FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Faced with rising coronavirus cases, the surging Delta variant and students forced into quarantine, two of the area’s largest school districts are updating their COVID policy.
The change was welcome news for even the most concerned parents in the pick-up line at Beech Tree Elementary Thursday. Fairfax County Public School leaders will like to offer quarantined students the ability to live stream into the classroom.
FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand presented the plan for a vote before the school board.
“Those percentages for quarantine and isolation are under 1% of our total student body, explained Dr. Brabrand, “But obviously, when you're asked to quarantine for 14 days, that's a big impact on your schooling.”
The Superintendent said the school system’s quarantine count remains low because more than 80% of 12 to 17-year olds are vaccinated. That’s why quarantined students without symptoms can return to school early with proof of vaccine and come November all student-athletes must be vaccinated.
“I believe firmly as an educator and as an American, that vaccine is the way out of this pandemic,” said Dr. Brabrand.
The decision comes after the entire Herndon High School football team was quarantined and angry parents said their children were sent home with no virtual options. Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand will present the new plan before the school board.
When WUSA9 asked the Superintendent if he could have anticipated the virus spread and quarantines and implemented these changes sooner, he replied, “I think that's the question being asked by every school district in the country, could we have done more, I guess we can always do more. But we've been working frankly, around the clock since the pandemic began to adjust and try to be as nimble as we can.”
According to FCSP, 181 students and staff are quarantined as of September 9.
In Montgomery County Public Schools, more than 1,000 students and staff are in quarantine. That’s why MCPS is now offering more COVID screening for students including rapid tests for anyone with symptoms.