San Francisco is preparing distance learning during extended closures. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

California schools unlikely to reopen this year, state superintendent warns

San Francisco schools prepare to implement distance learning for students

Public schools statewide are likely to remain closed for the remainder of the school year, state officials warned Tuesday.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond told local officials across the state that schools may not reopen the rest of the year, according to the San Francisco Unified School District.

But the notification is not a formal directive and the current timeline to reopen San Francisco schools on May 4 has not changed as of Tuesday afternoon, said SFUSD spokesperson Laura Dudnick.

“SFUSD’s superintendent continues to work with other superintendents, the San Francisco Board of Education, and health officials to monitor the situation and will update families and staff if the closure timeline changes,” Dudnick said in an email.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier Tuesday that Thurmond would announce plans for schools in the next day or two. He previously hinted that schools could be closed for the remainder of the year before instituting the statewide shelter-in-place.

During the closures, San Francisco families with children may pick up meals at 17 sites on Mondays and Wednesdays.

To prepare for distance learning during the closure, SFUSD has loaned out at least 1,000 devices for students since March 16. The district estimates that 15 percent of families don’t have access to devices and internet at home.

Distance learning is expected to be fully implemented by April 13. Families can fill out a request form for a Chromebook and internet access. The devices can be retrived at food pick-up sites.

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