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National review

Fairfax County Schools reopen with “classroom monitors” as thousands of teachers stay at home

Fairfax County schools will reopen classrooms for face-to-face learning this month, but thousands of teachers plan to continue working from home. Fairfax County Public Schools plans to have students and teachers return to classrooms on February 16. However, 2,300 of the district’s 15,000 teachers who teach many teachers will practically continue teaching their classes even if their students are physically present in the classroom. For this reason, there will be class monitors with children in the classroom during lessons. So far, 645 class monitors have been retired and the school district needs 205 more, Fox 5 DC reported. The teachers, who will be staying at home, received approval for their American Disabilities Act filings that fall before the coronavirus vaccine was distributed to Fairfax County’s teachers. School unions across the country have refused to return to face-to-face tuition, arguing that it is still unsafe for them to return to work due to the pandemic. However, some data suggest that fears of contracting the virus in a school have been overcome. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found the notable finding that among the 90,000 students and staff who returned to face-to-face teaching in the study, there were no cases of child-to-adult transmission within schools. Among the 11 North Carolina school districts that participated in the study for nine weeks, there were 773 community-acquired coronavirus cases and an additional 32 infections were acquired in schools. Fairfax County’s public school system, enrolling 186,000 students, will give priority in personal learning to vulnerable students, including people with disabilities and people learning English. The reopening plan, which allows every student to attend school in person for two days a week through March 16, was unanimously approved by the County School Board. “We recognize that no situation is risk-free, but the risk is greater if students don’t return at this point,” said Scott Brabrand, Superintendent of Fairfax Schools. “Our president asked for it and we need to get together now.”

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