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The Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) will continue to implement any and all measures recommended by public health leaders to protect the health and safety of students, staff, and the community throughout this current public health emergency. MUHSD works in close consultation with the Merced County Department of Public Health and the Merced County Office of Education, and follows guidance from California's Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health. The COVID-19 public health emergency is a fluid situation. Facts and circumstances may change quickly, and the District regularly posts updates on the District website as appropriate.

MUHSD February 10, 2021 Update

Good Afternoon MUHSD,

There was excitement in the air yesterday as Buhach Colony and Atwater competed in a Cross Country scrimmage. Our athletes were back in action for the first time in almost a full year! The action ramps up next week for all of our “purple sports.” In the coming weeks, you will see more and more activity on our sites as we near March 15th.  After the February break staff is encouraged to offer onsite, in-person opportunities for our students, such as in-person office hours, labs, or access to shops. Feel free to work with your site admin to set these opportunities up for your students, as it does require site approval. This is voluntary and strict protocols must be followed.  

County Update

ver the past three weeks our county COVID-19 cases have declined from the high 70s per 100,000 to 40 per 100,000, which is approximately a 50% decline. We are making significant progress. We expect that trend to continue, and the county expects us to be in the “red” in mid to late March. With regard to the vaccine, I do not have any news on when the state will be distributing new vaccines. Issues remain with the overall process. It is not a county distribution issue, but rather the state's inequitable distribution that has created problems. Both of our unions and myself sent a joint letter to legislators expressing our frustration.  I am aware some of you have gone to other counties or have reached out to local providers to receive your vaccine. You are wise to do so. As soon as we get an update, we will relay it to you. 

Family Survey 

A survey was sent out to families asking them about their comfort level regarding the return to in-person learning on March 15th. For those who said that they would not be sending their children back, or were undecided at this point, a follow-up question was asked about when they would feel comfortable. The following graphics display the results: 


Our schools are Open Now

We have students onsite now under the cohort model. If you have struggling students or know of any, please encourage them to contact site admin. They will be accommodated. 


As mentioned, athletics have begun. For those of you involved in red, orange, and yellow sports, we expect a change in the state guidelines to be forthcoming. There is hope. If you would like your voice heard on this matter, your Principal has a form letter that you can make your own and send to legislators.  We encourage you to do so.  We will do whatever it takes, while playing within the rules and protocols, to see that the final quarter of the year is crammed full of activity for our Seniors and all students who choose to come back or participate in various sports and activities.  

Band, FFA, and other clubs fall under similar guidelines as athletics.  You are free to move forward with these activities on February 17. Please communicate with your site admin prior to planning an activity.

Next Year

Planning for next year started last month.  If you want the low down tune-in to tonight's board meeting.  We will be discussing the framework for a virtual academy.  Keep your eyes open for the opportunity to assist with its development. We have been told by the county to plan for an A/B model/Hybrid just in case things improve more slowly than we expect. It is too early to project what next year will look like, exactly, but we understand the need to refine and improve on our experiences from this year.

We are steadily seeing some good news and public confidence is growing. It will only remain “good” if we continue to follow protocols.  My fear is that we all relax as things improve, and we cannot do that.  In fact, as students begin to reappear on campus, we have to do better than we did in the fall.  ALL STAFF have the responsibility to enforce protocols and follow them. The decisions we have made are to make sure we have a strong finish, rather than a quick return.  I know that has frustrated some, but we are too big to shift back and forth.  Our goal is to return to onsite instruction and stay there for the duration.  It is looking like that may be a reality as things are finally breaking our way!  

Enjoy your break!


Superintendent, Alan Peterson


MUHSD COVID Exposure Prevention Plan & Site Contacts

All staff and students must follow the MUHSD COVID Exposure Prevention Plan and COVID-19 protocols. 

CDC Prevention Tips

The following is a message from Merced County Department of Public Health: We are pleased to announce that there will be free COVID-19 testing at various locations in the city of Atwater from December 8th through the 30th. You may register online at LHI COVID-19 testing  or by calling 1-888-634-1123. To view a full list of testing locations, please visit  the Merced County website or follow us on social media. Stay safe and get tested.

COVID Testing Sites Flyers:

How to Protect Yourself & Others:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
  • Avoid Close Contact! Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Stay Informed:

Find useful COVID-19 resources for families and staff.

Additional Merced County Department of Health Resources:

MUHSD COVID-19 Documents

To view the MUHSD COVID-19 Exposure Prevention Plan click on the link below:

MUHSD COVID-19 Prevention Plan

Fall 2020 Hybrid Information & Past Updates


District A/B Schedule

Broadcasting - A Video Resource for Teachers (AB Schedule)