All Catholic schools in Kern County temporarily closing

Garces Memorial High School
Posted at 12:02 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 16:52:19-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — All Catholic schools in the county are closed for the next two weeks at the direction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno out of an abundance of caution regarding the spread of coronavirus.

Garces Memorial High School announced Friday the decision was made at the diocesan level in consultation with Bishop Joseph Brennan, Superintendent Mona Faulkner, Monsignor Perry Kavookjian and Principal Myka Peck.

While the physical campus is closed, Garces said it will have an extensive plan to continue education through online class instruction, thanks, in part, to iPad technology. Teachers will use the ZOOM app to teach lessons virtually and all class materials will be uploaded on iTunes U. Each student’s iPad will become their virtual classroom and we will continue to follow the regular block schedule.

To make the transition to online learning as smooth as possible, students spent time in each of their classes over the last few days logging onto the app and signing into a class meeting with each of their teachers.

"We understand this immediate transition is not ideal, however online learning is part of 21st century learning. As a college preparatory school, this provides us an opportunity to help prepare students for their future," said Mary Kate Paquette, spokesperson for Garces Memorial High School.

Regarding athletics and all extra-curricular activities, those too are suspended until further notice. This includes all games and practices.

As of this time, Garces plans to be back inside buildings on March 30 tentatively.