USAACE and Fort Rucker Covid-19 Discussion Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. CDT on Facebook Live
Fort Rucker Public Affairs Staff Report
May 15, 2020

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Americas Region and Fort Rucker leadership have decided to close in-person classes until further notice, beginning March 18.

This decision was made after much discussion and coordination between Fort Rucker and DoDEA School officials as it was determined this course of action would be in the best interest of our mission, military members, families, schools and workforce on the installation.

“Fort Rucker leadership is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our Soldiers, family members and civilian workforce and to working together with our partners in the Wiregrass community,” Major General David J. Francis, commander of the United States Army Aviation Center & Fort Rucker said.

“We believe by closing the schools now, we are being proactive and not providing COVID-19 a populous venue to potentially infiltrate our installation and spread amongst our population. We will continue to reevaluate our course of action as this health threat develops,” Francis added.

Here is a list of the changes:

  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020, DoDEA school buildings at Fort Rucker, will be closed to students as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This action is being taken as a prudent measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, students should not report back to school until further notice. Staff will report at the usual time to begin online preparation.
     
  • All school extracurricular activities are canceled/postponed until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, all scholastic and athletic competitions, sports practices, music/drama/arts performance, school trips and any other extra-curricular activities. Additionally, this includes outside groups that meet at our schools.
     
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020 will be teacher and staff workdays.  This will allow administrators and staff to collaborate and prepare to ensure continuity of instruction for online teaching.
     
  • Monday, March 23, 2020 students can expect to begin receiving assignments. Students will be expected to complete online learning assignments and/or work packets as assigned by their classroom teachers. School principals and teachers will be sending out additional information related to this expectation by Friday, March 20, 2020.
     
  • Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3 spring break takes place.  No student or staff attendance.

We recognize the hardship this decision places on many families, but believe it is in the public’s best interest if it means we can contribute to protecting our students as well as the community’s health and well-being.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our students’ parents as they support our efforts to maintain continuity of education. We have plans in place at the district and school-level, and DoDEA headquarters is committed to providing schools with all the resources necessary.  The district will review conditions and publish an update each Friday by 5 p.m. on our local school web pages.

The following website serves as DoDEA’s official source for information on COVID-19, highlighting associated impacts as well as response and prevention efforts: https://www.dodea.edu/Coronavirus.cfm. Please continue to visit this website for updates.

Also, we ask families to continue following the COVID-19/coronavirus guidelines as shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that are posted on its website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html. These include monitoring family members’ health for flu-like symptoms and reaching out to a local health provider if these symptoms occur.

Please know that this is a unique situation for Fort Rucker, DoDEA schools and the Nation. We do not yet have all the answers but are committed to executing continuous communications between the installation, DoDEA Americas, Fort Rucker Schools and families as frequently and openly as possible. DoDEA Americas and Fort Rucker leadership will continue to coordinate closely to ensure accurate and timely information is available and to encourage all appropriate measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.

In an effort to provide additional information regarding the school closing, plans for installation services and other actions being implementing on Fort Rucker, Major General Francis and installation officials will host a virtual town hall on Monday, March 16, at 5 pm on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/ftrucker/.