Fairfax County Public Schools began to expand its in-person learning on Tuesday to four days a week for students who are struggling the most, Superintendent Scott Brabrand said.
Many parents who want their children back in school don’t know if it’ll happen yet, as only some will be contacted to return.
“Our most vulnerable students — students of color, our second language students, our economically disadvantaged students — continue to do worse in a virtual setting than in person,” Brabrand said.
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Many families are awaiting a call from the district to see if their child will move up to four days a week.
“We’re at the mercy of the school district once again,” said Mike Chamberlain, whose daughter is currently in school two days a week.
She is one of many who could be attending class in person for four days a week come April 20, but they haven’t heard yet from the district.
Due to social distancing, the district doesn’t know how many middle and high school students it can bring back.
The new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline says 3 feet of distance is acceptable in middle and high schools, but only if the community’s COVID-19 transmission level is not high. In Fairfax County, the transmission is high enough where students are still recommended to keep a 6-foot distance.
“We're hoping it's going to come down but we're able to expand even at 6 feet and we hope to expand even more when that community transmission level comes down.”
COVID-19 Vaccination in Your State and County
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports daily numbers on the percent of people fully vaccinated based on a person's county of residence.
Source: The The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Note: The CDC's numbers differ from DC Health's totals because a significant number of administered doses have gone to non-residents. The CDC did not release any information for Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico and some counties.
A lot of in-person learning is hinging on better health metrics. The Fairfax County Health Department will update its community transmission levels on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, families continue to wait for the district to contact them directly.
"We just kind of wait on pins and needles and see what they decide for us,” Chamberlain said.