News

Palo Alto middle, high schools unlikely to reopen this school year

Superintendent: State's new guidance too difficult to practically implement in upper grade levels

Palo Alto Unified secondary schools aren't expected to reopen before the 2020-21 academic year ends. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

It's unlikely that Palo Alto Unified middle and high schools will reopen for hybrid instruction this academic year, Superintendent Don Austin told families Thursday, meaning hundreds of students might go without in-classroom instruction for over a year.

Austin's announcement followed the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom's updated reopening guidance, which details proposed funding and new requirements for schools resuming in-person instruction. The document focuses largely on elementary schools, where studies show low transmission rates and more ease in organizing students and teachers into stable cohorts.

In an interview, Austin said the state's guidance will be difficult to practically implement at the high schools in particular, where there's much greater variation in schedules and courses. Schools that have not already offered in-person instruction to at least one full grade level are also now prohibited from reopening until local COVID-19 rates improve. (This change has meant that at least one local school district, the Los Altos School District, had to suddenly reverse plans to reopen its middle schools next week.)

"The proposal in my opinion and the opinion of many of my colleagues does nothing to enhance the chances of schools that are not already open of opening," Austin said. "If anything, it added many new requirements that didn't exist before that will further prohibit schools from opening."

The state notes that creating stable cohorts that minimize crossover between teachers and students is more challenging at high schools. The state suggests keeping a single group together in one classroom and having teachers rotate between groups, or having smaller groups move together in staggered passing schedules to other rooms they need to use (such as science labs) without allowing students or staff to mix with others from distinctive groups. Students also can be part of one group that stays together with one or two instructors who teach them directly for part of the day and then have other classes taught virtually. High schools also could divide the school year into smaller time slots, such as four weeks, during which time students focus on one or two subjects intensively.

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The state also is putting in place coronavirus testing requirements for schools depending on which tier their county is in. Schools in counties in the purple tier, for example, would have to test all students and staff, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, every two weeks.

Austin doesn't think there is sufficient local or state testing capacity to meet this stipulation. Stanford Health Care, through which the district is offering testing to employees, recently capped its service, meaning any district employee who hasn't already been tested by Stanford can no longer receive a test, Austin said. To date, 260 district staff have been tested. There have been 20 staff members working in person and nine students attending hybrid learning who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district.

Newsom's announcement said California will help schools implement weekly testing for staff and students, including through access to the state-operated Valencia Branch Laboratory, which opened in October to increase COVID-19 testing capacity and reduce turnaround time.

The state is also now requiring that students of all ages wear masks. Parents and staff members can use a new online "hotline" to report safety concerns to the state's Safe Schools for All Team, a group of experts tasked with overseeing the reopening of schools. Schools will be required to regularly report to the state their reopening status and transmission rates, which will be publicly available on a new state dashboard.

"The benefits of in-person instruction are plain to see, especially for our youngest students and students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic," the state guidance reads. "Now, with growing evidence that the right precautions can effectively stop the spread of COVID-19 in schools —particularly in elementary grades — the administration is committed to doing everything it can to support students and staff to safely return to in-person instruction."

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Palo Alto Unified will remain open for hybrid learning at the elementary schools, which have been open since October, and hopes to be able to offer in-person instruction to sixth graders this spring.

"We still are holding out hope that we could bring back sixth-grade students in March but even that depends largely on these changing regulations and county COVID cases. But that's about as far as our optimism goes when it comes to reopening secondary schools," Austin said.

The secondary schools are still planning — and allowed under the state's new guidelines — to offer small group cohorts on campuses starting Jan. 25. Austin said he'll announce more details about the cohorts at next Tuesday's school board meeting. The high schools are also resuming outdoor, socially distanced athletic training next week.

Austin said the district hopes to expand summer school in person but that will also hinge on local COVID-19 rates and public health guidelines.

School districts are also anxiously awaiting news on when educators will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Santa Clara County health officials told Austin they would send a vaccine schedule to schools within the next few weeks.

The school board will discuss the updates on reopening as well as plans for summer school, including credit recovery and intervention for struggling students, at its virtual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19. View the agenda here.

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

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Palo Alto middle, high schools unlikely to reopen this school year

Superintendent: State's new guidance too difficult to practically implement in upper grade levels

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 1:48 pm

It's unlikely that Palo Alto Unified middle and high schools will reopen for hybrid instruction this academic year, Superintendent Don Austin told families Thursday, meaning hundreds of students might go without in-classroom instruction for over a year.

Austin's announcement followed the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom's updated reopening guidance, which details proposed funding and new requirements for schools resuming in-person instruction. The document focuses largely on elementary schools, where studies show low transmission rates and more ease in organizing students and teachers into stable cohorts.

In an interview, Austin said the state's guidance will be difficult to practically implement at the high schools in particular, where there's much greater variation in schedules and courses. Schools that have not already offered in-person instruction to at least one full grade level are also now prohibited from reopening until local COVID-19 rates improve. (This change has meant that at least one local school district, the Los Altos School District, had to suddenly reverse plans to reopen its middle schools next week.)

"The proposal in my opinion and the opinion of many of my colleagues does nothing to enhance the chances of schools that are not already open of opening," Austin said. "If anything, it added many new requirements that didn't exist before that will further prohibit schools from opening."

The state notes that creating stable cohorts that minimize crossover between teachers and students is more challenging at high schools. The state suggests keeping a single group together in one classroom and having teachers rotate between groups, or having smaller groups move together in staggered passing schedules to other rooms they need to use (such as science labs) without allowing students or staff to mix with others from distinctive groups. Students also can be part of one group that stays together with one or two instructors who teach them directly for part of the day and then have other classes taught virtually. High schools also could divide the school year into smaller time slots, such as four weeks, during which time students focus on one or two subjects intensively.

The state also is putting in place coronavirus testing requirements for schools depending on which tier their county is in. Schools in counties in the purple tier, for example, would have to test all students and staff, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, every two weeks.

Austin doesn't think there is sufficient local or state testing capacity to meet this stipulation. Stanford Health Care, through which the district is offering testing to employees, recently capped its service, meaning any district employee who hasn't already been tested by Stanford can no longer receive a test, Austin said. To date, 260 district staff have been tested. There have been 20 staff members working in person and nine students attending hybrid learning who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district.

Newsom's announcement said California will help schools implement weekly testing for staff and students, including through access to the state-operated Valencia Branch Laboratory, which opened in October to increase COVID-19 testing capacity and reduce turnaround time.

The state is also now requiring that students of all ages wear masks. Parents and staff members can use a new online "hotline" to report safety concerns to the state's Safe Schools for All Team, a group of experts tasked with overseeing the reopening of schools. Schools will be required to regularly report to the state their reopening status and transmission rates, which will be publicly available on a new state dashboard.

"The benefits of in-person instruction are plain to see, especially for our youngest students and students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic," the state guidance reads. "Now, with growing evidence that the right precautions can effectively stop the spread of COVID-19 in schools —particularly in elementary grades — the administration is committed to doing everything it can to support students and staff to safely return to in-person instruction."

Palo Alto Unified will remain open for hybrid learning at the elementary schools, which have been open since October, and hopes to be able to offer in-person instruction to sixth graders this spring.

"We still are holding out hope that we could bring back sixth-grade students in March but even that depends largely on these changing regulations and county COVID cases. But that's about as far as our optimism goes when it comes to reopening secondary schools," Austin said.

The secondary schools are still planning — and allowed under the state's new guidelines — to offer small group cohorts on campuses starting Jan. 25. Austin said he'll announce more details about the cohorts at next Tuesday's school board meeting. The high schools are also resuming outdoor, socially distanced athletic training next week.

Austin said the district hopes to expand summer school in person but that will also hinge on local COVID-19 rates and public health guidelines.

School districts are also anxiously awaiting news on when educators will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Santa Clara County health officials told Austin they would send a vaccine schedule to schools within the next few weeks.

The school board will discuss the updates on reopening as well as plans for summer school, including credit recovery and intervention for struggling students, at its virtual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19. View the agenda here.

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

Comments

BL
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jan 15, 2021 at 6:34 pm
BL, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jan 15, 2021 at 6:34 pm

If you read Superintendent Austin’s tweets, you’ll notice a smug attitude. He likes to toot his own horn when PAUSD is the first in the county to do something. But when PAUSD is behind, he points fingers and doesn’t take any responsibility. Zero. Nada. Wish the school board would hold him more accountable, or at least coach him on communication skills.


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Jan 15, 2021 at 9:27 pm
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Jan 15, 2021 at 9:27 pm

Masks on school kids, bi-weekly testing, forced separation, yes, that sounds like a lovely environment where I'd want my kids to attend and learn five days a week. Newsom is a great Governor, and our county and local officials are the best. 2021 is looking very promising!


Parent
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Jan 16, 2021 at 12:23 am
Parent, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 12:23 am

What is Dr. Austin’s doctorate in?


Curious Parent
Registered user
Community Center
on Jan 16, 2021 at 9:02 am
Curious Parent, Community Center
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 9:02 am

The vaccine is only 90-95% effective, which means Covid will be with us for a long time (possibly forever if you believe the stories coming out this week). At least 10% of the population has already had Covid so we will hear horror stories for many, many years about follow-on issues related to the disease. Many teachers have publicly stated that they won't return to school until there is NO risk of Covid.

Sadly, there is no incentive for PAUSD or teachers to return students to school in-person. PAUSD revenue is by-and-large independent of how many kids decide to leave the school district, and so kids leaving the district is actually a better thing for the administrators of PAUSD...talk about perverse incentives.

I fear we may be several years away from seeing in person learning for our public high school kids in PAUSD.


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Jan 16, 2021 at 10:06 am
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 10:06 am

@curiousparent: Regardless of how effective the vaccine is -- and we're still technically in the clinical trial phase - coronaviruses, like influenza, common colds, HIV, malaria, chickenpox, etc. are endemic. There will be many more (uncountable) mutations and variants of the virus. Bottom line is we can either continue lockdowns, distancing and masks forever or learn to live with it like we do with other endemic diseases.

The good news is that we know a lot more than we did 10-12 months ago. Findings from population-based studies in China, for example, suggest that people without symptoms are much less likely to transmit the virus others. The young and relatively healthy are at extremely low risk. East Asian countries/states like Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Vietnam have up to 98% lower mortality from Covid than European and N. American countries, suggesting that metabolic, socioeconomic, and prior exposures to previous coronaviruses, like SARS-Covid1 (2002-2003), have a huge impact on survival rates.

Here is a good FAQ on the Covid vaccines (you can also check the Author's Disclosures or conflicts on interest). Web Link


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 16, 2021 at 2:33 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 2:33 pm

1. I am beyond thrilled that the state has set safety mandates that must be met before schools resume for any in person instruction. Especially at the middle school and high school levels where it has been definitively been proven that children this age transmit the Coronavirus just as much as adults do. This takes the power away from any potentially irresponsible local leaders throughout California or anybody protesting about school reopenings that are willing to unsafely swing the school doors open especially during this current surge.

2. The state has mandated these safety precautions and not the teachers union or the teachers. [Portion removed.] Also, comparisons to what’s going on in private schools or other countries do not matter.

3. In my opinion, elementary schools should also be closed. I believe it’s currently not safe regardless of what pediatricians say or whatever data points commenters try to point to.

4. “I fear we may be several years away from seeing in person learning for our public high school kids in PAUSD”

This is a bit over dramatic. Likely students will start returning to school next fall with more vaccinations being distributed and with the proper health and safety precautions in place. I would expect something more along the lines of a hybrid model in the fall and possibly a full return back to normal toward the beginning of Spring of 2022.

5. “Masks on school kids, bi-weekly testing, forced separation”

Yes. Masks and social distancing will be mandatory in schools for the foreseeable future. The one thing you are finally correct about is that the Coronavirus has become so widespread in the United States it no longer threatens you existentially. If you don’t mask up it will come to you eventually. It’s way too soon to “learn to live with it” as you stated. That will happen down the line when disease transmission gets under control.

I leave you with this quote from the Berkeley Federation Teachers President Matt Myer. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

“We’ve been told not to gather with anyone outside our households, but teachers are asked to prepare to host students from a dozen different families. We are told to assume that anyone can transmit the virus due to the prevalence of asymptomatic transmission, but then are asked to accept that the advice doesn’t apply to students.”

Source: Web Link

Schools are closed and for good reason. It’s not currently safe for staff, students, or families.


Diana
Registered user
Community Center
on Jan 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm
Diana, Community Center
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm

I think the district is sticking the right balance. Elementary schools are open, in hybrid mode, and very few positive cases. This is better than many other districts, which are full distance learning for little kids. With the ongoing virus wave it is not safe to open middle and high for at least 2-3 months, at which point we are too far into the school year to make it practical. It sucks but I think it is a good compromise.


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Jan 16, 2021 at 5:17 pm
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 5:17 pm
Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 16, 2021 at 9:37 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 9:37 pm

It IS confusing when one reads of schools open in other states.
LA Times had a very recent article on people leaving LA, one was a male special ed teacher who moved with his husband to Tennessee...so he could get back in the classroom. (His husband had some relatives there, they were in a nice area, teachers treated with respect and no issue with gay marriage.) Interesting.....


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jan 16, 2021 at 10:13 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 10:13 pm

Send the teachers to the back of the vaccine line.

Oh, and...

Web Link

Web Link

Web Link

Incalcitrant teachers union driving our kids mad and suicidal. Time for them to take some responsibility for keeping schools closed.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 16, 2021 at 11:38 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 11:38 pm

@Me2
One of your links contained this excerpt:
“More students and teachers tested positive for Covid-19, some schools were forced to suddenly change plans”
And:
"What we do know is children have a harder time social distancing. And we can't put a whole bunch of them in a classroom with a teacher right now./Other states that have tried to open this new school year are now having to close. We don't want to start and stop. That may be more difficult on our children.”

So yes, it is terrible that students are suffering depression, but please explain how this is the fault of the “incalcitrant” teachers and teachers union or could it be, gasp, that it’s just not safe to return yet? I feel your ire is misplaced. Blame the response of the federal government, the state government, or even the anti-maskers that let the disease spread. Blaming teachers for the pandemic constantly in this forum is ridiculous. Teachers didn’t cause the pandemic. They are just workers at the bottom of the totem pole expected to “make it all work.” Well they can’t in this scenario because they would be in grave danger on a daily basis. Your expectation of the normalcy of schools reopening during regional lockdowns is mind boggling to me. No matter. Schools will be closed for the foreseeable future.

[Portion removed.] On one hand you want schools to open and for the children not to suffer, but that definitely isn’t going to happen without the teachers getting vaccinated first.

Here is a link for everyone that’s ever stated “schools in other countries are open.” There is new evidence elementary school children do spread coronavirus. I guess those UCSF and the AAP pushing for premature reopenings are probably wrong and I might have been correct this whole time.

Web Link


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Jan 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Jan 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

@Diana "With the ongoing virus wave it is not safe to open middle and high for at least 2-3 months, at which point we are too far into the school year to make it practical. It sucks but I think it is a good compromise."

Agree, great compromise, as I can't imagine any problems with keeping kids at home full year and maybe into next. It's not as if kids can feel isolated and depressed, breakdown, or abuse drugs and have suicidal thoughts, from being away from school, sports, dances, and other activities, because they have Netflix and video games to keep them content. No long term impacts and I'm sure it will end someday. Kids are resilient and, more importantly, they're learning to sacrifice their futures to save grandma.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jan 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jan 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm
Parent
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jan 17, 2021 at 8:40 pm
Parent, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jan 17, 2021 at 8:40 pm

[Post removed; inaccurate factual assertion.]


Alvin
Registered user
Professorville
on Jan 18, 2021 at 10:40 pm
Alvin, Professorville
Registered user
on Jan 18, 2021 at 10:40 pm

@Voice of Palo Alto. "Here is a link for everyone that’s ever stated “schools in other countries are open.” There is new evidence elementary school children do spread coronavirus. I guess those UCSF and the AAP pushing for premature reopenings are probably wrong and I might have been correct this whole time."

All rubbish. study finds 0% covid from kids to teachers. So why are the "pro science" teachers' unions opposed to opening schools?
Web Link


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 18, 2021 at 11:38 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 18, 2021 at 11:38 pm

Well Alvin you posted one set of data and I posted another. Which one is correct? Would you want to be the guinea pig to find out? Instruction can be delivered online. Schools were also closed during the 1918 Flu Pandemic for months on end. We are also closing in on the death toll of the flu pandemic of 1918. It seems partially like a case of history repeating itself. But to answer your question, your posted link may be correct but realistically no one wants to take a chance and risk their lives right now especially when we are all under stay at home orders with high community transmission. It’s human nature. Some people are risk adverse. Some people have underlying conditions. There’s still a chance you can get it from other staff members. Now a more transmissible variant is becoming the dominant strain so all of your data from your post might be thrown out or it could still be proven correct just like my data. Government officials decided schools should stay closed for the time being so this is where we are.


Anonymous
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 20, 2021 at 5:43 pm
Anonymous, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jan 20, 2021 at 5:43 pm

Anyone else find the attitude of the teachers on this website and also in the board meetings to be super aggressive and way out of line with reality? [Portion removed.] The reality is that Palo Alto does not have a huge coronavirus problem but we do have a huge problem with almost 10,000 kids not in school being subject to social isolation, lack of physical activity and subpar teaching. [Portion removed.]


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 20, 2021 at 6:29 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 20, 2021 at 6:29 pm

"The reality is that Palo Alto does not have a huge coronavirus problem but we do have a huge problem with almost 10,000 kids not in school being subject to social isolation, lack of physical activity and subpar teaching”

Classic underrating the severity of the virus. [Portion removed.] It’s not safe right now. We are well on our way to matching the total amount of deaths of the 1918 Flu Pandemic and schools were closed during that pandemic too.

Source: Web Link

[Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


Anon Anony
Registered user
another community
on Jan 22, 2021 at 4:58 pm
Anon Anony, another community
Registered user
on Jan 22, 2021 at 4:58 pm

0.5% of population versus 0.15%; numbers lie and people lie with numbers.

Avg age of mortality - 28 yrs vs >80 yrs

Not the same or even comparable - really


Roger Dodger
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jan 23, 2021 at 2:51 pm
Roger Dodger, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jan 23, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Regarding our superintendent's Twitter page: it's interesting to note that it was de-activated for a while. Now that it's back, it is set so that only those who follow him or those he tags in his tweets are allowed to engage in the conversation. So much for an open, honest, transparent exercise in leadership.

Real leaders don't need to curate their presence so that their only engaged audience is a hand-picked one that they get to choose.


Facts please!
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jan 24, 2021 at 11:59 am
Facts please!, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jan 24, 2021 at 11:59 am

PLEASE reopen schools. Covid deaths are at 93% impacting the elderly - quarantine them and let the rest live their lives. Numbers show all time high suicide rates, depression, and academic drop outs. I applaud Don Austin and the PAUSD board - finally some kids in elementary have a sense of normalcy, and the covid rate of infection in PA continues to be one of the lowest in the county.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jan 24, 2021 at 2:20 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jan 24, 2021 at 2:20 pm

More stories on how school closures have taken a toll on students in The NY Times.

Web Link

"Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, 18 students had taken their own lives."

And yet the teachers union fiddles away. You would think that PAUSD teachers would be sensitive to this given our recent history. But it's more important to keep schools closed based on dubious science.


a Palo Alto teacher
Registered user
another community
on Jan 24, 2021 at 6:21 pm
a Palo Alto teacher, another community
Registered user
on Jan 24, 2021 at 6:21 pm

The article says, "The secondary schools are still planning to offer small group cohorts on campuses starting Jan. 25. Austin said he'll announce more details about the cohorts at next Tuesday's school board meeting."

Did anyone hear Tuesday any further info on what's planned or see links online to more info?


Samuel L
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 25, 2021 at 11:04 am
Samuel L, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2021 at 11:04 am

@Rodger Dodger - Actually, Austin's Twitter filter is even more restrictive. Comments are only allowed to be made by accounts that HE follows.

He used to also say that all of his tweets were available directly on the PAUSD website. That is no longer there.

It's basically one-way communication where he can spin information how he wants and all of his "yes-men" can agree with him.

Sad that a public leader is so weak that he can't accept criticism or differing points of view.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jan 26, 2021 at 4:36 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jan 26, 2021 at 4:36 pm

It is criminally negligent and immoral for any school district to demand that teachers return to face-to-face school classrooms until all school adults (the teachers and all school support staff and administrators) are fully vaccinated (two shots plus 2 more weeks) for Covid-19. This incredibly stupid and inhuman rush to re-open schools is politically motivated and not based upon scientific risk that all adults in schools will face should they be forced to be there in inadequately ventilated classrooms.

I saw two governors (NY and CT) today on CNN defend school re-opening, and both governors deliberately downplayed school staff infection risks and deliberately ignored the critical issue of full teacher vaccinations. Both were on the Wolf Blitzer show and were praising unspecified measures that they have "taken" to make schools "safer" and praised their "frequent testing". Wolf could have decimated their arguments by asking them if they were fully vaccinating their adult staff before re-opening, but to his shame, Wolf never asked that critical question. Wolf is as equally guilty of forcing teachers to be at risk as desperate politicians who are trying to force them back to unsafe conditions months too soon. And that is IMMORAL.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2021 at 11:30 am
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jan 28, 2021 at 11:30 am

[Post removed; repetitive of earlier post.]


Parent of Three
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Feb 1, 2021 at 2:23 pm
Parent of Three, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2021 at 2:23 pm

@William Hitchens: 100% agree

Gunn is allowing Hybrid groups of students to attend school in person. Since there are no teachers available to teach the hybrid classes in person, PAUSD is forcing non-teaching staff members to "teach" the classes. Is that even legal?


JR McDugan
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Feb 1, 2021 at 7:21 pm
JR McDugan, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Feb 1, 2021 at 7:21 pm

Science on the matter is clear - it is safe to re-open schools. It is a shame that a few anti-science extremists are preventing the education of children.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 3, 2021 at 12:02 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 3, 2021 at 12:02 am

False JR. The CDC findings stating schools are safe, have a disclaimer at the bottom of the opinion piece they are referring to: “The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The European Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have acknowledged that children of all ages are susceptible to and can transmit Covid. They have also stated that school closures can contribute to a reduction in Covid transmission. Under the headline “Europe’s Schools Are Closing Again on Concerns They Spread COVID-19,” the Wall Street Journal reported, “As US authorities debate whether to keep schools open, a consensus is emerging in Europe that children are a considerable factor in the spread of COVID-19—and more countries are shutting schools for the first time since the spring.”
Web Link
In December in the U.K., positivity rates among children were higher than adults. Even the prime minister of England, Boris Johnson, had to concede, “The problem is schools may nonetheless act as vectors for transmission, causing the virus to spread between households.”
As documented by Rebekah Jones and her team at the COVID Monitor, nearly 600,000 students and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at K-12 institutions throughout the country. Schools are barely open.
Web Link
Proof of association between school closures and lower Covid:
Web Link
The scientific evidence actually shows that closing schools leads to a reduction in the spread of COVID. I oppose the ruling class’s back to work campaign and I back the working class’s campaign to save lives.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 3, 2021 at 9:18 am
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 3, 2021 at 9:18 am

I'm going to ask this question again: transmission in the community or in the classroom?

Correlation does not mean causation. In fact, the causation of growth in infection by teachers and potentially kids is likely the other way around - more community infection results in infections among students. There has been no proof that classrooms have been a vector for spread.

Your "scientific evidence" is lacking.

Interesting article summarizing these facts.

Web Link


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 3, 2021 at 11:58 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 3, 2021 at 11:58 am

@Me2: [Portion removed.]

[The] opinion articles that you post lack evidence. How do you explain Rebekah Jones reporting nearly 600,00 infections in schools when they are barely open?
Also Me2, never question that the unanimity of the media, whether aligned with the Democrats or Republicans, in demanding that teachers abandon remote learning and resume in-person learning shows how critical the reopening drive is to the interests of the capitalist class. The financial oligarchy has over the past year given itself trillions of dollars in bailout money, helping to fuel a massive stock market bubble. This Ponzi scheme—built entirely for the enrichment of the billionaires—cannot keep going without constant infusions of the wealth derived from human labor. This is why all sections of the political establishment are united in the declaration that workers must get back to factories and workplaces teeming with COVID. Schools also provide child care!
So is it really about the children?
Don’t question if the Government is still pushing a “herd immunity” strategy but just not as overtly as it was under the previous administration. Also, ignore the voices of the millions of educators that are supposed to somehow make this all work, that are saying that this will not be safe. [Portion removed.]
Why not wait a few more months until vaccinations increase? What about the new variants?
Keep talking yourself into the magical thinking that school buildings are a bastion of safety during a pandemic. [Portion removed.] Schools spread colds, flus, and other infections to children, their families and their communities. They're just usually not as deadly as COVID.


Me 2
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 3, 2021 at 2:21 pm
Me 2, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 3, 2021 at 2:21 pm

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