Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Janet McLaughlin
Observer Staff Writer 

SMMUSD Joins Private Schools in "Corona Closure" due to Covid-19 concerns

Catholic schools remain open, says the Los Angeles Archdiocese

 

March 17, 2020

David Ganezer

A girl places flowers at Saint Monica's Catholic Church. File Photo

Late Thursday afternoon, SMMUSD announced that schools would be closed throughout the district, on Friday and Monday. Staff will be present at school. At least a dozen area private schools are closed, in an attempt to mitigate exposure from Coronavirus, or Covid-19. Crossroads School announced late Wednesday, that it would close for two days. "We want to emphasize that there are no known cases at Crossroads," says a statement from the school. But they urged students to take home with them what they would need to continue instruction at home, "should the need arise." Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences is the largest private school in Santa Monica, and offers K-12 instruction.

Other private schools that have closed include: Windward Academy, Buckley, Harvard Westlake, UCLA Lab, Curtis, JTD, Brawerman, Wise, Mirman, and Geffen. Students are now participating in their studies online. NewRoads gave students the option of attending, or staying home. Most of the schools closed as a preventive measure, although some have closed in response to staff or student exposure to Coronavirus. Wednesday night SMC announced they were closing, and online classes will begin next Wednesday. UCLA, USC, and LMU have already closed. Pepperdine followed suit Wednesday afternoon. Students who lived in dorms were asked to leave.

Catholic schools throughout LA County will remain open for now, according to the Archdiocese. One local school--St. Anne's--closed on Monday, when a staff member believed she may have come into contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19. "Out of an abundance of caution", the school decided to shut down for a deep cleaning. They reopened on Tuesday.

At this time, SMMUSD schools are expected to reopen Tuesday. Officials are in touch with the LA County Health Department, and will make adjustments as the situation changes. One of those was to cancel "Stairway to the Stars." It's the District's annual performance of the top students in choir, band, and orchestra. Other extra-curricular activities, such as field trips, rallies, fund-raisers, and open houses have been cancelled. Theater rehearsals are continuing at this time.

 

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