Panama-Buena Vista district board approves distance learning plan for start of upcoming school year


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District is joining other Bakersfield school districts in starting the upcoming school year online due to COVID-19.

On Tuesday night, the PBVUSD board of trustees voted to begin the 2020-21 school year in the distance learning format through the end of the first grading period in October. The board also pushed back the start of the school year from Aug. 12 to Aug. 24 to give the district more time to prepare.

“While we prefer students to be in school with all of the normalcy, learning and social/emotional support it provides, the safety of our students and staff is paramount as we move forward during these unprecedented times with distance learning,” the district said in a news release. “As we work with local (and state) health agencies, we will continue to monitor and guide all of our efforts toward in-person instruction as restrictions are lifted and it is safe for all to return to work and school.”

The decision comes after the state released guidance last week for schools, requiring that schools in counties that have been on the state’s monitoring list for 14 consecutive days operate with distance learning only for the beginning of the school year.

Kern County was placed back on the watchlist earlier this week after failing the state’s metrics.

Several local school districts including the Bakersfield City School District and Kern High School District recently announced similar plans to start the school year with distance learning.

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