Frequently Asked Questions

Please see answers to frequently asked questions below.

Q. Will Great Hearts Texas schools conduct daily screenings for COVID-19?


Parents should screen their students each day for symptoms of contagious illness, including COVID-19. See our Home Screening criteria. With any illness, students should not return until they are fever free (under 100 degrees) for 24 hours without the use of medication.

Q. What should I do if I suspect my student has COVID-19? What if my child is sick?


If you suspect that your child has COVID-19, please contact your health care professional. Students and staff members who test positive for Covid-19 must remain off campus until specific readmission criteria set by the Texas Department of State Health Services are met (please see readmission criteria here). For any illness, including COVID-19, see our Attendance Guidelines for illnesses.

Q. Should I notify the school if my child has tested positive for COVID-19?


Yes. Parents should email or phone the school to report if their child tests positive. Additionally, all absences, including absences related to COVID-19, should be reported prior to each school day.

Q. What is the Great Hearts Texas policy for masks, and how will campuses approach it?


Masks are optional for students and employees on campus. On May 18, 2021 Governor Abbott issued an executive order (GA-36) which bars public schools from requiring them. His directive places the question of mask-wearing at school in the hands of each family and employee. In a separate executive order (GA-38) issued by the governor on July 29th, 2021 he states the following concerning masks:

“In areas where the COVID-19 transmission rate is high, individuals are encouraged to follow the safe practices they have already mastered, such as wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.”

This statement from the governor makes clear that his previous order (GA-36) disallowing school districts to require masks of anyone remains in effect. Great Hearts will respect the decision each family makes and our school staff and leadership will work to ensure no person is treated differently as a result of their choice to wear or not wear a mask. If any individual requests a mask at school, staff will provide one.

Q. Will social distancing be required on campus?


Social distancing will not be required as it is not feasible in most instances with the campuses now at capacity.

Q. How will Great Hearts Texas respond to a potential “spike” in positive COVID cases at a particular campus?


Great Hearts’ COVID Response Teams, which played a key role in helping Great Hearts schools navigate the pandemic last year, will be in place again on every campus for the 2021-22 school year. These COVID Response Teams will closely monitor the data and trends at their specific campuses with the ability to implement a variety of measures if there is a significant rise in cases on a campus.

Q. Will my child need to quarantine if they are exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual?


Great Hearts Texas does not require close contacts to quarantine and will not conduct contact tracing. If your child is a close contact to a COVID positive member of your household, you may choose to keep them home for up to 10 days and this will be an excused absence.

Q. One of my children has tested positive for COVID-19. Do all my children need to quarantine?


No, we do not require any close contact to quarantine. However, you may choose to have your children quarantine for up to ten days and this will be an excused absence. Any quarantine of close contacts longer than five days will be considered on a case by case basis. Contact your campus administrators or school nurse.

Q. What if someone in my child’s class tests positive?


In the instance of a test-confirmed positive case, the grades and section (class) of the positive individual will be notified by email.

Q. Why are desk shields being removed for the 2021-22 school year?


The decision to remove desk shields is based on several factors. Unlike the proven benefit of air circulation and filtration, there has not been evidence they are an effective mitigation strategy, nor are there formal recommendations to use them from external, health-related experts and organizations.

Q. What mitigation strategies will Great Hearts Texas continue to use from last year?


Great Hearts will continue to practice the daily, deep-cleaning protocols implemented at each campus last year. Efforts to ensure proper handwashing and respiratory hygiene will continue, providing both staff and students instruction at the beginning of the school year as well as providing hand washing opportunities and frequent use of hand sanitizer. Current air filtration systems put in place at the beginning of 2020-21 school year will also continue, which have been shown to decrease respiratory-related illness infection rates.

Q. Will Great Hearts Texas offer a virtual option for students?


At this time, the TEA has advised they will no longer be funding distance learning options for Texas public schools, as they did last school year.

Recognizing the potential demand for distance learning, Great Hearts has been among the most proactive organizations in Texas seeking to establish an ongoing online program which would provide families a tuition-free alternative for 2021-22. Unfortunately, the Great Hearts online program has not yet been authorized by either of the entities that has the authority to do so – the Texas State Legislature and/or the TEA. Great Hearts is continuing to pursue approval by one or both of those governing bodies.

As a possible solution for some families, Great Hearts is continuing to offer a virtual option through Great Hearts Online Private as a tuition required program. You can learn more about Great Hearts Online Private and apply here.

Q. Are students or staff required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?


The COVID-19 vaccine is not required for Great Hearts students or staff. Great Hearts will not inquire regarding COVID-19 vaccination status.

Q. Where can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?


The vaccine is widely available at most local pharmacies, doctor’s offices and health clinics. The Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to include all individuals age 12 and older. Currently, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only available to individuals age 18 and older. You may go to to find a location.

Q. Is the current Safe Return Policy subject to change?


The current Safe Return policy is subject to change and Great Hearts staff is watching the status of each campus closely, paying close attention to COVID trends in every county where there are Great Hearts schools. Great Hearts will carefully monitor students and teachers in the interest of the entire Great Hearts community.