March 6, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica School Board Votes to Start Year Remotely

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board unanimous in the decision

By Sam Catanzaro

Santa Monica’s school board has voted to begin the 2020-21 school year remotely.

On Thursday, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) school board unanimously approved distance learning to start the school year citing “the best interest of the health/safety of students /staff.”

Earlier in the week SMMUSD Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati announced that district staff were recommending the school board adopt a distance learning model.

According to Drati, SMMUSD had been preparing to recommend an in-person, hybrid model that included both in-person and distance learning but a recent surge in COVID-19 spread forced the district to change course.

“The steady upsurge in coronavirus cases in our region combined with the advice of public health experts has led us to the conclusion that distance learning is the most prudent model to start the 2020-2021 school year,” Drati said.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed 59 new deaths and 4,592 new cases of COVID-19. This is the largest increase in new cases, surpassing the count from July 14. To date, Public Health has identified 147,468 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,988 deaths. In Santa Monica, there have been 543 cases and 35 deaths among residents.

According to Drati, since the pandemic began the district has worked toward the reopening physical buildings on campuses following guidelines and protocols presented by public health officials. Conducting learning remotely will provide the district an opportunity to fully implement these recommendations and prepare for the return of students and staff as quickly and safely as possible, Drati said.

“This was not an easy decision,” Drati wrote. “We understand that distance learning may present a challenge to many families. We will address these concerns in the upcoming school board meeting and during the next month and beyond, along with how we plan to deliver distance learning to our students in a consistent and effective manner.”

Related Posts

Trader Joe’s Eyes Another Santa Monica Space

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

Grocery store interested in space across the street from new Target By Sam Catanzaro Another major retailer may open in...

More Coastal Housing for the Westside?

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

More affordable housing may be coming to Westside coastal neighborhoods. Learn more in this video made possible by School of...

Edify TV: Westside High-Rise Nears Completion

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

A Westside high-rise checking in at over 30 stories is nearing has topped-out, the first building of this size built...

Police Union Considering Suing City of Santa Monica Over Lack of Citizen Commission Inclusion

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

By Toi Creel ] The City of Santa Monica’s Police union is fighting to be included in a committee meant...

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

Santa Monica Library Branch to Reopen Under Self-Service Model

March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

Californias’ Open+ Pilot Project coming to Santa Monica Public Library Ocean Park branch By Sam Catanzaro Amid sweeping budget cuts...

Santa Monica Teachers Begin Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations Ahead of Campuses Reopening

March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

SMMUSD partners with Providence St. John’s Health Center to vaccinate certain educators and staff By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica-Malibu Unified...

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from homelessness to...

Santa Monica Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Seniors Near Palisades Park

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Two elderly woman robbed along Ocean Avenue recently By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating two thefts targeting senior...

Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun: Santa Monica Beat – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun * City...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...