All Alexandria City Public Schools will close on Wednesday after hundreds of staff members requested the day off. Wednesday, March 8 has been promoted as 'A Day Without a Woman.'
“This is not a decision that was made lightly,” Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley said in a message to parents and students. “
The school district said 300 staff members requested to have the day off and attributed it to International Women’s Day.
"The decision is based solely on our ability to provide sufficient staff to cover all our classrooms. It is not based on a political stance or position,” Crawley said.
Students won’t have to make up the missed day thanks to unused snow days that were built into the schedule. It will be considered a teacher work day for all ACPS staff.
The school district acknowledged that a sudden day off for students can be disruptive and inconvenient for families. It’s offering the following activities and programs for all students, no matter where they go to school:
- All Campagna Center Early Childhood Programs (Head Start, Early Head Start) and Campagna Kids After School programs will operate on the normal schedule. Campagna Kids Before School Program will be closed (Samuel Tucker and Polk Elementary School sites).
- All Rec programs at schools will continue to operate as usual.
- All ACPS scheduled after-school activities for March 8 will continue as planned.
ACPS will provide breakfast at 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and lunch at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at:
- Patrick Henry Elementary School
- Jefferson-Houston School
- Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
- William Ramsay Elementary School
- Francis C. Hammond Middle School
- T.C. Williams High School
Anyone with questions is urged to email the ACPS Office of Communications. You can do so here.
WUSA9 checked with several other local school districts about how they plan to handle ‘A Day Without A Woman.’ Here are their responses:
- Prince George’s Co. Public Schools: Closed Wednesday, read more here
- Montgomery Co. Public Schools: “We are monitoring the situation and have no answer at the moment.”
- Fairfax Co. Public Schools: No plans to close schools
- D.C. Public Schools: Open on Wednesday
- Loudoun Co. Public Schools: Not closing. The district hasn’t received any requests to close.
- Howard Co. Public Schools: No response
- Anne Arundel Co. Public Schools: Not closing
- Prince William Co. Public Schools: Monitoring the situation
In addition to saying they will stay open on Wednesday, DCPS offered this statement:
“DCPS schools are and will continue to be safe places for all students and all people in our communities, regardless of immigration status, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. While some may plan to attend this week’s walk out on International Women’s Day, all students and staff are expected to be in school throughout the day so that teaching and learning can continue. We respect the right to self-expression and peaceful protest in support of gender equality. We encourage staff and students to use this as an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women through classroom discussion and activities.“
'A Day Without A Woman' is meant to recognize the impact women add to the economy, while also fighting for equality and human rights.
On Wednesday, women (and men) are encouraged to mark the day by:
- Taking the day off
- Avoiding shopping (except to support small, women- and minority-owned businesses)
- Wearing red in solidarity
'A Day Without A Woman' is being organized by the same people behind the Women's March on Washington. You can learn more about the movement here.