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Fairfax County students to return to classroom

February 2, 2021 GMT

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — The school board in Virginia’s largest county has approved a return-to-school plan that phases in limited in-person learning in all grades over the next six weeks.

Fairfax County Public Schools, the nation’s 10th biggest school district, has been almost exclusively virtual since March. At a worksession Tuesday, the school board voted unanimously to endorse a plan that returns kindergartners to in-person learning on Feb. 23 and all grades by March 16. Some special student populations can return before Feb. 23.

Parents can still opt to have their kids taught virtually. Those who choose in-person learning will receive a mix of in-person and virtual learning the rest of the school year.

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The vote in favor of a return to in-person learning comes despite opposition from some teacher unions. Previous efforts to return kids to the classroom exposed deep divisions among school board members.

The Centers for Disease Control has advised school districts that students can return to class safely if proper mitigation measures are in place.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand cited President Joe Biden’s calls for schools to reopen in urging the board to support the return-to-school timeline.

“Our president has asked for this and we must come together for now,” Brabrand said.