Ava Seccuro co-editor-in-chief
Although there is no concrete plan just yet, schools all across California, including BHUSD, will close for the remainder of the school year in an attempt to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
During a press conference today, Gov. Gavin Newson said that although classes will remain in session online, schools will not reopen for the remainder of the year. This is in concurrence with
a statement issued yesterday afternoon by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond which reads:
“As you know we continue to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus and how those impacts make it unsafe for our students to be served on school campuses at this time. The need for safety through social distancing warrants that we continue to keep our school campuses closed to students during this pandemic. Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing, it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year. This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning.”
Regarding how BHUSD will facilitate this change, Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy stated that he along with other board members will determine a solid course of action within the coming days, he said via email.
“We have been advised by the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools that school district closures require local board action. We take these recommendations seriously and will update you shortly,” he said via email. “[We] have the decision making authority so you should hear additional information about whether we are physically shut down (or not) for the rest of the year in the next several days.”
Board member Noah Margo expects that the district will proceed with the same course of action that teachers and students have been following thus far.
“We have a robust Home Learning program and our students have access to the technology to make this plan succeed. I thank our teachers, our parents and all of those who have dedicated themselves to making the best of this situation while educating our students,” Margo said via email. “I also feel adamant about our 8th and 12th graders getting to graduate in a creative way that has obviously never been done before.”
Moreover, the California Department of Education (CDE) is preparing nonetheless in the event that the closure should extend.
“We acknowledge that students only being able to be served through distance learning creates hardships for some students, families, and educators. However, we are urging a safety-first approach out of an abundance of caution,” Thurmond said in his March 31 statement. “CDE has provided guidance and resources on distance learning and will continue to enhance that guidance. CDE will also provide webinars and training and is forging public-private partnerships with leaders in technology and the philanthropic sector to help expand home devices and internet access where possible and where available resources and donations allow.
Click here to read Thurmond’s full statement.