‘Fairfax County’ is letting us down,’ Virginia parent says of postponement of in-person learning
Christy Hudson, a Fairfax County, Va. parent, stresses that ‘when you’re a kid, school is your life.’
A Virginia father on Wednesday gave a scathing speech before the Fairfax County Public School Board, urging the board to reopen schools five days a week after nearly a year of closures due to COVID-19.
FCPS announced last week that it would reopen PreK-12 schools four days a week throughout April and would open five days a week next fall, but Rory Cooper, managing director of Purple Strats and father of three, says that because of the school district’s cafeteria rules, his kids are only back to in-person learning two days a week.
“My kindergartener first saw the inside of a school in March,” Cooper said in his speech posted to Twitter and YouTube, noting that his son’s Little League team has been practicing since last fall. “His first directive? That the playground was off-limits. I assume the board still sprays its mail with Lysol.”
He added that his kids will “always have to struggle to keep up” with their cousins “and millions of families who have been safely in school since September.”
Cooper concluded his speech by saying he decided to move from Price George’s County, Maryland, to Fairfax County so his children, who are in kindergarten, second grade and fifth grade, could get a better education.
THESE COLLEGES REQUIRE STUDENTS TO GET VACCINATED IF THEY WANT TO LIVE ON CAMPUS
The three children were online learning until March but are now back in school two days a week despite the county’s announcement to return four days a week.
Superintendent Scott Brabrand’s order to reopen schools four days a week left the ultimate decision up to individual schools, and because the district’s cafeteria rules require 6 feet of social distancing, some schools are only allowing children to return to in-person learning two days per week, Cooper explained.
“They lied,” he said of the school board’s promise to reopen four days a week.
VA MOM SLAMS TEACHERS UNION FOR STILL BALKING AT KIDS FULLY RETURNING TO SCHOOL: ‘WHAT IS THE END GAME?’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in mid-March updated its K-12 school distancing guidelines to say schools can safely reopen while enforcing just 3 feet of social distancing between students with mandatory mask usage.
The father of three hears from “parents across the political spectrum every day” who are “absolutely infuriated with the incompetence” of the school board, he said.
More than 40% of school districts across the U.S. have reopened full-time as of March 29 while 51%, including FCPS, have adopted hybrid-learning models, the American Enterprise Institute’s Return to Learn Tracker shows.
The CDC said in January that there is “little evidence” schools “have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.” In February, the agency said the adverse effects of virtual learning outweigh the threat of transmitting the virus during in-school learning.
CDC UPDATES SCHOOL DISTANCING GUIDELINES TO 3 FEET AMID MOUNTING PRESSURE
“There is more spread that is happening in the community when schools are not open than when schools are open,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters at the time.
The CDC’s school reopening guidelines also do not require teacher vaccinations in order for schools to reopen, though educators in most states are already eligible to receive the vaccine if they sign up for it. Virginia moved to its second vaccination phase, which included teachers, in January.
IS EDUCATION SECRETARY CARDONA FIGHTING HARD ENOUGH TO REOPEN SCHOOLS?
The Department of Education has also released two volumes of a “COVID-19 handbook,” the second volume of which addresses the “social, emotional, mental-health, and academic impacts of the pandemic on students.”
“There is simply no substitute for in-person learning,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a Friday statement. “But as schools reopen their doors, we must also make sure that we are meeting students’ social, emotional, physical, mental-health, and academic needs, and addressing gaps that existed before—and were exacerbated by—the pandemic.”
The FCPS Office of Research and Strategic Improvement issued a study in November suggesting middle and high school students were seeing less academic success as a result of online learning.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Fairfax County COVID-19 cases have been declining since January as more people receive the vaccine; more than 15% of the country’s population has been inoculated, according to the CDC.
The Fairfax County Health Department reported 167 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. The county has recorded 16 deaths in the past two weeks and about 15 cases per 100,000 people, according to The New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.
Source: Read Full Article