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State Superintendent Says Schools May be Closed for Remainder of Academic Year

Calls for districts to strengthen distance learning

Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | 5:23 pm

Schools may be closed for the rest of the academic year according to the state superintendent.

“Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to
school campuses before the end of the school year,” said Tony Thurmond. “This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather
we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning.”

Schools in the Pasadena Unified School District have been closed since March 16. There is no mention of the letter on the PUSD website.

The district has been offering local students and their families free meals since the schools closed. Some students get their only meal of the day
at school.

“We acknowledge that students only being able to be served through distance learning creates hardships for some students, families, and educators,”
the letter states. However, we are urging a safety first approach out of an abundance of caution.”

Earlier this month four employees were tested for the virus. The results of those tests have not been made public.

Students are scheduled to return in early May.

“We urge that all school districts in California move towards and/or continue to strengthen their distance learning programs and opportunities for
students,” said Thurmond. “We believe this sustains the safety of our students and families, provides consistency across schools in the state, and
provides our districts and educators with clarity and the ability to plan for delivering education for the rest of this school year through a
distance learning model.”

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