(Updated Monday, March 16 at 11:00 am)
This is what we know so far:
“Out of an abundance of caution…”is the phrase that begins the communications to parents from both Bishop Union High School in Bishop, Owens Valley Unified School District and Mammoth Unified School District in Mammoth Lakes, that the schools are closing.
Student Meals Programs are, in most cases, still going to be provided. Contact the school that your child/children attend for more information.
Both Bishop Unified School District and Mammoth Unified School District were among the first to announce closing. They will be closed Monday, March 16th through their already scheduled Spring Breaks through March 30th.
Big Pine Unified School District schools decided to remain open March 16 through March 20. The schools is already scheduled to be closed for Spring Break from March 23 to March 27 with return to school on Monday, March 30.
Owens Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees decided on Sunday, March 15, in a special board meeting, that they will be closing their schools on Tuesday, March 17th through the Spring Break ending on March 27th. Beyond that date, OVUSD will be making a decision as circumstance warrant, but for now they anticipate a return to school on Tuesday, March 31.
Lone Pine Unified School District has reported that their schools will be Open on Monday March 16, and then Closed on Tuesday, March 17 to Friday, March 20, followed by Spring Break from March 23 to March 27. Schools will remain Closed on Monday, March 30, and schools will reopen on Tuesday, March 31 depending on reevaluation of virus threat.
Round Valley Joint Elementary School District is closing as of Tuesday, March 17 through Spring Break, Friday, March 27. Situation will be reevaluated during course of corona virus threat.
Eastern Sierra Unified School District is closing tomorrow through March 30, when they will “reassess” the situation, says Superintendent Heidi Torix. They will be providing students with meals the rest of this week.
Death Valley Unified School District is not closing. It’s Spring Break is not until April 6-10.
Other districts throughout the state and across the country have also made similar decisions on closure, including Santa Cruz County, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, to mention just a few. The situation and pressure to do something will make it hard for most school districts to not resist closure.
A major concern is that, with the students out of school, they will gather in other places such as stores, movie theaters and other public space, especially ones that are indoor, rather than stay home, which is the safest place for them.
The schools recognize that the students being out of school when they normally would not, will be difficult for some families to provide childcare, especially in families with young children and with working parents, but they feel that they have little choice but to close the schools.
The idea is to curb the potential transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our communities, although there have not been any confirmed cases in either Inyo or Mono county.
School Districts’ staff and teachers are meeting to develop and figure out was to best continue to serve their students. Decisions must be made on how, when, and where students will receive academic work and how teachers will provide support to students using a distance learning model. Also, many students are dependent on school lunch programs for meals. Other decisions are being made on how best to guide students on the importance of “social distancing” while outside of school.
Don’t forget to visit the websites of the schools that your children attend, and please, visit us at sierrawave.net for the latest information. We’re doing our best to keep you informed.