The board of trustees gave the go-ahead for staff to begin design work for projects under Measure I this summer during its June 23 meeting. The projects at Belle Haven are estimated to cost about $50 million, according to a staff report. Construction likely won't begin for another 16 months though, as the design process and state approvals take about 13 months, staff said. Key needs covered by the bond funding at Belle Haven include: modernizing existing classrooms; creating a new, expanded multipurpose and kitchen building with a shaded outdoor eating area; demolishing a portion of an existing classroom wing as well as existing portable classrooms; adding a new two-story classroom building and a new school courtyard and quad; and reconfiguring the field and play area.
Projects at Costano Elementary School will cost about $30 million and those planned for Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy will be about $25 million, according to staff. The district also plans to modernize classrooms and new administrative buildings at the other elementary schools.
The district began construction earlier this year on a $50-million project to bring its middle school facilities at Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School up to modern standards, with air conditioning and flexible working spaces for students. This project, paid for with past bond money, is set to be completed at the end of 2023.
Man arrested in fatal July 4th stabbing
A 19-year-old male was arrested on Tuesday morning for allegedly stabbing another man to death in East Palo Alto on the Fourth of July, police said.
Officers responded to a report of a stabbing victim in the 400 block of East O'Keefe Street at 11:35 p.m. on Monday. Upon arrival, officers found the victim and applied first aid before paramedics arrived, but he died at the scene. Police identified the victim as Abner Oswaldo Najeraxol, 33, of East Palo Alto.
Shortly at 5;30 a.m. on Tuesday, officers arrested East Palo Alto resident Wilmer Vasquez Amador in connection to the stabbing. He was taken into custody with assistance from the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office and information from witnesses who came forward, according to police. Police said they are withholding the motive behind the murder due to the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call acting Cmdr. Angel Sanchez at 650-853-3154. Information can be shared anonymously via email at [email protected] and by text or voicemail at 650-409-6792.
Masks not required at schools in 2022-'23
State public health officials announced their public health guidance on June 30 for the 2022-2023 K-12 school year with no mask requirement for students or staff. The guidance, which officially went into effect July 1, includes recommendations that students get vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear a mask indoors but does not require that they do either. California students will not be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine until at least July 1, 2023, provided that the vaccine is fully approved by federal regulators for all age groups. The guidance also requires that students cannot be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition for participating in a school event or activity. Teachers and school staff also are not required to wear a mask, but the state has required them since August 2021 to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or test weekly for the virus. The Palo Alto Unified School plans to follow the state guidelines and similarly won't be requiring masks or vaccinations this fall, Superintendent Don Austin confirmed. Rapid tests should be considered the primary testing option for schools over PCR tests, according to the California Department of Public Health. Students and staff also are advised to test for the virus before returning from summer, winter and spring breaks. Schools will be required to provide paid COVID-19 sick leave through at least Sept. 30, 2022. Students who test positive are advised to stay home from school for at least five days and wear a mask around others for at least 10 days. The state's full health guidance for K-12 schools can be found at cdph.ca.gov.
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