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Message from Alachua County Superintendent of Schools

Press release from Alachua County Public Schools

Due to COVID-19, students will not be returning to our campuses until April 15 at the earliest, and technically ACPS employees are off for Spring Break next week (March 23-27). However, many employees will actually be working very hard during the break to have instruction up and running on March 30 as mandated by the state.

Obviously this is brand new territory for all of us, and we appreciate your patience and flexibility as we work through the many, many issues that come with providing education remotely to our diverse population.

We are focused on the needs of ALL students, but obviously there are unique challenges for particular groups of students, including seniors, students in our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program, those receiving ESE (Exceptional Student Education) services, and students who do not have devices and/or internet access. Please be assured our school and district staff are working through these issues.

With additional guidance from the Florida Department of Education and with the support of the community, we will continue to promote instructional continuity for our students. Paper packets, online learning, video conferencing and other options will be part of that equation. We won’t have all the solutions on Day 1, but like our students, we’ll be learning every day and making adjustments to better meet their needs.

Certainly, this will look and feel very different from the teaching and learning we’re all used to, but obviously these are very unusual times. Fortunately, our students had 131 days in the classroom with our outstanding educators before the COVID-19 crisis hit.

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Teachers and staff will be working beginning March 30. To protect public health, most will be working from home, but we are taking steps to ensure that teachers and staff will be available to provide support to families while children are learning at home.

If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to visit our Instructional Continuity page at https://bit.ly/3a6Mnbl, which has information on the instruction that will begin March 30 and some great educational resources you can use anytime.

We will continue to update you with new information as it becomes available, even during Spring Break. In the meantime, keep checking our website at www.sbac.edu and visiting our Facebook (@AlachuaCountyPublicSchools) and Twitter (@AlachuaSchools) pages.

This is a challenging time for everyone in Alachua County and across our nation, but I’ve been heartened by the outpouring of support from the community. I feel confident that if we continue to take care of each other and our children, we will all come through this crisis better and stronger.

Stay well, and we look forward to serving your children when instruction begins again March 30.

Karen Clarke
Superintendent
Alachua County Public Schools

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