ROCKVILLE, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Montgomery County Public Schools will go back to in-person learning on March 1.
The Board of Education voted unanimously to begin the phased return to the classroom, however, students have the choice of staying virtual.
On March 1, children with special needs and students in certain tech programs, like automotive and cosmetics will go back on a hybrid model.
On March 15, Pre-K through 3rd grade will go back to hybrid. However, some schools will be on an a/b rotation. That means Group A returns in person one week and Group B attends virtually, alternating each week.
Starting April 6, the remaining grades, beginning with seniors will phase back to in-person learning.
But there is some concern among teachers. The majority of Montgomery County teachers are not vaccinated.
Only 4,600 vaccines were made available for the teachers through Johns Hopkins and that supply was depleted last week.
Teachers were told by the district that they likely won’t be vaccinated for at least another five weeks. Montgomery County is behind other counties when it comes to vaccinating teachers, especially in Virginia.
Loudoun County, while a much smaller county, has already vaccinated 10,500 school teachers and staff. That’s out of 11,243 people employed by Loudoun County Public Schools.
Fairfax County says 90 percent of its teachers have registered for vaccination appointments and while the county does not have an exact number of vaccinated teachers it estimates several thousand have already received the vaccine. However, teachers aren’t prioritized to receive the vaccine in Montgomery County until tier 2 of priority group 1B.
FOX 5 spoke to Montgomery County teachers who say they wish the county better planned the vaccination of its teachers.
"I do wish that the county would prioritize vaccines. So for example, I’m in Phase 1b [return to school phase], and I haven’t been vaccinated. Where-as, I know teachers that aren’t coming back until late April, they have already been vaccinated. So I just wish the county aligned those with who’s coming back with the vaccine for the future," Erin Connors, a 6th-grade science teacher said.
Montgomery County Public Schools says the reopening plan has always been based on health metrics, not vaccination numbers.