SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Unified School District announced Friday that it will shutter all schools in the district starting Monday over concerns of the coronavirus spreading.
The schools will reopen April 6, unless conditions call for an extension, according to the district. The Los Angeles Unified School District also announced Friday that it will close for the same duration.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten spoke by phone early this morning and later issued the following joint statement:
"California has now entered a critical new phase in the fight to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic," they said. "There is evidence the virus is already present in the communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread. We believe closing the state's two largest school districts will make an important contribution to this effort. For that reason, we plan to close, effective Monday, March 16.
You can watch the entire conference here:
Marten stressed "continuity of learning." Learning materials won't be exclusively online in order to assure "equitable access" to learning and content.
Marten said they will set up eight meal pick-up centers in high-need neighborhoods where breakfast and lunch will be served. Someone 18 or under must be present. The following location will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. thanks to the Food Service Department:
- Clark Middle
- Cherokee Point Elementary
- Sherman Elementary
- Zamorano Fine Arts Academy
- Kearny High School
- O'Farrell Charter
- Walker Elementary
- Farb Middle
All nonessential staff will work from home. Marten said employees will be paid during the shutdown. Students will be instructed to pack up textbooks and other materials when they leave school on Friday afternoon, such as independent reading books.
The school board is not aware of any student in the district that has tested positive for COVID-19. While children shouldn't play with other children in order to prevent the spread of infection, the school district has suggested activities to keep their kids physically active at home.
If you're looking for childcare while schools are closed, SDUSD does not recommend some 60 or older watch your kids due to the coronavirus posing a danger to senior citizens.
Marten said the district is in contact with the College Board to see how the pandemic could impact AP tests for high school students.
Also on Friday, the Poway Unified School District announced it will shutter all schools in the district starting Monday over concerns of coronavirus.
"After long and careful deliberation, and out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with local public health, we have decided to close all Poway Unified schools to students for three weeks effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3," said Poway Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps. "At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Poway Unified school community... During this closure, students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible."
Phelps said she was looking at ways to continue to provide meals for students who rely on them.