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Fauquier County Public Schools will return to virtual-only learning beginning Monday.

In a Tweet, the school division said the decision was made "due to the rising level of community spread of COVID-19 and workforce concerns." Winter break begins for students on Friday, Dec. 18. 

Fauquier joins Loudoun County schools in a return to remote learning as COVID-19 cases rise across Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam yesterday announced new restrictions, including a curfew and gathering limits, to help slow the spread.

During a Thursday news conference, Northam said he will not be addressing public schools, saying he will continue to leave those decisions up to local leaders.

"One size does not fit all," Northam said.

Also on Thursday, the Virginia Education Association, a teacher's union, called on Northam to order classrooms closed across the state for the safety of teachers, staff and students.

The group, which represents more than 40,000 school workers, is calling for learning to go virtual in school systems where classrooms remain open through at least mid-January as cases continue to climb, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported.

“Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 3,521 COVID-19 cases per day, an increase of 41 percent from the average two weeks earlier,” association President James Fedderman said in a statement. “The numbers don’t lie, and the human toll behind each of those numbers demand that we pause in-person learning until the situation rights itself.”

The Prince William Education Association is also calling on county leaders to return to virtual learning. Currently, pre-kindergarten through first grade students are attending class on a hybrid, two days per week schedule. Plans call for more students to return to classrooms in early January.

Superintendent Steve Walts has not made any changes to the current hybrid plan, and said he will not set a metric threshold to trigger a return to all virtual learning.

 

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