Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Public School Campuses Will Remain Closed

Public school campuses in Sacramento County will remain closed when instruction resumes in the fall, leaving tens of thousands of families and teachers to begin planning for an extension of distance-learning programs.
The Sacramento County Office of Education, which oversees districts serving more than 250,000 students from kindergarten through high school, announced that its 13 districts will continue distance learning programs they implemented in the spring. The decision to close campuses was made by school officials.
Conditions are not safe enough for students, staff and families to allow school to open up in person at this time,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon.
The decision affects the following districts: Elk Grove Unified, Folsom Cordova Unified, Sacramento City Unified, Twin Rivers Unified, Natomas Unified, San Juan Unified, Arcohe Union, Center Joint Unified, Elverta Joint, River Delta Unified, Robla, Galt Joint Union Elementary and High School districts.
Sacramento County health chief Dr. Peter Beilenson and county health officials, who have been in close, daily consultation with school officials, say they believe the schools’ decision is the right one given the recent surge in coronavirus cases.
“It is a reasonable decision given the large increase in cases we’ve experienced, particularly among young people under 49, the kids and their parent’s ages,” Beilenson said. “We laid out the story for them of what was going on in the county now.”
Many schools are scheduled to open for instruction in mid-August; Sacramento City Unified is scheduled to begin on Sept. 3.  For distance learning only.
Other districts and counties in California have already announced plans to implement distance learning-only programs for the fall. The San Joaquin County Office of Education announced on Monday it recommended that its schools start fall classes online. Other districts in the state including the two largest — Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified — are also going online when classes resume. 
Nearly 700 people under the age of 19 have tested positive in Sacramento Countysince the virus began to spread through the region. 
The decision to keep Sacramento campuses closed came a day after some SCOE trustees shared concerns about physically reopening schools during a Tuesday night board meeting. 
Trustee Harold Fong said he was uncomfortable with the office’s plan to reopen classrooms.

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