Fairfax County Public Schools extends deadline for teachers to decide on returning to the classroom

In northern Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools is extending its deadline for teachers to decide on returning to the classroom or retire, resign or take leave.

The school district sent out an email Wednesday night initially saying teachers had until Friday to make a decision about returning to the classroom — that’s changed.

READ MORE: Fairfax County school board votes to bring thousands of students, hundreds of staff back to school in October

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis obtained the email FCPS sent.

Selected staff are being asked to return to teaching in person as early as Monday, October 5. Plus, they must notify FCPS of their decision, initially by 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

Early Thursday evening, FCPS extended the deadline to Tuesday.

“There’s also no metrics that are telling us how they’re going to return us back to work safely and what’s going to happen once we’re in work,” said an FCPS teacher who requested anonymity.

If you look at the email — staff are apparently given the option to either return for in-person instruction or submit an ADA request, take an unpaid leave of absence or resign or retire.

Fairfax County Public Schools administration says it realizes that many students have difficulty with learning in a virtual environment. 

The school district goes on to say the superintendent presented detailed plans regarding phased -in reopening of schools for the divisions most vulnerable students to the school board and the public at a September 22 Board Meeting. 

The teachers' unions say members were given too short notice to make such an important decision.

Even so, FCPS says so far it has received more than two thousand requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an 8000 percent increase.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

“We certainly think the district should slow down this return,” said Fairfax Education Association President Kimberly Adams.

In Wednesday night’s notice, FCPS says it is arranging with principals to provide childcare assistance for teachers with children grades K-8 who are called on to return to the classroom.

The first tentative return to work date is Monday, October 5th.

FCPS says it regrets anxiety felt by staff members, calling this a tremendously difficult period.  Ultimately saying, they realize the hardships and sacrifices made by staff and sincerely empathize with them.