Dear DJUSD Families:
Today, in an effort to proactively slow the spread of COVID-19, I am announcing that all Davis Joint Unified Schools will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, through Sunday, April 12, 2020. Additionally, all events, extracurricular activities, athletics practices and competitions, and performances are cancelled during the closure.
The Board of Education, senior staff and I met today in an emergency meeting to address this matter. In a unanimous vote, the Board adopted a motion which states, “In consultation with Yolo County Public Health Department and legal counsel, the Board of Education reaffirmed the Superintendent’s authority to effectuate school closures in light of COVID-19.”
In support of this decision, Board of Education Trustees provided the following comments:
- Board President Cindy Pickett strongly supported Superintendent Bowes' decision to close schools temporarily. She stated, "We have been diligently monitoring the COVID-19 situation conferring with Yolo County Public Health Department and other partners. This is the right time for this decision. It is important to be proactive rather than reactive. It will help to save lives."
- Vice President, Joe DiNunzio offered, “The District is working under very difficult circumstances with changing facts by the day. While no known student or staff member in Davis Joint Unified School District has been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of today, we believe that the growing spread will likely result in more cases in Yolo County or possibly our school district. This decision by the Superintendent is the right call and supported by all Trustees.”
- Trustee Bob Poppenga shared, “The decision to close schools for this duration is not taken lightly, but we need to do our part to support the public health recommendations to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19.”
- Trustee Alan Fernandes stated, “Our top priority is always the health and safety of our students and staff. Our efforts to promote social distancing is an important start, and today’s action supports our greater community goal of protecting the most vulnerable.”
- Trustee Tom Adams added, “We carefully considered the effects of closing schools and we continue to be committed to addressing the needs of students and their families who rely on schools for essential services. ”
I want our DJUSD families to know that we recognize the significant impact this extended closure will have on our entire community, students, families, and on our staff. We acknowledge the anxiety this may cause our students, especially our high school seniors who are focused on graduation and those students who depend on DJUSD for important services, including school meals.
Below are some important facts about what we will be doing during this closure:
Deep Cleaning of Campuses and Classrooms
While school is out, deep cleaning of all campuses will occur, including sports equipment, play structures, and a thorough cleaning of all surfaces throughout the District.
Specifics of Closure
This closure also means that athletics, professional development, school events, and extracurricular activities scheduled between, Monday, March 16 through through Sunday, April 12, 2020, are canceled or may be rescheduled. In alignment with our school closures, all before and after school programs at school sites will be closed for the same duration. Essential administrative and support staff will be available to answer questions throughout the closure. The District Office will be open until Spring Break for enrollment and other support services.
Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher conferences that were planned for next week are canceled and may be rescheduled once school resumes. Information about rescheduling will be provided by school sites once school resumes.
DJUSD will continue to provide meals to students during school closures. Beginning on Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 3, breakfast and lunch service for students Monday through Friday will occur across the District at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary, Harper Junior High, Davis Senior High and Patwin Elementary from 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Meal packages will include lunch for the current day and breakfast for the next morning. Updates will be posted at the Student Nutrition Services website.
Some Work Will Continue
Some District departments, such as Personnel and Fiscal Services, Maintenance and Operations will continue to operate during the school closures in order to make sure the District grounds are maintained, employees are paid and buildings remain in good repair.
While this situation continues to evolve, our goal has been and will continue to be to coordinate closely with Yolo County Department of Public Health. I want to thank again our DJUSD teachers and staff for their tremendous work and continued professionalism as we work through a challenging time. I also thank our greater community for your patience and sensitivity to the evolving nature of this outbreak and the greater goal of doing our part to protect our most vulnerable communities.
It is likely that we are not at the end of this, but rather just embarking on this challenging road. We will get through this, but it will take all working together for the greater good of our community.
In the meantime, DJUSD will continue to stay in close conversation with the city, state, and local officials, and partners as our entire region responds to new guidance and a call to take an active role combating COVID-19. Please expect regular updates during the closure. In the meantime, please continue to check the DJUSD Coronavirus webpage for new information. Any important updates will be shared as quickly as possible with our school community by email and available on the DJUSD website as well as on District social media. Questions may be directed to email@example.com.
Thank you for your partnership and understanding.
John A. Bowes, Ed.D.