Town Square

Post a New Topic

Amid ongoing reopening anxieties, school district to provide COVID-19 testing for staff

Original post made on Oct 14, 2020

Starting next week, Palo Alto school district employees will have access to free, biweekly COVID-19 testing to be provided on campus by Stanford Health Care.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 9:38 AM

Comments (8)

34 people like this
Posted by Schools Serve Students
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2020 at 12:01 pm

Schools Serve Students is a registered user.

@ Baldwin: "We have asked our teachers to go above and beyond and they have," Baldwin said. "I just am afraid that the morale is going to get even worse and our mental health of our professionals is not going to be considered. It needs to be."

Teachers doing their job is "above and beyond"? Teacher mental health issues?

That's the problem right there with the Teachers Union. Thousands and thousands of people are back to work, or never stopped working period, doing their jobs. Like the teachers need to do. If testing helps give the teachers peace of mind, great. But this overly powerful teachers union needs to stop with the unfounded histrionics, and teachers acting like they're doing their students a favor by getting back to the jobs they are being paid to do, like the rest of us, a long line of professionals and essential workers working since March who never took breaks and have been supporting teachers comfortable at home this entire time, people who need their kids in school. The teachers need to face the reality that they will have to teach on site at some point, or find another line of work. We can't wait indefinitely for schools to open. We are in the orange tier now, it's been 8 long months, please stop whining. School systems are designed to serve students (which I'm glad Austin has finally stood up to the union and acknowledged), schools around the world are open, and SCC and public health experts around the country say it's safe to get back to school. As of Oct 6, CA top Health Officer has stated there is NO evidence that virus is spreading in CA schools that have opened (thousands of private schools who did right by their students and communities):

Web Link

In terms of mental health issues, it's the kids/teens we need to be worried about (Baldwin's statement about the teachers' mental health, without her mentioning students' mental health, is offensive). Isolation, depression, suicide attempts skyrocketing, a Gunn HS student suicide already. The district serves the students, not the other way around. It's time the Teachers Union and Baldwin wrap their heads around that. Thousands of private school students are back in person in CA, and most students across the nation and around the world are already back in person. It's frankly disgusting to hear the Teachers Union President whining about the teachers mental health instead of the thousands of students stuck at home. It's documented that 25% of young people have considered suicide. The burden of mitigating the risk has fallen squarely on our students.

I'm a teacher. Open PA schools K-12 now. Vote for Board Members who will make that happen.


31 people like this
Posted by Get back to in person learning
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Get back to in person learning is a registered user.

I couldn't agree more about schools serve the students. I'm so fed up with the teacher's union preventing these kids from going back to school. Kids aren't moving their bodies, suffering from mental health issues, not getting school meals, and experiencing vision problems from all their online time. I'm voting against everything thing the teacher's union has endorsed in this election.


15 people like this
Posted by Facts and Figures
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Facts and Figures is a registered user.

If you haven't voted, remember to vote with school openings in mind.

Also, why aren't students being tested on a voluntary basis, even with their own insurance if the District will not pay. We need ON-SITE testing 2x per week for every student who wants it. This is the way to stop a shutdown.

Finally, there still is no mandate to stream home for students in quarantine or feeling ill? Does no one see the problem with this?


34 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 3:32 pm

The Voice of Palo Alto is a registered user.

What a couple of misguided posts above and one coming from a teacher no less..

1. What is all the whining about when the schools are now opened? You got your way and you are STILL complaining. Really great move to reopen during a raging pandemic! Really smart.

2. Blaming the teachers and teachers union for the pandemic is embarrassing. Blame the government. Blame people not listening to the health officials.

3. “Teachers doing their job is "above and beyond"? Teacher mental health issues?”

Yes. You might not be afraid and you might have a different opinion, but some teachers are afraid. So what? Day in and day out, teachers are going to go into work and wonder if they will get the virus and get sick or die, or get the virus and pass it on to a family member that will get sick and die. That’s so terrible of the teachers! You can show some empathy just because your opinion is different! How nasty. They are people too. Here is an example out of Alabama:

Web Link

4. “which I'm glad Austin has finally stood up to the union and acknowledged”
Stop making Austin out to be the “great hero that stood up to the teachers union.” He’s not. In my opinion, he just wanted to be the first to reopen. A great leader would have listened to the majority of parents and the majority of staff that did not want to return. You have the opposite opinion so suddenly “Austin stood up to the powerful
Union.”

5. “schools around the world are open”
I’m so tired of seeing this posted. For the last time, other countries aren’t averaging approximately 50,000 new cases and approximately 1000 new deaths a day like the U.S. Other countries got the disease under control first. What an uninformed opinion!

6. “But this overly powerful teachers union needs to stop with the unfounded histrionics, and teachers acting like they're doing their students a favor by getting back to the jobs they are being paid to do, like the rest of us, a long line of professionals and essential workers working since March who never took breaks and have been supporting teachers comfortable at home this entire time, people who need their kids in school.“

Unions fight for worker health and safety. First, please give up all or any other work provisions provided by the great teachers unions since you hate it so much. Second, teachers HAVE BEEN working online so stating they haven’t is a misinformation. Once the pandemic is under control, parents can drop their kids off since they need it so badly. Not the other way around. Health and safety come FIRST.

7. “School systems are designed to serve students/In terms of mental health issues, it's the kids/teens we need to be worried about (Baldwin's statement about the teachers' mental health, without her mentioning students' mental health, is offensive)“

Another completely misguided statement. It’s NOT the president of the teachers union’s JOB to protect the mental health of the students. The UNION WORKS FOR THE SATFF. The students are not on the payroll. It’s the unions job to backup their workers which is exactly what the president of the union is doing. As far as “schools serve students.” Yes. But it’s also only a job. Teachers aren’t doctors. They didn’t sign up to deal with a deadly virus. Blame the virus and not the frightened teachers.

8. “I'm so fed up with the teacher's union preventing these kids from going back to school.”

The teachers unions aren’t preventing students from returning. They have started returning first of all. Second, it was the government officials that made up these tiered systems. Get your facts straight and stop with the hysterics.

9. “As of Oct 6, CA top Health Officer has stated there is NO evidence that virus is spreading in CA schools that have opened”

This isn’t the “end all be all” of evidence. Great. SOME students have returned with a huge amount of health measures meant to mitigate the risk or spread and some far it has worked. That doesn’t mean when you “open the floodgates” and let ALL students return there won’t be a spread or increased transmission. Also, it doesn’t mean that there haven’t been ANY coronavirus cases in schools, it just possibly hasn’t caused increased community spread. Also, these school cases are being underreported. Oh a quick search and here is a link for evidence of confirmed cases of students and staff(even if transmission didn’t necessarily happen at school):

Web Link

Again, you got your way. Austin reopened so what are all of these hysterics about here? Again, if you don’t like all of the benefits of being in the union and are so against the union, then give up your union benefits. Don’t try to be the “special teacher” fighting with the parents against the “evil union.” It’s embarrassing. Finally, at the very least, have a little bit of understanding for your coworkers who are scared even if you aren’t.


19 people like this
Posted by Former teacher
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:42 am

Former teacher is a registered user.

Whether you worked in an office or at home, I bet you could go to the bathroom whenever you needed. Teachers can’t. Would you feel completely comfortable sitting in a room with 20 unmasked students eating your lunch? I’m not sure I would. I don’t think it is unreasonable for teachers to want a break in the day.

In the Before Time, the normal day in an elementary classroom would flow between whole group, small groups, and individual work at seats. That’s no longer possible, so teachers must totally reimagine their classrooms and how they teach. It isn’t an easy job and I wish folks would try to be a little more understanding.


14 people like this
Posted by Annoyed Mouse
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:44 am

Annoyed Mouse is a registered user.

Thanks @former teacher! Appreciate the support. Hey community, keep in mind that this is the THIRD time since March that we’ve completely redesigned our jobs. This in the midst of a pandemic, with an administration that is mostly focused on PR wins and getting over on teachers. There’s so much more to this his than just “do what you always do, but on Zoom. Teachers are already maxed out and this latest transition has elementary resources going beyond their limits. And, as professionals we need to be patient and caring of our students. There is human cost to this. Morale is rock bottom. Remember the long pause when Caswell asked Austin “what are you going to do about morale?” at that momentous Board meeting two weeks ago? That lack of understanding has a human cost. Our health affects the educational experience your child will have. Brace yourselves secondary staff and families. It is a rough ride. The happy talk PR from PAUSD is not even remotely the full story.


10 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 15, 2020 at 1:05 pm

S_mom is a registered user.

I have been in favor of reopening and giving families choices. But, I do think the first week or two back is/will be stressful for teachers and even more so for administrators. Our school principal looks like she is doing the job of 3 people when checking kids in and out of school. Even over the first three days the process has been streamlined and better though, so I think it will be worked out and feel normal quite soon. I'm not sure more planning could have helped though -- some of it just needed to be tried to see how it would work.

They definitely need to hire people to supervise recess and lunch -- teachers deserve a break during the day!


18 people like this
Posted by district teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2020 at 5:49 pm

district teacher is a registered user.

Thank you to those who support teachers and our hard work. Yes, morale is really low and we are exhausted. When I read or hear that teachers don't care about students or are selfish, I think to myself [and am saying 'out loud' for the first time], "So, teachers are trained to build physical barriers and figure out paths to safety to protect children from shooters with the expectation that we'd throw our bodies in front of kids to protect them [I would], and WE are the selfish ones. Please." I understand that the comments in these threads don't represent the vast majority of families we work with who are kind, patient, supportive, and generous. Everyone else: stop and think about what you are saying or publishing. (Better yet, put yourself into the subsititue pool...)

So, DO and Board, how will you address morale? Good luck to my elementary colleagues. Hang in there.


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

Email:


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.


Get important election coverage sent straight to your inbox daily.

After 10 years, Shalala Ramen to leave downtown Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 13,432 views

Which City Council candidates "get" climate change?
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 3,073 views

Premarital and Couples: I’m not getting what I need. How can I get him/her to change?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,724 views

Family Video Chats
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 717 views

Democracy loses again at City Hall: "Pig in a poke" lawsuit settlement
By Douglas Moran | 3 comments | 713 views