• 2021-2022 Health and Safety Guidance

    ACPS will continue to adjust measures based on the latest health guidance and best practices and update the chart accordingly as changes occur.

    Masks

    • The Alexandria City School Board voted to rescind regulation GBE-R/JHCC-R related to the use of face coverings (masks) as a COVID-19 mitigation measure in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), following the state legislature approval of Virginia Senate Bill 739.
    • As a result, wearing masks will be optional for students in all ACPS schools, facilities and vehicles, beginning March 1, 2022. 
    • ACPS staff and approved volunteers/visitors must continue to wear masks in our schools, facilities and vehicles. 
    • Although this option is now provided to students, ACPS highly recommends that all individuals continue to wear masks in ACPS buildings and vehicles during periods of high or substantial transmission of COVID-19 (when there are more than 50 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days). 

    Physical Distancing and Capacity

    • Normal classroom capacity to accommodate five days a week, in person learning
    • Normal capacity on school buses to accommodate regular bus runs without service delays

    Meal Service

    • Will utilize cafeteria space to the greatest extent to avoid eating in the classroom
    • Students will be required to wear their masks when not eating.
    • Distance when possible (6 feet between students while unmasked and eating preferred).
    • Utilize seating charts, podding, and/or sign in sheets.

    Ventilation

    • Continued Preventative Maintenance of HVAC systems
    • Continued use of MERV-13 filters
    • Continued HVAC system repairs as/when necessary
    • Continued use of air purifiers in classrooms/common areas

    Cleaning, PPE and Handwashing

    • Continued enhanced cleaning measures with EPA-certified chemicals
    • Masks available for all students, staff and visitors (if they do not have their own)
    • Hand sanitizer readily available in all facilities
    • Continued focus on regular hand washing throughout the school day

    Recess

    • No masks required outside for recess
    • Consider podding classes at recess for contact tracing

    Health Screenings

    • Continue Daily Symptom Checklist completion
    • Continue temperature screening upon entry to facility/schools
    • Requesting staff and/or students remain home if not feeling well

    Health Annex Rooms

    • Schools will continue to have a health annex room for individuals experiencing COVID symptoms.
    • The health annex will be staffed with a monitor.

    COVID Testing

    Contact Tracing

    • The Department of Student Services & Equity will work with AHD and the involved school to identify any close contacts.
    • Vaccinated staff and/or students do not require quarantine unless symptomatic.

    Close Contact Guidance

    • A close contact is anyone who is within 6 ft or less of the person with COVID for 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period.
    • In indoor K-12 settings, a student who is within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student is not considered a close contact as long as both students are wearing masks and the school has other prevention strategies in place.
      • This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in indoor K-12 settings.
    • Close contacts are advised to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, self-quarantine, actively monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and get tested at least 5 days after their exposure if their previous test(s) were negative. (AHD recommends PCR testing for contacts)
    • All close contacts should get tested immediately if they develop symptoms.
    • The following individuals do not need to quarantine, even if they are identified as a close contact:
    • Close contacts who do not need to quarantine should still monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, get tested immediately if they develop symptoms, and stay home until they receive test results.

    Quarantine (updated Jan. 13, 2022)

    • 5 days if no symptoms appear. A COVID-19 test  is strongly recommended on day 5.
    • Students should be vigilant about wearing a tight-fitting mask on days 6 through 10.
    • The following individuals do not need to quarantine, even if they are identified as a close contact:

    Athletics and Activities

    • For indoor activities, masks required and contact tracing requirements for students and employees

    Visitors and Volunteers

    • No non-essential visitors/volunteers.
    • Essential visitors and volunteers will be limited to:
      • Individuals supporting the provision of in-person student supports, to include city and partner programs
      • Individuals supporting/performing ACPS operations and maintenance;
      • Individuals when necessary, while picking up/dropping off a child (in accordance with ACPS arrival/dismissal procedures).
      • Individuals picking-up students who have become ill during the school day.
      • Parents/guardians attending school meetings (e.g., IEP, 504, MTSS).
    • All approved visitors will adhere to safety mitigation strategies established by ACPS, to include masks and temperature screenings

    COVID Vaccinations

    • Vaccinations for those eligible are available at the Teen Wellness Center located at Alexandria City High School.
    • Additional vaccination sites and schedules can be found on the City of Alexandria website.