The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), after careful deliberation and in an abundance of caution, announced today that it is closing its schools, effective Monday, March 16, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The District’s Spring Break is the following week, meaning students will be out of school for at least four weeks.
The public’s health and safety is of the highest importance to LBUSD and all of its community and educational partners. LBUSD has been following guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding how to keep its students, staff and community safe during this public health crisis. At an emergency meeting of the Board of Education today, the Board granted 4 to 1, with Member Perry dissenting, to provide Superintendent Dr. Jason Viloria the authority to take necessary steps to keep students and staff safe. As such, LBUSD is closing its schools and will cancel any student-related activities from Monday, March 16 through April 3, 2020.
To date, health officials have not detected any cases of COVID-19 in our district. At this time, LBUSD asks parents to make arrangements for their student(s) for Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3, 2020. An update on whether the school closures will be extended will be provided in the next few weeks. The District will be working closely with community partners to coordinate and adjust any planned events as needed.
“I want to reassure our Orange County community that the risk of transmission remains low, and that there are no known cases of COVID-19 infection in a student or teacher at this time,” said Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick. “That said, I understand the concerns parents are experiencing and support the school district’s decision to close temporarily. It’s important to note that as both public and private testing capabilities continue to expand, we expect to see more cases.”
While it is not possible to replace an instructional day or provide comprehensive course content with online resources or take-home packets, District staff are in the process of developing resources and strategies to provide a continuity of learning. LBUSD will continue to work diligently to make sure schools and students are supported during and after this hiatus.
The District understands there are many concerns around COVID-19 and wants to ensure families that the administration is working closely with OCHCA for updates and guidance. For the latest information on COVID-19, families are encouraged to visit the LBUSD website, the OCHCA webpage dedicated to COVID-19, and the CDC homepage.