Palo Alto Unified to opt out of state exam due to coronavirus concerns, becoming first district in state to do so | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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Palo Alto Unified to opt out of state exam due to coronavirus concerns, becoming first district in state to do so

Original post made on Mar 9, 2020

The Palo Alto school district announced Monday that it will be opting out of state testing due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, and the superintendent is calling on the state to suspend this year's exam altogether.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 9, 2020, 11:34 AM

Comments (73)

31 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 9, 2020 at 12:08 pm

[Portion removed.] Same classrooms, same seating scenarios. BUT THAT 95% PARTICIPATION RATE THO!!


61 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2020 at 12:24 pm

Does anyone need more proof that PAUSD is more concerned with appearances than with student health and safety? This is not the district taking a "step in response to the spread of the coronavirus." This is a way for the district to try to avoid being penalized for poor attendance during the CAASP.

Austin says that "Every superintendent thought it was exactly what we should be doing," yet PAUSD is the only one that has done it. I find that hard to believe.

Austin sounds like the type of person that if they know they can't win, they just don't even try and use it as an excuse for failure.

This is what qualifies as leadership in PAUSD


20 people like this
Posted by Used car
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 12:39 pm

Don Austin is doing the right thing for the wrong reason. The CAASPP is a terrible battery of tests, but the coronavirus and possible school closures (they should actually close up shop all this week) have nothing to do with the CAASPP. Austin is a manager and that is going to have to okay for now. A leader would have the guts and communication skills to opt out of the test because it does not do enough for PAUSD when compared to the disruption it causes.


17 people like this
Posted by Lily
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 9, 2020 at 1:19 pm

Hey Austin got any students in your district whose parents work at NASA's Moffet Field? Employee just tested POSITIVE.Workers told to stay home.Better search your gut and do the right thing!


51 people like this
Posted by Another teacher
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Yet again school staff learns about district developments from the local newspaper, not from the district office. I wish the superintendent and his cabinet would show teachers and site staff more respect by telling us news directly. Guess who will be refreshing PA Online instead of checking their email for tonight’s big announcement from Dr. Austin?


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Is this the test that is in fact testing the schools rather than the students?

I believe many don't turn up for the tests anyway.


31 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 2:11 pm

This is very self serving for PAUSD and Don Austin. Since PAUSD can't hit the CAASPP participation rate, due to scheduling 11th graders to take the CAASPP tests at the same time as classes, at Paly, Don Austin is lobbying for all districts to shut down the CASSPP and save himself and PAUSD, and it's shot at getting the money. And not get dinged on its academic performance.

Hahahaha

Of course Pausd wouldnt mind hiding it's poor results either, for economically disadvantaged students. Bailing on the CASSPP kills two birds w one stone.


39 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

If Don Austin was a leader, he would not have sent 180 Greene MSers on buses to Disneyland to sleep 6 to a room and eat together, this past weekend. Great job spreading the coronavirus Don Austin.


20 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Independent


Well they took every kids temperature.. ISNT that good enough for you? Lol for sure.

Also sent Gunn band to New York

Also sent robotic team to Utah

Must not be that worried. If health dept recommendations were ignored this weekend .

They must at least keep kids on campus during school day at paly . No plan.


25 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 3:21 pm

Leading the way in not taking a test that makes Pausd look bad (low participation rate, bad academic performance for economically disadvantaged). What leadership!


24 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 4:59 pm

For an "intellectual" community, these posters are showing no class in their disrespectful wording. Are you all reading TMZ comments too much? Don't stoop to their level, such statements lose all credibility when the person sounds unhinged. Why not threaten physical harm like Chuck Shumer, your Senate Minority leader?

I think this hysteria is a result of the media. Every time I turn on the TV, the subject is coronavirus. Influenza has already killed 50,000 Americans since October and no one cares. All viruses have incubation periods where the person is contagious prior to symptoms. These viruses are not airborne unless someone sneezes or coughs and everyone knows to keep their children home if they have these symptoms.

If anything, this should be a learning experience for everyone to wash their hands when they enter their homes at any time of the year (use a knuckle to turn on the faucet). And use hand sanitizer after returning to your car. This is the best way to avoid getting sick.

We should wait until there are more reports of coronavirus before locking down our high schools. Catching up on work will be more stressful for them unless the teachers simply disregard the missed work in their grading. The middle schools and elementary, preschools could lock down with no grading issues or much loss of learning.


11 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:20 pm

[Post removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:30 pm

Here's the latest.
Web Link

Wonder where the 100 person limit came from.

From the memo: "As you may be aware, on March 5, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department made statements in a press release that signaled a change in approach from previous communications. They recommended that communities, governments, businesses, and schools postpone or cancel mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another."

Wouldn't that include school?!?!?!?


68 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:39 pm

It seems very hypocritical to cancel any large event or trip while not cancelling school. Are 2000 people in close proximity to each other not a risk, while any sporting event with more than 100 people is? It really doesn't seem like the district is taking anything into account in their decisions—not like they ever have though.


18 people like this
Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Superintendent is hiding behind official numbers again, which are based on lack/availability of testing. The pattern of those who test positive and death rate from Corona shows that the true rate of infected is much higher, so they are just waiting for the cases at the school and deaths. In the meantime, the virus is given the opportunity to infect students, their parents and grandparents and creating overload in hospitals in a few weeks time and the need for more drastic actions like that had to be taken in China and Italy. It is so predictable. The only time the district is proactive is when they risk reaching their goal of 95% participation. Students and parents do not come first. Over 2,300 petitions from concerned parents already on Change.org to close the Palo Alto schools: Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by GRT member
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:07 pm

[Post removed at request of poster.]


10 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Paly sent the whole robotic team this weekend. Do you think that was a good call? What adult decided to take risks with kids?


22 people like this
Posted by gunn robot
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:12 pm

About 12 members out of 50 signed this email we sent to Don Austin.
Subject: Gunn Robotics Team Wisconsin Trip

Hello Dr. Austin,

We hope you are enjoying your weekend. We are a group of students from the Gunn Robotics Team who would like to express our opinions about the potential cancellation of field trips. We understand that PAUSD will be issuing a decision regarding field trips on Monday. Since this is a decision that may affect our ability to compete in the Wisconsin Regional Robotics Competition (March 19-22), we would like to take just a few minutes to express our own opinion — one that is unique and not just parents complaining or asking about the safety of their children. We are simply a few students expressing their opinions, and this letter may not be reflective of what the entire team thinks.

This competition is not only the culmination of our last two months of work, but for many of us, this is the last — maybe only — time we will get to experience anything similar. Collectively, we have spent more than 7000 hours working on the robot, with many long nights and early mornings. We are really proud of the robot that we have designed, manufactured, and programmed. Frankly, it would be frustrating to see this time and effort go to waste. While we are grateful for all we have learned throughout the build process, competitions offer a whole other learning opportunity. At competitions, we collaborate with other teams, work under high pressure and time constraints, and present our work to judges. Above all, we would just like to see our robot perform.

We urge you to uphold the district’s current policy of allowing domestic field trips to continue as planned. We share the same priorities; none of us want to get sick and spread illnesses. Thus, we will take all the necessary precautions, such as frequently washing our hands and following good respiratory hygiene. Furthermore, FIRST Robotics has already canceled regional competitions in areas such as Washington and New York. If they conclude that the Wisconsin competition is too dangerous to hold, they will cancel the event and we will respect their decision.

If you are uncomfortable with sending fifty students and around five adults to the competition, please let us send a smaller group of five to ten members and a younger mentor/supervisor who is less vulnerable. Even if limited in scale, this plan would be vastly preferable to outright cancellation because it would allow us to compete and the rest of us who are not going would still be able to watch the robotics matches from home.

We understand the risks of going to Wisconsin, but this competition means a lot to us. It’s an experience that the fifty of us will remember in the years to come, and we would be grateful for an opportunity to watch our hard work pay off. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Sincerely,
Members of the Gunn Robotics Team


26 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:21 pm

So the logic is ridiculous-

From the PAUSD email today:

"The Public Health Department is not recommending school closures at this time because individuals under 18 years of age have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus."

But what about anyone else? parents? grand parents..? I guess the under 18 year olds NEVER come near anyone else?

I think the first sentence of the email sent to us speaks volumes about PAUSD priorities during this crisis-
"The core mission of the Palo Alto Unified School District is to provide a high-quality education for all students."

...forget about anything else.


26 people like this
Posted by pausd
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:24 pm

Its only 2 weeks until spring break, why not close for the next 2 weeks and then you get 3 whole weeks to limit the spread in the area??!
I guess grades> anything else...typical PAUSD


27 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Things are being canceled all the time every day, from the St. Patrick's Day Parade in San Francisco, to church services, to birthday parties and group meetings.

Canceling prom is not a big surprise. It will be remembered as "the year prom was canceled". Sports may be taking place without spectators. Olympics might be canceled.

Yes it is hard for those who look forward to Prom, but everyone gets to go to Prom twice. Yes it is hard for any fun activity to be canceled. But as adults we know that safety is the important thing.

Canceling school is a different scenario. The weighing of the pros and cons, childcare concerns, teachers and students safety, those who will lose wages if the schools are closed (janitors, etc.) those who depend on free school meals for a nutritious meal each day, etc. etc. etc. It is not a simple thing.

I personally would like to know about guarantees of soap and paper towels in bathrooms as well as hand sanitizers in each classroom.


36 people like this
Posted by Insider/Outsider
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:48 pm

The Superintendents message does not take into account the fact that while students may not get severely ill, they can infect the teachers and staff.


6 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:58 pm

Away games for sports aren’t cancelled yet so robotics and debate are probably following suit (debate had a tournament last Friday). Obviously no guarantee this won’t change.


25 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:00 pm

On the other hand if they really want to halt the spread of sicknesses then closing schools is the only true option. Otherwise in a given classroom 7 period of ~20 kids may touch the same desks each day...


12 people like this
Posted by Really?..
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Given the ever-changing developments with the Coronavirus, it is understandable that Dr. Austin’s message will change as well. Why not close the schools-implement a closer Spring Break tagged onto the four days of instruction this week and include the four days in June. This will give all more time to assess the situation without risking exposure to students and staff.


1 person likes this
Posted by Face Palm
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:38 pm

State testing is back on....


29 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm

If PAUSD was making truly informed decisions, the guidelines sent out at 5pm would not have changed at 6:45pm after talking to the State and County Superintendents. Who did they confer with when they made the initial decision?


3 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:26 pm

State testing is back on? Oooh Nelly
think of all those stiff ones teaching who can't "wing it". Their planners ate all messed up now!
Lol


3 people like this
Posted by Prombackon
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:26 pm

Per Don's letter, prom is back on and has a strikethrough over the word


23 people like this
Posted by Senior Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:30 pm

We live in the tech capital of the country - online classes should be feasible, at least for high schoolers. The high schoolers all have school issued computers and don’t need babysitters. How embarrassing and irresponsible.

We live in the CA county with the most Coronavirus cases. That alone is a reason to close the schools. I don’t care what the rest of California is doing. .

Every class period should begin with a desk and doorknob wipe down. Teachers should be encouraged to ask sick students to leave the classroom. Cleanliness has always been an issue, especially at Gunn. Now it needs to be taken seriously. Now.


24 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 8:42 pm

As multiple other students have said, Paly seems to think 2000+ students interacting with each other is less dangerous than a team field trip or small gathering.

Think about it — 7 classes a day, 25 students per class (non-overlapping), the few hundred people we come into close proximity with on our way to class, at lunch, etc. in addition to the four or five other class periods that share the same room with us in a single day — it's the best way to spread a virus.

Doesn't matter that we are a "low-risk" group. A lot of us have family and friends who are old and/or have health issues, and yet PAUSD's first step is to cancel prom and testing.

Come on....


10 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:30 pm

PAUSD apparently doesn't have the resources to put classes online which is a prime motivation for keeping schools open. Since some students would be left out (no laptop, etc.), it seems to be a nonstarter even if the tech exists. So, if the Feds shut things down, which is very possible if Santa Clara County cases increase, the students are really going to be out of luck. Maybe someone in the community can find a solution because PAUSD is incapable.


11 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:40 pm

I am glad PAUSD is finally stopping outside organizations from using school facilities. Has anyone ever been to Gunn on a Saturday afternoon near the N classrooms? It is another world.

Also, I don't think it is fair that the Gunn gyms are rented out to non-PAUSD student organizations. Those gyms should be opened for Gunn students on the week ends on a drop in basis to play basketball, volleyball or badminton.


16 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 9:54 pm

It is very confusing to me that PAUSD isn’t doing anything. I get it, we need education. But I could care less about my education, i am always going to put my health first. I saw the Santa Clara county press conference and they had said that the virus is most definitely going to increase. The superintendent said there is no risk for the 18 and younger group of people, but what they don’t know is that there is a lot of students who have respiratory problems and have weak immune systems(not everyone). I just hope the PAUSD stops thinking about their appearances and For once starts thinking About us the students. We have had enough.


2 people like this
Posted by casey
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2020 at 10:15 pm

"Has anyone ever been to Gunn on a Saturday afternoon near the N classrooms? It is another world."

You must be referring to the Stanford Chinese School. How is it another world?


11 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 10:48 pm

@Resident, Another resident of palo alto

The soap supplies in bathrooms is laughable, at least at gunn. Tissues are non-existent. Those that do exist are purchased out of pocket by sometimes cash-strapped teachers who shouldn't need to spent money on such things, at least in my opinion. Hand sanitizer, I'm not too sure about, but I don't really see any...


22 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 9, 2020 at 10:50 pm

Also, I just wanted to spend a moment to thank PA online for letting us use this website for free. It is ridiculous that I'm getting my information from a local newspaper instead of the district, but at least the local newspaper is being an upstanding community leader in a time of crisis. THANK YOU PA ONLINE!


10 people like this
Posted by ex pausd
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2020 at 11:52 pm

So I guess gatherings of 2000-3000 high school students 5 days a week for 6 hours a day is just fine then!!??


26 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:28 am

Come on folks, think about it...

The county health department is TELLING all schools to stay open and TELLING them to cancel other events and trips. The PAUSD admins are not public health experts - they are educators. So they defer to public health experts on how to handle a pandemic - so for now, schools stay open, other activities canceled.

Every other school district in the county is doing the same thing. Do you seriously think a local school district should just defy the public health department and do whatever they want? "Go with their gut" like Pres. Trump?

Also, no other district is moving to online classes. No school district has the capability; neither the teachers or students has trained or practiced. If they try to slap something together, it will be a mess - as a result, kids will miss out on a decent education, especially the ones who need it the most. If the schools end up closing, better to just close, and add time on later, like in June.


9 people like this
Posted by C
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:12 am

Kids pick up a virus in school and pass it onto their parents. Parents go to work and pass it onto their co-workers. Co-workers come home and pass it onto their families. This happens *every* flu season, especially with tech having adults with young children. Tech companies are already trying to break this chain with working from home. Keep the kids at home and give them a long-term project, like a book report, or even research on some aspect of the CoVid virus (eg. how different countries are trying to contain it). Heck, teenagers can learn TurboTax as a long-term school project. Might as well learn something that they'll need as an adult... :/


21 people like this
Posted by Gunn student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 5:45 am

Admin cancel everything, but still don’t restock soap in the Gunn bathrooms. Pure incompetence.


20 people like this
Posted by DP
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 8:17 am

I would like to remind my fellow high school parents that we ALL have responsibility over our own children and can apply abundant common sense to adjust to the evolution of this unprecedented situation. Maybe, just maybe, too many of us parents have gotten way too comfortable letting the schools do all the parenting that now all we know how to do is complain.
I would invite any and all parents to read the note from the Robotics Team, you will see far more balanced and insightful words in there than what I have been reading from, what it looks like, a mass of grossly entitled "parents".
It seems clear that our children know their own school environment much better than we do... I would love to hear more from them.


16 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:03 am

There is zero reason for schools to remain open. The schools are spreading the virus right now as I am typing this, without a shadow of a doubt. Look at South Korea.


11 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:05 am

@David: "There is zero reason for schools to remain open."

I understand there are good reasons to close schools but they don't eliminate the good reasons for continuing school such as learning (which is much more effective in person compare to online) and providing a place for children to go if they can't be cared for at home.

Rather than present just one side of this issue, let's discuss both sides and weigh arguments from each.


10 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:30 am

If the District is making these new rules out of real medical concern for the safety of students and the community, can someone please explain to me the double standard with regards to sports? Trips are cancelled but the sports teams still play and get to travel to away games/competitions?

Also, student athletes are more likely to have physical contact with other student athletes in the course of their games. They also touch the same stuff - like balls! Why are sports allowed to continue while other programs are shut down? I can't think of any medical reason that makes any sense.

And yes, students in the other programs put as many hours into preparation for competitions as any of the student athletes. And yes, the cancellations of their competitions impacts their college apps too.

Can we have clear rules that treat all students fairly and do not blatantly favor one group over others? No need to wonder why so many of our students feel disconnected from their own school communities. They get the message they are second class loud and clear, from the District leadership no less.


4 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:56 am

Field trips are one-off events, related to instruction. These are cancelled. Overnight travel for all events is cancelled.

Sports are an after-school activity. School-based after-school activities continue. If an after-school activity doesn't meet a guideline (too many people in an enclosed space, etc.), it has to adjust to meet the guideline or it is cancelled. Most spring sports have an advantage here, since they are played outdoors (with a couple of exceptions). Drama performances have the same standard - they continue, but must meet guidelines in terms of audience size, etc.

I don't see the double standard here.


14 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Overreacting now is better than regretting later. Otherwise, yesterday's Wuhan will be tomorrow's Palo Alto.

All schools in Palo Alto should be closed immediately and have all the classes online.

The School district is acting too slow and sloppy.


4 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:35 pm

@parent - the double standard is that the sports teams still travel for their games/competitions while the other competitive teams are not allowed to travel under the current rules. That makes no sense. The fact they travel more often is not a great reason to allow it versus for other non-athletic competitive teams at Paly and Gunn that travel less, like Robotics, Debate, Science Olympiad, etc...

Student athletes are in close proximity to each other on a bus, in locker rooms, etc.. even if they play outside. And as I stated above, they are much more likely to have physical contact and share equipment.






6 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:38 pm

>Since some students would be left out (no laptop, etc.)

Every high schooler is issued a Chromebook. If they don't have one it's because they opted to use their own laptop. Shouldn't be an issue as long as the solution is browser-based.

No point in telling us to wash our hands if we can't even get soap in the bathrooms. Lunch itself is a gathering of 1000+ students... can't forget about every class having 30+ students.


Like this comment
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:42 pm

@Parent the double standard arises depending on how you interpret the announcement. As of now field trips are cancelled but away trips for sports continue, where other after-school teams and their tournaments fall is in question. It seems reasonable they follow suit with sports in the meantime.


8 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Lets keep some proper perspective #1. Chance of getting the virus is currently extremely low. #2. If you get the virus, its not likely to be serious health trouble ... particularly for school age kids. #3. There are currently no large infection clusters in California schools and local communities. So, taking some prudent steps such as canceling or postponing things that aren't essential make sense (for example ...do the state standardized tests really have much value for students?... juniors are already taking all kinds of tests for college admissions). Some field trips are once in a lifetime opportunities so I really feel bad for the robotics team and others. Chances of kids biking to school getting hit by a car and killed are higher than a fatal corona virus infection... should we not allow kids to bike to school? Should I not drive to work because I have far higher chance of dying in a car accident on any given day? Fear and paranoia in the drivers' seat right now. There is zero reason to close schools based upon the situation on the ground. How long would you people propose putting life on hold?


1 person likes this
Posted by Conona
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I'm pretty that some parents will take legal action against the school district if something bad happens down the road. I will, for sure.


10 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:54 pm

The logistical nightmare associated with closing all PAUSD schools probably makes it infeasible... what do you do with elementary schoolers who don’t have supervision at home? Students on reduced / free lunches? Lab activities? PE (req’d for graduation)?

There’s a lot more to moving online than meets the eye... colleges have a much easier time than a public school district would, which is probably why we haven’t seen it in any other district yet.

Don’t get me wrong, as long as schools are open, the risk of the virus spreading among kids is still present. But at a certain point one has to wonder whether containment is worth the cost of everything that gets shut down or halted in the process.


7 people like this
Posted by I'm Calm
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm

@Dan,

Are you are a doctor or healthcare provider?

#1. The chance of getting the virus is currently extremely HIGH (not low). Otherwise, CDC wouldn't advise people over 60 stays at home.
#2. If you get the virus, it's likely to be serious health trouble ... maybe not for school-age kids, but for the whole family!!
#3. There are currently no large infection clusters in California schools and local communities. It will be too late if "large infection clusters" happen!!!


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Serious question.

Should we closing our libraries?

Our libraries are heavily used by seniors and school children as well as the homeless. With so many people working from home, the likelihood is that many will go to libraries for better internet. As schools are possibly closing various activities after school and other activities are being cancelled, the likelihood is that the libraries will have an influx of people. Some will be bored, some may not be healthy. Are they going to clean and sanitize every computer terminal, every periodical, every work surface, every chair, and will the restrooms have plenty of soap and water. If they remain open, how are they going to remain clean and hygienic? Books can be harbingers of many germs.


Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:15 pm

@Curious, "the double standard is that ... other competitive teams are not allowed to travel under the current rules."

Where did you read this? I do not see that rule in the Superintendents Update from yesterday (Web Link). If there is a local competition with less than 100 people attending in a reasonably-sized indoor space, that sounds like something that would be permitted.


2 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:18 pm

The virus is quite contagious, but the statistical chance someone will contract it is low based on the current infection rate. So both are right...

Think about everything each of us touches and comes into contact with on a daily basis. It extends far beyond the reach of PAUSD schools. Unless everyone in the Bay Area puts life on hold and camps out in their house, closing PAUSD will only make a negligible dent in changing the rate at which the virus spreads through the entire community. Maybe it won’t spread from kid to kid at school, but it will spread many other ways.

The virus is going to s


6 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:21 pm

[ugh typing is hard]

The virus is going to spread one way or another, so kids might as well go to school. Admittedly, it’s not fun to think about.


3 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:33 pm

@parent - yes, other competitive teams should be able to go to competitions but thus far, they have been told no because their trips fall technically under field trips (those are the permission forms used for those trips). That is the point, it is very unclear why certain competitions are being allowed and others are not except the way the school does the administration for certain teams versus others. There is no medical or health reason for the difference. AsI stated earlier, the sports students are at even more risk given physical contact during games and competitions

So right now, the non-sports teams are not allowed to go to their competitions but the sports teams are. There is no good reason for the difference. That is my point - be clear for all students and make a rule that applies fairly to all students - yes or no.


5 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:53 pm

As an example, maybe everyone washing hands cuts the infection rate in half. Tech giants keeping people home from work reduces it a bit more. Bay Area school districts cancelling field trips, conventions cancelled, etc etc. But there’s still a risk, and the virus will still spread. Eventually all the easy stuff has been done, and we turn towards closing schools and similar. The problem is that we will never eliminate the risk of the virus spreading, because that’s just not realistic... every new precaution has a greater cost. Eventually we have to ask the question of whether further measures are worthwhile compared to what we are giving up... and there are some things that society is just not willing to do (cough cancel pro sports cough)...

I don’t mean to doom us all with this, but also threatening to file lawsuits against PAUSD isn’t really helpful.


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Posted by School Guidance on COVID-19
a resident of another community
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Joint guidance from the California Department of Education and the California Department of Public Health regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) on March 7

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:35 pm

90 schools closed in SF, San Mateo and Marin after a student tests positive. How soon till PA has a case? Close the schools!


Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:51 pm

District will hold out as long as possible to try to get closer to spring break. I would guess they'll close the week before or after spring break giving them two weeks to see how things progress.
Not sure they'll be able to hold out that long though especially if one student or relation to a student can close em down


12 people like this
Posted by CoCo
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2020 at 5:01 pm

I work in a local elementary school - I'd love to say there is an concerted effort to practice good hygiene and teach the kids what to do - but that is NOT what is happening. OSHA required the removal of clorox wipes and Purell from classrooms a few years back, so those supplies are not commonly found in classrooms. I am currently bringing my own, but I do not have enough to supply the whole classroom. There are reminder announcements prior to recess to wash hands - but kids are kids and are more concerned with going out to play than spending 20 seconds doing a thorough wash - plus 20 seconds per kid x 23-25 kids means approx 8 minutes EVERY time you do a hand wash (which should be 4-6 times per day). Teachers are not being given adequate information or supplies. So PARENTS - HEADS UP - teach your kids a song to sing (there are great ones on You Tube that they will love to watch) send them with wipes/hand sanitizer if you have it, and remind them not to touch their faces and to sneeze/cough into their elbow. Eventually once widespread testing happens and the true reach of the virus is determined, the schools will likely be closed. But until then, the best we can do is try to protect our kids and the community through simple, but effective measures.


5 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 10, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Hey teachers who went out of state and to Disneyland this weekend. Wait 2 weeks before bragging that no one got sick. Taking temps of all the kids before the trip was an embarrassment. Was that done for liability later? Why? Did you take temps of everyone at every rest stop and everyone at Disney? You can be contagious and have no fever. making light of a pandemic is not wise. There were 5 more cases in Orange county. They are shutting down UC Irvine and UCLA and others. .1 percent mortality rate is quite a bit different than 2. You should try to be quiet about expanding instead of limiting exposure and hide your trophies. Also there is something wrong with acting like it is nothing when so many have passed away worldwide.

Perhaps the people taking temps of kids think it is a difference of 1.


7 people like this
Posted by Potato
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2020 at 9:22 pm

I just don't feel like going to school, please cancel it.


8 people like this
Posted by Grandparent
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2020 at 6:52 pm

We must close the schools - containment is necessary to slow down the curve. We live in a multigenerational family with a young child who attends elementary school. It would be safer for us - healthy and in our 60s if we weren’t exposed. I work in a travel agency and all school groups have cancelled trips to Disney, Washington ,and Israel. It was very irresponsible of PAUSD to let these kids travel.


7 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Wow.
PAUSD can afford to spend tons of money on reconstructing our schools but they can't buy hand sanitizers, tissues, decent soaps, and disinfectant wipes that lower the risk of getting sick?

I am a student and I noticed that only ONE of my teachers was able to disinfect the classroom and put hand sanitizer out for students to use. I bet the soaps in the bathroom don't even kill the germs on our filthy hands.

Education is important to me, but so is my health.

[Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Best School District in the WORLD
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:22 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


2 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:27 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by A student smarter than DON AUSTIN
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:32 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


3 people like this
Posted by EOS
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:34 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:40 pm

[Post removed.]


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