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BREAKING: Charles Barrett Elementary evacuated and Cora Kelly on lockdown due to threats

(Updated 3 p.m.) The Alexandria Police Department evacuated students and staff from Charles Barrett Elementary School (1115 Martha Custis Drive) earlier today and Cora Kelly has gone into lockdown after threats to the schools.

Police said a report came in of a weapons violation at Charles Barrett around 12:05 p.m., according to the scanner. The scanner indicated that a man was making threats to shoot at the school, targeting a teacher, and that a ‘device’ was placed in the school. At 3 p.m., APD said no threat was found at Charles Barrett Elementary School.

Valley Drive, the road leading to the school, was closed by police earlier this afternoon. Students were sent to a nearby recreation center where parents came to pick them up at 2:35 p.m.

Cora Kelly Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology was also put on a lockdown status due to an anonymous threat, Principal Jasibi Crews said in a letter.

“For the safety and security of our students and staff Cora Kelly Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology is currently on Lockdown Status due to an anonymous threat,” Crews said. “The Alexandria Police Department (APD) is currently at the school conducting a threat assessment to determine credibility.”

Scanner traffic indicated a person said on an anonymous call that they were going to shoot at students leaving Cora Kelly.

Police tweeted around 12:50 p.m. today that Charles Barrett was being evacuated due to a threat.

Charles Barrett Principal Loren Brody wrote to families of students at the school:

Dear Charles Barrett Families,

Today, Charles Barrett Elementary School was placed on “secure the building” status at 12:14 p.m due to a threat called into the Alexandria Police Department (APD) regarding the school.The information was shared with Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), which meant that the school day continued briefly on a normal schedule inside the school but no one was allowed to enter or leave the school while the building remained secured.

At 12:20 p.m., it was determined that students and staff at Charles Barrett Elementary School would be evacuated due to additional information received regarding a bomb threat that was in the vicinity of the school. (APD) and Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) are on site and working with Charles Barrett administration, ACPS leadership and the ACPS Office of Safety and Security Services.

Students were evacuated from  Charles Barrett to their primary evacuation site (Parc East Apartment lobby), and ACPS staff sent buses early to the school to transport them to Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology located at 3600 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305, 703-706-4420.

Please be assured that students were dismissed in a safe manner so they could be transported from school grounds as soon as possible.

We ask families to please not come to Charles Barrett at this time. If this is your normal pick-up process to come to the school and pick-up students, you can pick up your child at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology located at 3600 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305, 703-706-4420 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Please do not come earlier and be prepared to show identification (ID) to be reunited with your child.

Additionally, as a precaution, all after school and evening activities scheduled today at Charles Barrett are canceled, including:

  • All student clubs, theatrical, musical or other activities.
  • Any community activities scheduled at these facilities.

Students who are bus riders will be dropped off at their regular bus stops. Given that students will be transported from another location, please be prepared for some delays. Please note that some students do not have all their personal belongings to include coats.

The safety and security of our students and staff are of utmost priority. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we support our students and staff.


Loren Brody


James Cullum contributed to this story

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