On July 17th, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that school districts in California counties with elevated coronavirus transmission and hospitalization rates must begin the academic year with distance learning. Schools must remain closed until their county has been off the State’s “watch list” for 14 days.

Due to the surge in cases locally, Orange County is one of the 32 counties on the Governor’s watch list. That means all schools in Orange County — including private and public schools here in Irvine — will begin the 2020-2021 school year online.

IUSD schools are scheduled to reopen on August 20th. Tustin Unified Schools (TUSD) schools — attended by about 5,000 Irvine students — will begin their school year on August 13th. The current plan for both districts is to begin the school year using a distance learning format.

Following Governor Newsom’s announcement, IUSD issued a statement, saying: “While the current number of COVID-19 infections preclude in-person instruction at this time, we remain hopeful that the day will come when conditions in Orange County improve enough to be removed from the monitoring list. In anticipation of this day, IUSD will proceed with planning for all approved academic models with the caveat that all in-person models (hybrid, traditional, and blended) may be modified to start the school year in a temporary distance learning mode. Once we are permitted to open for in-person instruction, these affected models will revert to the originally planned design.”

To read IUSD’s full statement, click here.

Joel Smith