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Masks Required: Alexandria School Board Unanimously Votes Students Wear Face Masks in Fall 2021

Alexandria public school students will be wearing masks and getting daily temperature screens at school entrances. (Photo: istockphoto.com licensed to The Zebra Press LLC)
Alexandria public school students will be wearing masks and getting daily temperature screens at school entrances. (Photo: istockphoto.com licensed to The Zebra Press LLC)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – During its Aug. 3 School Board Meeting the Alexandria City School Board unanimously approved the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. to require masks in fall 2021 for everyone inside all Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) facilities and while in any ACPS vehicles, regardless of vaccination status.

The mask requirement was developed in partnership with the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) and in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health.

The Aug. 3 School Board meeting was a special meeting scheduled for a public hearing on the ACPS plan for using funds provided through the ESSER III Fund. Given the timing of the meeting, prior to the start of the new school year, the Board decided to add this important item to consider the mask policy to its agenda. The first day of school for ACPS in the 2021-22 school year is Aug. 24 for all schools except Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, which begins on Aug. 9.

Daily Temperature Screenings

The mask policy will be one of several health mitigation measures in ACPS schools as the 2021-22 school year begins. These include daily online health screening, temperature screenings in school entrances, continued enhanced cleaning, and procedures to limit the number of visitors in school facilities. Families are asked to drop off students outside of school and visitors will be limited. All essential, approved visitors will be expected to adhere to the established safety mitigation strategies. Essential visitors, volunteers and activities will be limited to:

  • Individuals supporting the provision of in-person student supports, to include city and partner programs;
  • Individuals supporting/performing ACPS operations and maintenance; and
  • Individuals picking up students who have become ill during the school day.

For Fun: Five More Questions for Superintendent Gregory Hutchings

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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