Governor Youngkin recently issued Executive Order 2 in relation to student masking in schools. According to the Order, parents can choose to allow their children to attend school unmasked beginning January 24, 2022. The Order also stated that the Superintendent of Public Instruction will issue new guidance for COVID-19 prevention and we also anticipate that the Virginia Department of Health will provide additional guidance soon.
Currently, our School Administration and support teams are continuing to navigate the surge we are experiencing due to the Omicron variant while ensuring that we are providing the safest and most accommodating work/learning environment possible.
Norton City Schools will continue with current mitigations to ensure we are able to continue to provide in-person learning (cleaning protocols, improving ventilation, social distancing, etc.). We will continue to follow our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan that can be found on the Norton City School website. We strongly recommend that parents consider encouraging students to continue to wear masks during the Omicron surge. Parents will need to communicate masking expectations with their children and trust that they will follow their guidance. As of today, all quarantine and isolation guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health will continue to be utilized for exposure and positive cases. Current VDH guidance exempts students and staff from quarantine, if they wear a mask with fidelity.
Currently, there has not been a change in guidance from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry which requires that all employees be masked (DOLI). All employees will need to continue to mask until we receive official notice otherwise.
Masks will still be required on school buses in accordance with Security Directive 1582/84-21-01B from the Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
We will continue to monitor changes and guidance as we receive additional information from state agencies and will update our website with information as it becomes available.
Until then, I ask for your patience, understanding, and cooperation as we continue to provide in-person learning during a global pandemic. We have remained united as a school system through the last 22 months and I have no doubt that we can continue to do so.
Once again, I thank you for your support as I continue to serve the faculty, staff, students, parents, and community as Superintendent of Schools for Norton City.
Dr. Gina Wohlford