Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent talks plans for response to new virus

Fairfax County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the D.C. area, will close next Monday to allow teachers to prepare for teaching remotely over the possibility of a local outbreak of the new coronavirus.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand said the decision is part of an effort to be proactive and ensure students are still able to learn. No one with the Fairfax County Public Schools has tested positive for coronavirus.

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The Virginia school district already has an online “campus” geared toward high school students — who are given laptops as a part of the school system’s FCPSOn program.

“We would be working on Monday to work on plans to provide access to our elementary and middle school students that don’t have access to technology at home,” Brabrand said.

That includes ramping up distance learning and online instruction capabilities.

Brabrand said the district will continue to follow the guidance of local health officials in regards to school closures. He also acknowledged questions from the community and parents about how the school district is preparing, and sees the one-day closure as a way to bolster confidence.

“We want learning to continue even if we face a short term closure of one of our schools or several of our schools.”

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