District schools and Boys & Girls Club to remain open

Students at an elementary school in Santa Clarita walk to their classrooms on the first day of school in Aug. 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Local public schools and the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will remain open amid a statewide recommendation against assemblies of 250 people or more.

Because school districts take guidance from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, schools within the Castaic Union, Newhall, Saugus Union, Sulphur Springs Union and William S. Hart Union High School Districts will remain open unless otherwise advised.

“We’re not looking at any closures at this time,” said Colleen Hawkins, superintendent of SUSD. “We take guidance from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and we’ll keep working with them to determine school closures.”

During a news conference held by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday, a recommendation to cancel or postpone large social gatherings was issued, but school instruction does not apply, according to Barbra Ferrer, director of Public Health.

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley released a statement Thursday stating the facility will remain open, but will close if school sites are advised to close.

Superintendents across all school districts held a meeting Thursday about how to move forward with the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) concern.

During the meeting, superintendents discussed social distancing within schools and how the update from Newsom would affect future school events and assemblies. The districts will now be looking at future events to determine if cancellations or postponing are needed, according to Hawkins.

“We’ve decided to cancel specific events within the Newhall School District from now until April 30,” said Jeff Pelzel, superintendent of NSD. “We’re trying to minimize human-to-human contact and keep things within the district.”

SSUSD is taking measures to disinfect frequently-touched areas on school campuses daily and teachers are implementing designated hand-washing times for students, according to Catherine Kawaguchi, superintendent is SSUSD.

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