Board agrees, the earliest schools might reopen is May 4

On Friday, Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Curt Dubost released a statement that schools will remain closed indefinitely until it is deemed safe for children to return.

Statement by Dubost read:

“The Board of Trustees has agreed with my recommendation to close school indefinitely pending clearance from the Health Department that we may reopen without compromising the health and safety of our students and staff. We anticipate the earliest possible date we could reopen would be May 4. It is our hope that this can happen so that we can conclude the school year and seniors, in particular, can return for traditional activities and ceremonies.

“During the closure, we will continue to distribute meals and provide instruction, including the time period which would have been spring break. Expect frequent updates as the situation is fluid. Further discussion can be expected with the Board on Apr. 7 at the Regular Board Meeting, with a formal update to follow. Under no circumstances will we reopen without taking all reasonable steps to protect our community.

“We all appreciate the cooperation of our employees and their unions, the many volunteers who have offered help, the City of Paso Robles — especially City Manager Tom Frutchey, Mayor Steve Martin, and Police Chief Ty Lewis, Dr. Jim Brescia, and the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. I also want to thank the district management team and other district and site support staff for their many extra hours of dedicated service to our kids and community.”

Previously, at the Mar. 18 PRJUSD Board Meeting, members approved the purchase of 15,000 additional Chromebooks to assist with long-distance learning for $408,446.25.

“It was a hard decision, to be honest with you, on Friday to move forward on this,” Dubost said, “when we don’t have enough money to spend $400,000 on something I have serious questions about whether it is the right thing to do but don’t think we have an alternative, under the circumstances, I just don’t.”

The additional handheld computers will create the ability for all students to have access to long-distance learning instead of only a few. With each student having Chromebooks, it opens the door for PRJUSD to establish required learning procedures for students to advance.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles