Alexandria, VA

Alexandria City Public Schools is working on multiple contingencies for the coronavirus pandemic, including closing until the end of the school year.

The school system is currently closed until the end of spring break, April 14.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said at a City Council meeting last night (Wednesday) that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction is working on getting waivers from the U.S. Department of Education so that students will move on to the next grade level.

“As of right now, I do know that the VDOE [Virginia Department of Education] is working with the federal government to submit waivers for this specific area to make sure that we’re transitioning kids today, as well as for our graduating seniors, who are expected to graduate in June,” Hutchings said.

ACPS on Thursday is also expected to release the locations for new food distribution sites around the city. Up until now, meals to students and their families have been distributed from one location at T.C. Williams High School. Multiple locations will keep students, parents and ACPS staff from congregating.

“[Parents] are curious about what happens with their kids… if school gets closed for us this year?” City Councilman Canek Aguirre asked Hutchings.

Hutchings said that under the proposed waivers, Alexandria’s nearly 16,000 students would not be held to the same year-to-year standard as usual.

“For example, SOL [Standards of Learning] testing, grading credit promotion requirements — we are looking to get some form of waiver so that students can can continue to stay on track with their lives,” Hutchings said.

Hutchings is conducting daily webcasts at 3 p.m. and providing updates to parents every day at 1 p.m.

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