MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama State Department of Education is releasing a list of frequently asked questions regarding the state’s public schools in the wake of a growing global outbreak of COVID-19, or coronavirus.
Answer: Yes. All K-12 will be closed by the end of March 18. That includes all afterschool programs, events, and activities.
Answer: The expectation is that schools will reopen on April 6, but because safety is a primary concern, the ultimate date for reopening will be made through ALSDE’s consultation with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Answer: Students who miss those days will not be marked “unexcused” but their absence will count on the school’s accountability report card.
Answer: The situation will need to be reassessed due to the changing situation, but currently, all trips/conferences are considered canceled through April 30.
Answer: Districts determine essential staff. Teachers, admins, and staff are not “off” but because of the health and safety concerns, local superintendents will determine work-from-home schedules, if needed.
Answer: With appropriate distancing measures, some districts may continue to provide meals or other essential services. School systems make this determination independently. Local superintendents are asked to coordinate with churches, food banks, and other community resources to make sure all children have food during this closure.
Answer: ALSDE has no authority over daycare centers, which must make independent decisions on their best course of action.
Answer: Although private schools do sometimes look to ALSDE guidance, ALSDE has no authority over private schools. Decisions by private schools are ultimately an independent decision.
Answer: Notify the ADPH and Alabama State Superintendent of any known employee, student or family member.
Answer: Employees will continue to be paid and will not be charged annual leave during this closure.
State officials have opened a new, toll-free number for people who develop symptoms and need to be tested. For more on how to get tested, you can call 1-888-264-2256. This is not a medical helpline.