Good Evening Downey Unified Families,

As was shared earlier today, based upon the advice from the Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education and coming out of an Emergency School Board Meeting that was held at noon today, our Board of Education unanimously voted to suspend on-site instruction and programs for students starting on Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

This was a difficult decision, but clearly needed, as we work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The closing of any school has real challenges beyond the loss of instructional time. We want to reiterate that this decision was not due to a case within our schools; this was done out of an abundance of caution to lessen the spread of the virus.

While we have halted on-site instruction for our students during this period, plans are in place for continuity of learning. As shared earlier, our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly over the past week to create educational materials that our students can access at home.

For our TK to 5th grade students, both digital and paper instructional materials have been created and were distributed to students prior to the end of the school day today. Packets have been prepared at all sites and you will receive notification from your child’s elementary school principal by Monday with the date and times these materials will be available to be picked up if your child was absent today and did not receive them. Again, please be on the look out for a message from your elementary school principals for further direction.

Also shared earlier, our middle and high school students will have access to instructional material through email and the schools’ websites. All of our middle and high school teachers are utilizing Google Classroom as a way to disseminate instruction and communication. Students were given codes today to access this instruction. All materials were made available and disseminated digitally.

All middle and high schools are making devices available for students who do not have access to them at home. Your child’s middle school or high school principal will notify you on Monday with the date and time that devices will be available for pick up.

As we know that many of our students rely on school meals, we plan to provide a breakfast and lunch meal to our students. We are coordinating with our Food Services Department and our vendors to provide these meals as soon as possible. We anticipate these meals will be available midweek at various district locations yet to be determined and we will provide details once they are finalized early next week.
We thank you for your patience and trust as we work together to maintain some sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times.

You have our commitment that we will keep you informed as this situation continues to evolve.

In closing, to support you and your student through this process, we are providing you the following links with some helpful tools and tips:

● The CDC Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19:

● The Child Mind Institute’s Talking to Kids About the coronavirus:…/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavi…/

● National Association of School Psychologists’ Talking to Children About COVID-19: A Parent Resource:…/talking-to-children-about-covi…

● SAMHA’s Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks:

● For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Handwashing website:

● For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings:

This email will be available in Spanish on our website as soon as possible. / Este correo electrónico estará disponible en español en nuestro sitio web lo antes posible.


John A. Garcia, Jr., Ph.D.,