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By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

Schools to stay closed through end of year

 

Last updated 4/9/2020 at 1:33am



California public schools are to remain closed through the end of the school year, state officials announced April 1.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and Tony Thurmond, state superintendent of public instruction, had repeatedly suggested that schools may need to be shut down at least until the fall, before the governor made the announcement.

Newsom said Monday, April 6, that it’s too early to tell if school closures may extend into the fall if the coronavirus turns out to be seasonal, and there is a resurgence in cases later this year.

The San Diego County Office of Education said it is continuing to “carefully monitor guidance from federal, state and local public health and education agencies.”

Local school districts, which have shut campuses since March, are moving to distance learning, and are continuing to provide meals to students and their families during the campus closures.

“I want to be very clear that the 2019-2020 school year is not over; it has just transitioned from classroom instruction into distance learning,” Paul Gothold, superintendent of San Diego County Office of Education, said in a letter earlier this month.

Fallbrook Union Elementary School District Superintendent Candace Singh said in a letter to parents April 2 that her district, along with school districts throughout San Diego County, is following a “safety-first approach and will extend our school facility closures through the end of the school year.”

However, she said, if the ongoing stay-at-home order is lifted and the coronavirus pandemic situation is seen to improve, “We will do our best to reopen school facilities.”

“We understand how challenging this time is for our families and our employees who are working every day to support you with your children at home,” Singh said in her letter. “We are here to assist you in any way we can. Please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal, or to us through our district website if you have additional questions. I am sending my best wishes and prayers for you and your family’s well-being during this difficult time.”

Ilsa Garza-Gonzales, superintendent of Fallbrook Union High School District, said in March that teachers had been providing enrichment learning opportunities through Google Classroom and in printed form, and that a distance learning plan had been in development in the event that schools do not reopen.

She said at the time it was unclear whether graduations and other end-of-year events will continue as scheduled.

Bonsall Unified School District’s superintendent told parents March 23 that district officials are no longer planning to reopen campuses, April 6.

“With information from California Gov. Gavin Newsom and guidance from the San Diego County Office of Education, I am removing any date to resume school,” Superintendent David Jones said in the email. “All BUSD schools will remain closed until further notice. All decisions about reopening schools will be made in conjunction with local public health officials.”

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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