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Ventura County School districts close campus due to Coronavirus

Ventura County Schools Close
Ventura County Schools Close

CAMARILLO, Calif. -- All school districts in Ventura County have decided to close their schools for a limited period in response to the coronavirus.

For most school districts, the closures will begin Monday, March 16 and continue through Friday, March 20. Some districts have announced longer closures. The school closure is affecting grades in Ventura County starting from Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade.

“It was absolutely a hard decision because we value every hour that we have to give our kids their learning,” said Stan Mantooth, the Ventura County Office of Education Superintendent. “To shut that down is a very big decision, but it is not as important as their health.”

Mantooth says all school districts in Ventura County have decided to close their schools in response to the Coronavirus.

“We have over 200 different schools in Ventura County and 19 school districts, 20 if you want to count Las Virgenes,” said Mantooth. “The initial decision was to close for a week beginning Monday and then reassess the situation at the end of the week. We think it is likely as events unfold that we will have to extend those closures.”

Many districts like Ventura unified already extended the closures through April 10th. This move comes after Ventura County Public Health declared a local health emergency stressing residents need to practice social distancing.

“We hope that the students, if they are not in school, are not finding ways to congregate outside of our facilities,” said Mantooth.

No word yet on what the plan will be as far as continued education during this time off.

“That is one of our biggest challenges,” said Mantooth. “Because by law we are required to provide every single student with the same level of educational service, and if we fail to do that we leave ourselves vulnerable to litigation. We are hoping for some guidance from the state.”

The college board is working closely with the districts to reschedule all forms of testing, like the SAT. And as far as making up these days at the end of the school year, the county doesn’t think this will happen.

“At this point of time we have no source of funding that would allow us to extend the school year,” said Mantooth.

Food services will continue during this time away from school for many of the districts.

The Oxnard Union High School District said they will continue to serve meals on a ‘grab n’ go’ basis, through which students may receive bags of food every day from 10:00-1:00 p.m. Understanding potential limitations of transportation for some of our students who must be bused to school. below are the locations where food may be picked-up for any student:

  • Adolfo Camarillo S.
  • Channel Islands
  • Hueneme
  • Oxnard
  • Pacifica
  • Rio Mesa and Rio Vista Middle School
    Condor H.S., Frontier H.S. and Oxnard Middle College High Schools students may receive food at any of the schools listed above. Rancho Campana and C.A.P.E. can pick-up meals at Adolfo Camarillo H.S.

At the Rio School District students can come to any campus sites between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to pickup a snack and meal at the cafeteria.

VUSD will be providing meals for families to pick-up, Monday through Friday, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm beginning this Monday, March 16.

  • Parents or students may walk or drive up to the carts that we will have set up and receive one breakfast (for the next day) and one lunch per child ages 1-18 years of age.
  • All children are welcome; they do not have to be VUSD students, no ID or information is needed, and the children do not need to be present; all Ventura families are welcome.
  • All meals must be taken off the property to be eaten, as we are trying to maintain social distancing.
  • These sites were selected strategically, so the District provides meals in areas of high need throughout the city and where walking to the location is an option. We will evaluate the program daily and adjust if needed. The six sites are:
    • Atlas Elementary School - 760 Jazmin Avenue, Ventura 
    • Montalvo Elementary - 2050 Grand Avenue, Ventura
    • Will Rogers Elementary - 316 Howard Street, Ventura
    • Data Middle School 2060 - Cameron Street, Ventura
    • Sheridan Way Elementary - 573 Sheridan Way, Ventura
    • Sunset K-8 School - 400 Sunset Ave., Oak View

Pleasant Valley School District plans to continue operating food service programs at the Las Posas, PVSEA, and Rancho Rosal school sites. Breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m., and lunch will be served from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Food will be served “grab and go” style, with students picking up food in the kitchen, and eating off-site.

Please visit all other districts on their website for further information.

California / Coronavirus / Health

Senerey de los Santos

Senerey de los Santos is a multimedia journalist for KEYT | KCOY | KKFX covering primarily Ventura County.