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Palo Alto school board to discuss revised goals in first meeting of the year

Original post made on Aug 26, 2014

In the Palo Alto Board of Education's first meeting of the 2014-15 school year tonight, members will continue to discuss a host of ambitious goals proposed by new Superintendent Max McGee at the board's annual retreat on Aug. 13.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 9:41 AM

Comments (10)

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Posted by I remember
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

And not one mention of the emotional and social well being of our students. Have we forgotten the suicide contagion of 5 years ago?


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Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:24 am

Thank you "I remember". I too searched for any mention of the health and well-being of our children as a priority in the goals. It is difficult to find, if at all.

I remember our beloved children whom we lost. And I constantly think about what we can and should be doing to support students today to prevent the avoidable tragedy of suicide and to support their physical, mental, and emotional health.

As a learning community focused on excellence, let's not forget the importance of our children's health and well-being and the significant role of the schools in supporting the overall child.


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Posted by IAQ in PAUSD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2014 at 11:43 am

Hi Everyone!

"To provide all students the highest quality learning environment in every district school," naturally includes providing a healthy environment.

The EPA has collected considerable research showing that having good indoor air quality (IAQ) helps student learning and performance, among a host of other benefits to health. Having an IAQ management plan to achieve good IAQ is the essence of a proactive, preventive, rather than reactive approach to providing our children the highest quality learning environment.

Last week I started a friendly petition to ask the district to adopt an Indoor Air Quality Management Plan (of their choice, there are many good ones). I already have about 200 signatures, without even really trying too hard yet, including many prominent community members, and already including some doctors, school board candidates, and prominent parent volunteers. I have already let our new superintendent know about this and he has so far been curious and positive.

We will not be presenting the petition at tonight's meeting yet, the petition itself is an educational opportunity that we'd like to have the chance to circulate in the community for awhile first, and to show just how much support there is in this community for valuing healthy school environments.

Townsquare readers: Will you please sign ONLINE to support Healthy Palo Alto Schools? We are getting lots of paper signatures but few people signing online, where it's easy to see the support, i.e., we'd like to show more online signatures!! Just your signature will help show that Palo Alto parents and the rest of the community care about having healthy schools.

Sign the online petition at:
Web Link

I found out yesterday that even the California State PTA Council already passed a formal resolution supporting that school districts do exactly this — adopt an Indoor Air Quality Management plan. In fact, the state PTA resolution is much stronger and more extensive and is worth a look:
Web Link

This is a positive community effort that can only succeed FOR THE SAKE OF ALL OF OUR CHILDREN if there is a show of support by the community. With this new focus by our Superintendent, and the positive spirit of collaboration with the community, there is no downside, no controversy, no conflict here, it's just about adopting best practices proven to help school kids be healthier. We just need your signature.

This is an informal, friendly petition asking PAUSD to adopt an indoor air quality management plan for better environmental health in our schools, there are no laws or future action at issue, just a request because it's the smart thing to do. The EPA, CDC, American Association of School Administrators, California Department of Health, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Department of Education, California PTA, and on and on, all recommend school districts adopt IAQ management plans for better environmental health in schools. Almost half the districts in the country have adopted plans.

Sign the online petition at:
Web Link

if you care about Healthy Schools, but haven't had time to volunteer, this is probably the easiest, most impactful thing you will ever do. For more info or to get a paper petition (because you aren't comfortable signing online): email

iaq_pausd at sonic dot net Healthy Schools Matter!!

Thanks!!
A Lumsdaine


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Posted by no change here
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm

""face to face" recognition at board meetings of students who compete and and excel in a range of competitions;"

Yeah, let's continue to push that "success at all costs" mantra.


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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm

What is "global collaboration"? Anyone got an idea? Does this fellow McGee have an idea? Can he provide any examples of "global collaboration" today that required public school preparation?

It's pretty clear the China, Inc. isn't all that interested in US business operating within its borders, or buying American products--while fully believing that it has a right to operate worldwide, on its own terms. What "global collaberation" can we expect from a nationalistic competitor that would be very happy to see the US fall into 4th-world status, once they have had their trillions in US treasuries redeemed.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm


I feel providing the health and well-being of our children is a job for the parents and not for the schools.


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Posted by the view
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm

parent,

"I feel providing the health and well-being of our children is a job for the parents and not for the schools."

It is the parent's job and the board is the last resort communication link to the schools to make sure when kids go to school, they are in a healthy learning environment. If there are any problems at school, the parents would communicate with the school, last resort the board.

Too many problems have gone to the board level because they were never addressed or resolved at the school level. Allowed to fester for years, problems and dysfunctions almost hidden and some actually hidden from the public.
Many (plenty) have to do with actual "detrimental" learning practices for students, so "problem finding" of "detrimental " practices was promptly vanished from the goals.

World collaboration sounds broad enough to mean nothing, and the one thing that meant something - accountability is gone.

The accountability EXIT door:

"resolve potentially distracting and disruptive issues in order to maintain focus on the district's vision."

That means issues that are distracting and disruptive for the board, not students. They headline student centered, and end with "me."


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Posted by IAQ in PAUSD
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2014 at 4:23 pm

To parent in Greenmeadow,

You wrote, "I feel providing the health and well-being of our children is a job for the parents and not for the schools. "

Our children spend much of their time in school facilities where the quality of the indoor environments has a huge impact on their health and learning. Asthma is now a major reason for school absenteeism, for example. The American Association of School Administrators, in their peer-to-peer program successes, reports one district in which they cut asthma attacks in half by adopting an indoor air quality management plan. Simply by following proven best practices in maintaining their facilities and preventing problems, the health and well-being of the children was demonstrably improved.

Here's a link to some information about the EPA's Tools for Schools:
Web Link

Also, the link I provided to the state PTA resolution is very informative.

Also, because of homework, schools have an impact on how much control children have over their time after school as well, which in turn can impact sleep. There was a great show today on KQED about sleep and health, with some great points about all the new research showing the importance of sleep to children's health. The guests were mostly from Stanford, it was a very informative program.

Student Health and Wellness is really a partnership between schools and families, it's not an either or.


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Posted by IAQ in PAUSQ
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2014 at 9:58 am

Just a quick note. If you check out the link to the PTA resolution, scroll down to 2007. It was adopted in 2007 at the PTA convention. The resolution is worth a look. It is stronger and more extensive than this petition, which asks us only to adopt an IAQ management plan (of the district's choice). At some point, we may wish to consider going further as recommended by the statewide PTAs. But for now, educating the district about the advantages and adopting a plan will be a really great thing for our schools. Healthy schools = Healthy kids

Thanks!

People still seem to prefer the paper ptitions to the online by up to 10 to 1. If you are comfortable signing online, it shows the support instantly. Please sign at Web Link
It's just a friendly petition asking the district to adopt an indoor air quality managemen plan to provide for healthy schools!


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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2014 at 11:06 pm

@IAQ in PAUSQ -
Thank you for starting this petition and following up on this important issue.

You wrote -"... People still seem to prefer the paper ptitions to the online by up to 10 to 1..."

I wonder why? Would you please share your insights?


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