ARLINGTON, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Parents in Arlington are fed up – and say they want their kids back in school.
"Through the virtual learning process, they’re really learning virtually nothing," parent Anjali Jolly said.
"They have just been really struggling," added Lisa Bush, who along with her husband Reade, has two children with special needs. They’ve now pulled their daughter out of Arlington County Public Schools altogether and said their son has fared even worse.
"There are lots of kids that are really struggling," Reade explained. "It’s time, the teachers are getting vaccinated now, it is time for the kids to go back. They desperately need to be back in school."
Jolly, who has two daughters, agreed.
"The reason why we chose to move to Arlington is because it’s a well-resourced, small, progressive school system that should have figured out a way to open up," she said.
But according to the district, it’s not so simple. Both at a school board meeting Thursday night and in a statement sent to FOX 5, APS Superintendent Dr. Francisco Duran said in part, "my commitment to the health and safety of students and staff remains and I will not announce dates [to return to school] until we are ready and confident in mitigation and operational readiness for larger groups of our staff and students."
That sentiment has also been endorsed by many teachers, some of whom expressed their desire for virtual classes to continue during Thursday’s meeting.
Still, parents like Jolly and the Reade’s believe what’s happened so far just isn’t enough. They plan to support a rally taking place Saturday at 11 am at the Quincy Park Picnic Shelter in Arlington.
"They are just not thinking through the long-term impact on our community, our kids, our school system," Jolly said.
A limited number of Arlington students have already returned to in-person learning, including students with special needs. Also, staff members will begin to come back to the classroom next week as well.