Fairfax County, Virginia, plans to partly reopen schools later this month, but some students will discover that they still have to receive lessons over their laptops.
That's because 2,300 teachers have opted to continue teaching from home. To cover their absences, the district is hiring hundreds of classroom monitors: employees who will supervise students at their desks while they receive instruction from remote teachers.
"Classroom monitors are necessary to cover in-person classrooms for instructors who are teaching from home," said the district in a statement.
Students will only be in school for two days each week, according to the district's plan. Moreover, they won't necessarily know whether their teacher intends to show up in person until they arrive at school, FOX 5 reported.
Teachers who plan to remain at home received authorization to do so under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) back in the fall, before the vaccines were available. Vaccination of teachers began in January, and at present, 90 percent of Fairfax teachers have either received the first shot or made appointments to do so. It's not clear whether the same is true of the classroom monitors, who are not technically teachers but rather new employees.
Obviously, it would be absurd to vaccinate teachers but let them teach from home while unvaccinated assistants take their places in the classroom. A spokesperson for the district did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether the monitors have received priority vaccination.
In any case, kids need to go back to school for more than two days a week, and can safely do so, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their teachers should join them—especially if they have already been vaccinated.