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California schools likely to remain closed for rest of academic year, superintendent says

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — California schools will likely remain closed for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the state’s superintendent said in a letter sent to school district officials.

“Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “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.”

Thurmond acknowledged the hardships for some students, families, and educators but urged school districts to move towards and strengthen their distance learning programs.

He also said the California Department of Education is prepared to assist school districts and educations by providing resources, webinars, and training on distance learning.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom also said it was unlikely that schools will reopen this academic year.

Newsom applauded the state’s efforts in distance learning and said other governors across the country are working off California’s guidelines.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said while adding there is still more work to do citing internet connections and rural issues.

Six Bay Area counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara – announced last week school closures would be extended through May 1.

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