With the ever-changing precautions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the latest announcement by local school districts is that students will not be returning to the classroom this school year.

“We have been in close consultation with the other districts in Sacramento County and Sacramento County Public Health, and the strong consensus is that, given the continuing transmission of COVID-19 in our region and state, the safest thing for us to do is to remain physically closed and to continue distance learning for our students through the end of the year,” Galt Joint Union High School District Superintendent William Spalding said in a statement on Friday, April 3. “We will not physically reopen schools this school year, but will complete the 2019-20 school year through our new distance learning system.”

A similar message was shared by Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD) Superintendent Karen Schauer.

“GJUESD is joining with all Sacramento County school districts to move forward with extended school closure to the end of the school year,” Schauer said. “We will concentrate our efforts on strengthening the delivery of distance learning for each and every learner. Steps are being taken to prepare for a longer period of distance learning.”

Principal/Superintendent Troy Miller at Arcohe Union School District also notified families at his school that they, too, would be closed through the end of the school year.

“I am writing to you with great sadness in my heart,” Miller said. “With the continued coronavirus threat to our community, Arcohe Union School District has decided to remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.”

School closures across the state started in March and were originally expected to reopen after Spring Break in mid-April; however, with the latest recommendations from Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, counties have counseled their school districts to heed the recommendations.

Spalding said that this closure is particularly hard on high school districts.

“For us in high schools, this is our busiest and most essential time,” Spalding said. “It is when we finish out the year and celebrate and congratulate our seniors. For me, graduation is like Christmas Day. I can’t imagine school without it. With all that has happened for schools amidst the pandemic, I feel worst for our Class of 2020. Unfortunately, we are not really left with a choice, other than to continue closure through the end of the year.”

Spalding said that district and school administration, as well as staff members, will look to find alternatives for important events that cannot be held for seniors.

Looking for alternatives, as well, the College Board announced details about at-home AP Exams this May. The at-home testing options will provide more than three million students worldwide the opportunity to earn the college credit and placement they’ve been working hard toward all school year.

The College Board surveyed 18,000 AP students, and 91% indicated they want to complete this important step, urging the organization not to cancel these exams, the organization said in a press release last Friday.

“We surveyed thousands of students from all over the country, and they overwhelmingly want to test,” said Trevor Packer, the senior vice president of AP & Instruction. “We want to give every student the chance to earn the college credit they’ve worked toward throughout the year. That’s why we quickly set up a process that’s simple, secure and accessible.”

For information regarding AP exams, visit www.collegeboard.org.