FCPS School Board Moves Forward With Reopening Schools on Jan. 19


The FCPS School Board voted 4-1 to reopen schools under the in-person hybrid model starting Jan. 19 as planned in the Dec. 30 meeting today. Sixty-six percent of students will return under the hybrid model this spring, which is an increase from the fall semester.
The board stated that staff vaccinations will be administered next week to school staff in Reva, Culpeper County, and this location will be serving five counties. As of today, 80 percent of employees stated in a survey that they plan on taking the vaccine, and part of the remaining 20 percent stated that their decision will depend on whether the vaccine administered is from Moderna or Pfizer. Superintendent David Jeck called this action “a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The board also addressed staff vacancies, and Board Chairman Duke Bland stated that he was concerned that this would become a future issue that will lead to moving back to virtual instruction as it did before winter break. Jeck said that some of the apparent vacancies announced at the previous meeting have been filled, including three nurse vacancies as well as transportation vacancies.
After the decision was voted on, teachers, parents and students took to the podium with emotional speeches on reopening schools. All community speakers expressed their wishes for in-person instruction.
Of these included a Liberty High School special education student who is moving to Richmond to receive five days a week in-person instruction because of her struggles with the current model. Parents and students shared more on their struggles with virtual learning and touched on the negative impact it had on mental health, with a few parents calling that the board take action on a five-days-a-week model for school.