Local schools shut down sites, Lindsay and Porterville unified stay open for now

Woodlake, Exeter, Tulare schools close sites starting next week citing an ‘abundance of caution’; Porterville and Lindsay unified stay open citing no COVID-19 cases in the area

By Paul Myers

TULARE COUNTY – School district boards convened emergency meetings late last week and Saturday to decide to follow Visalia Unified School District’s lead and close, or stay open.

To date, Exeter unified’s board decided that all school district activities will be closed starting Wednesday, March 18. Woodlake made a similar decision today, after their board meeting last night.

School district board members have stated that the district needs time to reach out to parents and students to offer necessary notifications through automated phone calls.

“After careful consideration and out of an abundance of caution, Woodlake Unified is announcing that all WUSD schools are closed from Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, April 13,” a Woodlake press release stated. “During this time of school closures, the district will offer support services for students.”

The statement does not note exactly what those services are, but the release states that more information on how families can access them will be shared in the coming days.

Lindsay Unified School District put on their web site today that they do not know of any cases in the students, staff or community members. And for that reason, they will remain open for now.

“The district wants to assure parents, staff, students and the community that this action is being taken as preventative measure, based on an abundance of caution,” LUSD stated on their site.

Tulare Joint Union High School District ordered all schools to close in order to curb the potential transmission of COVID-19.

“The district is in the process of determining what options we have for our students to continue learning while the school is closed. The district will also develop a plan to continue offering meals to our students,” a district press release stated.

Porterville Unified stated that they are fortunate to have their spring break start this coming week and will use that time to disinfect the school sites and remain abreast of local COVID-19 developments.

“At this time, PUSD has not been advised by the Tulare County Department of Public Health that the conditions exist in Tulare County to mandate the closing of schools, however, we are working to ensure our students will be supported if that decision becomes necessary,” a March 13 press release from PUSD stated.

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