March 12, 2020


To MBUSD Parents and Guardians,

A number of developments have taken place since I last wrote to you Tuesday . The World Health Organization has now declared the Coronavirus outbreak a world pandemic. There are more cases in Los Angeles County. The NBA has halted their season. Things are changing rapidly. I am continuously consulting with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the MBUSD Medical Advisory Board, the LA County Department of Health, Board Members, and City Leaders, and here are new steps we are taking, effective immediately.
 
Field Trips and Travel
We are suspending all MBUSD field trips at least through the end of April. Any trip scheduled for May or June could very well be cancelled as well, and we will provide an update on the status of those trips no later than April 10. In addition, all non-essential travel for staff or students is cancelled until further notice.
 
Students and Families with Decreased Immune Systems
We are very concerned about students and employees who have asthma or other chronic illness leading to immune compromise that place them at higher risk for illness, or who live with family members who may be similarly at risk. With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the County and around the nation, we recommend that you contact your health care provider to help you with any decision regarding school attendance. Know that we will support your decision and provide a means to help your student to keep up in school as necessary. If your student’s school attendance is impacted by COVID-19, please be sure to reach out to your student’s school directly so that we can help to develop a plan that will work for your family. 
 
Athletics, Activities and Assemblies
Practices and games or performances for MBUSD athletics and activities will continue, but no event may have more than 100 spectators, and we will ask spectators at all events to stay at least 6 feet apart from each other. This will also impact elementary science nights, music concerts, and much more.
 
Other Changes
  • Students or employees with either a cough OR a fever will not be allowed to stay at school.
  • Any student, employee, or parent who has been to any of the Level 3 Travel Nations (see CDC website) will not be allowed on school campuses for at least 14 days after their contact with those nations. We strongly urge parents and employees to avoid any non-essential travel and reevaluate spring break travel plans. If your family is planning to travel during spring break, please follow health department guidelines. You may be asked to self-quarantine upon your return from one of the countries on the CDC list. In addition, if you are traveling, please be aware that this is a very dynamic and fluid situation, with our President issuing initial restrictions last night. No one knows what additional travel restrictions may be enacted by the US government over the next few weeks. It is entirely possible that you may end up traveling through a region (or an airport) that is added to the CDC watch list, which would place you and your students into a 14-day mandatory isolation period upon your return.
  • We will be limiting visitors to campus, and no one with a fever or a cough will be allowed on any District site.
  • For families worried about the college application process, we are joining schools around the country in requesting accommodations to allow delays in requirements for testing, including for SATs, ACTs, APs, and more. I am confident that there will be adjustments made, so please take that off of your concern list.
 
Schools Remain Open
We are a community and a District that seeks, above all else, to protect and care for our students and staff. Our decision to remain open at this time comes at the recommendation of both the LA County Department of Health and the Los Angeles County Office of Education. At this moment, public schools in Los Angeles, including those in neighboring areas such as Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, and El Segundo remain open and continue to deliver in-person teaching and learning. However, based on how quickly the situation is changing, I am advising parents to prepare for a future closure. I know that for most of you, it will involve sacrifices, and please know that as a parent, I am fully aware of what such a decision means for our families.
 
Please be assured that we are taking all precautions and implementing every action advised by our local and regional medical and public health experts. In addition, we continue to prepare for the possibility of school closure. Our staff is experienced at teaching with various technologies and online resources, and they are currently adapting their curricula for distance learning so that students can remain connected and continue to learn. 
 
Next Steps
I first wrote to you about this on February 3, 2020, and the situation has evolved quickly. I encourage everyone to stay calm, make decisions that work best for their families, help, care for, and respect each other, and steadfastly follow all of the social distancing practices that we keep hearing about. I will continue to post daily updates on our health page . Our staff is committed to serving your families, and we will get through these challenging times together. 
Mike Matthews, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Manhattan Beach Unified School District
325 S. Peck Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310)318-7345, x5900
[310-318-7345, x5902]  [mmathews@mbusd.org]  [www.mbusd.org]