Virginia Beach School Board discusses masks as school year approaches end

Education

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The last of coronavirus restrictions in Virginia will be lifted in just a few days, but masks will still be required in schools.

Virginia Beach School Board members addressed face coverings during their meeting Tuesday night as students wrap up another school year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence said VBCPS continues to follow guidance from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Education. Masks are still required for students and staff indoors.

Board member Laura Hughes proposed a resolution regarding the use of masks outdoors.

Part of that resolution stated it would not be the policy of VBCPS to encourage or discourage use of masks outdoors.

According to Spence, students are allowed to lower their masks during outdoor recess, physical education, and when participating in sporting events.

Some members had concerns that some schools aren’t allowing students to remove their masks outdoors so the resolution would explicitly outline the policy.

A vote is pending the next meeting but other members said the resolution is unnecessary.

Mask use during the next school year remains to be seen.

We’re told guidance on that is expected during the summer.

“I don’t love wearing this thing, all day, every day. I don’t love that my kids have to wear it all day, every day, but right now the determination is that’s what’s keeping us safe inside our buildings,” Spence said. “Once that gets lifted, I’ll be the first in line to tell you we’re going to put out something that says we don’t have to do it anymore.”

Looking ahead to graduation, seniors are just three weeks away from getting their diplomas.

VBCPS said the ceremonies will be outdoors and parties will be socially distanced from each other.

Masks will not be required for anyone who is fully vaccinated. Officials say they’re relying on the public to be honest.

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