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City of Santa Monica and SMMUSD Partner to Continue Playground Partnership
May 22, 2020
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The City of Santa Monica and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District reached agreement on major terms to continue a playground partnership that provides recreation space at elementary school sites for Santa Monica children and families on weekends and during school breaks. Under the modified Playground Partnership agreement, the six school sites will be open to Santa Monica families and permitted youth sports groups when it’s safe to reopen as part of Los Angeles County’s Roadmap to Recovery.
The planned schedule for Franklin, Roosevelt, McKinley, Rogers, Grant, and Edison Elementary school playgrounds will be:
“We know how important outdoor space and staying active is to Santa Monica families. We’re pleased to continue our strong partnership with SMMUSD to continue to offer our youth access to field and playground space,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg.
“We’re happy to work with the City to provide the community outdoor amenities through our elementary school sites as we continue to look for other creative ways to offer after school youth enrichment,” said Dr. Ben Drati, Superintendent of SMMUSD.
Playground Partnership was initially proposed for elimination as part of the City’s plan to restructure the organization in response to COVID-19, including a $224 million budget deficit through 2022. City Council prioritized the preservation of this partnership at its May 5 meeting. The agreement is an addendum to the Master Facilities Use Agreement between the City and SMMUSD, which will be ratified by the Council and School Board at upcoming meetings. Under the agreement, SMMUSD will provide monitoring and secure the sites at the end of the playground access hours. This will reduce the City’s contributions by a little over $50,000. The annual contribution from the City will be up to $95,456.40 annually.
Prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and for many years, the City and SMMUSD have also collaborated to provide afterschool care for children in grades K-5 at SMMUSD’s seven elementary schools. Following the devastating impacts of COVID-19, after school and care during school breaks will continue through SMMUSD’s School Aged Programs (SAP) and the City’s CREST Club, CREST Enrichment, and CREST Camps programs, when safe to resume. The City and SMMUSD eagerly await guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Office of Education as to when after-school sports will return and will work cooperatively to determine how sports programs can best be provided for elementary and middle school aged children in the post COVID-19 environment.