The Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees approved an emergency resolution during a special Wednesday meeting in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve been on the School Board since 2004 and we’ve never experienced anything like this,” President Mike Welsh said. “It’s a serious thing we need to deal with in a caring manner.”
The emergency resolution delegates authority to CUSD Supt. Scott Siegel to take necessary action to protect students and staff from the spread of the coronavirus. The meeting took place in a conference room at Ceres Unified School District’s headquarters.
All schools in CUSD will be temporarily closed through April 17 because of the pandemic. The decision was made on March 15 after consulting with Stanislaus County school district superintendents.
“As much as we want our kids at our campuses, it was the right decision to close our schools until further notice,” Welsh said. “We have to do what’s right for everyone and think about their health and safety.”
When asked if Ceres Unified’s schools would remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year, Welsh stated:
“It’s something we’ve discussed. But we’re not going to overreact and say anything until we get the facts. There are a lot of plans if certain things happen or don’t happen. We’re prepared for whatever comes our way.”
Breakfast and lunch pick-up will be available for K-12 students on a drive-through basis, weekdays between 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through April 9.
Educational materials will be provided for students at all grade levels.
“We’re not going to change how we take care of our kids,” Welsh said. “The district is doing a great job. It’s going to continue.”
School districts in Stanislaus County suspended all athletic events, effective March 16, for the remainder of the month.
“Ultimately, it was a safety issue,” Siegel said.
Welsh remained optimistic while talking about graduation ceremonies for Ceres Unified’s high schools and junior highs.
“I like to look at things in a positive way,” he said. “We look forward to handing out diplomas and certificates. Hopefully, we do.”
There were 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County as of March 24.