March 16, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Schools will be closed Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 3 due to the coronavirus threat.
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps told WJLE that the final decision to close schools came after Governor Bill Lee’s statement today (Monday) urging every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible.
“We have decided that we are going to close schools starting Tuesday, March 17 and that will run through April 3. We will not be in school,” said Director Cripps.
All planned school related trips, extracurricular activities, and sporting events are also canceled during this time.
“We still have 4 inclement weather days left we can use and then we’re off anyway for spring break next week, March 23-27. Schools will remain closed March 30 through April 3 and it’s not clear yet if the state will require us to make up those days,” Cripps continued.
“We will still monitor the situation. Our goal is to be back in school Monday, April 6. I do encourage parents to stay in communication with their teachers so they can keep up to date with work assignments. If we are out of school beyond April 3 we will have to get more work out to our students so they can keep up their skills. We have already sent out packets. I know some of the schools sent the packets out on Friday but students will be getting packets to keep up with their work assignments while they are out of school,” said Director Cripps.
“We are also coming up with a plan on how we can get food to our students while we are closed. It will be a meal program. We will provide more details through an all-call out to families over our messenger. Expect that in the next day or so in order that we can still provide meals for those who need it,” added Director Cripps.
*Teachers are advised to check email daily
*Teachers will be available to parents remotely
*No student should be on any school campus while schools are closed.
Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued the following statement regarding statewide school closure:
“As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest. Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31. Superintendents and local leadership have the full support of my administration to determine effective dates for closure this week as they evaluate what is best for families within their respective districts. We understand the tremendous burden school closure places on families and we will continue to work with both the federal government and school districts to ensure we continue essential supports like meals for students in need. Every Tennessean has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and I urge Tennesseans to be quick to help neighbors as new needs surface with the closure of schools.”