Poway Unified closes schools

The Poway Unified School District announced that it will close all its schools starting Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 3. The district plans to start classes again on April 6 at this point. Here is the official message from Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps:

Dear PUSD staff and families,
In an ongoing effort to keep you updated on COVID-19, we wanted to provide you with the very latest developments in a situation that is developing rapidly.

These are extraordinary times, and we appreciate your patience as we work together with the San Diego Department of Public Health and San Diego County Office of Education to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

After long and careful deliberation, and out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with local public health, we have decided to close all Poway Unified schools to students for three weeks effective Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3. Our Spring Break will now fall during this three-week period, instead of the originally scheduled April 13-17. At this point, we anticipate restarting school Monday, April 6, unless conditions call for an extension. Nearly all school districts in San Diego County have made the decision to close over the next few weeks.

We are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our community, and new information is surfacing by the hour. It is likely San Diego County will see more cases of COVID-19 in the coming weeks and months and this will require a measured, sustained response. At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Poway Unified school community.  

Staff should continue to report to work. We will provide further instructions to staff. During this closure, students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible. Children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. However, they can transmit the virus to those most vulnerable.

We know that schools are an essential service and crucial to our communities. We are exploring with our community partners what we can do to support our students and families during this difficult time. We are considering setting up ways to continue to provide meals for our students who rely on them. We are setting up distance learning options, and will be working on training and disseminating lessons. We are considering what, if any, childcare options we can extend to families over the next few weeks during this unprecedented closure.

As soon as new information is received, we will disseminate those updates to you as fast as we possibly can.

Marian Kim Phelps
Poway Unified Schools