By Kennedi Walker

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – This week teachers throughout the metroplex were welcomed back to school. Photos posted on social media showing many of them not wearing masks or social distancing gave people a sneak peek on what the school year may look like without any mandates.

Steven Poole is the Executive Director of the United Educators Association. He said even with most teachers vaccinated, more protections are needed.

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“We’re afraid that with the delta variant that we are going to see a lot of students and or teachers having to stay at home,” Poole said. He said without masks and social distancing, school districts are scrambling to come up with a concrete plan of what to do when someone tests positive.

Three feet of physical distance can reduce the spread of the virus, good ventilation helps, and masks for indoor activity are key, public health, according to experts.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends everyone older than age 2 wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, when they go to school.

“The CDC still recommends three to six feet in schools. If you look at our classrooms they’re not designed for social distancing like our kindergarten classrooms,” Poole said.

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Several districts, including Crowley ISD, are hoping extra cleaning protocols will help slow the spread.

“We are disinfecting rooms where there’s any positive cases that will be identified, we are making sure that we are disinfecting our buses daily, that we are providing masks and hand sanitizer on the bus and the entryways when you come in the building,” Misty Vancampen, Director of Health Services for CISD, says.

Poole hopes when the bell rings students and teachers won’t need a mandate to make the right choice. “People just need to take personal responsibility and make personal choices on keeping themselves safe.”

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Kennedi Walker