Coronavirus: California schools to stay closed through end of academic year, Newsom says

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Coronavirus: California schools closed through end of academic year, Gov. Newsom says
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Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed California's response to COVID-19 in a press conference Wednesday.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday confirmed that schools in California won't reopen after state Superintendent Tony Thurmond said students may not be able to return to campus for the remainder of the school year - but classes would remain in session, he said.

Even though a school's campus is closed, that does not mean school is closed for the rest of the year, according to Thurmond, who added that there is still "distance learning" going on from home.

Limited access to home internet for countless of students has cropped up as a major concern among parents and education officials under the statewide closure of schools.

During a daily press conference, Newsom announced a partnership with Google to provide 100,000 access points to internet across the state, as well as thousands of Chromebooks to "substantially" mitigate that digital divide.

He said the tech company committed to provide a minimum of three months access to broadband connectivity. Still, more will need to be done, Newsom added.

"We still have a little more coverage that we're going to need in remote parts of the state," he added.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the University of California is suspending the SAT exam as a requirement for admission.

This "unprecedented" move applies to students looking to enroll in the fall of 2020.

On a personal note, Newsom addressed the "deep respect and empathy" he has for mothers and caregivers during this time.

He acknowledged the hard work and effort that goes into caring for and teaching children at home during this time in California.

"I know how stressful this is," the governor said.

The governor confirmed there are 8,155 positive cases of coronavirus in California with 774 of those patients occupying ICU beds. Newsom reiterated the importance of social distancing and adhering to the guidelines outlined by state officials in recent weeks.

Thurmond will be holding a press conference at 3 p.m. on the status of California schools, which will be streamed live on ABC7.