JOINT PRESS STATEMENT
For immediate release
Contact: Robin Hall
Bay Area Schools Collaborate to Extend School Closures to Student Attendance
Schools continue to transition from in-person classroom to distance learning formats
San Jose, CA - The County Superintendents, after consultation with the Public Health Officers in six Bay Area counties, have announced the extension of campus closures through the end of the school year.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco County Superintendents in collaboration with the Public Health Officers in their respective counties, announced the decision to extend campus closures through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Schools will continue to transition from in-person classroom instruction to at-home and distance learning formats. School leaders will continue to utilize campus facilities to distribute school meals and provide childcare or supervision as determined by local needs.
After recently announcing campuses would remain closed for in-person learning until May 1, Bay Area counties took action to review their closure timelines following statements by Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond suggesting that California’s students would not likely be able to return to campus for in-person learning for the remainder of this school year.
“The decision to further extend closures is critical for maintaining social distancing and protecting the health and safety of all San Mateo County and Bay Area residents,” explained San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow. “We will continue to work closely with school leaders and adjust our orders and guidance once the data reflects that we’ve significantly stemmed the spread of COVID-19.”
This announcement comes as local public health officers continue to monitor and ensure the local orders to shelter in place with limited availability of COVID-19 testing and adapt to new information about the ways in which COVID-19 spreads in a community. Local officials are now recommending that residents wear face coverings when out in public and are requiring essential businesses to post social distancing protocols.
Building on the regional coordination the six Bay Area jurisdictions took in issuing the order for all residents to shelter in place, Bay Area counties have continued to work together to align strategies and practices in support of Bay Area schools during this unprecedented time.
“The decision to extend the campus closure dates throughout the Bay Area was made jointly with Public Health Officials, district superintendents and County Superintendents in the Bay Area region. While campuses cannot reopen this academic year, the 2019-2020 school year has not ended. The remainder of the school year will be focused on continuing education support for students through distance learning options as described by The California Department of Education (CDE). By doing so, we can do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community as the health and well-being of our students, families, and staff remain our top priority, “said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools.
During this most critical phase of the shelter in place order and as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, residents, including all Santa Clara County students and families, are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by public health officers including:
- Staying home and limiting essential activities where possible
- Washing hands often with soap and water
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Contacting your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
- Wearing face coverings (but not medical-grade masks)
- Adhering closely to social distancing guidelines
More information about Santa Clara County schools’ response to COVID-19 can be found on the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s website,www.sccoe.org/COVID-19. Families may also access our 16-hour Warmline, in five languages, at (408) 453-6651 for assistance.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
Schools Unit Leader
Emergency Operations Center
County of Santa Clara
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