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COVID-19 Pandemic Closes ACPS for the Rest of the Year

Alexandria City Public Schools are closed for the remainder of the school year.

Governor Ralph Northam made the announcement on Monday, effectively closing all public schools in Virginia.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said that he and his team need a few days to finalize a continuation plan for students.

“Tomorrow, we are expecting more guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) around graduation requirements, high school credits, Standards of Learning (SOL) testing, and how to move forward with continuity of learning that meet Special Education requirements,” Hutchings said in his daily 3 p.m. video announcement.

Hutchings added, “Once this information is released from the VDOE, we will begin to share our refined plan for the extended school closures with our families and staff.”

Mayor Justin Wilson tweeted that the move is “heartbreaking as it is expected.”

There are more than 15,700 students in ACPS, which is releasing staff updates at noon every day and notices to families every day at 1 p.m. in ACPS Express. Student attendance is not being tracked during the shutdown, and teachers are legally prohibited from grading any work or providing new learning material to students.

There are currently six positive cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria.

“I can’t say I’m shocked because I knew it was gonna happen,” said a student at T.C. Williams High School. “It’s crazy to think about. I feel bad for the seniors because they’re missing the best parts of high school.”

Every elementary school student was given instructional packets to take home, and students in grades 3-12 went home with Chromebook laptops. The school system has also provided educators with instructional suggestions, and have ordered them to constantly connect online with students to make sure they are thinking academically.

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