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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information and Updates

May 15, 2020

Please see the information below regarding participation in the National School Lunch Program (free and reduced meals) and applying for Pandemic-EBT:

The California Department of Education (CDE) and Department of Social Services (CDSS) are partnering on the administration of Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) in California.

P-EBT will provide up to $365 to needy children eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Meals (FRPM) through the National School Lunch (NSLP) or School Breakfast Programs (SBP). Children who are directly certified for FRPM will automatically be mailed a P-EBT card through an automated data matching process between the CDE and CDSS. These P-EBT cards will arrive in the mailboxes of eligible families between May 12 and May 22.

Children who are FRPM eligible through the meal application process will be able to apply for P-EBT online beginning May 22. The application will be available at www.ca.p-ebt.org and will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese. Eligibility of those children who apply online will be confirmed by the CDE and CDSS using data from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS).

The CDE and CDSS have developed P-EBT outreach materials that are available for download from the CDSS Pandemic EBT webpage here: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/home/pandemic-ebt.

 

May 11, 2020

We are sending this message out on behalf of Merced County regarding a fake letter that has generated a lot of rumors on social media.  Below is the official letter sent:

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Please be aware that there is a fake letter and other rumors circulating on social media falsely stating that COVID-19 testing is mandatory for anyone receiving public assistance (CalFresh, MediCal, CalWORKS, etc.), and failure to receive a test will result in suspension of benefits.

The letter also falsely claims that if someone tests positive for COVID-19, his/her children may be removed from the home and placed into foster care. The fake letter that started these rumors was placed on what appears to be official letterhead from the California Department of Social Services.

Merced County and the State have confirmed this letter to be counterfeit. If you see the letter on social media, please disregard it. Should you have any questions regarding social services or child welfare, please contact the Merced County Human Services Agency child welfare hotline at 209-385-3104.
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April 30, 2020

Flyers were sent out via ParentSquare and Facebook with updated information regarding our Grab n'Go meal pickup service for all children in Hilmar and Stevinson.  An additional location was added on Williams Avenue.  For more information, please see the flyer links below:

Grab n'Go Flyer - English
Grab n'Go Flyer - Spanish

 

April 29, 2020

Merced County Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) is part of the Merced County Office of Education, Early Education Department. They specialize in providing child care referrals to families for their specific child care needs and help families get the information and tools needed to make the best child care choice for their family. Services are provided to ALL persons requesting them regardless of income or other eligibility factors.

Child Care Flyer - English
Child Care Flyer - Spanish

 

April 22, 2020

Hilmar Unified will begin Phase 2 of Distance Learning on Monday, April 27th.  This phase includes online and/or hard copies as appropriate depending on grade level and content area.  Please look for information regarding specifics on accessing this Phase 2 of Distance Learning coming from your child's school sites soon. Stay healthy and well and feel free to contact us via email or phone if you have any questions.

 

April 17, 2020

Beginning Monday, April 20th lunches for Stevinson families will be delivered to regular bus stops on Monday and Thursdays from 10am to 11am.  Monday's delivery will include meals for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Thursday's delivery will include meals for Thursday and Friday.  There will also be an opportunity for meal pickup at Merquin school on the same days if you do not have a bus stop.

Meals can also be picked up at Hilmar High School (between the Strom and Sparks gyms) following the same schedule as above.

 

April 15, 2020

A new program has been made available to assist families with behavior health services through the Legacy Health Endowment.  Please see the flyer links here in English and Spanish for more information.

 

April 8, 2020

Due to the school closure extension for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year, we have adjusted our Chromebook repair procedures to allow students to continue to receive repair services at home.  For the remainder of the school year, families can drop off their device with a completed repair form at the District Office or hand their device and repair form to food service delivery personnel.  Your device will be received by our repair technicians and serviced within 3 business days or sooner.  The repaired device can be picked up at the district office or sent back with food service personnel and delivered to your home.  Please note that pickup and delivery are currently only available for Stevinson students.

Insurance coverage is still in effect until June 30th or your device is turned in for the summer. If you have any further questions or would like repair status updates, you may call or text (209) 317-6975 or email tc@hilmar.k12.ca.us. This special line can only receive one call at a time so if you receive a busy signal, please wait a few minutes and try again.

 

April 1, 2020

Hilmar Unified School District leaders have been working closely in monitoring the impact the COVID-19 health crisis has on our students and school community. The safety of students and staff continues to be a top priority during this unprecedented pandemic. As such, careful consideration has been given to how to best proceed for the remainder of the school year.

Based on the recommendation from Governor Newsom, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, and in collaboration with the Merced County Office of Education and the Merced County Department of Public Health, Hilmar Unified School District is announcing that the temporary school site closure will extend for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
 
The school year is not over. It has transitioned from in-person classroom instruction to distance learning. In Merced County, there is no definitive date for when school sites will reopen. 
 
Should the following criteria be met, school sites may reopen:
 
• The California State Shelter in Place order has been lifted
• The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Merced County has remained constant for a two week period or declined
• The directive to Social Distance has been removed
• The limit placed on social gatherings has been removed

School Districts in Merced County will continue daily surveillance of these criteria for the benefit of students and families. 
 
During this timeframe, Hilmar Unified School District will continue to provide essential services to students, like meals during the regular school schedule. Though the buildings will be closed, education will continue through extended learning.
 
Hilmar Unified School District leaders and staff are working hard to ensure that learning continues for students. Our educators are working hard to provide instructional resources for distance learning opportunities for every student we serve.

More information will be shared about what this will look like for your student and family. 

It is crucial during this health crisis that families follow the guidance of public health officials to practice social distancing and only go out when necessary. Children should not congregate during the stay-at-home order as it puts the child, their families and the community at risk.

Sincerely,
Steve Tietjen, Ed.D., Merced County Superintendent of Schools
Sandra Schiber, Ed.D., Atwater Elementary School District
Bliss Propes, Ballico-Cressey Elementary School District
Adolfo Melara, Delhi Unified School District
Justin Miller, Ed.D., Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District
Lori Gonzalez, El Nido Elementary School District
Bryan Ballenger, Ed.D., Gustine Unified School District
Isabel Cabral-Johnson, Hilmar Unified School District
Scott M. Borba, Le Grand Union Elementary School District
Donna Alley, Le Grand Union High School District
Andres Zamora, Livingston Union School District
Mark Marshall, Ed.D., Los Banos Unified School District
Mike Crass, McSwain Union Elementary School District
Al Rogers, Ed.D., Merced City School District
Richard Lopez, Merced River Union Elementary School District
Alan Peterson, Merced Union High School District
Kristi Kingston, Plainsburg Union Elementary School District
Jose Gonzalez, Planada Elementary School District
Alison Kahl, Snelling-Merced Falls Union Elementary School District
John Curry, Weaver Union School District
Randall Heller, Winton Elementary School District
 

 

March 22, 2020

Please remember that all Hilmar Unified school sites are closed for the next two weeks until April 17th. No one is allowed on campus at this time. All phone calls are being redirected to the District Office (209.667.5701), which is open to assist families during the closure.  Also available is our food services department to ensure students continue to receive meals.  Please drive through the front gate and do not exit your vehicle while our food services staff brings your meal to you. There are traffic cones and signs to guide you. Food Services are available from 10am to 11am.

Remember to practice good hygiene, wash your hands frequently, stay home, and stay safe.  

 

March 18, 2020

At this time, our district is planning to return on April 20th as currently scheduled.  We will continue to send updates via ParentSquare, Facebook, and on this website.

 

Additional March 15 update information:

School will open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and instruction will continue as usual.  However, if you do not feel comfortable sending your children to school, please contact the school office and those absences will be marked as “excused”.  We ask that parents remember to check in through the school office if you need to pick up or drop off your child during school hours as we are not allowing visits to the classrooms, including parent volunteers.  When dropping off your children in the morning or picking them up in the afternoon, please do not congregate at the school.  All events and parent meetings will be postponed until after April 20th.

 

March 15, 2020

Merced County School Communities,

As a precautionary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and in consultation with Merced County school district leaders and health officials, we are supporting a suspension of school operations in Merced County effective Thursday, March 19 through Friday, April 17. By closing effective Thursday, this gives our families time to make arrangements for child care. We plan to reopen on April 20, but that decision will depend on the circumstances at the time.

This is not a decision we take lightly. We know that temporarily closing a school has a tremendous impact on our families. The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority, and we have confidence that this is the proper precautionary course for Merced County. We are working with all of our local education agencies to support the continuity of learning and to ensure students have access to healthy meals.

Public health officials recommend that families make arrangements for child care during closure that avoids leaving children with elderly or those with compromised immune systems who are more vulnerable to the impact of the virus. 

This is a dynamic situation where information and circumstances can evolve quickly. For the latest updates, visit the California Public Health Department’s 2019 novel coronavirus website at: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019 and for local health updates visit the Merced County Health Department’s 2019 novel coronavirus website at: https://countyofmerced.com/coronavirus.

We also understand that implementing these changes with such limited notice is challenging and disruptive, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are grateful to community members throughout Merced County for their tremendous prevention efforts during these challenging times.
 
Sincerely,
Steve Tietjen, Ed.D., Merced County Superintendent of Schools
Sandra Schiber, Ed.D., Atwater Elementary School District 
Bliss Propes, Ballico-Cressey Elementary School District 
Adolfo Melara, Delhi Unified School District 
Justin Miller, Ed.D., Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District 
Lori Gonzalez, El Nido Elementary School District 
Bryan Ballenger, Ed.D., Gustine Unified School District 
Isabel Cabral-Johnson, Hilmar Unified School District 
Scott M. Borba, Le Grand Union Elementary School District 
Donna Alley, Le Grand Union High School District 
Andres Zamora, Livingston Union School District 
Mark Marshall, Ed.D., Los Banos Unified School District 
Mike Crass, McSwain Union Elementary School District 
Al Rogers, Ed.D., Merced City School District 
Richard Lopez, Merced River Union Elementary School District 
Alan Peterson, Merced Union High School District 
Kristi Kingston, Plainsburg Union Elementary School District 
Jose Gonzalez, Planada Elementary School District 
Alison Kahl, Snelling-Merced Falls Union Elementary School District 
John Curry, Weaver Union School District 
Randall Heller, Winton Elementary School District 
 

 

March 14, 2020

Please see the link under Quick Links (to the left) labeled MCDPH Letter to School - Guidance 3.14.2020.pdf for the daily update.

 

March 13, 2020

In partnership with the Merced County Department of Public Health and the Merced County
Office of Education, Hilmar Unified School District continues to closely monitor the novel
coronavirus COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases in Merced County.

Based on advisories shared by the Department of Public Health, Hilmar Unified School District
will remain open to serve our students and families.

Together we are urging our staff, members of the public and school communities to be diligent
in their efforts to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, by following
good hygiene practices.

We will continue to monitor the situation, and conditions may change if there are confirmed
cases of COVID-19 in Merced County. Please prepare your family in the event of a change.

The safety and wellness of our students and community is our top priority.

Thank you,
Isabel Cabral-Johnson
Superintendent

 

March 12, 2020

The California Department of Public Health has issued new guidance to protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19. Effective immediately, and continuing through March 31, 2020:

  • All non-essential gatherings of 250 people or more are postponed or canceled.
  • Gatherings of less than 250 people must allow for social distancing of six feet per person or they must be postponed or canceled.
  • The core instructional day, National School Lunch Program, and after-school program are considered essential.

We understand that families may have questions about what this means for HUSD students and schools.  Those questions should be directed to the administration of their child(ren)'s school.