State superintendent of education recommends closure of schools for remainder of the year

Newhall School District students congratulate each other at an award ceremony held at the Newhall Family Theatre to recognize students who met criteria of English-Language proficiency. February 12, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Due to the concerns over COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has recommended the closure of K-12 schools until the end of the school year.

“The need for safety through social distancing warrants that we continue to keep our school campuses closed to students during this pandemic,” said Thurmond in a news release distributed Tuesday. “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.”

Previously, in Los Angeles County and the Santa Clarita Valley, schools had agreed to have their campuses closed until May 5.

All school districts within the SCV had said they had moved or were moving to a “distance learning,” or electronic learning, model for students.

Thurmond, in addition to safety, cited consistency and clarity in the education plans for districts across the state as other reasons for his directive.

“(The California Department of Education) has provided guidance and resources on distance learning and will continue to enhance that guidance,” said Thurmond. “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.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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