He answered questions from ABC7 News Anchor Kristen Sze and from viewers who asked questions in realtime on ABC7's daily 3 p.m. special "Getting Answers."
RELATED: California superintendent suggests staggered reopening of schools
Thurmond said when it comes to schools opening in July, "there isn't going to be a common opening for every district in our state. All of our school districts make their own decisions. What we're doing at the California Department of Education is looking at how schools can open and how to do that safely. That's our bottom line. We're putting safety first."
He said they are discussing plans right now with teachers and unions.
As far as what school will look like, Thurmond said many districts are looking at hybrid of in-class and distance learning in the fall. Thurmond also said to expect smaller class sizes and that would be accomplished by a staggered schedule. He also said schools are looking at taking the temperature of students and staff but emphasized this is all just in discussion phases.
GETTING ANSWERS: ABC7 special coverage of COVID-19 pandemic in Bay Area
Thurmond also answered a question asked directly from a student about judging students on college applications if they receive pass/fail grades this year. Thurmond said, "We've been working very closely with our partners in higher education. Our higher education institutions understand the impacts of COVID-19 could go well into the fall and well into next year. They've already given assurances that no student will be disadvantaged or punished for a situation completely out of our control."
Thurmond also addressed the digital divide, "We have a million students who don't have access to the internet. I think that's unacceptable." Thurmond says their goal is to let students keep computers they are given for school use.
Thurmond said if you are able to donate technology to school districts, please contact email@example.com,
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- 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