‘It’s Time to Shut Down All U.S. Schools’

As school administrators—principals, assistant principals and other school leaders—we believe ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff members is our top priority in this emergency situation. 

After reviewing the latest information regarding COVID-19 and school closures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the clearly ferocious rate at which the disease is spreading throughout communities everywhere, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), AFL-CIO, calls on all schools across the nation to close immediately. The length of the closure should be based on the CDC modeling data presented in its document, “Considerations for School Closure.” 

We do not make this request lightly and understand this decision will have a tremendous impact on the children we serve, both academically and emotionally. Yet it is necessary that we take this step immediately, because keeping schools open is simply not a healthy option now.

We understand that, if we do not close our schools now in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, the implications for students, families and communities is likely be far worse later. 

Once schools are closed, every effort should be made to ensure students continue to learn. This means that school districts and local, state and federal governments should work together to provide the tools and resources necessary for all students to engage in remote learning. AFSA pledges that its members will strive to ensure all students, even those who lack home internet access or appropriate computing devices, can continue their education in the weeks ahead. 

We know that millions rely on school for meals, physical and mental therapy services, and adult supervision during daytime hours. Supervision is particularly important for the children of medical professionals and public servants. There must be mechanisms in place to ensure all of our students’ health, safety and general welfare needs continue to be met for the duration of this emergency.

Let us all work together to continue serving all students during this extremely difficult time. AFSA and its members stand ready to do their part.