Fairfax Co. schools closed Friday after ‘genuine concern from parents’

Hours after announcing that Fairfax County Public Schools would remain open Friday, superintendent Scott Brabrand announced Virginia’s largest school system is closed.

“We continue to hear genuine concern from parents about keeping our schools open while the coronavirus response escalates around the country,” Brabrand said in late-night statement Thursday.

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At a news conference earlier Thursday, Brabrand said that since there were no cases related to the school system, he was advocating a “tiered response” that could change quickly if there was a confirmed case.

Earlier on Thursday, Loudoun County became the first local school district to close for more than a week to deal with the coronavirus situation.

Braband’s initial decision drew criticism on social media.

On Twitter, #closefcps was Trending late Thursday.

Noting that schools are also closing in Maryland, Brabrand updated his position: “In an abundance of caution, I believe it is prudent for FCPS to cancel school [Friday] to help ease parent, staff, and student anxiety.”

Classes will also be canceled Monday for a previously-planned staff development day to prepare for the possibility of distance learning during the virus outbreak.

Friday’s extracurricular activities, sports events, practices, field trips and other school-related events are canceled, and school age child care centers are closed.

FCPS will be providing emergency grab and go lunches for students Friday and Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at specific sites: Bailey’s Elementary School, Hutchinson Elementary School, Hybla Valley Elementary School, London Towne Elementary School and the Burke Center.

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