UPDATE: School systems announce immediate closures

By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer

Local school systems announced on March 14 that schools will be closed immediately.

“After consultation with the state superintendent and our neighboring school district leaders, it is with an abundance of caution that the decision has been made to close all Shelby County Schools, effective immediately,” SCS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks said in a post on the SCS Facebook page on the evening of March 14. “As a result, all school-related activities are immediately postponed as well. Since students and employees will not be reporting to their schools on Monday, e-learning instructional activities will not be required during this time.”

Information regarding breakfast and lunch meal services for students who need it will be communicated during the day on Monday, March 16, the post read.

Shelby County Schools will remain closed until Monday, April 6. Twelve-month employees and school nurses should report to work on Monday, March 16.

“We encourage our families to continue to follow the guidance of public health officials, and continue to monitor the Shelby County Schools website for the most current information regarding school activities and the COVID-19 (coronavirus),” Brooks wrote.

Alabaster City Schools, Hoover City Schools and Pelham City Schools also announced on March 14 the closure of all of its schools, effective immediately.

“Out of an abundance of caution regarding the Coronavirus “COVID-19”, Alabaster City Schools will close immediately effective Monday, March 16, 2020,” the post on the ACS Facebook page read. “The anticipated return date is Monday, April 6, 2020.

“We appreciate your continued patience with us as we work through this unprecedented event. The health and safety of our students and employees continue to be our main priority.”

ACS has also said that families can pick up medication from nurses at each school on Monday, March 16, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. They also added that any students who participate in the “Backpack Buddy” program can pick up their backpacks on Monday from 1-3 p.m.

“If you are unable to pick up your backpack, please contact your school counselor on Monday to make arrangements for your backpack to be given to you,” the school system said.

Parents are urged to monitor ACS social media and www.acsboe.org for more information.

Pelham City Schools also made the decision on Saturday night to do the same for safety reasons.

“This change of plans is based on a recent communication from the State Department of Education giving local systems that authority and continued discussions with our neighboring school district leaders,” reads a PCS Facebook post. “While we understand this change may pose a challenge to some families related to childcare, this is an ever-changing situation, and we’re making decisions that prioritize the health and well-being of our students and staff.”

Hoover City Schools said they are in the process of preparing additional resources that will address other questions and concerns. To prepare this information, the school system said all 12 month employees are asked to report to work on Monday, March 16.

HCS also added that student meals will be available at Green Valley Elementary School next week (Monday-Friday) between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. These will be drive-up, grab-and-go bagged meals. Green Valley Elementary School is located at 3200 Old Columbiana Road Hoover, AL 35226