Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield has shut down in-person learning for two weeks after getting word that some students aren’t following COVID-19 protocol off-campus – including news of a big student party and a slew of sleepovers.
The announcement, made on Monday, includes classes, extracurricular activities and athletic practice.
Marin Catholic had just resumed on-campus classes two weeks ago, adding to the Zoom instruction started in August. This past weekend, school officials learned of a large party with no social distancing.
“I made the announcement here on campus and there was silence and then there was exasperation,” said Principal Chris Valdez. “They were very, very disappointed.”
There’s no reason to believe at this time that there was any COVID exposure at the party, but officials said that isn’t the point.
“It’s never been clearer, especially from a high school perspective, that we are interconnected,” said Valdez. “What we individually do has an impact on lots of people in the whole institution.”
Valdez said school leaders also heard about a number of plans for student sleepovers and it was simply too much of a risk for students and teachers. The campus closed Tuesday and Marin Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said the school made the right move.
As of now, the campus is scheduled to reopen November 2.
“I think we’re in a moment here when it’s imperative to double down on steps we’re taking to protect ourselves,” Willis said. “But that’s threatened when, in our everyday behavior, we are bringing people together for gatherings like this.”
Valdez said all he’s asking is that students follow health department guidelines on hygiene and social distancing, and he believes most students are.