Private schools closing over coronavirus concerns

A few private schools in Southern California announced immediate closures in the midst of coronavirus concerns. 

Harvard Westlake in Studio City, Crossroads School in Santa Monica, and Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth will be closing starting Thursday.

Harvard Westlake's office sent a note saying at least one parent in their community is being tested for coronavirus, and because it's now a pandemic, they will close campus, and after school activities. The school will reopen online only on Monday. 

Parents at Sierra Canyon received an email Wednesday announcing the school's plan to move classes online. 

"Most of the work is going to be placed on us as students to keep up with the assignments and turn them in online," said Henry Deakins, a junior and athlete at the school. 

Henry has concerns about how the closure will impact him. 

"It's definitely going to be different especially for me taking three AP classes, I feel like I'm going to miss out on some of the preparation for the AP exam," said Henry. 

However, Henry said he does not yet know if upcoming football practices will be impacted by the closure, but it's an adjustment. 

"The teachers will be live-streaming so the teachers will be streaming to all the students, and the students will be there," said Henry. 

Some parents may also face challenges with childcare. 

"I'm sure that we have friends that will be [impacted] because they have younger kids, and have to find ways to do it," said Mark Deakins, Henry's father. 

Sierra Canyon has not specifically mentioned how sports may or may not be impacted. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade's sons both play basketball at Sierra Canyon.

The school's note to parents said: 

"With the recent news of the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the country and the world, we have accelerated our planning to establish a distance learning program that would allow us to deliver Sierra Canyon's high-quality education remotely. In our planning sessions, we all agreed that it will be important to provide our students with structure and a predictable schedule that resembles their normal school day as much as possible through online distance learning." 

There will be no classes at Sierra Canyon on Thursday or Friday. Online classes will start on Monday and will continue through at least March 27. All after school and evening events planned for the coming weeks are postponed. 

Crossroads School also sent a statement:

While there are no reported cases of any Crossroads community members having been exposed to COVID-19, the School will be closed to students tomorrow [Thursday] and Friday. Our faculty is finalizing plans for distance learning should we need to implement that option. On Friday, in consultation with local health officials, the School will decide whether we are opening on Monday.