Education / Schools

San Benito High School gives updates on status of campus events and sports

As of the afternoon of Thursday, March 12, the San Benito County Public Health Department is not recommending closing school.

Information provided by San Benito High School.

San Benito High School released an advisory message on March 12 updating the community on adjustments to school activities to help prevent, reduce and slow potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to a recent release, general directives for school and campus hygiene include:

  • All students and staff should stay home if they feel sick. Please keep your student home from school until they are fever free, without medication, for the last 24 hours. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and the flu, follow these important tips:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional and follow their guidance about whether to stay home.
  • If you haven’t already done so, there is still time to get a flu vaccination.

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and that hand-washing provides better protection from infectious diseases.

The release said that San Benito High School is continuing to closely and constantly monitor the COVID-19 situation, in conjunction with guidance from local, state and federal health officials. As of midday Thursday, March 12, there were no reported, active cases of COVID-19 in San Benito County. The school is monitoring the changes daily and will provide updates as they become available.

Health and Cleanliness Measures at SBHS

The release said San Benito High School is taking precautions to keep the campus safe and sanitary for students, faculty and staff, including providing hand sanitizer and tissues in all classrooms and offices, and cleaning all frequently touched surfaces. Regular cleaning of classroom desks and tables is important for the classroom environment.

Directives For Activities and Events

Out of an abundance of caution, based on San Benito County Public Health Services’ recommendation to postpone or cancel large community events in which people will be within arm’s length of one another, San Benito High School this week announced the postponement of 8th Grade Parent Nights scheduled for March 11-12 in the school auditorium, as well as the Noche De Familia scheduled March 12.

Postponement of Upcoming School Assemblies, Performances, Dances

The following events are being postponed until further notice:

  • Friday’s class assemblies
  • Saturday’s morP dance
  • The upcoming SBHS drama production “Grease”
  • The March 18 BLT (Baler Lunch Time)
  • All FFA activities through April 5, including March 18 student and parent Ag Boosters parent meetings
  • The annual “8th Grade Preview Night,” which includes teacher participation, remains on the schedule for April 22. The Baler Education Foundation’s Fame Fest, scheduled for Saturday, March 21, has been postponed and the committee will consider whether to instead hold it in the Fall.

Sporting Events/Competitions

According to the release, to adhere to health officials’ recommendations about social distancing, outdoor activities and competitions will go on as scheduled. However, spectators are encouraged to stay at least an arm’s length from one another.

In addition, until further notice, boys’ volleyball games in Mattson Gym will be held (schedule permitting) with the provision that no spectators will be allowed inside. The March 12 volleyball matches against Christopher High School have been cancelled.

At this time, all athletic events and practices are scheduled to be held dependent upon cancellations from other high schools or further information received from the county health department. This situation will continue to be closely monitored and communicated.  Please contact Tod Thatcher, Athletic Director at (831) 637-5831 ext. 330 for further information.

Field Trips

San Benito High School is suspending all field trips and other off-campus student and staff activities through Sunday, April 5.

Facility Use

Community usage of school facilities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, consistent with guidelines prescribed by the San Benito County Health Department.

Possibility of School Closure

As of the afternoon of Thursday, March 12, the San Benito County Public Health Department is not recommending closing school. Individuals under 18 years of age have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. If a staff member or student in a specific school is confirmed to have COVID-19, the public health department will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of that school is warranted.

Staying Informed

San Benito High School is working with county health officials to establish protocols and guidelines in the event that COVID-19 spreads to San Benito County. More information will be shared as information becomes available. In the meantime, current information about COVID-19 is available on the CDC and San Benito Health and Human Services websites.

San Benito High School School District will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information as necessary. If there are questions or concerns, please contact School Nurse Tess Smith at (831) 637-5831, ext. 126 or by email at [email protected]. You may also direct questions to the following offices:

  • Principal’s Office: Kaycee Day, ext. 172
  • Human Resources: Karla Ornelas, ext. 145
  • Superintendent’s Office: Carol Heiderich, Ext. 132

BenitoLink Staff