Seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their six county superintendents of schools have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.
The safety and wellness of students, school personnel and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in these six counties.
Building on the regional coordination the Bay Area jurisdictions took on March 16, in issuing health officer orders requiring all residents to shelter in place, the following Bay Area county agencies have been working together over the last several weeks to align strategies and practices during this unprecedented time for public education:
Alameda County Office of Education
Contra Costa County Office of Education
Marin County Office of Education
San Francisco Unified School District
San Mateo County Office of Education
Santa Clara County Office of Education
With the support and collaboration of the public health officers in the respective counties, the county superintendents of schools recognized the need to extend the period of school closures and student dismissals through May 1. School facilities may remain open to staff for the purposes of performing tasks deemed essential by the school district and county offices of education. Education will continue through flexible learning, meals will continue to be provided and, where possible, childcare may be arranged.
“While we know how disruptive school closures are to our students and families, we want to do everything we can to support the imperative for social distancing,” said Lynn Mackey, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. “We will continue to work with schools and districts in our county to ensure access to resources and support. Our education community, from superintendents, to teachers to custodians and payroll technicians, are working tirelessly to bring continuity to our community.”
During this time, residents are expected to adhere to the shelter-in-place orders issued by the public health officers on March 16 and stay home except for essential activities until further notification from their local health department.
In addition, all residents are urged to keep practicing the guidance provided by public health officers including:
- Social distancing
- Washing hands often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Staying home if you are feeling sick
- Contacting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- Engage in regular exercise or physical activity
The regional connections across our most populous counties in the Bay Area require a coordinated approach. County offices of education will continue to work in close partnership with local health departments and local school districts to support the children, parents and essential workforce of the Bay Area.