More than 25 school districts close their campuses over COVID concerns

Farmersville Unified, Sequoia Union, Springville met Monday night, after press time, to discuss the possibility of closing its schools

The Sun-Gazette

TULARE COUNTY – As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to three in the span of five days, the number of Tulare County school districts to close down its campuses to students skyrocketed to 25. 

Both unified, elementary, high school and single school districts were among those that canceled classes through April 13, encompassing Easter week and the day after Easter Sunday.   

Here are a list of school districts that have closed their campuses and the services they will offer to parents trying to keep their children’s minds and bodies nourished for the month-long break, or possibly longer:

VISALIA AREA

Visalia Unified School District
Visalia Unified joined the long list of districts closing schools on Friday over coronavirus concerns. They said their schools will remain closed for the period of March 16 through April 13. On March 16, the district announced it would offer Grab-N-Go meals at more than two dozen locations throughout the city as well as selected elementary and middle schools and bus stops beginning on March 18. The drive-thru lunch and next-day breakfast pick up will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays. Each child receiving a meal must be present, whether they pick it up themselves or a parent is picking it up for them. For a full list, visit vusd.org. “During this time of school closures, the District will offer support services for students. More information on these services and how families can access them will be shared in the coming days. Please look for communication updates from the District on our website at vusd.org, the VUSD app, or District social media platforms.”

The Academies Charter Management Organization
Sycamore Valley Academy and Blue Oak Academy will be closed March 17 through April 13. During this time, both schools will be using a distance learning webpage where parents can access educational materials for their students. Instructional packets will be prepared for students without internet access that can be picked up at the front office. 

Valley Life Charter Schools
The K-12 charter school in Visalia is closed from March 16 through April 13, with students returning to class on April 14. The school serves 670 students. 

TULARE AREA

Tulare City School Districts
The Tulare City School Districts will be closes from March 16 through April 13. “Information will be forthcoming regarding school work and food services,” the district said in a March 15 update message.

Tulare Join Union High School District
Tulare’s high school district, separate from its elementary schools, will be closed from March 16 through April 13. The district was determining options for students to continue learning during the hiatus, according to a March 14 message from Superintendent Tony Rodriguez.

Buena Vista Elementary
The single school district in Tulare is closed from March 16 through April 13. 

Liberty School District
The single-school district’s K-8 school closed March 16 through March 20, until further notice. The elementary school will not observe Spring Break until April 6-13. 

Sundale Union School District
The single-school district’s K-8 school north of Tulare is closed March 16 through April 13, and will return to school on April 14 following Spring Break. Teachers are working this week to prepare printed and online packets by grade level for students. The district will offer Grab-N-Go lunches and next day breakfast beginning tomorrow, March 17, from 11 a.m. to noon on weekdays at the school parking lot. 

Sunnyside Union Elementary
The single-school district’s K-8 school held normal class hours today, March 16, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday. The school near Strathmore had previously scheduled professional development days this Thursday and Friday, March 19 and 20, so there will be not school those days. The board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. tonight, March 16, to “review the situation and make decisions regarding a possible closure.” Changes will be announced to parents through the district’s social media.

UNIFIED DISTRICTS

Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District
Tulare County’s largest school district in an unincorporated community is closed from March 16 through April 13. Free lunches are available weekdays beginning March 18 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at every site. Lunch and next morning breakfast pickups are a Grab-N-Go drive-thru service where each children receiving a lunch must be in the vehicle and parents and children are asked to remain in their vehicles. Home learning packets by grade level will be available by the end the week. Teachers have been instructed to remain in communication with students and parents via email or by phone when appropriate.

Dinuba Unified School District
Dinuba Unified schools will be closed from March 16 through April 14. The district has yet to issue instructions on school meals and instructional materials but will soon be adding them to its website at Dinuba.k12.ca.us. Social and emotional support for students are available by calling the district office at 595-7206.

Exeter Unified School District
Exeter Unified campuses will be closed from March 18 through April 13 with the district staff and its board of trustees re-evaluating and monitoring the situation during that time. The district has canceled all assemblies, sports and extracurricular activities through April 13. Teachers are working to create educational opportunities for all students in the next two days. Updated information will be provided through the district’s website, Exeter.k12.ca.us, and through its automated phone system.

Woodlake Unified School District
Woodlake Unified campuses are closed from March 17 through April 13. “During this time of school closures, the District will offer support services for students. More information on how families can access them will be shared in the coming days.”

OTHERS

Allensworth Elementary School District
Allensworth Elementary closed as of March 17 but did not release how long they would be closed.

Earlimart Elementary School District
Earlimart Elementary, which includes two elementary schools and a middle school, closed March 17 through April 13. The district began distributing independent study lessons for students beginning today, March 16 that will be turned into teachers when classes resume. The district is still working on a delivery method for distributing school lunches. 

Kings River Union Elementary School District
The single-school district’s elementary school closed on March 14 through April 14, following its Spring Break. The school began providing school meals to students on March 16. Teachers are working this week to prepare classwork for students to be picked up on a future date. 

Monson-Sultana Joint Union School District
The single-school district closed its K-8 school from March 16 through April 14, with plans to reopen on April 14 following Spring Break. The district will be communicating with parents in the coming days about how they can pick up academic materials for their students. School lunches will be available weekdays beginning March 17 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in parking lots at the school, Monson Store in Monson, or Redwood Inn in Sultana. This is a Grab-N-Go service where cars can drive-thru to pick up lunches. Each student receiving a lunch must be present at pick-up. 

Palo Verde Union School District
The single-school district near Tulare is closed from March 16 through April 13 with students returning to class after Spring Break. The school has about 600 students from preschool through eighth grade. 

Pixley Union School District
Pixley Union, which includes an elementary and middle school of the same name, is closed from March 16 through April 13, with students returning to class after Spring Break.

Pleasant View Elementary School District
The district, which has two schools, one for grades K-4 and another for grades 5-8, is on Spring Break this week, March 16-20, but announced schools will be closed through April 13. In a March 16 letter, Superintendent Mark Odsather said the district will be sharing additional information on support services, such as meals and instructional materials, in the coming days. 

Richgrove School District
Instead of closing schools this week, Richgrove Superintendent Mario Millan announced Sunday night that the K-8 school will be on minimum day schedule until further notice, with students being released at 1:30 p.m. each day. The school board is meeting this afternoon to discuss the possibility of a total school closure and to discuss how students will receive meals and educational materials and instruction. 

Rockford School District
The single-school district will close its K-8 school tomorrow, March 17, through April 13, with students returning to school on April 14 following Spring Break. Student assignments and instructional materials will be available for pick up from 7-10 a.m. on March 23. Information on school lunches will be forthcoming.

Tipton School District
The single-school district closed its K-8 elementary school from March 16 through April 13, with students returning to class on April 14. Grab-N-Go meals, including lunches and breakfast for the next day, will be distributed through a drive-thru behind the school’s multipurpose room from noon to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Children must be present to receive a meal. Teachers are working this week to provide printed and online instructional packets for students to use at home.

Traver Joint School District
The single-school district scheduled a minimum day today, March 16, but have announced it will close its PK-8 school from March 17 through April 13, with students returning to class on April 14 following Spring Break. Educational materials were provided on March 16 for students to take home. 

Waukena Joint Union School District
The single-school district could not be reached as of press time. The K-8 school serves about 220 students near the Kings-Tulare county border between Tulare and Corcoran. 

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