DATE: March 17, 2020
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
Albemarle County Public Schools Now Will be Closed at Least Through Friday, April 10
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools, Dr. Matthew Haas, said today that all schools in the division will remain closed at least until Friday, April 10.
“We are continuing to closely monitor developments on the spread of COVID-19 and the most current health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the state department of health,” Haas said. “Based upon that information, it is clear that public meeting restrictions will not be lifted in the near future.”
The Superintendent said he is taking this latest action now to assist with the school division’s planning on how to continue to deliver services to students and families at home and to provide advance notice to parents so that they have as much time as possible to make necessary child care arrangements.
On Friday, pursuant to Governor Ralph Northam’s order that all K-12 schools in Virginia be closed for a minimum of two weeks, the school division announced schools would be closed through March 27. Haas now has extended the closure for another two weeks to include Spring Break, which was scheduled from April 6-10.
Haas said that among the services that the division will provide to students and families during the closure are grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for any student 18 years of age or younger and their siblings. Meals are being distributed Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the parking lots of Albemarle, Monticello and Western Albemarle high schools; Sutherland and Walton middle schools; and Woodbrook Elementary School.
In a message to all students today, the Superintendent shared a link to a division web page,
Albemarle County Public Schools At-Home Learning Resources for Students and Parents, that can help students stay engaged with their learning. The page is continually being updated.
In his message, Haas told students, “You are vitally important to your teachers, your school, and our school division. I look forward to seeing you all back safely at school when we are ready to open again. Until then, take good care of yourselves and your family.”
The Superintendent said that to further support student learning during the closure, all school division Internet Wi-Fi access has been extended to school parking lots to help the community. He advised students and their families that the parking areas closest to a school’s main entrance or classroom windows should have the strongest signal strength. Further, personal devices can connect to the “ACPS-Public” network, while school-issued laptops will be able to connect to the “ACPS” network.
Haas added that some private companies are offering internet access for various locations with reduced pricing options, including:
In a message to employees yesterday, the Superintendent wrote:
My first reaction to the Governor’s order last week that all K-12 schools in the state will be closed for a minimum of two weeks was to think about the impact that schools have on a community. The services we provide to children and families are irreplaceable. Many thousands in our community depend upon us for support and enrichment.
My next thought was how fortunate I am to live in Albemarle County where our public school division includes so many exceptionally dedicated, selfless, and talented professionals who make it their purpose to improve the lives of our children and families and of one another.