With COVID-19 coronavirus spreading from personal contact throughout the Bay Area, public and private schools in the Valley have barred students from attending classes and cancelled all student activities on campuses.
However, the learning won’t stop. The Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin public school districts are calling it a “dismissal of school,” and will take steps to create electronic communication via internet streaming to students’ computers at home.
Pleasanton and Dublin students who don’t own a computer can check one out from their districts, by contacting district headquarters by phone or e-mail. The process will work as it does when materials are borrowed from a library.
Pleasanton also has an online form that requires students to check an electronic box to show they are in attendance.
The state requires 175 days of instruction in a school year, and taking the attendance roll will qualify PUSD for that money, which is based on average daily attendance. The Valley public districts’ attendance averages about 96% or 97% annually.
Food Programs to Continue
All three Valley school districts will be feeding students the lunches and breakfasts they usually get as part of federally subsidized food programs.
In Pleasanton Unified, families may contact the district through pleasantonusd.net to see a posting that directs them where to pick up lunch for the day and breakfast for the following day.
In Livermore Valley Joint Unified (LVJUSD), all children 18 and under can get free meal pick-up service at East Avenue Middle School, Junction Avenue K-8 School, and Marylin Avenue Elementary School, from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Each child will receive a breakfast and lunch.
Registered Dublin Unified students whose families currently
receive meal assistance will have access to a "Grab and Go" bagged breakfast and lunch during the duration of the suspension time. The district will make meals available at Dublin High School and Cottonwood Creek School from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch. Seating will not be offered at either site. Soon, families will be able to go to the district website to review the menu and pre-order their meals.
Distance Learning for Students
LVJUSD said in a website announcement this week that it will deliver electronic learning to its students, but has not settled on a specific plan yet. Parents will be informed when that decision is made, estimated to occur next week. Schools are set to reopen on Tuesday, April 14, pending on developments in the pandemic.
Pleasanton Superintendent David Haglund said in a message that students should stick to the learning program, and not use the time for vacation, especially since the purpose is to shelter in place, and not be exposed any more than necessary to coronavirus. Schools are set to reopen on Tuesday, April 14, pending developments.
Dublin Superintendent Dave Marken announced in a news release that teachers will communicate with students and parents about lesson plans. School planned to reopen Monday, April 13, pending developments.
“Your student is expected to complete assignments during this time, and they will be graded. We’d like to make it clear — do not, under any circumstances, expect individual learning plans for each and every one of our over 12,900 students,” said Marken.
Sunol Glen School District, a K-8 school with nearly 300 students, also will go electronic for instruction. Superintendent Molly Barnes was out on Tuesday distributing Chromebooks to families that did not have them. Families drove up to the school, and were helped by administrative staff.
Barnes said that before her district closed, a massive sanitation effort included certifying all staff in order to use school-safe cleaners.
“The health and safety of our students and staff is of utmost priority,” Barnes explained. “We are (and have been) monitoring the COVID-19 information very carefully ... this situation is fluid and changes in information are happening rapidly. I have been working closely with the Alameda County Superintendent's group, Alameda County Office of Education and ACPHD in regard to what steps to take as we move forward in addressing the COVID-19 concerns.”
Electronics Also Helping Private Schools
The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco has closed down its schools in Alameda County. In the Valley, that affects St. Michael’s School’s 243 students in Livermore and St. Raymond’s 305 students in Dublin. Both are K-8 schools. The archdiocese has set March 25 for a potential return to classrooms.
St. Raymond’s vice principal, Gregory Peterson, stated that the school plans to transmit classes to students. A source at St. Michael’s said it will do the same.
At Quarry Lane School in Dublin, a K-12 school with 950 students, a faculty member said teachers are prepared to implement the school’s distance learning mode. Until further notice, the school plans to resume classes on campus on Monday, April 13.
Reporter Aly Brown contributed to this story.