Students in Falls Church, Virginia, are slated to begin returning to classrooms on Jan. 5, the school said in an update on Tuesday.
The school system paused all in-person instruction in late November due to rising coronavirus case counts in Northern Virginia.
The goal is now to have all of the city’s students back in classrooms by the end of January.
Falls Church has a preschool, two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.
The first wave of students back in the city’s school buildings will be those considered “special populations,” followed by those in 12th grade and kindergarten through fifth grade on Jan. 12.
The third wave will be students in sixth through 11th grades on Jan. 21.
The school system hedged a bit on the first wave, however, asking parents to hold their students out for a week if they had recently traveled or been a part of a large gathering.
The “special population” group includes those students who do not speak English as a first language and those who require special education.
The update, sent by Superintendent Peter Noonan, laid out the way his system has been monitoring three criteria for a successful return to school:
- health data
- ability to maintain operations
- academics and instruction
In his message to families, he said operations is currently the highest hurdle in Falls Church City Public Schools because a number of maintenance and janitorial workers have been unable to work due to positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent quarantines.
Noonan asked the parents of all of his students to work to “maintain a communitywide bubble,” as students get back to classrooms, and reminded parents to not send students to school if they have virus symptoms or exposure to someone who is being tested or already tested positive.
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