LocationAlhambra , CA
Joining other school districts around Southern California and across the state, the Alhambra Unified School District announced Friday that it will close its 21 school sites and begin to implement online teaching starting Monday to protect the health and safety of students and staff in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency.
The decision to close, approved by the AUSD Board of Education at an emergency meeting Friday, will affect more than 16,500 students from the cities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel and Rosemead. The on-site cancellation of classes was called a “dismissal” by Superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo meaning that students would go home but that staff and teachers could remain on campus. The “dismissal” will be in effect for two weeks of instruction but will remain until the end of spring break, which runs from March 30-April 6. District officials will be evaluating the school closures during the week of March 30.
Jaramillo said that teachers and staff will be on campuses next week assessing opportunities for online learning and making necessary preparations. She also said that the district is advising teachers that it is possible that online instruction may be the “norm through the end of the school year” in late May.
Earlier Friday, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation, announced that its 700 campuses serving 670,000 students would also close Monday. The San Diego Unified School District is also closing on Monday.
Jaramillo stressed that at present there are no COVID-19 cases in the Alhambra Unified School District and that she said she would have been notified by the L.A.County Department of Health if there were. She said the action was deemed necessary to protect students and staff and was in keeping with overall moves to limit the spread of the virus. As of now, there are 198 cases reported in California of which at least 40 are reported in Los Angeles County.
In conveying the near-term future to the AUSD community, Jaramillo said that in addition to distance learning, the district is working to assist parents on issues of child care, grab-and-go meal service and medical services. Further details on the district’s plans will be posted on the AUSD website and individual school sites Friday afternoon.
AUSD was active in the last week in implementing new guidelines that called for cancellation or postponement of all large gatherings, including assemblies, performances, dances, rallies, field trips, PTA meetings and many other events. Visits to schools by volunteers and parents were also being limited. Those guidelines went into effect on Thursday, March 12 and were due to remain in effect through Sunday, April 12.
On Friday, it was announced that the College Board has cancelled the college testing planned for Alhambra High School on Saturday.
Previous reporting from Alhambra Source:
Coronavirus: “It’s not just about you” March 12, 2020
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