Coronavirus (COVID-19) & The Facts

UPDATE - March 24, 2020

ACS Families,

This afternoon, Governor Bill Lee announced his recommendation to close schools through Friday, April 24th. Therefore, ACS will remain closed until that time. Please see the message below that I sent you earlier this afternoon regarding the online optional resources that will begin April 1st.

Tammy Mason

ACS Superintendent

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ACS Families,

Teachers are “back” from spring break – I say that loosely because most of them were forced to cancel travel plans due to the virus as I’m sure you were. But I wanted to respect their scheduled time off so they could enjoy it with family before diving into what will become a new teaching experience for them. I know it seems like your child has missed many days of school, but keep in mind that we were on Spring Break and just now dipped into stockpiled “weather” days that will extend through March 31st.

This week, teachers are getting acclimated with our virtual platform that they’ll utilize to meet within their own teacher teams. Together, they’ll work within subjects, grades, or courses to put together meaningful learning opportunities that will be aligned to standards taught this school year.

Since this pandemic hit, our team has dug into the details of what has and has not been taught this school year. To date, nearly 80 to 90 percent of all standards have been taught, depending on the course or subject. That’s an incredible and comforting feeling to know. In April, our students would have been on track to take the state tests. Now that those tests have been canceled, we’re asking teachers to provide optional resources that will reinforce students’ previous learning while creating a memorable experience.

Please understand that we’re trying to be very intentional about this plan. Simply giving you a list of online resources is not helpful – to you or the students. Our goal is for your child to receive a limited and feasible amount of optional resources to help them continue their learning. These optional resources will not be graded nor impact your child in any negative way.

When will these online optional resources become available?

ACS plans to roll out these online optional resources to parents and students on a weekly basis beginning Wednesday, April 1st. Each weekly packet will cover a week’s worth of optional resources. Next week, we’ll let you know how these resources will be disseminated, but they will include the use of Schoology and One Drive for Grades 5-12 and SeeSaw and the ACS website for Grades K-4. We will send you additional information about the online optional resources early next week.

How long will ACS be closed?

ACS will remain closed until Friday, April 24th.

We’ll be making a set of FAQs that will be posted to the website later this week to address many topics, including registration, report cards, etc.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate these unprecedented times while national, state and local officials provide guidance on this evolving pandemic.

Please email if you have additional questions, and someone will answer you as quickly as possible.

Tammy Mason
ACS Superintendent

Like most businesses and organizations, Arlington Community Schools has a safety committee that oversees the district's crisis plan, which includes preparations for infectious diseases and pandemics. Given the recent conversations surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt this information should be shared with our school family and the Arlington community.

The District already has many protocols in place due to cold and flu season. Nonetheless, we are instituting practices that will continue to add a layer of protection for students during this flu season and for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Smart preparation now based on the facts can reduce fear. Facts tell us that we should be preparing. In order to avoid undue panic, please check the source of any information before you share it on social media.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 Factsheet

How is ACS Addressing Absences?

We realize this is an extraordinary time that may lead to an abnormal amount of absences.

Due to COVID-19, ACS has relaxed its policies and procedures around student enrollment based on guidance from the CDC. If your child is sick, do not send them to school.

ACS has directed all schools to temporarily halt absence/truancy letters. We simply ask that all students turn in a doctor's note or a note from a parent detailing the illness within two (2) school days of returning to school for the absence to be excused.

Our Approach to Cleaning ACS

ACS is in constant contact with SKB, the janitorial company we contract with to clean our schools. The Memphis International Airport is among SKB’s many clients, and they are continually updating their protocols according to advice from health experts. 

  • In addition to end-of-the-day sanitations, things like drinking fountains and other high-traffic areas will be cleaned between each period or several times each day.
  • Durham Bus Services will also hand-wipe seats and buses daily.

ACS is also buying the Clorox Total 360° System for each of our four schools. This no-wipe solution device disinfects and sanitizes all surfaces - even those hard-to-reach areas - quickly and efficiently.

Other Steps We're Taking

ACS has posted How to Stop the Spread of Germs flyers in all classrooms and around school buildings. Additionally, teachers will educate students about preventing the spread of germs.

ACS continually registers new students throughout the year. As a precaution, we now have a procedure in place for enrolling all new students, which includes questions about their recent travel history.

What You Can Do At Home

Use common-sense solutions to help prevent you, your family and the community from spreading viruses and illnesses.

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands. You can also sneeze into your elbow if no tissues are nearby.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth before properly washing your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Disinfect lunch boxes and backpacks with Clorox wipes or other cleaning solutions.

You should also consider the possibility of having to stay home for a week or longer should you or your child get sick with a virus. We understand this is a unique time, and we're taking that into consideration as we implement attendance and truancy policies and procedures.

If you get a virus, do you:

  • have a sitter to watch your child should you have to work?
  • have enough food and water to last you a week or longer?
  • have at least a 30-day supply of your needed medications?
  • have a plan in place in the chance you or a family member contracts a virus?
These are great practices to utilize 365 days a year, regardless of cold and flu season.

How to Clean Your iPad (Students & Employees)

Studies show that devices, like an iPad or smartphone, has hundreds of times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Being a 1:1 iPad district, our students are constantly on their devices. To learn how to clean your device carefully and properly, follow these steps from Apple.

How to Clean Your MacBook (Employees)

To Sick For School Graphic

Stop the Spread of Germs

Stop the Spread of Germs

What Should I Do If My Child Has to Miss Several Days of School?

The most important thing is that your child gets well and doesn't return to school until you get approval from your doctor. To prevent the spread of illnesses and diseases, it's vital you follow the doctor's orders and stay home until you're well enough to return to school.

Practical Steps:

  • Let the school know if your child will miss several days of school due to an illness.
  • Ask your teacher(s) if there is homework or other tasks your child can work on while at home.
  • Ensure your child is well before sending him or her to school.
  • Don't forget the doctor's note, if your child visited a medical provider.
  • If your child has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact your school's principal directly. All information will remain confidential and will only be used for internal purposes.

It's important that we all operate with facts, not fear. Here are links to the reputable sources you can trust:

Should the COVID-19 virus come to Shelby County, we will follow the direction of the state or county Health Department.