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Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero schools closed, classes canceled 

All Paso Robles schools closed, sports canceled until April 13

Paso Robles School district closes schools

–The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees held an emergency board meeting Friday afternoon and decided to close all district campuses and cancel all activities, with exception of the SATs, until April 13, 2020.

The board discussed the closure, its causes and effects, and the many pros and cons. The board ultimately decided that all activities including sports and performances will be canceled, but is allowing the SAT testing for Paso Robles students to continue during the closure. The board will meet again on March 24 and revisit the closure as the situation progresses.

Teachers in PRJUSD will attend school Monday to develop instruction plans for independent study during the student’s extended absence.  Students will be given assignments during their absence. Many other California school districts announced similar closures Friday, including Atascadero, San Miguel, Pleasant Valley, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Lucia School Districts. Atascadero Unified School Board voted to close their schools until March 31.

“My top priority is ensuring that children and families throughout the Central Coast who rely on school breakfast and lunch programs continue to have access to food during the closures,” said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo). “Our office has been in contact with county and district officials, and we stand ready to help however we can.”


Statement from Paso Robles School District:

Today at an emergency meeting of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees the following actions were approved:

All PRJUSD Schools will be closed beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 13, 2020. District Administration will be working closely with the San Luis Obispo Public Health Department and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education to monitor and evaluate the status of public safety in regard to COVID-19 during this time.

The school calendar for all PRJUSD schools has been changed; the local SPRING BREAK will be observed on April 3- April 10th. It has been moved up to accommodate this closure.

This means that all PRJUSD schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, 2020, through April 10, 2020, returning on April 13, 2020. In addition, these closures are comprehensive and apply to all extracurricular activities such as athletics, performing arts, and student clubs.

This means that all PRJUSD schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, 2020, through at least the date of April 10, 2020. In addition, these closures are comprehensive and apply to all extracurricular activities such as athletics, performing arts, and student clubs. Our goal is to provide a structure for at-home learning so families have some easy-to-implement activities to prevent regression and learning loss during an extended break.

At this time the health, well-being, and safety of our students, staff, and community are the number one priority. The above decisions have been made with a great sense of care and thoughtfulness. We will continue to keep our school community updated on the status of our school closures and the next steps. We will be providing meals and learning packets mentioned above.

We appreciate all you do and this closure truly is about making an effort to keep you, our students and our community safe. This has all happened very quickly as you know; please expect a follow-up details on Monday.


Atascadero School District closes schools, issues statement:

• All AUSD Schools will be closed beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. District Administration will be working closely with the San Luis Obispo Public Health Department and the San Luis Obispo County Office Education to monitor and evaluate the status of public safety in regard to COVID-19 during this time. Administration will be reevaluating the ongoing need for school closure prior to Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
• The school calendar for all AUSD schools has been changed, the local recess will be observed on March 16, 2020, and spring break will be observed from Tuesday, March 24, 2020 through Tuesday March 31, 2020.

This means that all AUSD schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, 2020 through the reevaluation date of March 31, 2020. In addition, these closures are comprehensive and apply to all extracurricular activities such as, athletics, performing arts, and student clubs.

We live in a wonderful community and we are so proud of the incredible student learning taking place in all of our schools. At this time the health, well-being, and safety of our students, staff, and community are the number one priority. The above decisions have been made with a great sense of care and thoughtfulness. We will continue to keep our school community updated on the status of our school closures and next steps.


Templeton School District closes schools, issues statement:

The extent of the COVID-19 pandemic is penetrating all facets of society. Over the last few weeks TUSD has endeavored to handle this ever-evolving issue in a measured and thoughtful way. We have now arrived at an unprecedented moment for our District. At a meeting today of the Templeton Unified School District Board, Trustees approved the following actions:

All TUSD schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, April 3, 2020. These closures are comprehensive and apply to all extracurricular activities such as athletics, performing arts, and student clubs.

  • March 16 through March 20 – Staff Preparation Days/Non-Instructional Days
  • March 23 – April 3 – Distance Learning Days for all students (see below)
  • April 6 – April 10 – Spring Break (Note: one week earlier than previously calendared)
  • April 13 – Students return to regular school setting (subject to change based on status of COVID-19’s presence in the community)

The “Distance Learning” program will be fully developed by our capable teaching staff during the upcoming week. We will communicate later next week how this program will work when implemented on March 23. Because it will be primarily a web-based experience, we are also preparing options for students who need Chromebooks and Internet access. We recognize that there is no true substitute for the daily in-person experience for our students, but we will strive to develop resources and strategies to support learning at home to the fullest extent possible.

This is not a decision the Trustees took lightly. We recognize that temporarily closing schools has a tremendous and far-reaching impact on our families. Two specific areas of impact include access to healthy meals for those in need and childcare. Outreach for students eligible for free and reduced-cost meals will occur next week. Resources for childcare may be found at https://capslo.org/find-child-care/. For families served by Champions, they will expand their program to 8 am to 6 pm daily, and they will contact their families directly.

We feel the weight of these unprecedented temporary changes. We are disheartened by the prospect of our students losing out on many of the wonderful experiences that take place daily in our schools. However, our Board felt compelled to take action to support the greater societal need to minimize the transmission COVID-19 throughout our community. We will give our best to creating meaningful learning experiences during this temporary period of closure.


County Schools Superintendent James Brescia issues statement:

COVID-19 has caused anxiety in our schools and community. While local health officials have yet to confirm any local cases, we do not know how this will ultimately impact our county. Simply put, we are in uncharted waters, and the time has come to hit the pause button until we know more.

The safety of our students, families, and employees remains our top priority. As a precautionary step to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and after careful deliberations with local school district leaders and public health, as San Luis Obispo County Superintendent of Schools, I hereby endorse the decision for school districts and charters to implement temporary school closures for a minimum of 14 calendar days. The following school districts, charters, and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education have taken or will take governing board action to close schools and reassess as additional information becomes available:

• Almond Acres Charter
• Atascadero Unified
• Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter
• Cayucos Elementary
• Coast Unified
• Lucia Mar Unified
• Paso Robles Joint Unified
• Pleasant Valley Joint Union Elementary
• San Luis Coastal Unified
• San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
• San Miguel Joint Union
• Shandon Joint Unified
• Templeton Unified

I realize that a temporary closure of schools has a tremendous impact on our community. This step has been taken in the best interest of our students, families, and employees. Each district is taking steps to sanitize facilities, support the continuity of learning, and to ensure students have access to healthy meals.

At this time, county health officials believe the risk of transmission is low, and there has been no evidence of a case affecting a student or staff member at a San Luis Obispo County school district. Our public health department continues to work with federal, state, and local partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and health care providers on preparedness efforts and to guide appropriate care for those who may be at risk for illness associated with the COVID-19.


Governor ensures state funding for schools

Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order ensuring California public school districts retain state funding even in the event of physical closure. The order directs school districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning and high quality educational opportunities, provide school meals and, as practicable, arrange for the supervision for students during school hours.

“Closing schools has a massive, cascading effect for our kids and their families – especially those least equipped financially to deal with them. The needs of California kids must be met regardless of whether their school is open or closed. School districts that choose to close must use state educational dollars to quickly meet the needs of children and families. The State of California is working around the clock to help those districts and provide best practices to ensure no kid is left behind,” said Governor Newsom.

“I applaud Governor Newsom for the action in his Executive Order to provide schools with the tools they need to continue providing students with high-quality education while keeping them safe. This allows schools to put safety first without jeopardizing the financial resources needed to meet the needs of our students. The California Department of Education looks forward to working closely with Governor Newsom and educators from across the state to provide guidance for addressing critical education issues such as providing students with meals and ensuring the delivery of needed services and supports to students with disabilities,” said California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

The order provides that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, school districts must:

  • Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students through other options, distance learning and independent study;
  • Safely provide school meals through the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture;
  • To the extent practicable, arrange for supervision for students during ordinary school hours
    Continue to pay employees.

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.