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Coronavirus: Lucia Mar Unified School District cancels classes at all levels, all schools for two weeks
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Coronavirus: Lucia Mar Unified School District cancels classes at all levels, all schools for two weeks

Classes for students at all grade levels and all schools were canceled Friday by Lucia Mar Unifed School District, starting Monday and continuing through March 27, as agencies and organizations continue responding to the coronavirus threat.

The closure applies to all 18 Lucia Mar campuses for transitional kindergarten through 12th grade students and includes the Saturday School scheduled for March 14, district preschool programs, supported before- and after-school programs and Adult Education.

However, the district is working with its partner child care providers to find alternatives for students who used before- and after-school programs, according to a notice posted on the district’s website.

“This closure is in support of the recommendations from public health officials to encourage ‘social distancing’ to slow the spread of the virus,” Lucia Mar Superintendent Andy Stenson said in the notice.

“It is strongly recommended that students stay home during the closure as much as possible and do not gather in public places,” he continued. “We hope to reopen on Monday, March 30, but that decision will depend on the circumstances at the time.

“We will re-evaluate this plan and will continue to provide updates to our families through email and on our website.”

Stenson’s notice said Lucia Mar is also canceling all district-sponsored events and travel, including field trips, visual and performing arts events, PTA, PTO and booster-sponsored events, dances and all athletic events, including practices, through March 29.

Non-Lucia Mar events and activities scheduled to occur on Lucia Mar properties through March 29 also were canceled, Stenson said.

“Please know that we do not make these decisions lightly, as we know they have a significant impact on our families, our community, and we hope to resume normal operations as soon as possible,” Stenson said.

To help families with the economic impact, the district will provide all students with a free lunch and a breakfast for the following day at selected school sites on a drive-through or walk-up basis.

Stenson said the free meals, to be handed out between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday during the closure, are to be taken for consumption elsewhere, not eaten at the site, and students must be present to receive meals.

Meals will be distributed at Nipomo High School for students from there and from Central Coast New Tech High and Nipomo, Dana and Lange elementary schools.

Meals also will be handed out at Arroyo Grande High for students from there, Paulding Middle School and Harloe, Branch and Ocean View elementary schools.

Judkins Middle School will provide meals for its students and those from Shell Beach Elementary School.

Fairgrove Elementary School will be the meal distribution site for its students and those from Oceano, Grover Beach and Grover Heights elementary schools.

Mesa Middle School will provide meals for its students and those from Lopez High and Mesa View School.

Lucia Mar Unified School District is the largest in San Luis Obispo County in terms of the number of students it serves and covers most of the South County, ranging from the Santa Maria River in the south up past Lopez Canyon on the northeast, through Shell Beach on the northwest and into the Garcia Wilderness on the east.

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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.

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