Two elementary school administrators have tested positive for COVID-19 in Fauquier County, Virginia, and teachers opposed to in-person classes hope the cases might convince the superintendent to change to virtual-only learning.
Fauquier County is the only Northern Virginia public school district with plans to resume in-person instruction, using a hybrid model.
"We look forward to getting kids back on the 24th and teachers back on August 10th," Fauquier County Public Schools Superintendent David Jeck recently said.
Now, just a week before teachers are due to report to school, educators are learning two administrators at C.M. Bradley Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19.
One of the administrators was hospitalized, the other is recovering at home.
"It was heartbreaking to hear that one of those employees was actually in the hospital, unfortunately," Fauquier County Education Association President Lauren Brill said.
The education association has been urging the school system to do a virtual-only plan in the fall.
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Brill says the fact that two administrators have fallen ill only underscores their argument that in-person instruction is not yet safe.
"It really does strengthen our resolve and it really proves where we are moving toward and, unfortunately, what we are going to see happen in Fauquier County schools if we open up schools," Brill said.
Brill says the FEA has learned those teachers with health concerns who will be permitted to teach virtually, will still have to come into the school buildings.
"We really want the board to make virtual actually virtual for staff that need to teach virtually because of those high-risk situations they are in," she said.
Teacher leaders are asking for an emergency school board meeting and are set to meet with Jeck, the school board chairman and vice chairman on Thursday to plea for virtual-only learning.