Although we have settled on a tiered mitigation approach as we return to school, we have not finalized our plans for masking. We will finalize those recommendations on August 9. Just as we weighed risk and altered mitigations throughout the year in 2020-21, we anticipate that mitigations will change as we navigate the 2021-22 school year. Based on our experience with COVID-19, I anticipate that the masking scenario we choose at the beginning of the school year will be different in the middle, and at the end of the year.
Based on the current impact that COVID-19 is having on community, staff, and student body I would recommend the following masking requirements if the first day of school were today:
- All Visitors
- Anyone on a bus or other school transportation
- All Food Service Workers
- Elementary Students when in small groups that are 3 ft or closer for 15 minutes or longer
- Extra-Curricular participants when in non-active situations and are 3 ft or closer for 15 minutes or longer
- Non-Vaccinated Staff/Outside Agencies
- They will have a weekly option to test out; i.e. if they test negative on Tuesday, they can be mask-less until the next Tuesday.
- Testing will occur on their time and available through SVCHS
- All Students PK-12 (We recommend that all non-vaccinated students consider voluntarily wearing a mask while indoors)
- All Staff
Obviously, we are currently seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases in our nation, state, and region. If we continue to see a significant increase/decrease in positive cases in Bristol prior to August 19, this recommendation will change.
We appreciate your support as we do our best to return to normal and do our best to provide a safe and effective in-person learning environment. Like last year, we will need your grace, patience, and prayers as we strive to serve our students and community. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Bristol Virginia Public Schools
280 Lee St.
Bristol, VA 24201