Face Covering Mandate: 11-23-2020

To the Alleghany County Public Schools community:


I would like to start off by commending all of the hard work and resilience shown daily by the students, parents/guardians, teachers, and staff over the last months. Despite the challenges, students are learning and moving forward, and the teachers, counselors, and administrators are continuing to reach out to support those students who may still be struggling. I also want to thank everyone in the ACPS family for stepping in to help the children; not only with academics, but meal service, cleaning, emotional support, and so much more.


On Friday, November 13, Governor Northam announced additional changes to existing Executive Orders regarding the use of face masks and the size of public gatherings. Since these additional changes are already in effect, I wanted to let you know how these will impact ACPS as school resumes on Monday, November 30 with our in-person, blended/hybrid learning model.


First, Governor Northam’s order regarding the use of face masks now extends to schools and classrooms. Face masks will be required in classrooms, even with required 6-feet distancing. Students have been vigilant in complying with the face mask requirements already in place; therefore, their cooperation with this additional statewide requirement to wear face masks at all times while at school is appreciated.


Secondly, the restriction on the size of public gatherings has been lowered from 250 to 25. This order does not apply to educational settings such as classrooms and buses but does apply to other potential events that may be held at schools, such as athletic competitions. As athletics have not yet resumed but are slated to do so in the near future, ACPS is working with localities in the region to develop joint criteria by which games may be played and practices may be held.  These criteria will be directly linked to public health metrics from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) being in the moderate range or lower for weekly seven-day averages in our region. Currently, these metrics put Alleghany in the high and highest ranges and are trending upwards in the wrong direction.  


A renewed and continued community effort to practice physical distancing and to wear face masks will lower transmission data for the Alleghany region, lower exposures and risk of transmission at schools, and keep schools open and safe for the students and staff. Students need to be in school, even with the restrictions in place, and I thank you and everyone in the community for helping us make it happen.  Please be well and be safe.


Best regards,


S. B. Callahan, Acting Superintendent