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Schools in Los Angeles County and throughout the state could remain shuttered through the end of the school year due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction told education leaders today.

In a letter to superintendents across the state, Tony Thurmond wrote that campuses might remain off-limits longer than anticipated for the safety of students and staff.

"The need for safety through social distancing warrants that we continue to keep our school campuses closed to students during this pandemic," Thurmond wrote. "Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.

"This is in no way to suggest that school is over for the year, but rather we should put all efforts into strengthening our delivery of education through distance learning," he wrote.

Although the letter is not phrased as an order that schools remain closed, it will likely bear weight as district superintendents decide in coming weeks whether to extend campus closures.

Los Angeles Unified School District campuses are currently expected to remain closed until at least May 1, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced last week.

He said Monday the district is working to expand its connection with students, noting that thousands of them haven't had any contact with the district since campuses closed.

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