MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA – Based on recommendations from Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Mendocino County public schools just announced the extension of distance learning through the end of the school year for the safety of students and staff, and to allow families to plan for long-term homeschooling, according to Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins.
In a letter to county superintendents this week, Supt. Thurmond said, “[Not returning to the classroom] 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.”
Hutchins noted that public schools are an essential service, and as such they will continue to provide educational instruction, meals, and other support to students, depending on district resources.
The long-term impact of modified learning related to COVID-19 is still unknown, but the California Department of Education is regularly updating their guidance to California schools, including recent announcements that California’s public university systems are relaxing admission requirements and will work with California school districts to ensure that students are not penalized for coronavirus-related disruptions.
In the meantime, Hutchins said, “We will continue to collaborate with Mendocino County Public Health. If the situation changes and it’s safe for students to return to the classroom, we’ll do so, but I do not expect this to be the case. I know this is hard for everyone. I remain impressed with and grateful to local teachers and administrators who are facing this challenge with grace while coming up with creative solutions. And my heart goes out to parents who find themselves overwhelmed by the need to serve simultaneously as full-time, stay-at-home workers and homeschoolers. Please remember, parents, that teachers remain available to support you and your student.”
Hutchins promised to provide updates as they become available. For details about modified learning schedules, meal delivery, access to educational material, and more, contact your local school district.