An elite private high school in Oakland will be remote for the final week of classes, a precaution to avoid rising COVID-19 infections among the student body, administrators said Thursday.

Beginning Thursday morning, teachers at College Preparatory School held online classes, hoping the school’s 372 students would return to campus for the finals on May 27, followed by in-person events to celebrate the Graduation.

“We’re just trying to be careful,” Sara Sackner, the school’s director of advancement, told the Chronicle. With cases rising in the Bay Area, fueled by new infectious variants reproducing relentlessly every four to six months, Sackner and other staff saw an opportune time to shut down and stave off the outbreak. .

As of mid-May, health officials were reporting 2,500 daily coronavirus cases in the Bay Area — an underestimate, some experts say, as people test themselves at home or don’t get tested from home. everything.

Unfortunately, Sackner said, online education “is a skill we had to learn.”

She noted that although classes have moved to computer screens, the school campus remains open. Sackner and other professors were working there on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether College Preparatory School’s decision would be a harbinger for other districts. Ryan Phillips, spokesman for the West Contra Costa Unified School District in the East Bay, suggested a lack of state funding would make it difficult for public schools to go this route, in addition to logistical challenges.

Bay Area public school officials who spoke with The Chronicle on Thursday uniformly said they had not considered changing their class format in the final weeks of the school year.

“We continue to work closely with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to monitor updates,” said Laura Dudnick, spokesperson for the San Francisco Unified School District. “We are following public health guidelines and strongly encourage vaccinations and booster shots for those (who are) eligible, encourage masking and remind students and staff to stay home if they are sick.”

Similarly, Oakland Unified School District spokesman John Sasaki said public schools have no plans to move classes online. He noted that even after the district lifted mask mandates last month, most students and staff kept their masks on, which may have prevented the spread of the virus.

Rachel Swan is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @rachelswan