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Kern County Superintendent of Schools makes recommendation for schools to extend closures through at least May 1, 2020

In consultation with Kern County Public Health, and in light of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20, which directs “all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors,” Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary C. Barlow has announced her recommendation to Kern County’s 47 school districts to extend closures of all public schools through at least Friday, May 1, 2020, to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Governor has clarified that critical functions of education, as outlined under a previous Executive Order, are still in effect and exempt from the statewide stay-at-home order. These orders include:

• Schools will continue to deliver high-quality educational opportunities to students, to the extent feasible, through distance learning and/or independent study.

• Schools will provide meals in non-congregate settings.

• Schools will arrange for, to the extent practicable, supervision for students during ordinary school hours.

• Schools will continue to pay employees.

Over the past week, Kern County’s 47 school districts have rapidly adapted to the emergency to provide remote learning, “grab-and-go” meal distribution, supervision during the school day and telecommuting. Kern County Schools will continue these essential functions during school closures.

“KCSOS’s leadership team and Kern’s 47 district superintendents are meeting daily through Zoom video conferencing and are problem solving in real time,” said Barlow. “We are learning from one another, adjusting plans daily and will be ready for any eventuality, including school closures beyond the May 1, 2020, recommendation. We hope it does not come to that, but we will be prepared, if the Governor and/or public health officials advise that school closures should be extended as we move forward.”

During the time of the school closure, we are asking that students and families follow the Governor’s orders to stay home and minimize social contact to the extent possible.

This is a dynamic situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. We are grateful to community members and our community leaders throughout our county for their tremendous care, collaboration, and understanding during these challenging times.

For the most updated information, please visit http://www.kern.org.