Falls Church City Public Schools continues preparing this summer to welcome all students back into all of our buildings for five days a week of instruction starting August 30th. Registration is well underway, and our administrators, staff leaders, are busy updating everything from bell schedules and bus schedules. The excitement is palpable.
To that end, yesterday, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released new guidance for PreK-12 for the upcoming school year. Of particular note is that all guidance — from VDH, VDOE, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — is optional. Final decisions are to be made at the local level.
The VDH and VDOE recommendations released include:
Elementary schools should implement a requirement that students, teachers, and staff wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, until vaccination is available for children under 12 years old and there has been sufficient time to allow for children younger than 12 years old to be fully vaccinated.
At a minimum, middle and high schools should implement a requirement that students, teachers, and staff who are not fully vaccinated wear masks indoors.
Schools may want to consider universal masking for specific reasons or under certain circumstances, as outlined by the CDC. (Masking is required on school buses as well as all other public transportation options.)
All schools should be prepared to adjust local mask policies as local public health conditions evolve throughout the year.
FCCPS will make final decisions regarding masking as we get closer to the opening of the school year. As in the past, all decisions will be informed by local data and CDC guidance. Before the end of the last school year, we had already decided classes would begin for all students in all of our schools, five days a week — starting August 30! And we can’t wait!
Save the Date:
Back to School Town Hall with the Superintendent
Monday, August 23, 2021, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
We will share the Zoom link closer to the date. We will also record the program for those unable to watch live.
Peter J. Noonan
Falls Church City Public Schools