New masking protocols to begin Tuesday, March 1

New masking protocols to begin Tuesday, March 1
Posted on 02/24/2022
New masking protocols to begin Tuesday, March 1

Updated March 1, 2022

As shared previously, PPS implemented universal masking consistent with CDC guidance and advice from the Portsmouth Health Department. On Feb. 16, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed Senate Bill 739 into law. It allows parents to opt their children out of school mask mandates, starting March 1, 2022.

The School Board recognizes that teachers and staff are already under immense stress and adding requirements to track those who choose to opt out of the schools' mask mandate is an undue burden. Therefore, regrettably, and solely to fulfill this new legal requirement, effective March 1, 2022, masks will be optional for students while on school property.

Please note the following important details around this change:

  • Students will have the option to wear masks on school buses (this is in accordance with new guidance from the CDC);
  • Staff members will still be required to wear masks while in school buildings and offices (this is in accordance with state labor law);
  • Visitors and guests will also still be required to wear masks when in school buildings and offices.

As a reminder, PPS will continue all of its ongoing mitigation procedures, including the nightly deep cleaning of buildings; access to touchless water stations in schools; and increased air-filtration system inspections.

Families are also encouraged to continue to follow the state department of health’s guidance on when to send a child to school. Additionally, while it will be optional, the division continues to encourage masking for students.

Any changes to the above procedures will be shared with you directly. As always, thank you for your continued partnership and support of Portsmouth Public Schools.

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