Mask Requirement to begin 2021-2022 School Year

Dear ACS Families,


Based on guidance from the CDC, ADPH, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and most importantly from our local health professionals, I will recommend to the board that beginning Tuesday, August 10, Athens City Schools will require that masks be worn while inside school buildings by employees, students, and visitors over the age of two. Based on the CDC’s order, passengers and drivers must wear masks at all times on school buses.


As your superintendent, I am charged with making tough decisions. This is certainly one of them! I know there are strong opinions on both sides, but in the end, we are responsible to do everything within our power to ensure the safety and well-being of our students- your children. We are not medical professionals, so out of an abundance of caution, it is imperative that we follow the recommendations of the experts.


We will continue to monitor our local COVID data in hopes that conditions improve quickly and the mask requirement will become optional in the very near future. We have already seen how fast things can change, and we are prepared and ready to respond.


Our desire is for all students who have been in our traditional schools to return to in-person learning. Those who have a need for virtual learning can apply for Athens Renaissance School here. Please read the guidelines carefully as virtual learning is a semester commitment (unless you choose virtual learning for the year).


Remote learning will not be offered at our traditional schools. E-Learning will be utilized for students who need to isolate or quarantine. Here are some important things to note that are different from last year:

  • Asymptomatic vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine but should monitor for symptoms and isolate if symptoms develop. Asymptomatic close contacts who have tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 in the prior 3 months do not need to quarantine unless they develop symptoms.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who are at a minimum of 3’ distancing from positive cases and are wearing masks do not need to quarantine.
  • For information concerning mask safety, click here.


I am praying that we can get past this surge in COVID-19 cases quickly and have a “normal” school year. No matter what, we will do everything within our power to educate every child while nurturing their mental and physical health. We take this calling very seriously.



Beth Patton



CLICK HERE to view the virtual In-Person Instruction Plan as of August 10, 2021.