Schools Hire ‘Classroom Monitors’ To Fill Void Created By Fully Vaccinated Teachers

D.C. area schools are hiring monitors to watch students who return to school buildings while teachers remain online.
Lucas Strange, 22, continues to study for his degree in physics via online learning sessions from his room in Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge, on January 29, 2021 in Cambridge, England. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the government hopes to start reopening English educational institutions on 8 March, depending on factors such as the rate of vaccination amongst priority groups
Leon Neal/Getty Images

School districts in the metro-D.C. area are hiring classroom monitors to observe children who will return to school buildings while their fully vaccinated teachers remain remote. 

Both Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia are hiring “classroom monitors” for children who will continue online learning, though they will physically be in school buildings. Monitors will work in the classroom, while fully vaccinated teachers will remain online. 

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) posted the job description on its website. It calls for part-time, temporary workers to manage student behavior in the classroom. Monitors will be paid $15.72 an hour and will not receive benefits. 

Tasks include managing and disciplining student behavior, acting as hall and recess monitors, operating technology, performing clerical duties to support teachers, and ensuring all preventative health and safety measures are followed. 

A job listing for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) shows the school district is hiring for a similar position. The listing was posted after the Fairfax County School Board voted to allow students to return to school buildings two days a week beginning Feb. 16. 

FCPS has hired 92 percent of the classroom monitors “necessary” to bring students back to school. The district is calling for an additional 205 monitors and claims they are “necessary to cover in-person classrooms for instructors who are teaching from home.” 

An FCPS spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Wire that classroom monitors are being vaccinated, though it’s unclear whether the monitors have priority access to the vaccine before teachers. MCPS did not respond to requests for comment. 

Under both Maryland and Virginia’s vaccination plans, teachers are given priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination efforts began for FCPS employees on Jan. 16. 

In Maryland, MCPS sent an email to employees informing them that the state’s Health and Human Services department and Johns Hopkins Medicine were working to provide all MCPS employees access to the coronavirus vaccine. Public school teachers, almost all of whom remain online, may even receive priority access to the vaccine over private school teachers who are teaching in-person.

The push to vaccinate teachers, yet remain teaching online, has come from teacher unions. 

The Daily Wire reported:  

Maryland public school teachers are receiving vaccines despite their refusal to return to classroom learning. The push to remain online has been coordinated by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), a Maryland teacher union connected to the National Education Association — the largest teacher union in the nation. 

In a Jan. 26 letter to [Republican Gov. Larry Hogan], MSEA President Cheryl Bost blasted Hogan for aiming to reopen schools and claimed the state’s vaccination efforts were not sufficient for teachers, many of whom have received full vaccination before the most vulnerable members of society. 

The demands for full vaccination of teachers are contrary to guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says schools can safely reopen even if teachers are not vaccinated against COVID-19. 

RELATED: CDC: Schools Can Reopen Safely Without Vaccinating Teachers Against COVID-19

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