As I said yesterday, all of the school districts in our county met with the local health department which advised to keep schools open for now. In addition, the Superintendents of the County Offices of Education in the state are meeting with Governor Newsom on a daily basis. The district takes their directives from the County Health Department. I know some of you are worried about being paid if schools are closed. Remember, we’ll be paid if it is classified as an epidemic by a local, state, or federal official. But, Sacramento is also weighing options on what further measures to take.
As you can imagine, this is a very fluid situation. Currently, Congress is debating a package of aid to help with testing, sick leave, and emergency unemployment benefits for those people losing jobs. And now, President Trump is about to declare covid-19 a national emergency. So, again, this is all a very fluid situation.
Having said all that, I’m no expert like all of you. We’re all novices in this. The statement below is from Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Schools. I think it’s pretty clear that the decision to close schools is based on the recommendation of county public health officials.
“Deciding to close a school is a local decision, and one that the California Department of Education would not provide the directive on, especially if it is a public health concern. In the case of COVID-19, the decision to close a school would either come from the school and/or district, or ideally from their local county public health officials. We ask that you trust your local district leadership, as well as public health officials, to handle the potential of these situations with professionalism and calmness, and as always, with the safety of students and staff as the utmost priority.
It is important to note that so much of protecting yourself and your family comes from common sense practices, such as washing your hands with soap and water, staying away from work or school if you become sick with typical COVID-19 symptoms, and of course, following guidance from public health officials. We will continue to stay in close contact with public health officials, monitoring the situation with the experts, and as applicable, supporting our schools and districts as needed.”
Like I said earlier, this is a very fluid situation. Please be patient. I am working with CTA and the school district to provide more information during this emergency. If you haven’t heard, the school district will be closed next week for spring break, and also the following 2 weeks after that. We will reopen, as of now, April 6. Please be patient. Don’t believe in rumors or what you read on social media until you hear from me or the school district. Look back on my emails this week regarding Ed Code Language.