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July 14, 2020

Board OKs “compromise” plan: 2 days in classrooms

Governments derive powers from the consent of the governed. I do not consent to only two days of in-school education that will cause my child’s mental health and education to suffer and stifle her ability to learn for the rest of her life.
— Brittany Stover
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Editor
Voting unanimously Monday night for a plan that will have most students in classrooms two days a week this fall, Fauquier school board members described themselves as “distressed” and “frustrated.”

Most parents — 52.4 percent, representing 3,436 students — who responded to the system’s most recent online survey wanted their children in the county’s public schools four days a week.

During “Citizen’s Time” before Monday’s vote, a dozen parents implored the board to adopt that option — or to fully reopen schools five days a week.

Chairman Duke Bland (Marshall District) had a couple of testy exchanges with parents in the Fauquier High auditorium who wanted the board to answer questions, some of which they shouted from the audience seating. The school board only receives comments during Citizen’s Time, said Mr. Bland, who at one point threatened to have the two sheriff’s deputies in the hall intervene.

The school system will answer questions about reopening on new website that will go live Wednesday, July 15, according to Superintendent David Jeck.

Administrators for months have worked on reopening scenarios for Fauquier’s 11,300-student school system as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The five-member board received a torrent of email and discussed options in work sessions June 29 and July 9.

Ultimately, the board decided it could not safely resume classes with all students and 1,200 staff members simultaneously in Fauquier’s 20 public schools.

The board adopted Dr. Jeck’s “AA/BB Blended Model” that:

• Will have half of students in classrooms Monday and Tuesday and the other half in classrooms Thursday and Friday, starting Monday, Aug. 24. Everyone will wear masks with social distancing enforced.

• Will use Wednesday for teacher planning, consultation with students and professional development.

• Will provide full-time “virtual” instruction for those who prefer that model.

• Will seek to have students in classrooms four days a week by Friday, Oct. 16.

> Document at bottom of story

Twenty-three people spoke during Citizen’s Time, with most supporting four- or five-day-a-week, in-person instruction.

Jessica Ashby, the mother of a Marshall Middle School eighth-grader, said the blended model will worsen “inequity” among students, because “25 percent of those surveyed don’t have” reliable internet or cellphone service at home.

“School is not only a place of learning but also a place of refuge,” Ms. Ashby said.

Brittany Stover of Cedar Run District also advocated a four-day, in-school model, calling it “the only plan that offers quality and consistency . . . .

“Governments derive powers from the consent of the governed. I do not consent to only two days of in-school education that will cause my child’s mental health and education to suffer and stifle her ability to learn for the rest of her life,” Ms. Stover said. “I do not consent putting students at risk for depression and suicide. I do not consent to forcing parents to choose between their child’s education and putting a roof over their heads or food on the table.”

She asked the board “to err on the side of liberty” and approve a plan that would offer parents the choice of four days in school for their children or total online instruction.

“I want nothing more than to return to normal . . . pep rallies, dances, watching kids grow and mature,” Liberty High Assistant Principal Christina Crocker told the board.

“I can assure you that opening schools at regular, full capacity is not possible, because we will not be able to follow social distancing guidelines,” said Ms. Crocker, who has worked almost 15 years in Fauquier schools.

She supported the blended model.

Before voting Monday night, school board members denied allegations that they had made up their minds in advance.

“What we have tonight is a compromise,” said Donna Grove (Cedar Run). “There’s no right answer for this, I’m sorry to say. Half the people are going to be mad, no matter what we do.

“But, we need to get the kids back in school,” Ms. Grove added. “And we can not — none of us believed that on Day One we could put all the kids back in school at one time.”

Reopening schools for the first time since mid-March will “be a learning curve for everybody,” she said, describing it as a crawl, walk, run progression.

“We’ve looked at this from every angle,” Susan Pauling (Center) said. “We have looked at every way we can meet the needs of our community, that we can meet the needs of our staff. We have looked under every stone.”

The board challenged Dr. Jeck and his staff to present every option, Ms. Pauling said.

“This is uncomfortable,” she added. “Almost every email I that I get people will say, ‘I’m glad it’s not me.’ And I agree. This is one of the most difficult things I have done in a leadership positon.”

Suzanne Sloane (Scott) acknowledged the challenges and stress that working parents will face with children at home three weekdays out of five.

“I understand the frustration that the five-day-a-week option was not there,” Ms. Sloane said. “I would love to vote for five days a week and start tomorrow.”

She hopes “the science” will support a return to that way of operating soon, she said.

About 80 people — including school staffers — attended Monday night’s meeting in the 1,200-seat FHS auditorium.

FCPS Path to Reopening 7-13-20 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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J Obrokta · July 23, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Hey, I think this discussion is pretty much dead, but I realized I have added to the confusion when I previously wrote about the Virtual Virginia option so I felt I should clarify that.

As Amy Acors and Major Warner clearly discuss in a more recent video embedded on Fauquiernow, if a student chooses the 100% virtual option they will be using the Virtual Virginia platform, but will be taught by one of our teachers. It looks like most of our teachers who will be doing the Virtual Virginia teaching are those who for health reasons have asked to work virtually rather than in the building.

Virtual Virginia does have a lot of resources that form a strong basis for online instruction. As an econ teacher, I am familiar with the 120 modules they built for teaching econ and personal finance. I actually use those modules to supplement my in-person econ classes, but I guess if one of our students were taking econ as a 100% virtual course those modules would become a key resource for them through the Virtual Virginia platform, with monitoring and additional support as needed from one of our own staff members.

Anyway, sorry to add to the confusion,
Jim OBrokta
Tony Bentley · July 18, 2020 at 10:29 am
Back to the two-room schoolhouses in rural areas.

"For parents who can afford it, a solution for the school year: Hire their own teacher

Such arrangements — like a “nanny share on steroids” — will probably drive more inequity in education. But the parents planning or considering them say it’s an extreme answer to an extreme situation."
Jerome Fields · July 17, 2020 at 6:34 pm
Donkey - So it WAS you!
DonkeyFarmer · July 17, 2020 at 4:45 pm
Jerome, you keep talking about my daughter and now you are following little girls around? You are a sick old pervert aren't you?
Jerome Fields · July 17, 2020 at 3:11 pm
Oh, I forgot Donkey. I was brought up not to be mean to people with mental health issues, so I'll stop commenting on your "problem" with reality. Condolences to your poor family! Much like Donald Trump, it's amazing that more people aren't institutionalized after listening to them go off the rails on a regular basis. Maybe someone in your family will write a book about you some day. Sincerest Regards, Jerry
Jerome Fields · July 17, 2020 at 3:06 pm
DonkeyFarmer - You aren't the father that was at the eye doctor near Foster's Grill with his daughter who would not keep her mask on, telling the doctor that it didn't make any difference, are you?
LauraNixBerg · July 16, 2020 at 8:49 pm
I was quoting PabloCruz; pay attention.

I am fully aware who pays for my salary, but my energy and heart goes to my students (who are often taxpayers themselves!)

"I said that 30 minutes a week of distance learning does not replace 5 days a week in school."

I can't even begin to tell you how upset I was this spring to be limited to 30 minutes a week, of no new material. I knew at that point my students would not be prepared for next year. Trust me, they still had questions, but my hands were tied.

You are free to do what you feel is best for your children. It is your right.
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 6:57 pm
Demo- did you give up on the bleach lie yet or are you still pushing that too?
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 6:56 pm
Demo - You are lying again. You dirty liberals can't help it. Yes, I did have to explain to my daughter the truth, that there is no man-made global warming. Any good parent should be monitoring what their children are learning in school.

I never said anything was "unfair." I don't use that word, that is for losers. I said that 30 minutes a week of distance learning does not replace 5 days a week in school.

You lie because you are a dirty liberal. It is in your DNA.

The Teachers Union can choose to keep this up, and more and more parents will be pulling their kids out of public school and either homeschooling, or put them in private schools. That is what I am doing with my kids.

Maybe we wont need as many teachers when 30% of the students are gone and we can start cutting the budgets.

School choice, vouchers coming soon.
nonewtaxes · July 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm
pablo: well then you just need 6 math teachers, one for each subject. Wait, only 4 math teachers because if you teach algII you should know algI.

jobro: yes I would like to make that choice - what is the best education for my children. I wish my money would follow. Send me a check for $13,000 for each of my children and I'll move on to one of the many private schools which are opening FT. You run a government protected monopoly. Why is the public education system afraid of competition???

If you are told to teach nothing new are you really teaching?


If teachers are essential, why arent they back at work? Dont you feel embarrassed that the young people at chick fil la and the old people at walmart are doing their jobs and you are on your basement bunker?
Demosthenes · July 16, 2020 at 6:22 pm
And the irony keeps rolling

Last winter Donkeyfarmer complained that he had to "deprogram" his daughter every time she came home from that liberal propaganda machine known as fauquier county public schools. But now he is complaining that his daughter doesn't get to go there five days each week.

According to DF the spring was so unfair because his daughter didn't get enough math instruction and he certainly couldn't teach math to her, but today he wants to tell math teachers how to do their jobs.

Dude, you are all over the place.

Trying to laugh but it is getting kind of sad.
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm
LauraNixBerg said: "For some reason Americans feel they have a right to tell teachers how to do their jobs."

Who does this lady think she works for? Who does she think pays her?
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 5:32 pm
Demo - Sounds to me like Trump was asking a doctor a question, he never told anyone to inject anything. And he never even mentioned bleach. Tony simply made it up. And Jerome can't read.
LauraNixBerg · July 16, 2020 at 5:15 pm
Thank you, PabloCruz! "Do you understand that there are many different math classes in high school?... Pre-algebra ...differential equations, etc. Do you understand now, the impossibility of your suggestion that 1 teacher could lecture to all the HS math students? This is the problem with everyone commenting on a profession that they really know nothing about. For some reason Americans feel they have a right to tell teachers how to do their jobs.

I'm a math teacher at FHS who is excited to see her students -safely, in person- again! As of now, my schedule will include Prob & Stats, pre-Calc, and Geometry. I certainly won't subject my freshmen to logarithms, unless they want some challenge problems! We are all specialists who want the best for your children. They are the future, after all.
Demosthenes · July 16, 2020 at 4:25 pm
@DF

Starting at 26 seconds into that clip: "And then I see the disinfectant, which knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that? Uh. By injection. Inside. Or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs...it would be interesting to check that."

He did say "disinfectant" instead of bleach. You might be right on a technicality, though bleach is a common disinfectant.

Still makes me wonder if our school board should just be serving disinfectants in the lunch lines so we can get everyone back to school asap.
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Demosthenes - So you confirm that Tony Bently is a dirty liar? Nothing about injecting bleach at that briefing.
Demosthenes · July 16, 2020 at 2:35 pm
Donkeyfarmer - Check out the President's daily briefing from April 24th. I'm pretty sure he says that he wants an investigation into whether or not we can inject the body with UV light or disinfectants to fight the virus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHkzqejFKbM
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 2:06 pm
JEROME - Learn to read

Trump didn't say anything about injecting bleach. Read your own post.

It is telling that you dirty liberals need to make up dirty lies to criticize The President.
Jerome Fields · July 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm
DONKEY - Learn to read. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/24/disinfectant-injection-coronavirus-trump/

"Amid a flurry of backlash and ridicule, President Trump walked back his suggestion that scientists test whether disinfectants, such as bleach, could be injected inside the human body to fight the coronavirus, claiming Friday that he had said it sarcastically.

The president offered his idea for a cure in the White House briefing room Thursday after a presentation that mentioned disinfectants can kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces and in the air.

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”
DonkeyFarmer · July 16, 2020 at 11:12 am
Tony quit your lying. Trump never said inject yourself with bleach. This is why you Democrats can not be believed. You lie continually.
Tony Bentley · July 15, 2020 at 5:07 pm
nonewtaxes - What you addressed to Jerome Fields "If schools were really that bad would you really want to send your children there of work there? Really? Change your diet."

We are talking about something much worse than the common flu or cold. Vitamin C will not make COVID-19 go away any more than injecting yourself with bleach (Trump made that up and you aren't calling him out.)
J Obrokta · July 15, 2020 at 4:52 pm
Nonewtaxes,

You are right about how math classes can be done to scale with a single teacher and a thousand students. Virtual Virginia operates along those lines for most of their courses to the best of my knowledge. If you think that will give your children a better learning experience than what we plan to create for them this fall then I encourage you to enroll them there. The board has said that parents have that option.

As my colleague countrygal mentioned though, please remember that what happened in the spring was in the middle of a confusing emergency and the goal from the top (VDOE) was to not stress out any families since so many other hardships were more pressing. It was more like a limited experiment for all of us into what distance learning strategies might look like. We are going into this fall far more ready than we were in the spring.

In the end you should make the best decision for your kids. If they are in school with us this fall you should expect us to do our very best for them.

Best regards,
Jim OBrokta
PabloCruz · July 15, 2020 at 4:18 pm
Nonewtaxes- “Let me add this: technology creates great scale. In fact, single teacher could lecture to 1,000 student at a time using technology. Should the school need 90% less teachers? For example, 1 math teacher from whatever HS you choose, could lecture to all the HS math students at once. No need for the other teachers.”

Do you understand that there are many different math classes in high school? Here’s a few in case you forgot. Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, algebra II, Trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus I, calculus II, differential equations, etc. Do you understand now, the impossibility of your suggestion that 1 teacher could lecture to all the HS math students?
This is the problem with everyone commenting on a profession that they really know nothing about. For some reason Americans feel they have a right to tell teachers how to do their jobs, and/or don’t trust that they know best. It’s a highly politicized profession.
Countrygal10 · July 15, 2020 at 4:09 pm
The teachers were given time restrictions (from the county) for how much work they could assign in the spring and were told not to teach any new content. They just followed the rules given to them by the county. As a teacher, I had many parents email me asking for supplemental work, which I sent to them.
Spring 2020 was emergency teaching not virtual teaching. When we left the buildings on Friday, March 13 we thought we were going in on the following Monday for a work day to figure this all out. The schools were closed that evening.
nonewtaxes · July 15, 2020 at 3:56 pm
JO: let me be clear.

Teachers did not work full time during the spring of 2020 as schools were closed. My child is not the only child who got 15 minutes of math per week.

Also, in the upcoming fall 2020 session teachers still will not be working full time.

I know you'll say its even harder to teach virtually than in person.


Let me add this: technology creates great scale. In fact, single teacher could lecture to 1,000 student at a time using technology. Should the school need 90% less teachers? For example, 1 math teacher from whatever HS you choose, could lecture to all the HS math students at once. No need for the other teachers.


JF: take some vita C. I've gone to school for 30 years and although there have been times when students and teachers were out sick they have never been out sick consistently. I think you dont know too much so you make stuff up.

If schools were really that bad would you really want to send your children there of work there? Really? Change your diet.
J Obrokta · July 15, 2020 at 3:24 pm
nonewtaxes - I am so confused about why you keep asking about why teachers haven't gone back to work. You know it's summer, and schools aren't in session right?

Most of our teachers are "10 month employees," putting in full-time work in our buildings from early August to early June. That is exactly how things should run this year, even if we have weird schedules with different groups of students on different days.

Best regards,
Jim OBrokta
Jerome Fields · July 15, 2020 at 2:43 pm
nonewtaxes - Do you know any teachers? Maybe you should ask them if they are sicker during the school year or during their time off in the Summer (don't tell me that COVID-19 will go away due to the heat like REGULAR flu does, that's another fallacy.)

You still haven't given a workable solution to the problem, just more BLAH, blah, blah!
nonewtaxes · July 15, 2020 at 2:23 pm
JF,

If schools are germ factories are the students and staff not constantly sick?

Sounds like the problem lies with your friend.


Still, if teachers are essential why are they not back at work??
Jerome Fields · July 15, 2020 at 1:59 pm
nonewtaxes - When is the last time you were ever in a school?

They are germs factories. My neighbor volunteered at one of the elementary schools here in Fauquier County for years, and every year she would get sick at least 4-5 times during the school season. When she stopped volunteering she might have become sick maybe once a year.
J Obrokta · July 15, 2020 at 12:34 pm
Bradonj,

You're right, I got lost in some of the details that don't matter.

I still think that by going to the M/T and Th/F groups it is a safe play for the first month. We might have difficulty getting even high school kids to wear masks, or wear them correctly, and more space between everyone while we settle into this new situation is going to be helpful.

Other things you mention, like whether students choose to follow guidelines when they are not at school, are beyond our control. But that doesn't change the responsibility that we have to create and model a safe environment in our schools.

Thanks,
Jim OBrokta
brandonj · July 15, 2020 at 11:00 am
@J Obrokta you didn't address any of my other factual statements, other than focusing on the logistics of spacing students, assuming they're the one at risk.

I don't need to see Liberty HS (not my part of the county) to know roughly how large the classrooms are. I also didn't make any assumptions regarding reduced class sizes due to students staying at home (maybe over 10% per the survey). Projectors are preventing us from opening? Really? I know a red herring when I see one. What is more of a requirement for learning in the new paradigm? A computer/tablet with Internet access for remote learning or a projector for in person instruction? Let's not be silly...

To reiterate, teachers/students will be exposed to the same number of people, i.e. possible virus carriers per week. Since people can be asymptomatic for 1-2 weeks and you can't rely on students to effectively distance, the only consideration should be distancing/PPE/training for staff.

Mind you, it didn't take me all summer to solve this problem on the back of the napkin. I'm not sure why this "plan" took 4 months, given 3-6' distancing was around since March. I'm not trying to be condescending here, but the optics look terrible (nearly everyone I've talked to), and if you want more funding for public schools, this is not the way to engage the community. Just my 2 cents - thanks for discussing. You seem like an asset to the staff.
Linda Ward · July 15, 2020 at 10:23 am
The majority of these comments are finger pointing, assumptions, and it's the other person's fault.

IF you have a better idea why not put that here instead of empty ended-questions and let's kick the other guy a little harder.

I'd like to see well thought out ideas not more blathering. I sure wouldn't want to be the one to have to work this "problem" out and still keep everyone safe.
nonewtaxes · July 15, 2020 at 10:14 am
If teachers are essential workers should they not be back at work like the people at Walmart or Food Lion or the gas station or the dentist office or the McDonalds ...

Demosthenes · July 15, 2020 at 8:30 am
We got conservative commentators here saying we should be more like Europe so that schools could open, and now nonewtaxes says we need political leaders that make decisions based on science. LMAO. They don't even see the irony.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
AmericanPatriot · July 15, 2020 at 6:47 am
So, has the school board colluded with the virus and come to an understanding about which two days the virus won't come to school?

Amazing accommodations.
J Obrokta · July 15, 2020 at 6:04 am
Nonewtaxes - No, you misread that. Though looking at it again I should have written that line more clearly. A new, non-airconditioned school bus is a $100,000 purchase. That was not meant to imply a daily rate.
nonewtaxes · July 15, 2020 at 12:15 am
The school board did not make a decision based on science nor on the will of the constituents.

They can do this because they know you wont be angry 3 1/2 years from now.

Obrokta: $100,000 a day for a school bus??? I'll contract with you for $90,000 per day. Write a check.
DonkeyFarmer · July 14, 2020 at 11:08 pm
Donna Grove, what was the use of the parent survey when you disregarded it?

Susan Pauling, why did you issue 2 surveys and spend 3 weeks pretending you cared what the parents wanted?

Duke Bland, why did you threaten parents that you would shut them up with police force?

Dr. Jeck, why was it okay to use our public school buses to transport BLM protesters, many of whom were not even Fauquier students, but when it comes to REAL school transportation we can't use them?

Parents of Fauquier students, you can see that your voice does not matter. They sent out a survey, didn't like the results so they sent out a second survey, didn't like those results either, so they did what the teachers union wanted all along. The school board is not representing the parents or the taxpayers.

Half the kids in this county are going to miss a year of education.... I wonder if the deep equity training and black lives matter will still be a priority for our school district.
J Obrokta · July 14, 2020 at 10:44 pm
brandonj,

Your rudimentary math almost looks good.

I wish I could draw you a picture of the typical room at LHS so you could see some of the problems. But with a long explanation instead, in your next calculation make sure that you leave 5 or 6 feet across the front of the room so that there is space at the board and/or projector screen. That cuts out like 160 square feet. Then most classes have an LCD projector on a cart, which needs to be in the middle of the room but like 15 feet from the screen, and no kids can sit in front of that or they block it. That is another section of the room that can't hold a student and you lose another 50 square feet or so. And then the strangest thing about our rooms is that the door, to which we need a nice solid aisle so that kids can leave in a hurry at the bell or in the event of a fire, is in the back of the room. If our doors were in the front that would allow us to double up on the square footage used for the board and for the door, but since the doors are somehow at the back we lose another 160 square feet or so to allow for safe entrance and exit.

Keep in mind I wish we had classes of 24. As we lost positions during the recession we find ourselves with 27 or 28, at least in my department.

Anyway, thanks for the rudimentary calculations. Once again I offer you the invitation to actually come into a classroom and look at how tight we are at regular capacity. This is coming from someone who is actually in the building and has no reason to lie to you. Just keeping it real...

Thanks,
Jim OBrokta
brandonj · July 14, 2020 at 10:19 pm
@LauraNixBerg, please refer to Oxford dictionary to what a union is. Just because it isn't forced membership doesn't mean it doesn't have bargaining power. We don't know what went on behind closed doors, but it wouldn't surprise me the FEA president said "if you do this, our members will call in sick". It's the only explanation why the board approved to overlook the desire of parents.

@J Obrokta appreciate you engaging like a real leader should. It's wishful thinking we will go "back to normal" in October. I fear the slightest whiff of negativity wrt Covid will drive people into a frenzy and renew calls for school closure. The political climate is that toxic and hurting our children as a result. And contradictory to the stated goal of Dr. Jeck, minorities will be disproportionately affected.

As for classroom spacing in the upper grades, you're making multiple incorrect assumptions
1. students social distance outside the classroom (they don't)
2. you can't fit students in the classrooms - in 3 minutes I did the math:
you can fit 1 teacher desk, 24 student desks with 3' spacing in a 27'x24' room, which seems reasonable for what we have in the county. I doubt any sort of rudimentary analysis was done by people with supposed doctorates.

Folks, I guess this is what you get when you spend 4 years and 200k studying intersectionality and women's studies.
LauraNixBerg · July 14, 2020 at 9:24 pm
The FEA is not a union. There is no collective bargaining in Virginia.
ConcernedMom · July 14, 2020 at 8:52 pm
I think that the school board did an amazing job! They are taking baby steps to ensure students and faculty are safe. Chairman did an amazing job at being straight to the point and not tolerating outburst.
I am embarrassed how some behavior was displayed last night. Talking out of turn, blurting out and throwing tantrums of what one would expect from a child.
Thank you school board and Dr. Jeck for making decisions based on safety of students and staff.
Demosthenes · July 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm
lhfry: I would have never guessed that today would be one of those weird upside down days where I get to see conservative Americans dreaming about how we should be more like Europe. Lol.

Let's start with universal healthcare. Then follow it up with a political leader who has the courage to tell people that the virus is real and the lockdown needs to be more than a partial one. Then let's convince all citizens to believe that their social responsibility is equally important to their expression of their own individual rights.

Once all that is taken care of I'm sure our schools would be fine just like theirs.
Jerome Fields · July 14, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Our children are all grown. Glad we don't have find out how this will work out. I am wondering about the school budget and how it effects our taxes.
lhfry · July 14, 2020 at 7:19 pm
European countries have reopened without increasing Covid cases. Have we looked at this? How can schools ever reopen if we keep reacting like our school board? When will They feel it is safe enough? What if we never have a vaccine, optimistic tales notwithstanding? The Swedes just decided to live with it, did not close schools, bars, restaurants. They have rising cases right now due to increased testing but rapidly declining deaths.
J Obrokta · July 14, 2020 at 5:25 pm
Thanks Donkeyfarmer. We do love our jobs and want to see the world get back to normal as quickly as possible. I hope you are right and we have evidence that everything is safe for a 4-day week for all kids in October.
DonkeyFarmer · July 14, 2020 at 5:19 pm
@J Obrokta

You make thoughtful, well-reasoned points. I think most teachers want a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this Covid19 has been blown way out of proportion and the media have been scaring everyone into thinking catching this is a death sentence. That being said, I don't blame some teachers or parents being scared to go back to normal. Hopefully, when this is all over we can look back and see the complete over reaction and promise ourselves this will never happen again.

J Obrokta · July 14, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Donkeyfarmer - one more thing! Your assumption that the teacher's unions are so powerful is really misplaced. It might be true in some northern states but not here. At Liberty I think less than 10% of our staff right now is even in the union. The decisions being made about schools in our county are being made without any significant influence from the teacher's union.
J Obrokta · July 14, 2020 at 5:02 pm
Donkeyfarmer,

At the school board meeting last Thursday the board did talk about liability issues.

As for private schools, from what I have seen most have not promised to stay open all year. Their advertisements generally promise that they will open on a regular schedule and that their staff are well-trained to continue virtually if need-be. Also, if they are able to operate in person this year, then I am happy for all involved, but I don't think they are ready to take on our 11,000+ public school students right now.

The board did say that any student who wants to do Virtual Virginia in place of attending their assigned public school this year will be able to do so. I'm not crazy about Virtual Virginia, but I will at least admit that they know more about virtual instruction at this point than I do.

Thanks,
Jim OBrokta
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DonkeyFarmer · July 14, 2020 at 4:48 pm
@J Obrokta

You make a good point about liability. If liability was the issue the School Board was concerned with, they should have led with that, don't you think?

And yes, public schools across the Country are doing their best to not re-open, probably because that is what the Teachers Union is ordering. National, State, and even local as we can see here. Meanwhile, private schools are opening as normal. Something tells me that if we has school choice our public schools would be open as well.

@Liberty1 - School Board is up for election in 2023. This will all be forgotten by then, and that is what they are counting on.
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