Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary C. Barlow hosted a press conference March 16 to address school closures that began March 18.

Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary C. Barlow announced Wednesday she is recommending Kern County’s 47 school districts extend public school closures through at least May 1 to help contain the spread of COVID-19, according to a news release.

The announcement comes after consultation with Kern County Public Health Services and in light of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order.

“KCSOS’s leadership team and Kern’s 47 district superintendents are meeting daily through Zoom video conferencing and are problem solving in real time,” said Barlow. “We are learning from one another, adjusting plans daily and will be ready for any eventuality, including school closures beyond the May 1, 2020, recommendation. We hope it does not come to that, but we will be prepared, if the governor and/or public health officials advise that school closures should be extended as we move forward.”

Robert Meszaros, KCSOS director of communications, said the recommendation to keep schools closed longer "was very well received and it is anticipated that all districts will follow the recommendation."

County public schools were initially meant to reopen on April 14.

Kern County’s 47 school districts have been closed since last Wednesday and have provided remote learning, “grab-and-go" meal distribution, supervision during the school day and telecommuting. Kern County schools will continue these services during the extended school closures.

Bakersfield City and Greenfield Union school districts announced the first day back for students will be May 5.

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

(1) comment


Why not just wait until September to reopen? By the time the kids get settled in, it'll be June and summer break anyway.

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