Following last week’s decision to delay the date for the return of some students to classrooms in the new year, the head of Fairfax County, Virginia schools told viewers at a virtual town hall Monday that the school system’s goal remains the same.
“We will return to school in person this coming school year,” Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said.
Brabrand made the initial announcement about holding off on a Jan. 12 in-person state date during a school board work session last week, but said there will be more information on a new timeline during the next session on Feb. 2.
The greatest concerns about reopening revolve around the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and the need for teachers and school employees to get vaccinated.
All of Northern Virginia just received the green light from the Commonwealth’s Health Department to begin Phase 1b of the vaccination effort, which began Monday.
Teachers and school workers are considered essential workers who qualify for Phase, 1b but there’s no clear-cut schedule to administer doses.
During his opening statement, Brabrand said the school system is on track to start vaccinating staff members “as early as Saturday” and will provide specific information to teachers and school employees Wednesday.
However, the vaccinations are not required.
Brabrand pointed out that there are “many people, some from personal and historical experiences, who have concerns about the vaccinations.”
“We’re going to do all we can to provide more information about the vaccinations and to have additional chances to interact with the community with a panel of experts who can help navigate how that vaccination decision is made,” Brabrand said.
As far as the continued process of determining reopening, Brabrand assured viewers that they “continue to engage with our community on these issues”
“All of our families and staff are part of the solution,” Brabrand said.
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