CCUSD To Return Next Week Following Three-Day Closure of Schools


A scene outdoors at Culver City High School prior to the district’s three-day closure amid Omicron surge.

Jonathan Kim, Copy Editor

CCUSD announced last Friday that all schools will cancel classes for the rest of this week amid a surge in Omicron cases.

The decision-making process involved district board members, administrators, and senior leaders of the teacher union and classified union, CCUSD Superintendent Quoc Tran said.

According to district numbers, 184 cumulative cases were recorded among students and staff from Aug. 1, 2020, the first day for all schools to need to report new confirmed cases, to Jan. 2, 2022, an average of about one case every three days. From the third of January to Jan. 15, the district reported 681 new cases or approximately 52 cases per day. With a sudden increase in positive cases, the district was compelled to “consider distancing, pull back, … and gear up additional measures and protocols to return to school safely,” Tran said.

Prior to the return to school on Jan. 24, all students and staff will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test result. Those who had already registered into the weekly testing system were able to be tested through a drive-thru event from Tuesday through Thursday. 

Students who have not yet signed up into the system can be tested using the at-home COVID test kit that all students were sent home with two weeks ago, which is valid within 24 hours before the return to school. The cancellation of school this week will also give all students and staff the opportunity to register into the system, in the hopes that 100% of the district will have signed up by Jan. 24.

Additionally, with Jan. 18 the deadline for all staff members to have to be vaccinated or risk their jobs, the break will give the district enough time to find replacement teachers, Tran said.

Due to state legislation forbidding all California public schools from mandating distance learning, CCUSD’s only option to close schools was by canceling all classes. Currently, an independent study program is the only legal option for any student to avoid physically attending school. 

The three canceled school days will be made up in the future on dates that have not yet been determined, although they will most likely be rescheduled at the end of the school year, according to Tran, who will help make the decision with the support of staff union members.

As of now, Tran doesn’t foresee the district to have to cancel additional instructional days. Through gaining a better handle on testing and continuing to administer medical-grade masks and other COVID-19 measures, the hope is that CCUSD can avoid further postponing the school year.