FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — Hundreds of thousands of parents, students and teachers are going to finish their studies at home after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced schools will stay closed for the remainder of the year.
With school buildings around the DMV now closed, educators are forced to find new ways to continue the school year as they pivot into a distance learning model.
Fairfax County Superintendent Scott Brabrand said parents can expect to receive an outline by the end of the week with instructions of what the new school schedule looks like. They plan to spend the next couple days pouring through recommendations released by the Virginia Department of Education.
"We are all in this together. We are all partners in our children's education. Fairfax County Public Schools will remain with them during this challenging time," Brabrand said.
Teachers are reconnecting with students and their families at home. High school students plan to start on a mostly distant learning plan, Brabrand said. Middle and elementary school students will use a combination of online and packets of instruction that they can do at home.
Brabrand said school leaders plan to distribute technology as best they can to families who need access to the internet at home.
"Make no mistake; we know that distance learning is no replacement for day-to-day instruction in Fairfax County, but we are going to do the best we can under the circumstances we have," Brabrand said.
Northam made the announcement on school closures on Monday.
"I know these changes will raise many questions and create new challenges, but I am also confident in our ability to be resilient and navigate these waters together," Northam said on Twitter.
Brabrand sent out the following letter to parents following the announcement, calling this an "unprecedented challenge."
"We know it is a moment of frustration, and a gut punch for many of our kids, but we will help them persevere," Brabrand said.
Brabrand said it is important to be patient and try to keep your family routine as normal as possible during this season.
There are online materials available through the FCPS website here.