A letter to the community from San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold
There are many questions circulating after remarks by Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond about if and when California campuses will reopen this school year.
The San Diego County Office of Education continues to carefully monitor guidance from federal, state, and local public health and education agencies. All decisions about reopening will be made in conjunction with local public health officials. We continue to hold out hope that campuses will reopen later this spring, but are making plans to continue teaching and learning in earnest if that is not the case.
I want to be very clear that the 2019-20 school year is not over, it has just transitioned from classroom instruction into distance learning. As Superintendent Thurmond said today, “schools are closed but classes are in.”
San Diego County school districts, and our own school programs, are quickly transitioning into a new way of teaching and learning to meet the health and safety impacts of COVID-19.
We are also extremely concerned about the social and emotional well-being of all of our students, and are working on ways to stay connected even at a distance. We also know that many students (especially our seniors, who we know were looking forward to celebrating promotion and graduation ceremonies) are very concerned about missing out on end-of-year activities and celebrations. Please know that schools are planning how we might offer these experiences in different formats and/or at a later date.
In the coming days and weeks, schools will provide families with information regarding how grades, graduation, transcripts, scholarships, summer school, and continued distance learning instruction will be handled.
While we recognize this situation poses challenges and hardship to many families, the most effective way to slow and disrupt the transmission of this pandemic – and therefore get back to normal – is by continuing to implement social distancing practices. We are grateful to our community for everything you are doing during this unique and difficult time.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. In the meantime, please trust that we are doing everything in our power to prioritize student safety, keep our community updated, and work toward the goal of getting our teachers and learners back together as soon as we can.