School Closure Information

  • March 30 Update from Superintendent Skelly

    Spanish | Chinese

    Dear Families

    Today marks the start of week three of at-home learning. I hope you are finding ways to be gentle and kind to those with whom you are cohabitating.

    In this environment of unexpected virtual learning, our teaching staff will use the Monday after Spring Break, April 13 for online professional development to discuss plans to best serve our students for the remainder of school closures. There will be no assignments given and no schoolwork expected from students on this day. Online learning will resume for students on Tuesday, April 14.

    On March 24, 2020 the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted a temporary Countywide moratorium on evictions from residential units for non-payment of rent by tenants directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The emergency regulation takes effect immediately, and unless extended by the Board of Supervisors, expires May 31, 2020. Tenants will have up to 180 days after the expiration of the emergency regulation to pay delayed rents that were not paid while the emergency regulation was in effect. 

    For more details about the regulation, please visit the San Mateo County Department of Housing website.

    Students living in San Bruno needing internet access can receive in-home modems from San Bruno Cable free of charge. San Bruno students may call 650-558-2480, to request a modem. Students who have hotspots who no longer need them are encouraged to call 650-558-2480 to return them to the District. 

    For more information, or to request a Chromebook, please please fill out  the Google form on our website, or call 650-558-2480. 

    Sending positive thoughts!

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.

    Superintendent

School Closure Update

  • March 27 Update from Superintendent Skelly and Assistant Superintendent Kempkey

    Spanish | Chinese

    Dear Families:

    With the extension of school closures, families, students and staff have many questions about what this means for students’ grades and their future educational plans. As a result, we are refining our instructional guidelines. Part of this work is to gain wisdom from our community. Yesterday, we sent out a survey to our students; over 2,500 students have already responded. Students are describing a range of experiences. The major themes that arise will help inform us how to make the online learning experience more manageable and meaningful for our students. 

    We are also eager to hear from you, our parents and caretakers, on your perspective of how online learning is going for your student. Please take a moment to take this survey to help inform the refinement of the online learning experience for students thus far. 

    One thing that we know supports students in their experience in the online learning environment is having some virtual facetime with their teachers. Our teachers will redouble their efforts to make office hours a regular part of their practice. However, many teachers are not able to keep to the regular school schedule as they have additional personal and family obligations associated with the shelter in place directive. Additionally, we are working on developing some choices for students as it relates to their grades. We are in contact with universities and colleges to understand how they will adjust their expectations due to school closures and the impact on students' education.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to your students’ school counselor. Your students’ counselor is responding to questions via email and students and parents may email counselors to request a meeting via phone or video conference. They are currently scheduling next year’s courses for students across the District, including incoming 9th graders. They are also working closely with Seniors on completing graduation requirements and transition plans to post-secondary options, including community college enrollment and finalizing four-year college selection. 

    The best resource for information about Advanced Placement courses and exams for families is the College Board’s website, Your student’s AP teacher is the best resource for subject specific questions. 

    This time of virtual school has laid bare how much we all count on in-person experiences to accomplish so many things. There will be a diminution of students’ experiences, despite all our best efforts. That said, we are committed to doing our best. And we know you and your students are as well.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.
    Superintendent

    Julia Kempkey, Ed.D.
    Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction

School Closure Information

  • March 25 Update from Superintendent Skelly - School Closure Extended to Monday, May 4

    Spanish | Chinese

    Dear Families: 

    The San Mateo County Office of Education just released information regarding a regional decision to extend school closures and dismiss students from regular attendance through May 1 to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. This means that SMUHSD students will tentatively return to school on Monday, May 4. 

    This is disappointing, of course. We all crave a return to our normal lives. That said, I trust that our public health leaders have the wisdom and expertise to make these important decisions and we will follow them as a district community.

    District teachers and administrators are working to extend our plan to provide online/virtual learning for our students. We are also formulating guidelines for teachers for the assignment of grades in a way that is fair and equitable. This is complicated as we try to balance giving students every benefit of the doubt while motivating students to stay deeply connected with their learning. We hope to share these guidelines next week. Stay tuned.

    While we do have a significant portion of students whose engagement in learning hasn’t been visible to staff, the vast majority of our students are meeting the learning expectations set by their teachers. We are grateful to you for creating high expectations in your household and appreciate your support in this and myriad other ways.

    Families who are still in need of WiFi can now access free, public connections through Xfinity, except for those who live in San Bruno who have different providers. I will provide more details in my next update to families tomorrow or Friday. 

    Finally, I hope you are finding a silver lining somewhere in this time. As a parent of four high school graduates, there are some wonderful aspects to this teenage season that you will miss, trust me! In any case, some rich discussion and reflection during family time might be valuable.

    On we go!

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.
    Superintendent

School Closure Information

  • March 24 Update from Superintendent Skelly

    Spanish | Chinese

    Dear Families: 

    I participate in a near daily conversation with the other superintendents in the county. The plan right now is for the San Mateo County Office of Education and superintendents from across the county and Bay Area to work with the Bay Area Health Directors to make a joint decision about schools reopening. As soon as I know anything I will share it. Here’s hoping we are back in session after spring break.

    I heard a politician describing the “unnatural” time in which we are living. Social distancing is not natural. We crave community and a connection to others. I saw the results of a teacher’s survey of students and the one thing consistently mentioned was how much they missed seeing their friends. As you think about how you support your student, consider ways you can nudge them to have virtual interactions and reach out to each other to form learning groups or simply go over material, with a particular emphasis on bringing in students on the fringes. On that note, we will be sending a survey out to our students in order to better understand their experiences and support them.

    Speaking of social distancing, I’ve received numerous communications about this topic as it relates to our schools' fields. As I visit these during walks, it’s hard to tell how well social distancing is going as one cannot tell who is a “family.” It’s healthy to be outside, but let’s all do our part in these situations. The science on this is clear -- if we have fewer interactions we’ll bend the infection curve. Read our County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow’s March 23 statement if you need a reminder of just how important it is that we follow the directions set forth by public health experts. 

    Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.
    Superintendent

  • March 20 Update from Superintendent Skelly

    Spanish | Chinese

    Dear Families:

    These are stressful times!  No family expected to have their teenagers at home 24/7 for these three weeks -- or more!  I hope you are finding some unexpected blessings from this family time.

    One possible source of angst is the loss of instructional time in the classroom. Keep in mind, however, that if your child has been in California schools, they have likely NEVER missed school for bad weather (except the smoke last year). And they’ve had 180 days of instruction -- far more than young people in some private schools and many other states. Further, their less structured time now can be the source of curiosity, deeper social connections, and space to reflect on their place in the universe. If we have to go beyond the scheduled three week closure, we’ll keep the learning going!

    If you are looking for a fun, family activity, check out the Sporcle website. Challenge the young people in your house to see who knows the most about various topics. We’ve had ferocious fun at our house over the years competing while learning. And there are always board games that offer learning hidden within competition. 

    Here’s a recap of the first week:

    Mental Health

    Our wellness counselors continue to offer virtual appointments to our students. Please visit our website to learn more about this and other resources available to your family. 

    Free Food 

    We continue to provide free breakfasts and lunches to anyone 18 and under at Mills and San Mateo High Schools from 11 a.m -1 p.m. Monday-Friday. On Thursday we provided 550 meals. A number of our partner districts as well as Primrose and Samaritan House are offering food. View comprehensive information about food services on our website. The California Department of Education has also created a free California Meals for Kids mobile app to help families find free meals. 

    Technology

    Our District continues to provide Chromebooks and hotspots to students who need them in order to complete their schoolwork. To request a device, please fill out this Google form, email techrequest@smuhsd.org or call 650-558-2485. We will be able to distribute hotspots toward the end of next week and can distribute Chromebooks within 48 hours of new requests (Monday-Friday). 

    Teaching and Learning

    Teachers across the District are using the Canvas Learning Management System and other digital tools to conduct online learning with students in all courses each week. It is our expectation that students should have between 2-5 hours of work per week for each class in which they are enrolled. You should ask your student how it is going and support them with creating some structured time every day to do some of their work. If you would like to find out what your student is up to just ask them!  Information is also available through installation of the Canvas Parent App or by visiting the Canvas Parent Account page of our website.

    Testing

    Finally, the state will not require schools to administer the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) this year. Visit the Governor’s website for more detailed information from the State of California.

    The Advanced Placement (AP) Program released some new information today about its plan for the spring assessments which will allow students to take the tests from home. The College Board has also made all of its online resources available to students to support preparation for the assessments. Please see the AP website for more information. 

    March and May administrations of the SAT have been cancelled. In the coming days, the College Board will share additional information and details directly with registered students and test centers. The June testing date will be decided at a later date. 

    Additional Questions & Resources

    If you have additional questions about community resources that are available to support you and your family during this time, please feel free to reach out to our District Family Engagement coordinator, Elsa Pulido at 650-558-2226.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.

    Superintendent

School Closure Information

  • March 18 Update from Superintendent Skelly

    Spanish | Chinese

    Dear Families:

    Over the years, as colleges and other post-secondary institutions shift more instruction to on-line platforms, district administrators have often mused about creating opportunities for our students to have that experience. Chalk our present times up as making this experience happen!

    In some ways the first few days of this unexpected school closure could have the feeling of winter break. However, unlike that break, students need to stay on top of assignments and current with the expectations from teachers. While teachers will undoubtedly be flexible about assignments, since most learning builds upon itself, keeping up is key.

    Many of you heard the governor’s comments yesterday about the possibility of schools being closed through the school year. We certainly hope it doesn’t come to that!  In any case, our teachers will continue to do all they can to maintain instruction. I welcome any comments and feedback you might have at kskelly@smuhsd.org.

    A few updates for families:

    Food Services
    Free meals are available to anyone 18 and under at a number of locations throughout the area including Mills and San Mateo High schools on Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Please visit our www.smuhsd.org/school-closures website for times and locations of sites being operated by our K-8 partner districts that may be closer to your home. 

    Chromebooks and Hotspots 
    If a student needs technology support to complete online learning during the period of school closure, please fill out this Google doc or email techrequest@smuhsd.org or call 650-558-2480. We are in the process of delivering these items to students and will continue to do so as we are able. Please allow at least 48 hours for new requests.  

    Additional Questions & Resources
    If you have additional questions about community resources that are available to support you and your family during this time, please feel free to reach out to our District Family Engagement coordinator, Elsa Pulido, 650-558-2226.

    Thank you for supporting your student’s health and learning. I will continue to send regular updates. 

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.
    Superintendent 

  • March 16 Update from Superintendent Skelly

    Dear Families: 

    This afternoon seven Bay Area jurisdictions have issued a “shelter in place” order. This order directs San Mateo County residents to stay inside their homes and away from others as much as possible until April 7 as public health officials aim to curb the spread of Coronavirus. 

    All of our schools and facilities will be closed until April 7 at the earliest. We will re-evaluate our ability to reopen the District at that time.  

    Unfortunately after today we will not be able to continue to distribute Chromebooks or hot spots to students. 

    We will continue to provide grab and go breakfasts and lunches at Mills and San Mateo High Schools from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. from Monday-Friday. This service is available to anyone 18 and under, and participants do not need to show their ID or any type of paperwork. 

    Please take care of yourself during these unprecedented times. We will provide updates as needed.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D. 
    Superintendent

  • March 13, 2020 Update from Superintendent Skelly

    Dear Families: 

    Last night you received an email from me informing you that schools and school-related activities will be closed for students effective after today’s minimum day. Today, the San Mateo County Health Officer issued a School Operations Modification Order through Friday, April 3. This order requires schools to dismiss students from regular attendance and encourages school districts to implement at-home (online) learning models. This means that our schools will tentatively open on Monday, April 13 after the week of spring break from April 6-12.

     

    Social Distancing and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

    One of the main reasons for closing schools is to allow for a period of social distancing to halt community spread of COVID-19. I encourage families to follow the guidelines of the CDC during school closures to take advantage of this opportunity to allow social interactions to diminish and prevent the spread of the virus. While I know how difficult it may feel for families to stay at home and “self-quarantine,” this may be the only way to prevent the spread of the virus. None of this is easy, but every little bit helps.  


    Nutrition Services: March 16 - April 3

    During the school closure, all students and anyone 18 and under can receive grab and go breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday at Mills High School and San Mateo High School. Nutrition services employees will staff a cart offering a variety of healthy options between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please visit this webpage for detailed information on locations and how to pick up food. 

    The San Mateo-Foster City School District will also offer free meals for all children and teens 18 and under at various locations. No paperwork is needed to take advantage of either of these services please see more information in this flyer. 


    All School Activities are Cancelled through April 3

    All school-related activities including extracurricular activities, athletics, parent or student meetings and activities planned by outside providers (including the SAT) between now and April 3 at each of our school sites have been cancelled. With the exception of food services detailed above, only authorized staff will be in our facilities after March 16 until we reopen. This will allow our maintenance and operations staff the opportunity to thoroughly sanitize our facilities. 


    Mental Health 

    Some students may feel additional stress and anxiety during this period of uncertainty. Students can request to speak with a Wellness Counselor while schools are closed by filling out a form specific to their school site - find the form on our website along with other mental health resources. Virtual appointments are available during regular school hours, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    If this is a medical or mental health emergency, please do not fill out the form, and contact the following sources immediately: 

    • Crisis Text Line: text "home" to 741-741
    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
    • StarVista Crisis Hotline: 650-579-0350
    • 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room if you can get there safely 

    Additionally, please see this resource produced by the National Association of School Psychologists about talking to children about COVID-19. 


    Loaner Technology Devices 

    Chromebooks and a limited number of hotspots are available for loan out of our school libraries through 3 p.m. on March 16. If your student needs a chromebook to complete online learning during this period of school closure, please contact your school administrator, fill out this google doc or email techrequest@smuhsd.org. After March 16, chromebooks and hot spots may be requested through the District by contacting 650-558-2485 or emailing techrequest@smuhsd.org. Our staff will respond to this request and reach out to you to arrange a pickup time at our District Office at 650 N. Delaware, San Mateo. 

     

    Health

    If a member of your family is confirmed positive for COVID-19, please reach out to our District Student Health Coordinator at studenthealthservices@smuhsd.org. Additionally, if your child is sick during this time, please report their absence as you normally do through your school’s website.  

     

    Thank you for your support of your student’s health and learning during this period of school closure.

     

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D. 
    Superintendent

     

SMUHSD School Closure Information

  • March 12, 2020 Coronavirus Update from Superintendent Skelly - School Closure Notice

    Dear Families:

    At tonight’s Board meeting, the decision was made to close the schools of the San Mateo Union High School District effective Monday, March 16 and enter a phase where we will deliver at-home learning to our students. After tomorrow’s minimum day, Friday March 13, all schools, including the San Mateo Adult School, will be closed to students through at least Friday, March 27. While it may not be possible to open on March 30, we want to hold out hope that health conditions are better by then. If the decision is made NOT to reopen on the 30th, then school will be closed through spring break (April 6 to 10). We will advise families of school reopening by Wednesday, March 25.

    Our staff will help your students on Friday to prepare for this phase of at-home learning and will report to work on Monday, March 16 to further refine our plans to serve your students. Neither teachers nor students will be permitted to return to school sites after March 16 until we reopen, so that staff may sanitize our campuses. 

    All extracurricular activities will also be cancelled effective tomorrow.

    While it is not possible to match the instructional conditions present in classrooms, our teachers and staff are dedicated to doing what they can to make sure learning continues. Teachers will be using Canvas, our learning management system, and other electronic methods to give students assignments and guide learning. Your student will be hearing directly from teachers about the expectations during this time. If your student needs a device and/or internet access, please let the school office know immediately, or email techrequest@smuhsd.org.

    We are also working on ways we can provide breakfast and lunch to students who count on schools for food. At this point we plan to provide food at San Mateo and Mills High Schools. Stay tuned for specifics in an upcoming communication. In addition, if your student has an Individualized Educational Program (IEP), look for a separate communication.

    I know I speak for the School Board and staff when I say that we are doing the best we can during these challenging times. Thank you for your support and flexibility as we navigate this uncharted territory. 

    If you have any questions, please email studenthealthservices@smuhsd.org.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Skelly, Ph.D.
    Superintendent 

     

More Information

  • COVID 19 Related Health Questions

    Call the San Mateo County Health Department Call Center at 211. The call center is open 24/7. 

    Community Housing Resources

    Download the flyer (English/Spanish).

    School Testing Update

    Find out more about CAST/CAASPP and AP testing.

    Loaner Technology Devices

    Find out what to do if your family needs assistance with technology.   

    Free and Reduced Brunch and Lunch

    Learn more about serving locations and times.

    Mental Health Resources Available for Students During School Closures

    Students can make appointments to talk to Wellness Counselors during school closures. Learn how

    San Mateo County Office of Education Resources

    SMCOE shares resources for talking to your children about COVID-19, planning at-home/distance learning, ensuring your children have access to technology. Learn more.