By Kathy Chouteau
The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) announced Tuesday that it will temporarily open all of its schools for a three-hour window from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 19.
The action aims to enable students and families to pick up distance learning materials, including Chromebooks with chargers, work packets and other related materials that they may not have been able to secure prior to the district’s closure.
WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy said that the district is currently unable to offer the school Wi-Fi hotspots and that they are exploring other options regarding Internet access. In the meantime, he suggested using mobile phones as hotspots and noted that Comcast is offering free Internet access.
According to Superintendent Duffy, the district is receiving frequent coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the county and state, the latest of which permits travel and gatherings under the Contra Costa Shelter in Place Order for the distribution of distance learning resources.
“Because we are doing our best to comply with the county’s Shelter in Place Order, please do not show up to pick up forgotten lunchboxes or jackets or socialize,” said Superintendent Duffy. “While we are making this opportunity available, please follow social distancing guidelines if you need to come to school. This means that you should stay six feet away from other people and do not attend if you are sick or have any flu-like symptoms.”
The WCCUSD’s decision to temporarily open its schools Thursday coincides with a statement by Gov. Gavin Newsom during an online press conference yesterday that the majority of California schools will likely not reopen for classes until the fall of 2020.
“I would plan and assume it is unlikely that many of these schools—few, if any—will open before the summer break,” he said. Prior to the governor’s statement, the WCCUSD extended the closure of all schools through Sunday, April 12.
To stay informed about the WCCUSD’s coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, click here.