Education Response to COVID-19

March 27, 2020

 

Dear MACSD Families,

 

I hope this message finds you healthy and safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As you know all too well, this health pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place order have changed life dramatically. There is no denying that these social distancing measures, while necessary, will continue to have a deep, lasting impact on businesses and nonprofits. The Media Arts Center San Diego is no exception.

 

In recent weeks, our team took the unprecedented measure of directing all staff to work from home, shifting current programs to online platforms, postponing the San Diego Latino Film Festival for the first time in 27 years, and pausing all youth media programs scheduled at partner schools.

 

Out of an abundance of caution, and in alignment with local public health directives, our Spring Youth Media and Tech Camps (YMTC) have been paused as of March 16, 2020 in order to curb the potential transmission of COVID-19. We are currently working tirelessly to adapt our existing curriculum to a remote learning format for each of our traditional camp age groups: 6-9 years old, 10-12 years old, and 12-18 years old.

 

If you have already purchased a camp registration, we kindly ask that you do not ask for a refund at this time. This will help greatly with our cash flow situation, since we’ve incurred many expenses in preparation for events and programs that have been postponed or paused. What we can offer is a CREDIT to be used for any of our upcoming distance learning youth programs, or our onsite programs once this crisis has subsided (i.e. Youth Media Tech Camps, San Diego Latino Film Festival, and/or Digital Gym CINEMA).

 

While we are coming up with innovative ways to keep our MACSD youth and artists engaged and involved in meaningful content production, we are not taking for granted the fact that some of our youth lack equitable access to WiFi and/or laptops/computers/tablets at home. We are working with community organizations, philanthropists and SD County Office of Education leadership to address this urgent issue and make distance learning accessible to all.

 

Because of these shutdowns and postponements, our non profit is in need of your support now more than ever. If it is within your capacity to give, the Media Arts Center San Diego (MACSD), a 501 c(3) non-profit organization, is in need of your financial support at this time of crisis. You can donate today at https://mediaartscenter.org/donate or via PayPal, by donating to programs@mediaartscenter.org.

 

You can also support by following our social media channels, which continue to flow images of the joyful youth that have participated in our programs, and with arts engagement opportunities from arts partners nationwide. You can stay connected with us on Twitter @macsd, Instagram @mediaartssd and @teenproducers, and on Facebook at the Youth Media Tech Camp and Teen Producers Project pages.

We are grateful for the reliable, timely news and information our Speak City Heights partners KPBS and The Voice of San Diego continue to provide to our community during these times of change.

 

I’m grateful to have you as a part of the Media Arts Center San Diego family. While we don’t know what the future holds for our City, I offer a message of hope that we find new ways to stay connected, healthy and vibrant by leaning on digital media arts now more than ever. I look forward to continuing our connection in new and innovative ways now and into the future.

 

All my best,

 

Natalia Valerdi-Rogers

Education and Community Productions Manager

 

 

Local Resources for Parents:

 

San Diego County Office of Education: Parent Resources
https://covid-19.sdcoe.net/Parent-Resources?fbclid=IwAR223NJ8ZX9Cohkj4G8qiHG1hpaeq4VsPIzNBNNPmsAXU-8RpWsPX-EUDh0

 

YMCA Childcare Resource Service Providing Enhanced Child Care Referrals
https://www.sdcoe.net/news/Pages/YMCA-Childcare-Resource-Service-Providing-Enhanced-Child-Care-Referrals.aspx

 

Get the latest information on the coronavirus at the City of San Diego
https://www.sandiego.gov/coronavirus

 


 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

 

Dear MACSD Families and Youth in our Education Programs,

 

As you may be aware, on March 11 the California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on social distancing and postponing or canceling large gatherings for the remainder of the month of March. MACSD leadership and partners continue to discuss the rapidly evolving situation related to COVID-19 in our community.

 

MACSD recently shared our press release informing the public that MACSD will be canceling the San Diego Latino Film Festival. The field trip to Youth Visions planned for March 21, and the field trip to UCLA in late March, are both postponed.

 

As of today, March 12, Mayor Kevin Faulconer has issued a state of emergency in the City of San Diego. This means two things:

 

  1. 1. Mass gatherings of 250 people or more are banned.
  2. 2. Gathering of less than 249 people requires social distancing of 6’ between people.

 

In order to protect you from COVID-19, while ensuring continuity of operations, on-site programming Teen Producers Project and Wednesday Moviemaking Workshops will continue as optional activities for students, under the following guidelines, which go into immediate effect:

 

  • * Classes will continue as long as we can institute the required social distancing of 6’ between students. That means that some classes will need to be split up into other spaces. Students will be issued laptops if needed.
  • * Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This includes:
  • * Before eating & after eating.
  • * After touching face.
  • * When using equipment someone else has used.
  • * If soap and water are not available, use at least a 60 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Bottles of sanitizer are available in MACSD classrooms.
  • * Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth (especially with unwashed hands).
  • * Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces before and after class. This includes equipment, keyboards, etc.
  • * Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. If a student exhibits symptoms of being sick, parents will be contacted and asked to pick up their child.
  • * If you are sick, stay at home and keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • * Cover your cough and sneeze, with a tissue if possible, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • * Practicing other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
  • * Continue to be prepared and informed.

 

Anyone that doesn’t follow these guidelines will be asked to go home.

 

We are reviewing our organization’s plan to continue operations, particularly around onsite education programs such as TPP and Youth Media & Tech Camps (scheduled to begin in 2 weeks). We will follow the guidance of the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Unified School District.

 

We will continue to share updates with you via email, social media, and the digitalgym.org website, on decisions regarding ongoing programming. Any decisions to postpone programs will be done under the advice of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the San Diego County Office of Education, and entities that inform youth after school activities.

 

Some resources I encourage you to become aware of are:

 

 

I want to emphasize that we are all in this together, as we navigate uncharted territory. I welcome your feedback and encourage you to stay in touch via email at natalia@mediaartscenter.org, by phone at (619) 230-1938 x102 or on Google Hangouts.

 

Thank you for being a part of the MACSD family and for helping keep your families and communities healthy and safe.

 

All my best,

 

Natalia Valerdi-Rogers
Education and Community Productions Manger
Media Arts Center San Diego

 

To access a copy of this letter in PDF format, click here.

 

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