February 2, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

SMMUSD Lifts Indoor Mask Mandate

District changes policy from “required” to “strongly recommended” 

By Dolores Quintana

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has lifted its indoor mask mandate but should COVID-19 cases begin to surge again SMMUSD may again call for required masking. 

As of March 14, 2022, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District moved its indoor masking policy from “required” to “strongly recommended” for vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike. The Board’s masking resolutions were modified on March 10 and are in line with current state of California and County of Los Angeles guidelines. The vote was unanimous to amend resolutions Nos. 21-01 and 21-02 that had been originally approved in August of 2021. Dr. Ben Drati, Superintendent of SMMUSD, issued a statement that updated the district policy and made recommendations to parents and school staff going forward. 

The masking policy has been amended to state the following:

“This change is effective Monday, March 14, 2022, in SMMUSD for TK-12. The first day of in-class instruction with strongly recommended, but not required, masking is Monday, March 14, 2022.  

Preschool families, please expect written communication from our CDS department  regarding any upcoming changes. 

This change applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.  

Staff is required to follow the requirements of Cal/OSHA, which has also aligned with  the state and county public health masking guidance; therefore, masks for staff will  also move from required to strongly recommended on March 14, 2022. 

The current state and county guidance still strongly recommends the wearing of masks to prevent transmission of the Covid-19 virus during the ongoing pandemic. SMMUSD therefore will recognize and support continued wearing of masks by those students, faculty and staff who choose to wear masks. 

SMMUSD feels that it is important for parents to discuss their family’s expectations about mask wearing while their children are attending school. The school district would like the cooperation of parents to partner with the school district in reminding their children to respect the choices of others even when they are different from their own choices or beliefs. No student or school staff member should have to endure any criticism or mistreatment whether or not they choose to wear or not wear a mask at school and those types of behaviors will not be tolerated. The school district will not tolerate any bullying related to masks or masking. SMMUSD asks that students be sensitive to other students with underlying health issues and to take care of others as well as ourselves. 

SMMUSD policy on students who exhibit symptoms of Covid 19 is that any student who does so will be sent to the health office and given a mask to wear while they wait for their parents or guardian to pick them up from school.

If the LA Department of Public Health updates their guidance on isolation or quarantine protocols with this change to masking policy and an update is expected later this week, SMMUSD will continue to follow recommended guidelines and align their policy with LACDPH.

SMMUSD would also like to remind parents, students and staff that the relaxation of masking guidance does not signal an end to the Covid 19 pandemic. While cases are declining to pre-Omicron surge levels in most parts of the country, SMMUSD agrees that this is the right time to relax masking guidelines from required to strongly recommended in the school district. However, should cases begin to surge again and threaten the public health and lives of the vulnerable members of the community, SMMUSD may again call for required masking and assertive action to prevent the spread of Covid infections in the community. 

SMMUSD calls for everyone to recommit to pandemic protocols like frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and staying home when you feel sick to help protect other members of the community and prevent increased spread of the Covid 19 virus. “

Dr. Drati issued the following reminders to parents and staff as well about continuing Covid testing and policy regarding active Covid infections among students and staff:

“We will continue weekly testing of staff and students at our schools / offices. We will continue to track reported positive cases and provide weekly updates to our  Covid Dashboard. 

If your student or a staff member exhibits COVID-related symptoms or tests positive for  COVID-19, please continue to have them stay home and follow current isolation  protocols. 

Our testing hubs for symptomatic students and staff at John Adams Middle School and Malibu Elementary School continue on school days. See schedule. 

Students exposed to a COVID positive person at school will continue to follow  quarantine protocols. 

Antigen tests will be distributed prior to spring break for students and staff to self test the  morning of April 18 and bring in the test stick showing a negative result for entry to  school. Parents and staff will receive a letter with more information prior to spring break.”

Related Posts

California Referendum Postpones Controversial Fast Recovery Act That Would Increase Hourly Wages for Fast-Food Workers to $22

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

AB 257 would create a board of 11 appointees to negotiate on behalf of fast food workers in California Last...

Highly-Anticipated Downtown Santa Monica Restaurant Close to Opening

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Bar Monette close to opening at 109 Santa Monica Boulevard By Dolores Quintana Bar Monette is almost ready to open...

SMC Receives Grant to Expand Access to Critical Support Services for Foster Youth

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

New NextUp program will provide academic & comprehensive support, plus direct financial aid to foster youth enrolled at SMC Santa...

Find Inspiration in Moses Sparks’ Latest Collection of Tree Portraits in the Santa Monica Mountains

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

The exhibition and sale run from February 1st – 26th at the King Gillette Ranch Visitor Center  Internationally-acclaimed wildlife photographer,...

Pacific Park Joins The City Of Santa Monica To Recognize ‘Black History Month’ With Ferris Wheel Salute

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Display of red, yellow and green colors, patterns and transitions beginning at sunset February 1 On Wednesday, February 1, the...

Girl Scout Cookie Season Returns to Los Angeles With New Cookie

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Cookie lovers throughout Greater Los Angeles can now support local Girl Scout entrepreneurs by ordering from the iconic lineup Girl...

Boris Allakhverdyan, Ben Hong and Talon Smith Unite in Santa Monica for Special Performance of Brahms’ Trio Op. 114

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Concert will take place on Sunday, February 5 The world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Principal Clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan and Associate Principal...

Los Angeles Sees Increase in Kia and Hyundai Thefts Fueled by TikTok

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Social media platforms exacerbate vehicle thefts through security flaws Kia and Hyundai vehicles have become a major target for car...

Phil Brock Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Brock will help shape NLC’s policy positions and advocate for America’s cities, towns and villages before Congress Santa Monica City...

SMMUSD Board Meeting Limited to In-Person Public Comment

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

Officials cite technical issues For the upcoming Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education meeting, public comment must be...

City Council Approves Plan to Close Santa Monica Airport by 2028

January 30, 2023

January 30, 2023

City will now be able to plan for the airport’s closure following January 24 meeting By Dolores Quintana The Santa...

SMa.r.t Column: Widespread Issues Put Santa Monica in Danger

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Following are 5 issues which, along with homelessness and crime, should take priority over all else in our city’s immediate...

1980s Rustic Canyon Home Hits the Market for $7.5 Million

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Property checks in at over 5,000 square feet featuring five bedrooms By Dolores Quintana A home designed by fine artist...

New Two-Story Commercial Building Proposed for Main Street in Santa Monica

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

Project at Marine and Main would replace current parking lot A new two-story commercial building has been proposed for Main...

260-Acre Property Comprising 6% of Bel Air on the Market!

January 27, 2023

January 27, 2023

Last-ditch effort to sell Senderos Canyon spread By Dolores Quintana Bel-Air, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the United...