The San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday, Nov. 17, voted to keep all students in distance learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, which ends in June 2021.

The governing body of California’s eighth largest school district took action after carefully weighing local COVID-19 figures that show the virus is spreading at alarming rates and families living within in its attendance boundaries are especially at risk.

San Bernardino County is among those in the state that have experienced drastically increasing COVID-19 cases, forcing it to remain in the purple tier. The board’s decision is consistent with its steadfast commitment to safety for students and employees. This decision will enable district staff to focus greater resources toward strengthening distance learning while also allowing families to better plan.

As part of their decision, in-person accommodations for small groups of students with specifically identified educational needs will be offered when the board deems it safe to do so. This in-person support is allowable under public health guidance from the state. According to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health there are 12,000 new cases in the city of San Bernardino and 2,000 in the city of Highland.

This is the second time since the March statewide closure of schools that the SBCUSD board of education has put the health and safety of its 47,000 students and close to 8,000 employees at the forefront of its decision to keep schools in distance learning.

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