Effective Monday, Nov. 29 after Henderson County Public Schools’ return from Thanksgiving break, students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6 during instructional hours, through the end of December. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, face coverings will once again become optional in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6.
This is a policy change to the Henderson County Board of Public Education’s Nov. 8 decision, which made face coverings optional in all indoor settings across all grade levels. This policy change does not affect Grades 7-12, where face coverings remain optional as they have been since Nov. 15.
This timeline will allow families who wish to have their elementary and 6th grade children receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine the opportunity to do so before January 1, since children ages 5-11 have only recently become eligible to receive the vaccine.
Face coverings are still required while traveling on buses and all other group transportation settings, per CDC Order. Face coverings are also still required in HCPS Child Care settings, per the Division of Child Development and Early Education with the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services. In these situations, face coverings will be provided by bus drivers or Child Care Services staff if a student does not have one of their own.
Parents/guardians of students who may be eligible for an exception should download and print the Face Covering Requirement Exception Request form, provide the requested information, including documentation and the signature of a licensed healthcare provider, and then return the form to their child’s school principal for review and approval.
Exception requests will be considered on a case by case basis for any student who should not wear a face covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability.