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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #20-27
April 29, 2020
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Working with State and National Leaders to Study Possibility of Schools Reopening Earlier

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that he is working with groups of leaders from throughout California and the nation to study in-depth the questions that must be answered, and what measures must be in place, before it is determined whether schools can safely re-open as early as July.

“We look forward to working closely with Governor Gavin Newsom and our partners in education to ask the right questions and seek the urgent answers schools need to determine their next steps in this new, uncharted future,” said Thurmond. “We share the Governor’s aspirations for re-opening our schools as soon as possible. If we are going to do this, it can only be done when we are sure we can protect the health and safety of everyone in our school communities.

“Our students, families, teachers, and classified staff have been amazing and inspiring in their hard work to shift to distance learning under unprecedented circumstances,” Thurmond added. “Even if schools re-open sooner than anticipated, it’s possible we will need to continue some form of remote learning to maintain social distancing. What will that look like, and what resources need to be in place to make that possible? Our broad coalition of leaders from across California and beyond will rise to this challenge by seeking answers to these hard questions.”

Thurmond has convened a statewide working group of collaborators charged with exploring what factors need to be considered before schools can safely re-open, and what must be accomplished to protect the health and safety of students, families, teachers, and classified staff. The group includes the Governor’s Office, superintendents from throughout California, the State Board of Education, the California Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Finance, California Health and Human Services, employee group leadership representing teachers and classified staff, and associations representing school administrators, school board members, and school business officials.

Additionally, Thurmond has invited state school chiefs from throughout the country to examine considerations and best practices for reopening schools, drawing from their experiences across the nation.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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