Fairfax County Public Schools will comply with the new Virginia law prohibiting local school boards from enforcing universal mask requirements.
Face masks will be optional on school property for students starting Tuesday (March 1), Superintendent Scott Brabrand confirmed today (Friday) in a message to families.
“There will be no formal process required for those who elect for their child not to wear a mask on school property, including during School Age Child Care (SACC),” Brabrand said. “Please talk with your child before March 1 so they will be aware of your family’s preference for mask wearing at school.”
Masks will still be required on FCPS grounds for all adults, including staff and visitors, as well as for students in certain circumstances, including:
- On school buses, as recommended for public transportation by the CDC
- During off-campus field trips if masks are required by the venue
- The Head Start program
- Unvaccinated students participating in the Test to Stay program
- When attending school in person during days 6-10 of a quarantine
The school system said that it remains “concerned about the health of our Fairfax community” due to COVID-19 and continues to “strongly recommend that all students continue to participate in universal masking for the protection of students and staff with health concerns.”
FCPS had defied pressure to end its universal masking policy, joining six other districts in suing Gov. Glenn Youngkin over his mask-optional executive order in January. However, it acknowledged that its legal options had run out after Youngkin signed Senate Bill 739 on Feb. 16.
On March 1, state legislation goes into effect that allows parents/guardians to elect for their children to not wear a mask in schools. As we work through this change, we will honor our value of a caring culture.
See more details about these upcoming changes. #OneFCPS
— Fairfax Schools 🌟 (@fcpsnews) February 25, 2022
Covid transmission in Fairfax County has declined the past month, dropping from high to substantial earlier this week, but under a roll-back plan announced on Feb. 10, FCPS had hoped to see it reach a moderate level before making masks optional.
The Fairfax County School Board says in a statement that it still has “constitutional concerns” about the state order and how it was adopted, arguing that S.B. 739 overrode its authority and left local school divisions “no flexibility to address future public health emergencies.”
“We encourage our community to continue to follow the guidance of health officials — particularly for the benefit of our immunocompromised students and staff,” the board said. “We must continue to work together to keep our schools safe and open for all.”
Photo via FCPS
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.