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Despite concerns, MUSD follows COVID protocols with student representatives
board members
High school student board representatives attending Wednesday’s remote conference at the district office were, from left, Alejandra Arevalo-Mercado (Weston Ranch High), Arveen Birdi (Sierra High), Sean Michael Marsh (East Union High), Sydnee Navarro (Manteca High), and Joey Sanchis (Lathrop High).

With 13,000 plus students now back on campuses, Manteca Unified is under a microscope from parents, faculty and community members to make sure they are taking every step to counter the spread of COVID-19.

The latest example were concerns expressed that the district was having student board representatives from the five high schools, board members, and administrators meet for a dinner at the district office indoors and exceeding the allowed caps of the number of households allowed to dine together.

It turns out the gathering was part of a multiple-day California School Boards Association Annual Education Conference. In lieu of an in-person conference due to the pandemic, the annual gathering was being accessed remotely.

“State and county guidance allows for such business gatherings with the proper protocols,” noted Manteca Unified community outreach coordinator Vitoria Brunn.

The 20 or so participants were in a space normally used to seat in excess of 150 people for board meetings to allow for proper social distancing along with mandatory masks and other protocols to be followed.

Brunn said not all board members were in attendance. At the same time trustee Stephen Schluer, who is a voting delegate for the region that MUSD is part of, spent the day in a separate room remotely participating in the conferences’ business meeting component.

“Student board members are integral to ensuring a student’s voice is heard and included as a part of your governance team,” Brunn said. “The Student Board Member Program at AEC is the state-wide professional development opportunity in which student board members can expand their governance horizons. This program provides student board members with a focus on developing their governance skills while they also become more familiar with their role as a governance team member.

“Through a mixture of presentations, discussions, and interactive exercises, students are introduced to the principles of good governance, share ideas on best practices, and build a network among their peers. This engaging training will provide student board members with the resources necessary to enhance their role on your governance team.”

Manteca Unified transitional kindergartens through sixth graders are on campus five days a week split into AM and PM sessions to reduce the number of students in a classroom.

Seventh through eighth graders as well as high school students are split in half with one group attending school in-person Mondays and Thursdays and the others on Tuesdays and Fridays. All students distance learn when they are not on campus as well as on Wednesday.

The district has an overall enrollment of 24,000 along with nearly 3,000 teachers and support staff.

Manteca Unified tracks

via COVID-19 dashboard

Manteca Unified has taken an additional step that few other districts have done. Although county and state health officials have not required it, Manteca Unified has their own CIVID 19 dashboard.

It can be accessed at

All current and confirmed COVID-19 cases involving Manteca Unified students or staff members are reflected on this page. The numbers are updated at a minimum once per week and reflect statistics for the previous 14 days from time of posting.

As of Wednesday, there were 22 confirmed cases of COVID, none of which were the result of contracting the virus in a school setting. At no school is the combined number of students and staff infected and quarantined above 0.22 percent. Seventeen, of more than half of the 33 school sites, have no confirmed cases. The 22 cases reflect 13 students and 9 staff members.

Those with symptoms will be reflected on the dashboard for 14 days after they were first detected. That dovetails into CDC guidelines that indicated a person is no longer contagious are 14 days of the first symptom appearing. The exception is those who become severely ill and require hospitalization. Once the 14 days lapse for that person, they will be taken off the dashboard count.

The dashboard lists every campus along with the total number of students and staff, number of confirmed cases involving students, the number of conformed cases involving staff, and the proportion of school population.

The proposition of school population is critical as it is used to determine of a specific school campus has to close under county and state health orders.  If 5 percent of a school’s population have conformed COVID-19 cases within a rolling 14-day period, the school has to be closed.

The threshold to force the closure of an entire school district is if one out of every four campuses has closed due to COVID-19 cases within 14 days of each other


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email