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October 5, 2020 · OPINION

Parents, students prepared for Nov. 9 school opening

By Holly A. Burriss

My son is a first-grader at P.B. Smith Elementary School. I am writing to implore the school board and Superintendent David Jeck not to go back on their word to Fauquier County parents and to stay the course with the scheduled Nov. 9 reopening of schools.

I understand there is recent chatter from the FCPS1 Equity group and Fauquier Education Association in opposition to the school board’s recent decision. Please, know that they do not speak for the majority of constituents. The majority of Fauquier County parents want their kids in school, full-time, face-to-face.

However, we fully understand that administrators and the board are obligated to do their due diligence to ensure that schools are opened safely, guidelines are followed and risks are mitigated. Additionally, parents understand that we must crawl before we run. Please, do not allow politics and a few loud voices deter school officials from doing what is right for our children and community.

I would also implore officials to have a backup plan for the virtual option. While my husband and I have selected the hybrid model for our son, as he currently receives only nine hours of live instruction a week, I understand the concern of those parents who choose the virtual model for their children. At the last board meeting, it was suggested to utilize Virtual Virginia in the event live streaming did not prove effective. If cameras have not already been ordered, perhaps it would be best to move forward with Virtual Virginia to squash the concerns of those families.

I also would suggest that families that do not respond to the online survey by Oct. 9 are contacted before their children are automatically enrolled into the hybrid model without transportation. If those families do not have access to the internet and/or device, how are they to complete the survey? Please, administrators, reach out to them via phone and/or mail before enrolling their children.

In closing, please know that families are being stretched extremely thin, mentally and financially. I know I am not alone when I say that this has been extremely trying on my family. Parents are watching their children struggle with virtual learning, and teachers are trying their very best to meet the needs of their students, but it just isn’t working for the majority.

Dr. Jeck and the board stated at the Aug. 10 meeting that staffing issues — not COVID-19 — were the reason for the sudden shift to 100-percent virtual. The nursing shortages have been resolved. Parents have stated that they are willing to drive their kids to and from school. Parents will assess their children’s health daily and keep their children home if they are sick. We are doing everything have asked of us. Please, school officials, do not let us down.
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Savefauquiercounty2019 · October 11, 2020 at 6:50 am
Demand to receive feed back on the measures they have enacted to maintain safety for everyone entering the school. They need to hire more housekkeping staff and train them on the spread of pathogens. They need to check every one's temperature and mandate sanitizing their hands prior to entering building. If a child picks their nose, teachers need assistants to help sanitize and wipe desks down, change masks as needed. Maintaining a classroom has a whole new meaning. Safety should not be cheapened down because the school board members don't comprehend developmental behaviors and the lack of neurons.
MSpare · October 8, 2020 at 1:33 pm
Just a reminder - Fauquier County is the only school district within the 5 county health district not to return to in-person learning.
Just an update that returning to school can be done safely
DonkeyFarmer · October 6, 2020 at 4:56 pm
badelectronics is a sad man with multiple screen names and multiple computer screens on his desk that types out Democrat talking points all day.
brandonj · October 6, 2020 at 10:03 am
@badelectronics perhaps you should read the article before google spamming "teacher, covid, death" and pretending you know anything beyond your armchair view of the world.

Per the first article:
"None of the quarantined students have developed any symptoms or tested positive, Bailey said. The health department told the administration it believed Davis did not contract the virus from the school."
badelectronics · October 5, 2020 at 5:24 pm
badelectronics · October 5, 2020 at 5:22 pm
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