WATSONVILLE—Pajaro Valley Unified School District is closing its schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 year, Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez announced Wednesday.
“Being a healthy community is key to thriving in it,” Rodriguez said. “Having students in the classroom is ideal and we miss seeing their eager faces every day. As we adapt to this crisis, I am very proud of the work that our students, teachers, staff, administrators and families are doing to continue providing high-quality education and positively impacting our students’ lives.”
In making the announcement, PVUSD joins nearly every school district in the state as schools, businesses and organizations shut their doors and increase social distancing under sweeping COVID-19 restrictions.
The closure came one day after State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the restrictions will make it impossible for schools to reopen before June.
The measures mean that students will continue online and distance learning at home.
“In order to allow schools to plan accordingly, and to ensure that learning still occurs until the end of the school year, we are suggesting that schools plan and prepare to have their curriculum carried out through a distance learning model,” Thurmond said. “This 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.”
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah made a similar announcement about the school year on Wednesday.
PVUSD announced that it was closing Rio Del Mar Elementary School on March 11 after an employee there tested positive for coronavirus. Three days later the PVUSD Board of Trustees voted to close all the district’s schools for two weeks to allow for a thorough cleaning. That date was later moved to May 5.
It is not yet clear whether the schools will open in the fall for the 2020-21 school year.