COVID-19 Updates

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This is a developing story. Check back for new updates. 

Updated March 13, 2020, at 9:31 AM

  • SUHSD will transition to at-home/distance learning, effective Monday, March 16th. Read more here
  • M-A custodial staff will keep working and deep-clean campus.

At the time of publishing, the following event modifications or cancellations are in effect: 

  • Prom has been postponed. It will be held on May 22. There is a possibility attendance will be limited to Seniors.
  • All school-related travel outside the Bay Area has been canceled. No new field trips will be approved.
  • Open House has been canceled.
  • The spring play, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” has been postponed until further notice. 
  • The ILS Basketball game has been canceled. 

M-A Administration is asking students to fill out the following survey to help assess technological needs at home. Fill out the survey here.

As coronavirus fear spreads through the Bay Area almost as fast as the virus itself, parents, students, and faculty alike wonder how the virus will impact academic life.

The San Mateo County Public Health Department is not recommending school closures at this time. Menlo-Atherton will remain open and classes will continue. 

Palo Alto Unified School District decided to postpone the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing. A message posted to M-A’s main website outlining the upcoming CAASPP testing schedules suggests testing will proceed as normal. 

Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Mary E. Streshly published a statement regarding COVID-19. The district is collaborating with the San Mateo Health Department to set forth guidelines regarding “non-essential” and “essential” activities. “Non-essential” activities may be canceled, postpones, and/or modified such as after-hours, school-hosted activities, large gatherings for training or conferences, large school assemblies, concerts, performing arts events, etc. “Essential” activities such as all regularly scheduled classes, tutoring, support services, and staff meetings, will continue. 

As the number of cases in the Bay Area increases, local high schools and universities are either shutting down for a few days or temporarily suspending in-person classes until further notice. UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, and Stanford University announced a  transition to online classes

If necessary, SUHSD is exploring the possibility of transitioning to online classes. However, there are concerns that not all members of the M-A community have access to the internet or computers at home. However, Principal Simone Rick-Kennel confirmed that “M-A and SUHSD are working on plans for [online] learning that will include options for all students.” 

In the meantime, M-A custodial staff are working to proactively prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to Kennel, the staff has been “sanitizing the campus daily.” Classrooms have been stocked with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. 

“It’s important not to panic, but exercise precaution,” said Kennel. 

According to NBC Bay Area, Santa Clara County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases, with 45 cases and one death. Santa Clara County has banned mass gatherings of 1,000 or more individuals. San Mateo County has nine confirmed cases.

The following precautions should be taken in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer (60%+ alcohol).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid non-essential large gatherings. Stay home when sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and sanitize frequently touched objects and surfaces (ex. desks, door handles, phones, etc.)

Toni Shindler-Ruberg is a senior and has been with the M-A Chronicle for two years. She is the Managing Editor of the Mark, runs the marketing team, and writes for the Chronicle. She enjoys having the opportunity to write, create print design, and curate engaging digital multimedia.

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