School closures heighten low-income families' fears that their students will be left behind | Town Square | Palo Alto Online |

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School closures heighten low-income families' fears that their students will be left behind

Original post made on Apr 2, 2020

For local low-income families, the coronavirus is exacerbating the economic, educational and technological inequities that already loom large without the threat of a public health crisis.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 8:37 PM

Comments (7)

17 people like this
Posted by Family matters
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2020 at 10:08 am

“ With FCE, there's a touch that's different. There's a 'How can we help?'" Duncan said.”

That is the perennial failure of the PAUSD schools. There’s no culture of “how can we help?“

At JLS, there is a long-standing administrative policy of discouraging any kind of parent community from developing electronically, because they don’t want to deal with families of special needs kids who aren’t treated well to compare notes or *gasp* get together and try to improve things. They also actively discourage personal relationships between families and teachers when families have any kind of difficulties around special needs.

It’s one of the reasons the district was caught so flat footed going online, because they have so rejected anything they cannot absolutely control, like collaboration or real two-way engagement. The one-sided blasts from the district described here are par for the course even during the suicides when they said they were going to listen. The lack of healthy communication and vibrant online community which they actively discouraged has made it much more difficult for them to adapt to this circumstance or to feel like they can move forward in partnership with families.

The families featured here sound like the many amazing families in this district. Kudos for all you have accomplished and hugs as we all make our way in this difficult time. Thanks for sharing the concerns, hopefully our district steps up.


4 people like this
Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 2, 2020 at 11:51 am

Don't all families share the same concerns?


8 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 2, 2020 at 11:47 pm

I stopped reading after the third paragraph, which says the kid is four years old and needs preschool. Once upon a time, preschooled kids were considered the weird ones.


6 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2020 at 7:41 pm

Scary times we're living in. Stay healthy, stay safe and lift each other up. We're all in this together.


14 people like this
Posted by Personally
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2020 at 12:33 am

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Soooooooo
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm

I don't see how the fear of children's educational progress being delayed is limited to low income families. For my 2 kids in PAUSD there has been complete failure of the school district to provide meaningful remote education. PAUSD should be embarassed, my daughter in secondary school only has very limited zoom meetings so far. What are the teachers being paid to do all day?


3 people like this
Posted by Samuel L.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 6, 2020 at 1:37 pm

My Paly senior has had 2 20 minute Zoom meetings with teachers, both last Friday the day before spring break. After 2+ weeks of no school, that's all the teachers could manage to do "in-person"? Everyone else managed to figure out how to do their business remotely from Day 1. The district is acting like the teachers are incapable of understanding technology. Doesn't the district like to pull out how technologically advanced PAUSD is? iPads in the classrooms, Smartboards, etc... but now they're asked to download a video conferencing app and provide assignments through the required online Schoology platform and all of the sudden we're back in 1985.

Ms. Duncan said, "I just have to trust the system to some degree." That's exactly what PAUSD wants. They want the parents to believe that the district knows what they are doing and they are looking out for the best interest of the students. That's rarely the case, as they have shown time and time again.

Maybe PA Weekly can interview students (and not just the AP over achievers) and see how the past few weeks have gone in terms of actual learning. I have yet to speak to a student that claims the last few weeks have been anything but busywork.


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