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APRIL 3 SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE: SCHOOL BUILDINGS CLOSED FOR REST OF YEAR; LEARNING CONTINUES VIA DISTANCE LEARNING

April 3, 2020
Dear WCCUSD Families,

The news we have been expecting is now official. West Contra Costa Unified School District students will not return to their campuses this school year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This decision is being made in an effort to help slow the spread of this disease and was not taken lightly.

Both the Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction have issued strong recommendations that, given the nature of the statewide stay-at-home order and continued need for physical distancing, K-12 schools should not expect to return to in-class instruction for the remainder of the school year. While not a directive or executive order, based on this guidance and the likely event that Contra Costa Health Services will extend the stay-at-home order, we will keep our school buildings closed through the rest of this school year.

While this means that physical campuses would not re-open to students this school year, it does not suggest that learning is over for the year. Teachers, classified staff and administrators continue to provide meals and learning devices to students who need them, and are working hard to transition to high-quality distance learning, and support the needs of all students. If you need internet access please visit www.wccusd.net/districtclosure.

The California Department of Education has now provided guidance around grading and graduation requirements, particularly as they relate to WCCUSD’s graduating seniors. We know that higher education (particularly the University of California and California State University systems) is working closely with K-12 schools to ensure that students will not be penalized through grades or graduation requirements because of the situation we all find ourselves in. We are developing guidelines and procedures regarding second semester grades, transcripts, graduation criteria, promotion, and commencement celebrations. These will be communicated to students and families in the coming days and weeks.

We know that this situation is taking its toll on everyone for many reasons, but our health experts continue to remind us that following the stay-at-home order and practicing strict physical distancing are the two best ways to slow the transmission of the coronavirus. While we may not be able to welcome students back to campus this year, we know that learning WILL continue, and that every educator and education professional in WCCUSD will continue to work hard on behalf of the students and families we serve.

As mentioned in previous letters, a more robust distance learning plan will begin when we return from Spring Break on Monday, April 13, and we want to support you and your students to continue learning at home. This is an unprecedented situation and I am asking that you continue to be patient with us as we figure out how to best support this community during the school closures. There are still a number of questions around graduations, summer school and even how next year will work. I want you to know that we are taking these questions seriously and will be reaching out to stakeholders to help us find the right solutions for this community.

As a reminder, Spring Break is next week. Meals will still be distributed every day, except for Monday, April, 6, which is a district holiday. There are 17 locations distributing meals.

Since schools will be on a more formal schedule when we return from Spring Break, we will begin sending communications from the district twice a week. If there is urgent news, we will still share it quickly. There are also several avenues to keep yourself informed. 

Questions or help – District Call Center questions@wccusd.net or call (510) 965-4444 or (510) 965-4443 for information in Spanish.

You can also check Powerschool and/or Google Classroom daily to keep up with your students’ progress.

Thank you again for your trust and support. Stay safe and enjoy Spring Break.

In Partnership,

Matthew Duffy
Superintendent