The DC Public Schools (DCPS) will continue to require all students, staff and visitors to wear face masks when schools reopen in August for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The announcement came from DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee during a public hearing at the DC Council on July 22.
Ferebee was criticized by council members during the hearing about the school system’s lack of providing information for families relating to new guidelines and protocols.
The Chancellor explained that it was not intentional, and the safety guidelines continue to be updated according to changing conditions.
This decision follows the American Academy of Pediatrics’s (AAP) call for resuming in-person learning and requiring face coverings for students.
More than 50,000 students are scheduled to return to in-person learning at the end of August.
There will also be other health and safety measures in place against a possible spread of COVID-19 in DC public schools.
DCPS students aged 12 or older, as well as their families, can get vaccinated against COVID-19 for free at select school sites throughout July and August.
“We are encouraging DCPS students age 12 or older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect our community from COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and currently not required to attend school next year. If you have yet to receive your first dose and would like to be fully vaccinated by the first day of school, you should visit a vaccination site this week,” DCPS said in a release.
To see dates and times when clinics at Anacostia High School and Ida B. Wells Middle School are open, click coronavirus.dc.gov/page/get-vaccinated.
DCPS school-based health centers will also offer the vaccine by appointment throughout July and August.
Further information about the new health measures in DC public schools will be released next month based on guidance from health officials.
Many school systems around the nation have recently lifted mask mandates. To find more details, click here.