HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Some Hanover County students are returning to school today with a few changes when compared to last year. Over the summer, new and pre-pandemic policies were established to go into effect in the new school year.

Last week, the Hanover County School Board voted 5-2 to implement a new bathroom policy for transgender students. The policy states transgender students and their parents will have to submit a written request along with a note from their physician, student disciplinary forms, and criminal records in order to request permission to use the restroom, locker room, or changing room that aligns with their gender identity.

Hanover County Public Schools has also made a policy change dealing with student school lunches. For the past two years, all students received free lunches under the covid-era Universal Free Lunch Service, regardless of their parents’ income. Now, students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch will be charged for their meals.

The new policy went into effect after the Universal Free Lunch Service was not renewed on July 1. Although the program was not renewed, Virginia did expand eligibility for free and reduced lunches in schools earlier this year, giving an estimated 64,500 additional children access to the opportunity.

To find out more information about quick facts regarding the new school year, click here.