Press Release template
    March 16, 2020

    Tonya Harris at 202-393-2427

    Majority of the Nation's Largest Urban School Districts Close Schools Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

    Big-City School Districts Continue with Meals and Lessons


    WASHINGTON, March 16 – In an effort to restrict the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and safeguard the well-being of their students and staff, many of the nation's big-city school districts have closed their schools.

    On Sunday, New York City public schools announced it was closing and will not open until at least April 20. The nation’s largest school system is following in the footsteps of other large urban school systems in closing their doors, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the School District of Philadelphia, Houston Independent School District, Des Moines Public Schools, Seattle Public Schools, and Minneapolis Public Schools.

    “Urban school districts have worked for weeks to make contingency plans in case they had to close schools due to the coronavirus pandemic and now that the situation is a reality they are stepping up to the plate and taking the necessary steps to educate and feed their students,” said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly. “It is a momentous undertaking that urban school leaders are pursuing, but they are not shying away from their responsibility to take care of the nation’s 7.5 million urban students.”

    To help urban school districts deal with this unprecedented situation, the Council is holding weekly video conference call with leaders from its 76-member school districts where they can exchange information and share best practices with one another.

    The Council has compiled a list of school district closures for all 76 major urban public school districts represented by the national organization. The list is also available on the Council's website at: and will be continuously updated.

    #   #   #