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Santa Monica-Malibu School District Orders Kids To Stay Home For 2 Days

(Alyssa Jeong Perry/LAist)
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The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District sent a text message to parents today telling them to keep their kids home on Friday and Monday.

The message sent by district Supt. Ben Drati says a person with children in the district's schools has been exposed to coronavirus, and that there was a higher-than-normal absentee rate on Thursday. Here's the full text:

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

An announcement was also posted on the district's website.