KCSOS planning to keep schools open for now

Posted at 3:47 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 18:48:15-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Administrators from Kern County’s 47 school districts met Friday to discuss the potential for school closures in our community.

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office said there are currently no local or statewide recommendations from public health or the governors office about school closures in Kern County.

"As an educational community, we are currently working very diligently on this topic and will keep you updated as we learn more...We will update you as more info becomes available," KCSOS said in a statement.

“Closing schools would cause huge impacts to the entire community and put our most vulnerable populations at risk, so the decision to close schools should not be taken lightly,” said Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary C. Barlow. “Our students, families and community are relying on us to stay open as long as it is safely possible in order to receive essential services such as meals, health and mental health services and child care. Thousands of working parents in Kern County may not have provisions for child care and other services for their children outside of school.”

Although classes are remaining open, The Kern High School District said it is canceling all academic competitions, all theatre, music, and other performances, all field trips, and all staff professional development effective immediately and through April 14.

The District will continue to evaluate the situation and will extend the cancellation date as needed.

"The District recognizes that our schools are providers of essential services, including not only education but also food, mental health services, and other valuable resources," KHSD said in a statement. "The District provides those services to over 40,000 students daily. The District is developing contingency plans that will allow the District to continue providing school-related services in the event the District must close."

County school districts will continue to operate under guidance released on March 7 by the California Department of Education and California Department of Public Health.

KCSOS said if parents choose to keep their children home from school during these uncertain times, they should exercise that right by working directly with their students’ school to make arrangements.