- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2020

The school board in charge of Virginia’s largest district is at odds over whether to support a plan to maintain online instruction for most students until February.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand on Thursday presented his proposal to bring students back to school in phases, which led to a 6-6 nonbinding vote by the board just after midnight on Friday.

The district is the 10th-largest in the nation, with 188,000 students and 198 schools and centers.

FCPS students enrolled in specialized career prep and special education began going back to in-person classes between one to four days last week.

Under Mr. Brabrand’s plan, students in second grade and lower would begin limited in-person instruction in mid-November. Older elementary school students would return in January, and middle and high schoolers would remain virtual until Feb. 1.

Mr. Braband cited challenges posed by numerous teachers’ apprehension to return in-person because of the coronavirus pandemic, noting that “the more kids we bring back, the more staff” we need.

Board member Megan McLaughlin said the board is “highly conflicted” over the proposal.

“He’s gonna need to understand that he’s gotta bring a more broad amount of information,” Ms. McLaughlin said. “He wanted consensus — he’s not getting it — it’s a deeply divided board at this point.”

The issue is expected to be discussed again Nov. 12.

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