COVID-19 Could Prompt California Schools to Close for Rest of Year
To keep the coronavirus from spreading, K-12 students might not be able to return to in-person classes before summer break.
UPDATE March 19, 2020: In addition to California, Illinois education officials are now saying the shut-down of in-person classes of the state’s schools could be longer than two weeks.
“There is a very real possibility of the closure extending beyond March 30,” the Illinois State Board of Education said in a presentation yesterday. The board also said that E-learning may be necessary if the closure extends beyond March 30.
Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzer announced that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, all public and private schools in the state will be closed March 17-30, reports the Chicago Tribune.
California Governor Gavin Newsom warned on Tuesday that the state’s schools will likely stay closed for the rest of the academic year. The announcement was made at a press conference about California’s response to the coronavirus.
“This is a very sobering thing to say,” he said. “I don’t want to mislead you.”
Although most public schools in the state have closed for two or three weeks, Newsom now predicts students won’t be able to return to in-person classes before the summer break.
The state will soon be issuing guidance on how schools can switch to online learning formats.
Newsom’s announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidance earlier this week stating K-12 schools might need to close for eight weeks or longer to more effectively mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
One of the challenges of K-12 districts offering distance learning is that some students might not be able to participate because they don’t have computers or internet access at home, even if they are provided by the school.
A significant number of higher education institutions have already switched to online learning formats.
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