VC Office of Education: 'Distance learning not currently permitted by state'

1 2 22 VCOE sealAs Ventura County students prepare to return from winter break amid increasing COVID-19 cases in the community, local school leaders are taking all possible steps to ensure the safety of students and employees, according to the Ventura County Office of Education.
Ojai Unified School District will offer free COVID-19 testing for students at every school campus. The full schedule for testing can be found at
OUSD also announced that it anticipates having at-home COVID-19 test kits for public school students some time after their delivery to the Ventura County Office of Education. Delivery to VCOE is estimated to be between Jan. 3 and 7, according to a notice to OUSD families from Superintendent Tiffany Morse on Dec. 31.

"While some colleges and universities have announced plans to revert to distance learning temporarily, this is not an option for pre-K-12 schools," according to a VCOE press release. "The state of California does not currently permit pre-K-12 schools to offer distance learning and expects all schools to keep their doors open for in-person instruction. Schools do provide an independent study option that allows students to learn from home. But unlike distance learning, it must be requested individually by families and is not intended to serve large numbers of students."

Ventura County Superintendent of Schools César Morales said: “The Ventura County Office of Education is continuing to work closely with Ventura County Public Health and our local school districts to ensure the safety of students and staff. A major effort is underway to expand optional COVID-19 testing for students so we can reduce the chances of the virus spreading at school. Many school districts have been working diligently during the winter break to distribute home test kits to families, and we expect a greater supply of kits to be available soon.”

Free testing is also available at locations throughout Ventura County.

In addition to expanded testing, local schools are taking a variety of other safety measures. These include enhanced ventilation, mandatory indoor masking, and teaching outside when possible. Ventura County’s increasing vaccination rate and the high percentage of school employees who have been fully vaccinated provide another layer of protection, according to the VCOE written statement.

It continued: "Families can help by ensuring that their students are vaccinated, testing children for COVID-19 if they may have been exposed or are presenting symptoms, and keeping them home when they are ill."

The COVID-19 vaccine is available for children 5 and older. The COVID-19 booster is now available for everyone 16 years old or older.

Information about where to get vaccinated in Ventura County is available at




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