RELATED: Students face digital divide as schools turn to remote learning amid COVID-19 outbreak - interactive
It's been almost 4 weeks since schools around the state have closed and Thurmond emphasized that just because campuses are closed, class is still in session. He addressed distance learning and how the state is working to address the digital divide for students who may not have access to the internet or laptops.
Google committed to making hotspot and Chrome Books available for students statewide and the superintendent urged for companies to partner with California schools to donate money or technology by emailing email@example.com.
Weekly educational webinars have also been made available as resoources for educators. This week's webinars are on how to deliver special education and English learning. Resources can be found on the California Department of Education's website here.
When asked what the state was doing for students' mental health, Thurmond reassured they are trying to mobilize resources to support students by remote and distanced-calls.
"We know many (students) are going without mental health support," He added. "Students miss the routine of school, students miss their teachers, teachers miss their students. This adds stress"
Thurmond ended his virtual town hall with a message to the class of 2020.
"We understand it's difficult, we understand it's disappointing for those who are supposed to be in a graduation procession in May or June," Thurmond said. "Quite frankly we just don't know when it will be safe enough for our shelter-in-place, stay-at-home orders to be lifted, the best thing we can do to is to practice maximum social distancing."
WATCH: Superintendent Tony Thurmond's message to the class of 2020
Earlier, Six Bay Area counties officially announced that school campuses will not be reopening this academic year, following guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19.
RELATED: Get the latest live updates on coronavirus crisis
In a joint press release, superintendents along with public health officers said schools will continue to transition to at-home, distance learning formats. School leaders will continue to use campus facilities to distribute school meals and provide childcare as determined by local needs.
The counties that will not reopen school campuses this 2019-2020 year include: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco County.
SFUSD said on Twitter that schools will start teacher-led learning on April 13.
SFUSD school sites will remain closed through the end of the school year (June 2, 2020) and instruction will be delivered to every student through interactive teacher-led learning starting April 13. For more information, go to https://t.co/bjvXVxqTWq.— SF public schools (@SFUnified) April 7, 2020
RELATED: Coronavirus Impact: School, university closures related to COVID-19 in San Francisco Bay Area
After recently announcing campuses would remain closed for in-person learning until May 1, Bay Area counties took action to review their closure timelines following last Wednesday's statements from Gov. Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond that California students would not likely be able to return to campus for school this 2019-2020 year.
RELATED: California schools closed through end of academic year, Gov. Newsom says
"The decision to further extend closures is critical for maintaining social distancing and protecting the health and safety of all San Mateo County and Bay Area residents," explained San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow. "We will continue to work closely with school leaders and adjust our orders and guidance once the data reflects that we've significantly stemmed the spread of COVID-19."
The decision to not reopen schools comes as local health officials continue to monitor safety guidelines and shelter-in-place orders. Local officials are now recommending that residents wear face coverings when out in public require all essential businesses to post social distancing protocols.
MAINTAIN LEARNING: Free educational resources for kids stuck at home during COVID-19
"The decision to extend the campus closure dates throughout the Bay Area was made jointly with Public Health Officials, district superintendents and County Superintendents in the Bay Area region. While campuses cannot reopen this academic year, the 2019-2020 school year has not ended. The remainder of the school year will be focused on continuing education support for students through distance learning options as described by The California Department of Education (CDE). By doing so, we can do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community as the health and well-being of our students, families, and staff remain our top priority, "said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools.
There are 6.2 million students in California and
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus crisis, submit yours via the form below or here.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- Coronavirus and the new normal of living in the San Francisco-Bay Area -- COVID-19 Diaries
- Happy hour goes virtual as people try to be sociable while social distancing during COVID-19 crisis
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Here's why you should practice 'social distancing'
- DRONEVIEW7: What the Bay Area looks like during the coronavirus shelter-in-place
- ABC7's drive around San Francisco shows empty streets, businesses shuttered
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19