With the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) now in our everyday lives, its time for our school superintendents across East Contra Costa County to unify, step up and lead by calling for school closures through April 6.
While this is a suggestion may seem extreme and even unpopular with some, it is the right thing to do given that the World Health Organization (WHO) is now calling this virus a pandemic. More and more cases keep popping up and everybody must do their part to slow the spread—and that begins by slowing the movement of people of all ages around the county.
By taking a unified approach, it would hopefully get everyone on the same page instead of different decisions for different Districts.
After all, there is no leadership from State Superintendent Tony Thurmond on the matter who has basically left it up to each District to make their own decision. The time has come to be proactive instead of reactive as the county now stands at 17-cases.
Already, many Districts including the West Contra Costa County School District and Berkeley Unified School District have shut their doors from March 16-April 6
The timing of this actually works out well for most Districts in East County as Districts can piggy-back off Spring Break to limit impacts while giving parents some time to prepare childcare for young children.
Here is a look at the Spring Break Schedules:
- March 16 – 29: Brentwood Union Elementary School District
- March 16 – 29: Liberty Union Liberty High School District
- March 16 – 29: Byron Union School District
- March 16 – 29: Oakley Union Elementary School District
- March 23 – 29: Antioch Unified School District
- April 6 – 10: Mt. Diablo Unified School District (potentially move up spring break?)
- April 13 – 19: Pittsburg Unified School District (potentially move up spring break?)
With this suggested time off, it’s important that students not run amuck around town, but rather stay out of large crowds as we use this time for everyone to do this right the first time so no further impacts can be had by the community.
Ultimately, there are and will be so many unintended consequences from sports, clubs, activities, transportation, childcare and even the impact on parents. Throw in funding and revenue to the Districts it gets really messy. But the wellness of everyone in the county should be a top priority over economics and luxuries.
This also comes at a time when so many people are now going under self-quarantine it doesn’t hurt to get ahead of this.
I fully understand that school districts are at the mercy of the County and State Health Departments recommendations, but the entire United States has been slow to respond while testing is failing. It makes little sense that social distancing has been recommended, events of more than 50 people be cancelled but teachers/staff and students should still go to school? That is ridiculous!
At a time when pro sports seasons are being postponed, national championship tournaments are being cancelled, Disneyland closes, and people are being urged to work from home, some common sense must prevail here—especially considering teachers and school staff could unknowingly be carrying the virus or are medically vulnerable.
These day to day updates is nice, but it keeps people anxious and on their toes of what the future holds. If those with kids in school know school will be closed for several weeks, some normalcy can return.
Depending on where we are at in the first week of April, we can re-evaluate next steps after a 3-week hiatus. But for now, with so many unknowns, this is a rather obvious choice our Superintendents must make because it is the responsible decision.
Closing schools until April 6 would show great leadership and unity by local school districts. The sooner they make this decision, the better it would be for the community.
Publisher of ECT