The Alexandria School Board has overturned ordinance requiring face masks for students in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), yielding to newly passed state requirements.
The vote was, in some ways, an empty gesture. The bill signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin requires that public schools treat masks as optional for students, with no punishment for students who either choose to wear a mask or choose not to.
Superintendent Gregory Hutchings and Chief of Student Services and Equity Julie Crawford confirmed that there’s little “wiggle room” in the state legislature.
“The bill still in effect, whether we do anything to the policy or not,” Hutchings said. “This bill was written in a way that has no wiggle room. There’s no gray. It is what it is.”
School staff said they are still recommending mask wearing for students. The policy also applies to students but not staff, who are still required to wear a mask in school.
“This could be a period of anxiety for families and students,” Crawford said. “We’ve been sharing with them that masking has helped protect them and those around them, and this will be a big transition.”
There was discussion about possible forms for faculty to keep track of which students have opted out of wearing a mask, but Crawford said teachers were concerned about becoming “mask police.”
Crawford said the bill also covers buses, where students can still go mask free, and most athletics training and games were already headed into a mask-less outdoor season.
The School Board voted unanimously to overturn ACPS’ masking requirements.
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Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.
Spring Fling at Rising Sol Yoga School
Join us for a day of FREE hot yoga. Experience our class styles and meet our teachers. Buy a bite at the Bake Sale to benefit The Carpenter’s Shelter, peruse some special vendors, take advantage of in-person only discounts on