ALSDE FAQs: Coronavirus Information

SOURCE: https://www.alsde.edu/COVID19%20Updates/CoronavirusFAQs.jpg

Are ALL Alabama public schools closing?
Yes. All Alabama public schools, kindergarten through 12th grade, will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. After afterschool programs, events, and activities are canceled during this time.

When exactly will schools close and for how long?
Alabama public schools will close at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, with the expectation to reopen on Monday, April 6, 2020. However, the safety and wellbeing of Alabama students and their families are our primary concern. The reopening of public schools will be considered with consultation from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Will students have an unexcused absence for missing school from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18?
Students who miss school Monday, March 16, 2020 through Wednesday, March 18, 2020 will not be marked as “unexcused”; however, their absence will count on the school’s accountability (Report Card).

Does the state’s closure of schools include daycare facilities?
Alabama daycare facilities do not operate under the authority of the Alabama State Department of Education. Daycare centers must independently decide the best course of action for their clientele.

Does the state’s closure of schools include private schools?
Private schools in Alabama do not operate under the authority of the Alabama State Department of Education. Although private schools sometimes look to the Department of Education for guidance, they are ultimately independent in their decision for school governance.

What should a school/system do if they believe they have a case of COVID-19?
Districts should continue to notify the Alabama Department of Public Health and the State Superintendent of any known employee, student, or family member COVID-19 cases in their districts.

Once schools reopen, will they be allowed to take field trips in state? What about out of state?
Once schools reopen, the situation will be assessed. This is a fluid state of affairs and guidance will change as necessary or as recommended by state health officials. For now, all field trips, conferences, and mass gatherings are considered canceled through April 30, 2020.

Should any school staff or central office staff report to work during this time?
Districts will determine for themselves which essential staff are necessary to meet the demands of their schools. Teachers, administrators, and staff are not “off” during this period, but due to health and safety concerns, local superintendents will determine work-from-home schedules, etc. if needed.

Will employees be charged annual leave during the time schools are closed?
Employees will continue to be paid and will not be charged annual leave for time off during this school closure. As noted above, work situations are to be determined by local superintendents.

Will schools continue to provide food services to schools during the time schools are closed?
With appropriate social distancing measures, some districts may continue to provide meals or other essential services with applicable staff.School systems will independently make this determination for themselves. In addition, we are asking local superintendents to coordinate with churches, food banks, and community resources to make sure that all children have adequate nutrition during this school closure.

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