Just two days after announcing the cancellation of classes due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Lompoc Unified School District officials decided Sunday evening to push up the start of the extended closures.
LUSD campuses were closed Monday through at least April 3. District officials on Friday had announced that schools would be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18, but those plans changed late Sunday after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Santa Barbara County.
A notice sent by LUSD via social media to parents noted that "following the recent declaration of a national emergency by our president, the governor's executive orders, and the growing concerns for our staff and student safety, LUSD has made the extremely difficult decision to close all schools for students beginning Monday, March 16, [through] Friday, April 3."
The district also alerted families with recorded phone messages Sunday night.
Although schools will be closed, LUSD announced early Monday morning that the district's Child Nutrition Services team would be providing free meals to all children under the age of 18 during the school closures.
The meals will be "grab-n-go" that kids can pick up and consume off-site to maintain social distancing. Students do not need to use their student IDs to get meals.
Breakfast meals will be served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each weekday at the following school sites:
- Buena Vista Elementary School, 100 Aldebaran Ave.
- Clarence Ruth Elementary School, 501 North W St.
- Crestview Elementary School, Utah Ave., Vandenberg Air Force Base.
- Fillmore Elementary School, 1211 E. Pine Ave.
- Los Berros Visual and Performing Arts Academy, 3745 Via Lato.
- Hapgood Elementary School, 324 South A St.
- La Cañada Elementary School, 621 W. North Ave.
- La Honda STEAM Academy, 1301 North A St.
- Lompoc Valley Middle School, 234 South N St.
Additionally, lunches will be bused in and provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following mobile feeding locations:
- El Camino Community Center, 320 North J St.
- Lompoc Public Library parking lot, off North D Street between North and Central avenues.
- First Methodist Church, 925 North F St.
- Maple High School, 4010 Jupiter Ave.
- Buena Vista Elementary School.
- Los Berros Visual and Performing Arts Academy.
- Crestview Elementary School.
"All Child Nutrition staff has been trained on safe food handling and sanitation procedures and will not report to work if exposed to the virus or showing symptoms of the virus," said Hannah Carroll, LUSD's director of Child Nutrition Services. "The safety of our students and staff is our priority."
Anyone with questions about the meals is encouraged to contact the Child Nutrition Services department at 805-742-3353.
Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.
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