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California Schools Unlikely To Reopen This School Year

Credit: Andrew Reed/EdSource
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond during a staff interview at EdSource

According to a letter sent yesterday by California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state’s students should not expect to return to campus this academic year.

The letter from State Superintendent Tony Thurmond’s office was sent to county superintendents across California. While it is not an official order, the letter constitutes an acknowledgement that school campuses should remain closed out of safety concerns. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the memo is the guidance education officials across the state have been waiting for before making the tough decision to extend their campus closures through the end of the year.

Thurmond’s letter comes exactly two weeks after Governor Gavin Newsom said in his daily briefing that he did not expect school campuses to reopen this year. In his letter, Thurmond says that this is in no way intended to imply that school is over, but rather that all efforts should be put into enhancing distance learning capabilities.

The letter acknowledges that switching entirely to distance learning presents hardships for some families, students and educators, but is urging a safety first approach.