May 26, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

SMMUSD Cancels Classes in Response to Coronavirus

“We are aware of a community member with children in our schools who was exposed to coronavirus,” says Superintendent

By Sam Catanzaro

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has canceled classes in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

In a letter sent out to parents and staff, SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati announced that the district will be “dismissing” students from attending school Friday, March 13, and Monday, March 16, 2020. According to the district, a dismissal indicates teachers and staff will still report for duty on campus, while all students will not be on campus, for any purpose. This includes all schools and programs in Santa Monica and Malibu including childcare, infant toddler program, preschool and grades TK-12 and our adult school.

“We are taking this action to thoroughly clean our schools and evaluate the state of illness in our communities in order to make an informed decision for Tuesday into next week. We are aware of a community member with children in our schools who was exposed to coronavirus. We have noticed a higher than normal absentee rate on our campuses today and will take this time to determine if students are ill, with what type of illness, or if parents are keeping students home during the coronavirus pandemic. This allows us time to consult with our local agencies and consider the status of this health emergency in LA County and the communities we serve,” Drati said.

According to Drati, there were potential exposures related to Franklin Elementary, John Muir Elementary and Santa Monica High School.

“We want to inform you that we are aware of several situations where people MAY have been exposed to Coronavirus. These potential exposures are related to Franklin Elementary, John Muir Elementary and Santa Monica High School. We can assure our communities that we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19,” Drati added in a later letter.

According to Drati, staff and teachers will prepare for possible school closures next week.

In a Wednesday evening news release, SMC said it was temporarily transitioning most in-person classes to a remote learning environment, effective Wednesday, March 18. According to SMC, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at SMC.

SMC classes will be canceled Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17 to allow time for faculty members, staff and students to prepare for the transition to remote teaching.

SMC remains open for business and most campus operations are continuing. Certain classes that require in-person instruction — some laboratory, physical education and performing arts courses— will continue to meet on campus as scheduled, according to the college.

In addition, SMC has suspended in-person classes and activities at SMC Emeritus saying there will be no in-person classes until further notice. Some Emeritus classes will resume via remote methods, says the college.

The college has also called off spring study-abroad trips to Costa Rica, Helsinki and Tallinn while suspending large gatherings and extra-curricular activities. Athletic events will be conducted wherever possible without spectators, says SMC.

“Santa Monica College has been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis constantly, ever since it first broke out,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. “The college has had to weigh a vast set of considerations—first and foremost, the safety and wellbeing of our students and employees, but also upholding our educational mission of equity and open access in this time of uncertainty. These latest changes were carefully considered keeping all these factors in mind, and to ensure that no student would be left behind in the transition to remote learning modalities.”

K-12 school Crossroads also announced that it will be conducting remote learning. The school is closed to students Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 to allow staff and faculty time to finalize their remote learning plans.

“We want to stress that there are no known cases of any Crossroads community member having been exposed to COVID-19,” the school said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor events over the next two days and remain in close contact will local health officials, doctors and other advisers to help us make a socially responsible decision. We will let our community know by the end of the day Friday whether School will reopen on Monday or if we will proceed with remote learning.”

On Wednesday, health officials announced the first death from the virus. The individual (a non-resident visiting friends) was an older adult who traveled extensively over the past month, including a long layover in South Korea.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health), the total number of cases in Los Angeles County is 32 as of Thursday.

The City of Santa Monica has canceled all gatherings, including events, programs, and activities, both hosted by the City of Santa Monica and other groups.

In addition, the City has suspended City of Santa Monica Boards and Commission (except Planning Commission) meetings through March 31, 2020. The City says the are determining scheduling for City Council and Planning Commission meetings.

Tags: , in News
Related Posts

Three Juveniles in Hosptial Following Overdose in Santa Monica

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Two females in critical but stable condition, third victim “alert and recovering” By Sam Catanzaro Three juveniles suffered an overdose...

John Adams Middle School Student Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

JAMS Student Grayson Fitzgerald named junior finalist for the 2022 middle school honors performance series at Carnegie Hall By Staff...

SMC Student Film “The War Within” Accepted into 2022 American Pavilion at Cannes

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Three Santa Monica College Films Will Screen at In-Person Festival, including 2021 Best Student Film Winner “Broken Layers” and 2020’s...

Santa Monica City Council Looks to Shorten Meetings

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Council to consider changes at Tuesday meeting By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers are considering taking steps to shorten City...

Landmark Theater Official Closes on Pico

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Pico Boulevard location closes Sunday By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in Westwood has officially closed.  The...

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...