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Most Ventura County schools will start year with distance learning

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VENTURA, Calif. - Public school students will not be returning to campus for the start of the fall term at most schools across Ventura County.

The Ventura County Office of Education announced the decision Thursday afternoon. They said the decision was made by nearly all the school districts and charter schools in the county because "The worsening coronavirus crisis has increased the risk of reopening campuses, even on a limited basis."

Some school districts in the county are still evaluating how they will begin the new school year and have not announced their plans.

The distance learning plan to begin the school year is supported by Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin in order to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The school districts that have decided to begin with distance learning are:

  • Briggs School District
  • Conejo Valley Unified School District
  • Fillmore Unified School District
  • Hueneme Elementary School District
  • Las Virgenes Unified School District
  • Mupu Elementary School District
  • Oak Park Unified School District
  • Ocean View School District
  • Oxnard School District (K-8)
  • Oxnard Union High School District
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Rio School District
  • Santa Clara Elementary School District
  • Santa Paula Unified School District
  • Simi Valley Unified School District
  • Somis Union School District
  • Ventura County Office of Education

The charter schools that have decided to begin with distance learning are:

  • Architecture, Construction & Engineering Charter School
  • Bridges Charter School
  • Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education
  • Golden Valley Charter School
  • Ivy Tech Charter School
  • Meadows Arts and Technology Elementary School
  • River Oaks Academy
  • University Preparation Charter School
  • Valley Oak Charter School
  • Vista Real Charter School

The Ventura Unified, Moorpark Unified, Ojai Unified and Mesa Union school districts as well as Ventura Charter School are still evaluating how they will begin the new school year and have not yet announced their plans.

“Keeping campuses closed is not a decision that any of us take lightly,” said Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “We want nothing more than to bring all students back to class where their educational, social and developmental needs can be best met. However, we cannot in good conscience reopen all of our campuses at a time when the coronavirus is surging in our state and our region.”

Ventura County is following decisions to begin the school year with all distance learning in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District. Santa Barbara County schools have not yet announced plans for reopening in the fall.

The Ventura County Public Health Department announced 97 new cases of COVID-19 on July 15. As of that day there were 2,225 people under active quarantine with 101 people hospitalized, including 27 in intensive care. There have been 4,884 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ventura County and 56 deaths. The number of people considered to be recovered is 2,573.

School leaders will be continually monitoring the spread of the virus and evolving public health guidance as they evaluate when they can safely start returning students to class.

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to make his own announcement regarding the beginning of the fall school year Friday at noon.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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