NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In the Richardson Independent School District, students are heading back to the classroom Tuesday.

And despite a rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases, the district is actually scaling back their precautions.

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For the first time this year, masks will be optional at all district elementary and secondary schools. This is despite a massive COVID-19 outbreak at the district’s Big Springs Elementary school where about three weeks ago, classes had to go virtual for a week.

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You may remember, Richardson ISD typically highly favors masking. Back in September, they were one of the districts that was sued by Attorney General Ken Paxton for having a mask mandate.

The district is citing the change to their mask policy as a response to the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for the 5-11 age group. But they are encouraging testing to keep future outbreaks at bay.

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Richardson ISD is also urging parents to keep kids home if they feel sick or show signs of COVID-19. They also ask that if your child tested positive at any point during winter break, you call the school nurse.

Nicole Nielsen