Schools closed

Parents and students are going to have to wait until the next academic year for schools to open back up.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that schools will physically be closed for the remainder of the school year on Wednesday.

Stanislaus County had originally planned to extend the closure through May 3, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“School administrators across Stanislaus County appreciate the proactive illness prevention steps that our families and staff have taken so far,” said Superintendent of Schools Scott Kuykendall in a press release statement.

With the future of the school year uncertain at the time, PJUSD Superintendent Dr. Philip Alfano stated that it is critical that learning continues for all students during the closure.

“We cannot let students who have worked so hard lose progress while away from the classroom setting,” Dr. Alfano said in a press release on March 26.

The announcement of the extended closure came last week for Stanislaus County, but by Tuesday, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond stated it was unlikely that public school campuses would reopen for this academic year at all.

“Due to the safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year,” Thurmond said. “This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should pull all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning.”

Thurmond has asked schools to prepare for the closure for the rest of the school year by reinforcing their distance learning programs.

Distance learning and Chromebooks

PJUSD recently launched a distance learning website aimed at providing resources and tools for parents and students during the closure. The site can be found at https://sites.google.com/patterson.k12.ca.us/pjusdlearningfromhome/home

Along with learning resources, the site also has information on COVID-19 and tips to help cope with the stress or anxiety this pandemic may bring.

“We recognize the significant impact extending school closure will have on our entire community, students, families, and staff. This is unprecedented. We acknowledge the anxiety this may cause our students, especially our high school seniors who are focused on graduation. We also recognize the burden this will place on our staff and working families. This is a challenging time for our community and we are committed to working with you in the best interest of our students and staff,” Dr. Alfano stated in a press release last week.

The district is also providing Chromebooks to any student from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade in need of a device to participate in distance learning curriculum and activities.

The distribution will occur at the Patterson Unified District Office at 510 Keystone Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. Parents and guardians are asked to bring a student ID.

The scheduled days for the distribution of Chromebooks will occur from April 6-9.

  • April 6- Fourth and Fifth Grade
  • April 7- Second and Third Grade
  • April 8- TK, K and First Grade
  • April 9- Make-up Day for TK-5.

Grayson students can get a Chromebook on April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grayson Elementary School.

Chromebook insurance will be covered by Patterson Unified for the remainder of the school year. Those parents or guardians without student ID information can be verified on-site with a student name and parent ID.

Additional information is available at bit.ly/PJUSDDL or by calling the distance learning line at (209) 895-7730.

Meal Service

PJUSD is also offering a meal service for all students during the closure. Parents and guardians can pick up pre-packaged breakfast and lunches Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Creekside Middle School, Grayson Elementary, Patterson High School and Walnut Grove School. Each child receives one breakfast and one lunch. No identification or paperwork is required. Parents and guardians unable to leave their homes because of health reasons can ask for assistance by calling 209-892-3702 ext. 27022.

Resources and updates for parents and students can be found at the district website at www.patterson.k12.ca.us

Additional information and resources can be found at the Stanislaus County Office of Education website at www.stancoe.org

The PJUSD website has a list of support lines for parents and students to cope with the evolving situation.

  • 209-895-7700- Do Line
  • 209-895-7731- IT Support
  • 209-895-7730- Distance Learning
  • 209-895-7732- SPED Support
  • 209-894-1055- Counseling Support
  • 209-892-3702- Cafeteria Services
  • This article was originally published on March 26, 2020. It was updated on April 2, 2020.

PI sports writer

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