The Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) on Wednesday recommended that Sonoma County school districts plan to continue distance learning through at least May 1. This guidance was based on consultation with the Sonoma County Health Officer and was also made in consultation with the county superintendents in Napa, Marin, and Solano counties. These counties will also be advising schools to plan for in-person classes to be canceled through May 1.
Previously, Sonoma County school districts had announced that they would suspend in-person classes at least through the end of the Sonoma County health officer’s shelter in place order, which was set for April 7. Then Governor Newsom called for individuals to stay at home state-wide and prohibited mass gatherings of more than 10 people indefinitely. Following this order, and in consultation with Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase, schools are preparing for the possibility of conducting distance learning through May 1. SCOE and school district leaders will reconvene mid-April to reassess and determine a date to resume in-person classes.
Should the governor’s order end before April 30, school districts will be flexible and consider resuming classes earlier.
“The goal is to get students back into the classroom as soon as it is considered safe to do so,” said Dr. Herrington. “While difficult for working parents, school closures are necessary at this time to protect the health of students, staff, and family members with compromised immune systems.” During this time, only school and district personnel who perform essential functions such as feeding children, providing childcare or ensuring business continuity are coming to physical work locations. All school district personnel are on-call to perform school support functions as identified in the Governor’s order by their respective school district.
Over the past two weeks, SCOE and school districts across the county have rapidly adapted to the emergency to provide remote learning, “grab-and-go” meal distribution, pop-up childcare for emergency/medical providers during the school day, and telecommuting.
Above all, SCOE continues to recommend that everyone practices prevention and hygiene protocols, including:
- If you are sick for any reason, stay home. Call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen.
- Symptoms to watch for include a fever over 100 degrees; respiratory illness such as cough or difficulty breathing.
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Stay six feet or more away from strangers and those who are ill.
- Stop shaking hands with others to reduce the spread of germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Sneeze and cough into a tissue or your sleeve; safely throw away used tissues.
Resources for schools and families related to COVID-19, including a map of school lunch locations, resources for parents at home with their children, and more, can be found at scoe.org/covid.
For more information about the county response to COVID-19, visit socoemergency.org.