SANTA MONICA — The Santa Monica-Malibu School District (SMMUSD) announced on June 11 classes will restart on Aug. 20, 2020. 

SMMUSD Superintendent Ben Drati sent a message to parents and staff on the plans for the next school year. The date is the one originally planned for reopening. Drati laid out the ongoing process for the August return and classified the difficulties stemming from the health crisis a “challenge.”

“We know that regardless, many families will face challenges in balancing work, school and childcare,” Drati said. “We appreciate your ongoing patience as we evaluate and plan with the focus on what is best for creating successful outcomes for our students.”

Drati added that based on the information presently available to the District, there is no definitive answer as to what school “will look like” this fall.

“We will most likely provide a combination of distance learning and an on-campus experience,” Drati said.

The District will take measures to navigate the difficulties of distance learning. The SMMUDS’s Teaching and Learning Council and the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association will meet to establish coherent teaching practices among all schools in the district.

Staff and parents have participated in a recent survey regarding the guidelines issued by the California Department of Education and the L.A. County Office of Education on the safe reopening of California schools.

“As we prepare to move into the likely reopening of our schools, we provide this guidance as a ‘how to’ for safely reopening our schools,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in a June 8 release. 

Drati informed that the district’s staff will meet with a number of committees during the week of June 15 and 22 to evaluate the preliminary results of the survey. 

The Board of Education will discuss the recommendations from staff during a special meeting in early July.

The district will send a message to the community in mid-July “outlining our district’s reopening plans.”