COVID-19 SMUSD Community Update as of March 12, 2020

San Marcos Unified School District Community:

The San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) takes the safety of our students and staff very seriously. SMUSD continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). We remain in close contact with public health officials and will comply with all of their guidance. The situation is continuing to change rapidly and this represents the most recent updates received from public health officials.

We have been advised by public health officials that closing schools is unwarranted at this time and could create unintended consequences that would hurt efforts to protect our community. Based on current information, there are no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in San Marcos Unified School District. Because schools are considered an essential service providing valuable instruction, meals, security and support resources to children and families, schools in the District are currently remaining open.

On March 11th, officials from the California Department of Public Health released new guidance that includes the following.

  • Large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services.
  • Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms, or other venues.
  • A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.

Based on this guidance, the San Marcos Unified School District is suspending all before and after school large gatherings, effective March 13, 2020 and through March 31, 2020. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • VAPA rehearsals and productions (drama, music, choir, band);
  • ASB events (dances, assemblies, large gatherings);
  • Fundraising events;
  • Community assemblies (flag salutes);
  • Middle School sports and practices;

District officials are working with CIF Southern Section and San Diego County superintendents regarding the status of all CIF events. We anticipate providing further guidance on March 13th regarding the status of all athletic event competitions and practices.

Principals are also being directed to suspend all non-essential meetings or gatherings, such as PTA meetings, class performances, open houses, and field trips within and outside of the District. Please look for communication from your principal about the cancellation of these events.

In addition, effective Friday, March 13, 2020, the San Marcos Unified School District is implementing visitor and volunteer restrictions. While the District greatly appreciates our parent and community volunteers, at this time non-essential visitors should be restricted on our campuses. Out of an abundance of caution, this includes volunteers and parents entering campuses for non- essential business.

All of the above suspensions are in effect through March 31, 2020. These suspensions will be updated in the future to determine possible extension into April 2020.

The San Marcos Unified School District will continue to operate our Kids on Campus (KOC), After School Education and Safety (ASES), and After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETS).

Parents/Guardians, continue to help us! If your child is sick, please keep them home from school. To help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, follow these important tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is not available;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home when you are sick and call your school to report fever or respiratory symptoms;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional; and
  • Get the flu shot, if you have not received it already.

We understand and share our community’s concern about student health and safety. Some families have asked about keeping their child home based on the concern or fear of contracting COVID-19 at school.

Although California Education Code attendance guidelines have not changed, it is a parent / guardian prerogative to keep their children home from school. The District will be suspending future SARB truancy letters. This suspension will continue through March 31, 2020. This guidance will be updated in the future to determine possible extension into April 2020.

The District plans to continue sending updated communication regarding this issue. The District also has a list of Frequently Asked Questions on its website which will be updated as needed.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

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