August 12, 2021
Good afternoon Prince George Families,
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of last year, Prince George County Public Schools has been committed to establishing policies that support the health of our school community and, when possible, provide choices for our families. This has been accomplished through active monitoring of the health of our community-at-large and guidance from our local health partners, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On August 2nd, PGCPS shared that masks for the district’s students, faculty, and staff would be highly encouraged and strongly recommended as we begin the school year. Today, Thursday, August 12th, the Commonwealth’s new public health order issued by State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver now requires “all individuals aged two and older to wear masks when indoors” at public and private K-12 schools to reduce the spread of COVID-19, with exceptions for those with health conditions or disabilities that prohibit wearing a mask, among others.
As such, given the guidance provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Prince George County Public Schools will need to require the use of masks as we begin the school year.
In preparation for the start of the 2021-2022 School Year next month, the school division will continue to monitor these areas and remain in regular communications with the Crater Health District, as well any additional requirements from local, state, and federal agencies regarding the use of masks and face coverings. PGCPS remains prepared to adjust mask policies based on these factors to ensure our students' educational and socio-emotional needs are met in safe and healthy environments on our campuses alongside other COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies during the upcoming school year when the health of our community and state mandates allow.
The district continues to encourage families to have their children aged 12 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19. The district has continuously provided resources from the Crater Health District to our families regarding vaccinations and allowed the district to hold clinics at our schools to allow families who wished to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19 the opportunity to do so.
We thank our community for their support as we continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and we look forward to safely welcoming students back to school on Tuesday, September 7th.
To view the new public health order, please see the link at the end of this message.
Lisa Pennycuff, Ed.D.
For more information regarding COVID-19, please visit the following websites:
- State Health Commissioner Order of Public Health Emergency
Statewide Requirement to Wear Masks in K-12 Schools, Dated 8-12-21 (VDH)
- Virginia Department of Health (VDH) 'Healthy Back to School'
- Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 'COVID-19 & Virginia Public Schools'
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)