Coronavirus: Alabama Schools Closed For Remainder Of School Year

Michael Seale

This article originally appeared on the Birmingham Patch

MONTGOMERY, AL — Students in Alabama's K-12 schools will not return to their classrooms for the 2019-20 school year, according to an announcement by Gov. Kay Ivey Thursday. Students will continue the school year from their homes, to try to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Ivey initially had schools closed until April 6, but said in her press conference that returning to school by then is not possible.

"We had hoped that we would be able to welcome our students back," Ivey said. "However, the virus continues to spread. Schools will provide instruction from home beginning April 6 for remainder of the school year."

She added, "We must be serious about eliminating the spread of this virus and practicing proper social distancing and hygiene. These are not suggestions. These measures have been put in place to save your life. Limit interaction as much as you can. And I know that nothing can replace the interaction between a teacher and a student in a classroom setting."

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Alabama Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said classes will continue via online learning or through instructional packets sent to students' homes.

"We appreciate you being patient with us, and as we go this unprecedented closure of the school year, we have never had to shut down so many schools," Mackey said. "We certainly are concerned about that long summer slide that will ensue. We are working diligently to make sure there is a plan in place for every school for every child to close out their school year and advance to their next grade or their next destination."

Mackey acknowledged that many school systems in Alabama do not have widespread access to fast internet access. He said there are some districts that are able to provide virtual learning opportunities to all of their students, "but the vast majority cannot."

Ivey said students with special needs will maintain an IEP to continue their education and learning.

As far as sports are concerned, the seasons are over. "For sports, for band, for many of those things, that means the end," Mackey said. He added that events such as graduation ceremonies and proms could still occur but not before June.

More than 500 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state, with one confirmed death.

Here is the breakdown by county of the 506 coronavirus cases in Alabama as of Thursday afternoon:

  • Autauga (6)
  • Baldwin (5)
  • Blount (2)
  • Bullock (2)
  • Butler (1)
  • Calhoun (2)
  • Chambers (9)
  • Cherokee (1)
  • Chilton (4)
  • Choctaw (1)
  • Clay (1)
  • Cleburne (1)
  • Colbert (1)
  • Coosa (1)
  • Crenshaw (1)
  • Cullman (6)
  • Dallas (3)
  • DeKalb (1)
  • Elmore (10)
  • Etowah (4)
  • Franklin (3)
  • Houston (3)
  • Jackson (3)
  • Jefferson (154)
  • Lamar (1)
  • Lauderdale (9)
  • Lawrence (3)
  • Lee (47)
  • Limestone (12)
  • Lowndes (1)
  • Madison (43)
  • Marengo (1)
  • Marion (7)
  • Marshall (3)
  • Mobile (18)
  • Montgomery (17)
  • Morgan (9)
  • Pickens (1)
  • Pike (2)
  • Russell (1)
  • St. Clair (7)
  • Shelby (52)
  • Talladega (4)
  • Tallapoosa (4)
  • Tuscaloosa (19)
  • Walker (17)
  • Washington (2)
  • Wilcox (1)

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