Credit: Andrew Reed/EdSource
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond during a staff interview at EdSource.

Affirming a prediction that Gov. Gavin Newsom made exactly two weeks ago, California’s schools chief  Tony Thurmond is recommending that the state’s public schools plan to provide distance learning to students through the end of their school year.

“Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing, it appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year,” Thurmond wrote in a letter sent to the state’s 58 county superintendents of schools on Tuesday morning.

Thurmond, who is the elected state superintendent of public education and has been in office for just over a year, stressed that health concerns are paramount in determining when schools should reopen. “The need for safety through social distancing warrants that we continue to keep our school campuses closed to students during this pandemic,” he said.

However, he emphasized that while school campuses may be closed, schools are not.

“This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning,” he said. He said the California Dept. of Education was ready to assist school districts to do so. In an interview, Thurmond said his department, for example, has surveyed districts throughout the state on how many students don’t have internet access or devices at home, and is trying to match up the needs of individual districts with offers from the philanthropic sector to meet those needs.

Thurmond stressed that his recommendation was not a directive, and that it was ultimately up to local school districts or health departments to decide whether school campuses should remain open or closed.

His letter was a response to pleas from several county superintendents of schools for the state to set a uniform closure date, to put an end to some of the confusion that has resulted from districts around the state that have announced a range of closure dates. Over the past week, many more districts had extended their closure dates to at least May 1. “They want the ability to have stability and to be able to plan for the rest of the school year, and they are asking me for some signal about how to prepare for that,” he said.

Unlike in seven other states where governor’s have ordered statewide closings for the remainder of the school year, Gov. Newsom has refrained from doing so, in deference to the principle of local control of schools which is entrenched in state law. He has also said he thinks they will not open before the school year ends, as recently as Tuesday, when he said in his daily press briefing, he said “I have been clear,” he said. “I believe they will not.”

Based on EdSource tracking, one school district — Elk Grove Unified near Sacramento — had already announced that it would replace regular instruction with distance learning until the end of its school year on May 29.  Thurmond’s guidance makes it far more likely that more school districts will extend their current closures closure for a month or longer, depending on when their regularly scheduled instructional calendar is due to end.

But in the hours after receiving Thurmond’s letter, district and county superintendents were still digesting its content, and no announcements of additional closings have been made.

Alameda County Superintendent of Schools Karen Monroe, for example, says she has no plans to recommend extending the closure date of May 1 that her county set just last week, along with five other Bay Area counties, serving over 800,000 students.   “We are still committed to the process we originally decided on,” she said. As for the prospect of moving the date for campus closures until the end of the school year, “that is something we would want to weigh carefully.”

L.A. County superintendent Debra Duardo, whose county encompasses 80 districts serving 1.4 million students, also said that “at this point” the county would stick to stick with its current plan, which is to remain closed until May 4, with students returning on May 5. “We will be conferring with districts and local and state partners to determine the best decision for our students, staff, families and communities moving forward,” she said.

Thurmond emphasized that in his view schools are not actually closed, a message he has been putting out since the coronavirus epidemic forced the end of classroom instruction in many of California’s schools beginning on March 13. Within a week, over 6 million children and hundreds of thousands of teachers and school employees were off their campuses and “sheltering in place” in their homes.

At the same time, Thurmond did not exclude the possibility of school campuses reopening earlier. “We would all be happy if we got a signal that it was safe to return to campus,” he said. “But everything I have heard indicates that we still have a lot of work to do around social distancing, and we don’t have any signal that that will change any time soon. But if it did change at any time, that would be welcome news.”

Thurmond acknowledged the pain that all of this is causing. “I am a parent too, and this is difficult for all of us,” he said. ”This is just a statement that out of an abundance of caution that until we get a signal that it is safe for our kids to return to school, that rather than be in limbo about how they will be educated, this year is not over. This letter says we still have the opportunity to make the most of this year, and we don’t have a lot of time do that.”

Referring to Thurmond’s letter, Alameda County’s Monroe said, “we are grateful for the push and acknowledgment that distance learning will take our entire focus to make it work well.” But she would also point out to district superintendents in her county that Thurmond’s letter “does not say ‘thou shalt close schools.’”

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  1. Heather 1 month ago1 month ago

    I work with adults with disabilities. We are using iPad and computers. Unfortunately we have some clients who do not have access to this resource due to parents needed devices for their jobs as well. Do you have any resources for loaner iPads or computers or any resources that may be available for my clients?

  2. Marcus Pun 4 months ago4 months ago

    I am going to put this up because it reflects what happened to my daughter, her fiancee, a friend who died and the many case studies and medical journal articles I have read. >>>This doctor works in the Covid unit. She wrote this as a way to express her feelings about schools opening based on the experience she has had first hand with Covid and from the perspective of a parent with two … Read More

    I am going to put this up because it reflects what happened to my daughter, her fiancee, a friend who died and the many case studies and medical journal articles I have read. >>>This doctor works in the Covid unit. She wrote this as a way to express her feelings about schools opening based on the experience she has had first hand with Covid and from the perspective of a parent with two young children. She makes several points that people often don’t mention, but none more striking to me than the point on morbidity vs mortality.

    Her post-
    ——————-
    7/2: SCHOOL. There has been much discussion and debate about what school will look like next year. Today, Wake County announced that they will have kids in a rotation of 1 week in person/2 weeks remote. I expect Chapel Hill will shortly follow suit,

    Or have some similar hybrid plan. I keep getting asked this question repeatedly from friends — “Well, you are a Covid Doctor. What do you think about sending your kids back to school.” My answer is my own, deeply personal, and not reflective of my employer. And I recognize and appreciate that many of my colleagues in the same position as me have different views. But. Since so many keep asking me, here is my answer, as both a parent and a frontline Covic doctor. Do with it as you choose:

    My family is electing to remote school next year. The reasons for this are multi-factorial:

    – This disease scares me. After 4 months caring for Covid patients, we certainly know a lot more. But a lot of it isn’t reassuring. Covid is now known to cause lung, heart, kidney, brain, and clotting system complications. And that’s just what we know about the immediate effects. We have no idea — none — what the longer term effects might be. I am not willing to risk the health and vitality of my kids to find out what those long term side effects might be

    – Morbidity vs mortality. I’ve talked about this in prior posts. Yes, very few children actually die of Covid. BUT many young people still get very very sick. Intubated. Put on ecmo. Pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Kawasaki-like illness with coronary artery aneurysms. These are serious issues with long term effects. Just because Covid doesn’t kill you, it doesn’t mean you will ever be quite the same either.

    – The teachers and staff. My god, how can we ask this of them? After cautiously sheltering in place for months, we are now asking them to basically jump into the lions den and interact with hundreds of children with thousands of household contacts. The more exposure you have, the more risk you have. Trust me, we will see teachers and bus drivers and cafeteria workers and other staff – and their family members — who get sick and die.

    – I want to continue having my parents involved in my kids life. If we strictly isolate, I feel safe doing so. But If the kids go back to school and interact with dozens of kids from dozens of homes, the risk to my parents increases exponentially.

    – I do strongly believe that since we can keep our kids home without significant detrimental effects, we should. There are so, so many people in our community whose lives and careers and finances will be devastated by having to do remote learning. We will not be. We can do so for a year without undue harm to my kids or our careers or our finances. I choose to keep my kids home so that families who absolutely cannot do so have just a little bit more safety at school.

    I acknowledge that we are extremely privileged for me to only work part-time clinically and am able to do my non-clinical work remotely and help home school. And my parents live here and are willing and fully engaged to help us home school during the weeks I absolutely have to be in the hospital.

    This seems like a goddamn nightmare for any family with a single parent, two working parents who cannot work from home, families with out extended family support, and families with ESL, kids with IEPs, exceptional children, etc etc.

    I have zero answers as to how to make it better. Zero. I don’t want kids falling behind disproportionally because their parents cannot afford to home school or hire tutors. I also don’t want to see kids sick from Covid and dead teachers.

    Any plan than is less than 100% not in-person seems doomed to only worsen and exacerbate the achievement gap between the haves/have nots.

    But — Any plan that involves more in person time also puts kids and teachers more at risk. And these teachers quite frankly do not get paid enough to risk their and their families lives.

    I have no answer. It is impossible.

  3. Stephanie Wells 6 months ago6 months ago

    Open up the schools, allow these kids to graduate at a normal formal graduation and not this virtual crap!!! Enough of this, we are Americans with no American freedoms. Wake up people!!!!! They have us now and they will not let go, this is not going to change unless we force the change!!! Don’t allow this, I for one will not.

  4. Michelle Ben 6 months ago6 months ago

    We have had enough. Open up our counties. The whole point was the flatten the curve that never hit. This isn't just a death sentence but it will be if we don't get back to work. Stop the BS now. Our kids deserve to be in school. We can't live in fear. It is time to stand up before our state and ourselves are Bankrupt. We have had enough. We do not accept your new … Read More

    We have had enough. Open up our counties. The whole point was the flatten the curve that never hit. This isn’t just a death sentence but it will be if we don’t get back to work.

    Stop the BS now. Our kids deserve to be in school. We can’t live in fear. It is time to stand up before our state and ourselves are Bankrupt. We have had enough. We do not accept your new normal. Our kids are not thriving. People need to stop living in fear. Do you care about kids and depression. If you want to stay home stay home but let the rest of us live. I have a better chance of dying from cancer than this.

  5. Heather 6 months ago6 months ago

    I would like to know why the parents are not being paid to take place of the teachers in the meantime of all this distance learning. I as a mother of 4 am becoming very overwhelmed with 4 different grade levels to help teach and and also having to provide normal parents' job.Laundry, breakfast, lunch, dinner and cleaning and our own things we have to do for ourselves are putting a toll on not just … Read More

    I would like to know why the parents are not being paid to take place of the teachers in the meantime of all this distance learning. I as a mother of 4 am becoming very overwhelmed with 4 different grade levels to help teach and and also having to provide normal parents’ job.Laundry, breakfast, lunch, dinner and cleaning and our own things we have to do for ourselves are putting a toll on not just the parents but the kids too.

    I would like to know where our teaching paychecks are at for our time of taking place of teachers having to teach lectures 8 hours a day. I’m sorry to the teachers who are reading this but I think they all need to be doing their 8 hours a day teaching on Zoom every day not one hour once a week or every other day. I’m really upset about this. They can still be doing their teaching the same as being in class over Zoom. Our children are struggling due to us parents don’t have teaching credentials.

    Replies

    • Kimberlie 6 months ago6 months ago

      I agree that taking care of "four" children is a lot to handle and I empathize, but projecting that stress towards teachers is offensive. I think the public is beginning to see the challenges teachers face daily. It's no easy task managing 20-32 kids, all at different instructional levels, coming from a variety of languages, and socioeconomic statuses, as well as from households with varying values. It's public knowledge that teachers take on … Read More

      I agree that taking care of “four” children is a lot to handle and I empathize, but projecting that stress towards teachers is offensive. I think the public is beginning to see the challenges teachers face daily. It’s no easy task managing 20-32 kids, all at different instructional levels, coming from a variety of languages, and socioeconomic statuses, as well as from households with varying values. It’s public knowledge that teachers take on many roles to meet the social and emotional needs of children just so that there’s hope of educating them.

      How many teachers do you think were prepared to take on Distance Learning? How much time do you think it took for teachers to learn to use the technology platforms that distance learning requires? As a teacher, I have taken many online classes since shelter in place learning how to using the platforms and programs necessary to provide Distance Learning. I prepare videos every week, gather materials (many that I purchase from my personal budget) to provide access to content for my students. Additionally, a lot of time is spent communicating with parents, and encouraging them to get their kids logged in to Google Classroom with the devices that our tax dollars provided them with. Time is also spent in staff meetings, collaborating with colleagues, supporting parents with technical difficulties, and contacting parents encouraging them to get their kids online. I have a classroom of 23 students, and approximately 11 students are doing the work. I don’t judge parents that are struggling- I understand that there are a variety of reasons that keep parents from having the time to support and engage learning at home. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to keep 20-32 students engaged on Zoom for multiple subjects? I shudder to imagine what a 6-8 hour Zoom lesson would look like with so many kids when the average attention span for a child is 15-30 minutes.

      Did you ever consider that some teachers also have children at home? Imagine that scenario. This is a stressful time for everyone, and I’m perplexed that you don’t feel your children’s teachers are doing enough. I am earning my income, and have not wavered from my dedication, commitment, and desire to educate my students.

      • Heather 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

        What a well poised and thoughtful response, Kimberlie. I truly appreciate the dedication and malleability that teachers go through on a daily basis, even without the current state of affairs. I cannot imagine asking underpaid educators to risk their lives for the sake of my own ineptitude and am in utter shock at the disproportionate amount of parents who feel it is their "right" to hold anyone else besides themselves accountable for their children. IMO, … Read More

        What a well poised and thoughtful response, Kimberlie. I truly appreciate the dedication and malleability that teachers go through on a daily basis, even without the current state of affairs.

        I cannot imagine asking underpaid educators to risk their lives for the sake of my own ineptitude and am in utter shock at the disproportionate amount of parents who feel it is their “right” to hold anyone else besides themselves accountable for their children. IMO, they should not have had them in the first place if that is the case.

        Our world has always experienced drastic changes (e.g., famine, war, other pandemics, etc,…) where no one individual or community is immune, hence it is only us, the parents, who are responsible for our children.

        Finally, as human beings we all have a choice, so why not practice free-will of positivity and empathy during a time when we are all equally struggling? It is actually much less taxing on the soul.

        Keep it up, Kimberlie!

  6. Wendy 6 months ago6 months ago

    I own my day care. Their parents are working 10 hours to 12 hours. I need Chromebooks if there are any available.

  7. Denis J. McCarthy 7 months ago7 months ago

    If the “stay at home” is lifted on May 15th, schools should re open on campus until the middle of July? Neither teachers nor students are held accountable with distance learning, which works for college but not K-12. Only 45 percent of K-12 students are responding to it nationally.

    Teachers unions should have no problem working into July as teachers have not been in the classroom since mid-March.

    Replies

    • Yoly 6 months ago6 months ago

      So you truly believe bigwigs in the capital and school boards will keep your kids safe by disinfecting every hour. Are you kidding – unless you have parents volunteering to clean? I mean work and not gossip, then our kids would be safe. Sounds like many parents are just tired of sitting down or the idea of actually helping their kids read and work on assignments is draining to them. Even before coronavirus, parents were not … Read More

      So you truly believe bigwigs in the capital and school boards will keep your kids safe by disinfecting every hour. Are you kidding – unless you have parents volunteering to clean? I mean work and not gossip, then our kids would be safe.

      Sounds like many parents are just tired of sitting down or the idea of actually helping their kids read and work on assignments is draining to them. Even before coronavirus, parents were not being held accountable for their children’s education and these are the results you get. Get off social media, check grades, force your kid to to do the work and check they did it correctly. Come on, you can check readings, essays, math or other assignments.

      Many parents are having difficulty at home because ground rules were never enforced. Welcome to the teacher’s world. Maybe this time, if a teacher calls that your child is misbehaving, not doing work, not social distancing to help save their life, you will believe them.

      Students and parents must also be held accountable.

  8. Myca 7 months ago7 months ago

    Although education is important, health and safety of not only our children but all our communuties is at stake here. Given all the information we have and statistics we have available, reopening schools prior to June 30 seems reckless, irresponsible and dangerous.

  9. Concerned parent 7 months ago7 months ago

    What I want to know is why some districts are giving mandatory work when others like in Riverside County have optional, ungraded no-credit work. Makes no sense. All children should have mandatory school work. This distance learning is a joke. Romoland schools say optional work only. When down the road Murrieta has resumed classes online for credit .

  10. Kathy Bowden 7 months ago7 months ago

    How do children with no WiFi and no computer/laptop keep up with their studies? My grandchildren are in that group!

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 7 months ago7 months ago

      Kathy, as my colleague, Sydney Johnson reported, the California Department of Education said last week that it is still working out details on how and where to distribute the devices. EdSource will provide an update as soon as more information is available.

  11. Edward Goshorn 7 months ago7 months ago

    Are these 'educators' that ill-informed to ignore the informed models that demonstrate that the schools will become the hotbed of transmission of Covid19 even after the curve has begun to flatten or even decline? The pandemic will explode again and continue to expose (and kill) the older generation (like me) for a long time, even after the hospitals have geared up to provide more lifesaving services? This is not the flu. Mortality … Read More

    Are these ‘educators’ that ill-informed to ignore the informed models that demonstrate that the schools will become the hotbed of transmission of Covid19 even after the curve has begun to flatten or even decline? The pandemic will explode again and continue to expose (and kill) the older generation (like me) for a long time, even after the hospitals have geared up to provide more lifesaving services? This is not the flu. Mortality rates among seniors have been ten times that of the flu. I know the schools have an important ‘babysitting’ function, but until there is a vaccine or sound treatment available, social distancing must be observed for the health of all. E.G. Retired science teacher

  12. Geoff Luce 7 months ago7 months ago

    As a teacher of a k-1 split this year I want you to know that I would love to go back to school. I have been copying work packets for my students' parents to pick up on the sidewalk so I can check-in with them 10 feet away. I have several zoom meetings a week, I check on their reading based on paid website statistics, have a document camera to demonstrate things and post … Read More

    As a teacher of a k-1 split this year I want you to know that I would love to go back to school. I have been copying work packets for my students’ parents to pick up on the sidewalk so I can check-in with them 10 feet away. I have several zoom meetings a week, I check on their reading based on paid website statistics, have a document camera to demonstrate things and post additional pdf activities online for download. Many of my colleagues are trying to be diligent in our efforts to continue educating kids.

    I have kids and I understand the hardship of cancelled normal graduations, concerts, promotion and school fundraising events. However, the health of children is by far the most important issue. Parents are forced to work with their kids that at times can be difficult. So is the ability to breathe when someone may have COVID. Kids are resilient and will be okay. Parents please show restraint and not blame our education system at this time. Our kids deserve our devotion, not our selfishness to pass off our responsibilities as parents and adults.

  13. sharyl obrien 7 months ago7 months ago

    Our district, Silver Valley in San Bernardino County, has closed our campuses for the rest of the school year. We are going to long distance learning.

  14. Jennifer L 7 months ago7 months ago

    I have no problem with leaving the schools closed if it is the necessary thing to do. I don’t see any reason to call off the next 2 1/2 months without knowledge of what the situation will be. Why not go with the closure till May 1st and reevaluate where we are in mid-April. While some may not take it seriously enough, there is also a lot of fear mongering! How about just a plain old common sense approach?

  15. Sonia Lopez 7 months ago7 months ago

    It sad to say each district is defending for themselves. We are apart of Oak Grove School District in Santa Clara County. They have yet to get an at home curriculum. The date as of 4-1-20. The first day of stay home from my granddaughter's school, Rocketship, they were given tablets with connection and day to day curriculum with recorded lessons. They were prepared; our district as well as others are left for defending … Read More

    It sad to say each district is defending for themselves. We are apart of Oak Grove School District in Santa Clara County. They have yet to get an at home curriculum. The date as of 4-1-20. The first day of stay home from my granddaughter’s school, Rocketship, they were given tablets with connection and day to day curriculum with recorded lessons. They were prepared; our district as well as others are left for defending for selves. It is sad to say of how many children that are going to suffer in their academics.

  16. Allen L Brown PhD 7 months ago7 months ago

    Great article!

  17. Stressed 7 months ago7 months ago

    Absolutely no one is looking out for school district employees that can work remotely but are being required to come to work in departments of more than 10 with no hand sanitizer, wipes and masks being provided. I was working remotely for two weeks and was called in suddenly because of a local news story that said our district was not providing the tech needed for them to participate in distance learning which was completely … Read More

    Absolutely no one is looking out for school district employees that can work remotely but are being required to come to work in departments of more than 10 with no hand sanitizer, wipes and masks being provided.

    I was working remotely for two weeks and was called in suddenly because of a local news story that said our district was not providing the tech needed for them to participate in distance learning which was completely false. Since the story ran, employees that have been working remotely are now being threatened if they don’t come to work. Departments of more than 10 employees are being forced to work in un-sanitized close quarters. If you do elect not to come in and to continue to work remotely, you’ll be charged from your personal, vacation or sick time (and will more than likely show up on the next layoff list).

    In the meanwhile, HR is emailing conflicting information to employees. What are school district employees supposed to do?

  18. Louie 7 months ago7 months ago

    Rather then cancel the rest of the school why not extend the school year into the summer months so kids have a chance to finalize their school work for the year. So seniors have the chance to have graduation ceremonies, prom , sports activities, etc.

  19. Debbie Davis 7 months ago7 months ago

    What about the seniors? Has anyone taken a moment to remember these kids who worked hard for the past 4 years to attain good GPAs and who were excited to be recognized not just for their accomplishments but the graduation ceremony that every other child in their own families has gotten to be a part of!! My child and many many others ready were abruptly pulled from the sport they loved and enjoyed for each … Read More

    What about the seniors? Has anyone taken a moment to remember these kids who worked hard for the past 4 years to attain good GPAs and who were excited to be recognized not just for their accomplishments but the graduation ceremony that every other child in their own families has gotten to be a part of!!

    My child and many many others ready were abruptly pulled from the sport they loved and enjoyed for each moment of their very last year! Only to end and never get to finish. Sport Senior Night, possibly a valley ring was on the table this year, their last prom, the scholar awards ceremonies, receiving the honor cord but most of all their graduation ceremony! I beg, don’t take this from them! They already lost so much!

    Our kids aren’t who is sick for the most part. Limit the number of people who can attend to parents and grandparents only possibly. But do something! As it is we already paid for yearbooks that won’t get signed by friends they won’t see much anymore, graduation gowns and invitations with time and dates, uniforms for sports that were never worn because we just got them! We can’t even plan a graduation party for friends and family because of this social distancing requirement.

    Please let them back to school in beginning of May so they can have these things. I sure didn’t hear of 1 single student that came down with COVID-19 before schools shut down! It wasn’t really the students at high risk. I know it’s the over 65 and the ones with underlying immune issues. We can just keep telling them to wash hands often, keep sanitizer at the doors as they leave the classroom etc!

  20. JAMES W. SMITH 7 months ago7 months ago

    Query: How will California schools “graduate” students to next grade during the COVID-19 period, which some say will last until September or beyond.

  21. Christina Caldas 7 months ago7 months ago

    How can you not close schools for the remaining school year with all that we see? I have 1 child with breathing problems and another with a heart condition. How safe can you assure it will be for my kids?

  22. Livermore Parent 7 months ago7 months ago

    Sounds like Thurmond is telling schools to shape up on their “distance learning.” Smart parents will look into proper homeschooling, and not slapped together, union-negotiated, crisis Zoom learning.

  23. Alicia K.G. Diaz 7 months ago7 months ago

    Yoohooo, I’m a retired sub and am not sure if I will even get unemployment. I do not intend to stop working. When you train teachers, don’t forget to train us, too. You may be needing us sooner than we all think. Teaching is my passion; don’t forget us. Gracias. I’m bilingual; does that help?

  24. SM 7 months ago7 months ago

    I understand the need for social distancing, and I agree that the kids should not physically be in school at this time. My concern is that as a parent working from home or any parent still working, what is the expectation of our involvement in our child's education? I try to help my 2nd grader as much as possible but that means that my work gets put on hold. At what point do we recognize … Read More

    I understand the need for social distancing, and I agree that the kids should not physically be in school at this time. My concern is that as a parent working from home or any parent still working, what is the expectation of our involvement in our child’s education? I try to help my 2nd grader as much as possible but that means that my work gets put on hold. At what point do we recognize that for some of us it will come down to either keeping a roof over our heads and food in our belly or keeping up with our child’s education. This is a really terrible situation and I think we just all want some guidance.

  25. ElleH 7 months ago7 months ago

    I'm extremely interested to know what CDE is doing about parents who are working from home, but are now expected to also serve as a teacher. Last I checked, being a teacher was a full-time job. Most teachers teach only one grade, and generally receive training for such. Parents often have multiple children in their home at different age levels and are often unaware of every "age-appropriate" learning milestone for the average elementary student. … Read More

    I’m extremely interested to know what CDE is doing about parents who are working from home, but are now expected to also serve as a teacher. Last I checked, being a teacher was a full-time job. Most teachers teach only one grade, and generally receive training for such. Parents often have multiple children in their home at different age levels and are often unaware of every “age-appropriate” learning milestone for the average elementary student.

    I have kids in two different districts in Sacramento County and both districts are following completely different programs. How is this “consistency”? One district expects me to plan my day around getting my very young elementary student set up on multiple Zoom meetings! How am I to do that and supervise and redirect her while I am doing meetings of my own? Putting this pressure on parents and kids when many are worried about keeping food in the fridge and tantrums at a minimum is asinine.

    Although I doubt I should be surprised, I am incredibly disappointed in the way the CDE and many local schools are handling this. I suspect in the end the real issue is that the schools need to be “open” so they can receive their funding – kids’ actual education be dam***.

    Replies

    • Kim 7 months ago7 months ago

      Welcome to a teacher’s world, where we teach, nurse, counsel, etc. a room full of children all with different needs, levels and wants, while juggling all subjects, by ourselves in one classroom

      • Yoly 6 months ago6 months ago

        I agree with your post; don’t forget the verbal and physical abuse you get from.parents and students.

  26. Muvaffak GÖZAYDIN 7 months ago7 months ago

    One bad thing brought a good thing too. Now people will understand the value of education technology. It is online today. Tomorrow much better technologies. Let us make online better every day. More interactive. More material to be presented on the screen. Learn how to motivate people to learn. Provide some children clubs everywhere instead of schools. Competitions among clubs. Today we go from gasoline cars to EV. Not easy. People do not like changes … Read More

    One bad thing brought a good thing too.

    Now people will understand the value of education technology. It is online today. Tomorrow much better technologies. Let us make online better every day. More interactive. More material to be presented on the screen. Learn how to motivate people to learn. Provide some children clubs everywhere instead of schools. Competitions among clubs.

    Today we go from gasoline cars to EV. Not easy. People do not like changes in their life. But life itself is a change every moment .

  27. Kendra 7 months ago7 months ago

    I cannot believe these comments. I can't believe superintendent Karen Monroe. Did anyone watch the news lately? They are projecting 100,000 deaths and some of y'all are worried about prom, kids dancing, kissing and twerking. Not important at all. Grow up. Lets get our priorities straight. Trump, who has been in denial, finally admits that this is serious, extended social distancing to 30 more days and you want to go back to school on day … Read More

    I cannot believe these comments. I can’t believe superintendent Karen Monroe. Did anyone watch the news lately? They are projecting 100,000 deaths and some of y’all are worried about prom, kids dancing, kissing and twerking.

    Not important at all. Grow up. Lets get our priorities straight. Trump, who has been in denial, finally admits that this is serious, extended social distancing to 30 more days and you want to go back to school on day 31? Uncertainty is chaotic, so cancel for the year, especially if it means going back for just 20 days of instruction, that’s a disruption in itself. Furthermore, if we do get to so many deaths and infected cases, why go back to school so soon? Many will need to either heal or grieve.

  28. Carrie Pronto 7 months ago7 months ago

    My son has autism and i know it’s extremely dangerous to have kids near each other. The only problem is people go out of state and out of the country because they have no child care and so they leave them with relatives then they spread it when they go back to school.

  29. Ronald Terrell 7 months ago7 months ago

    Just how are teachers going to deliver distance learning, when in fact they have not been trained to do so (e.g. Google Classroom)?

    Replies

    • Stressed Teacher 7 months ago7 months ago

      Yes, distance learning is proving to be an absolute nightmare for teachers, especially elementary school teachers! Google Classroom is not set up to be used by young children. Teachers are wading through quagmire of tech infrastructure that is inefficient and not ready for remote learning. Navigating through so many educational tools in a very short period of time is causing extreme stress levels in teachers, and I am sure parents, as well.

    • Geoff Luce 7 months ago7 months ago

      Sir, I did not get a manual on distance learning from the state or school district? Shall I wait? Of course not! Teachers are college educated and many like myself have Master’s Degrees. Plus we know how to read and can handle 25-35 kids 6 hours a day all at the same time! We got this!

  30. Priorities 7 months ago7 months ago

    Yes, Monroe is correct, Thurmond’s letter, "does not say ‘thou shalt close schools’” - however, it also does not say, "thou shall keep schools open." Let's make a socially responsible decision to keep our students, teachers, staff, and communities safe - after all, shouldn't that be our number one priority? Read More

    Yes, Monroe is correct, Thurmond’s letter, “does not say ‘thou shalt close schools’” – however, it also does not say, “thou shall keep schools open.” Let’s make a socially responsible decision to keep our students, teachers, staff, and communities safe – after all, shouldn’t that be our number one priority?

  31. Justin Stuff 7 months ago7 months ago

    Maybe we don’t need teachers if it done by distant learning and apps! This one high school teacher who’s off because of the Orange County school lock-downs and still getting paid, spends his days going off-road bike riding and playing with RC Trucks! Is that how our tax dollars are spent?

    Replies

    • Cheryl Austel 7 months ago7 months ago

      That is one teacher. I know many who are staying “Safer at home” and making it a priority to try and make sure their high school students get the education they deserve. They have little training in distant learning and are pretty much they are on their own. I am disgusted that you would say we don’t need the teachers.

    • Rosa 7 months ago7 months ago

      Sadly, there will be people in every profession who misrepresent the majority. Many of my colleagues and I are still working directly with our students via Zoom or personal phone calls to make sure that they are continuing with the assigned work and to clarify questions they may have regarding distance learning assignments. In fact, many of us are working beyond normal school hours to make sure we address our students' needs. We are … Read More

      Sadly, there will be people in every profession who misrepresent the majority. Many of my colleagues and I are still working directly with our students via Zoom or personal phone calls to make sure that they are continuing with the assigned work and to clarify questions they may have regarding distance learning assignments. In fact, many of us are working beyond normal school hours to make sure we address our students’ needs. We are also balancing our roles as educators and parents which, I may say, is not easy. Making generalizations about any group is usually wrong and hurtful.

  32. Amie Wilson Bird 7 months ago7 months ago

    I agree with the comments regarding seniors and graduation. \ Let’s not rush to closures of schools without getting more info, analyzing the data and strategies available and really thinking this through. If schools end mid-June, why not at least give them some of their honors and an actual graduation in June. In my opinion, if this choice does not work, then make specific guidelines for schools to hold graduation and other senior honors before saying the school year is done.

    Replies

    • Laurie bergren 7 months ago7 months ago

      Yes I agree.

  33. Dora Jean Rudd 7 months ago7 months ago

    My granddaughter & her friends are seniors here in Murrieta & they keep asking me what about our Prom, our Graduation! Any plans for those?

  34. Teresa Hicks 7 months ago7 months ago

    How about some funding for homeschool. It is expensive to purchase textbooks.

    Replies

    • ROSA HILL 7 months ago7 months ago

      There are public schools done at home. One is Connections Academy. They reopened for for enrollment for the rest of this year to register. And if you qualify, books are free of charge because you return upon completing the school year. I have 5 children in this school and next year I am registering another child. I have ages 7 thru 16 in public homeschooling. We love it.

  35. Erica Zvetkoff 7 months ago7 months ago

    As a public school teacher with 55 students in a class, there is no way to enforce social distancing. I believe Mr. Thurmond is 100% correct in closing schools for the remainder of the school year. Not stopping instruction but making sure schools are safe for students, teachers and staff come the Fall. Otherwise the risks of a relapse is greater.

    Replies

    • Rosa Hill 7 months ago7 months ago

      I agree but maybe if students do return to their schools, how can we suggest that if parents want to feel safe, we can choose to keep our children home and continue with lessons at home?

  36. Del Reyes 7 months ago7 months ago

    Actually, that paragraph were it states that AZ has ended the school year without any instruction to students at all is not true. My son started online learning that was implemented when they first announced his school was closing temporarily due to COVID-19 and he’ll finish his school year with online learning.

  37. Laura Paulus 7 months ago7 months ago

    Please, please don’t make this decision now. The distancing seems to be working. Can’t we wait and see. The kids want and need to be back. Let the seniors especially have a chance to finish their school year on a positive note.

  38. Curious 7 months ago7 months ago

    Curious: What are the implications for summer school programs in districts offering summer school? Distance learning also? Some districts are currently hiring for summer school and it seems rather premature until additional information is available. I know of one District in Santa Clara County which is screening applications and conducting interviews for summer school employees - both classified and certificated. This does not seem to make sense in the current … Read More

    Curious: What are the implications for summer school programs in districts offering summer school? Distance learning also? Some districts are currently hiring for summer school and it seems rather premature until additional information is available. I know of one District in Santa Clara County which is screening applications and conducting interviews for summer school employees – both classified and certificated. This does not seem to make sense in the current climate and most certainly strains already limited resources available for supporting the recruitment process.

    Can other share what might be happening in their local district(s)?

  39. Darren Redstone 7 months ago7 months ago

    Sounds like Karen Monroe is on a power trip. She ought to be thinking of the health and safety of her student population and employees.

  40. SUZIE OH 7 months ago7 months ago

    This crisis might give us an opportunity to learn, evolve, and embrace change in teaching and learning.