It is unclear how long school closures in response to COVID-19 will last. The current stay home order of the California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is indefinite. Similar orders from the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles are in effect until April 7, 2020 and April 19, 2020, respectively, but are subject to extension. Most county offices of education and school districts have closed schools through the end of March or 1-2 weeks into April. On March 19, 2020, the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and school district superintendents extended school closures through May 1, 2020. And, on March 20, 2020, the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools recommended extending school closures through May 5, 2020. Most charter schools have closed their school sites to align with the local areas in their communities.
The length of school closures will be dependent on the success of the current statewide and local public health orders, which direct all individuals to stay home or in their residences, to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission. Local authorities and public health officials will update orders based on transmission rates in their communities. Charter schools should monitor their local orders to determine how long their closures should last.
At his press conference on COVID-19 on March 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom stated that he did not expect schools to re-open before the end of the current school year. it should become apparent that it is counter-productive and short-sighted to think of this crisis as a sequence of two-week periods where we hope orders will be lifted. This will only cause lurch and frustrated communications with staff and parents. It is better to begin to plan internally and calibrate external messaging under the assumption that on-site operations may not return to normal before the end of the year, and back map a plan accordingly, while reserving the option to return.