San Diego Unified to Provide Student Meals, Learning Plans Amidst COVID-19 School Closures

Posted: Saturday, March 14th 2020

SAN DIEGO -  The San Diego Unified School District announced Friday it will close all schools in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. Closures will take effect Monday, March 16. Schools will reopen Monday, April 6, unless conditions call for an extension.

Following the joint announcement with Los Angeles Unified, President Trump declared a national emergency to help combat the pandemic. Districts throughout the state have since made similar decisions to close schools.    

San Diego Unified will provide student meals at designated schools throughout the city, offer learning opportunities, and compensate district employees during the closures. 

“This decision was not made lightly, and we understand that this significantly impacts our entire community,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “The district is working closely to develop specific measures to ease the burden on students, families and employees.” 


 San Diego Unified made the joint decision with Los Angeles Unified School District to close schools as the virus continues to spread.

 “Our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread,” Marten said. “We believe closing the state’s two largest school districts will make an important contribution to this effort. 

San Diego Unified joined Los Angeles Unified early Friday morning that both districts would close schools for the same duration.

San Diego Unified is working closely with the San Diego County Health Department. As of Friday afternoon, the county health department said no cases of coronavirus had been reported in anyone under the age of 18.

“The purpose of the closure is to keep children from passing viruses to one another by limiting the number of people who interact in close proximity,” said Dr. Howard Taras, a consulting physician for the district. “It doesn't make sense to have children go out to the playground, movie theaters, parties where they congregate with other children in close proximity. It defeats the purpose.”

State Support

The California Department of Education received a special waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture to continue to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure. 

The district will offer meals and produce at drive-thru/walk-up distribution centers at designated schools throughout the city. Meals will be packaged, along with fruits and vegetables provided by Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank.

Children will need to be present to receive meals, and each child 18 years or younger can take one lunch and one breakfast for the next day. All food will be packed to consume off site. Meal distribution times for all locations will be from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. A full list of serving locations can be found here


Continuity of Learning 

San Diego Unified will continue to offer learning options to all students. The district is working community organizations and school districts across the state and to provide learning resources during the closures. Information will be posted on the district website with education resources by content area and grade level. Meanwhile, students brought home textbooks, workbooks, journals and independent reading materials to use during the closures. 

Employee Compensation

All staff will receive their regular pay during the school closures. 

Daily Updates

We have established a website related to the coronavirus to inform our students, families, staff and the public. The website is updated daily with the most current information on school district recommendations and policies and includes links to the CDC and County Public Department.



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