Kern County public schools will remain open at this time, the Kern County Superintendent of Schools announced Friday.

Administrators from Kern County’s 47 school districts met Friday to discuss the potential for school closures in the community. Because there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kern County and no evidence of community-wide transmission — and the fact that schools are an essential service, providing education, meals, security and resources for children and families — there was consensus that Kern County schools will remain open at this time.

The county serves 190,000 students, 73 percent of which receive free and reduced meals and extra support resources. Many Kern County students do not have access to the same resources as more affluent counties.

“Closing schools would cause huge impacts to the entire community and put our most vulnerable populations at risk, so the decision to close schools should not be taken lightly,” said Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary C. Barlow. “Our students, families and community are relying on us to stay open as long as it is safely possible in order to receive essential services such as meals, health and mental health services and child care. Thousands of working parents in Kern County may not have provisions for child care and other services for their children outside of school.”

County school districts will continue to operate under guidance released on March 7, 2020 by the California Department of Education and California Department of Public Health.

KCSOS is recommending that districts follow the guidelines from California Department of Public Health on social distancing, canceling non-essential meetings and field trips.

Local educators are developing contingency plans that will allow for continuity of essential school-related services like meals, childcare and equitable alternate forms of instruction if school closures are deemed necessary.

On Thursday, Cal State Bakersfield announced it was moving all classes to an "alternative delivery" method, such as online classes, beginning March 27, for the remainder of the spring semester, while Bakersfield College began the first wave of classes moving online. Both campuses will remain open.

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

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(3) comments

Frank Smith

No one should be going to work , school , court or any place where people gather in groups. It would appear that children can spread it without knowing it. If everyone were to stay home NOW , not Tuesday , not Wednesday , but NOW we can flatten the curve so we don't all get sick at once . If you really do love grandma and grandpa , or your friends with past medical issues , please just stay at home. Don't count on anyone in a position of authority at KHSD or anyone running any school district in this area to keep your family safe. That every other major school district has shut down for the next 2 weeks , and our schools our going to allow children who show no signs of illness to intermingle and bring home a virus that kills grandma , is a crime.

PLEASE KEEP YOUR KIDS AT HOME...

KHSD IS RUN BY FOOLS !!!

Mrknowitall

Once again Kern County stands out as the backwater town it is. KC school district is the ONLY district out of the 20 largest that has NOT closed down? Duh. Ya think the other 19 are ignorant... or is it US?! One outta 20. So shameful. Super says "no evidence it's in our community". Uh. Well that--as the whole world knows-- is because we dont have the TESTS. EVERY medical authority agrees that Calif has community spread; it' snot calculus, it's common sense. Of which our super has none. And her underlings just follow blindly? Be a big shambles and controversy after its all over on WHY nobody stood up to this madness. Same as 80's child satanism ring. KC still gets laughed at for that circus.

What about the over 60 population KC district is putting at risk--- of death? How can they be so callous? Murderers. No better than murderers. one outta 20? oh, boy--- super and underlings gonna have to answer big-time when the cows come home and chickens come home to roost. Firings-- shame-- ridicule. Great YOU earned it. I hope their churches ostrasize them as well... but the churches are so greedy I doubt they stp gathering At least the Mormons said STOP services!!! Why? Cuzz the SPread.

Vzubiate

The fact that public schools are not being closed is ridiculous it's understandable that it's an essential service but isn't law enforcement also an essential service so why is it that their lives are more important than our childrens they can't answer a 911 call unless it's life or death but our kids can go to school for most of the day where there are more than 250 students and definitely more germs than can be imagined ...concerts and other events are being cancelled out of concern for the publics safety.... yet schools remain open..... So our children that cant fend for themselves or protect themselves in general needing the guidance of their loving parents are not even a choice but are basically being forced to return to public Schools that are more likely at risk because of the large amount of people and germs in these public places. And these parents that are more worried about whether they keep their job or have to get a day off in order to watch their children is so sad that they would rather have employment over the life of a child their own child we may not have the virus in Kern County yet but it's spreading like wildfire and you would think that action would be taken now before it gets here rather than protecting ourselves after the fact....

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