Fairfax County Public Schools outlines possible scenarios for school in the fall

Fairfax County Schools has presented its board with several scenarios for reopening in the fall, including a possible mixture of in-person socially distant learning and virtual lessons.

The scenarios were outlined in a presentation to the school board last week, but the board won't discuss or decide on them until at least June.

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One scenario envisions a socially-distant return to classrooms which would be limited to 12 students and have desks six feet apart. It would likely require students alternating days between in-person and distance learning or a prioritization of students with special needs for physical instruction.

Another scenario has students restarting school in the fall virtually and a third envisions some students and staff unable to return to the school buildings at all for personal reasons likely tied to underlying health conditions.


Tina Williams, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, said she finds it hard to envision in-person learning in the fall without a widespread vaccine.

Williams said the district must prioritize student and staff safety, mental health, and equitable access to technology as it moves forward with a plan for students to continue learning next school year.

"We can not start school until we know it is safe for our students as well as our staff," said Williams.


She also doubts that students would be able to maintain social distancing in a fashion that would be safe enough for a physical return.

"Our adults are not practicing social distancing, good social distancing so being realistic and reasonable with our children so to expect them to come in and automatically fall in place with social distancing I think is a lot to expect," said Williams.

The plans presented to the board do not include any mention of masks. It would be unclear if they would be recommended or required.