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Rally This Saturday to Urge FCPS to Offer In-Person Learning

Parents in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties plan to hold a rally tomorrow to call for Fairfax County Public Schools to offer in-person learning this fall.

Earlier this week, the Fairfax County School Board approved a fully virtual start, reversing plans to offer parents the option to pick either fully online or a hybrid of in-person and online learning.

According to posts in the public Facebook group behind the event, the rally is scheduled to take place outside FCPS’s administrative office at 8115 Gatehouse Road from 10 a.m.-noon.

People are asked to wear masks and social distance at the event, according to the posts.

The posts also say that the event is not political. “We come from all different beliefs but when it comes to our children, we want schools to be open and safely!” one commenter wrote in the group.

While the event page for the rally does not specify what the supporters want in-person learning to look like in the fall, the Facebook group has a message saying: “This is a group for those interested in kids going to school five days a week. Not interested? Prob [Probably] not your group.”

The school system has faced pressure from the Trump administration. A few weeks ago, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump said that schools must open in the fall, with Devos singling out FCPS as a “disaster” in early July. Yesterday, Trump said that schools may need to delay opening due to another surge of cases.

As a surge of coronavirus cases continues in Virginia and teachers’ unions raised safety concerns over in-person learning, FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said that he was worried about staff feeling comfortable returning for instruction in the classroom.

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