In a surprise announcement Thursday, F.C. City Schools Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan told an online town hall that the Fairfax Health Department will deploy a “closed pod” to Falls Church Monday to provide doses of the Moderna vaccine to all Falls Church City Schools’ teachers and staff.
Dr. Noonan hailed the decision, saying that once the teachers and staff then receive a second dose a month later, that all City schools’ classrooms could be open for direct teaching by Feb. 22 or 23.
Noonan said he was informed of the new policy early this morning after the health department suffered a crash of its website due to the volume of inquiries today.
Noonan and F.C. schools’ principals spoke at an online town hall late this afternoon with as many as 225 participants signed in.
He echoed the frustrations of so many parents with students forced to learn virtually from homes most of the time since last March, noting he has two children of his own in the same situation. But he said the main frustration has been the lack of support and guidance local school systems have received from federal and state sources, leaving every school district to fend for itself. In Virginia, he said, that means 132 different plans.
But his approach has been to research data and listen to experts. He said Dr. Fauci conditioned his remarks on students returning to the classroom with the need of communities to shut down bars and restaurants, for example. “We haven’t done enough as a community yet to meet such criteria,” he said.