Face coverings on bus rides, in the classroom part of Bristol, Va. Schools preliminary reopening plan

Keeping Schools Safe

BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL)- Bristol, Virginia Public Schools officials have released a preliminary plan for reopening schools this fall.

The plan covers everything from face coverings in the classroom to cleaning requirements and nursing staff at the schools.

Officials stressed on Thursday that this is a preliminary plan that is subject to change.

Below are just some of the highlights from the 52 page document.


  • BVPS will employ the use of face coverings and PPE as mitigating strategies
  • Consistent with CDC and health department recommendations, it is advised that all students (ten years old and above) and staff wear face coverings at all times.
    • However, we understand there are health conditions and other factors that may inhibit individuals from wearing face coverings. In these instances, parents will have the opportunity to complete an “opt out” form to indicate that their student (above the age of ten) will not be wearing a mask.
  • BVPS will be providing at least one face covering for all employees and students.
  • It is recommended that face coverings are worn for the duration of all bus rides. However, face coverings will be required on the bus when there are more than 11 students on the bus. Students will be directed by bus drivers and/or bus aides to put on face coverings when the 12th student enters the bus. [For students with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering on the bus, an individual plan will be developed to address those needs].


  • BVPS will have a full-time nurse at each school.  
  • BVPS is planning to hire a substitute licensed nurse.  The substitute nurse will serve as a traveling nurse to all schools, to assist as needed.  
  • BVPS will establish, if possible, an isolation room at each school.  Students/staff who become ill with COVID-19 symptoms will be taken to this area as soon as possible, so that the regular nursing office can be used for non-COVID-19 related health services.


  • Students will be permitted to bring backpacks to school. It is with the understanding that students may need to carry school supplies between school and home that this necessary provision will be made for our students.


  • Bristol Virginia Public Schools will provide a device for each student and Internet access for every student who needs it.
  • Dell laptops will be provided to students in grades 2-12. Ipads will be provided to students in grades PK-1
  • T-Mobile or Verizon hotspots will be provided to families needing internet access.
  • If cellular service is not sufficient, BVPS will contract with Point Broadband to provide wired internet to the home.


  • Students will not utilize lockers at the middle and high schools.
  • Water fountains will be turned off and each student will be asked to bring a personal water bottle.
  • A washable water bottle will be made available to all middle and high school students.
  • School start times and class schedules will be adjusted to maximize spacing as well.
  • Additional custodial staff will be added to accomplish the new cleaning and sanitization protocols.

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