School Opening Mask Requirements

School Opening Mask Requirements
Posted on 08/11/2021


In less than four weeks, we will welcome over 99% of our students back to school for in-person instruction five days a week.  I cannot wait to have our students back in our classrooms and to feel the energy and excitement.   This year is especially exciting. 


We released our Back to School Plan in May and it is posted on our division’s website.


Over the past few weeks, our team has reviewed all of this information and received a great deal of feedback from our school community.  I have read multiple email messages and received phone calls with varying perspectives.   


Colonial Heights Public Schools was prepared to make mask wearing optional. However, the Governor and the Virginia Department of Education have recently advised that Senate Bill 1303 (Siobhan S. Dunnavant) mandates that school divisions comply with the current CDC guidelines.  


The most recent CDC guidelines call for universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.   Because the current law of the Commonwealth of Virginia requires school boards to comply with the CDC guidelines, the Colonial Heights School Board will comply with this law and require universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status.  


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) have updated guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the use of masks and physical distancing.  These recommendations are in addition to a current order from the CDC requiring masks on all public transportation, including public school buses.


Our school division has developed a strong collaboration with the Chesterfield Health District to support vaccination efforts.  We will hold a Vaccine clinic on Wednesday, August 18 from 2-7 p.m. at Colonial Heights Middle School offering only Pfizer and J&J for COVID and adolescent vaccines (Hep B, Meningococcal, and HPV). This will allow us to collectively hold the second clinic on September 8 (same time).   This clinic will be open to all students and adults who are interested.  Stay tuned for more information.


Please remember that vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.  Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.


The team will continue to monitor the overall conditions in our community, including vaccination rates, transmission rates, and publicly available data on Colonial Heights published by the Virginia Department of Health.  


Be assured that thoughtful, deliberate, and layered prevention strategies will be employed as the team continues to refine the best approach for opening our new school year for Colonial Heights Public Schools. 


As always, the well-being of our students, staff, and school community leads all of our decision making.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we prepare to welcome our Tigers, Owls, Stars, and Colonials back to school soon.  


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