Teachers, principals look to new academic year | August 10, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - August 10, 2012

Teachers, principals look to new academic year

Major construction to greet students next week in earliest-ever school start

by Chris Kenrick

Along with teachers, major construction will greet many Palo Alto students as they head back to school next Thursday, Aug. 16 — the earliest start to the school year in local history.

This story contains 467 words.

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Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

Not only construction at many schools, but there seems to be road construction all over town which is going to make school commutes more difficult for drivers and those on bikes too.

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 10, 2012 at 10:19 am

Yes, PG&E major pipeline work; PA Art Center; new Mitchell Park library and community center - I wish there could be incentives given for (accurate) completed work ahead of schedule...it seems to stretch out over a very long time. Commercial construction seems to move along so much quicker (not necessarily in Palo Alto - that's not what I mean...)
Let's all remember tiny kids will be walking to school next week -
Parents, please instruct your kids on proper biking - I have had many kids, especially middle-school aged, cut across residential streets like mine without looking and even very careful drivers like myself are concerned with the potential for accidents.

Posted by avram, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

Wasn't the calendar adopted during one of those meetings that was tainted by private communication between the Superintendent and Board members in violation of the open meetings requirements? Also, I never heard the Board or Superintendent discuss potential consequences of breaking the trust implicit in the calendar. What happens when teachers defy the schedule and give finals whenever they want, or assign work to be turned in immediately after the Winter break, as has been the case for years now? How can a student be expected to turn in a project or assignment those first few days after break and expect to have a work free holiday? Strangely, this calendar does not take into account the train wreck of asking students to take finals in the middle of preparing college applications. Also left unresolved is the unexplained decision not to monitor whether students attend the tutorial period, which schools count as instructional time.

Posted by katie, a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Avram, I agree with all of your comments. I am a district teacher and I find it unconscionable that some of my colleagues defied policy and were not censured. Also, despite the uproar surrounding the calendar change, I feel strongly that the calendar change is taking the easy way out, i.e., it's easier to do this than formally discipline teachers or shift the paradigm to try something progressive like moving to trimesters.

Posted by avram, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm

katie--thank you for your comments. You are so right. Changing the calendar is something the Board and Superintendent can "do." It is much harder to change behavior. I wish you a pleasant and productive school year.

Posted by George, a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

The City of Palo Alto reviews every new housing develpoment and concluded that there will not be enough new students to trigger any school construction impacts nor traffic impacts that require mitigation. No impact from each project and no cummulative impact from the sum total of all the projects. How can that conclusion be reconciled with the construction happening at all the school sites listed in this article?

Burt, Espinosa, Klein, Scharf and Shepherd represent the developers and landowners, not the people who live and work here. They are advancing their own political and egotistical aspirations at our expense. They give us higher tax bills, fewer services, more congestion and overcrowding.