Denair Unified Announces School Closures Until April 20; Free Food Programs Will Remain in Place via Pickup Only

Submitted by Denair Unified School District:

The Denair Unified School District will close its campuses beginning Thursday, March 19 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Terry Metzger announced Sunday night.

Denair joins 24 other public school districts as well as many private schools in Stanislaus County who are following the recommendations of local, state and national health officials to close campuses. As of now, Metzger said the plan is for classes to resume Monday, April 20 on what would have been the first day back for students and staff from spring break.

“I know that the Denair community has entrusted me to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students and families,” Metzger said. “Closing our schools for an extended period of time is not a decision I made lightly.

“One big question is, ‘Why close schools for so long?’ Public health officials have been clear that closures of less than three weeks are not likely to be effective in slowing the spread of the virus. Because our spring break is scheduled for April 10-17, it makes sense to carry through that week and return on April 20.”

The decision to remain open through Wednesday was made in an effort to allow families to arrange for child care, if necessary. There are no known cases of COVID-19 in Denair.

The closures will affect more than 1,300 students from kindergarten through high school as well as the district’s 188 employees. The district office will remain open and a handful of “essential” employees will continue to report to work, Metzger said.

All employees will remain in paid status during the closure.

The free breakfast and lunch programs available to all students 18 and younger will continue. Beginning Thursday, meals can be picked up in the Denair Middle School parking lot between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and again between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Metzger said some resources and enrichment work will be provided during the closure for K-8 students. There will be packets for parents who want it in hard copy form as well as online access for other students.

The district is still working out details for the types of resources and assignments that will be provided for high school students at Denair High and Denair Charter Academy, Metzger said. Anyone with any questions should call the district office at 632-7514.

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