Governor Gavin Newsom says California schools will not reopen this year, fails to issue official order


Jack Reuter

The quad of Drake sits unusually empty for a Thursday afternoon.

For nearly three weeks, students in California adjusted to remote learning while waiting to hear how long schools would stay closed. On Wednesday, April 1, Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed that all California schools will remain closed throughout the remainder of the academic year.

“With the dynamic nature of the [COVID-19] models that we’ve been using for now many, many weeks, it seems, I think, self-evident that we should not prepare to bring our children back into the school setting,” Newsom said.

This announcement was issued a day after the state superintendent, Tony Thurman, sent a letter to school districts saying that it was unlikely that schools would reopen due to safety issues regarding the coronavirus. Newsom agreed with Thurman in his statement.

According to the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) superintendent, Tara Taupier, Newsom has not made any official orders to close California schools for the rest of the year. 

“The governor has set an expectation that schools be prepared to be closed through the end of the year, but has not mandated it,” Taupier said.

TUHSD schools will continue to follow instructions from the Marin Health and Human Services (MHHS) in order to decide if schools will not reopen this year. As of now, the MHHS has not extended shelter-in-place orders or school closures.  

The potential extended school closures create many problems for students who do not have access to adequate technology. On April 1, Newsom announced that Google will provide over 100,000 Wi-Fi broadband access points in hopes of making distance learning a possibility for everyone. Google will also provide thousands of Chromebooks to those in need, free of charge for at least three months.

According to the Drake Direct newsletter that was issued Wednesday, April 1, the school will make efforts to still hold Prom, Senior Awards Night, the Last Chapter Dinner, and Graduation if schools resume before June. More information will be issued in May regarding these Drake events.

Despite the possible school closures for the remainder of the academic year, Governor Newsom has yet to issue a policy of action regarding extended school closures. As of now, TUHSD schools will remain closed until May 1.