Yesterday afternoon, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued a letter to all county superintendents indicating his belief that school facilities should remain closed to students for the remainder of this school year "due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing." This letter was quickly publicized and was followed today by a press conference held by Governor Newsom where he supported Superintendent Thurmond's position and said, "I believe it is, I think, self-evident that we should not prepare to bring our children back into the school setting." The Del Norte Unified School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to discuss the potential reopening of schools, based on the decision that was previously made on March 15th, at their next board meeting. Given CDC guidelines on social distancing and the additional guidance by the State Superintendent and Governor, it is very likely that school facilities will not reopen to students for the remainder of this school year but that instruction will move exclusively to a distance learning environment.
It is also very important to remember that although facilities are closed to students, instruction is still happening. As Governor Newsom said in today's press conference, "Schools aren't open, but classes are in." Our teachers are engaged in creating distance learning opportunities that can be tailored to students' needs, and other certificated employees, such as nurses, counselors, and other service providers are continuing to reach out to students and families. Our classified staff continue to ensure our campuses are maintained, to guarantee that food is provided to our students, and to make certain that payroll and other essential functions are maintained. In addition, principals, directors, and other district and county office staff are ensuring that all facets of our district operations move forward, meeting the needs of our students, our employees, and our community.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and our administrative leadership team, I'd like to thank our community for your support during this transition and ask that you let us know if there is any way that we can help your child or family during this unprecedented time.
To view today's press conference, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=710485322821506. For family or student resources or more information on the District's response to the COVID-19 situation, please visit www.dnusd.org/covid-19.