Fremont Playground (copy)

Fremont Elementary School has a large playground — it and the school both have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Long Beach Unified School District announced Wednesday evening, April 1, that its schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year. Graduation ceremonies have also been canceled.

The last day of this school year was previously scheduled for June 11.

“We wish we could share better news today,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser said in a statement. “But our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, their families and our staff.”

The district, though, has provided students and their families with online learning resources, as well as lesson plans through April 9, when spring break starts; those lessons will not be graded. But on April 20, students will receive assignments, for which they will be graded, according to a district statement.

The district will also, the statement said, try to find other ways to celebrate graduation for seniors.

“We understand the great importance of graduation events, and we are considering ways to provide alternative ceremonies,” Steinhauser said. “We will keep our school communities posted.”

The announcement came a day after the state superintendent of public instruction told local officials that schools throughout California were unlikely to reopen this academic year.

The news also came after Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo said Wednesday that she recommended, along with state officials, that districts proceed with plans to close campuses through the rest of the school year.

“Our public health leaders have made it clear that the peak of this pandemic is yet to come,” Duardo said in a statement. “Deciding now to keep campuses closed for the remainder of the school year allows our education community to focus on accelerating learning in a remote environment and finding new ways to engage and connect with students.”

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