After careful deliberation, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has made the decision to close all IUSD schools and facilities effective Monday, March 16 with an anticipated return date of Monday, April 6. The public health crisis created by COVID-19 has put our institutions, including K-12 school districts, in uncharted territory and we must take steps to prevent the spread of illness. In addition to proactive actions taken by IUSD, we will continue to follow the guidance of public health experts to protect our students, families, staff and the entire IUSD community. As we have more information, we will communicate with our community and provide updates on iusd.org/COVID19.
The IUSD Board of Education held a special emergency Board Meeting today at 12:30 p.m. to discuss school closures and the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. The Board of Education authorized me to take the necessary action to protect students and staff, including the closure of all IUSD schools and facilities.
“On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education, our first priority is the safety of our students, staff, families and community,” said President of the Board of Education Betty Carroll. “We stand prepared to support our Superintendent and District staff with all available resources as they work diligently to proactively protect and support our more than 36,000 students.”
What this Means
As a result of this rapidly changing situation, we are now at a point where public safety concerns warrant the closing of schools. While our school facilities will be closed, plans to support student learning, nutrition services, and childcare options, will be implemented.
IUSD will utilize Monday and Tuesday of next week to continue our planning efforts so that we can transition effectively to a distance learning environment that supports the diverse needs of our students.
Please know that IUSD understands that the closing of any school has significant consequences beyond the loss of instructional time and will result in challenges for many of our families. We are committed to providing available resources to support our families.
Additional information regarding these supports and services will be shared as soon as possible. On behalf of our school administrators, teachers and District, I thank our community for your understanding as we work to implement distance learning and provide continuity of instruction and services. The circumstances in California and the nation will undoubtedly pose challenges; however, if we practice patience and understand that adapting quickly is critical, we will be able to continue to serve and support our students and families.
Social Distancing Guidance
Expert health agencies advise that to effectively support social distancing and the extraordinary measure of closing schools, students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible to keep caregivers and adult family members safe. While children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus, these steps are critical in supporting public health as they can transmit the virus to those most vulnerable.
Public health officials recommend that families make arrangements for childcare during closure that avoid leaving children with elderly people who are more vulnerable to the impact of the virus.
Stay Connected to IUSD
IUSD will communicate with you often and as we have new information. In the meantime, continue to visit iusd.org/COVID19 and District social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for updates. Please make sure your contact information is up to date in Parent Portal.
If you have questions, after reviewing the resources available at iusd.org/COVID19, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to answer questions in a timely manner and will regularly update our frequently asked questions.
Our District has always maintained that it is the “US” in IUSD that makes us stronger and successful as a district. This has been a stressful time for families and I thank you for your understanding of the many unique considerations of K-12 school districts in serving our diverse population. By working together, we can and will continue to support our students through this difficult time.
Thank you for your partnership and support.
Superintendent of School
Irvine Unified School District