HOUSTON (KIAH) — Houston-area schools prepare to reopen for the spring semester this week, but school administrators are working to help students to be safe as COVID-19 cases continue to rise among children across Houston, Texas and the U.S.

Local districts are not closing schools or going all virtual unlike other parts of the country, but they are reminding parents and students of procedures and adjusted rules to help keep schools open.

Houston ISD announced that it will continue to enforce wearing masks at their schools, which opened on Monday. HISD is also encouraging students and all employees to get tested for COVID before returning to school or work.

Meanwhile, Cy-Fair ISD will maintain its mask-optional policy at its schools when they reopen on Wednesday, but the district will have free rapid COVID-19 testing for CFISD staff and students at the Berry Center and Pridgeon Stadium drive-thru locations on Monday, Jan. 3.

Registration is required for staff and students. For hours of operation and to register for testing, go to http://www.cfisd.net/c19testing.

Fort Bend ISD will continue to offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Progressive High School (1555 Independence Blvd., Missouri City, 77489), on Monday and Tuesday. The site will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. There is no registration required. 

FBISD resumes classes on Wednesday. Superintendent Dr. Christie Whitbeck said that while masks are still optional in schools, she does encourage wearing them in schools for at least the first few weeks of classes.

“If your child has not been wearing a mask, I ask that you discuss it as a family and consider wearing them throughout January, which consists of 18 days of school,” Whitbeck said. “The experts shared that we can expect to see a surge from mid-January to the end of the month. The extra protections will help us keep kids and staff healthy and able to be present to learn and work.”

Whitbeck also said that FBISD will be limiting on-campus visitors to schools, and will pause parent/guest lunch visits for the month of January.

To find more information on what your local school district is doing, go to our links of school districts here.