NEW: Masks required in schools to begin the 2021-22 school year

Henrico families and staff,

As you know, HCPS is committed to five days a week of full length in-person learning in a safe and healthy school environment. Based on current health data and trends, along with the latest guidance from health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health, the Henrico County School Board voted unanimously to open the 2021-22 school year with a mask requirement inside schools and offices for all individuals (employees, students, etc.), regardless of vaccination status. Mask use also remains required on school buses due to a federal order

Moving forward, masking protocols will be reviewed approximately every two weeks at the School Board’s public meetings (view the upcoming School Board meeting dates here.)

While outdoors, masks will still be strongly recommended, especially for individuals who are not yet vaccinated, or when physical distancing is not possible. Our schools will also be prepared to address the nuances of indoor mask-use, including (but not limited to) athletics, band, chorus, eating/drinking, field trips, medical requirements, etc. You can click the infographic for a deeper look at specific circumstances. 

Aside from mask-use, plans for the new school year include continued implementation of our health-risk mitigation strategies such as:

  • Well-maintained indoor air systems. 
  • Maintaining 3-foot distancing where possible.
  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch areas.
  • Clear plastic desk guards (for use by request.)
  • A continued focus on handwashing.

Individual schools will share school-specific health and safety plans with their communities prior to the start of the new year. As always, we are prepared to be flexible as health conditions change.

If you’re eligible to be vaccinated, please get vaccinated. Information from the Virginia Department of Health is a great place to start! 

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to ensure our 2021-22 school year is safe and healthy for everyone. We look forward to welcoming our students on the first day of school, which is Wednesday, Sept. 8. (Tuesday, Sept. 7, is a student holiday in observance of Rosh Hashanah.)


Henrico County Public Schools

For answers to frequently asked questions about mask-use and other topics, please visit our “Back to School” page.