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Elementary School Playgrounds Closed to Public on Weekdays

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

April 23, 2021 -- Now that local schools have reopened, all elementary school play yards in Santa Monica will be closed to the public during weekday afternoons, officials announced Friday.

Schools will continue to be open on weekends for community use from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to School District and City officials.

The new schedule covers fields, blacktop and play structures at Franklin, Roosevelt, McKinley, Rogers, Grant, Edison and Muir / SMASH elementary schools.

"All health and safety protocols displayed on signage at the sites are in effect and must be followed for the health and safety of all users," officials said.

“With school and after school programs back in session we need to continue site security as provided prior to the pandemic,” District Superintendent Ben Drati said.

“We are happy we were able to provide our Santa Monica community with field access and play yard use during the pandemic as soon as LA County approved outdoor activity.

"Our sites provided families and community members the opportunity to enjoy outdoor spaces while many venues were closed.”

The playgrounds -- which can be used by the public under a partnership between the District and City -- were shutdown after the cornovirus emergency was declared in March 2020.

They reopened in September under revised guidelines after getting the green light from Los Angeles County public health authorities

Under the Playground Partnership agreement in May 2020, the City began reimbursing the District $95,456 a year beginning last July, officials said.

The amount is adjusted annually by CPI to cover the cost of the District's roaming Sports Facility Attendants who monitor, clean, and close the restrooms and facilities, as well as remind users of current public health rules, according to the City.

Shifting responsibilities to District staff results in an annual savings to the City of approximately $50,000, staff said.

The City is committed to to program "despite unprecedented budget constraints brought on by COVID-19," officials said last year.

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