Survey of teachers in Fairfax County find 70% want to continue distance learning in the fall

Parents in Fairfax County are weighing in after several teacher's unions say they want to continue distance learning.

Union leaders say most teachers do not feel safe returning to the classroom.

This is despite the school district offering up two options, one which includes in-person instruction with strict social distancing in classrooms and on buses. The other option would continue full-time distance learning.

RELATED: Fairfax County Public Schools outlines reopening plan that includes virtual, on-campus options

FOX 5 has learned up to 70 percent of teachers in the county want to continue distance learning and the union insists it would look different than what’s taking place right now. Also, initial surveys say 42 percent of students want to continue virtual instruction.

The district is one of several in the region that have announced reopening plans that include an in-person instruction option.

In Fairfax County, families have a choice and must pick an option by July 10.

Meanwhile, in Loudoun County, the tentative reopening plan includes two days a  week of in-school instruction and the other three days at home. 

Kimberly Adams leads the Fairfax Education Association, which represents more than four thousand FCPS employees. It’s one of three unions asking Fairfax County Public Schools to continue distance learning.

"As a plan going forward is for more instruction to be delivered online, for more hours of instruction available to our students, for more flexibility... outside the general class hours," said Adams.

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In response, FCPS says: “Teachers and families are being provided with a choice, which is what FCPS heard from our surveys. Health and safety of all staff and students are our primary concerns. We will continue to stay engaged with our teachers and all staff moving forward.”

Adams says as long as community transmission exists, a vaccine or new medication for the coronavirus is what’s needed for teachers to return to the classroom —  both recommendations do not appear to be in the immediate future.