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Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced this afternoon that all California K-12 school sites will remain closed for the remainder of the school year - but that the State will step up efforts to continue educating California students during the school year, including those in special education, with expanded distance learning in the effort to continue physical (or social) distancing in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Thurmond participated in the Governor's briefing by phone.     The announcement today impacts over 6.2 million students in K-12 education in California, including nearly 800,000 students in special education - the largest public school system in the nation.

New guidance regarding high school graduation and other issues will be released soon, according to Linda Darling-Hammond, President of the State Board of Education, who also participated (via telephone) in the Governor's briefing today.      Thurmond, participating in the Governor's coronavirus live update streamed live on the Governor's Facebook page, said that it is "important to put forward maximum social distancing to flatten the curve" and that it is " important that schools do what they are doing. Students can continue to get education but done in a way that is safe..."

Thurmond said that schools need to "...perceive as if we can only educate our kids through distance learning...Out of abundance of caution, all of our schools maximize their efforts in distance learning  we hae to rise to that challenge. While our campuses are closed - school is not out for the year."       

Thurmond mentioned that his department would be holding a webinar on special education distance learning tomorrow (April 2nd). Registrations are closed for the webinar right now, but a livestream of the same will be available for individuals to watch on the facebook page

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