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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    Coronavirus closing all Ventura County school districts Monday; Other California districts, urban districts and states closing schools

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    By Michael Hernandez

    The coronavirus is closing all Ventura County school districts Monday for the week of March 16-20 according to the Ventura County Office of Education.  The Las Virgenes Unified School District has only announced a closure for March 16-17.  All other districts will decide whether to extend their closures beyond March 20th based on developing circumstances.  Meanwhile, the Moorpark and Simi Valley Unified School Districts will be closed from March 16-27 while the Ventura Unified School District will be closed from March 16-April 10.  (Editor’s Note:  Citizens Journal readers can check their school district by going to:  https://www.vcoe.org/School-Districts-in-Ventura-County.)

    The Ventura County Office of Education has posted on their website new state guidelines on public gatherings which recommends the canceling of events with 250 people or more; as well as a link to the Center for Disease control travel page; tips for social distancing and preventing the spread of the coronavirus; and links to talking to kids about Coronavirus.   (Editor’s Note:  Please see:  https://www.vcoe.org/news/ArticleID/4714/coronavirus.)

    Outside, Ventura County, the mega Los Angeles Unified School District—the nation’s second largest school district with 900 campuses serving more than 670,000 children and adult students (500,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade)—will be closed for two weeks.  Also, closing is the San Diego Unified School District.

    LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner announced that Los Angeles students will be offered television and online lessons using existing curriculum.  The television lessons will be offered through a new partnership with the Public Broadcasting System to provide educational programming on three local public television stations:  KCET will offer high school level programming.  KLCS—which is operated by L.A. Unified will offer content for all grades.  KOCE will manage preschool through grade 2.  Other Los Angeles County K-12 private schools that have transitioned to remote instruction include:  Oaks Christian, Buckley, Harvard-Westlake and Notre Dame.

    California school districts that have also announced school closures include Long Beach, Santa Monica-Malibu, Oakland, and San Francisco with Elk Grove Unified being the first district to close its schools earlier this week.   On Wednesday, the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco shut down all 90 of its schools in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.  The Catholic schools are scheduled to re-open on March 25.

    Outside California, nine states including:  Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin have announced the closing of schools and the governor of Kentucky has recommended the closing of all schools in the state.  School districts in three counties in Washington (King, Pierce, and Snohomish) have been closed to April 3rd.  Other major urban school districts being shut include:  Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and San Antonio.

    Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angles Unified School Districts.  Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected]


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