SMMUSD Fumbles Elementary Reopening Plans, As Las Virgenes Reopens For Youngest Kids Next Monday

Written by on November 2, 2020

Santa Monica school officials – for the second time – are postponing a survey of parents. teachers and staff  on reopening schools, further delaying any possible classroom time for small kids.

While elementary schools are reopening in one week over the hill …. classrooms in Malibu area will remain locked while the district tries to come up with a survey that’s acceptable to parents teachers and staff.  No plan can even be voted on by the school board, Drati has said, until a survey is undertaken, and for the second time a survey has been called off. 

Superintendent Ben Drati said Friday that the district has finished a comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan.  Drati says his staff was “nimble and responsive to frequent changes from the County Department of Public Health.”

But there is a delay in the Santa Malibu district headquarters … after feedback from a pair of town halls indicated problems with descriptions of the district’s partial reopening option, called the “hybrid model.”

A survey was supposed to go out this week … to parents and staff and high school students.

But complaints at the two town halls have prompted Drati to hold off on the survey until the week of November 9th.

He says the district needs more conversations “about the nuances of the reopening models and particularly the hybrid model.”

In Drati’s words …. “school principals will be engaging their respective staff and parents to discuss and unpack the nuances of reopening options we are currently considering for reopening.”

That confusion comes the same week that the school superintendent was able to make it clear that he was siding with Santa Monica and against Malibu in the school separation issue.


While the Santa Monica Malibu school district continues to fumble around with plans for reopening …. nine public schools over the hill will reopen next Monday.

Pre-Kindergartners thru second graders will be allowed to go back to school in one week in the Las Virgenes Unified School district … according to a report in the Acorn newspaper.

Nine schools have been given permission to welcome to the smallest kids back to classes the Los Angeles county department of public health.

Superintendent Dan Stepenosky told the Acorn newspaper the news came as a surprise … since L-A County had previously said they would give waiver priority to school districts with lower socio-economic standing.

All nine of the Las Virgenes elementary campuses were allowed to reopen at once. That school has invested $1.6 million in preparing all 14 of its campuses to bring students back … according to the Acorn.

Only 12 kids will be in any one classroom at any one time.

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