Schools shut down amid virus pandemic
March 19, 2020 | View PDF
Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary Barlow announced that all public schools in Kern County will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18, following recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Kern County Public Health Department. Shafter High Shafter High Principal Russell Shipley said that the move makes sense and is the best action to keep our students and staff safe and healthy. "This is something that we have never had to deal with before, but this is the right move, and we as a staff are handling the situation and are looking forward to opening the school back up once it is safe to do so."
Essential programs, such as the school food program that provides free lunches and dinners to students, will still be operating, as well as the same programs for the Richland School District.
"There will be a portable cart right outside the school by the garage in the parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to hand out a bag which will contain a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the following day," Shipley said.
Richland Interim Superintendent Rosa Romero said that it has been an overwhelming time but the staff, teachers and students are doing well and are working to make this situation a smooth one. "We are taking our directive from the KCSOS office and the Public Health Department.
Richland School District is making sure that their students have their work to take with them as they begin this imposed break."
Students were sent home with a packet that contained school work, as well as supplies that they might need. They also were told to let the school know if they needed the use of a Chromebook computer while the school session was out.
In their food program, each school will be handing out lunches from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They will be available at each school located at their valet area or bus turnarounds. They also will be delivering lunches to La Colonia and the Smith's Corner areas. From 11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in Smith's Corner in front of the Church of God will be the drop-off location. At La Colonia, the location is at the bus stop on the dirt lot on the no-name street between Rodriguez Street and Martinez Street. They will be able to pick up their lunches from 12 p.m. to 12:30p.m. Lunch or breakfast will not be provided from March 19 to April 3, which is the normal schools' spring break.
There will be daily updates provided on the schools' websites on the information about the coronavirus situation and any further actions that have been taken.
"The first priority is the safety and well-being of our students and our staff," Romero said.