News

Under Palo Alto Unified's proposed reopening plan, here's what schools will look like this fall

Middle, high schoolers to learn primarily online; elementary school students to be on campuses

The Gunn High School campus in Palo Alto on April 3. Under Palo Alto Unified's plan for reopening schools, which was released on June 30, middle and high school students would regularly go to campuses for small group activities. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The Palo Alto school district is taking a "middle of the road" approach to reopening schools this fall, Superintendent Don Austin said, with elementary school students returning to campuses in person while middle and high schoolers likely will be primarily learning remotely.

The district released its proposed reopening plan on Tuesday, which is subject to approval by the school board. The plan came out soon after the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued its requirements and recommendations for safely reopening schools in the fall.

The biggest evolution in the plan is the proposal for the middle and high schools. As recently as last week, the district was still considering a hybrid model, with groups of students alternating coming to school in person two days a week. School board members voiced support last week for prioritizing distance learning, particularly for high schoolers.

On Tuesday, Austin said staff were unable to create a program for a hybrid model that they felt confident in moving forward with.

"The details, once you really got into that blended model at the secondary level, became so problematic that we found ourselves becoming more complicated in a time where we all believe less moving parts is going to be the key to success," he said. "We think ... the distance learning approach for secondary students is the best chance at us getting through the curriculum in a way that matches the pacing of the past."

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

The district's secondary schools plan diverges from the county's allowance for middle and high schoolers to attend school in person with certain precautions in place.

Under the proposal, however, middle and high school students would regularly go to campuses for small group activities, such as science labs, student government, clubs and study groups. Extracurricular activities will be available in socially distanced settings, the district's report states.

Middle and high schoolers would receive grades in the fall and all schools and classes would follow an established schedule with synchronous components. The schools will take attendance daily.

The district also plans to open "PAUSD+," an in-person support center for middle and high school students who are struggling academically and/or facing unique challenges, such as safety concerns or limited internet access at home.

Starting Sept. 11, about a month into the new school year, the district plans to evaluate the secondary schools' offerings on a weekly basis. The district would send weekly updates to parents, with a minimum of one week's notice before any significant changes are made. Austin said he hopes the students could return to face-to-face instruction at some point.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

"I'd be really disappointed if it was the whole year," he said of the distance learning model.

At the elementary schools, students would be split into two groups and go to school on alternating schedules that vary by grade level. The county Public Health Department will require elementary students to be in stable cohorts, meaning they are in the same classroom with the same classmates and teacher throughout the school day.

The district will ask elementary parents to choose a hybrid or distance-learning model by mid-July. In November, families may switch out of distance learning and return to school but their students will not be guaranteed a spot at their home school. At a special board meeting on Wednesday, Austin said that this is "not punitive. It's a math problem." If students choose to return to their schools, the district will have to adjust staffing and move teachers who are providing online instruction back into classrooms.

The district also plans to explore child care options for families, the report states.

To prepare for more comprehensive distance learning than was offered last spring, teachers will have access this summer to training on topics including using video effectively, adapting instructional strategies for an online environment and building positive learning communities online.

The latest iteration of the district's reopening plan "attempts to balance health, safety, academic programming, choice, science, child care, budget, implementation challenges and resource allocations with the fact that a degree of uncertainty and fear will accompany any reopening efforts for schools," the staff report states.

It's undebatable that students will benefit more from face-to-face interaction with teachers and their peers, Austin said, "as soon as that can be done responsibly and in a healthy manner."

"What is clearly debatable," he added, "is what 'responsibly' looks like right now."

The school board discussed the reopening proposals on Wednesday before an expected vote on the plan this Friday, July 3. Several asked district staff to return on Friday with an option for allowing sixth graders to go to school in person to help ease their transition into middle school and a brand new campus.

Trustee Jennifer DiBrienza said she was "devastated" to see middle and high schoolers will continue learning at home in the fall but glad that the district is planning for some on-campus programs.

Board members acknowledged the plan is imperfect and will more than likely change before August and throughout the school year. The district is also still in negotiations with its teachers union about working conditions for the fall, with a session scheduled for Thursday, July 2.

"When you're on very unfamiliar territory, the middle of the road is where you want to be," President Todd Collins said.

The board's Friday special meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. View the full agenda here.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Staff writer Sue Dremann contributed to this article.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Under Palo Alto Unified's proposed reopening plan, here's what schools will look like this fall

Middle, high schoolers to learn primarily online; elementary school students to be on campuses

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 30, 2020, 9:38 pm
Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 8:24 am

The Palo Alto school district is taking a "middle of the road" approach to reopening schools this fall, Superintendent Don Austin said, with elementary school students returning to campuses in person while middle and high schoolers likely will be primarily learning remotely.

The district released its proposed reopening plan on Tuesday, which is subject to approval by the school board. The plan came out soon after the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued its requirements and recommendations for safely reopening schools in the fall.

The biggest evolution in the plan is the proposal for the middle and high schools. As recently as last week, the district was still considering a hybrid model, with groups of students alternating coming to school in person two days a week. School board members voiced support last week for prioritizing distance learning, particularly for high schoolers.

On Tuesday, Austin said staff were unable to create a program for a hybrid model that they felt confident in moving forward with.

"The details, once you really got into that blended model at the secondary level, became so problematic that we found ourselves becoming more complicated in a time where we all believe less moving parts is going to be the key to success," he said. "We think ... the distance learning approach for secondary students is the best chance at us getting through the curriculum in a way that matches the pacing of the past."

The district's secondary schools plan diverges from the county's allowance for middle and high schoolers to attend school in person with certain precautions in place.

Under the proposal, however, middle and high school students would regularly go to campuses for small group activities, such as science labs, student government, clubs and study groups. Extracurricular activities will be available in socially distanced settings, the district's report states.

Middle and high schoolers would receive grades in the fall and all schools and classes would follow an established schedule with synchronous components. The schools will take attendance daily.

The district also plans to open "PAUSD+," an in-person support center for middle and high school students who are struggling academically and/or facing unique challenges, such as safety concerns or limited internet access at home.

Starting Sept. 11, about a month into the new school year, the district plans to evaluate the secondary schools' offerings on a weekly basis. The district would send weekly updates to parents, with a minimum of one week's notice before any significant changes are made. Austin said he hopes the students could return to face-to-face instruction at some point.

"I'd be really disappointed if it was the whole year," he said of the distance learning model.

At the elementary schools, students would be split into two groups and go to school on alternating schedules that vary by grade level. The county Public Health Department will require elementary students to be in stable cohorts, meaning they are in the same classroom with the same classmates and teacher throughout the school day.

The district will ask elementary parents to choose a hybrid or distance-learning model by mid-July. In November, families may switch out of distance learning and return to school but their students will not be guaranteed a spot at their home school. At a special board meeting on Wednesday, Austin said that this is "not punitive. It's a math problem." If students choose to return to their schools, the district will have to adjust staffing and move teachers who are providing online instruction back into classrooms.

The district also plans to explore child care options for families, the report states.

To prepare for more comprehensive distance learning than was offered last spring, teachers will have access this summer to training on topics including using video effectively, adapting instructional strategies for an online environment and building positive learning communities online.

The latest iteration of the district's reopening plan "attempts to balance health, safety, academic programming, choice, science, child care, budget, implementation challenges and resource allocations with the fact that a degree of uncertainty and fear will accompany any reopening efforts for schools," the staff report states.

It's undebatable that students will benefit more from face-to-face interaction with teachers and their peers, Austin said, "as soon as that can be done responsibly and in a healthy manner."

"What is clearly debatable," he added, "is what 'responsibly' looks like right now."

The school board discussed the reopening proposals on Wednesday before an expected vote on the plan this Friday, July 3. Several asked district staff to return on Friday with an option for allowing sixth graders to go to school in person to help ease their transition into middle school and a brand new campus.

Trustee Jennifer DiBrienza said she was "devastated" to see middle and high schoolers will continue learning at home in the fall but glad that the district is planning for some on-campus programs.

Board members acknowledged the plan is imperfect and will more than likely change before August and throughout the school year. The district is also still in negotiations with its teachers union about working conditions for the fall, with a session scheduled for Thursday, July 2.

"When you're on very unfamiliar territory, the middle of the road is where you want to be," President Todd Collins said.

The board's Friday special meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. View the full agenda here.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Staff writer Sue Dremann contributed to this article.

Comments

Anon
Ventura
on Jun 30, 2020 at 9:51 pm
Anon, Ventura
on Jun 30, 2020 at 9:51 pm
52 people like this

PAUSD's distance learning this past year was a barely mitigated disaster for middle school students. There was zero required synchronous education, along with maybe an hour per week of work. We are strongly considering renting or relocating to another district if this keeps up, even if just for next year.

Our children need a full academic and social education, and PAUSD's track record of "distance learning" has fallen far short of acceptable in all areas.

This feels like giving up. Could they not try at least a day a week in class, with only 1/5th of the students attending? Can secondary school age kids not wear masks? There are widespread videos and reporting of well run school situations in Asian countries where much younger kids successfully wear masks. If only 1/5th of students came in any day wearing a mask, that's just 6 kids per room. Along with most parents per survey we prefer more than a day a week, but c'mon. Distance simply doesn't cut it.

And... Why is the first evaluation of this nearly a month into the school year? Why wait so long?


Not Rocket Science
Community Center
on Jun 30, 2020 at 10:13 pm
Not Rocket Science, Community Center
on Jun 30, 2020 at 10:13 pm
32 people like this

Why is this all so difficult for teachers? Seems that instead of lecturing in a classroom that day, they can just lecture to a camera and the students watch on Zoom. Why is this so difficult?


Anon123456
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 30, 2020 at 10:24 pm
Anon123456, Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 30, 2020 at 10:24 pm
13 people like this

It is not as simple as recording teachers giving lectures. If you have ever been the person on videoconference trying to follow an in person meeting of multiple people, you know what I am talking about. It is impossible to follow the flow of conversation, the leader tries to repeat questions into the mic for the benefit of those remote but sometimes forgets and gives up when the discussion becomes rapid fire, you hear every chair scrape and paper shuffle but only a few syllables of speech.


Anonymous Stanford
Stanford
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Anonymous Stanford, Stanford
on Jun 30, 2020 at 11:17 pm
38 people like this

I have two middle schoolers. I cannot believe the district is prioritizing bringing children to school for student government and clubs over in-person classes. I find this very problematic.

If students below the age of 13 do not transmit coronavirus, then those students should have more in-school time. Let the incoming 6th grade class be on the same schedule as the elementary schools at a minimum.

The school district should embrace the challenge of getting their middle schoolers before teachers in a hybrid model. I was not impressed by distance learning. It wasn’t challenging and it was too much screen time. I say this as a parent of high performing kids. I can’t imagine how much worse it is for children who have learning difficulties or need the focus a classroom environment provides.


Teacher
Charleston Gardens
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:11 am
Teacher, Charleston Gardens
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:11 am
55 people like this

@Rocket Science-
I agree. I'm hoping I can show up to campus, pretend all my students are there, preplan that they have all the prerequisite materials (handouts, readings, directives,etc) and Zoom right into the camera. With clear cut published expectations of attendance (and the administrative arm doing their part to reach out to those who aren't showing up) I don't see what the problem is. I recorded lectures during the infamous FLOS and if teachers don't know how to use the basics of Schoology by now ONE, they are in violation of their contract and two, they are LAZY. My advice is to set aside mandated time for SHORT Zoom meetings for CONSTRUCTIVE parent feedback and have teachers and parents communicate with each other on what works and doesn't work. If teachers don't want to actively work with parents at this crucial juncture then they aren't cut out for this job. (Spoken as a teacher and parent of teenager).


Messifan
Ventura
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:26 am
Messifan, Ventura
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:26 am
32 people like this

Hugely disappointing considering almost no disease in Palo Alto and little risk to children from covid. Middle of the road? What would be the more conservative approach? Locking up student in their own individual panic rooms?


Dan
Midtown
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:29 am
Dan, Midtown
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:29 am
21 people like this

I guess it’s time to start developing my own study materials for advanced high school classes. Really bad time for a high school student to lose a significant portion of college prep education.


Parent
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:38 am
Parent, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:38 am
17 people like this

Anyone paying attention to the data recognizes elementary will also be fully online before Halloween (at best.)

Wish we were recognizing this and better supporting staff to prepare for this NOW.

DL was a disaster in spring, but we should be using this time to share best practices, learn, and get into gear for the long haul (which will be at least through this academic year entirely.)


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:11 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:11 am
46 people like this

The meme that covid poses no risk to children is a myth concocted on Fox. Children have died and continue to die of covid, and some pendemaic scientists believe that it can stay in their body for a while and then attack in a deadly manner. Additionally, children with covid will infect others just like anybody else who is infected. The reason this country's had the worst response to covid anywhere in developed world and is now so ravaged with no relief in sight is because of myths such as 'covid pose no danger to children', which is on the same level of idiocy as 'we will have no more infections if we stopped testing'.


Parent
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:25 am
Parent, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:25 am
30 people like this

@Mauricio, Yes. And elementary schools will be vectors for community spread in Palo Alto.


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:35 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:35 am
28 people like this

@mauricio. "The meme that covid poses no risk to children is a myth concocted on Fox?" Really? No risk to children is too strong a statement, but there are a number of articles out in the non-Fox press talking about studies that show children are less likely to get Covid and less likely to transmit it. Here is one published last month in Nature. Web Link I suppose Nature was influenced by Fox? Were the American Academy of Pediatrics influenced by Fox when they made their recommendation that kids go to school? Was the New York Times influenced by Fox when they published this interview yesterday with one of the pediatricians behind that recommendation that helps explain that recommendation? Web Link

The point is that there is a lot of literature and articles out there if you take the time to look for it. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean that person only pays attention to Fox. Let's please take the politics out of this discussion and make our arguments based on the best available information.


S_mom
Community Center
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:38 am
S_mom, Community Center
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:38 am
10 people like this

Does anyone know what will happen with elementary school kids (non kinder) on the days they aren't in school? Will they have distance learning or are they just off?

I think half days would have worked better for elementary, with reduced instructional minutes they should be focusing on basic academics but that's hard to do in full 7 hour days (it looks like they are doubling the required daily instructional minutes into full days, so each full day satisfies two days' worth of required minutes). Kids don't have that kind of focus, which is why normally the school day is broken up with PE, art, music etc. I think the academics would be better with a half day schedule. But, more time to clean I guess with alternating days.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:44 am
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2020 at 8:44 am
17 people like this

@anonymousStanford,
I think the proposal for the middle and high school students is brilliant and if done right with best practices could lead to students both accelerating their learning and having more positive (and safer) social interactions when they are present. Students need social time and making their in person time only for those learning experiences that must be done in person and for focusing on having the most positive social time possible will allow the district to optimize safety and learning.

This could end up being better for the majority of students, including many with special needs, and be a time in which students and families realize their students can both have a great education and lead balanced lives. For many, it’s a chance to learn life skills like cooking a real lunch every day, for example, and on the educational side, it could afford students the time and flexibility to do projects they couldn't otherwise have had/done in school as usual. For this to happen, the district AND families and students will have to move forward with a bit of a pioneering attitude. Teachers are engaging in training for best practices this summer so take heart, I t’s unlikely to be the same as spring. I hope families realize that they will also benefit from understanding how to optimize the educational circumstances, too.

I do wish they made an independent study option available though, so that some students could better customize their learning. Distance learning offers some distinct advantages: efficient learning for the student free of distractions at school, customization for each student, etc. Offering distance learning with the expectation of reproducing the school day would be the worst of all worlds.

Homeschoolers learn quickly that kids can learn school content in a much shorter time span. My kid wasn’t making great math progress in PAUSD schools through middle school In part because of an unrecognized major learning disability but was able to accelerate at an unexpected and far more advanced pace through high school while also having more personal time (even before we recognized the LD) because of those advantages of independent learning.

The district can be very pedagogically controlling so I will believe they break out of what Sir Ken Robinson calls the factory model of education when I see it, and I have serious concerns about how they will create strong online communities when the reason those don’t already exist is their active inclination to prevent those (for unhealthy reasons). That said, if they can get some of those traditional, negative impulses in check, I think the proposal itself could mean great opportunities for students and for improving educational outcomes and environment for many students even high performing ones. I think many teachers could see new ways of being much more effective.

I do think it’s important for families to realize their attitude moving forward will help or hurt whether this is a new step into 21st century education. This can prove to be an opportunity or a compromise, it’s up to you. As a frequent skeptic of the district for good reasons, I think this is a surprisingly positive proposal.


RIP Music Education
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:01 am
RIP Music Education, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:01 am
12 people like this

It is a true shame.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:15 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:15 am
13 people like this

The best available information is that kids get infected just like adults, but a protein in their lungs makes their symptoms less serious than adults, initially. Scientists have no idea what can happen to the virus in their body in the long run. Some believe it could become deadly, perhaps even deadlier than in some adults. They are not less likely to transmit it once it's in their body. One school kid can create a chain infection that infects the entire school population. we are now worse off than we were three months ago, stop with the fantasy that it is under control, it is not.

It seems like only the right wing is allowed to play politics with this catastrophe, but when Fox originated fantasies are debunked, they scream 'politics'.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:59 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:59 am
12 people like this

This was published today, the source is the Miami Herald

Two teenagers have died from COVID-19-related complications in Florida last month and more than 7,000 other children under 18 have tested positive for the disease since the pandemic began in March, according to Florida’s Department of Health.

The numbers are a stark reminder that kids and young adults are not immune to the disease. Of the kids who tested positive, 2,865 were in South Florida.

“Just because they look well, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have the disease,” said Dr. Marcos Mestre, the senior medical director of pediatric services at Nicklaus Children Hospital near South Miami

Children are not at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults, but they can still fall ill with the disease and require hospitalization if the condition worsens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:00 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:00 am
20 people like this

@mauricio. Please post a link to a study or article that backs up your statement about Covid and kids. I am not doubting it, I just want to see it and judge for myself to see if it will change my opinion. I am under new delusions that this virus is under control. I am agreeing with the AAP that the benefits of in person schooling outweigh the risks.

I can find numerous articles saying that Covid is less severe in kids and that kids may not spread it, but I can't find something that backs up your claim. Here is a quote from this May 15 article in the Atlantic.

Web Link

"Until then, the news about children and COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, had been largely good: Kids can get seriously sick, but they rarely do. They can spread the disease, but they do it less than adults. Study after study—in China, Iceland, Australia, Italy, and the Netherlands—has found that children get less sick and are less contagious."

Is that Atlantic publicizing a Fox originated fantasy?

And here is an NPR article that goes into the Nature article I linked to in my previous post. Web Link. Is NPR peddling Fox based conspiracies?

What I am objecting to more in your comments is the implication that anyone who disagrees with your opinion is a Fox acolyte. I am citing articles from various new organizations that a true Fox supporter would object to as liberal or "fake news" to back up my opinion and I welcome something that challenges it as I am not an expert. It is possible to have different opinions without resorting to hominems and to just stick to the facts.


Jason Peery
Professorville
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:05 am
Jason Peery, Professorville
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:05 am
35 people like this

What a shame. If you are more worried about your teenagers being harmed by Corona than you are about the mental well-being of middle and high-schoolers being at home all day with their phones and little to no social interaction for almost a full year, by the time they get back (IF they are back for winter), you are sadly and severely mistaken.


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:05 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:05 am
4 people like this

@mauricio. Sorry, I posted my last comment before I read your last one. Thank you for the quote from the Miami Herald.


Don't deny science
University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:26 am
Don't deny science, University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:26 am
27 people like this

For those of you who are unsure what to believe about how safe it is for kids to return to school:

THE SCIENCE:

Study published in Institut Pasteur:
“there was no evidence of onwards transmission from the children in the school setting.”
Web Link

Study published in Oxford Academic:
“The data suggests that children are not the primary drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in schools and could help inform exit strategies for lifting of lockdowns."
Web Link


Published in Eurosurveillance:
These findings suggest that schools are not a high risk setting for transmission of COVID-19 between pupils or between staff and pupils.
Web Link



Don't deny science
University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:27 am
Don't deny science, University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:27 am
33 people like this

THE ADVICE:

American Academy of Pediatrics
“the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.”
Web Link


Santa Clara County
“'In-person instruction is essential.”
Web Link


PAUSD Parents:
More than 3/4 of PAUSD parents want their kids to go back to in person school.
Web Link


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:36 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:36 am
4 people like this

Here is the link to the Miami Herald article that @mauricio quotes. As Mauricio quotes, there are 7,000 confirmed cases of Covid in Florida since March. That is out of 152,000 confirmed cases in Florida. The 7 teenaged deaths in the past month compare with over 1000 total in Florida in the month of June I pulled the total cases and the June deaths numbers from data in the New York Times as it is not in the Miami Herald article.
Web Link


Frustrated Parent
Gunn High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:39 am
Frustrated Parent, Gunn High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:39 am
42 people like this

If PAUSD had actually educated my child in the spring, I might have some confidence in this distance learning plan, but the spring months were a complete joke. This just smacks of giving into the union that didn't want high school teachers teaching in person.


Paly Parent
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:39 am
Paly Parent, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:39 am
40 people like this

So disappointed. Did anyone ask the high school students? The kids were optimistic about even 2 days in person. What a cop-out. Yes, there's a strong chance that we need to go online in the future, but can the kids at least get a start to "see" their teachers and make a mental, emotional and social connection? Starting off in person, while the weather is clear (outside classes?) would greatly help these kids feel connected and that the adult community supports them.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:43 am
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:43 am
16 people like this

Here you go:
Here’s the latest about Covid from Florida: Infants and young children are rapidly catching the coronavirus and increasingly ending up in the hospital this month, according to an analysis of data from the Florida Department of Health. Since June 1, more than 1,100 children ages 4 and younger have been diagnosed with the coronavirus — accounting for 70% of the total cases in the age group.
While more testing has been opened up to younger people this month, emergency department visits and hospitalizations have dramatically increased in June. More than half the total reported emergency department visits for the state’s youngest have come this month. And 40% of the hospitalizations of children up to 4 have come since June 1. Florida hospitals are reporting about 34% capacity of their 620 pediatric intensive care unit beds, according to Florida Agency for Health Care Administration data Friday afternoon.
[Portion removed.]


Clara Drivers
Midtown
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:48 am
Clara Drivers, Midtown
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:48 am
25 people like this

This is quite baffling, Dr. Cody says students should be in school (with proper precautions), the state legislature is passing a law that tells schools to offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible unless a local health official does not allow it, the AAP agrees, and the parents of Palo Alto want it. It seems that PAUSD's main argument is that it's just too difficult to implement. Apparently it isn't too difficult for Menlo-Atherton, which is implementing a hybrid model. I suspect once we hear about other nearby school districts, they also will be mostly implement the hybrid model. I'm most disappointed that middle school students will have no in person learning at all for the foreseeable future. I have a sixth grader, and he and his classmates will suffer if this moves forward as planned.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:04 am
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:04 am
17 people like this

The data coming out of Florida proves that children get infected by covid, even if they are not the main transmitter of the virus. Some even die, and they can, and do, infect others. We are not in Europe, we are in a much worse place due to the mind-blowing incompetence of the federal government and some states aligned political with it. Children are at risk, as the increasing hospitalization rates in states like flora prove.

Those who think that children getting bored at home are worse off that being infected by covid must live in an alternate universe in which less testing means less infection.


SportsMusicArts
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:06 am
SportsMusicArts, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:06 am
4 people like this

What will be the status of sports, music, arts, etc. at the High School level? Will basketball, swimming, cross country, band, orchestra, all resume in some way?

Is everything paused?



Jonathan Brown
Ventura
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:11 am
Jonathan Brown, Ventura
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:11 am
23 people like this

PAUSD is failing our kids if it doesn't modify this plan. Santa Clara County is recommending reopening of schools, including for middle and high school grades. PAUSD's plan doesn't just "diverge" from the county's guidance, it contradicts critical aspects of it. I'm looking forward to hearing more this evening, but here are some snippets from the County that I am not seeing reflected in PAUSD's proposal:

"We know that distance learning is not an equal substitute for in-person education," Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools Mary Ann Dewan said during a press conference on Tuesday. "We encourage the implementation of an education model that recognizes that in-person instruction is essential to supporting the academic and social development milestones that are crucial to academic progress."

The County's Plan, Web Link, recognizes that education is an essential service, that school closures can exacerbate inequities, and that "[d]isruption of normal childhood social interactions also have a profound adverse impact on students’ social and emotional well-being."

Kids in our district have actually died due to lack of social and emotional support. Have any died of COVID-19, particularly when taking the recommended precautions? The County's report notes that middle and high schoolers are better able to follow guidelines on hand-washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing, yet we're telling them not to come into class physically while telling the younger kids who are worse at all that to do so? It's backwards. In short, PAUSD's plan for remote-only learning for middle and high schoolers would do more harm than good. Give a remote option for parents whose kids have medical support to stay home, but offer in-person learning for the rest of us, please.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:14 am
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:14 am
18 people like this

Of course 3/4 of parents want their kids back in school during a global pandemic in PA. Let’s all return to normalcy immediately. It’s the normal thing to do. They placated the 3/4. The teachers will be in danger now thanks to the very vocal 3/4, but the virus is here unfortunately and it’s coming for the 3/4 also back into their homes. All those little web links don’t mean anything in the 2nd inning of a Pandemic. It’s a fluid situation. Not to mention children might have been shielded from the virus because of initial school closures so we really don’t have a full picture. The pediatricians article is so irritating that you and other parents have it so you can use it as your ammunition to try to prove your point. The pediatricians take temperatures and don’t understand the novel virus. Just like church settings, and schools in other countries that tried to reopen and had to shut back down due to Covid, it will happen here. Finally, if you really believe that it’s all safe for the children, the children won’t get Covid or drive the disease, and things should go back to normal during a global pandemic, let me remind you they won’t be doing daily testing so what if a staff member brings it in to the classroom and unknowingly infects the children? In my opinion doors will open for a week or two, and then shut again do to Covid. This isn’t a little cold or flu. It’s causing strokes, long term lung damage, and mass death. Please go into the classroom first to prove your science.
It was pointed out it was dangerous to be in a room with high school students. Stop the anti-union obsession. If you have posters pointing to the science, and that is your backing then you can’t have it both ways or any way YOU want. Things aren’t normal right now. Make the needed adjustments and stop complaining.


Sally-Ann Rudd
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:17 am
Sally-Ann Rudd, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:17 am
14 people like this

First of all the proposal doesn't say there's no in-person school for middle/ high for the whole year, it is just starting off that way with the first check-in September 11 to see if the kids can go back to school.
Schools reopened for elementary and middle school equivalent in the UK in June (the school year goes through mid-July) and only 50% of the kids who were eligible to go back actually went back. How would the district cope with 50% of kids refusing to go back to school without a robust distance learning model? Especially considering 25% of Palo Alto parents in a survey answered by 3000+ families stated that they would not be sending their kids back to school in the fall. The community is split right now on whether they would send their kids back to in-person school and the district is right to acknowledge that, whatever you may think is right for your kids.
Finally I have a special ed student who thrived with distance learning, although I doubt they learned the breadth of the curriculum had they been a school in-person, distance learning was a revelation: no distractions, no competition, frequent breaks, later wake-up time, more self-pacing etc.
Of course the kids should be back in school if it can be done acknowledging risk to teaching staff, on-campus adults and the fact that high school juniors and seniors are really walking around in adult bodies, not child bodies. But I am pleased the school district is working to create a robust distance learning model, if that's what they are doing. I hope the teacher's union comes along and works hard to amend teacher contracts so they can get on with it before the school year starts.


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:36 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:36 am
16 people like this

@John Hicks. Who is saying that things will be or should be normal? Why do you keep saying that the people who want schools to offer in person education don't take the virus seriously or believe that the virus is gone? If you actually read the AAP guidelines, they are calling for flexibility and realize that things must shift.

"School policies must be flexible and nimble in responding to new information, and administrators must be willing to refine approaches when specific policies are not working."

"It is critically important to develop strategies that can be revised and adapted depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and throughout the community and done with close communication with state and/or local public health authorities and recognizing the differences between school districts, including urban, suburban, and rural districts."

All I am saying is that there is a trade-off and I am guessing that most of the parents who wish that PAUSD would offer more in-person instruction would agree with me.

For the record, neither of my daughters is going to public school in the fall. One daughter's school is offering 100% in person attendance with cohorts, health checks every day, and various physical spacing while allowing teachers and students to opt out and go remote. All classrooms will support remote learning. My other daughter's school is offering 50% on campus and 50% online every day (younger kids on campus in the morning and older kids in the afternoon), cohorts, health checks, and COVID testing while again allowing students and staff to opt out of going to campus. That school is starting two weeks early and starting Winter Break at Thanksgiving (similar to many universities) thinking that the chances are good the virus will get worse later in the year as experts predict. I wouldn't call what either school is doing anything close to "normal", but I would say that they show flexibility and trying to do what is best for their students.


chris
University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:39 am
chris, University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:39 am
6 people like this

The students can demonstrate they can behave responsibly in the small groups first.

If they show they can be trusted to behave, the sooner they can get back to attending class in person.


Sports first
Evergreen Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:41 am
Sports first, Evergreen Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:41 am
11 people like this

Given that sports are now holding "socially distance" workouts, it will be interesting to see if they will allow the fall sports, football, cross country, girls volleyball, etc... to hold competitions. How ironic would it be if high schoolers were not allowed to attend class due to close quarters, but were allowed to dog pile on top of each other, run next to each other and play indoors together?

Will the board continue to hold virtual board meetings?


Secondary Teacher
Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:55 am
Secondary Teacher, Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:55 am
32 people like this

As a teacher and parent in the community, I'm pleased with the plan for three main reasons:

1) Clarity is coming early. The majority of districts STILL don't know what they are doing in the fall, which is absurd for such a unique, complex roll out. At least the PA community knows what we're doing for August, since it's already JULY!

2) By starting out slightly more conservative, we at least lessen the possibility of having to reverse course as we work towards returning to "normal" school. We see that government leadership at all levels are making this up as they go along. Making "recommendations" at the federal, state, and county levels is a way to pass the buck of ultimate decision making to local leadership, so they can bear the brunt of blowback. We could follow more liberal "recommendations" in August, only to have them dialed back soon after. It is easier to keep the change flowing in one direction: towards a normal school experience. States like Florida, Texas, and Arizona, caved to public pressure too early and too robustly and had to reverse course. Having to dial back after re-opening is inefficient, unsafe, and demoralizing. Finally, consider the virus becoming potentially more lethal again when it conflates with the common flu in the fall.

There is a VERY persuasive case for added initial caution, slightly beyond what is "recommended." Our health officials got the initial scope of the crisis completely wrong and then blundered along by not recommending universal mask wearing early enough. It makes sense to show precaution slightly beyond "recommendations" given our health officials' recent, poor track record with "recommendations." We are taught to see America as a great democracy, but this pandemic has shown we have a system about as great as India, Brazil, and Russia (next highest infection and death rates globally)...places that are great DESPITE their governments, not because of them.

3) School staff learned from the spring and we can do distance learning MUCH better in the fall. I read lots of criticism of the spring distance learning model ["disaster" I think it was called by those prone to hyperbole], but it was never designed to be a long term solution...actually it was never designed...We will have a clear synchronous component and attendance will be taken in the fall. That didn't happen in the spring. Also, students will be held accountable with letter grades. The majority of kids in PA do the work for the love of learning, but a healthy sized segment will always work to the lowest expectation. This is just the nature of the age. Parents, teachers, and district leadership must take responsibility for the "disaster," but kids who opted out of work when the roll out was first presented as "optional" and grade accountability was lowered to credit/no credit need to as well. I think we'll all do better this time around, because we'll all be more prepared thanks to improved communication from district leadership and adequate planning time. The addition of PAUSD+ to offer support to kids who simply don't do the work for whatever reason is GREAT! This will be Distance Learning 2.0 and it will be vastly improved, though not as great as face-to-face instruction.

Now if we could only get our community to be a little more positive and supportive. These drastic changes don't feel good for anybody...everybody is harmed, but the changes are to prevent DEATHS. I know two people who have experienced loss of loved ones from this virus and I'm not even on social media, so I don't have 1,000 "friends." While less prevalent than in other communities, the virus DOES exist in ours in a very real and potentially devastating way.

Anger is exacerbated by having been cooped up and isolated for an entire season, but remember that these changes are TEMPORARY, even if it feels like we've been in this situation forever (seriously, how long ago does March feel!) I know all the angst is caused by devotion to one's own children. I just ask that people be supportive. Safety matters most, but logistics matter too. Other districts might be promising a hybrid secondary model immediately, but they're probably doing it for the wrong reason: following "recommendations" by the county that were made broadly with safety in mind, but no sense of practicality: financial cost, time to implement plan, etc. That's why they were presented as recommendations...because the county is not responsible for the efficacy or practicality of those recommendations. Efficacy and practicality matter, but some districts will adopt "recommendations" before really considering these. They might assume that "recommendations" can be implemented, only to find out later, that they can't. We've already seen this in the re-opening and re-closing of certain businesses that followed "recommendations." I trust the Board and PAUSD Leadership in their assessment that a secondary hybrid model will be logistically complex and require more than the month we have left to plan for it. That distance learning also happens to be safer as well with older students who are more likely to spread the disease during flu season makes it the logical starting point as we look to incrementally move back to "normal" school throughout the year.


Parent
Greenmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:58 am
Parent, Greenmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:58 am
6 people like this

I think that there are too many teachers who doesn’t want to go back to work because what they have been doing at spring was far away from working.
They should take strict measures and reinvent f2f instruction, but in person instruction should be a right for kids, they need it for their wellbeing.
Let’s balance mental and physical health. Pausd is not doing that right now, they have just accepted what teachers have asked: that it is safer and more comfortable for them to stay at home.
I have started to consider moving out from Palo Alto. My kids need to go to school and to have contact with peers.
I would suggest other possibility: let’s stay online for the whole year (as proposed) but let’s cut more than half of the jobs (secretaries? Teachers?). The good thing of online is that you could support a lot of students with less teachers. Does it what we want? Would teachers still think that online is the best solution for everybody?


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:02 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:02 pm
18 people like this

The reason the virus has made such a robust comeback in California is because beaches, bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen too soon due to enormous pressure on the governor. We shouldn't make the same mistake with our schools. Children are not immune to covid, they get infected, they infect others, they sometime have to be hospitalized, and tragically some of them die.


Teacher
another community
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Teacher , another community
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm
22 people like this

John Hicks is my hero. Going online was truly the only viable option for secondary schools. I believe most high schools in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are going online. The ones who are still planning for in person or hybrid will likely be closed before too long. This is our reality and while it stinks and none of us like it, parents should stop griping and start figuring out how they can support their students and teachers. Because this is a long hard road for everyone.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:14 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:14 pm
11 people like this

For the second consecutive day, California broke a record for the most coronavirus infections reported — 8,610 cases, according to The Times’ tracker — another troubling sign that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in communities across the state.

It was the second time the state has recorded more than 8,000 cases in a single day.

The percent of coronavirus tests coming back positive in California continues to rise — hitting 5.95% Tuesday, a Los Angeles Times analysis found, up from 5.28% a week earlier, and 4.45% a week before that. That’s another indication that disease spread is worsening.

This is happening because we reopened too soon due to the immense pressure from the greed sector. We must be insane even talking about allowing children to go back to school at this stage of the virus running amok and all levels of government losing the battle against it.


Parent
Greenmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:15 pm
Parent , Greenmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:15 pm
10 people like this

Not reopening schools in person (with a good and different perspective) would me left a lot of kids behind.

Palo Alto seems to be the unique district proposing this kind of approach. It would probably mean that lots of families are going to left Palo Alto and look for another place to raise their families.
It will probably mean that the enrollment rates are going to fall down dramatically and it would affect budgets and jobs.
Teachers could object to go back to work but parent could choose to move and find another school district.
All around the world schools are reopening. We should focus in the better way for reopening not question if we are going to reopen or not...


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:39 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:39 pm
30 people like this

Children have survived the Nazi death camps, the Stalingrad siege, the Armenian death marches, the Ruanda genocide, etc. The notion that they are incapable of withstanding a few months in multi million dollar homes, eating Whole Food and Trader Joe's food, watching high definition very expensive flat screen TV sets and playing with their iPhones and Mac Book pro laptops is ridiculous.


Messifan
Ventura
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Messifan, Ventura
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:39 pm
6 people like this

Referring to places hundreds or thousands of miles away is just annoying. We have very high mask compliance and do little dangerous work. That is why the SCC test positivity is under 2% (Web Link), as compared to like 7% nationwide and much higher in national hotspots. But that includes county hotspots to the south (according to Cody) that are not Palo Alto where there is basically no disease in the community. (There was before SIP, but not now.) We can say no in person schooling until there is 100% effective vaccine or treatment but I think waiting that long is crazy.


Jimmy
University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm
Jimmy, University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm
6 people like this

I can see an argument if our state numbers were doing better, but we aren't doing a good job and things are getting worse. We played it loose with other parts of opening the state up and it's bitting us in the butt right now.

This plan is a starting point and it will be adjusted accordingly. Hopefully it will only be until January. The kids will be okay with distance learning; they aren't going to have long term social or mental issues from this.

This isn't a straight educational decision. Health and safety is still a major concern and can't be ignored. We are still in the middle of a pandemic and people are acting like it means nothing.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:53 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:53 pm
7 people like this

Roy M-First, I don’t know where you are sending your children to school but what those schools are doing sounds way safer than what PAUSD is set to do. No daily temperature checks? No masks for elementary students? Cmon.
2nd-I am not aiming my posts at parents that have good hearts and just want their children educated. So don’t take it personally. You have parents here completely ignoring staff health and even demanding a full return in the fall. I mean...cmon.
3rd-if parents backed an IMPROVED distance learning model for a dangerous fall and winter in 2020 in the same demanding way, everyone would stay safe. 3/4 want to open the doors during a dangerous pandemic? Really? Please take a look at the bigger picture for once.
4th-Finally, the AAP quotes are all based on a false pretense that schools CAN be nimble and responsive when they’ve been doing the same thing for years and years. Any mistake can lead to very quick Covid spread and possible death.
This just in from Newsom.
#COVID19 continues to spread at an alarming rate.
Effective immediately, 19 counties must close indoors operations for the following sectors:
- Restaurants
- Wineries
- Movie theaters & family entertainment
- Zoos, museums
- Cardrooms
Bars must close ALL operations
This includes our county. If all of this had to be shut down AGAIN? What do you think will happen a week or two after the school doors open? I think you can draw a pretty obvious conclusion.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm
4 people like this

"We have very high mask compliance and do little dangerous work. "

Those were some of the excuses given for reopening the state too soon, and the result are seriousspikes in the number of infections. Palo Alto is not an island and it is not special. Being irresponsible will bring about what irresponsible states like Florida are facing now.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:16 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:16 pm
9 people like this

[Portion removed.] You are another one that mentions School openings in other countries but FAILS to mention the almost immediate school shut downs even when they seemingly had the virus more under control than we do here. Please google Victoria, Australia school shut downs-Coronavirus case in teacher sees Victorian Government shut primary school amid jump in new cases. [Portion removed.]


Thank you PAUSD
Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:27 pm
Thank you PAUSD, Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:27 pm
20 people like this

I am glad and relieved to have this plan for high school. Teachers can focus on one kind of learning and they have ample time and training to come up to speed. Teachers won't have to worry about getting sick from their work. Students will have a drama-free education, even when their peers or their own selves get quarantined or sick. Students and their parents can expect quality teaching. There is extra support for at-risk kids.

Thank you!

I hope that my fellow parents are committed to supporting our teachers and our students through this difficult time. If we stay strong and flexible and together, we will all learn a lot and build a stronger community.


Concerned Parent
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:32 pm
Concerned Parent, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:32 pm
10 people like this

Here is what I am wondering about. This is given that each school district could devise their own plan, taking into consideration recommendations by the county health officials. We are in the Bay Area, on the Peninsula at that. We literally have the best weather imaginable. Every single school in our school district can accommodate half of the school, easily, being outside, 6' apart from each other while outside. Why not try that out for a month or two? Have half the school outside, another half inside (or, perhaps, remote). Yes, children will be distracted at first, but then it will become the norm and they will adjust, that is proven. It would be far less damaging psychologically, and would certainly benefit greatly as far as education is concerned. Yes, it will require some logistical adjustments. Yes, biggest problem is being away from the sun - but that could be very easily solved by pulling up tarps over the fields. And yes, we will have another heatwave in August or September, no doubt, but given that in the previous years kids were in school during heatwaves in small classrooms without AC (in our school for sure) - this would be no worse. We know for a fact that outdoors transmission is far less common. Why not think outside the box? Look, I want my kid in school, for his mental health and mine. I am less concerned about educational aspect to be honest given that he is in elementary school and I know I would be able to provide him with resources needed to close any gaps (I am fully aware that I am very privileged, and not everyone has this opportunity, but having some structured schooling is better for every child). But I want my kid in school safely. I am personally a high risk, I have elderly parents I would like to hug sometime before the end of this year, and we have neighbors that are elderly, immune compromised, diabetic, etc. Given our geography - why haven't anyone considered this solution?


Mr.Recycle
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm
Mr.Recycle, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm
13 people like this

@mauricio: 2 children died out of a pool of 4.25 million under 18 over a 5 month period. That's a stark reminder of how low the risk is. 408 kids drowned in their pools in Florida last year. 14 died of the flu. Please, let's have a calm risk assessment here.


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:49 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 1:49 pm
6 people like this

If the kids go back to school the risk is not low anymore, it is high. Staying away from school is what saved many kids from getting infected and infecting others, including their teachers, who are older and more likely to suffer serious consequences , even death.


Paly mom
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:08 pm
Paly mom, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:08 pm
15 people like this

Our family is so angry after reading district email yesterday. We thought our kids could go to school for 2 days a week, now is ZERO. PAUSD is doing the one size fits all decision again! They don't provide options to high and middle schools families. There should be options for in-person or online based on your family's decisions, just like the elementary. District is ignoring the mental health for the teens. Given the history, PAUSD don't change things in the middle of the semester. So the Sept 11 evaluation, is just a lip-service.
I'm going to write an email to Don Austin, [email protected] to complain. I need to do something even it might be help.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:20 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:20 pm
11 people like this

Well the science says HS students will spread Covid. If you and this group use the science to back up your assertion to tell us if/when schools should reopen then you have to follow the science. You can’t bend the science to have it “YOUR WAY.” Also, nothing the district would have done would have pleased or satisfied most of this group anyway except for possibly pretending the virus isn’t here, acting like a global pandemic isn’t currently happening, and opening schools up fully. Newsom just toggled back reopenings. Sorry, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Please look at the bigger picture for once.
[Portion removed.]


Inconsistent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm
Inconsistent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm
12 people like this

I'm confused. Why is it ok to send elementary students to class, but not secondary students? Are elementary students and teachers easier to replace when they get sick? Does PAUSD know something about the virus that no one else knows?

Some people are congratulating the district on how wise they are in keeping secondary students at home, but what about the fact that they're also calling in elementary students.

@Mr. Recycle - Maybe 400+ kids died in pool accidents in Florida last year (it was actually in 2018), but none of those kids died because they caught the "drowning disease" from their friend.


Secondary Teacher
Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:56 pm
Secondary Teacher, Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 2:56 pm
7 people like this

@ Concerned Parent,

Assuming a middle school class size of 28, we'd need space for 14 kids (1/2 the class). Keeping 6 feet apart, we'd put the kids in 4 rows of 4 (last row has only two students). Mitchell Park is 20 acres, so we could put all of JLS there, but there are a few things to consider: Some kids will be up to 24 feet from the teacher as well as some of their classmates. How to we supply any electricity and/or wifi? Where will kids sit? On the sopping wet grass that the city daily turns into a wet soup? How will teachers display lessons? For someone with such creative, outside the box thinking, one would think you'd be flexible enough to just go along with what was decided by our district leadership ON A TEMPORARY BASIS!


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:00 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:00 pm
13 people like this

Well, angry mom, we are facing now a period of several months of a 1,000 deaths per day due to the corona virus, and you are so upset your kids can't go to school. Do you know why we are facing now the disaster of a thousand deaths per day? Because we are ruled by the "It's nothing" crowd, which you apparently belong to. We already had enough examples from other advanced societies like Australia where reopening schools resulted in their re-closure because of the high infection and virus transmission rates.

I said it in an earlier post: Kids have survived Nazi death camps, Armenian death marches, the Luftwaffe bombardment of London, the Ruanda genocide and numerous other catastrophic events, and Palo Alto kids can survive a few months of sheltering in multi million dollar homes, eating food purchased in Whole Food and Trader Joe's, watching tv shows on high definition 65 inch tv sets, and doing social media stuff on their iPhone 11s and Mac Book 13 Pro.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:10 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:10 pm
7 people like this

It’s simple. First, they bent to parent demands. Next, they are promoting the media hyped fallacy that elementary kids don’t get or spread Covid, or are “spared the worst effects.” It’s very early in this pandemic to jump to any conclusions about Covid effects on children. Even Fauci stated that. What if U.S. children were spared the worst effects BECAUSE the schools closed in March? A lot of unknowns here. Also again, what about the school staff? Finally, while it is probably true that younger children likely would have more trouble learning on the computer and handling their academics online and would do better with in person instruction, they are also opening elementary schools to support the economy reopening so parents can drop their kids off like normal to get the free child care while they head off to work.


Don't deny science
University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:15 pm
Don't deny science, University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:15 pm
9 people like this

It is too bad when these comments, which start out as interesting thoughtful conversation, are taken over by a few people entrenched in their views insulting anybody that disagrees with their misinformation.


COVID is not that serious
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:16 pm
COVID is not that serious, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:16 pm
13 people like this

If you think COVID is not that serious, but you agree it is contagious, then you should agree that this is still the best plan for secondary schools. Here is why.

Because the disease is contagious, parents and kids and teachers in Palo Alto will get it. We are already seeing our numbers increase over the past few weeks.

When people get it they will be quarantined. Their contacts will also be asked to quarantine until they get a test result. That is because the County thinks COVID is serious, even if you don't.

That means that both teachers and students will be cycling between in-class and out-of-class, unpredictably. Entire classes will cycle when a student or teacher in the class tests positive.

It is very hard to teach and to learn in that kind of environment. 100% distance learning provides stability and gives teachers the most time to develop a workable curriculum.

While you may not think COVID is serious for your family, some teachers do find it serious for theirs. They will do their jobs better if they are not worried about the disease every day at work.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:21 pm
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:21 pm
5 people like this

The district plan didn't say there would be no in-person anything for middle and high school student, it said the interactions would be much more targeted to where it's necessary for learning, such as labs, and to where it's most helpful to giving students positive high-quality in-person social interactions such as clubs. In the latter case, they will be far better able to focus on good hygiene to maintain those interactions safely.

This situation not only gives students more control of their time, it focuses on giving them all higher-quality in-person social interactions. And it helps protect staff and teachers to the fullest extent possible except for ending in-person school all together. This can be a really great opportunity if families partner in making it so.

As for "If you are more worried about your teenagers being harmed by Corona than you are about the mental well-being of middle and high-schoolers being at home all day with their phones and little to no social interaction for almost a full year" -- I hope you appreciate the role that school, as it was, had in creating that stressed out screen-dependent kid. This is an opportunity to really change that.

Your complaint comes across as an attitude that school is your kid's day care and that technology companies and the brain-hacking they do are all your kid's and their school's problem to solve. And also that teenagers can't learn to be self-directed. I'm actually not as critical of your concerns as it may sound, I am critical of the idea that this is some apocryphal reason to overlook the very sound reasons to do a lot of distance learning in the fall, and the ways that distance learning can be an opportunity.


Multi Generational Household
Midtown
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:24 pm
Multi Generational Household, Midtown
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:24 pm
4 people like this

Is Santa Clara requiring any ongoing testing of staff and students. I heard not and that doesn’t make any sense for the safety of all of us. My niece teaches at a private school and was told that their insurance company doesn’t want testing.


SL
Charleston Meadows
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:26 pm
SL, Charleston Meadows
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:26 pm
2 people like this

@ secondary teacher, why should we accept and go along with a plan you and everyone know is going to be TEMPORARY and change to something else after damage is done? Right now would be the time to keep all students and staff safe including elementary, middle and high schools and come up with a good online education plan. Even though that maybe temporary, I am sure we can sustain with a better remote learning until we are exactly clear about turn of events regarding the virus. Right now with this particular plan from PAUSD, elementary kids and staff are exposed everyday at school and older siblings of these elementary kids who are in middle and high schools are exposed everyday at home because there is someone leaving the house to get in person education. Finally, none of us are safe.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:31 pm
3 people like this

[Post removed.]


mauricio
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:39 pm
7 people like this

According to Kristine Moffitt, and assistant professor of pediatric medicine at the Harvard Medical School, since testing for the virus has been limited to this point, Moffitt believes that a majority of infections in children and teens are going undiagnosed.

“Right now, testing is being prioritized for patients who meet criteria for high risk of more severe infection,” she said. “Since the large majority of pediatric patients have relatively mild infection and symptoms, most of them will not meet criteria for testing.”

The theory that children are mostly immune to the virus is an unproven myth at this point. We don't have nearly enough data to give this theory any credibility. Those tiger parents who push for schools to reopen are literally putting their kids health in jeopardy, and risking the lives of adult teachers and staff. Kudus for the teachers union when it is is trying to protect the teachers from such parents.


Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm
Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:42 pm
36 people like this

I know there are hard feelings on both sides but I firmly believe this is the right and only realistic decision for the high schools. SO -- let's stop attacking one another and get down to the business of TRAINING US and SUPPORTING US and ASKING THE DISTRICT WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO SUPPORT US as we reinvent our jobs and can actually do a good job 40 days from how. It is not as simple as recording your lecture from last year and posting it on the internet. Most good teachers don't lecture much anyway. So tick- tock, people -- we have to start preparing. Help us get ready instead of tearing us down.

And, once school starts, help us by keeping your kids healthy and safe from this virus, give them a dedicated work space, and stop bashing their teachers and complaining about how this is useless. I worked 10 hour days every day in March and April, delivered more than I was required to, just to have maybe 6 out of 25 students show up for my Zoom classes. In addition to all the factors at play which are already taking a toll on student motivation, I suspect that when parents are complaining at home, it lessens student motivation even more.


SL
Charleston Meadows
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:53 pm
SL, Charleston Meadows
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:53 pm
2 people like this

@ teacher, that's exactly what some of us are pushing for now. Training for teachers and supporting teachers better to do their jobs safely and effectively. Added burden now is that elementary is required to be in person. That splits the workforce and creates confusion as to who is responsible for what in fall. Same teacher who conducts in-person is responsible for A/B groups distance learning when they are not at school, or are there going to be designated teachers who conduct in-person or distance learning only? Hopefully the district does not assume that giving us un safe environment of 2 days/week in-person would be sufficient in all for elementary because there is a clause in the Superintendent's email that mentions "In-person instructional minutes will meet or exceed the established state standard" I wonder now!


SL
Charleston Meadows
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:10 pm
SL, Charleston Meadows
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:10 pm
2 people like this

Milpitas School District just decided that they are going to start Distance learning for all for the first month in August and depending on the situation will be transitioning to Hybrid later. Cautious plan, appreciative.


Staying Young Through Kids
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Staying Young Through Kids, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm
8 people like this

It would be a "must read" article if @PaloAltoOnline would put together a clear chart comparing 20 or so local school districts and private schools to compare their plans. The private schools have fewer students and more resources (and no union contracts), the different counties have different standards and different educational boards. The public districts have their own strengths like more space and real estate options.


Staying Young Through Kids
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:13 pm
Staying Young Through Kids, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:13 pm
14 people like this

And...Why aren't we using Cubberly? Teaching outdoors? Putting up HUGE tents for teaching on playing fields? Move to trimesters to break the year up a bit more? Put kids in a single cohort that takes all the same classes? That could reduce exposure to a max of just the size of the cohort. Get creative!!!!


Roy M
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:25 pm
Roy M, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:25 pm
5 people like this

@John Hicks. Thanks for your words to me. I've been scrolling through several hours of comments and I get where you are coming from.

By the way, check out this 5 minute interview of Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard by Jake Tapper on CNN earlier today. It starts with a discussion of a small Swiss study that implies that kids do spread the virus more although the conclusion to that is that the sample size is too small (only 23 subjects). The takeaway is that communities need to control the outbreak for schools to open safely. I hope that most people on this discussion would agree.

Web Link


cmarg
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:11 pm
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:11 pm
2 people like this

I really need them to explain what
"Synchronous components"
means in the following.
Why isn't it ALL synchronous like most schools in the nation did for 4th quarter?

Middle and high schoolers would receive grades in the fall and all schools and classes would follow an established schedule with synchronous components. The schools will take attendance daily.


Data
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:24 pm
Data, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:24 pm
7 people like this

How many confirmed cases in Palo Alto so far? It's so hard to find the data. It was only 57 cases in April. It maybe double by now. Fortunately it's still low because most people wears masks and keep distancing. We are not the problematic areas like LA county, jails and senior housings. PAUSD should keep the options to open the middle and high schools for 2 days a week. Mental health is very crucial to teens. Families should have a choice to keep teens online or in-person learning like elementary schools.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:37 pm
4 people like this

No problem Roy M. Good luck this year! I hope everything goes well for you and your children this school year. Also, great find on that web link.
[Portion removed.]


Concerned Parent
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm
Concerned Parent, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 5:44 pm
4 people like this

Dear Secondary Teacher - first of all, I am just throwing out ideas, and I am very sorry you took it so personally and negatively. I am going to do all I can to support our teachers and our schools - on a temporary basis - and while the spring has been extremely difficult on our family, I completely understand the teachers tried to do their absolute best under absolute worst of the circumstances. And I am forever grateful to my child's teacher. But all in all, remote schooling did not work for us. It also didn't work for 3/4ths of the other kids in the class. I am a very much involved mother who volunteers at school. I also work full time. In order to make sure all my company's remote employees have a job during this hell, while making sure my child gets schooling he needs (which required me to basically supervise and help him in every assignment he had from school), I ended up with severe sleep depravation - 3 months with 3 hours of sleep a night is a serious health hazard. I am happy to say my kid is healthy, reasonably happy, and while learning substantially less then I would like, is progressing in his education; I did not lay off a single employee so everyone gets paid. And while I am fine paying the price I have to pay for all this; I am disappointed that other options are not looked into. WiFi and micorphones could be solved - we are in the middle of Silicon Valley after all - every kid has an electronic device they can use - so projections are solvable too. Again, I am sorry I made you angry. We are all grateful to the teachers.


Esther
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Esther , Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:04 pm
9 people like this

105 positive cases in PA per the county dashboard today. It’s low but still concerning as that number keeps increasing daily and is based on 1)# of people tested, and 2)schools, gyms, indoor dining, etc are not open. Open schools with in-classroom options and we will see more cases. Granted, we can’t live in fear but the alternative is too risky of an option without a vaccine. There is not enough viable data around this virus to make long term predictions, it’s too fluid and even science is stumped on how this virus impacts those infected from week to week. We just don’t have enough data at this point to not rule out any worst case scenarios. I have a 40 year friend who successfully recovered from Covid-19 but keeps suffering different systems every few weeks- anything from breathing issues, tingling in her back, legs, swelling in limbs, hands quivering randomly, to losing her train of thought mid speech. This virus is scary. Until there are options for vaccines (yes, we need more than 1), reopening in any capacity is going to cast a shadow of risk on the entire community. Lots of intelligent people here, please don’t underestimate this virus. This virus isn’t leaving us, we have to learn to live around it safely for the time being. Hit the pause button and error on the side of caution while we wait for a vaccine to be able to safely “fully” reopen. Elementary and middle school kids are too young and just don’t have the discipline to be compliant with social distancing and hygiene guidances. I have 3 kids in that age, I know they can’t be left to sort this out on their own without me constantly hovering over them to wash their hands, telling them to not touch their face, etc. Can’t imagine what they would do at school without me there to keep intervening. I know teachers don’t have the bandwidth to teach and act like mom at school for everyone. As for the high schools- they should be able to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines, that group should have more in-classroom options in my opinion.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:19 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:19 pm
20 people like this

This just happened for the “everything back to normal” crowd here:
More than 40 school principals in the South Bay have been told to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. The exposure happened at an in-person meeting called by the Santa Clara County Unified School District. An attendee who didn't have any symptoms at the meeting testing positive for the virus just days later.
Who knows? When you have a potential Covid outbreak at an in person meeting to try to get things back to in person instruction maybe that should be a warning sign to not try to go back to in person instruction.


Community Advocate
Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Community Advocate , Fairmeadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm
12 people like this

It’s time for police union reform & teacher union reform. These unions hold way too much power and they influence decisions which have negative impacts in our communities. Students, parents & community members need to stand up for our rights & demand reform.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm
19 people like this

[Portion removed.] You are an external stakeholder, and decisions should be left to the professional educators. But of course you have the right to disagree with those decisions. You also have the right to move your child to another institution if you are not satisfied with whatever is on your mind today. What possible decisions are they making that effect you so deeply? Also, if schools/district “let the PA parents run things because the PA parents so obviously can run things better” the inmates would be running the asylum. There is no way a public school can or should be expected to possibly meet the diverse needs/thoughts/ideas of every parent. If you live in PA you quite possibly make 3-4x as much as the teachers do so the anti-union stuff tends to come off very poorly. It reeks of the wealthy begrudging the working person their livelihoods. Sorry if the unions give hard working people a collective voice and some personal protection. In reference to Covid, the union is likely trying to stand up for the health and safety of staff as I type this, you know, so they don’t potentially die of Covid. [Portion removed.]


Palo Alto HS Parent
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Palo Alto HS Parent, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2020 at 7:56 pm
11 people like this

Everyone knows this is difficult. But, the zoom board call was sad. This is a terrible decision by PAUSD. They are happy to find themselves in the middle of the pack of all of their peer districts? Don't lead? I have no faith the kids will go back if we allow them to start 100% distance learning. They did not take the latest health guidelines into account when making this decision? Did not use science but instead made decisions as educators? Also, PAUSD + means kids who have "needs" (as the superintendent originally indicated) will have the most access and be prioritized for in-person instruction. This is reverse discrimination. Every taxpayer should be treated equally. We need to prioritize everyone. We need to prioritize mental health. We need in-person instruction and education.


Anon
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:06 pm
Anon, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 1, 2020 at 9:06 pm
2 people like this

Poor kids seem to always have uncertainty in this district. Adults need to tell them it will be ok instead of being bumbling and saying it is complicated. Have fun with personalities and look for other things to do of interest and try to let your kid pick it.

Don’t worry about online or off. Do the work but really try to have your kids focus on reading actual books. Tons of them and not online. This is the year for every kid to read as many books as they can . biographies sci fi non fiction any book they want in a comfy chair with a cup of tea. Read the same books and have fun work on human motives, critical thinking and better vocabulary and deeper understanding of people . This group needs this now .

Know that no grades are permanent and do not really count until ninth grade or 7 and 8 th if you push in a language or find an alg from a-g class. ( the district math will not count as hs probably. This is a great opportunity to fool around and have time to get really good at something rather than being a puppet to rubrics.

I would like to see the schools have accredited independent study tied to textbooks only and portfolio projects instead of painful zoom with their outdated power points and disconnected quizlets all the kids just cheat on anyhow


Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:38 pm
Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 1, 2020 at 10:38 pm
27 people like this

Let's stop bashing the union. The teachers union had nothing to do with this decision. We were told we could not take a leave of absence and had no options other than to resign by June 30th. The district refused to extend the deadlines. The union has been pushing for a discussion of safety and agreements around safety and the district instead wanted to talk about bell schedules and instruction minutes. We certainly didn't even have the opportunity to say, "Online, or else!"

This decision to go online was made because it was the only logical, reasonable, safe, practical option for a school with 2100 teenagers who we now know DO spread the virus, with a staff that is much more at risk than the students are, with a chronic substitute teacher shortage, in a county that is currently on Newsom's watch list, heading into fall semester with flu season, and in the middle of a budget crisis.

We have declined the raise we were legally entitled to, we have worked tirelessly to TRAIN OURSELVES how to use Zoom and virtual whiteboards and recreate our jobs, and I am a little shocked that so many parents vehemently resent our desire to stay safe and not catch the virus in exchange for their preferred method of instruction and their convenience.

I am tremendously relieved and grateful that the Board made this decision -- they may have just saved me from a long illness (which we don't have enough sick days to cover, by the way), lung damage, or worse.

So you can be disappointed (we all are) but you can't blame this on the teachers or the union.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:14 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:14 pm
3 people like this

[Post removed.]


chris
University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:45 pm
chris, University South
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:45 pm
4 people like this

The high school kids are pushing the viewpoint that they are responsible enough to vote at age 16. Let them show they are disciplined enough to learn remotely.

If they can't adapt to the current situation, they are definitely not mature enough to vote.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:48 pm
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:48 pm
5 people like this

"I know there are hard feelings on both sides but I firmly believe this is the right and only realistic decision for the high schools. SO -- let's stop attacking one another and get down to the business of TRAINING US and SUPPORTING US and ASKING THE DISTRICT WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO SUPPORT US as we reinvent our jobs and can actually do a good job 40 days from how"

That was from @Teacher, and I just want to ask people to listen. This is an unprecedented situation, but the teachers are TRAINING to be effective at distance learning, and this fall is going to be a different story from the spring.

I don't have any reason to be supportive of the district, we had to leave because of truly reprehensible behavior by administrators (and even teachers who probably didn't know the extent of the hurt they did because they believed the administrators who were retaliating), and we had to figure things out without any of the resources everyone will have now -- and I can tell you, your child can get as good or even a much better education this way, if you become a supportive partner in making it so.

The district is training the teachers to deliver education according to best practices. They are going to make it possible for the time students spend together in person to be high-quality time.

The teachers are working hard and this is an imperfect situation. They can only do the best job for everyone if everyone accepts that this is a new and unusual situation and gets on board with making things as good as they can possibly be.

When we ended up in this situation, there was a part of me that had a lot of trouble NOT suing the district. They were just so arrogant about what they had done, and thought they had somehow kept us from having strong proof or records to sue them by blatantly flaunting records laws and lying about it, which actually only left a stronger paper trail of their misdeeds. People in the homeschooling community told us that we couldn't do an effective job homeschooling if we were stuck in the negatives of why and the traumatic experiences we had all gone through, especially our child. We had to proceed as if we had chosen the independent education. At first I didn't get it, but I listened and that's how we proceeded. In the end, I had to admit that we would have kept trying to make things work at school, and that in the ways our family needed the district to be upstanding and decent and lawabiding and reconciling, that was never going to happen no matter what we did. We would never have left if not for how evil they were. I'm not saying that it was okay that they did that (or legal), or that we aren't still dealing with it emotionally, or that it wouldn't have been better if we could have done the independent education with a trustworthy collaborative district partner, but I am saying that as imperfect as things were, the willingness to do things differently in the face of the imperfection resulted in our child having a superior education and becoming far better prepared for life. If not for what happened, we never would have even realized the serious deficits from school. On the cusp of high school, as I've said before, we had a kid who was clearly really smart, who was not doing well in school, and who was on a horrendous treadmill at school with no personal time yet unchallenged, and who could barely print like a 3rd grader because of an unrecognized major learning disability and was never taught cursive or to keyboard. Teachers were telling said kid to quit all the amazing things outside of school to focus on school -- that homeschooling not only allowed, but allowed more of, with far more academic content, advanced work, and success. My kid, who is profoundly gifted but led to believe dumb in school, would have been an emotionally scarred kid with no future if that had continued in high school.

So, believe me, I am no Pollyanna about the district. But I also know that there are many good teachers, and that they are embracing the imperfections of the situation and trying to make the best of it, and that what comes of it could be even better than what was if everyone lets it. I also know that your kid's best teacher is themselves, and this setup can help them realize that. I also know from essentially having been there, yet without all this support and resources everyone has now, that kids can get a superior self-directed education with less time, in a distance-learning and partial on-site situation as is being proposed here, and that if parents and students get on board and really embrace it, they can make it something unexpected and amazing.

Students learning to be self-directed and less dependent on external direction will help them in college and life in ways they would otherwise not realize they needed until they got to freshman year in whatever fancy college they got into (and became one of the many who come home after freshman year and attend CC because of being burned out from high school and unprepared to go to college in ways they didn't realize).

None of us knows what the fall will bring. The frightening thing is that new infections are hitting a younger demographic. There is always the possibility, that it becomes more virulent in that population and, like in 1918, comes back around and hits those in the prime of life hardest. Take a look at the first lung transplant of a Covid patient who was 20 years old with no known risk factors, and what it did to her lungs (doctors posted a photo of one of them), and at least have the decency to think about the risk to teachers and staff, many of whom are in existing risk categories. It's just not necessary to put them at risk to deliver a high-quality education, and they are in the process right now of learning HOW.

This is not forever, and I can tell you unequivocally from seeing all the kids who homeschooled and took time to travel or get involved in passions, or who deschooled for months, that this amount of time does not have to set them back, if people look at it in the right spirit.

Look up the ranking of Stanford Online High School, by the way, if you want to know whether you can get a high quality education through distance learning. It's ranking higher than either of Palo Alto's high schools. Spend sometime yourself understanding how the circumstance could be an advantage and how that would best work for your child if you had chosen this. If you understood our history fully, you would know just how little reason I have to say this, but everyone should not only give the district a chance, everyone's attitude moving forward can make or break what happens next. For the sake of all of our children, please make it a safe, healthy, and productive season.


Chris
Palo Verde
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:55 pm
Chris , Palo Verde
on Jul 1, 2020 at 11:55 pm
13 people like this

Sounds awful, kids should be in communication. Distance learning provided by our teachers was awful, low quality. The education should be in campus.
And in situation while private schools keep open, what is the reason to close public. It’s like pushing people to go to private, but not all have such possibilities. Looks like lazy teachers just want to stay at home, get salary and provide 15 min zoom meeting per week.
School district make student not to get education but just walk around and do nothing. Student should be busy on campus. Other way it can lead even to increase of criminal.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:14 am
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:14 am
11 people like this

[Portion removed.]
More than 40 school principals in the South Bay have been told to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. The exposure happened at an in-person meeting called by the Santa Clara County Unified School District. An attendee who didn't have any symptoms at the meeting testing positive for the virus just days later.
Who knows? When you have a potential Covid outbreak at an in person meeting to try to get things back to in person instruction maybe that should be a warning sign to not try to go back to in person instruction.
[Portion removed.]


Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:22 am
Teacher , Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:22 am
12 people like this

Meanwhile, a mere 14 miles away...

More than 40 Bay Area school principals in quarantine after in-person meeting Web Link


Teacher
Community Center
on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:23 am
Teacher, Community Center
on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:23 am
8 people like this

I am sad of reading John Hopkins comments.
I assume that you are also a teacher in pausd but you are not doing any good with the kind of tone that your are using.
The pandemic is not over and we need to be cautious. I think that we all agree on that.
I miss my students and I know that we have failed them in spring, but it was not easy. I know that the number of hours of zoom classes were not enough (in my case 1 hour per week) and I understand why some of you are angry. And it is not the same for high, middle or elementary students. Elementary students need in person instruction because they are not mature enough for studying by their own, but high school should be.
We have failed our students because anyone question if Costco or Bank of America is giving a good or bad service online, but it is not the same with education. All of us have failed.
Education is an essential service and we should be able to delivered online (ideally in person when possible) but we have failed. I understand why parents want to risk their kids going back to in person school, because online learning was a big failure.
Obviously it could be improved, private schools are doing it but for that you need a clear guidance and we don’t have it. I know that it is not popular to compare our schools with private schools but we should! Because we need to be compare ourselves with the best! We probably would need to close again the schools at some point next year and we have not a solid and good online program.
I was researching on my own and I finde that there are tools and ways for kids interacting within in smaller groups for team projects for example. I think that we need to reconsider the whole education that we are offering to our kids because we are failing.
I know that my opinion is not going to be popular but even when I think that schools need to remain close, I also think that parents have the right to be angry because we are failing our students.


Parent
Barron Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:33 am
Parent, Barron Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:33 am
17 people like this

I think that we are missing the point.
Parent have the right to ask for a good education for their kids because are paying the salaries of the teachers and the staff with their taxes.
In a private school they pay tuitions and they receive a good online instruction. In PAUSD as it is paid by taxes, we receive 1 hour a week of “live” instruction.
I hope that governor Newsom would take into account the kind of education that the schools are giving to their students when he had to cut budgets.
Nothing is for free and the budgets of the schools are going to be reduce in a lot of ways. In our case families are leaving Palo Alto because rental prices are high and tech companies no longer requiere to go to the office. On top of that we seem to be one of the few school district providing only online approaches for middle and high school students. Online approaches that have been proved to be a complete failure in the spring. It would mean that people are going to look for private schools or for another school districts.
Or we think on that seriously or the problem is going to be really bad in term.


Another Paly Parent
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:02 am
Another Paly Parent, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:02 am
16 people like this

@Mauricio, @John Hicks, @Teacher,

Obviously, with Covid-19 there are no guarantees, only cost/benefits, risks, and mitigations. As with driving a car, flying an airplane, or walking down the street, it is impossible to guarantee that nothing will happen, only to weigh the risks and tradeoffs.

Most scientific organization are now recommending that kids go back to in-person school (read Web Link for an interview from the American Academy of Pediatrics, typically a very cautious organization on topics related to kids' safety). The science is now saying that masks cut infection rates by 80%, that children tend to be less infectious than adults, and that most infections in school are occurring between adults, not between children and adults. While kids in high school may not follow distancing guidelines 24 hours a day, it should be possible to enforce mask wearing in classrooms.

If you made the case previously, that we should "listen to the science", have you now changed your mind about whether science is believable? With more than 10M cases worldwide, we now have enough data to understand more about how the virus spreads and its risks, and we can move beyond anecdotes.

Grocery workers, dentists, and certainly health care workers have made the decision that their function is important enough to justify the risks. So when specifically (in numbers, not anecdotes) would you feel that the benefits of school outweigh the risks?


Russ
Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:45 am
Russ, Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:45 am
6 people like this

I have a daughter in elementary. We did enjoy the distance learning. We spent more time together. The school did a great job teaching them before the shutdown. For us, it was mostly practicing what was already taught. The combined efforts (including distance learning) were also effective at reducing the virus transmission rate, so I wish they don't push kids out of school for choosing that option. Of course, the more options they give parents, the better.
"The district will ask elementary parents to choose a hybrid or distance-learning model by mid-July. In November, families may switch out of distance learning and return to school but their students will not be guaranteed a spot at their home school."


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:51 am
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:51 am
5 people like this

@ Teacher, Thank you for your honesty, and also for your hard work and concern on your students' behalf. I want you to know that many of us out here support what you are doing, support the district's plan, and believe our teachers can make the fall a success.

@Parent,
Public school is not like your car dealership. Parents have the right to ask for a good education because that's the purpose of the school and because the state Constitution has educational and fairness guarantees, the district makes promises in their vision, the federal government has laws, etc. You are not a customer at a car dealership, though.

This is not about what you pay in taxes, for a whole bunch of reasons, you don't have any legal rights because you pay a lot in taxes. I pay a lot in taxes, too. In fact, I had to pay more for your kid to go to PAUSD than I had to homeschool my own when the district made it too toxic for my kid to remain and my kid had to take charge of their own education. In fact, if you are renting, I'm probably paying a lot more than you, because your high rent doesn't necessarily translate to high tax payments because of Prop 13. Your landlord may not be paying very much in taxes depending on when they bought the property, and even if they are, because of Prop 13, they may have been underwater despite your high rent for a long time. They will still be paying those property taxes even if you do leave.

Related to the simplistic carrots and sticks incentives, our district is a "basic aid" district meaning if they lose kids, their funding is basically the same. So they had every incentive to treat my kid like trash to "encourage" us (and other special needs families) to leave because of a special need they don't want to accommodate. (Which ironically in our case, if they had, the facilities would be healthier from an infection standpoint for all the kids and teachers now.)

The point is, your past experience and even my past experience do not prevent our TEACHERS from LEARNING best practices and creating a great online educational experience for the fall. I'm not speculating about that, this article and the teachers posting are telling you that they are engaged in training for best practices for online education. Please support them in that!

Online learning isn't inherently less good, in fact, it can enable a better education. As I pointed out, Stanford ONLINE high school is now ranked higher than Palo Alto schools nationally, and they're ranked pretty high. One of the reaons good online education works is that students can be more efficient and have more control of their time. The educational model here will only do a good job with online learning if the whole community, teachers AND families, adapts to and takes advantage of that. That means YOU have to develop a better attitude.

Teachers are acknowledging that spring wasn't the best. But they are also saying they are training right now for best practices so that they will do a good job in the spring. YThe community's attitude is a part of that.

Let's face it, the childcare aspect of school is important. Even homeschoolers acknowledge this and wish they had options. But that aspect of schooling also creates real risks for teachers and staff, and for the community, in this pandemic.

That has to be weighed in deciding on what to do for younger students versus older ones. Older students can get as good or even better an education through distance learning, and our district is even making it possible to have in-person interaction that is targeted to being the most high-quality interactions for social development and education. The implementation will be important, but they have begun with what is really the best plan they could have, I think.

I get that you are unhappy with your experience from the spring. Teachers are learning to remedy that. (Again, I almost certainly personally have way more reason to be skeptical of the district than you do.) But teachers didn't cause this pandemic, they are trying to do their best to adapt, too.

Teachers didn't instantly become online educators, prior to the epidemic, our district I would say aggressively avoided doing a good job with independent education for, say, kids whose health needs didn't allow full time attendance. Families were notoriously unhappy with "home hospital" and the school at Packard and the district's talk-to-the-hand attitude about improving things, and the district was notorious for its favoritism in independent education. So when the pandemic hit, the district and the teachers had not only zero experience doing a good job at that kind of collaborative educational arena, they had a culture that rejected the whole paradigm of working that way. The teachers didn't cause those policies, and the community did nothing in the face of them, either. Who cares if the way the district is running independent education for special needs kids so badly that they can't learn, it's just someone else's special needs child, right?

I would hope you and other critics would understand why it's important for the district to become a place that collaborates to solve problems in the course of life for all children, including special needs kids, because it makes the district more flexible and dynamic, better able to solve unexpected problems, and better at providing the best education possible for every child no matter what.

And I hope the district appreciates that cultivating a more collaborative (rather than top-down) culture would have made this transition much smoother, effective and less vulnerable to due criticism. Among other benefits.

But they ARE appreciating the need to improve the online education experience, because they are training hard to do that now.

When my kid started homeschooling, we didn't have the income for tutors or expensive private classes (like SOH). It was difficult to take the APs, including that our local district wouldn't take outsiders even those paying taxes here. And yet, my kids was able to do advanced work in math, science, social studies, the arts, that would not have been available in school. My kid was able to accomplish things that many adults struggle to achieve in their lives, and that would simply not have been possible in school, in fact, teachers were discouraging our child aggressively. Online education was an important part of our child accomplishing what was a much better education on a shoestring.

These next few months can be a time when the innovative spirit of this place finally takes hold in the educational model and all students AND school faculty benefit. Or it could be a limping along. A lot will depend on the spirit of everyone involved, including you, in the community. This is a good plan. Please support the faculty to make it work, and speak up where it can work better. But don't just throw stones because it's not perfect. The circumstances are not going to be perfect. It doesn't mean good learning can't take place, if you let it.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 11:03 am
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 11:03 am
5 people like this

@Another parent,
"With more than 10M cases worldwide"
You can't seriously compare what's going on in this country with other countries. Germany with 83 Million people has had 9,000 deaths when I last checked and the US with 320 million people, about 4X the population, had 125,000 deaths, more than 10 times. You can look at parts of east Asia with a similar population of 300 million that combined have had 2,000 deaths. Gross mismanagement combined with selfish political motivations to divide the nation nationally will continue to be a factor here that make for unique challenges and risks. More and more infections are occurring among young people, and there is no precedent to say that it won't become more virulent. If anything, national politics are creating a petri dish to ensure it does if it's going to.

@Russ,
You bring up a really important emotional benefit of this interlude, which is improvement of families bonds which really fray from the intensity of school and lack of clear boundaries between the school day and home time. There is the possibility for people to realize that a great education does not have to come at the expense of personal and family time, but everyone has to be involved in making that happen. I've heard homeschoolers say that homeschooling changes the fabric of your existence, and I've witnessed how much closer families can be because of it. While what everyone is doing is not homeschooling, your post touches on that aspect of homeschooling -- when students have more control of their educations, time, and lives, they are able to develop family and interpersonal relationships in a way that they couldn't even conceive of when they were running the treadmill of school.

Making the best of a bad situation -- that's innovation. I hope everyone is able to get over the past to innovate together, with improved family relationships, better pedagogical methods, more flexibility, and more effective educators. It's going to require the community to be more supportive of what the teachers are trying to do now. You weren't happy with the spring? Life isn't perfect, get over it. They're trying to do better now.


Get your facts straight
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Get your facts straight, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm
6 people like this

IMHO, for mental health: there are many out of the box approaches to consider: playing games online, even meeting in break out groups online, may help somewhat? Families could agree to make small groups where 4-5 students are in a "bubble" that rotates which house they meet at? Not ideal, but better than being alone at home all the time, with no structure, no synchronous class time, etc.? Agreed it is not the same as in person, but we can do better than what was done in April, and what is explicitly provided in the plan right now?


Paly mom
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Paly mom, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:02 pm
7 people like this

After listening to the Special Board meeting last night. Most of the parents who had the opportunity to speak up were the elementary parents don't want in-person school. The minority group for high school parents wanted to go in-person. I think PAUSD should reverse the decisions by older kids go in-person and elementary kids go online. The older kids should be mature enough to keep a distance and wear masks.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:09 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:09 pm
11 people like this

@Teacher-I was being sarcastic. Read my other comments here please. It is totally not safe for you to return. Teenagers are not to be trusted no matter what these people say or argue. That one post referencing the Texas teens is an illustration by me using sarcasm that teenagers are not to be trusted. I thought it was pretty obvious I was being SARCASTIC with the example of PONG FEST. I just read this morning some Alabama college teens are now playing “COVID party” games where they try to infect each other purposely. That kind of thing will potentially infect teachers and staff at their jobs. Teens are NOT to be trusted.
[Portion removed.]
Yesterday they had a potential Covid breakout in an in person meeting with 40 principals. If you have a potential Covid outbreak in an in person meeting to try to get things back to in person instruction it is NOT SAFE to go back to in person instruction no matter how you try to spin it with the pediatricians evidence. Sorry.
Finally, in MY OPINION, based on everything that’s been going on in California and in the US, as the pandemic accelerates, it seems to ME the next wave or however you want to phrase it, will be started by this big push to reopen schools. Students will start mixing into the community again and making more contacts. Ultimately, I believe teachers/staff will get sick but the virus will spread into your homes also. Be careful what you wish for.


Martha
Palo Verde
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Martha , Palo Verde
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:19 pm
14 people like this

The idea to open just elementary school isn’t so good, middle schoolers will feel abandoned. Parents from our school started to send emails to Don Austin with ideas how to make it possible for middle schools to follow similar scenarios as elementary. If you have any ideas, please do the same. Or we can If most of you agree with 6th graders following the 5th grade model should we start an online petition and send it to board and Don Austin before the board meeting


Community Advocate
Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Community Advocate, Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:21 pm
5 people like this

[Post removed.]


Kathy
Greater Miranda
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Kathy, Greater Miranda
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:59 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 12:59 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


Bob
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Bob , Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:08 pm
9 people like this

@community advocate

Please don’t lump sum all unions. Unless you’ve been a union member, what experience, other than not getting your way as a non-member/civilian, have unions directly negatively impacted you? Union members vote and have a collective say- like a democracy- some members may agree some will not. And if you see the results of work places not allowing unions, you can google that and educate yourself or read Nickel and Dimed or Maid to start or better yet the classic The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Also, go read the contracts and you will see that working conditions are applicable to this situation and are being negotiated- has nothing to do with power more about “it’s in the contract” and needs to be negotiated. Like a democracy, not everyone will be happy with whatever decision is made but whatever the decision is, we (students, parents, teachers, staff) must forge ahead. Again, as it has been stated over and over: we are in the middle of a PANDEMIC.

Like many issues, teachers and students going back to school is complicated. Yes, some schools, even some teachers delivered what some will consider subpar online learning the tail end of the Spring semester, it’s over. Moving forward we must come to a collective agreement that makes it safe and equitable for everyone. We were all operating in PANDEMIC mode- everyone just realize that, please.

Speaking of equity, are you willing to send your child to school in East Palo Alto? East Menlo Park or Redwood City? On a bus...? If that’s ok for students in those cities to get bussed to schools in PA then it’s ok vice versa, right? Oh that’s right, it was forced upon by the courts....

Oh and yeah, who is most affected during this PANDEMIC? That’s right, low income people of color and hey those students will be going to school with your children! Oh my, still want to wave the equitable card for low income and minority students? Please don’t shroud behind such nonsense to get your way or make a point. Just say you want your child in school and if not an option then this is what I would like to see in online instruction- boom, then all sides can compromise.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:15 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:15 pm
6 people like this

[Post removed.]


Another teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:24 pm
Another teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:24 pm
13 people like this

@ Silver Linings and John Hicks: thank you for your support.

We are not currently being trained. I have not received any training yet. Training is scheduled for the days before school starts which is a bit late so I hope it is quality training. Also it would help if we had a larger technology budget but we don’t.

One key step toward reopening in person should be to replace our outdated and poorly filtered HVAC systems, install windows that open, and increase custodian staffing. Also, no money for that. Or perhaps the district simply doesn’t agree that air quality and filtration should be a priority. We have been voicing concerns about air quality in classrooms for a decade.

We have been set up to fail during these trying times and the parents complaining and trying to imply that they pay my salary and that I am not earning it adds insult to injury. I hope we are given the tools we need to do a better job with distance learning.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:32 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:32 pm
3 people like this

[Post removed.]


Silver LInings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Silver LInings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:35 pm
6 people like this

@Get your,

For someone who self-names yourself as someone who supposedly cares about facts, you apparently didn't bother to read the proposal. There will be in-person gatherings of older students, but they will be focused on the most important educational ones and on the highest-quality social interactions. They seem to be aiming for best of all worlds in a difficult circumstance. I think that deserves praise and support, especially since the teachers are dealing with a completely different professional challenge than they could ever have expected a year ago.

You can choose to be a part of the problem or you can choose to be a part of the solution. The district has come up what is a pretty decent solution.

After announcing that they would have in-person classes, USC has reversed course and is going entirely online in the fall. CSU already made that decision weeks ago. Our district has made a decision and is training teachers to make the best online education they can according to best practices for the older students, and acknowledging that the young ones need time with other young children. That could change, too. But what they aren't doing is sticking their heads in the sand and hoping it will go away when the weather gets warm.

Again, I have plenty of valid reasons to criticize the district, but when they do something right, especially under such difficult circumstances, they deserve support for it.

On the district side, I hope they appreciate that if they were open to a more collaborative culture all along, then families would be your partners (not just the ones you perennially favor, but everyone), and you both wouldn't make as many catastrophic mistakes and wouldn't end up getting this kind of criticism because families would see themselves as partners. Like @teacher above, have some humility about the criticism and your role in why it happens, don't just lambast parents. On the other hand, I hope you can also see the need to give ALL students the responsibility for leadership and organizing events that matter to them, so people learn not to have such unrealistic expectations of everything in life. That kind of learning opportunity would go a long way to helping students understand their role as citizens in a democracy, too.

Teachers: thank you for the hard work you are doing now to make the coming fall the best it can be for our students, and for understanding how to optimize independent education for them. Be healthy, be well, you do have the support of the community.


D
Midtown
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:45 pm
D, Midtown
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:45 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:53 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:53 pm
1 person likes this

[Post removed.]


Thank you PAUSD
Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Thank you PAUSD, Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


Kathy
Greater Miranda
on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm
Kathy, Greater Miranda
on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm
16 people like this

[Portion removed.]

We'd like PAUSD and the teachers' union to give our children instruction this fall and next year. HS and MS students got next to none instruction this past spring.


Silver LInings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm
Silver LInings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm
8 people like this

@ Another teacher,
>>"@ Silver Linings and John Hicks: thank you for your support.

>>We are not currently being trained. I have not received any training yet. Training is scheduled for the days before school starts which is a bit late so I hope it is quality training. Also it would help if we had a larger technology budget but we don’t.

>>One key step toward reopening in person should be to replace our outdated and poorly filtered HVAC systems, install windows that open, and increase custodian staffing. Also, no money for that. Or perhaps the district simply doesn’t agree that air quality and filtration should be a priority. We have been voicing concerns about air quality in classrooms for a decade. "

Okay, that's really tough to hear, because my family's hell began in part because of our bringing forward concerns about air quality, especially in the middle and high schools. I spent my child's middle school years talking to virtually every mainstream environmental health science expert in the country about the science and best practices in environmental health in schools. The administrators and even the PTA parents couldn't punish me enough for suggesting we follow evidence-based guidelines that don't even have to cost very much money for making our schools healthier (in ways that are proven to raise test scores, too), and finding expert resources to help the district for free.

This is important because air quality problems of the type we have in our school (that can be fixed), are known to increase the incidences of upper respiratory infections and viral illnesses. One EPA expert told me that wherever there are schools, whenever they are closed up like over holidays, when they are repopulated, the stirring up of all the crud (in buildings that don't have a good framework for air quality management as ours don't) results in spikes of upper respiratory illnesses. I could go back to letters from the school about how it's already flu season a day after they opened with no evidence of incubation periods or transmission patterns (but strong evidence that students had symptoms from poor air quality). I couldn't even get the district to talk to experts at the California Department of Education. It's like they thought there was some kind of inherent conflict between best practices in healthy buildings and education (when it's really the opposite).

So I'm not surprised at all at your concern that there is no real effort to look at air quality. I am surprised to hear you have been concerned for a decade, because that overlaps my own efforts, which teachers and administrators seemed to be antagonistic towards, despite their health being protected had I succeeded. I hope everyone who has had concerns will have a discussion with the publisher of the Weekly, Bill Johnson, because he has heard other complaints than mine, and I suspect there have been people prior to us who tangled with the district on this issue based on what I learned and also went away bleeding as we did. I have heard from teachers with asthma that was clearly related to school sites, and parent volunteers, who were too afraid to say something, and that fear was probably real with the district. But I can tell you that the publisher of the paper knows a lot about air quality in schools, but needs to hear from those with concerns to consider writing about them. Everything you have brought up is reasonable and what we should do for our teachers, staff, and students, to make the school rooms safest if they are to be repopulated. (I'm kind of wishing they'd just make school outside for now, but...)

As for the training not happening now, that is a huge concern. When I think about the high-quality online courses my child did for homeschool, that's not going to happen from a little training right before school starts. Please tell us, your community, what we can do to get you what you need, training, air quality, and even support so that teachers can undertake this difficult season with a sense of the community's embrace.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:04 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


Name hidden
Crescent Park

on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm
Name hidden, Crescent Park

on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:22 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Community Advocate
Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:12 pm
Community Advocate , Fairmeadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:12 pm
5 people like this

It’s very sad when students & parents are told they should not have voice in school decisions. There are many teachers that want to return to in person teaching because they know distance learning failed, but their voices are being silenced too.

It’s time for police union reform & teacher union reform. These unions hold way too much power and they influence decisions which have negative impacts in our communities. Students, parents & community members need to stand up for our rights & demand reform.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm
5 people like this

I’m stunned at the personal over sharing by at least one parent on this thread.
Let’s stick to the community, institutional, district level.


S_mom
Community Center
on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:54 pm
S_mom, Community Center
on Jul 2, 2020 at 3:54 pm
Like this comment

@Paly mom - whoever happened to speak up at the board meeting, I highly, highly doubt that a majority of elementary school parents want distance learning. It is so hard with that age group, essentially no learning happens without an adult present and actively facilitating. Keeping elementary school kids home is an enormous burden on working parents, the families pretty much have to choose between having a parent working or having their child educated. I bet the people who spoke up have a stay at home parent, incredible job flexibility, or motivated older elementary school kids.

The administration has said from the outset that they planned to prioritize elementary school in-person learning for that reason -- because essentially if they don't, there's a huge risk those kids won't learn.

That said, given the direction we're heading we may all be distance learning anyway. It was so terrible in the spring, I really hope they can improve.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:03 pm
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:03 pm
9 people like this

@Anonymous,
I'm assuming you mean me? Everything I've brought up has been relevant:

-Distance learning is not inherently worse, if done right, it can be better - we lived it, have had both experience with school in the district and independent learning. The district does not have to make decisions about teacher safety based on a wrong assumption that distance learning is inherently worse. Bad distance learning from untrained staff are going to be worse.

-Distance learning should not attempt to replicate the school day's inefficiencies. One of the great advantages of homeschooling is more efficient learning so that kids can have time for projects, their own lives and relationships, more broad or advanced work, etc. Again, learned a lot about that from living it.

-I'm supporting the district and teachers on these decisions, despite having far fewer reasons to be supportive or trusting of ANYTHING the district does than most people. You heard almost nothing about that -- if I wanted to experience the nightmares again, I would unload a box of evidence on the OCR or a lawyer, not here. You haven't heard a tiny fraction of it. Given the mindless boosting that often comes from certain quarters in the parent community and ganging up on any due criticism, I think it was important to share that my support of the district on this is because of what they have decided to do, not because I am one of those favored parents who talks like they walk on water even when they are breaking laws in a way that hurts other people. I will be a critic like anyone else if they mess this up, but I care about our students, community and teachers' lives, like I hope everyone else does, and I think what they had to do in order to do a good job for our students this fall is going to be hard, they've come up with a good plan, and they deserve our support. And that's because of my reviewing the plan and having experience that a lot of others don't that it could be an opportunity, a silver lining.

-Indoor air quality is relevant and @teacher brought it up. From an article in Forbes (one of many you can find now): “Covid-19 Catapults Indoor Air Quality to Top of the List”
Web Link
"While people spend 90% of their time inside [and indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality], indoor air quality has not been a large focus of attention for facilities management and tenants until recently. The coronavirus outbreak is bringing indoor air quality into the spotlight as hospitals work to mitigate the spread of disease and offices, retail, and education facilities are considering strategies to reopen safely and minimize infection.” [note inserted]

-Indoor air quality was relevant before the pandemic, and is even more so now. We had vociferous arguments about funding to reduce class sizes, yet here’s a study published this year of a Los Angeles school district that installed filters in all classrooms because of a gas leak outdoors, and saw such an increase in student achievement directly because of indoor pollutants being filtered (the outdoor proved not to be a problem), it was the equivalent of intensive tutoring for all students or a 1/3 reduction in class sizes across the board. Although this is a pretty stark, clear study, this connection between indoor air quality and student achievement was well-supported by prior research. Our schools have indoor air quality problems and it doesn’t take a lot of digging to figure that out. A correlation between indoor air quality issues (of the sort we have here) and student absenteeism, asthma, and even infectious diseases (including viral ones) is well-established in environmental health research. Relevant again.

If you find it scary to deal with the implications of what I am sharing, you are free to ignore it as the school district did. I will not be bullied into silence. We all get that a lot of people want things to just go back the way they were, but this time, studied ignorance could be deadly, especially for our teachers.

I very much hope some of the teachers who are posting will share how we, the community, can help them get the training they are promised NOW, so they can do the best job for our kids in the fall as possible, and they can be safe, do a great job in partnership with district families, and don’t have to endure more criticism about how they are doing things less well than other districts. This is truly an opportunity, if everyone lets it be.


Another Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:06 pm
Another Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:06 pm
10 people like this

@ Silver Linings: I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I think overall the district is overwhelmed and the constant turnover of school site admin and district office staff, combined with CA's underfunding makes it hard to make progress.

I wish I knew what needed to be done in order to address air quality -- there is bond money set aside for HVAC work at Paly but I was told it was years away on the schedule. Now while campus is empty I wish they could get the work done early. Issues of campus safety have always been slow to be addressed or dismissed in my experience. But the air in several buildings at Paly is notoriously dusty and not properly circulated, and looking at the ceiling vents leads one to believe they are rarely if ever cleaned.

I hope I will be given the technology tools and education I need to make the district's plan for "robust" distance learning materialize. I truly do. I also hope that parents are able to accept our reality and support us instead of criticizing us and complaining which only makes our job more difficult.

Again, thank you for your support.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:09 pm
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:09 pm
4 people like this

"...saw such an increase in student achievement directly because of indoor pollutants being filtered (the outdoor proved not to be a problem), it was the equivalent of intensive tutoring for all students or a 1/3 reduction in class sizes across the board. "

Sorry, here's an Edweek article you can read about it with enough information that you can hunt up the original study:
Web Link


Anon
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm
Anon, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm
2 people like this

Will the district expect teachers to use sick days if they force teachers to meet with children and staff in person? It seems like a mess.

What do the parents do that have to work . Do people really think kids will be doing any work if classes are not on schedule with roll taken and participation documented? Tic tic and mi d craft or us history lecture?


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:39 pm
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:39 pm
7 people like this

@Another teacher,
Thank you so much for the kind sentiments. Thank you for speaking up about the training not happening yet, the plan makes it sound like it's starting now. Do you think there would be funding or personnel issues to starting it in July?

As far as knowing what to do to improve air quality -- there are frameworks for indoor air quality management designed specifically for schools that have been researched and shown to work to improve health, student achievement, and reduce district liability. An effective framework involves a "walk through" with stakeholders (like teachers, parents, and students), and ideally an environmental health professional, using well-developed tools to assess the facilities, and guidance on how to solve problems and maintain improvements. One principle is to create questionnaires and feedback pathways so that any time anyone has a complaint, as you just did, or like the middle school student who did an award-winning science fair project about indoor air quality problems in her Palo Alto middle school (that began because of headaches and other typical symptoms she and her classmates experienced in their classroom), that as much information as possible is gathered and any problems (according to evidence-based guidelines) are mitigated. Schools can often fix serious problems without a serious expenditure of funds, the tools are designed to help schools do what they can within their means.

One important principle of effective IAQ managment is that facilities professionals' jobs are NOT to assess whether someone complaining about an IAQ problem is right or wrong, but to rely on those complaints to gather information and keep IAQ good. The EPA has a great series of webinars for school professionals, but they're useful for anyone.

I think teachers are going to have to get together to demand the schools work on improving indoor air quality by evidence-based means, and demand that a trustworthy entity be in charge of it, parents have had no impact and lone staff members here and there haven't either. San Francisco only got an indoor air quality management plan after a couple of students died because of asthma and a big lawsuit, and the lawsuit got them an outside manager to implement. Studies show that if administrators are not on board, the outcomes will not be great. Pushback in this district is generally along the lines of: it's worse elsewhere stonewalling.
OSHA does have a program, if a couple of teachers want to leverage an indoor air quality review, but it's like our national government is broken right now, so I wouldn't personally recommend that route. It's always better to get the administrators on board for something like this anyway. With Covid, and the implications, it really is time. Given the kind of pneumonia and URI's that went around our middle school even among the teachers, I personally wouldn't want you all to return unless things were improved according to accepted guidelines. (Like I said, I'm in favor of outdoor school where in-person is involved this fall.)

The most effective online learning platforms I saw my kid use involved weaving the assignments into a the platform for self-directed work. The CC does this, too. Is the district getting any guidance? Could the people from Stanford Online High School help? It just seems like this is too much to put on teachers to get a little bit of training right before school and not help to integrate their lesson plans into the platforms to make online learning work better for everyone.

One thing I also think is absolutely essential is live synchronous meetings having a second person who monitors chat and technological aspects of the meeting so the teacher can focus on teaching and interacting. That person can also be working remotely. I saw that in action last week, sometimes in lessons that had 75 people or more. It worked.


Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:44 pm
Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:44 pm
14 people like this

It seems some people did not read Dr. Austin's statement thoroughly: data suggests that children over the age of 13 DO transmit the virus to their peers and adults. Teens transmit in a way that younger students don't.

This alone should be enough to validate the decision to bring the high schools online, but if you need more reasons, look at the recent Santa Clara Unified School District meetings -- just meeting to try to figure out how to open schools landed 40 principals in quarantine.

We have to accept it and move toward reinventing our curriculum to work online. It's the only responsible option.


Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm
Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm
2 people like this

@Anon : Yes, I'm sure they will. And we don't have enough sick days or substitutes to cover it.
Just one more reason....


Truth
another community
on Jul 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm
Truth, another community
on Jul 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm
5 people like this

Some of the PAUSD teachers here misled people. Palo Alto teachers union said it is illegal to require their teachers to offer video live or recorded instruction, their words:
“In Palo Alto Unified, the president of the school board, Todd Collins, said in an email to a parents group pressing for live instruction for all students, “Since this law requires individual teacher consent, our understanding is that it can’t be part of a bargaining agreement. That doesn’t mean that many teachers won’t be willing to do it — many, many did during the spring, and we hope that many more will in the fall. But a blanket requirement to do (live streaming) would violate that section of Ed Code.” He sent that email in mid-May.”

Web Link

Same union that resisted Schoology, shame on them.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:27 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:27 pm
11 people like this

@Truth: What on Earth are you talking about?

1. The quote you claimed was their, meaning the teachers union's, words, were actually Todd Collins's words in an email he sent to parents.

2. Nowhere does that quote say that any teachers, much less the union, brought up the law as an issue.

3. The next paragraph of your link states, "..., said Superintendent Don Austin, who said the teachers’ association has not raised the law as an obstacle in negotiations."

In point of fact, the shame lies with you for misleading the public. Truth my foot.


Anony Mouse
Community Center
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:31 pm
Anony Mouse, Community Center
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:31 pm
25 people like this

@Another Teacher - you are so right. We teachers are being set up to fail. The last Board meeting lacked the most important leadership element - real talk. There needs to be a serious push to educate parents. The idea that all students are going to get a full year's worth of learning is a fantasy. The idea that elementary students can get any learning in A/B when they are at home "watching" a Zoom of the live class is a fantasy. The idea that any child is going to be able to hear or see anything on Zoom while their teacher does a lesson in front of the live cohort is a fantasy. Parents: the admin and Board is not being fully honest with you. We're going to try our level best, but be ready. This is not going to be pretty. This is the reality.


Jordan James
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:48 pm
Jordan James, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2020 at 10:48 pm
17 people like this

@silver linings and @another teacher. The district fails to fix the HVAC system yet it manged to push through the new turf on all the athletic fields. And, yes those were given final approval AFTER the schools closed due to Covid.


JB
Midtown
on Jul 2, 2020 at 11:56 pm
JB, Midtown
on Jul 2, 2020 at 11:56 pm
10 people like this

It is 100% clear that the Board and the Superintendent just punted to Distance Learning because they didn't want to put in the effort to make a hybrid model work or they didn't want to fight the Teacher unions. All the data and evidence points to the disasterous impact of having kids sheltered in place for a virus that is an extremely low risk to them. Heck, even the Santa Clara Country health officers -- who have been more conservative that just about anyone else in the entire country on coronavirus -- are recommending to get secondary kids back into classrooms. I'm not sure who this "solution" solves for, but it's definitely not solving for our kids.


JB
Midtown
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:04 am
JB, Midtown
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:04 am
8 people like this

@Teacher -- I suggest that you're the one who didn't read the research. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Santa Clara Country Health Officer recommended getting secondary students back into physical classrooms, in addition to pretty much every other country in the world making the same recommendation and already doing it. Also, the "40 principals in quarantine" is pure fearmongering at this point.....not a single one of them has tested positive for coronavirus and that meeting happened June 19, two full weeks ago.


Silver Linings
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:21 am
Silver Linings, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:21 am
6 people like this

@Jordan James,
I'm pretty sure that there was some really active parent who recognized the problems and tried to help us fix them long ago, probably at the time that Terman became a school again, because the previous bond specifications included all kinds of details that only someone really knowledgeable about IAQ management would have gotten in there, and for sure it wasn't anyone in the district office. Those specifications were mostly just ignored, even when it was no extra cost, and the reason I was told was that they put things in the bond but they're just suggestions, not promises. In my humble opinion, it was a tragedy that that aspect of the bond was not honored. I sure would love to know the history on those. (It's possible the CA DOE facilities people had a role in it but I doubt that's the only reason if so.)

@JB,
If the district goes to what would be a huge effort to bring everyone back, and schools are closed anyway as they very well might be, then the students would lose out. Planning for better distance learning is probably the best focus of resources, if they do it right. The district's plan seems to include high-quality in-person time for the older students like clubs and labs, so it isn't only online. It seems they're trying to minimize the risk of infection and maximize the quality of the in-person time.

When you think about it, a lot of time at school isn't high-quality interpersonal interaction and friendship building. There's a lot of shuffling between classes and time that is basically overhead to the set up, a lot of class time when students are prohibited from talking. Students don't necessarily get to take classes with friends. Students often get higher quality interactions in after school activities and labs. The district's plan is to make those in person as much as possible.

If students can learn more efficiently by distance learning, they may actually have more time for their passions, for projects, and for those kinds of activities. I've read the surveys, a really high percentage of our kids don't have time for things outside of schoolwork. This could be lifechanging for everyone, if done right. I think the district is absolutely on the right track by making in-person time count and having kids work from home for anything that isn't necessary to be in person. This isn't forever.

I agree with the post above that parents need to be educated in what's happening, but not just at the beginning. Teachers may have to be more mentors and coaches, for both students and parents. Everyone is doing something completely new and different, and it will go far better if it's a collaboration.


Anon
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:48 am
Anon, Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 3, 2020 at 12:48 am
2 people like this

Silver linings

Parents that work do not have the luxury to become educational philosophers they just need to be reassured teachers will teach and not make it painful for their kids and them. Kids do not and should not have parents in their business

It again is not equitable for working patents -the rich will still get tutors and have more help with online graded work and tests.


Resident
Downtown North
on Jul 3, 2020 at 3:47 am
Resident, Downtown North
on Jul 3, 2020 at 3:47 am
17 people like this

Does any parent here or at PAUSD community feel like they are being heard by the Board of Trustees or the Superintendent?

Parents are attending and speaking in droves and writing into the Board, and we were only allowed 1 minute to speak at the Board meeting. How scared were the Board members of hearing real feedback to limit the speaking time to 1 minute?

We need to question why the Board of Trustees are Board members? What is their motivating factor when they don't have skin in the game and don't have children in the PAUSD public school system.

What is motivating them to make decisions that impact PAUSD families so deeply and refusing to hear our voices?

Is it a stepping stone to a greater political career at the City Council or County level of Education? Is it for power and name recognition or prestige? What is motivating our Board Trustees and why are they running again this year? Todd Collins, and Jennifer DiBrienza are running for re-election for PAUSD Board again. We need to question how well our voices are being heard and how competent a job they did this year during crises. Was it the bare minimum? Did our kids get a rigorous a learning experience as they should have? Why or why not?
As for Melissa Baten Caswell, she is running for the Santa Clara County Board of Education as she is termed out.

3 current PAUSD Board of Trustee members. We need to critically think whether their positions can be better served by a new person.

As for Shounak Dharap and Ken Dauber, their terms expire 2022. They don't get a free ride from scrutiny and critical thinking either because they too are contributing to this Spring and fall's implementation of education. Attend the Board meetings. See which one has real questions and which ones sit there unprepared and then give praises to the Superintendent. How many soft balls are given and which ones really represent the parent community and ask tough questions and have high standards.

Watch. Listen. And vote responsibly this year.


Resident
Downtown North
on Jul 3, 2020 at 3:56 am
Resident, Downtown North
on Jul 3, 2020 at 3:56 am
9 people like this

If you have come to the conclusion that the 3 current board members who are running again (Todd Collins & Jennifer DiBrienza for PAUSD Board of Trustees and Melissa Baten Caswell for Santa Clara County Office of Education) did not do their best to ensure high quality education, or only focused on one fraction of the students, and failed to serve all the various fractions of students, then voting is not enough. With a free democratic society, it's best to participate and go out and campaign for whom you think is the best candidate.

Be part of the action. Volunteer and help out the candidate that you think will fulfill their responsibilities like their children's current education is at stake. That it's their child who are experiencing everything that parents speak of at the Board meetings. Campaign for the one who will best represent parent and student interests and teachers' interests as well.

Do not vote for the complacent Board Trustee who is not prepared for meetings, and so ill prepared they don't have a list of questions or requests or standards when they come to a Board meeting (we all know which Trustees this past week barely asked questions or flew by the seat of their pants). Don't vote back folks who are not working hard in their position. Make your vote count.


Roger Dodger
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2020 at 11:02 am
Roger Dodger, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2020 at 11:02 am
27 people like this

Regarding returning to in-person learning: the statement that "pretty much every other country in the world making the same recommendation and already doing it" willfully ignores the tragic fact that pretty much every other country in the world is making good, measurable progress in battling this pandemic, while the US and other countries run by far-right and/or autocratic regimes (Russia, Brazil, India) are spiraling into avoidable health care chaos and exponential spread of the virus. Many critics on this forum seem to want to willfully ignore the *global* aspect of this pandemic, the fact that it is most decidedly NOT under control despite the ravings of our lunatic so-called "president," and understand that things are not normal and will not be normal again any time soon. Just because this virus is not affecting your neighborhood today does not mean that it cannot or will not affect your neighborhood tomorrow. There is a lot of cavalier disregard for the health and safety of teachers and staff, and the larger community around this issue. Imagine, if you will, this scenario: school begins again in person. After three weeks there is a positive case in a classroom. According the SCCOE guidelines, that entire class, including the teacher, will be required to stay at home for 14 days. But (in middle/high school) that student has also been in the classroom of 4 other teachers at a minimum, and with a very large (probably 100+) number of other students as well. Technically all of them will be required to stay home. So with one kid you've lost 5 teachers and more than 100 students for 2 weeks. Multiply that by 4 or 5 positive cases in a a school environment and you rapidly have *no one* to teach the children (good luck finding a qualified sub to teach AP Chemistry for weeks at a time), no children in school to teach, and you have to close the school and go back to online learning. And then of course there is the small matter that students/teachers/staff could suffer devastating illness, long-term disability, or just die. Just a small consideration. Remember, *this is not the flu.*

Additionally, to all the critics of the school board who are so upset with the current membership: I assume this means you will immediately be either running for the board yourselves or actively working to support a candidate that you think can do a better job.


Concerned
JLS Middle School
on Jul 6, 2020 at 10:35 am
Concerned, JLS Middle School
on Jul 6, 2020 at 10:35 am
7 people like this

By almost all accounts, the distance learning at the middle school level was not successful. Despite valiant attempts by teachers and administrators to teach, check in, and clarify assignments, there were large failures at every level. Students had a hard time navigating emails, reminders, schedules, classes and assignments. And falling behind was as nightmare, with added stress and confusion. The student version of schoology is different from the parent version, which at least, provides an easier calendar/due dates to follow. I work in tech and the app is not easy to navigate for me, much less for an 11 year old. My daughter lost the social connections that made school enjoyable. With a learning disability and diagnosed anxiety in a normal educational in-person environment, online learning has multiplied my girl's anxieties and virtually eliminated the social connections that are so strongly needed at this age. Why couldn't an optional hybrid model be established?? To me, it seems lazy and irresponsible not to provide a part-time in-school option. What a shame that our children won't be able to have some semblance of near normalcy. I'm extremely disappointed.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2020 at 10:45 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2020 at 10:45 am
Like this comment

I would just like to ask people to stay calm. There are still a lot of unknowns and are going to be throughout this next year. The school board has to decide something. Although I'm generally pretty critical of the PAUSD board, please be understanding now. If you know something that they clearly don't, speak up. But, if you "merely" disagree with how they decided to handle a particularly difficult dilemma, please stay rational. No way is any of this going to be easy regardless of what decisions they make.


McGillicuddy
Midtown
on Jul 6, 2020 at 11:18 am
McGillicuddy , Midtown
on Jul 6, 2020 at 11:18 am
Like this comment

Hi Does anyone have the link to register elementary kids for in person instruction? I can't find it on the website for pausd.org, they don't pick up the phone, and I can't find it among the several pausd emails. However, it seems we have to declare our intention by next week?
Thanks!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.