85% of SMMUSD Students Registered For Weekly Covid-19 Testing

District Supt. warns remaining students: ‘No tests, no more in-person instruction’

By Jack Simon, Observer Staff Writer

Roughly 85% of families in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have provided consent for weekly COVID-19 testing of their children, district officials announced yesterday.

The remaining families must agree to Covid tests or submit an exemption if they want to continue in-person instruction, said SMMUSD Supt. Ben Drati.

In a letter to school families, Drati mentioned that the district started Covid testing students and teachers last Wednesday and the staff will contact by September 3 all the parents who have not yet registered their children for testing or submitted an exemption.

“After September 3, parents who have not yet registered, have not agreed to weekly PCR tests or have had an exemption denied, will not be allowed on campus for in-person instruction or activities, starting Sept 8,” said Drati. “Independent study will be provided and fulfils our responsibility to provide a free appropriate public education for all students.”

Drati urged all families to register their children for testing. He said those parents who won’t consent to free convenient testing at the district schools can arrange for PCR testing off campus with their chosen provider or free testing location.

“Rapid tests, also known as antigen tests will not be accepted,” he said.

He stated that for all the exemptions submitted for testing and masks are currently under review and the students will be notified of their exemption status by the end of the week.

“We are determined to maintain in-person instruction this year with as little disruption as possible,” said. “We can accomplish this goal together with our weekly testing for students and staff and vaccinations for everyone 12 and older. Please register today and let’s do this together.”


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