FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Fresno Unified School District took action in face of the coronavirus pandemic Friday.
Superintendent Bob Nelson announced the closure of all schools in the Central Valley’s largest school district.
“We realize the incredible significant impact that a decision to close schools creates on behalf of our families and our community and we don’t take that decision in any way lightly,” Nelson said.
The closure takes effect Monday, March 16 and tentatively ends April 13.
According to Fresno Unified’s website, they serve more than 74,000 students from preschool to 12th grade.
“It’s going to be hard because the kids are going to be at home. It’s going to be more work for us to stay home. The kids are not going to learn as much. It’s going to be hard for the parents, ” Leng Hang the father of three children in the district said.
For many, the hassle is justified.
“I think it is crucial for them to close it — less exposure to the public and a lot of people. It’s important so the virus doesn’t spread,” Gisell Lopez whose cousin goes to Gaston Middle School said.
According to the Fresno Teachers Association’s Manuel Bonilla, mitigating the spread of the virus is the goal.
“A lot of times when children get this it’s very mild in its symptoms, so not easily caught before it’s transmitted and it’s potential to get transmitted to parents or guardians or to older teachers that are in high-risk categories,” Bonilla said.
Nelson said the plan includes continuing to provide meals to students who need them, setting up a call center for the public’s questions, and continuing to pay faculty.
He said many details are still being finalized and will be announced within the next few days.
It’s unclear if the school year will need to be extended.