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Waynesboro Schools to enforce CDC health guidelines

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - As COVID-19 cases rise across the country, school officials have to decide how to proceed with the school year.

For many, it’s a challenging task, not knowing what tomorrow’s guidance will be.

Waynesboro City Schools made big decisions during Tuesday night's school board meeting.
Waynesboro City Schools made big decisions during Tuesday night's school board meeting.(WHSV)

As students across the Valley get ready to go back to school, leaders are deciding what that will look like. The Waynesboro School Board met Tuesday, July 27 to discuss their back-to-school plans.

At the top of the agenda: masks.

Waynesboro City School’s Executive Director for Student Services Dr. Ryan Barber said the school system will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Virginia Department of Health guidelines. Since those guidelines may change, they’re staying flexible.

“We want to be responsive to what the data is showing in our community but also be responsive to the guidance we’re seeing from those medical experts,” said Barber.

They were able to make some statements with certainty at the meeting.

“In preschool and elementary settings, school staff and students are required to wear a mask while they’re on our school property,” Barber said.

Since no child under 12 can be vaccinated, they have to wear masks, however, middle and high schools will look different.

“Students who are vaccinated do not have to wear a mask, along with staff who are vaccinated, and if you’re unvaccinated you need to have a mask on.”

Barber said, ultimately, the school division will follow CDC and VDH guidance.

To address back-to-school anxiety in students and families, Waynesboro schools hosted a Back to School Bash last weekend. They’re looking forward to another celebration on Saturday, August 7.

Barber said they’re prepared for students to be particularly anxious about the start of the year, and they want to make it an easy transition for them.

“We want to make sure students are ready to start the new school year. We’re excited about the new school year and know that we have a great staff and our families are supportive.”

They’ll also host open houses for students in lower grades and for any student new to the Waynesboro division.

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