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Loudoun County parents push for an accelerated return-to-class plan

Parents and students addressed school board members in an intense meeting Tuesday night.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Families in Loudoun County want to see plans for hybrid in-person learning in the county fast tracked. But some teachers say they are not ready to head back. After another marathon school board meeting Tuesday night, the decision stands for a slow return to the classroom.

Parents and students gave the Loudoun County School Board an earful Tuesday night. The overwhelming majority of speakers asked for students to head back  to class full-time.

Meanwhile, the president of the Loudoun County Education Association asked the school board only to send students back when proper protocols are in place. 

Right now, Loudoun County is only planning for a slow, phased return to the classroom. Last month, the board approved part-time in-person learning for students in kindergarten through second grade starting October 27, with older grades returning later.

But several school board members expressed concerns that the plan just isn't fast enough.

"We're going to have to rip off this Band-Aid at some point," said Ian Serotkin. "It's not going to get any easier in January or March. Let's not continue to kick this can down the road."

The board pushed for a vote that moved all students back to the classroom with the hybrid plan by December 1. That vote ultimately failed Tuesday night.

That means on November 10 the board will decide whether third through fifth graders can return to the classroom in December. The earliest middle and high schoolers would head back is late January.

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