The Hollister School District released the following in regard to the planned closure of schools for students next week, March 16-20, to prevent the spread of coronavirus:
The safety and wellness of students, families and school personnel are the highest priorities of the Hollister School District. Today, we received confirmation from public health officials of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our community. I n advance of more COVID-19 cases that are anticipated to follow, School District Superintendents and the San Benito County Office of Education have decided in concurrence with the San Benito County Health Services Agency to “dismiss” students from attending school Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020. A dismissal indicates teachers and staff will still report for duty on campus, while all students will not be on campus. We will reassess at the end of next week whether an extension of school closures will be necessary.
To help provide consistency for our students, the Hollister School District is committed to providing meals to our students on a daily basis. We will be prepared to serve meals at all sites, beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. Students will receive lunch and a breakfast for the following morning to take home beginning on March 16th and through March 20th. Meals will be served between 10 am and 1 pm, Monday through Friday, in the parking lot or bus lane at each school. We will be contacting families promptly about the instructional materials available to the students during the closure.
San Benito County Public Health Officials have explained that while the number of cases in our county remains small at this time, those numbers are expected to grow significantly in the coming days. The Hollister School District expects to notify parents, no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020 with an update regarding COVID-19.
Several other districts within San Benito County have made similar choices this afternoon. We understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice is challenging and disruptive, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to our Hollister School District community and staff for their tremendous efforts during these challenging times.
Schools are an essential service and crucial to our communities. We are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our community, and new information is surfacing rapidly. While we recognize this decision will pose challenges and hardship to many families, the most effective way to slow and disrupt the transmission of this pandemic is by implementing social distancing practices.
During the time of school closure, we ask that students and families follow the County Public Health recommendations to stay home and avoid congregating with others during the closure. Students should continue to practice good hygiene, wash hands frequently and refrain from touching their faces. Please encourage students to avoid large public gatherings such as malls, movie theaters and other spaces, especially those that are indoors.
This is a dynamic situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. Hollister School District will keep you updated.
Diego Ochoa Superintendent