March 9, 2020
Sacramento, CA —The California Department of Public Health released updated guidance for schools to prepare for Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) over the weekend. CSDC strongly recommends that all charter schools review the guidance, which is available online at the department’s website.
Over the weekend, officials in the Elk Grove Unified School District, northern California’s largest district with 64 thousand students, surprised their community by closing all of the district’s 60-plus schools after learning that one family had been exposed to the virus. The decision caught parents and others by surprise and led to significant backlash. Local public officials stopped short of criticizing the district’s decision, but clearly were skeptical of the district’s decision-making process and limited consultation with other agencies.
Governor Newsom noted that “it’s a question of when – not if – some California public schools will face closure because of COVID-19. School districts must prepare for these scenarios so that parents and children can plan for what would happen if their local school faced closure.” The updated CDPH guidance presumably is intended to help school officials make sound, data-based decisions.
Given the fluid situation, CSDC anticipates that guidance from public health and other officials will evolve and we continue to recommend that schools regularly monitor the websites listed in our preliminary guidance regarding COVID-19, including the following:
CSDC will issue additional updates as warranted and we plan to number them sequentially going forward.