HENDERSONVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina)- Henderson County Public Schools confirmed that masks will be optional for all students and staff, according to a release from the district. 

The district says that the new rule will go into effect on August 23. 

The decision to make masks optional was made during a specially called meeting that took place on Monday morning, according to the district. 

According to HCPS, masks will still be required to be worn on buses, vans and other forms of group school transportation, following an order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The district confirmed that the board approved a recommendation to provide virtual learning options based on students' grade level. 

According to the school district, students that choose a virtual learning option will attend school entirely online, as virtual learning will not be designed to serve a hybrid student population. 

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade will have the option to enroll in the Engage Remote Learning Option, HCPS says.

Ninth through 12th grade students that have demonstrated previous success in remote learning will be be able to access courses offered through the North Carolina Virtual Public School, Edmentum, or the Henderson County Virtural Public School. 

Those wanting to enroll in the virtual programs must do so by August 9 at 5:00 p.m., according to the district. 

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