Bombshell: SMMUSD Admits Possible Coronavirus Exposures at Franklin, John Muir Elementary and Santa Monica High
"We are aware of several situations where people MAY have been exposed to Coronavirus . . . "
March 19, 2020
UPDATE 8 PM: An email from the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District admits possible Coronavirus exposures at 3 Santa Monica schools. This update just in from the District, signed by Ben Drati, Superintendent:
District leadership spent several hours today in our Emergency Operations Center, which closed for the evening at 6:30 pm. We continue to be in communication remotely, as needed. We will reconvene tomorrow.
During our session today, we discussed the concerns of possible exposure that was shared with you in our earlier email. Upon further discussion, we agreed that additional information would be appropriate to be shared with our staff and families regarding the exposures mentioned.
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.
In an abundance of caution, the decision was made to call dismissal for Friday and Monday, while we gather more information on these possible exposures and the status in the broader community. The health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities.
Campus cleaning is in progress. As you are aware, teachers and staff will be working to provide students with continuity of education that we will share with parents in the next few days. We appreciate the effort of our teachers and support staff to prepare the necessary materials and programming to accomplish this.
In the meantime, we hope your secondary students will be studying materials they have, or for younger students, enjoying reading and educational related materials at home or online.
3/12/2020: The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District has now admitted that an SMMUSD student, was exposed to the Coronavirus. The school suddenly reversed a decision, and classes were cancelled Friday and Monday. For the moment, school will resume Tuesday 3/17/2020.
Late Thursday afternoon, SMMUSD sent out this bulletin:
Dear staff, parents and guardians of all SMMUSD schools, preschools, child care and Infant Toddler Center,
In an abundance of caution, we are "dismissing" students from attending school Friday, March 13, and Monday, March 16, 2020. 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.
Staff and teachers will receive additional instructions from your school administrator or director, later today. Please plan to report to work tomorrow.
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. Staff and teachers will prepare for possible school closures next week.
We will continue our frequent communications with you.
Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus webpage for previous communications and our FAQs.
Please stay healthy.
Dr. Ben Drati, Superintendent