truly helps me. I also appreciate the work of the members of our DEIC and our FAC for their guidance.
To make sure we are all on the same page, I need you to know the next steps. TEA sent us guidance this afternoon that states a school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. The TEA Commissioner of Education has also called a special meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to address superintendents regarding the Governor’s order. Please know it was not my intent to address our COVID protocols again until the end of this school year. All of our staff and students have done a fantastic job this year trying keep each other safe, and I feel our safety measures (including masks) have been working as designed.
I will be discussing these issues with our School Board members, and if we do make any changes between now and the end of the year, I will definitely communicate that out. But for now, we are changing nothing in relation to our COVID protocols, and my intent (once again) is to revisit the safety measures at the end of the year. My hope and my prayer is that I am able to inform all NISD stakeholders – students, families, and staff – that we will begin the 2021-2022 school year with NO masks. We might still follow some of the protocols, but I want the masks out of our professional lives next year. Whether I am able to make that announcement remains to be seen, but I feel strongly that it becomes more of an option if we finish this year as we began….by following our safety rules.
I will address this tonight in my Facebook Live presentation to our communities. Attached is the PowerPoint I will use, and everyone also needs to see the letter I have copied below. One piece of very good news we received today is that the Texas Department of Health is telling vaccine providers to start prioritizing teachers and school/district staff immediately. For those of us who intend to be vaccinated, please make sure you are registered.
If I get any more news on this issue, we will communicate that out as quickly as we can… just stay tuned. Thank you for everything!