- The Washington Times - Monday, October 26, 2020

Virginia’s largest school district will allow more students in elementary schools and in certain programs to return in person next month.

“We can see that COVID-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and it is time to move forward with in-person instruction,” Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand said Friday in a video.

Mr. Braband announced on the school district’s website that students in early Head Start, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and special education and those with intensive support needs can return to classrooms Nov. 9. First and second graders, as well as students in specialized career centers, can begin learning in person on Nov. 16.

Students will be given the option to remain learning virtually or participate in “concurrent instruction,” in which they will have two days of in-person classes and two days of online classes. Those who choose the concurrent model will “‘log into’ class on at-home days,” according to the website.

Children in select specialized career prep and special education classes already started going back in person between one to four days at the beginning of October.

Under Mr. Braband’s plan, older elementary school students are slated to return Jan. 4, and middle and high school students will remain virtual until Jan 26.

The Fairfax County School Board was at loggerheads in a 6-6 vote on his proposal earlier this month, and the superintendent is scheduled on Nov. 12 to present a plan to potentially bring those students back earlier.

A petition circulating online by the Fairfax Education Association to extend online instruction through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year has received 1,479 of the 1,600 signatures sought as of Monday morning.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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