Fairfax, Loudoun Families Must Choose Fall School Plan on Wednesday

The deadline for choosing online or hybrid schooling has arrived for thousands of families in Northern Virginia

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Parents in two Northern Virginia school districts face a deadline on Wednesday to make a big decision: How they want to continue schooling in the fall as coronavirus continues to spread.

Loudoun and Fairfax county school systems both say they must hear from parents Wednesday about whether they want in-person or all-online options for the fall.

Thousands of Fairfax County families must submit their decisions by the end of the day on July 15.

One option is to opt for entirely online instruction.

For families who choose to send their children back to Fairfax County schools in the fall, News4’s Juliana Valencia got a preview of what they’ll see. Thoreau Middle School had desks spaced far from each other, social distance markers on floors and Plexiglas dividers.

The other option is to have students go to school two days a week and go online two days a week.

For example, Lake Braddock Secondary School will have students with last names beginning with A-K to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other students would attend Wednesday and Friday.

If parents or students don't make a selection, they are set to be placed in the hybrid option.

Many students say they want to return to school. As of Tuesday night, 67% of students had submitted decisions. More than 55% opted for in-person school and 45% chose online-only.

Yet only 41% of staff chose the hybrid model and 59% chose online only.

Fairfax County schools are set to start on Sept. 8.

Loudoun County School's deadline was set for 8 a.m. There are two options: a hybrid model with two days of in-person learning and three days of virtual learning, or totally online learning.

The decision is binding until Jan. 15. Schools are scheduled to start on Sept. 8.

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