COVID Closure Daily Update for Monday, May 4

Day 31 — Learning from Home Experience

As we begin this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, it is important that we acknowledge all of our staff and families who are assisting with the education of our students. This year is unique in so many ways and one specific unique factor is having an “all hands on deck” approach as we teach and learn from home in ACPS. All staff members and in some instances family members have been catapulted into fulfilling the role of our educators during this pandemic. I hope our teachers don’t mind if we share this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week with all staff as well as our families who are working together on behalf of our young people.

The teaching profession is one of the most profound and fulfilling careers in the world. Teachers can literally change the world one child at a time and contribute to the success of the next generation. Like most educators, I became a teacher to impact the lives of children. During this global pandemic, we all have been taken out of our comfort zones and forced to adjust to our new normal. Over the past couple of months, our teachers in ACPS have been recording videos, Zooming with our students and colleagues, and being innovative with our approaches to teaching and learning. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated, hard working and amazing staff in ACPS.

Please make sure your child expresses thanks to all their wonderful teachers and staff members during this special week. I know that our staff are all sad that they cannot see our students in person at this time. One way to put an extra big smile on our staff faces is to have your child send in a photo holding a special handmade message of appreciation or post “thank you” on social media if possible. A small gesture of gratitude will go a long way and I’m sure that our staff will appreciate your acts of kindness.

Stay healthy, stay safe and stay informed.


Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!

Things are certainly a little different this year but it’s just as important as ever that you show your teachers how much you appreciate and miss them during Teacher Appreciation Week. One way to put a big smile on their faces is to send in a cheery photo of your child holding a “thank you” banner like this example below. We will share as many of these as we can on social media.

Please share your photo on the ACPS Facebook page, on Twitter with the hashtag #TeachACPS or send in the photo by the end of the week to

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!

Wednesday is National School Nurse Day: Check Out How Our Staff is Contributing to the Fight Against COVID-19

Wednesday is National School Nurse Day

When Megan Costanza, a nurse at the T.C. Williams High School Clinic got the call to say her skills were needed by the Alexandria Health Department’s coronavirus task force, she didn’t hesitate.

A former ER nurse who has worked in hospitals around the country, she has seen just about everything there is to see in the medical field, including suspected Ebola cases. For Megan, she viewed this not only as an opportunity that allowed her to answer a call of duty, but also as an opportunity to learn.

She is now among ten of our amazing school nurses currently working eight hour shifts from the Alexandria Health Department Investigation Team’s offices, meticulously tracing, contacting, assessing and advising people who may have been exposed to the virus.

“When I first heard about the opportunity, I thought it sounded really interesting because what we’re living through is history in the making,” she said. “But not only that, I also thought I might be able to learn something that I could then take back to T.C. that would help the kids when we return to school.”

Although all 22 of our nurses were reassigned to work at the AHD at the end of March, many were unable to because of the risk working in an office posed to vulnerable family members or indeed themselves.

Wednesday is National School Nurse Day

Those nine who were able to sign up are now playing a critical role in the battle against the virus in Alexandria. The data they uncover helps not only limit the spread but also gives Alexandria City Health Department (AHD) the information they need to monitor our City’s situation.

Megan typically works two to three shifts a week socially distanced in a cubicle at the Alexandria City Health Department office on King Street. She does this while juggling her ACPS commitments on other days. During each shift, she is given details of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, and then the work of contacting anyone that patient could have exposed begins.

The first call she makes is to the patient themselves. She starts by establishing where they have been and who they have had prolonged contact with going back to 48 hours before their first symptom.

Some days Megan, who has worked at T.C. for a year and a half, gets through three or four cases per shift, or sometimes just one depending on the complexity.

“We investigate until we get all those names and locations and addresses,” she said. “And then we move into contact tracing, and identifying anybody that’s had a prolonged exposure. We contact those individuals and ask them to stay home for 14 days in isolation, per the governor’s order.”

“​I often end up creating an insane flow chart, and sometimes it just expands and expands. You can start with one person and it can take you all day to call their contacts. Then you find one of their contacts is sick and you call their contacts and on it goes. It’s almost like a spider web, it can grow and grow.”

The mother of two college students said that when the team of ACPS nurses started the work during Spring Break, those infected had a lot more questions than they do now. “Now it’s been on the news so much and everybody is living through it, people are less surprised when they receive a call. They just want to know their resources and hear reassurance.”

“I get asked, ‘What’s my next step? How do I take care of myself? How do I take care of my family?’” She finds that often, just being there on the end of the line to listen is a great reassurance.

“I think it’s comforting for people to have somebody to talk to who knows about the disease and what’s going on. People are so isolated in their homes right now that I’m finding just having somebody to talk to on the phone is appreciated.”

Of course, Megan misses all the students at T.C. and looks forward to the day that students fill the halls again.

She enjoys the days she is able to reconnect with the entirety of her ACPS nursing team as they together prepare for the return of school with tasks including planning care for students with chronic medical conditions and the review of immunization records.

But until then she plans to help out at Alexandria Health Department as long as she is needed.

“I love the work,” she said.

“It makes me feel like I’m giving back to my community and my country and that I’m learning something that I think’s going to be valuable for several years to come.”

Wednesday is National School Nurse Day

Reminder for Seniors: Final Call to Submit Graduation Videos

Hopefully our seniors were able to record their three videos on Friday to contribute to the Class of 2020 Documentary we are making to celebrate their graduation.

Please remember to send us your videos.

Educación en Radio: VDOE Partnership with Spanish Language Radio Station for Additional Learning Resources

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is partnering with Radio Poder WBTK 1380 AM — a Richmond Spanish-language station — to launch “Virginia: Educación en Radio,” the commonwealth’s first bilingual radio learning program.

Programming will feature prerecorded lessons in multiple subject areas to support continuity of learning for Spanish-speaking students in grades K-12.

More information can be found on the Spanish Language Lessons Over the Radio webpage on the ACPS-at-Home website.

Watch Friday’s Board Meeting

During the closure of school buildings, our School Board is meeting virtually each Friday at noon. If you missed Friday’s meeting live, you can still watch it.

Watch last Friday’s School Board Meeting.

Pre-Labor Day Start Proposed for 2021

The School Board is being asked to approve a pre-Labor Day start in 2021 for ACPS schools. This would be the first time that ACPS schools would start before Labor Day.

If the calendars are approved, schools on the Traditional Calendar (all schools except Samuel W. Tucker) will start on August 24, 2021. Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School will start on July 28, 2021.

The Calendar Committee recommended the earlier start to align the ACPS school calendar with other divisions in the region. The final calendars for the 2021-22 school year will be approved by the School Board in May to allow staff and families time to plan for changes to school programs, facilities projects and operational services.

View the proposed Traditional Calendar for 2021-22 (PDF)

View the proposed Modified Calendar for 2021-22 (PDF)

Teen Wellness Center is Open

The Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams is still open regular hours Monday through Friday for all Alexandrians ages 12-19. All services are provided in the clinic and if the teen is ill with an elevated temperature (100.0 or more) we will see them through our telehealth video format. Make an appointment over the phone by calling 703-746-4776.


The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. For other questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Hotline at 703-746-4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Additional updates can be found at

Stop the spread of germs in Alexandria

Food Distribution

ACPS has multiple distribution meal site locations throughout Alexandria for all ACPS students and children over the age of two.


Grab and Go breakfast, lunch and snack meals are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the following locations:

  • William Ramsay Elementary School
    5700 Sanger Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311
  • Francis C. Hammond Middle School
    4646 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304
  • Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
    3600 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
  • Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School
    1501 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
  • T.C. Williams High School
    3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22304

And available at our “Pop-Up” sites located at:

  • Mason Apartments at South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Brent Place Apartments at 375 South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    11:20 to 11:50 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Ruby Tucker Family Center at 322 Tancil Court, Alexandria, VA 22314
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Community Lodgings at 607 Notabene Drive, Alexandria, VA 22305
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Old Towne West Apartments (parking lot) at 500 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    11:20 to 11:50 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Corner of Florence Drive and Four Mile Road, Alexandria, VA 22305
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

NO SIGN UP OR REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE MEALS. Meals consist of breakfast, lunch and snack and include, for example, fresh fruits and vegetables and sandwiches for multiple days.

NOTE: No food distribution will occur on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The limited days for distribution is to support the practice of social distancing and to limit social gatherings. Meals for two days will be provided on the pick-up days, (Monday/Wednesday/Friday).

Other Food Resources in the City of Alexandria

For food pantry locations and schedules in Alexandria, visit or call ‪703-662-1067.

Questions? Or Need Translation?

Send us your question in Spanish, Arabic or Amharic:

  • Text ACPSMEALS to 797979 (English and Spanish)
  • Call or text 703-927-6866 (Amharic)
  • Call or text 703-927-7095 (Arabic)


Call the FACE Center’s Bilingual Parent Information Lines:

  • For Spanish, call 571-775-9719, Monday-Friday (9 a.m. — 5 p.m.)
  • For Amharic, call 703-927-6866, Monday-Friday (9 a.m. — 1 p.m.)
  • For Arabic, call 703-927-7095, Tuesday-Thursday (9 a.m. — 3:30 p.m.)

SAFETY REMINDER: Please remember to observe social distancing practices while at the food distribution site by maintaining six feet of personal space between you and other families or individuals.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness like fever, runny nose, sore throat, coughing or difficulty breathing on the day of food distribution or in the previous 24 hours should not visit a food distribution site but call a health care provider instead. If you do not have a primary care physician and are not enrolled in a clinic, you may CALL an urgent care center or emergency room.


We want to hear from you! Send us a photo, video or story about your experiences while school is closed. Email us at


Learning Together: At-Home Tips from One ACPS Family to Another

Have a learning tip that works well for your child, or a particularly interesting project or story you think others would enjoy? We invite you to share it with the entire ACPS learning community!

Upload your video or audio story or post it to the ACPS Facebook page.

See this great example from one parent and her son.

Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty

Check out the City of Alexandria webpage Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty which includes the COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide.


Please consider donating through ACT For Alexandria and the COVID-19 Response Fund if you are able. 

Community members who would like to volunteer should reach out to or 703-836-2176 to register for any additional potential volunteer opportunities.


Continuity of School Support and Academic Advisement

School Student Support Team staff, including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers will be available during school hours throughout the closure. Monday — Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. staff will be connecting with students and their families. The Department of Student Services, Alternative Programs and Equity staff members are also available during this time and can be contacted by voicemail and at

Emergency Supports

If there is a crisis or emergency during the time of the closure, students and families can access the supports below:

We know that this is a challenging time. ACPS will continue to share information through the ACPS website, social media, and email. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s school counselor or school social worker with any questions.


Don’t Feel Well?
Contact your primary health care physician. Don’t have insurance? Contact Neighborhood Health at 703-535-5568.


Have questions, concerns or feedback? Contact us.

Stay Healthy!
Wash your hands regularly. Regular soap is OK.

ACPS, Coronavirus