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Five central Alabama school systems closing immediately amid COVID outbreak

Illustration of blackboard on which is written with chalk school closed

Five central Alabama public school systems have decided to close immediately as the numbers of coronavirus cases in the state continue to mount.

Birmingham City Schools, Homewood City Schools, Oneonta City Schools, Vestavia Hills City Schools and Jefferson County schools are all closing immediately.

Vestavia Hills City Schools statement on closure 

“Vestavia Hills City Schools will close, beginning Monday, March 16. This includes the closure of all school facilities and cancellation of all school-related activities. Students and employees will not report to their schools next week. Schools will remain closed until Monday, April 6.”

Birmingham City Schools statement on closure. 

“Out of an abundance of caution relative to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Birmingham City Schools (BCS) will close for students and employees effective immediately. While there are no confirmed cases within the district, BCS remains proactive in promoting the safety of students, families, employees and stakeholders. The anticipated return date for students and employees is Monday, April 6, 2020 unless otherwise noted.”

Homewood City Schools statement

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“Homewood City Schools will be closed starting March 16. This closure includes all school facilities and the cancellation of all school-related activities. Since students and employees will not report to their schools, eLearning will not be required next week. Information regarding breakfast and lunch services for students who need it will be sent out on Monday, March 16. Homewood City Schools will remain closed until Monday, April 6. We encourage our families to continue following the guidance of public health officials during the closure and monitor Homewood City Schools’ website for future messages regarding Covid-19.”

Statement from Daniel Smith, Superintendent of Oneonta City Schools 

“Due to concerns for the safety of our students and employees regarding the Coronavirus, the Oneonta City Schools System will cease all operations effective immediately. Beginning Monday, March 16, there will be no school for students or employees until our planned return on Monday, April 6.

“This cease in operations includes all classes and all after school activities. There will be no practices or contests of any kind until further notice. In the days to come, there will be more information provided regarding students’ assignments or other updates that are needed. Please know that we are experiencing a fluid and constantly changing event with the Coronavirus. It is the intent of myself and the Board of Education members to provide both a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and employees. For any other needs or information, you may contact 205-543-1515 option 1 for assistance. Thank you “  

Statement  from Dr. Walter Gonsoulin, superintendent of Jefferson County Schools 

“We have been in constant communication with local and state health officials.  Based on recent updates and after careful consideration, we have made the decision to close schools effective immediately. Our tentative reopening day is Monday April 6th. 

“This closure includes all JEFCOED facilities and cancellation of all school-related activities.Students and staff should not report to a school site until further notice. We have prepared some resources for our students and parents.  We will communicate this information on Monday, March 16th. These resources include academic engagement information, child nutrition information for student meals while we are closed, and the preparation of our facilities for students and staff to return to campus.

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“Please follow the guidance of state and local health officials and focus on keeping your family safe.  We will notify stakeholders of official updates for our district via our website, mass communication messages and our official social media sites throughout the school closure situation. Again, all Jefferson County Schools are closed effective immediately until Monday, April 6th.”

Eddie Burkhalter
Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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