Dear APS Families and Staff,
Masks must be worn by students, staff and visitors in Arlington Public Schools facilities. Federal law requires the use of masks while on school buses. On Thu, Jan. 20, the Arlington School Board voted unanimously to support my recommendation to maintain the current mask requirement within APS. Students and staff are required to wear masks indoors and on buses as part of a layered strategy to help prevent COVID-19 transmission in our schools.
The Virginia General Assembly adopted Senate Bill 1303 on March 30, 2021, directing school boards to offer and prioritize in-person instruction. It also requires school boards to adhere to mitigation procedures, like mask-wearing, to the extent practicable as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
We acknowledge that wearing masks, testing, health screening and other mitigation measures are not ideal or easy; however, they have been vital in making in-person learning possible, so we can meet our students’ social, emotional and academic learning needs and abide by Virginia law. Given the current COVID-19 surge and transmission rates in our community, we will continue to abide by CDC mask guidelines to keep schools open and safe. We will communicate with families when a change to the current mask policy is possible.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in making sure every student arrives at school with a well-fitting mask. Working together as a community is how we can keep our schools open and students safe.
Dr. Francisco Durán