Pleasanton high schools announced Monday that they will be pausing all voluntary in-person extracurricular activities until at least the end of the semester after some students attended a party over Thanksgiving break that officials say may have resulted in potential positive cases and exposure to COVID-19.
Students in camp cohorts at Amador Valley, Foothill and Village high schools were involved in the "social gathering" over the holiday break; however, school officials said they have been unable to comprehensively trace all students who attended the party and out of caution will be suspending all in-person camps for extracurricular activities such as sports and music practice.
Additionally, all Pleasanton high schools will be pausing their small student cohort programs until each family can be contacted as a part of the district's investigation.
"The decision to close our camps is disheartening. However, due to the choices that were made by students and in the absence of a definitive list of attendees, we must take steps to prioritize the safety of all our students and staff in these programs," Amador principal Josh Butterfield and Foothill principal Sebastian Bull said in emails to their respective school communities.
While an exact number and identities of all students who attended the event have not been discovered, school officials have been able to confirm that some students who participated were also part of multiple camp cohorts or small cohort supervision programs from the three high schools, according to the principals.
School officials encourage community members to review the updated coronavirus safety guidelines from the Alameda County Public Health Department in order to help stem the spread of the virus, which county officials have said presents a particular danger during the winter months and flu season.
The holiday season is also a particularly hazardous time, according to county health officials, who fear families attempting to continue traditions and gather with loved ones outside of their social pods will further worsen regional coronavirus infection rates.
Pleasanton school officials have pleaded with students to help slow the spread of the virus and find alternate ways to connect and celebrate with friends and loved ones rather than meeting in groups.
"It's important for each of us to remember that our ability to hold in-person camps and cohorts largely depends on the choices and actions made by the members of our community," Bull and Butterfield said. "Your choices to wear a mask when outside your house, to wash your hands frequently, and to not engage in close interactions with individuals outside of your family make us all safer."
"Our thoughts go out to any students or family members who have been impacted by COVID-19 and we wish them a speedy recovery," they added
Residents interested in learning more about how to stay safe and help stem the spread of the coronavirus this holiday season can visit https://covid-19.acgov.org/covid19.