Breaking News
More () »

Many private, religious schools still planning for some in-person teaching

Some schools won't decide if they'll opt for virtual, hybrid, or in-person learning until days before the fall semester starts.

BETHESDA, Md. — Many private schools in the DMV say they are still holding out hope for in-person instruction in the fall, as some schools say have seen an influx in parents wanting their kids to return to the classrooms. 

But not everyone can afford private school tuition, which advocates say could exacerbate inequalities in education.

Josephine Thoma is one of those spunky kids who just loves playing around with her friends at school. 

"She's a firecracker," her mother, Emma Kurnat, said. 

The Bethesda mom is eager to have Josephine back at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in the fall, as long as it's safe. 

"She wants to run and scream. Staying at home has definitely been a challenge," Kurnat said. 

The Washington Archdiocese has asked schools to follow the guidance of local health officials. Josephine's parents are hoping separate, smaller pods of students will allow her school to reopen. 

"She's really missed her class and understanding, 'Why am I not going back to class?'" Kurnat said. 

RELATED: LIST: Back-to-school plans for districts across the DMV

Amy McNamer, executive director of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington said the majority of the group's members are planning on hybrid teaching, with some days in school and other days remote. 

"There are a few of our schools that can bring all of them back, but most are planning on rotating groups, following all the safety protocols," McNamer said. 

She said some schools are seeing a flood of new applications.

"We are also seeing, unfortunately, that some families can't afford tuition payments," McNamer said. 

At Landon School in Bethesda, they're considering putting up tents on their manicured lawns to give students and teachers more room in the classroom. 

Alyson Abramson has her two oldest boys at Landon. She figures her youngest will be fine learning remotely in public school, but she really hopes to get the other two back in the classroom. 

"For sports and health and wellness, their needs will best be met when they're physically in school," she said.

Landon plans on letting parents know for sure by Aug. 21, just days before classes start.

RELATED: Georgetown University: First-year students not allowed on campus, online classes only this fall

Download the brand-new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news


Before You Leave, Check This Out