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Claremont Unified School District closes all school sites, day care until April 13

By Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

Claremont Unified School District reversed course today, announcing it will close all school sites to students effective immediately.

CUSD Superintendent Jim Elsasser said yesterday that any decision to close schools would be made at the direction and recommendation of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

But today, CUSD decided to act on its own. 

“We’re doing this just out of an abundance of caution,” Mr. Elsasser said. “The LA County Office of Education is now recommending that schools in LA County school districts close, but we actually made that decision prior to that announcement.”

In an announcement Friday afternoon CUSD said, “Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, schools within Claremont Unified School District will be closed to students in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and will reopen on Monday, April 13, unless conditions call for an extension. During this time, before- and after-school child care will also not be available.”

Parents and caregivers will be notified Monday, March 16 as to next steps via the district’s Blackboard Connect system, which will also send out a call to all parents’ phones. Students will be working from home via a “continuum of learning” plan during the dismissal. 

More academic information will be forthcoming on Monday, Mr. Elsasser said. 
The district we’ll be making a decision during the middle of the week of April 6 as to whether or not the hiatus will need to be extended, Mr. Elsasser said. 

CUSD’s spring break is April 6 to 10. 

“During that week we’ll reassess to make sure it’s safe for our students and staff to return to campuses,” he said.

LAUSD, the second largest school district in the nation, also announced this morning that it was closing for two weeks. 

“We’re going to be closed to kids for three weeks because three weeks takes us up to our spring break,” Mr. Elsasser said. “We didn’t want to do two weeks and then bring kids back for a week and then have spring break.”
Kids will be back in class April 13, assuming things will be safe to return. 

The message is posted at the CUSD website at https://claremont-ca.schoolloop.com.

The shutdown affects all students, but district administration will be working, as well as site administration on Monday and Tuesday, as they put their “continuum of learning” plans in place. After that, it’s to be determined at the school sites, said Mr. Elsasser. 

Certain district support staff will continue to provide free or reduced lunches during the school shut down period to those students who currently receive the service. The lunches will likely be served out of one location, perhaps El Roble Intermediate School. That plan will be finalized over the weekend, Mr. Elsasser said. 

Administrative staff at CUSD’s offices will be working through the hiatus, Mr. Elsasser said. 

“It’s just been, as you can imagine, nuts,” he said. “It’s very interesting times. We will get thorough it, because that’s what we do.”’

 

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