Schools close; provide free meals, online resources

Published 6:55 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Troy and Pike County Schools are now out of session in accordance with guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health, CDC and State Department of Education.

“The last couple of days our attendance has been down significantly,” said Cynthia Thomas, interim superintendent of Troy City Schools.

Pike County Schools reported Monday night that 80 percent of students were already absent from school, absences which the state proactively excused.

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The school systems are providing resources to keep students engaged during the break.

“We will continue to provide support for our students via online resources and take-home packets,” Thomas said. “We will continue to have our 12-month employes working at school sites with a modified schedule in place. Our central office will also be modifying our schedule in efforts to be incompliance with CDC and Dept. of Education guidance.”

Once the schools are closed, Thomas said the facilities will be disinfected to prepare for the return of students.

The Child Nutrition Program will be serving snack and lunch 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Troy Elementary School Thursday and Friday and will resume providing meals on Monday, March 30. Meals will not be served during the scheduled spring break period from March 23 to March 27. Children need to be present with the guardian to pick up the lunches.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said the system has similar plans in place.

“We will continue to have 12-month employees working at the school sites three days a week. Initially, the central office will be open five days because we have payroll to meet and bills to play. After that, we will downsize to a minimum.”

Bazzell said support will be provided for students who are dual enrolled so they will not lose the college credits.

Grade level on-line activities will be available so students will have learning opportunities available to them during the time school is closed.

“We want our students to keep busy with academic things when school is not in session,” Bazzell said.

Once the school buildings are vacated, they will undergo deep cleaning. Then, cleaning will be suspended until the first day before the students return.

The Child Nutrition Program will have breakfast and lunch available for students with pick-up from 9 a.m. until noon at Goshen High School and Pike County Elementary School.