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Coronavirus: Monrovia May Extend Spring Break - Longer School Year; Large Gatherings Cancelled; No Spectators at Sports Events; Trips Postponed; Etc.

Dear Monrovia Unified School District Community,

The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to be dynamic and the Monrovia Unified Board of Education will be convening in an emergency meeting today to determine the best next steps in addressing this pandemic. An update regarding any decisions made by the Board will be distributed following the meeting.

As of today, no individuals within the Monrovia Unified School District (MUSD) have tested positive for COVID-19; however, there are two or more community transmission cases in Los Angeles County. Based upon recommendations from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, MUSD is now following social distancing protocols at all schools.

Following are some questions and answers that may help you as we navigate the next few days:

How will spring break be impacted by coronavirus?
MUSD is considering extending spring break in an effort to help mitigate virus spread. As a public school system, many legal, financial, employee and community implications must be considered before the District is in a position to adjust the school calendar, and you will be notified immediately about any changes that will be made. This extension may result in adding instructional days to end of the school year as required by the State of California. We are mindful that this plan may be disruptive, but the safety of students, staff, and the community is our number one priority.

What if someone at MUSD is exposed to coronavirus?
MUSD will be vigilant about investigating any reported cases. Should a confirmed case of Coronavirus exist within MUSD, we will work in consultation with Los Angeles County Public Health to take the necessary next steps. This situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

If I decide not to send my student to school or come to MUSD will absences be excused?
We understand community concern about student health and safety. Some families have asked about keeping their own child home based on the fear of contracting COVID-19 at school. However, per Education Code at this time, we are unable to mark an absence excused for this reason. Our normal protocol remains in place. Any absence due to quarantine or illness will be excused.

How is MUSD handling large gatherings at schools?
MUSD is postponing or canceling all public events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together. Alternate approaches to these events, which limit close contact, may include conducting assemblies via intercom announcements or conducting events online.

What is going on with sporting events?
MUSD is following social distancing measures for all public events. We will neither be participating in nor hosting any tournaments. Athletic events will be played, but no spectators – adults or students - will be allowed at the events. This includes outdoor events. The Rio Hondo League schools have agreed that all athletic events will be closed to spectators, but this directive may change at any moment.

Are all school trips canceled?
MUSD is postponing or canceling all District-sponsored, out-of-state travel scheduled through the last day of school, June 3, 2020. All field trips will be postponed through the April 6, 2020 and reassessed on a month to month basis.

Are outside groups still allowed to use MUSD facilities?
MUSD will work with community organizations that use our facilities after hours to determine if these events will proceed.

Will the Village Extended Day Program be canceled?
The Village Extended Day Program is a division of MUSD and will follow the recommendations made by administration and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

What happens if schools close?
MUSD is working to develop a reinforcement of learning plan for all grade levels. More information will be provided if faced with school closure.

How should I talk to children about coronavirus?
Keeping calm and reducing fear is essential when talking with children about Coronavirus. Useful tips may be found in the following article:

Where should I check for information about coronavirus?
Please use only official government agency outlets to obtain information, for example:
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Los Angeles County Office of Education
California Department of Public Health
California Department of Education
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

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