ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) — Arlington County Public Schools, Falls Church City Public Schools and Alexandria City Public Schools will close from March 16 to at least April 14 in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state.
As of noon Friday, March 13, there are 30 cases in the Commonwealth.
RELATED: COVID-19: At least 57 cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
Arlington County sent this letter to parents:
Dear APS Families and Staff:
In response to growing concerns and anxiety in our community about the coronavirus (COVID-19), Arlington Public Schools and Falls Church City Public Schools have aligned, and in close collaboration with other Northern Virginia school divisions, will close beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. The present plans are to remain closed through Spring Break, with students scheduled to return on April 14, 2020. We will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation on a daily basis and will provide an update on our plans as new information is available.
Given all the information available now, including other closures throughout the National Capital Region that impact our staff and families, we believe this is the best decision to make at this time.
All of us, school administrators, staff, and parents, want the same outcome–keeping our kids and community safe. Each of our divisions will send additional logistical details of the closure to our staff and families later today.
Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.
Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent, Arlington County Public Schools
Peter J. Noonan Ed.D.
Superintendent, Falls Church City Public Schools
Alexandria City sent this letter to parents:
Dear ACPS Families,
During the past several days we have heard concerns from parents and staff about keeping our schools open while the coronavirus response escalates in our region and around the country. Please know the safety and well being of our young people is always the top priority in ACPS. The mental, physical and emotional health of our students is at the forefront of our decision-making during this coronavirus situation.
At this time, we have no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in our schools, and the Alexandria Health Department has not determined community-spread of the coronavirus in the City of Alexandria. We have a number of staff and students who are self-quarantining and will be out for several weeks. Closures in our region are also impacting our ability to fully staff our schools.
Although the Alexandria Health Department is not recommending schools to close at this time, multiple issues are impacting the ability for our schools to function effectively and efficiently.
Therefore, all ACPS schools will be closed as of Monday, March 16, 2020. We are currently planning to close until after spring break (April 13, 2020) and will continue to monitor the situation throughout this period of time.
Our food services team is making arrangements for students to be provided meals while schools remain closed. Additional details will be sent later today.
During our closure, a daily update will be sent out via ACPS Express around 1 p.m to all families and community members who are signed up to receive these updates. Sign up for ACPS Express now. There will be a webinar at 3 p.m. every day to answer questions from families. We will send more information with specific details about this on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Please make sure your contact information is current in our system so that you can receive all correspondence from the school division during this time. Please contact your registrar today if you need to update your contact information in our system. For more details, see the FAQ on the ACPS website, information below or visit our coronavirus webpage at www.acps.k12.va.us/coronavirus.
We thank you for your support during this difficult time and appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve our students and staff throughout this closure. More details about operations during closure will be provided later today. Daily updates will begin on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfax County Schools posted the following announcement on their website:
Dear FCPS Parents, Staff, and Community,
In support of the governor’s announcement today, and in response to the ongoing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in our region, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will close schools through April 10, 2020.
Schools will be closed for students for four weeks, including spring break. Schools will be closed for less than 12 month staff for at least two weeks. We will reassess schools reopening for less than 12 month staff after two weeks and we will make that decision no later than Friday, March 27. The operating status of SACC has not been determined at this time.
The staff development day scheduled for Monday, March 16, is postponed. School offices and central offices will be open on Monday, March 16.
FCPS schools will be open Monday, March 16, for students and staff to access their belongings as well as providing laptops or other digital devices for students in grades 3-8 who do not have access at home.
We have been working with our staff to prepare for school closures and have been developing numerous resources for families. Resources and updates to our current operating status will continue to be posted on the FCPS website and shared on social media and other outlets.
The Virginia Department of Education has recommended that all public school systems provide continuity of learning programming for the next three weeks. We will promote digital and online resources to FCPS students that will help student learning continue. This work will not be required nor graded.
Additionally, FCPS cable channels with learning activities are now available. New instructional videos are currently being developed and recorded and will be added to the programming shortly. Channel 21 includes elementary school programming, Channel 25 includes middle school programming, and Channel 99 includes high school programming. This content will also be available online at www.fcps.edu.
Food distribution will continue throughout the closures. Meals were served at five schools today, with plans to expand to additional schools next week. We are coordinating with community partners to ensure the locations and timing of food centers and pantries are being communicated with FCPS families. Breakfast will be available from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and lunch will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations:
Bailey’s Elementary School, 6111 Knollwood Drive, Falls Church
Hutchison Elementary School, 13209 Parcher Avenue, Herndon
Hybla Valley Elementary School, 3415 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria
London Towne Elementary School, 6100 Stone Road, Centreville
Burke Center, 9645 Burke Lake Road, Burke
We are grateful for your support and understanding during this difficult time. Our first priority remains the safety and well-being of our students, staff, families, and community.
We will provide updates as new information becomes available.
Scott Brabrand, Superintendent
Fairfax County Public Schools