August 9, 2021
Fluco staff and families,
With the intention of ensuring the availability of in-person learning in all school divisions in Virginia, lawmakers passed and Governor Northam signed into law Senate Bill 1303 on March 30, 2021. The law became effective July 1, 2021 and requires “requires each school board to provide such inperson instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”. While it may have been an unintended consequence of ensuring schools open in person, this law removed the ability of local schools boards to make decisions about COVID mitigation strategies for their own communities.
This law and its specific reference to the requirement that we adhere to the mitigation strategies provided by the CDC, will require all students and staff to wear masks while indoors and on our school buses, regardless of their vaccination status when school starts on August 11th. We have consulted with our legal counsel and our liability insurance provider for additional advice as well.
The school board voted today to follow this law and adhere to the recommended mask requirement and will again discuss and consider this issue and other mitigations during the regularly scheduled meeting on August 11, 2021, at 6:30 PM.
Ultimately, we want to keep our schools safe, healthy, and open to as many and for as long as possible. We want our students to be able to enjoy learning in school with their teachers and peers, with minimal threat of quarantine or closure.
Let’s join together to create the best experience we can for our students, remaining fluid and flexible but always kee ing their best interest at heart.
Dr. Peter Gretz