Santa Monica and Malibu schools to close two days for cleaning after coronavirus exposure

Santa Monica High School
Santa Monica High School is shown in 2011.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The school district that serves Santa Monica and Malibu is closing Friday and Monday for deep cleaning and staff meetings after “a community member with children in our schools” was exposed to the coronavirus, Supt. Ben Drati said.

No decision has been made on whether schools will reopen Tuesday.

“We have noticed a higher than normal absentee rate on our campuses today and will take this time to determine if students are ill, with what type of illness, or if parents are keeping students home during the coronavirus pandemic,” Drati said in his statement. “This allows us time to consult with our local agencies and consider the status of this health emergency in L.A. County and the communities we serve. Staff and teachers will prepare for possible school closures next week.”

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District serves about 10,500 students. About 1 in 4 students are from lower-income families, according to state data.


The neighboring L.A. Unified School District, which has close to 78,000 employees and serves about 700,000 students — including preschoolers and adults — has not closed any schools so far.

The district has not released recent attendance data for students or employees.