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State leaders: Alabama K-12 schools closed for rest of semester

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Barrett Elementary School. (Photo by Mark Almond)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WBMA) — The remainder of the 2019-2020 school year for most Alabama K-12 students will be completed at home, Governor Ivey and State Superintendent Eric Mackey announced at a Thursday news conference.

“This decision has not been made lightly.” Ivey said.

Parents should prepare for students to finish the school year through distance learning, said Mackey.

Alabama’s public and private schools have been closed since March 19 to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

“We must be serious about eliminating the virus,” Ivey said.

After April 5 local school districts can decide to reopen buildings to staff as long as the state’s health orders, including social distancing, are followed.

Until April 6, all learning online is optional and schools cannot assign graded work or require students to do work.

The state of Alabama does not regulate private schools.

Mackey said he will be meeting with local superintendents on Friday to start making plans for how learning will resume on April 6.

For students that do not have internet access at home they will be given “old-fashioned” take-home packets of school work, Mackey said.

On Thursday March 26, statewide confirmed cases topped 500.