Fairfax County Public Schools will pause in-person learning set to start Tuesday, Nov. 17, for students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and some special education services.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand announced the switch Monday afternoon, saying "current health metrics for COVID-19 cases in the community now exceed the threshold to expand in-person learning."

School district leadership is monitoring health metrics daily, but said the group of first-returning students will remain virtual until at least Nov. 30.

In a letter to parents, guardians, and staff, Brabrand said, “We made this decision as soon as new health metrics were released and are communicating it to you immediately as promised. We always anticipated the need to potentially adjust our return to school plans as necessary during this ongoing pandemic."

Students and staff who have been attending in-person classes and existing pilots will continue to do so, he said.

“Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) allow us to keep small cohorts of students in schools,” Brabrand said.

Brabrand will host a virtual Return to School Town Hall on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 6 to 7 p.m. The Town Hall can be viewed on the FCPS website; questions can be submitted in advance to returntoschool@fcps.edu or during the Town Hall at 1-800-231-6359.

“We will continue to monitor Fairfax County metrics to determine when we can return to expanding our in-person learning,” he added. “These next few months will be not be easy. Know that I am committed to keeping you informed and updated as changes occur that impact FCPS students, families, and staff.”

On Sunday, a group of regional education associations released a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam seeking to delay the resumption of in-person classes.

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