News

Face shields and testing: Teachers union asks for protection, flexibility in working conditions this fall

School district, union negotiating blended schedule for next school year

The empty Gunn High School campus in Palo Alto on April 3. Middle and high school students would go to school two days a week and attend classes virtually on a proposal under negotiation by Palo Alto Unified and the teachers union. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Masks, face shields and testing; more custodians and nurses; and guaranteed pay for any teachers who are exposed to the coronavirus and must quarantine are among requests Palo Alto Unified's teachers union is working to negotiate with the school district for the next academic year.

The district released its first proposal and a counterproposal from the Palo Alto Educators Association on working conditions for this fall, assuming secondary schools reopen with a mix of in-person and online instruction. The provisions, while still under negotiation, also paint a picture of what school might look like in the fall for middle and high school teachers and students. (Planning for the elementary schools is happening separately, with the district working to prioritize more in-person attendance as possible for younger children.)

Under the proposed memorandum of understanding, students at the middle and high schools would be divided into two groups that attend school in person on alternating days — one group on Mondays and Thursdays and the other on Tuesdays and Fridays — and learn from home the other days. In-person classes should be capped at 12 students or fewer, the union has asked.

Wednesdays would be a "blended teacher day" to give teachers time to collaborate, hold office hours, work on lesson planning and to otherwise prepare for the blended learning model. The union asked that teachers be able to use this day at their own "discretion," and that "for deep cleaning and childcare purposes" teachers can also work from home on Wednesdays. Child care should be provided to any staff member who needs it, the union proposed.

Some students with special needs would be allowed to go to school and receive direct instruction five days per week, the proposed memorandum states. The union has proposed that special education teachers also receive their full prep time and not be responsible for distance learning if they have students in person five days a week.

What's local journalism worth to you?

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

Learn more

"Teachers are expected to deliver content to students through a variety of methods during distance learning days to extend learning beyond face-to-face interactions," the district's proposal states. "Recognizing the range of students in grades 6-12 and the diversity of content areas, teachers will make a reasonable effort to replicate the amount of time allocated to lessons in a way that covers essential content during non-traditional bell schedules."

The teachers union has asked that the district delay the start of school in August by three days and use that time for staff development, with training on topics including blended learning, flipped classrooms, Schoology and Google Classrooms. Back-to-school nights should be canceled due to restrictions on group gatherings, the union proposed, and parent-teacher conferences shouldn't be mandatory unless teachers are compensated for them.

A custodian cleans a desk at Palo Alto High School on March 6. The Palo Alto teachers union is seeking more custodians on campus once they return to work in person. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The union is also focusing on protecting teachers' health and safety as they return to work in person. The union is asking the district to provide personal protective equipment, including masks, disposable gloves, face shields, smocks to wear over their clothes, hand sanitizer, hand-washing stations, plexiglass shields or three-sided cubbies for work that requires people sitting closer together, as well as testing for the coronavirus or antibodies. Safety protocols should be created for how students line up, enter and exit the classrooms; lining up for bathrooms; and what to do if students don't follow required procedures. The schools should be staffed with additional custodians and nurses, the union has proposed.

Teachers who are considered high risk for the coronavirus or have at-risk family members and have a doctor's note should be given work from home assignments, such as overseeing distance learning for students who do not return to school physically, the union's counterproposal states.

The union has asked that any teachers who are exposed to the coronavirus and required to be quarantined or who self-quarantine will continue to be paid and not have any days taken from their sick, personal or extended illness leave.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

The memorandum notes that "more issues, known and unknown at this time, remain to be addressed regarding the safety of students and staff as schools reopen," including which students do or do not attend school every day and how interactions in areas like bathrooms and playgrounds will be monitored.

If public health restrictions allow the middle and high schools to resume normal face-to-face instruction five days a week, the schools will automatically revert to their traditional schedules.

The memorandum also proposes that the district and union develop and implement, if permitted at the time, a common bell schedule for all secondary schools for the 2021-22 school year.

The school district and teachers union began negotiations on May 20. They are scheduled to meet again on Friday, May 29, to consider counterproposals and continue negotiations.

The school board discussed Tuesday night a more detailed, draft plan for reopening schools in the fall, though much remains up in the air. The district is also awaiting new guidance from the state on reopening schools, set to be released on Wednesday.

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

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.

Face shields and testing: Teachers union asks for protection, flexibility in working conditions this fall

School district, union negotiating blended schedule for next school year

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, May 22, 2020, 1:06 pm
Updated: Wed, May 27, 2020, 9:32 am

Masks, face shields and testing; more custodians and nurses; and guaranteed pay for any teachers who are exposed to the coronavirus and must quarantine are among requests Palo Alto Unified's teachers union is working to negotiate with the school district for the next academic year.

The district released its first proposal and a counterproposal from the Palo Alto Educators Association on working conditions for this fall, assuming secondary schools reopen with a mix of in-person and online instruction. The provisions, while still under negotiation, also paint a picture of what school might look like in the fall for middle and high school teachers and students. (Planning for the elementary schools is happening separately, with the district working to prioritize more in-person attendance as possible for younger children.)

Under the proposed memorandum of understanding, students at the middle and high schools would be divided into two groups that attend school in person on alternating days — one group on Mondays and Thursdays and the other on Tuesdays and Fridays — and learn from home the other days. In-person classes should be capped at 12 students or fewer, the union has asked.

Wednesdays would be a "blended teacher day" to give teachers time to collaborate, hold office hours, work on lesson planning and to otherwise prepare for the blended learning model. The union asked that teachers be able to use this day at their own "discretion," and that "for deep cleaning and childcare purposes" teachers can also work from home on Wednesdays. Child care should be provided to any staff member who needs it, the union proposed.

Some students with special needs would be allowed to go to school and receive direct instruction five days per week, the proposed memorandum states. The union has proposed that special education teachers also receive their full prep time and not be responsible for distance learning if they have students in person five days a week.

"Teachers are expected to deliver content to students through a variety of methods during distance learning days to extend learning beyond face-to-face interactions," the district's proposal states. "Recognizing the range of students in grades 6-12 and the diversity of content areas, teachers will make a reasonable effort to replicate the amount of time allocated to lessons in a way that covers essential content during non-traditional bell schedules."

The teachers union has asked that the district delay the start of school in August by three days and use that time for staff development, with training on topics including blended learning, flipped classrooms, Schoology and Google Classrooms. Back-to-school nights should be canceled due to restrictions on group gatherings, the union proposed, and parent-teacher conferences shouldn't be mandatory unless teachers are compensated for them.

The union is also focusing on protecting teachers' health and safety as they return to work in person. The union is asking the district to provide personal protective equipment, including masks, disposable gloves, face shields, smocks to wear over their clothes, hand sanitizer, hand-washing stations, plexiglass shields or three-sided cubbies for work that requires people sitting closer together, as well as testing for the coronavirus or antibodies. Safety protocols should be created for how students line up, enter and exit the classrooms; lining up for bathrooms; and what to do if students don't follow required procedures. The schools should be staffed with additional custodians and nurses, the union has proposed.

Teachers who are considered high risk for the coronavirus or have at-risk family members and have a doctor's note should be given work from home assignments, such as overseeing distance learning for students who do not return to school physically, the union's counterproposal states.

The union has asked that any teachers who are exposed to the coronavirus and required to be quarantined or who self-quarantine will continue to be paid and not have any days taken from their sick, personal or extended illness leave.

The memorandum notes that "more issues, known and unknown at this time, remain to be addressed regarding the safety of students and staff as schools reopen," including which students do or do not attend school every day and how interactions in areas like bathrooms and playgrounds will be monitored.

If public health restrictions allow the middle and high schools to resume normal face-to-face instruction five days a week, the schools will automatically revert to their traditional schedules.

The memorandum also proposes that the district and union develop and implement, if permitted at the time, a common bell schedule for all secondary schools for the 2021-22 school year.

The school district and teachers union began negotiations on May 20. They are scheduled to meet again on Friday, May 29, to consider counterproposals and continue negotiations.

The school board discussed Tuesday night a more detailed, draft plan for reopening schools in the fall, though much remains up in the air. The district is also awaiting new guidance from the state on reopening schools, set to be released on Wednesday.

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

Comments

concerned parent
University South
on May 22, 2020 at 1:42 pm
concerned parent, University South
on May 22, 2020 at 1:42 pm
61 people like this

We definitely need to do what it takes to keep teachers safe. But we should put kids back in school full time next year. A recently published epidemiology paper concluded that "Children are unlikely to be the main drivers of the pandemic. Opening up schools and kindergartens is unlikely to impact COVID‐19 mortality rates in older people."
Web Link

My children are having very clear and strong emotional issues with the current situation. (not to mention the actual teaching/learning issues).

At the very least, PAUSD should provide an Opt-in school situation, where teachers and students who understand and have weighed the risks can attend school full time.


Vasyan
Barron Park
on May 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Vasyan , Barron Park
on May 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm
38 people like this

Schools should be in person. Schools should be for kids only, no parents access and take pre cautions. I don’t understand why it’s safe to operate Walmart but school is not safe.


Wuhan Jimmy
Barron Park

on May 22, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Name hidden, Barron Park

on May 22, 2020 at 3:47 pm

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.


Gaston Olvera
Charleston Meadows
on May 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm
Gaston Olvera, Charleston Meadows
on May 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm
17 people like this

I hope they consider having all siblings in a household shall belong to the same group A or B. This way parents can at least count on two days of children going to school regular hours. I understand this is still in flux and more information and studies are coming out every day.

Having said that. Kudos to the teachers and the children who were able to pívot to online learning quickly. There have been challenges but the children have learned some measure of self responsibility during these weeks. I think the play and social aspect of going to school needs to be considered in these negotiations. It’s not all about content learning, test and grades. Social interactions are also a big part of the school experience.


RC
Midtown
on May 22, 2020 at 5:15 pm
RC, Midtown
on May 22, 2020 at 5:15 pm
24 people like this

Why not have group 1 go Monday and Tuesday and group 2 go Thursday and Friday? Wouldn’t that reduce the risk of cross-contamination between the two groups of students?


YP
Crescent Park
on May 22, 2020 at 5:43 pm
YP, Crescent Park
on May 22, 2020 at 5:43 pm
16 people like this

Online studies will be a disaster for the younger kids, the underprivileged and those with both parents working. Online "learning" will have a huge impact on creating further educational inequality in our area.
For those parents out there that don't want to take any risk with your kids please home school and allow those that don't have that chance to further their academic lives. Especially important for K-6 where online learning can never replace what goes on in person.


Pausd teacher
Greene Middle School
on May 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm
Pausd teacher, Greene Middle School
on May 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm
26 people like this

@vasyan, because when you go to Walmart you aren’t there for 6-7 hours in small enclosed rooms with multiple groupings of people. Also, you aren’t legally mandated to go to Walmart, but students are mandated to attend school.


Downfall
Fairmeadow
on May 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm
Downfall, Fairmeadow
on May 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm
44 people like this

The schools & teachers could not even prevent vaping from become very prevalent on HS campuses. I have zero confidence they will be able to monitor and enforce the policies necessary to prevent covid spread.


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2020 at 8:02 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 22, 2020 at 8:02 pm
4 people like this

If institutions like schools re-open, and then proceed provide a constant stream of disposable gloves, free face shields, sanitizing wipes, liquid hand sanitizer to teachers and staff and eventually, all students at taxpayer expense, how will those of us members of the general public, including those in higher risk age groups get ahold of such items!?
Perhaps each household - whoever you are - should be responsible for themselves with respect to these items, whether teacher, staff, parents and their children just like the rest of us out there in our households and working environments!


Sallly
Downtown North
on May 22, 2020 at 9:13 pm
Sallly, Downtown North
on May 22, 2020 at 9:13 pm
66 people like this

Dear Teachers and Admins,

I am a lifelong progressive, so I beg you to please think about serving your students and parents better on their own terms. You are racing Palo Alto towards Charter Schools faster than you realize.

I don't want that to happen, but it may be (sad to say) for the best if we are not able to recalibrate our district. That will be decided by how well PAUSD can change its level of service to our community, top, bottom, middle, and other.

I have commented before that I have multiple friends with kids with learning needs who have left PAUSD because of the disrespect and disservice from admins. Other have left with gifted kids who felt frustrated and held back. Others left with "2E" kids and felt PAUSD was discouraging rather than supporting... sigh....

Please think about this and help convince future generations that A++ levels of effort (from staff) and engagement (from community) and service (for all kids) really can be done through by you.

Otherwise, you will be outdated faster than AOL or My Space were! ... and they both launched in my 60s.

Yours Truly,
An Old Curmudgeon (Maybe) Who Really Wants Public Schools to be Excellent Again


Member
Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2020 at 2:13 am
Member, Adobe-Meadow
on May 23, 2020 at 2:13 am
8 people like this

Any comment that is not fun or critical is contested and parents are shamed for asking for help.

All online instruction needs to be taped . They need to secure phone contact and tape any interaction with students. Foothill has a uniform platform that they should adopt.

Independent study with textbooks would be better for many kids


Current PAUSD Employee
Fletcher Middle School
on May 23, 2020 at 2:48 am
Current PAUSD Employee , Fletcher Middle School
on May 23, 2020 at 2:48 am
16 people like this

How is PAUSD going to implement the Proper guidelines for the Custodians. If the District Custodial Supervisor Position has been recommended to the Board to be cut on the next Board Meeting Tuesday May 26 .. The person currently in that Position has so much knowledge to support the health and Safety of the Students, Staff and Community wrong move PAUSD!! .. Not the right time to be cutting vital positions .. PAUSD is going to become a COVID-19 cluster of exposure to this deadly Virus without the guidance and the proper support for the Custodians from the District Custodial Supervisor they will be left without Training, PPE, Disinfecting Process and much much more.


A PAUSD school district
South of Midtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:22 am
A PAUSD school district, South of Midtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:22 am
63 people like this

I wonder who represents the parent's interests in these "negotiations"....
Does anyone realize that in this crisis the parents are put into a central role to facilitate, even enable distance learning? Why don't the parents have a seat at the table on what should occur?
Is it time to form a "parents union"? If parents' interests aren't represented, then they will move
their kids to domains where they have a stronger say, namely private schools. I see that coming.
Many parents are already upset with their cavalier treatment by the district administration in this health crisis, and their embarrassingly sluggish response and shocking lack of preparation. Combined with the realization that PAUSD's reputation and performance is very overrated and much more dependent on parents' initiatives than most realize, I see dark clouds coming for PAUSD.




Laughable
Crescent Park
on May 23, 2020 at 8:31 am
Laughable, Crescent Park
on May 23, 2020 at 8:31 am
21 people like this

A PAUSD school district
Your comment regarding a parents union is laughable, and only exposes how weak your resolve is. You have to deal with your child's learning for a few months and its time to form a union? There has always been a "parents" union in Palo Alto facilitated by frivolous lawsuits and a revolving door of superintendents. You wonder why the district is the way it is? It has become a liability nightmare because of the parents and their unachievable demands over the years. Just because you paid way to much for your house doesn't change the fact the PAUSD is a public school district. [Portion removed.]


Sally
Downtown North
on May 23, 2020 at 9:08 am
Sally, Downtown North
on May 23, 2020 at 9:08 am
45 people like this

Laughable -- I appreciate you want service for all in great public schools. You and I agree firmly on that. That's what I am hoping we can get back to by shining a light on what is afoot in our community. We might not agree on much more.

In your theory, the source of PAUSD's problems is frustrated and annoying parents. Please do consider how backwards that story could be. Please consider how anti-growth-mindset that is for our district. Growth mindset is considering that a non-trivial mass of parents frustrated with your bureaucracy is likely a symptom of real problems, and you should lean-in to it to learn where you can improve.

......
......

Also, truly "frivolous" lawsuits would be easy to dispense with for a quarter billion dollar per year bureaucracy. Settlement and settlement hits our ledgers because the complaints are usually well-founded, usually to the disservice of students that don't fit the standard mold. .... Again, I am with you in wanting to serve all types of students in the public arena. Usually that means (at a bare minimum) following the law... and much much more.


Frustrated and Annoying Parent
Fairmeadow
on May 23, 2020 at 11:50 am
Frustrated and Annoying Parent, Fairmeadow
on May 23, 2020 at 11:50 am
15 people like this

Sally
Frustrated and also possibly annoying parents are the district. They make all the demands of a public system that struggles always to keep up. Forget about the teachers, at this point Palo Alto is lucky to have any. Certainly the pay is not what is attracting them to the district. I have to agree with Laughable, the thought of a teachers union is ridiculous. A growth minded scenario would be to pay teachers what they are actually worth and stop expecting them to get your kids into Stanford, its not their job. Its also not their job to be a daycare center. Their job is to educate, that is it plain and simple. Parents for sure are free to argue about curriculum, but until they stop building new theaters, and MP rooms, and buildings and start focusing on how to attract the best talent with wages that are at minimum livable you can expect the "bureaucracy" to only care so much. The teachers union is the only thing they truly have on their side, take that away and no one will go into the profession because it is simply not worth it. Sorry kids, your parents may have to become your teachers from now on, how is that working out for you?


Sally
Downtown North
on May 23, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Sally, Downtown North
on May 23, 2020 at 12:59 pm
36 people like this

I shouldn't try to speak for other people, but I think is quite clear that the suggestion of a parents' union was supposed to be satirical.

His/her point is / was fair, though, in my view. Why are the folks that this system is supposed to be serving, families, parents, children, not given a seat at the table?


High schooler
Gunn High School
on May 23, 2020 at 1:33 pm
High schooler, Gunn High School
on May 23, 2020 at 1:33 pm
12 people like this

Hopefully we can go to school 5 days a week next year. It would be really sad if the school got cut into two groups who never are able to see each other.

However, I understand the public health advantage that might come from this and if the district makes the decision I will respect it.


Insider/Outsider
Old Palo Alto
on May 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Insider/Outsider, Old Palo Alto
on May 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm
34 people like this

We are in the middle of a pandemic - the normal rules do not apply. Whatever is put in place will not address the reality that it takes one asymptomatic person, teacher, student, admn. or staff to infect others. Exponential infection beyond the classroom and into people's homes becomes a reality, along with death.

Online teaching is not desired, but let's get a reality check here - we are in the middle of a pandemic with a high fatality rate that does not discriminate according to age. Listen to the epidemiologists and scientists.


District Teacher
Midtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:43 pm
District Teacher, Midtown
on May 23, 2020 at 8:43 pm
14 people like this

Parents do have a seat at the table and it's called the School Board they elect. (And school site councils, in terms of individual school decision-making.)


PA Parent
Crescent Park
on May 23, 2020 at 9:34 pm
PA Parent, Crescent Park
on May 23, 2020 at 9:34 pm
44 people like this

From the article:
>The teachers union has asked that the district delay the start of school in August by three days and use that time for staff development, with training on topics including blended learning, flipped classrooms, Schoology and Google
Classrooms.


Really? This is the teacher's proposal? The teachers and the kids will have been working from home or not working for 6 months at this point and they want three more days. This makes me so angry. The teachers are by and large kind, caring people as individuals but their union is destroying education.

If I were on the school board, here would be the counter-proposal:

All PAUSD teachers and administrators take an across the board 20% pay cut for 2020-2021. Teachers spend the last month before school starts training on Zoom, and learning how to teach both synchronously and asynchronously.

As a parent, I am would be ok with sustaining a long strike by the union if it comes to that. There is not much learning happening anyway.


Independent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2020 at 10:54 pm
Independent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2020 at 10:54 pm
23 people like this

The students need live streaming of and recorded instruction as well as in person instruction. Students also have underlying health conditions as well as family members who do - not just teachers. Students may be quarantined. A second wave is predicted. There are many reasons live streaming of instruction and recorded instruction is needed, in addition to in person instruction.

Pausd and its teachers need to provide this instruction for students. Don't ask to be paid unless you do. It is feasible and you owe this to your students.


Independent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm
Independent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm
24 people like this

I am happy to support anyone who wants to form a charter school in Palo Alto - one actually focused on student learning unlike PAUSD, and one that tries to help students reach their academic potential. Charter schools are public schools, but generally non union, and thank goodness for that.


Resident
Downtown North
on May 23, 2020 at 11:07 pm
Resident, Downtown North
on May 23, 2020 at 11:07 pm
25 people like this

Do Board members always represent parents' interests? That is debatable and up for question. Sally is on point. Laughable, you make a lot of unverified statements. Do you know other public school districts surrounding PAUSD were providing asynchronous learning from the 1st week of being closed down? Meanwhile PAUSD parents waited patiently for four weeks (yes we did) before our students were given real asynchronous learning on the 5th week of school closure. The asynchronous learning Menlo Park District and other school districts provided, PAUSD parents had to wait for 4 full weeks before something of substance "Phase 3" was started the 5th week of shutdown.

Something is afoot and it's not the so-called demanding parents of PAUSD. PAUSD parents have taken the 4 weeks of no real lessons in stride and patience while Superintendent talked of "phase 1" and "phase 2" while nothing was being taught. We all know other public schools nearby were providing asynchronous learning much earlier, 4 weeks earlier than PAUSD.

Pausd parents supported in the midst of working from home taught our children for 4 weeks on our own with little guidance. There is a lot of jargon used "phase 1" and "phase 2" and then "phase 3" but the real asynchronous teaching happened in "phase 3" which sadly was implemented by other surrounding public school districts during week 1.

So it makes sense this memorandum doesn't have any parent feedback or any parent input. Ask the parents of PAUSD, they will tell you. But our voices are being shamed and stifled. There is no growth mindset happening here. Instead of discourse, there is shaming going on by Laughable and other posters about PAUSD parents.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 23, 2020 at 11:22 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 23, 2020 at 11:22 pm
20 people like this

I'm glad the high schools will be on a common schedule. One critical requirement is missing from the District proposal and the Union response: High schools should be required to stream and/or record all high school classes.

Why?

Students who are in isolation (10 days), in quarantine (14 days), vulnerable (all days), or living with vulnerable(s) (all days) should be able to participate in all classes online on the same schedule as students who may participate in person. Teachers may even stream in.

With streaming for high school, the schedule could provide different material on A and B days. Students could benefit from 4 days of instruction, with streaming or recorded material on non-attendance days. This model also works in a full closure. It protects teachers, students, and our community.


Independent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2020 at 11:23 pm
Independent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2020 at 11:23 pm
14 people like this

@Resident - It is the teachers'union doing the shaming and deflecting and gaslighting. Where is the education for our students?


Curious
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 24, 2020 at 7:26 am
Curious, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 24, 2020 at 7:26 am
49 people like this

"Recognizing the range of students in grades 6-12 and the diversity of content areas, teachers will make a reasonable effort to replicate the amount of time allocated to lessons in a way that covers essential content during non-traditional bell schedules." This is not good enough. Reasonable effort means no accountability, once again. So many of the teachers in high school have allocated no time to lessons at all during the past 2 months. They send out assignments and do zero actual teaching and no feedback. No live lectures and no recorded lectures. No feedback on assigned work. The PAUSD Board and District need to step up for the students! The teachers must have more clear standards to follow so they can be held accountable by school administration and parents for actually teaching in the Fall.

Teaching is no doubt a hard profession. But we need to deal with facts - Palo Alto teachers get paid well compared to other Bay Area communities. Not the highest and not the lowest. However, they also get great pensions and tenure after 2 years. Very few jobs have that kind of job security. The pension benefits is what is eating up the PAUSD budget. Pension benefits is the largest growing part of the PAUSD budget and is why, even with declining enrollment, they keep saying they need more money.

I am all for paying teachers well for high quality teaching. However, teachers in PAUSD must be held accountable for high quality teaching by the school administration. When the teacher's union allows teachers to have performance reviews and allows them to be help accountable for actually teaching, then parents will support them. Over the last ten years, we have had too many teachers not teaching, hiding behind the union and relying on parents to do the teaching themselves or through tutors. Look at the performance of different groups of students in the District over the past ten years. The group that has not improved is the group that relies solely on District teachers teaching them. The students that have improved are the ones that have parents willing to supplement outside of school.

The lack of quality teaching has really come to light in this pandemic. Time to demand more accountability for teachers by the District, the PAUSD Board, and school administrations. Your job is to support students and they need proper teaching. "Reasonable effort" means nothing and no one can be held accountable to a vague statement like that - but I guess that was actually the point.


Independent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2020 at 8:18 am
Independent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 24, 2020 at 8:18 am
22 people like this

If the teachers' union acknowledges teaching at Pausd won't be safe for all teachers (or a teachers' family members), and some need to stay at home, how can that be different for students?

Live streaming of instruction and recorded instruction for later viewing is required and teachers must provide it, as some students will need to be at home. It's also needed for if/when a second wave comes. And it's needed to make sure students are learning and progressing through course curriculums five days/week. HS students need to finish course curriculums and get grades for college.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm
10 people like this

Dear PA Parent,

1.Please consider running for School Board and/or initiating a recall of the entire School Board. See instructions at Web Link.

2. Speak up on Tuesday at the School Board meeting and/or send in your comments to make them part of the public record.

The Tuesday, May 26, 2020, Regular Board Meeting will take place using the Zoom webinar platform. Here is the connection information for this meeting:

Via Video Conference/Internet: Web Link

Via Telephone: Dial 669-900-6833, enter Webinar ID: 977 2085 3617, then press #.

If asked for a participant ID or code, press #.

Instructions on how to join a meeting by video conference are available at: Web Link -Joining-a-Meeting.

Instructions on how to join a meeting by phone are available at: Web Link -Joining-a-meeting-by-phone.


cmarg
Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2020 at 4:21 pm
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
on May 24, 2020 at 4:21 pm
23 people like this

I feel that the PAUSD board and the Superintendent need to put students first. Realize that if the teachers were to strike or something, they would be the laughingstock of the nation. They are paid well and we are in the middle of Silicon Valley.
I do feel there are amazing teachers within PAUSD. I question which teachers Teri Baldwin in checking in with to come up with the MOU? Why aren't the amazing teachers who have been able to teach students these past months being ask for their opinion?
The school board also needs to listen to the parents and students. They have not served us well with the "crisis" learning. Why were other schools in remote locations able to miss 1 day of teaching when in the heart of Silicon Valley are children were given limited to no teaching? Why didn't the school board vote and stand up for students? We all have to voice our opinions and be heard. We cannot have a repeat of Q4. Please send emails to the school board members. They tell us that they are not hearing from parents and students - they think all is going well. Please email your opinions and recommendations. The email is : [email protected]
PLEASE let them know.


parent
Charleston Meadows
on May 25, 2020 at 6:47 am
parent, Charleston Meadows
on May 25, 2020 at 6:47 am
11 people like this

close the campus without discussion.

Live scheduled classes that are taped .

No online testing with mult choice.

Long response or online proctored tests.

teachers will have to change their rubrics that have been the same for them for years and years.


Karen
Charleston Gardens
on May 25, 2020 at 6:55 am
Karen, Charleston Gardens
on May 25, 2020 at 6:55 am
46 people like this

I am a bit taken aback at the level of hostility in many posts. My understanding is the phased process facilitated PAUSD helping ensure all students gained access to a essential online learning tools, such as laptops. It also provided a bit of a transition. My high schooler was not prepared to immediately jump into full time, online learning and would have struggled were it to have been implemented. There was grief, shock and many new logistics to contend with during the initial weeks of the pandemic response. Furthermore, one week of ‘delay’ was a pre-planned spring break. No learning would have happened then regardless. Teachers are creating content in the fashion the PAUSD administration has mandated. So, please don’t blame them for fulfilling the mandates of their leadership. This has been a public health, economic and mental health crisis of rare proportions. Inevitably, there will be an imperfect execution of school learning when the unknowns are evolving daily and weekly. As a nurse, I believe the A and B groups should be split A: Mon/Tues and B: Thurs/Fri. Tuesday night or Wednesday a deep clean of campus could be performed.


Roy M
Downtown North
on May 25, 2020 at 11:00 am
Roy M, Downtown North
on May 25, 2020 at 11:00 am
3 people like this

Giving the district feedback is important and the district has a survey out that any concerned parent in the district should fill out. Web Link. We will not be in the district next year, but I still filled it out and there is plenty of room to comment on what you like and don't like. The district requests responses be submitted by Wednesday, May 27 at 4pm.


Concerned Parent
Downtown North
on May 25, 2020 at 11:02 am
Concerned Parent, Downtown North
on May 25, 2020 at 11:02 am
29 people like this

In this entire dialogue, there's no discussion about the risks and extra work that the custodial staff at these Palo Alto schools will endure. Who do you think will have to clean these classrooms? Or bear the risk if the classrooms aren't cleaned properly? Or suffer risk of infection as they go into these schools to clean the classrooms? They're cleaning schools that their own children can't even attend. I hope these workers are organized and adequately compensated. When you hear the Governor talk about 'heroes' (the doctors, nurses and medical researchers), I'm sure he's not talking about the hard working, lesser paid men and women who silently show up to work everyday at Palo Alto schools.


Downfall
Fairmeadow
on May 25, 2020 at 3:41 pm
Downfall, Fairmeadow
on May 25, 2020 at 3:41 pm
21 people like this

A couple more thoughts:

"Wednesdays would be a "blended teacher day" to give teachers time to collaborate, hold office hours, work on lesson planning and to otherwise prepare for the blended learning model."

The teachers have had months now to adjust and prepare for the new learning model. Why do they need still more time, are they really suggesting they need one day each week during the year for this?

"Child care should be provided to any staff member who needs it, the union proposed."

PAUSD teachers are well compensated. I see no reason why they should be given free health care just because of covid.


Member
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 25, 2020 at 4:14 pm
Member, Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 25, 2020 at 4:14 pm
2 people like this

They just need to have a schedule where each class meets every day. Online or not. This way they can have them at school any day or no days. Use texts so parents can have material on hand to help kids and to keep the kids off online gambling gaming for bitcoin or running pixie schemes to avoid the painfully stupid online testing that can all be googled


Old Tank
Gunn High School
on May 25, 2020 at 6:26 pm
Old Tank, Gunn High School
on May 25, 2020 at 6:26 pm
13 people like this

Haven't you all figured out how our sloth school district works?


PAUSD Employee
Fletcher Middle School
on May 25, 2020 at 9:42 pm
PAUSD Employee, Fletcher Middle School
on May 25, 2020 at 9:42 pm
13 people like this

@Concerned Parent- I am with you especially now that Human Resources has recommended to the Board that a vital position should be eliminated - District Custodial Supervisor is on the agenda for tomorrow’s Board meeting
The Custodians will no longer have the support that is required during theses uncertain times.. I hear that the Person currently in that position has a lot of experience and she has made a positive impact with the Custodial staff.. Including Training, the Proper chemicals, Guideline regulations and a lot more.. PAUSD is making a wrong decision unfortunately by eliminating her position.. What can we do as parents? For this not to happen any ideas?


Parent and Student
Community Center
on May 26, 2020 at 7:59 am
Parent and Student, Community Center
on May 26, 2020 at 7:59 am
21 people like this

Why do teachers need a day set aside for a "blended day" ? They have operated for years without a day dedicated to class prep and teacher collaboration.

Day care covered for teachers?.....We'd all love to have day care covered. Why can't teachers pay for child care like others do?


Blended Day
Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 9:02 am
Blended Day, Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 9:02 am
42 people like this

@Parent and Student:

The idea behind the blended day is that the district would like teachers to create two lessons per class--One for students that are physically present and one for the students who are working from home that day. Essentially, they're asking teachers to do twice the work...

"deliver content to students through a variety of methods during distance learning"

If they were only asking for a camera in the back of the room, live streaming lecture, then I could see your point. As we've seen this semester, just posting on Schoology what would have been done in class isn't very effective.That's what we'll get though if teachers don't have the time to design/plan. Distance learning lessons have to be created with distance learning in mind.


Palo Alto Parent
South of Midtown
on May 26, 2020 at 10:51 am
Palo Alto Parent, South of Midtown
on May 26, 2020 at 10:51 am
16 people like this

I wonder who represents parents in this debate. As if parents have NO problem whatsoever to
cope with this. Only teachers are accommodated. Specifically I don't understand that Wednesdays are not available for students to come to school. Why can't teachers prepare in the afternoons, after school? And I also don't understand the 3 days delay for school starts. Isn't it clear by now how to do distance learning. And can't teachers use a couple days of their 2 month vacation to prepare for the coming year. All they do it cut cut cut from the school year, at every possible opportunity, at the expense of student's learning.


Blended Day
Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 11:18 am
Blended Day, Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 11:18 am
34 people like this

@Palo Alto Parent: The 3 day delay is moving professional development days from later in the year to the start of the school year. No days of instructional are cut for that.


Planning makes a difference
St. Claire Gardens
on May 26, 2020 at 11:48 am
Planning makes a difference , St. Claire Gardens
on May 26, 2020 at 11:48 am
17 people like this

if approached correctly it would not be twice the work
if the plan requires twice the work then the plan is faulty


Dear Teachers' Union
another community
on May 26, 2020 at 11:53 am
Dear Teachers' Union, another community
on May 26, 2020 at 11:53 am
21 people like this

Dear teachers' union, if only you had not fought online teaching this term (since March), then teachers would have had real-life practice (Zoom, etc) before having to roll it out in the fall, where the stakes are higher.

Remote teaching in the end of the year is nowhere as hard as new course and new students. The union squandered opportunity to be ready.


Maggie
Barron Park
on May 26, 2020 at 12:19 pm
Maggie , Barron Park
on May 26, 2020 at 12:19 pm
9 people like this

Kids need to get out of their homes and immersed in learning, with their peers. Would rather see efforts, budget and process focused on ways to have all at school on campus at the same time.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 4:49 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 4:49 pm
24 people like this

For those who have a closed, fixed mindset, disregard what I'm about to say.

For those who are open-minded, let me explain one of the myriad ways teaching will be different. Consider the blended (i.e., hybrid) model of learning where students come twice a week. Monday and Tuesday will be periods 1-4 (kids come either Monday or Tuesday), Wednesday blended day which is focused on distance learning, and Thursday and Friday will be periods 5-7 and advisory.

Thus, for a given class, students will be at school once. Let's say one week I need to cover Sections 1 and 2. One option would be to cover Section 1 at school and Section 2 online. But then students in periods 5-7 will have to learn Section 2 before learning Section 1.

Another option would be to cover Section 1 at school on Monday/Tuesday for periods 1-4, cover Section 2 for periods 1-4 and Section 1 for periods 5-7 online, then cover Section 2 at school on Thursday/Friday for periods 5-7. But this might not be fair because one section might be harder and thus students who have it covered in class will benefit. Also, this basically doubles the amount of planning required as there will be two in-person and two online lessons.

So if you're just lashing out at the evil teacher's union or diabolical school district, I'm guessing you had negative experiences with the school and I know that happens. Nonetheless, you probably have no idea what it's like to be a teacher and are too closed-minded to even fathom what that would be like. So vent all you want on this anonymous forum if that's therapeutic but when the rubber meets the road, please let the professionals do their jobs.

Further, I know there's a lot of misunderstandings out there. For example, one poster was outraged by the thought moving the school start day three days later because that would cut instructional days when in reality we would just be moving teacher work days spread throughout the year earlier. So, if you have a concern, please ask with an open mind instead of thinking the worst.


@paly teacher
another community
on May 26, 2020 at 6:13 pm
@paly teacher, another community
on May 26, 2020 at 6:13 pm
3 people like this

The sentence you wrote that’s we both agree with, “professionals do their jobs.”

Let’s model an open mind both directions since you teach students. Or is your argument above how you teach students to frame differing opinions.


Paly Teacher
Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 7:05 pm
Paly Teacher, Palo Alto High School
on May 26, 2020 at 7:05 pm
12 people like this

Oh, this is not how I address my students because they’re children. This is how I address full-grown adults.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on May 27, 2020 at 12:55 am
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on May 27, 2020 at 12:55 am
20 people like this

Hello amazing Palo Alto parents! No one really cares about your opinions that’s why you don’t have a voice or a seat at the table. You are just a mommy or daddy that has this online forum to constantly complain. You didn’t have enough talent, intelligence, or ability to become an educator. You are just typical in your thinking that “teaching is easy and I can totally be a teacher if I wanted to.” Also, no one is taking a pay cut! You all take a pay cut from your crummy jobs first! That always seems to be the “go to” suggestion in all of your nastiness. Teachers deserve to get paid. They are human beings and they have families to support also. I’m sure it’s such a pleasure for PAUSD teachers to have to deal with you all harassing them and probably acting mental all day long! They deserve every last penny they get and their sweet pensions! The pandemic hasn’t exposed anything. First of all, teachers across the country had to flip on a dime to online teaching. Everyone is so sorry this instant and unprecedented transition wasn’t up to your standards during a Pandemic! Obviously, this isn’t their regular day to day classroom teaching that you are eavesdropping on while your precious child is on the computer, but of course you criticize. Yes! Only teachers are being accommodated. The school district and teachers union doesn’t care or have time for the “unique opinion and situation of you and your precious child and family.” You are not on the payroll. Yes! The teachers should get free day care while you are stuck at home with your wonderful children. Deal with that also. Please start that Charter School and that Parents Union! That will show everyone! What great ideas! I am sure you and all of these keyboard warriors will get right on that and make it happen! NOT. All talk! It would be great if you actually did start a Charter School and brought all of your complaints over there as no one would miss you. You can fill out all the online forms you want and send all of the emails you want. Send 1000! Who cares? Your opinion doesn’t really count! It’s a free public education. Enjoy the rest of the school year and summer stuck at home with your precious children! On a brighter note, now is your chance to shine. Since you all obviously know everything about how to run a school and school district better than all of the professional educators, you can show everyone what a great teacher you are at home and how you are better than the actual teachers. Show them what you are made of! Oh wait...how’s that working out for you so far? I see dark clouds coming for you all while stuck at home with your kids!


Yuri
another community
on May 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Yuri, another community
on May 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm
13 people like this

When you begin to look at all the things that need to be done just to keep people “safe”, one must wonder what kind of teaching is going to take place. This is not like going to Costco to pick up a brisket. We are talking about close contact in poorly ventilated rooms, with teachers in hazmat suits for extended periods two to three times a week. Has anyone seen the toll on nursing homes? Our physical building conditions, and our short staffing make the comparison valid, and the young are not immune. If you want to view teaching as “allowing parents to go to work”, then run the elementary and middle schools like a summer camp: keep the kids outdoors playing, with socially distanced naps, a snack, and maybe a distanced outdoor core lesson of some type before they leave to do online learning in the early afternoon. That allows for deep cleaning in preparation for the next day. At least for the first semester, high schools can stick with the current online model since older students can take care of themselves, with an eye on opening in full come January.

Honestly, I don’t think one more semester of online learning will do lasting harm to anyone, but re-opening at a time when most health experts are predicting a second wave seems risky at minimum. Dozens more cases, and a possible fatality or two linked to school puts us back at square one, with permanent damage done. A summer camp model of some type, with distance teaching will never approximate the real thing, but for now I think it is the way to go, assuming Covid-19 is on the way out by January.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 27, 2020 at 1:31 pm
11 people like this

@Yuri,

Great ideas. Many students and parents found the online model, which the Superintendent himself called "crisis learning," poor at best. If we can fix that model, you might have most high school parents on board. Students with special needs in high school may need in person learning, and that should be addressed separately.

Why not let high school teachers stream from empty classrooms and offer interactive discussions online. The arts might really suffer in this model, but let's address those separately.


Yuri
another community
on May 27, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Yuri, another community
on May 27, 2020 at 2:30 pm
9 people like this

You bet Fact Checker. I figured cameras in the classroom would become a reality some day, and clearly special needs student will need more contact. Don't sell what was done this spring short, however. Many students participated in meaningful experiences, albeit not optimal. I just don't want to see any students or staff end up in a Covid ward or worse due to a rush to re-open. Complex A/B schedules on a grid with a lot of PR from the District can seem enticing at first glance, but they do not address the reality on the ground. Many of our classrooms were inadequate before the pandemic, and make no mistake, parents will be sending their students into a chaotic, understaffed, under-planned, un-tested, risky environment if schools open in August.


Shocked but shouldn't be
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2020 at 2:42 pm
Shocked but shouldn't be, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 27, 2020 at 2:42 pm
26 people like this

I am shocked, but really shouldn't be by all the teacher-bashing on this forum. It is funny how many of you are leaving out some of the things in the teachers' (yes, the union consists of all the teachers, not some outside entity) MOU. Like making sure there is PPE for students, asking for more custodians so students and staff are safe, asking for nurses at the elementary level... No, you just focus on three days of staff development at the beginning of the year. I guess your teachers never taught you to read something completely and for comprehension. If you did you would see that they are not asking for getting rid of three days of instruction, but to move the three days in the year (that also creates short weeks for students) to the beginning. No loss of instruction. Wow, those awful union teachers really hate students? Yes, that is sarcasm. You think you can do a better job, then what aren't you homeschooling your children? I know I couldn't do better. Not because I don't have enough education but because I don't have the education in Education as teachers do. Or probably the patience they have to put up with entitled, disrespectful parents like a lot of you on this site. I normally don't bother to read all of your comments because they make my blood boil, but I had to respond because we are all in this pandemic together. Teachers are human beings. They have loved ones they care about and might need to care for and are doing it all while being told within days to figure out how to teach remotely. I'd love to see how you would react if there were a microscope with your job and people wrote nasty comments about you in the local online paper. Oh, what if they called you out by name like some of you have. I think you would threaten to sue the person who maligned your name in public without knowing you. Oh, but teachers are public employees, they signed up for this I can just hear you saying. Yes, they are public employees who are trying to educate your precious children. Do you think you can do a better job? Great, go start your own school and show those awful teachers and the terrible school district you can do it better. Good luck with that. Right now everyone is realizing how hard it is to teach, by trying to help their own children with their school work. All over the world, people are thanking teachers. All that is except for in Palo Alto.

Well, I want to say: THANK YOU teachers for all you are trying to do for all of the children in Palo Alto. There are a lot of us who do appreciate you.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 27, 2020 at 3:49 pm
9 people like this

Our District administration needs to present a more robust set of options that its current A/B plan, one that keeps our entire community, teachers, staff, students, and parents (who live with the students) safe and our students learning a full year's worth of curriculum.

Other districts in CA are offering options and flexibility. We need this type of thinking here.

Web Link

Web Link


Chris
University South
on May 27, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Chris, University South
on May 27, 2020 at 6:22 pm
11 people like this

When are the teachers going to offer concessions? They seem to be all about making demands. Share in the sacrifice and then you have status to make requests.


Independent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 28, 2020 at 10:46 am
Independent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 28, 2020 at 10:46 am
9 people like this

The HS teachers haven't been providing any instruction. That's unacceptable.


Alvin
Professorville
on May 28, 2020 at 11:44 am
Alvin, Professorville
on May 28, 2020 at 11:44 am
4 people like this

what facts and scientific studies are these demands based on, show us? Masks are useless and unhealthy, distancing doesn't stop spread, and daily temperature checks are intrusive and do not cure anything. How do you expect learning in this environment.

People under the age of 65 have 0.0005% risk of dying. Staff and students have much greater risk of dying bicycling or driving to/from school, dying from slip and fall at school, and from any number of risks we accept every day. Kids under 18 have virtually ZERO risk of dying from Covid virus unless they are seriously ill to begin with, which means they're dying from something else, not Covid.

A better solution for parents of PAUSD kids, like myself, is homeschooling or other alternative. May the Palo Alto public schools wither away in dustbin of history if City prefers the union's hysterical demands over its taxpaying customers.


Alvin
Professorville
on May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am
Alvin, Professorville
on May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am
Like this comment

To be clear, People under the age of 65 have 0.0005% risk of dying FROM COVID.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on May 28, 2020 at 3:59 pm
John Hicks , Crescent Park
on May 28, 2020 at 3:59 pm
7 people like this

The Great Infectious Disease Specialist “Dr. Alvin Fauci” is back on another post stating his made up and misleading statistics. First of all, Dr. Alvin Fauci do you propose we all just stand next to each other and breathe on each other to further spread the virus? Social distancing and wearing face masks is about all we have right now in this battle. Let’s also let the kids come to school with a fever and throw them right in a congregate setting with a teacher all day long. That sounds fair! I know parents NEVER drop their kids off sick for the free day care or anything. Yeah right! Daily temperature checks will be a must. Also Dr. Alvin Fauci, please stop quoting that .0005% death rate statistic, as it has been widely reported that testing isn’t up to speed around the country, states are falsely reporting cases and deaths, and many more people are dying around the country than is being reported. Not to mention the ENTIRE COUNTRY had to be SHUT DOWN to stop this virus from spreading even more rapidly and causing more sickness and death and we’ve still had over 100,000 reported deaths since February 6. Also, information is coming out now that more and more children are coming down with life threatening complications from Kawasaki Disease. Any, statistic you are pulling in the beginning of this pandemic will be misleading @ best. Also, I am sure the family members of any of the Administrators, Teachers, Staff Members, and Students who do die from COVID due to schools reopening too soon would love for you to break that (false) statistic to them while they mourn the loss of a loved one. I am sure the .0005% statistic you post repeatedly will allow them to take solace during their time of grief and bring them comfort. To even post that a few days after America reaches a grim milestone of 100,000 deaths. Come on! Finally, Dr. Alvin Fauci you are not a “customer” because you pay taxes. That’s just the elitist attitude of some(not all) Palo Alto parents. Everyone pays taxes...grow up! Your child is getting a free public school education. But yes, PLEASE do everyone a favor and have your kid stay home with you for home schooling. If you are his new teacher, I am sure he will do great! The District doesn’t care, won’t miss you, and will be just fine without Dr. Alvin Fauci and his kid.

@Chris -The teachers don’t have to make any concessions. No sacrifices need to be made from teachers. Their “status” is fine. That line of thinking is all in your head. It’s exactly why teachers have union and tenure to be protected from that weird parental thinking and outside nonsense. It’s a job. What do you want their safety, part of their paycheck, their pension? The “take a pay and cut pensions” seems typical in this forum. What sacrifices and concessions do you make @ your job to gain the “appropriate status?” What do you give up on your job? You willingly take pay cuts because the public tells you to? Sure. That makes a lot of sense. Your child is getting a free public school education. You didn’t specify what concessions teachers need to make, but if the pay and pension is so outstanding and you are upset or jealous about it, you should have pursued becoming an educator(you still can!) as a career instead of complaining online. I am sure as an educator it’s so fun dealing with parents just like you all year long. “Make concessions and sacrifices teachers because we the Palo Alto parents demand it and command you to but we would never concede anything on our own jobs.” Laughable.


Former Teacher
another community
on May 28, 2020 at 10:39 pm
Former Teacher, another community
on May 28, 2020 at 10:39 pm
12 people like this

Reading these comments makes me thankful that I'm no longer in the PAUSD district, but rather in another local district and community that is supportive of those of us who teach their children.

I, too, am worried about going back to school in the fall, but not in the way you are probably thinking. I'm more worried about trying to build rapport with my students, trying to understand all of their needs, trying to support them and differentiate, trying to read body language and check on kids who are just struggling with something but won't ask for help, all through a screen. I still have friends who teach in Palo Alto, and I know that they are working their butts off finishing this year and getting ready for the next. A little bit of support would mean the world, rather than the almost exclusively negative and pejorative comments towards those who quietly and consistently do more than they are asked to help your children.

To those (like Shocked but shouldn't be) who are supportive, thank you.

We are all in this together; don't forget that.


Paul fisher
Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2020 at 5:51 am
Paul fisher, Adobe-Meadow
on May 29, 2020 at 5:51 am
5 people like this

The pandemic is making everyone rethink how education is done. The union ran schools have enjoyed an incredible run during which the cost of benefits have taken away finding necessary to move schooling to the new age of the internet and remote learning.
Unions will try to preserve the status quo that has served them well to the detriment of the kids and parents.
It is time to reform schools, being at the heart of silicone valley, we must embrace this time to show how effective remote learning can be. Teachers need to be agily in their thinking of solutions, re- training for new ways. This is what the majority of the parents that work in tech have to do every day. As a tech community we understand that to stay competitive we must adapt learn, be flexible. It is time for the teachers to become like us, resilient in the face of adversity, resourceful to save problems with great imagination.
Union are the opposite to the tech spirit of innovation, time for the school to start reflecting the parents spirit.


Yuri
another community
on May 29, 2020 at 9:10 am
Yuri, another community
on May 29, 2020 at 9:10 am
7 people like this

The negative screeds about teachers and the union are mostly trolling. Many in the community understand the current limitations and how hard school staff across the board are working to provide the best education possible under the circumstances. PAUSD has handled a paradigm shift quite well, and most parents and students recognize that, even though they prefer the "old fashioned way". Sorry super Silicon Valley agile technicians, but you don't have a solution for everything, and sometimes the ones proposed by the ultra competitive fast thinking software engineers and marketing teams aren't so great after all. Teachers and staff have made the best with the tools at their disposal, and most are willing to continue to adapt, but churning out code for the next greatest app, or marketing the latest version of an I-Phone is not the same thing as teaching children. A major re-design of the system will take time, negotiation, and a lot of compromise. Look at professional sports for example. They are still trying to figure out how to re-start and end seasons, and they have resources light years ahead of our district. We are a public institution, and therefore must take into account the input of a multitude of stakeholders that most tech companies can simply ignore as long as sales are good.

Great job students, parents, staff, and teachers who have all pitched in during this pandemic. You are the silent majority.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2020 at 9:30 am
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2020 at 9:30 am
3 people like this

All,
Please focus on minimizing risks, managing costs, AND, most importantly educating ALL students.
Many districts in CA are talking about offering a meaningful remote option: streamed learning so the student at home can interact at some level (raise her hand for a question, participate in discussion) and ideally a recorded version for those who are ill or unable to attend due to pandemic issues. Our community colleges pivoted within a week or over a weekend to online. At least at the high school level, there is no reason high school classes cannot be offered entirely online with ALL instructional minutes provided (those with special needs likely must be addressed separately).
If high schools were teaching 100% online, teachers safely could stream from empty classrooms. The cost of adding any internet streaming capability will sure be less than the daily cleaning cost for 1,000 students on campus per day.
Middle schools may be able to offer this same model. Elementary schools may be able to focus 100% on reading, writing, and math so that at least the fundamentals are taught in less time.


Yuri
another community
on May 29, 2020 at 9:37 am
Yuri, another community
on May 29, 2020 at 9:37 am
Like this comment

I know a very accomplished video producer. I also know he and I would work well as at team producing all sorts of streaming lessons, either from the classroom or home. Would the district be willing to fund such a partnership during these lean budget times?


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2020 at 11:37 am
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 29, 2020 at 11:37 am
Like this comment

@Yuri,
Community College teachers are not using producers. Let's follow their lead. They are publicly funded, unionized, and they are online.
Take a look.


Yuri
another community
on May 29, 2020 at 11:50 am
Yuri, another community
on May 29, 2020 at 11:50 am
5 people like this

Fact Checker,

Big difference between middle school and community college. Adolescents versus adults. Sixth graders versus high school graduates. Community colleges with dedicated media centers versus the Greene Screen. Let's compare apples to apples.


Independent
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 29, 2020 at 11:22 pm
Independent, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 29, 2020 at 11:22 pm
10 people like this

@Former Teacher - it's not ok for HS teachers not to provide instruction and not to finish course curriculums, but that's what PAUSD has been doing. That's learning loss. And a missed opportunity. And students had to teach themselves. Yet the teachers were fully paid. And our property taxes had to be fully paid and on time. But apparently the teachers may not have been interested in remote learning being successful. Maybe they and the teacher's union were trying to protect their well paid, tenured, in person jobs. But they weren't helping our kids.


Lockout
another community
on May 29, 2020 at 11:38 pm
Lockout, another community
on May 29, 2020 at 11:38 pm
3 people like this

With 40 millions people out of their jobs due to pandemic, I wonder why the unions find themselves in the position to demand? The online learning we've seen so far is not the job agreed to be done. The community was more than understanding, but if we are about to re-establish what the schools are, let's walk out of all previous agreements with the union.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on May 30, 2020 at 12:38 am
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on May 30, 2020 at 12:38 am
3 people like this

@ Lockout-Yes. Let’s rip up everything the Union has worked for and start over because of a Global Pandemic and because Lockout with his parent wisdom has deemed all teachers unacceptable. Let’s also cut tenure, and salary-the theme of this forum- while we are at it and send all of those enthusiastic teachers back into the classroom potentially with a new deadly virus and then of course also having to still deal with the parent group that posts on this forum. What a morale boost! What an evil union asking for PPE like masks for teachers! How dare they! How dare they even ask for anything! The union is partly the reason teachers aren’t among the 40 million that lost there jobs. But you will likely get some of your wish as budget cuts will likely end up causing teacher lay offs moving into next school year. That should make you happy.
@ independent- Congrats on again mentioning HS teachers didn’t deliver instruction and mentioning property taxes on another post. The flaw of your argument is that “because you pay property taxes you are entitled to something...anything.” You are not a “customer.” That’s just seems to be where the sense of entitlement comes from here. You own a house! Ok. Wow. If you don’t want to pay property taxes go rent instead. Also, childless people pay property taxes that go to the school. Do they complain that their tax money is going to the school when they don’t have a supposed “customer” at the school? Look at all of the sort of either diverse or even weird opinions of parents posting here. Is each and every public school supposed to run to appease everyone’s diverse opinions and thoughts. Example: Let’s rip up the union agreements now because of a global pandemic and because Lockout said so! So of course not. I would assume parents would be welcome to make suggestions but the schools aren’t run by the parents. Please skip paying your property taxes next year and find out the repercussions of it. Schools will go on and you will be penalized. Make your voice heard by attending a school board meeting or having a meeting with the Administrator of the teacher that you feel did not deliver instruction up to your parental judgement and parental standards.


Lockout
another community
on May 30, 2020 at 1:07 am
Lockout, another community
on May 30, 2020 at 1:07 am
5 people like this

@John Hicks: they didn't deliver by their own standards, but again, everybody understood the uniqueness of circumstances. The problem is that they are going to under-deliver again.

As for your claim that we are not the customers, that's the main issue here: we actually are the customers, and we the public are the employers of those public employees. That's part of the social agreement between the state and the citizens: we pay taxes and have public education funded this way.


Kelly
Atherton
on May 30, 2020 at 7:52 am
Kelly, Atherton
on May 30, 2020 at 7:52 am
7 people like this

So surprised to see so much teacher bashing and union bashing from this community. As a teacher of over 10 years, I have to remind you that there is a teacher shortage everywhere. People like me, who would spend every penny of their after-tax salary on daycare just so they can work, are already opting out of teaching. If you lose "high risk" individuals over 50 or with preexisting conditions, you are losing a significant portion of the workforce. Why do teachers need Wednesdays off? Well, teachers already get 1/2 of Wednesday off for planning. Doesn't it make sense that they will need more time to facilitate distance learning this year? To the poster who asked, "Why can't they prep after school?" Well, let me tell you why. Teachers already work a 7 hour workday with a 30 minute working lunch. I believe that the proposals call for even longer school days to make up for some of the "lost time." Teachers do spend time after school prepping but you cannot expect them to work 10 hour days for their pittance of a salary.


Lockout
another community
on May 30, 2020 at 10:58 am
Lockout, another community
on May 30, 2020 at 10:58 am
3 people like this

@Kelly I don't see too much teacher bashing, although some of the public clearly don't like the unions. But that's a glimpse of the real world for union members: most of us, the taxpayers, are in the situation when our paychecks and employment depend on the individual performance, company well-being and the state of the economy in general and not so much on the tenure, seniority and collective bargaining.


Samuel L.
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 30, 2020 at 12:23 pm
Samuel L., Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 30, 2020 at 12:23 pm
3 people like this

@Kelly, so teachers work 7.5 hours a day 4 days a week and then get a half day on Wednesday? That also doesn't include their prep periods during the school day.

Got it.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on May 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on May 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm
4 people like this

@Kelly-I don’t think Samuel L, Lockout & Independent are the ones bashing teachers specifically. From what I gather here Lockout, Samuel & Independent had a hard time with their individual Highschool Teachers and they are frustrated. I recommend that they attend a school board meeting and make their voices heard or to set a meeting with their school’s administrator to discuss their concerns. There’s also a few posters who think teachers should just “toughen up” and jump back in the room with 30 kids and no protections in a post COVID world. It’s unreal. While a few posters may have specifically trashed teachers, most of what I see is the sense of entitlement because they “pay property taxes.” Please don’t pay property taxes next year and find out what happens! They think they are now “customers” of the school and can make demands and judgements. Then when they are frustrated it automatically goes into mainly 3 things: 1. Teachers must take pay cuts across the board! 2. We must get rid of Teachers Pensions! 3. We must get rid of all Union rights for teachers! I...I...I pay property taxes!!!
Samuel L posted to rip up all union agreements with the pandemic being the excuse. Eye roll.
I also think there is this general classic “know it all” parent thing happening here that a lot of parents think they can “easily be teachers.” So any little perk the union asks for such as child care, or perish the thought, PPE to stay safe next year makes them flip out. Even worse, now that it was switched to a distance learning model, these parents were all breathlessly eavesdropping on everything the teacher did or said on the computer with their child and were making administrative judgements. “This isn’t up to my standards!” Then they call everyone in their little parent network and endlessly discuss what they deem to be a lack of quality instruction as if they know anything. They seem to revolve a lot of their lives around what’s going on at the school.
This, of course, is partly why teachers are protected by a union. I would love for all of these posters here that think it’s so easy or that are begrudging teachers their pay, pensions, and union rights to walk a day in Kelly’s shoes. They would probably go home and cry on the couch. I hope they also voluntarily offer to take pay cuts at their jobs since they begrudge the teachers everything. News flash! Teachers are people too not robots. Of course they all could pursue teaching if they wanted to because it’s so easy and cushy, but some people were born to get out there and do it, and others were born to sit on the sidelines and complain. If this is a small sample of what parents here posting on the forum are like in the district, I can only imagine the pleasure of having to be the staff members that deals with their complaint oriented emails and phone calls every day especially when they probably get mental over anything that goes on with their kid. So fun! This is speculation on my part, but I can see this type of parent group also threatening to “sue the school” over everything that they deem went wrong. There is also another annoying side note that some of this parent group here is probably way wealthier than most teachers will ever be, so in some cases the rich are likely trying to deny and are begrudging a working person their pay and benefits. They don’t see themselves though. You would think they would display a little more human kindness right now with what is going on in the world but the world seems to revolve around them. So, no such luck!


cmarg
Palo Alto High School
on May 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm
cmarg, Palo Alto High School
on May 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm
2 people like this

I feel we have no voice at all. There is not a look at what successful districts are doing throughout the nation.
We are being driven by the teachers' union and the community and students have no voice. The school board is not representing the community at all and this is very discouraging and disappointing.
Again, I feel we need to move to charter schools that have no teachers' union.


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on May 30, 2020 at 5:29 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on May 30, 2020 at 5:29 pm
3 people like this

@ CMARG-1st, I would love to get more details on how the school board isn’t representing the students and community from your viewpoint. What are the specific issues?
How are you measuring success? Palo Alto has some of the highest rank schools and some of the highest test scores at least in California from what I’ve seen. I just googled it and it said PAUSD has been ranked the #1 school district in California the last few years here and you are still complaining(lol) and talking about having to check nationally with “successful districts”(lol). You must not have read my previous posts so I will repeat-why is it that you think a free public school has to change every time a parent makes a suggestion? Why, because you pay taxes? Sigh. I’ve covered that too. Do you think a public school can possibly instantly cover the individual needs and wants of all of THESE parents? You are free to make suggestions to the school board and administration to have your voice heard. It doesn’t mean because “cmarg said this” they need to switch things up immediately to satisfy cmarg. The teachers and administrators are on the payroll you aren’t. That’s why things probably feel like it tilts toward them. It’s a JOB. Also, you aren’t a “customer.” Based on the districts #1 ranking In California it looks to me like they know what they are doing. I didn’t even know PAUSD was ranked #1. It must be like nails on a chalkboard(see what I did there?) for these staff members to have to listen to these complaints when they are delivering a #1 ranking in the state. At the same time you typed your post, low ranked schools in the nation were probably looking to what PAUSD does successfully to help THEM. That doesn’t mean everything is perfect or that EVERYBODY’S needs are being met, or that every teacher is OUTSTANDING, but c’mon get a grip. Plus it’s FREE. Charter schools are available. Make the switch and move on then if you think that would be a better fit for your child.


Anon
Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Anon, Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 2:34 pm
1 person likes this

@ shocked but shouldn’t be.

Please call out the many hs teachers who did nothing and hurt kids by giving them standards and telling them they had to teach themselves or fail while they delivered no content and gave no feedback

Really put your ego aside and consider that parents are telling the truth and their kids deserve what the district promised.

The teachers who taught should be angry with the ones who left their kids and made kids lives much harder , not parents who begg for help.


Fact Checker
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 31, 2020 at 3:12 pm
Fact Checker, Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 31, 2020 at 3:12 pm
2 people like this

PAUSD says on its website that it is #1, but the typical ranking and one cited by PAUSD for years is NICHE. We have moved to #2 behind Los Gatos. See link.

Web Link


Check the Checker
Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 7:17 pm
Check the Checker, Adobe-Meadow
on May 31, 2020 at 7:17 pm
1 person likes this

@Fact Checker - the PAUSD web page says they are the #1 "K-12" district according to Niche. The district you site is a High School only district, so not relevant. Check your facts ;-)

Niche doesn't exactly sound like an educational expert - Pittsburgh-based Niche started life as "College Prowler," a college guidebook printers, and business school project of a couple of Carnegie-Mellon MBA candidates. They now rank and review everything from schools districts to neighborhoods to places to work. They may not know much about education, but they sure know how to rank things!


John Hicks
Crescent Park
on May 31, 2020 at 9:21 pm
John Hicks, Crescent Park
on May 31, 2020 at 9:21 pm
6 people like this

Check the Checker confirmed #1 but if PAUSD is #2 in the State of California behind Los Gatos
I would certainly understand the parent outrage expressed on this forum! Oh the horror! #2 in the State out of 977 school districts in California just isn’t good enough and won’t cut it! Where is all of our tax money going exactly for a #2 Ranking?! This is OUTRAGEOUS and TOTALLY INEXCUSABLE! This is obviously the teacher’s fault and a complete failure by our school district! There must be changes made immediately to get back to #1! If only the District would have listened to the endless parent suggestions sooner this would have never happened! As a START so that we get back to #1 WHERE WE BELONG, I demand we implement pay cuts for teachers, dissolve the teachers union, and end all pensions immediately! I PAY TAXES after all!


Disappointed Parent
Hoover School
on May 31, 2020 at 9:53 pm
Disappointed Parent, Hoover School
on May 31, 2020 at 9:53 pm
5 people like this

My observation for elementary during these recent weeks of "distance learning" is that teachers are wasting too much time prepping content and materials for parents to do the teaching rather than spending time in front of the students. I appreciate the tremendous time they are spending making hours of pre-recorded videos, but it's honestly a waste of time. The self-made content is ineffective and non-engaging, if we just want kids to watch pre-recorded video lessons, there is better professionally made material out there, but nothing can take the place of face-to-face instruction. Other districts are managing daily virtual meetups, yet ours can only do 30 minutes / week?

What are teachers doing that they can't manage 30 minutes (even 20 minutes?) a day with their students? It's laughable -- obviously time is not being spent wisely, so no wonder that many find the Wednesday ask too much.


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

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.