An email was sent out on Friday afternoon after a directive came out from the Diocese of Fresno regarding visitors, trips and events on school campuses. The diocese has directed schools to cancel all out of town field trips, all events that would have mass gatherings of any kind and not to allow people traveling from out of town, state or country on our school sites as a precaution of the Coronavirus.
I know many of you have questions concerning several events we have planned for our students through activities, clubs and sports. We are working closely with the Dioceses of Fresno to answer those questions. Regarding the immediate future, the following events are canceled.
- Tomorrow, a guest speaker was scheduled to come to campus and speak to students. Due to the guest speaker traveling from out of Kern County, we have canceled the event. We will follow a normal Green 3 schedule with normal uniform.
- The His + Hers Catholic Teen Conferences are canceled. The junior/senior girls “Her” retreat was scheduled for March 15th and and the junior/senior boys “His” retreat was scheduled for March 29th. Both conferences have been canceled due to outside speakers scheduled to lead them. Refunds will be issued for those that registered. We apologize for any inconvenience.
- The Spain and Portugal trip planned for Easter Break is canceled. Additionally, per the Diocese of Fresno, those that are traveling internationally over Easter Break will not be allowed to return to school for 14 days from the date of your return.
- In terms of sporting events, we have decided to take athletic events week-by-week. With that being said, we are canceling all sporting events with schools in the greater Los Angeles and Bay Area regions. This include the Mt. Sac Swim Invitational scheduled for Friday and Saturday and the Tri County Track and Field Meet in Moorpark on Saturday. We have also decided to remove our dance team from the dance competition schedule for March 21st in Anaheim.
At Garces Memorial High School, our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students. To ensure we are providing a safe environment for our students and staff, we are in frequent contact with the Kern County Public Health Department and continue to monitor updates regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Kern County Public Health Department continues to assure the public the risks remain low and not to panic, as there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Kern County.
All areas on campus are equipped with Lysol Disinfectant Spray to be used to disinfect throughout the day. We encourage students and staff members to wash their hands frequently and cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing and avoid touching their faces. We also ask students and staff members to stay home if they are feeling ill.
With the unknowns of the widespread COVID-19, we are prepared to close the school as a preventative measure, if needed. If this happens, our teachers will continue to teach online through the ZOOM Cloud Meetings app and all class materials will be uploaded on iTunes U. Each student’s iPad will become their virtual classroom and we will continue to follow the regular block schedule. The closure of the school will be a decision made at the diocesan level in consultation with Superintendent Mona Faulkner, Bishop Joseph Brennan, Monsignor Perry Kavookjian and Principal Myka Peck.