Arlington, VA

(Updated at 9:15 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools will close next Tuesday, March 3, due to the primary elections.

The Super Tuesday primary in Virginia is expected to draw large crowds to the polls, as voters cast ballots for the Democratic presidential nomination. With 23 schools serving as polling places, and citing the “safety and security of APS students,” the school system said it has decided to cancel classes and instead make Tuesday a teacher work day.

In a brief statement on its website, APS said “we understand that it may be difficult for some families to make alternative arrangements for the care of their children given the timing of this decision.”

The full statement:

Arlington Public Schools will be closed to students on Tue, March 3, 2020 which is Virginia’s Presidential Primaries Day (Super Tuesday). Currently, 23 APS buildings serve as polling places and the decision to close is in response to the anticipated challenges as a result of the increased accessibility to our buildings by the community on Primary Election day. All APS staff will be expected to report to work on March 3.

We understand that it may be difficult for some families to make alternative arrangements for the care of their children given the timing of this decision.

As always, the safety and security of APS students is our top priority.

Prior to the announcement, some questioned why APS was seemingly planning to remain open, when neighboring jurisdictions like Alexandria and Fairfax County already canceled classes.

“Having hundreds of people in and out of the schools all day goes against the safety protocols already in place,” said one concerned parent. “I can’t even pick up my own student without showing ID and wearing a tag, yet a large number of people will have to be in and out of their polling place (our school). Also, where are the students going to be when their gyms and cafeterias are used for polls?”

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