Some Fairfax County Teachers Uncomfortable With Plans to Return to Classrooms

As school districts put together plans to start returning students to classrooms, some teachers in Fairfax County, Virginia, who aren’t comfortable returning may need to anyway.



a person sitting at a desk: Fairfax County teacher wearing PPE


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Fairfax County teacher wearing PPE


Special education teacher Susan Riedinger said all things considered, distance learning is going pretty well, which is why she was caught off guard when she was told she’s expected back in the classroom Oct. 18.

“I feel like I have whiplash,” she said. “You told me to go online, I’ve been putting my all into going online, and now, boom, you’re telling me I’m going back.”

In a couple of weeks, Fairfax County Public Schools, the largest school district in the area, will bring back younger students in special education.

In the summer, FCPS

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Fairfax County families with special needs talk about students returning to the classroom

 Schools across our region are planning to slowly re-open. 

In Fairfax County, some of the first students who will be returning to the classroom later this fall will be students with special needs.

RELATED: Fairfax Co. Public Schools votes for some in-person learning for around 7,000 students

Brianne Russell-Morris’ daughter Elizabeth is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD.

“There are a lot of meltdowns that come out of the technology not working,” said Russell-Morris, who is a member of Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia. “[Elizabeth] wants to be independent, but I will see her kind of staring off into space and not really following along with what she is supposed to be doing.”

The Fairfax County School Board approved a plan to phase-in classroom instruction for 3.5% of the FCPS student body, or more than 6.700 students, who are experiencing more challenges with distance learning.

You can

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