*Story updated Dec. 11 with additional information.
More than half a dozen school districts across California will close campuses Thursday in anticipation of a major storm that is damaging the state’s collective calm.
Districts in San Francisco, Oakland and Marin and Glenn counties are among those who told students to stay home Thursday, when forecasters predict a severe storm will bring flash floods, several inches of rain and strong winds across the state.
Schools in the Novato Unified School District will remain closed Friday as well, district officials said, resuming classes on Monday.
Together, the districts serve more than 125,000 students.
Such widescale school closures are rare in California, but officials said they are taking the measure to protect students.
“This is not a decision we make lightly,” Oakland Unified spokesman Troy Flint said in a statement, “but given the severe weather predictions and the safety implications for students and staff, we want to take every precaution in order to safeguard our community.”
Update: Schools can receive attendance credit for instruction lost because of an emergency, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced Thursday.
“I urge everyone to use common sense and to avoid taking unnecessary risks, especially when bringing their children to school in what has been purported to be a massive rain and wind storm,” Torlakson said. “The safety of our students, parents, teachers, school employees, and communities is our top priority.”