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Virginia’s smallest county once again doesn’t approve a mask mandate and will delay start of school year

School year will be pushed back by more than three weeks

Students and staff at Highland County Public Schools will have to wait a bit longer to start the school year.
Students and staff at Highland County Public Schools will have to wait a bit longer to start the school year.

HIGHLAND COUNTY, Va. – Students and staff at Highland County Public Schools will have to wait a bit longer to start the school year.

On Tuesday night, the Highland County School Board voted to delay the start of the school year to October 1, citing COVID-19 concerns, according to Superintendent Dr. Tom Schott.

The previously approved district calendar had the first day of school as September 7, while a plan presented on Tuesday proposed that the first day should be Sept. 13.

Schott also said that during the meeting, the board did not accept an updated COVID-19 mitigation plan that would have required universal indoor masking.

This follows last month’s decision by the board to reject a mitigation plan that also required universal indoor masking.

The public health order issued by state health commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver on August 12 requires that “all individuals aged two and older to wear maks when indoors at public and private K-12 schools in order to inhibit spread of the virus, as recommended and described by the CDC.”

The Board also did not approve the proposed, Access for All policy, Highland County’s policy to meet state requirements for a transgender policy.

The School Board will next meet on Sept. 8.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.