FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — During a school board work session Tuesday night, Fairfax County Public School’s superintendent, Dr. Scott Brabrand, announced students will be returning to five-day in-person instruction in the fall.
Dr. Brabrand confirmed that mitigation strategies in schools are working and that COVID transmission is minimal. Additionally, many teachers have already received their vaccines, putting FCPS in a place to welcome students back full-time—but students still won’t return full time until the fall.
“I want all of you to know in this community, that Fairfax County Public Schools are safe… I’m happy to share with you that Fairfax County Public Schools will be returning to five days of in-person learning this fall,” said Brabrand during the meeting.
This announcement is optimistic for many as thousands of FCPS students have struggled with virtual learning from the start. Director of research and strategic improvement, Lidi Hruda, presented a graph detailing increased stress levels among students.
Hruda said she knows the circumstance of the school year has contributed to elevated stress levels and held focus groups to hear from students.
In the meantime, FCPS said it is continuing to focus on the well-being of students and addressing student work-load issues
“The work that we’re doing for the remainder of the year is really prioritizing our caring culture and student success and there’s three key areas of focus in that work: social/emotional wellness, attendance and engagement and academics,” said Sloan Presidio, Chief Academic Officer.
FCPS is asking families, if students are currently registered for in-person classes, to attend school on a regular basis. If students aren’t attending on a regular basis by March 26, they may be returned to virtual learning.
The school will be using the Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) process to identify what students need to be in-person most and will be inviting them in after spring break when space is available.