FCPS teachers only given 48 hours to make a decision on return to school

Virginia

The email was sent by the assistant superintendent, giving FCPS teachers 48 hours to decide to return to school, take an unpaid leave, or resign.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — On Wednesday night around 6 p.m., 663 Fairfax County Public School teachers received an email from FCPS informing them about the plan to phase small cohorts of students into in-person classes this month.

The email sent gave teachers 48 hours to decide if they would proceed with instructing in-person classes, take a unpaid leave of absence, or resign.

Fairfax County Federation of Teachers Union (FCFT) said they are “deeply concerned” FCPS only gave teachers a 48 hours to make their decision.

“This isn’t a decision that can be made lightly since the district has not been transparent in its safety mechanisms, and the plans they have shown fall short of what we need,” said Tina Williams, President of Fairfax County Federation of Teachers in a statement.

FCFT is urging FCPS to delay reopening until there is a clear plan to ensure everyone is safe.

An immunocompromised teacher told WDVM she was able to receive an ADA accommodation to teach virtually, but says this hasn’t been the case for all employees who submitted requests. She also said she believes if teachers decide to take the unpaid leave of absence, they cannot tutor, host learning pods, or accept another teaching position elsewhere.

A source told WDVM they are hearing the Fairfax County School Board was also surprised by the email.

Teachers have until 4:30 p.m. on Friday to submit how they would like to proceed.

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