FCPS return to school update, in-person instruction held off for at least another month

Virginia

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County Public Schools held a work session Tuesday afternoon to bring an update on the return to in-person instruction. During the meeting, FCPS Superintendent, Dr. Brabrand, gave a presentation outlining upcoming return to school dates that look similar to dates outlined at the last meeting in December.

Dr. Brabrand presented this new plan to the board, with students set to return begins as early as next week. The new plan starts with groups one through four returning to in-person instruction on January 12, followed by the remainder of groups returning by February 9.

The timeline Dr. Brabrand presented is as follows:

  • Groups 1-4 (Select CTW and Special Education) will return on January 12.
  • Group 5 (Pre-K-Kindergarten and Special Education) will return on January 19.
  • Group 6 (Grades 1-2) will return on January 26.
  • Group 7 (Grades 3-4) will return on February 2.
  • Group 7 repeated (Grades 5-6) will return on February 9.
  • Group 8 (Grade 7, 9, and 12) will return on January 26.
  • Group 9 (Grade 8, 10, and 11) will return on February 9.

After Dr. Brabrand presented the new timeline, some board members expressed apprehension about the return to school approaching so quickly for some students and decided to put it on pause for at least a month. Board members will meet again for another work session on February 2 where Dr. Brabrand will present a new timeline for the return to in-person instruction.

Prior to the meeting, many expressed concern about students returning to school. Tina Williams, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers Union said in a statement, “We are deeply concerned that FCPS is rushing to reopen schools while COVID-19 cases are surging like never before. We all want nothing more than for students and staff to return to school for face-to-face instruction, but right now, it just is not safe.”

As of Tuesday, the COVID positivity rate in the county is 12.5,% with a reported 510.1 cases per 100,000 people. Under the teachers union’s 11 pillars of a safe reopening, a “safe reopening” includes a positivity rate under 5%.

For the latest updates from FCPS regarding return to school plans, click here.

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