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Newsom: Schools in watch-list counties cannot reopen in person

Original post made on Jul 17, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all schools in counties on the state's coronavirus watch list -- including currently, Santa Clara County and likely soon, San Mateo County -- cannot reopen for in-person instruction in the fall.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 17, 2020, 2:31 PM

Comments (209)

71 people like this
Posted by Paly Teacher
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 17, 2020 at 2:43 pm

I recognize that this will be very difficult for many students and parents but I hope people also see that this is the right choice to keep everyone safe. This is not easy for teachers, either. Many of us have already started adapting our classroom lessons for remote instruction.


55 people like this
Posted by Aesculus CA
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 17, 2020 at 2:53 pm

We can get kids back in school IF we all stay the EFF at home (and wear masks when shopping for essential items).

Santa Clara County is still under shelter in place but some people are travelling for vacation and socializing.


73 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:15 pm

A Travesty.

Thousands of pediatricians nationwide say returning to school is necessary -- and one of the safest places for young kids to be. But our leaders ignore these experts in favor of media hysteria and union pressure.

Yes, there has been an increase in cases. But it's not a "spike" or "explosion" as people on these boards insist. And it's certainly not found among kids. This was always anticipated when you consider that the initial case load was so low. And even with the increase in cases, the local death rate remains very low and is declining. Treatments are improving, and it would be easy for young kids to comply with social distancing and masking.

Facts and data don't matter. Managing risk is irrelevant. Fear and emotion rule the day.



34 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Per state law (AB 77/SB 98), distance learning must be
live, daily interactive instruction with certificated employees and peers, for purposes of instruction... (AB 77 43500 (a)(1) and (2), 43503 (b) (6)).

San Jose Unified, San Mateo Union HSD, and Dublin Unified plan to provide live streamed teacher instruction for their students --- why not PAUSD? We parents request that it be provided.


9 people like this
Posted by rmaydan69
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:19 pm

What is missing from this article is what the governor said about distance learning. Below is a Twitter thread that he sent shortly after the press conference. The link is here as well.

Web Link

"In CA, science will determine when a school can be physically open--and when it must close. But learning must be non-negotiable.

Schools must provide meaningful learning during #COVID19. And we must do everything we can to keep our teachers, staff & students safe. That means:

1) Safe in-person school based on local health data.

Schools located in counties that are on CA’s Monitoring List must NOT physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days.

When does a physically open school need to close?

Following a confirmed case of #COVID19 at school, those exposed should be quarantined for 14 days. The school should revert to distance learning when multiple cohorts have cases or 5% of students & staff test positive in 14-days.

The district should revert to distance learning when 25%+ of its schools have been closed due to #COVID19 within 14 days.

Closure decisions should be made with local health officers. After 14 days districts may return to in-person with approval of local public health officer.

2) Strong mask requirements for anyone in the school:

All staff and students 3rd grade and above must wear masks on campus.

3) Physical distancing requirements & adaptations:

Adults must stay 6 feet from one another & 6 feet from children.

Students should maintain 6 feet of distance when possible.

Anyone entering the school must do a health screen. If a member of your household is sick--stay home.

4) Regular testing and dedicated contact tracing for outbreaks at schools:

Staff in every California school be tested for COVID-19 periodically.

CA will provide resources and technical assistance for COVID-19 investigations in school settings.

5) Rigorous distance learning.

School districts must provide:
-Devices so that every child can participate in distance learning.
-Daily live interaction.
-Challenging and equivalent to in-person instruction.
-Targeted supports for English learners and special education.

The health and safety of our teachers, students, and staff must be our top priority -- while also allowing our students to continue to learn during the #COVID19 pandemic."


18 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Per Gov. Newsom:
5) Rigorous distance learning.
For Distance Learning,
School districts must provide:
-Devices so that every child can participate in distance learning.
-Daily live interaction.
-Challenging and equivalent to in-person instruction.
-Targeted supports for English learners and special education.

PAUSD --- just do it.


47 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Saying that the virus would just go away if only people would stay the F home is like saying people wouldn't drown if only they didn't have to breathe air.

The virus isn't going away. It will just wait until you come out from under the couch again. And we are not going to stay the F home any more.

All we are doing now is multiplying the damage.


25 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:31 pm

This policy will disproportionately affect women, who are still the majority primary child caregivers. It already has.

Web Link

We've weathered viruses along with other risks in the past and we have to do it now. We don't have a choice.


28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Official recall petition: Web Link

(clarifying the "web link" in previous post)


40 people like this
Posted by Blow off codys rules
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 4:02 pm

Aesculus- yes, lets all stay locked up at home until the virus disappears. People are allowed to travel for vacation and people are allowed to meet for outdoor dining.
I meet a friend for coffee today. Report me to Sara Cody.


48 people like this
Posted by Local mom
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Well, apparently child care will be open, so it is OK for our kids to spend 6? 8? hours in child care but not get actual education. The few lower income elementary kids in Palo Alto will likely stay in makeshift child care facilities (=overcrowded family homes). This is a travesty. In Europe, schools opened safely in APRIL in many places, without a corresponding spread of Covid.


55 people like this
Posted by Palo alto resident
a resident of El Carmelo School
on Jul 17, 2020 at 4:44 pm

---They will allow thousands of protesters on the street where the same science is thrown into garbage.

---They allowed bars to open before regular business & schools. As if people will get coronavirus vaccine at bar...lol

---In fact, science (Fauci keeps changing his tune daily) has no idea how this virus behaves. First it was ventilators, later on testing capacity and now mask....watch out for something new next month....none of them save you from virus or help you in any way...

---once we have vaccine it will be different story...it is not effective for certain people and some people not interested….endless game

---opening school in hybrid setting was best option but they want to listen to science, which has NO answer at the moment (all preventive measure same for flu)

ONE thing I am sure if Biden gets elected they will make everything look normal and act as if a virus doesn’t exist.

Lot of politics in the name of kids education and if someone can’t see the other side of the coin is a freshman in politics.

Hopefully this post PA online don't delete because they don't like to listen different opinion but love freedom of speech.


74 people like this
Posted by Stopcomplaining
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm

Stop complaining and get on board. Your negative comments aren’t helping here. We will be distance learning to start off.

PAUSD Teachers, thank you for transitioning and completely reinventing your teaching to meet our students’ needs! You are role models in how to adapt quickly and remain resilient in a challenging career (under constantly changing district leadership). Even though Palo Alto Online is full of “teacher-bashers” some of us on this site actually respect how much time and energy you’ve given outside of your actual pay to help our students. I know teachers who are already putting in hours this summer. Thank you.


52 people like this
Posted by working parents
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm

What about working parents? huh

Who on the earth is going to watch them at home?

Who will pay my bills if I can't work?

If you are working in a private company they demand results. They are not giving us free money because some cowards decide to keep kids at home for their own safety and agenda.

Newsom & typical politician will destroy California economy and next generation in name of virus.


59 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 5:03 pm

I look on this differently.

Newsom is playing political poker. He is writing his resume for presidential campaign in 4 or 8 years' time.

He is deliberately opposite Trump. Whatever happens in the future he can say he did the opposite.

The welfare of our children's emotional health is the cost. They may stay safe from covid and from bringing it home to their families, or taking it to school to their teachers and other school staff, but at a cost of social development, independence and group learning. It used to be wrong to experiment with children's normal development. Now we are encouraging children to isolate away from others in their peer group. They will not learn all the boundaries between groups, they will not learn about body language and other social cues, they will not learn to share and take turns, they will be the first generation to be deliberately prevented from acquiring what is necessary to operate in a community.

I am not saying they will develop into anti-social, selfish, dependent adults, but it is going to take a lot of effort on the part of the parents who care about such things to make sure that these children turn out normally adjusted adults.


57 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 17, 2020 at 5:16 pm

I know one thing for sure: China is sitting back watching all of this.

Their leaders are saying: wow, a virus hits them and their country falls apart and a man gets killed by police and a civil war practically breaks out. They must be licking their chops.

After watching this and the ebb and flow of the virus and media hysteria: This is without a doubt about politics and doing whatever it takes to get the little boy out of the White House. When protest were going on we hardly heard about the virus, just updates. As soon as the protest died down here comes the virus hysteria again.

Again, liberals behave with their feelings and the right looks at facts and numbers, reality.

Also remember, teachers are essential workers and I feel their should have been a choice for online learning or in person.

It is a virus, people are going to die, but shutting down economy, life in general will kill more people in the long run. Thank God this not WWII now or we would be done!!!

SOFT!!!!


9 people like this
Posted by Lelo
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 5:17 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Lelo
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 5:19 pm

@curious

Right...facts?
When?


59 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 17, 2020 at 5:26 pm

It’s a shame that children have become pawns in a political chess game. This “order” has nothing to do with science.


25 people like this
Posted by Curious Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 6:02 pm

@LocalMom,
>Well, apparently child care will be open, so it is OK for our kids to spend 6? 8? hours
>in child care but not get actual education.

Teacher's Union is obviously a lot better than the (non-existent) child care Union.


94 people like this
Posted by Physician
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 17, 2020 at 6:22 pm

The teachers' union got what they wanted, both the CTA, which has been lobbying Newsom heavily and the PA teachers who lobbied for this outcome.

Enjoy your victory, but please don't insult us with the puffery about how great the online only learning experience is going to be (or how much better it will be than it was in the spring). Ask any pediatrician or read any research on the subject.

I'm personally put in a difficult situation. My work has gotten much more hazardous as one might imagine, (to a much greater degree than a controlled classroom, especially with younger children who are poor vectors), and now added to this I have to either devote significant extra time to backfilling my own kids' learning or cut back my hours, which I will be forced into giving serious thought to if stress or burnout begins, or watch my kids development rot.

If I was in the teachers' shoes, I have to allow that I may have lobbied for the same since the incentives are so perverse -- why take on any extra risk if there is no downside to lobbying against it? That said, after this action, the "it's for the children" chorus that comes with every union demand for increased pay, more airtight tenure, or whatever it is certainly rings hollow now, because let's be completely clear on one point: our kids are the ones paying the bill for the teachers' risk aversion, as well as the spillover effect to their working parents.

I feel compelled to comment because the teachers' can and have wielded the safety stick to shut down any discussion: many likely feel they can't argue with "My life is more important than your child's education." But I look around the hospital every single day and see thousands of people stepping up and meeting a much greater risk, because its an important job that needs doing that we all signed up to do. The teachers have lobbied against and resisted taking a much smaller step, which they should not have done if their mission of teaching our children was half as important as they claim it is every time their union is demanding more from us.

It's one thing if the union was lobbying for a set of testing protocols, safety equipment, outdoor classrooms, and the like, only to be overruled by the governor, but this is the outcome the union (both PA and the state CFT) wanted all along. You learn things you didn't want to know in a crisis, and I'm very disappointed to say the least.


45 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 17, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Online learning for K-12 doesn’t work. Zero evidence that it does. Disparate negative impact on disadvantaged youths.

Scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports opening of schools.

The USA is an outlier in opting for online learning compared to other major industrialized countries who are opening schools.

Huge negative psychological impacts accrue to young people that will negatively affect their future prospects.


50 people like this
Posted by Hard-working Parent
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 6:58 pm

I guess we need to organize a Parents Union. Then we can funnel millions of dollars to the politicians we want to control. (Of course, ALL parents will be forced to join our union, whether they want to or not, and all will have to give us a portion of their hard-earned money so that we can achieve our goals, whether they agree with them or not.)


25 people like this
Posted by Curious Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm

I'll repeat what I said last week on this site about when we'll resume school:

"It's not up to Don Austin. It's not up to the School Board. It's not up to parents. It's not up to Sara Cody. It's not up to the CDC. It's not up to Donald Trump or to Congress or to our governor. The teacher's union will make the decision when it's time to return."

Perhaps the union could give us some clear guidelines so that we can understand if we are talking about 6 months, 1 year, or 2+ years before we can resume in person learning.


27 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2020 at 7:44 pm

Parents - stop looking to the government to solve your parenting and educational problems. If the schools aren't educating your kids, figure out how to step up.


29 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 7:48 pm

I said the same thing during many useless school meetings.

"THEY NEVER LISTEN TO PARENTS AND THEIR FEEDBACK IS WORTHLESS"

Teachers can make decisions tomorrow and schools will open in hybrid mode till December. If things goes out of hand we can always go back to online or full in person (that's the beauty of hybrid model)

If you look at any industry where you have employee union outcomes will be similar (no wonder many hate union)


23 people like this
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 7:53 pm

@Physician-
Not all of all of us.....signed the letter. I hear you. Trust that.


61 people like this
Posted by Broken McLaptop
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:09 pm

Can WAIT to get back to school. Here's the future, parents:
"Ok 6 year old - here we go, let's start the day.
Here's your laptop. You're six, you should work a laptop easily. First, you can log in to Seesaw, Schoology, Infinite Campus, Dreambox, GoNoodle and Raz-Kids! Now sit at the kitchen table for hours! You can do that right? And don't be late for your Zoom conference. Watch out for hijackers!
Don't let me catch you watching funny cat videos! LOL! Oh wait that was assigned to you by your teacher?? Oh, it's ok then. Your learning math from a funny cat!!!
I'm sure your attention span is up for all of this. Watching multiple media on a computer won't alter your ability to sit and concentrate quietly in your room, right?
Meanwhile, I will login to Shutterfly, Konstella, Google Docs, and my own email, to try to make sure I know what you're supposed to be doing!
Then, we can get started on the arts, crafts, yoga, and dance videos that we are being asked to complete and take pictures and videos of, to show that we completed the assignment, and upload it all back to the website! I just need to go shopping for some oaktag and sparkle glue! I hope CVS has some?
Oh, wait, I have to be at work at 8am."


39 people like this
Posted by Exhausted Parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Seriously Broken; this is how I feel too! My preference: give me some of my taxes back, close elementary schools until this clears, and let me find my own solution, which will not include online learning.


54 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:31 pm

Resident,

The successful countries locked down until they drove the virus down to a low level, then they had adequate testing and tracing to keep new cases bottled up.

The US has failed because it did not lock down tight enough and did not get its test ping and tracing act together.

Most Americans are insistent on making excuses for their failure rather than fix the problem.

Students would be going back to school if Americans had fixed the problem. They still have the opportunity to get off the “bad” list, but does SCC have the resolve to do it?


18 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 8:46 pm

@Physician - thank you for your post and your work! I very much agree that the incentives were perverse, of course lots teachers voted to stay home because they get paid either way. Any kind of survey of what teachers want right now is worthless because of that - who wouldn’t pick staying home if there were no downsides?

Oh well, onto distance learning, I hope there are minimum standards this time at least.


29 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Lets make one thing very clear: NOT ALL TEACHERS WERE ON BOARD with our union but in this case the majority wins out which leaves the teachers who want to be with the kids and educate and CARRY OUT OUR ESSENTIAL ROLES/TITLES, HELPLESS.


33 people like this
Posted by Archictect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 9:19 pm

@Broken McLaptop: Your comment is true, funny and sad.

We can do better.

1. PAUSD must directly and explicitly acknowledge in all of their teacher training, teaching materials and teacher goals that parents/guardians are *necessary* for distance learning.
Especially for younger kids. It isn't simply helping your kids with a project or homework. It isn't reminding them to finish their work. Parents must now manage all scheduling. Parents must manage all tech support for downloading, printing, uploading, etc. For younger kids, parents must observe their kids to determine who is keeping pace, who is feeling upset, who needs a nudge, who needs guidance, etc. This is some of what teachers do in-person.

2. PAUSD teachers must list the expectations of parents/guardians on a daily/weekly basis. As in: parents will need to install this software, upload this file, supervise this project etc.

3. Since parents/guardians will be required to participate in teaching, we need to have a process to give structured feedback to our kids' teachers. This feedback should be sent to principals and the district as well.

4. Some teachers are not fond of parental involvement or feedback. This may have worked with in-person teaching, it cannot work with distance-learning. Parents are integral to distance learning. PAUSD and teachers are requiring parents to participate. So teachers must be explicitly told to solicit and respond to parental feedback.

5. Less capable teachers will issue an excess of busy work. This is unacceptable during distance learning. Even busy work needs to be managed by parents/guardians. Teachers should be guided not to issue busy work at all. Teachers must judiciously and sparingly engage parents’ time.

6. On an earlier thread, someone suggested reorganizing teaching for distance learning along the university model: where the best available professor gives the lectures and other professors then offer individualized support. Who is the best Algebra teacher in PAUSD? Have that teacher deliver all the lectures to *all* PAUSD algebra students. Other algebra teachers then maintain a 1:1 relationship with their class in support. This concept should be embraced for distance learning.

7. Online PE was a disaster. Specifically asking kids to provide weekly logs was unnecessarily stressful. Drop the logs.

8. Teachers should be sparing with requiring students to submit proof of work. In the spring, teachers required proof of work for every project big and small. In effect, trying to mimic the in-person experience. Work loads doubled or tripled as a result. Distance learning is not *in-person*. What can be expected in-person cannot always be expected during distance learning.

9. Schoology was/is not designed to scale in the manner it was used in the spring. Especially in the morning, it was often unavailable or slow as kids from all over the district logged in. Has this been fixed?

10. All tests should be open book, open notes in all classes. Will kids have Discord running while taking a test/quiz/exam - yes some will. How will this be managed by PAUSD teachers?

11. Every service offered by PAUSD should be redesigned for distance learning. This is not an emergency situation anymore like the spring. It is our new normal. I want to see public documents about how IEP/SpecialEd/Athletics/Arts/Labs/AP Exams/everything has changed for distance learning. It is understandable that not everything is in place yet. But nothing should be adhoc. Everything should be transparent.

12. Parents should acknowledge that this pandemic is a black swan event. Rebuilding schooling and all the services provided in a school for distance learning is not going to get done in a summer or even in a year. Not everything will work and not every need will be met.

13. In response to #11 above, PAUSD should set advisory committees for rearchitecting everything for distance learning immediately. The committees should include PAUSD teachers and staff as well as PAUSD parents and students.

14. PAUSD should publish a comprehensive distance learning plan with specific guidelines and principles. The plan should recognize that distance learning demands parental/guardian engagement.

We do not want another year of emergency distance-learning that attempts to replicate the in-person model with parents standing in as teachers. It doesn't work.

We want a comprehensive, thoughtful, transparent and successful distance-learning plan. Lets develop it now with as as much feedback as possible.


9 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:01 pm


@Archictect

Agree with your thoughts and nice write up . Now go to Don Austin who is not going to even read your proposal.

Online learning was not designed for public school with any study or research done by any committee. It is patch work by PAUSD that brings 5-6 different programs to create perfect technology chaos.

It will take another 2-3 years to bring online learning to same standard of in-person (even that is aggressive timeline considering how government agencies work, where you have evil union setting in between)


9 people like this
Posted by Helen
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:06 pm

@Architect: You're right - all of that is needed for a minimally successful remote-learning program for our schools. But are you serious in thinking that the teachers and other educators will take the time and effort to develop and implement such measures? (And I can't blame them if they don't.) In all likelihood this will only be needed for 4 months or so, or at the most (heaven forbid), for one school year. Then it's back to normal, effective, and psychologically healthy in-class learning.

This is all such a disaster. And so ill-advised.


33 people like this
Posted by Covid-19 ready
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:20 pm

K-8 parents,
If you have the monetary means or time, withdraw from the district, create safe learning pods with a few other families (see Washington Post for details), and control your year. Consider that you can hire 1 young teacher for $80K to teach one pod of 8 children or two pods of 4 children full time. With much less effort than distance learning, you can have a controlled and even possibly enjoyable year.
High school parents,
Please share your ideas. I'm thinking we wait to see what the District delivers and withdraw if it's a bust. But, I'm curious as to what others are doing.
Community,
I find Newsom's County based approach totally unfair. Why does the rate of cases in San Jose and the rest of Santa Clara County impact PAUSD so directly? Right now we have so few cases. It's a unique opportunity for our kids to safely connect with their teachers in person. Remember in the spring, those connections already existed. Now they need to be forged.
Teachers,
Superintendent Austin called the spring crisis learning after he told us all it would be one of the best programs and worth waiting for. Let's be clear. That was not acceptable. Yes, only 40% of secondary parents said it wasn't acceptable. That was secondary parents being polite. Gov. Newsom said that SB 98 sets a MINIMUM. That is, you CAN give PAUSD students the minimum of 4 hours per day instruction in Secondary, but YOU ALSO CAN DO BETTER. This is one of the highest spending districts in the state, there is no excuse not to do better. Please give our students what the law demands: instruction of the quality and challenge of live in-person instruction.
Secondary Teachers,
Please speak up for students. That 30 minute per class Monday bell schedule is a mess. Paly had that short day for years, and they dumped it. Please do not make students sit through 7 periods 30 minutes per class.


14 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:32 pm

@parent: I think everything saw that spring was an emergency situation. It isn't so anymore. I want to see distance learning done well. I hope PAUSD can see that the situation requires drastic change.

@helen: I completely agree. It is a disaster and we all want in-person, in school learning to happen as quickly as possible. I wish we had a hybrid option. Our kids need to be around their friends, they need sports, arts, music and activities to return.

It is important to follow the experts. Dr. Fauci is optimistic about a vaccine in the next few months and I want him to be right. Here is an article at Scientific American with some concerns:

Web Link

This may last longer than we think.


15 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 10:44 pm

@Architect,

PAUSD elementary school was set for hybrid model before Newsom's nonsense advice. In fact, Austin was proposing a hybrid model for high school during his Monday youtube session before school ended. In fact, many posters above mentioned hybrid as the best option for both worlds. Now everything is online considering Santa Clara county mortality rate is very low. We had very low numbers in May/June and suddenly mass protests jump the number to the 100-200 range.

Vaccine is not going to happen anytime soon (Sorry Fauci is wrong many times). Science doesn't know for sure about this virus at the moment.


32 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 2:17 am

Thank you to Gavin Newsom today for not caving to political pressure, economic pressure, and pressure by parents to reopen schools prematurely in the beginning of a pandemic with rising case counts throughout California, and in turn keeping all students and staff members safe. As he mentioned, schools are an “ecosystem” with adults running the schools. They do not exist in a vacuum and should not be run on a gamble of unproven data and so called science that “the kids don’t spread coronavirus” as the disease is only about 6 months old and there are too many unknowns. Also, thank you to Newsom for taking all decisions away from local authorities such as Don Austin who clearly was not up to the task of generally making a safe decision regarding reopening, and who was about to blatantly disregard the health and safety of all students and staff members by forcing a reopening of Elementary schools. Thank you to Newsom for mandating masks in schools to be worn by students (although it should be for ALL students) to quell any future “mask refusal arguments” when a return to in person instruction Is feasible, and for also requiring students to be 6 feet apart when said return is possible. There can now be none of the “well 4ft distance between students is ok” talk to try to get more students in the door and other such “rule bending” of CDC guidance that puts staff and students in incredible danger. It was also Newsom’s decision to keep schools on the state watch list closed, so the union can no longer be blamed here with the same old anti-union rhetoric. For all of you here that demanded schools reopen because of your tax dollars, argued that educators were essential workers comparing them to grocery store workers or medical workers, or demanded staff members take incredible risks to their lives and the lives of of their family members by going into an indoor setting in a small gathering on a daily basis to service you, Newsom just effectively ended your arguments today and put everyone’s health and safety first. Please keep in mind he also protected families by doing this. Just an absolutely fantastic job done today by our Governor! Stay safe everyone!


38 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 3:43 am

1. Comparing teachers to workers in the medical field is a false analogy. Teachers aren’t medical workers used to working in PPE and they did not swear upon the Hippocratic Oath. Teaching is a vocation not a “mission,” and teachers are under no obligation to act as heroes in this pandemic. Finally, staying alive and keeping themselves and their family members safe takes precedence over the previous union demands and the context of those union demands that you brought up.
2. Comparing teachers to grocery store workers as essential workers is another false analogy. Do you need to eat to live? Yes. Therefore grocery store workers are essential. Education isn’t essential to live, you can live without it, therefore teachers are not essential workers. Instruction can and will be delivered online.
3. This isn’t about politics. This is about health and safety. Newsom will not be recalled.
4. Newsom is receiving his health and safety advice from renowned health expert and pediatrician Mark Ghaly. If you cite that pediatricians article (that they completely backtracked on), then which is it? Listen to the pediatricians or don’t listen to the pediatricians?
5. The science and data is constantly evolving and more children are becoming infected. Remember a few months ago when medical professionals were saying children were “immune to the Coronavirus?” That has certainly changed, and now they are saying “children don’t spread the coronavirus as easily as adults.” There’s no guarantee that so called “fact” won’t change down the line as well once more studies are done.
6. Comparing any school reopenings in other countries with the United States can no longer be held as an apt comparison as the virus is circulating out of control here. At this point, It would actually be more like an experiment to see “what would happen if” you opened the schools with uncontrolled virus spread in communities. Still, other countries with the virus seemingly more under control had to shut their schools back down after they reopened and had outbreaks.
7. If you bring it back to WW2, and say people are being soft nowadays, who is actually being soft? The people who are scared to die of a Novel Virus, or the parents that completely fell apart and have been complaining when all they’ve been asked to do is to pitch in and take care of their own children instead of relying on the schools/teachers to do so starting back in March?
8. Whatever science and data you are pointing to here without providing a web link as evidence, Newsom and Ghaly have the latest science and data at their disposal every second of the day and base all of their decisions on that science and data.


29 people like this
Posted by Yep
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 7:40 am

If this is the VOICE OF PALO ALTO, this explains it all, beam me up Scotty


27 people like this
Posted by Joan
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:07 am

I wish the self-proclaimed Voice of Palo Alto had put her last sentence first ("Newsom and Ghaly have the latest science and data at their disposal every second of the day and base all of their decisions on that science and data."). Because if I had read that first I wouldn't have wasted my time reading any of the rest of her message.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:29 am

Best bit of advice is from architect point #6 above.

Get the best teacher to do a video and all children in all schools get to see it.

Team teaching and smaller study groups overseen by a teacher seem to be great ideas. Now is the time to be innovative and think outside the box. No longer are traditional classrooms the best method, so breakdowns that transcend the normal groupings make sense to me. How about localized study groups/discussion groups that can socially distance at a local park. Everyone takes along their own chair, sit in a circle and discuss a topic. Older students can do this and have been doing this online but now is the time to perhaps get local groups organized.


4 people like this
Posted by Social bubbles not allowed in SCC
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:10 am

Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Monumental failure! No fast COVID19 testing yet
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:17 am

>> Thank you to Gavin Newsom today for not caving to political pressure,

Wrong! He did. I wrote to him to be brave but he did..

All of them use data/numbers to their advantage, selectively.
Metrics varied from "Number of Deaths", "Number of PPE",
"Number of Ventillators", "Flattening of Curve of Number of Deaths"..
instead of focusing on containing the spread of COVID19 virus
which would require making fast and reliable COVID19 testing
available RIGHT NOW. We are months into this pandemic, yet no
fast and reliable COVI19 test availability. Just BS-ing about test
capacity, etc. does not cut it. There should be no backlog of
tests - today it takes 5 days approx for test results. That is
useless.

No point comparing with other countries, states, etc. - you don't
need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows.

Get COVID19 tests ready and available!

No need for contact tracing apps from Google or Apple going against
CCPA privacy protection -
these are not trustworthy corporations when it comes to writing
good software or protecting privacy - they are good at making money
on the backs of children's lives and ruining social fabric.
Social distancing was already in place before COVID19 with people
ignoring those nearby...

This is an UTTER failure of leadership at all levels!


17 people like this
Posted by Beware of Trolls
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:51 am

I have a hard time believing that the self-proclaimed Voice of Palo Alto is real. The tone of her postings is made to sound like she represents the teachers in Palo Alto, but I am not sure she does, since I have met a good few who still really care about teaching the kids, despite the change of circumstances. They had daily check-in sessions with their class as well as weekly with each kid before any "rule" forced them to. For those exceptional teachers, I do not get the impression that (like Voice seems to convey) the focus is on ensuring Teachers' continuity of paycheck, while the Palo Alto community just gets what it gets. (Of course, there have also been a sizable number of teachers who seem to have just gone quiet in this period. My sampling is admittedly limited, so I'm not sure how this translates to general experience in PAUSD.) I think we should continue toward intelligently putting in place real plans for how to drive the situation back to best learning for the kids. And, when restrictions start to open back up, what really is our plan to shift back to in-person learning? That part has been extremely ambiguous.


15 people like this
Posted by Elementary Schools in Palo Alto Can Reopen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:04 am

Elementary Schools MAY reopen with a waiver. Santa Clara County posted this guidance.

Elementary parents know that if the district is willing to request a waiver, a waiver is possible. Read this announcement.

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:50 am

Just wear a mask and stay off the watch list. Don't be babies.


18 people like this
Posted by When?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:29 am

Supposing in 14 days from now, Santa Clara comes off the watch list, then what steps need to happen before anything changes with the learning engagement logistics? Is it only at that point that District and Teachers Union will yawn and see what they can bubblegum together and call it a plan? I’m honestly confounded at where info and accountability lies.


26 people like this
Posted by Trump Newsom Austin
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:46 am

That is a crackup that anyone would actually try to portray Gavin Newsom as a leader. The California Teachers Association pulled his strings quite openly, zero mystery. Don Austin is actually trying but just found out that PAEA still has enough parents who run interference for them, so PAEA is running the show. No one wants to be respsponsible, this Covid 19 truly is an orphan. We deserve better in PAUSD. It will not be any more safe 12 months from now for teachers to return. It is about as safe as going to Costco or Safeway, but everyday.


24 people like this
Posted by We’re are done
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Our kids will never regain the lost learning opportunity and we as a society will loose in the end. Welcome to the new reality where teachers union pushed for and won the “guaranteed universal income “ scenario.


28 people like this
Posted by Anna
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm

PAUSD would likely qualify for a waiver in partnership with Santa Clara Health Authorities. PAUSD infection rate and demographics are what the waivers are intended for. I am soooo disappointed with Don Austin for caving so easily on this, and sacrificing the wellbeing of our elementary school children to the views of a teachers union, which represents only the views of some of the teachers.


5 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:04 pm

@ Monumental, all the tests are diverted to: the NBA, MLB, some college team sports, the White House staff and, likely, Gov. Newsom.


16 people like this
Posted by Teacher of 29 years
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:13 pm

@ Anna....yes Palo Alto does have a low rate, but the majority of teachers do not live in Palo Alto. As for me I live in a zip code in Santa Clara county with the highest rate of Covid. I would be coming from that area into Palo Alto to teach. That has to be taken into consideration.


23 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:18 pm

I love people here saying “trust science and experts”. Well, 67,000 pediatricians declared that school was critical and safe for kids and for teachers - one of the safest places for them to be, actually.

Newsom decided to trust the “experts” from the CTA instead of the medical experts. What a farce.


19 people like this
Posted by Anna
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Dear Teacher of 29 years: firs of all, thank you for your amazing career educating children.

Your point is appreciated.

Regarding risk of teachers coming from outside PA: the main concerns that I saw articulated in the teacher's union letter was potential for infection of teachers FROM the children, since it would be hard to enforce social distancing, teachers may have to console kids etc. Risk of infection FROM the children TO the teachers is related to the infection prevalence within the community where the children live (and risk is modified by the relatively low infection rate of children under 10; BTW: a huge epi study from South Korea came out just yesterday supporting again how few index cases are found among children under 10).

If a teacher leaves in a community with higher infection prevalence, there is a risk of the teacher infecting a kid or another teacher. Re teacher infecting a kid, the parents that are willing to send their kids to school are willing to take that small risk, since the benefits to the child's well being far outweigh the risk. Regarding teachers infecting other teachers, this can be easily controlled, one teacher per classroom with the kids and teachers careful around other teachers.

I stand my position that PAUSD is the type of district for which the idea of a waiver was intended; we now need our district leaders to actually care about the children.


15 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 2:48 pm

1. Here is a link to what happened with the pediatricians recommendation:
Web Link
Key Statement:
The statement said that only health concerns should dictate when schools reopen.
2. Blaming Don Austin for “caving in” is misinformation and not fair to Don Austin. Let’s be fair here. Don Austin, by all accounts, wanted to reopen Elementary schools. I could be mistaken, but I think initially his intent from reading other articles, was to actually try to push for all Schools reopening in his district and he was working to hard this summer to try to find ways to achieve that goal. Newsom’s order effectively took the reopening decision away from Don Austin since Santa Clara County is on the state’s watch list. As I stated in an above post, I was not for his reopening decision. But if you were on the side of reopening, then Don Austin should actually be given your praise.
3. The waiver would be a great idea but it states the union would also have to be in agreement. That would be very doubtful as the title of one of the last articles posted here at PAonline was titled: 'It is not safe to return to the classroom.' Teachers union lobbies for full distance learning
Educators sign open letter urging against in-person instruction
4. While many of you here are advocating for a return to in person instruction where teachers would be meeting with two different cohorts of 12 students multiple times per week every day for an entire school year, a previous poster provided a link that showed a social bubble of 12 or less people meeting for a period of 3 weeks is not currently allowed in Santa Clara County.
5. Calling the few teachers you have had contact with who were willing to meet in person “exceptional,” saying that they are the “good few” and giving them extra praise to try to separate them out from “the rest of the herd” won’t work here. I don’t think it Is a stretch to say that most teachers are likely extremely frightened by the thought of teaching in person at this time. As mentioned in point 3 above, the Union was pushing for distance learning which indicates to me a majority of its members likely did not feel comfortable with in person instruction at this time. That does not make them “unexceptional” or the “bad majority.” Newsom’s order will stand and we will start in distance learning.


19 people like this
Posted by Voice of PA - speak for yourself
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 3:28 pm

[Portion removed.]

-- We are paying a heavy price to live in Palo Alto not for online learning. As if MIT will take ton of money and end of the day they offer online learning....ripoff

-- Online learning doesn't work as simple as that for young students (K-12). Even college students don't prefer. Otherwise online schooling would have been very popular by now and many IT companies can make tons of money.


6 people like this
Posted by yuck
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 18, 2020 at 3:53 pm

[Post removed.]


21 people like this
Posted by Social bubbles not allowed in SCC
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 4:10 pm

@The Voice of Palo Alto -- It feels like people have their minds made up. So, I feel it's a lost cause. At any rate, I appreciate all your posts and agree with the points you've made thus far. And, since I also live in Palo Alto, you can be my voice on this topic any minute of the day!


6 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Parents
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Are the learning “pods/bubbles” parents are now unofficially forming with multiple families legal in Santa Clara County? Do they comply with our current SIP ordinance?


32 people like this
Posted by Another veteran teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2020 at 5:46 pm

@Physician: I am surprised to see you making this bald-facedly incongruent, illogical, and actually immoral argument. Surely at some point in your training as a physician it was made clear to you that if you pursued your chosen profession, you would encounter circumstances that would expose you to potentially hazardous, even deadly organisms, as a routine part of your work. I have a pretty good memory, and I don't recall anyone ever telling me during my training as a teacher that I would one day be asked/required to expose myself *and my entire family* to a potentially deadly virus as part of my work. Why did I never hear this? Because that is not part of what being a teacher is meant to be.

Incidentally, along these same lines - I have accepted the fact that I have to do "active shooter" drills with my students, even though I resent in mightily. It is part of what we do to keep our students as safe as possible, and that is part of my job. If the worst happened, rest assured I *would* take a bullet to save *your* child. What you are asking me to do in these circumstances, however, is to throw my medically compromised and beloved family member in front of the bullet, so that your child can experience in-person schooling as opposed to remote learning. Remote learning is a poor second - we can all agree on that - but it will have to suffice. Please don't for a minute think that the difference between the two is worth you asking me to sacrifice my family. That is foundationally and profoundly unfair, and renders your argument morally quite questionable.

And surely in your current work, you are routinely working in an environment that equips you with the very latest in PPE as a matter of course to do your work, and rightly so. This is what is otherwise referred to as a "safe working environment." The right to a safe working environment is something that union workers have fought (and died!) for over generations. The level of union-bashing on this forum is disheartening. Unions have a legal responsibility to their membership to advocate for a safe working environment, which is *exactly* what CTA and PAEA are doing in these circumstances. Painting the unions as somehow evil in this matter is callous, disrespectful to the teachers in our community, insulting, and denies the reality of what is actually going on here.

If it was just me, I would probably consider going back into the classroom if the safety protocols were there (that is another discussion entirely). But it's not just me. It's my family. Please stop asking me to sacrifice my family. That is where I draw the line.


18 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 6:04 pm

@anotherveteranteacher - I and many other parents that I spoke with think very differently. It is callous, disrespectful to the parents in our community by denying the children of a real education that you are all paid to do. [Portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by When?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


24 people like this
Posted by Paly Teacher
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 18, 2020 at 6:36 pm

[Portion removed.]

I’m going to leave this final comment on this article then never revisit it again. For those who say good riddance, thank you for making my point: you are interested in having your thoughts amplified by those who agree with you, not a fruitful and earnest discussion for what’s best for kids. Consider these comments:

-Is it only at that point that District and Teachers Union will yawn and see what they can bubblegum together and call it a plan?
-Welcome to the new reality where teachers union pushed for and won the “guaranteed universal income” scenario.

[Portion removed.]

Can we at least agree that so many comments add negative value to the discourse and community? They’re hurtful, counterproductive, and just wrong. Is this how we want our kids to be having debates with each other? What I’m about to write may seem counterproductive as well but I see them as adding value because they put those who try to pass at best misinformation as absolute truth or destroy truth with half-truths and unfounded doubt in their place. That said, I did include some comments that were neutral as well as some that added to the conversation.

Now I’m going to address some comments one at a time.

@Kathy says “San Jose Unified, San Mateo Union HSD, and Dublin Unified plan to provide live streamed teacher instruction for their students --- why not PAUSD? We parents request that it be provided.” 1) I know exactly who this is because she always says “we parents” during board meetings. 2) You speak for all parents? Who voted and made you an elected official? [Portion removed.] 3) Last time you made false claims about districts providing synchronous instruction and I rebutted them. Instead of defending those claims, you move onto other districts? Come on!

@Local mom says “In Europe, schools opened safely in APRIL in many places, without a corresponding spread of Covid.” Yeah that’s because our country has so many people not willing to wear masks. That’s why some states have positive rates in double digits. That’s why Europe has banned US travelers and why some states have put restrictions on travel from California. Saying “well Europe opened schools” is comparing apples to oranges.

@Physician says “Enjoy your victory, but please don't insult us with the puffery about how great the online only learning experience is going to be (or how much better it will be than it was in the spring).” 1) Not sure the majority sentiment of teachers is that online learning will be the best thing since sliced bread. 2) It will be better than what it was in the spring. That’s not insulting you. That’s based on the fact that we have time to prepare and training. They also say “You learn things you didn't want to know in a crisis, and I'm very disappointed to say the least.” You just learned that teachers like living without a lifetime of lung scarring and other lasting harm? And you’re a physician?

@Jack says “Scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports opening of schools.” False. There might be some evidence, but it’s definitely not overwhelming.

@Curious Parent says “Perhaps the union could give us some clear guidelines so that we can understand if we are talking about 6 months, 1 year, or 2+ years before we can resume in person learning.” As nice as that would be, nobody knows what the trajectory of this pandemic yet.

@Archictect says “Will kids have Discord running while taking a test/quiz/exam - yes some will. How will this be managed by PAUSD teachers?” Excellent question. Definite the most important one I haven’t been able to figure out yet and am working really hard to do so because assessments that are fair to all students is critical. (These next two sentences aren’t meant for you). A teacher is actually preparing this summer? Hard to believe, right?! Not sure open notes is the solution because students can still communicate with each other like you mentioned. Best I can think of right now is monitor kids on Zoom during tests but this is much less than ideal.

@Beware of Trolls says “I have a hard time believing that the self-proclaimed Voice of Palo Alto is real. The tone of her postings is made to sound like she represents the teachers in Palo Alto, but I am not sure she does, since I have met a good few who still really care about teaching the kids, despite the change of circumstances.” Have you asked your teacher friends to read what Voice of PA wrote to see their impressions? Also, what VoPA says is pretty consistent with the letter that 400+ teachers signed. @Beware also says “And, when restrictions start to open back up, what really is our plan to shift back to in-person learning? That part has been extremely ambiguous.” This is an excellent point. I have faith that the district will shift toward this once they figure out how to start the school year well.

@When? says “Supposing in 14 days from now, Santa Clara comes off the watch list, then what steps need to happen before anything changes with the learning engagement logistics? Is it only at that point that District and Teachers Union will yawn and see what they can bubblegum together and call it a plan?” Are you more interested in helping the community move forward or do you care more about getting some people to press the plus button above your comment? If it’s the former, maybe email the district something neutral like “Supposing in 14 days from now, Santa Clara comes off the watch list, then what steps need to happen before anything changes with the learning engagement logistics?”

@John says “I love people here saying “trust science and experts”. Well, 67,000 pediatricians declared that school was critical and safe for kids and for teachers.” Source? If it’s that AAP statement, then find the exact phrase that says schools are safe to open.

@Voice of PA - speak for yourself says “You look like one of the lobbyists who has ruined this country.” What? Then they say “If you love the idea of distance learning so much, why are you staying in PA district?” Not sure VoPA says they love distance learning. Their name is so ironic, too. They tell VoPA to speak for themselves then they say “Rest of us want in-person.”

@yuck says “@voiceWhatever…You are incoherent and all over the place.” Not sure about that sentiment…agree or not, VoPA’s comments are pretty easy to read. They’re long because there’s a lot of…stuff…to wade through.

Whew. OK, now I’m going to hopefully knock down one idea once and for all. We teachers don’t like online learning. We’re only fighting for it so that we don’t have a lifetime of lung damage, have to be put into a medically induced coma for a month, or die. Two easy points for remember: we want to be with kids and teaching online takes much more work than teaching online. If you value truth at all, please at least remember that.

Finally, I leave you with these two questions:
1) What do you think of the White House Press Secretary saying on July 16 “The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open…The science should not stand in the way of this.”
2) Why do you think Trump delayed the release of school reopening guidelines from the CDC and barred CDC official from testifying about the issue?

[Portion removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 6:54 pm

1. It is actually callous and disrespectful for you and the parents of this community that you apparently have spoken with to expect teachers and other staff members to risk illness and death for themselves and their family members. You and others here can continue to play the blame game, be upset that you didn’t get your way and were told “no”, but starting in distance learning is now written in stone and the hybrid model is currently not available. I would suggest you start making the necessary adjustments as we all may be in distance learning for the long haul.
2. This isn’t a case of “trying not to work” when “the going gets tough.” These are human beings who would literally be making a potential life or death decision on a daily basis if they were forced into an indoor small gathering each and every day. It’s completely laughable for you to demand and expect teachers to deliver in person instruction indoors for hours at a time when all current meetings are being done safely online on Zoom in board meetings and for companies, and with all other indoors venues such as bars and restaurants being shut down this past Monday.
3. Public paid employees will continue to earn a living at home from your property tax dollars while delivering instruction and giving a “real education” online this school year until public health dictates it is safe to go back to in person instruction. There will not be teacher layoffs or tax money being redistributed to parents because they are “homeschooling” or any of that nonsense. If the public paid employees do not deliver instruction and do not meet what hopefully will be more rigorous standards for distance learning, then you will have a legitimate argument about where your property tax dollars are going and what they are being used for and you would then have a legitimate protest.
4. Parents often say here they want their voices heard and want to be in on decision making. If some (not all) of these parents were allowed to make this decision, they would currently be making the unsafe decision by choosing to reopen against all of the current public health recommendations.
Here is what happened in Israel as an example of what could happen if schools are allowed to reopen and Israel had the virus seemingly more under control than the U.S. currently does:
Web Link
Stay safe everyone!


17 people like this
Posted by Another veteran teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2020 at 6:59 pm

@Wow: You missed the point entirely. I am not "trying not to work." Please stop insulting me in this fashion. I love my job teaching in the classroom. I hate teaching online. What I hate more is dying or, as another teacher points out, having permanent lung damage, or passing on the virus to my medically compromised family member. I want to do my job in the best way possible, as safely as possible. As I said before, stop asking me to sacrifice my family. I would never ask that of you or any other member of this community. And remember, I am on the record as saying I would take a bullet for your child. What I will not do is throw my family in front of that bullet. As a parent who cares for your children, surely you can understand that.


7 people like this
Posted by we can do better
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 7:06 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


10 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:01 pm

If teachers have preexisting conditions or family members, in that case, the district should provide a substitute teacher. Now who will pay for those teachers and sub? Rest of the teachers who like to teach hybrid model are welcome to join.

But no point of discussing anything since teachers and the union decided for online learning.


23 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 8:59 pm

1. I think we are a little past the point where we should believe the virus only effects people that have pre-existing conditions and “old people.”
2. Newsom made a top down decision yesterday and it wasn’t the teacher’s union decision so that is misinformation.
3. Although I do have empathy for your child care situation, it is not the direct responsibility of teachers to be there for your child care needs so they are not ducking their responsibilities as you proposed in your post. That is a bit of “free service” or “side benefit” you receive when schools are open. Schools are now closed and you will unfortunately have to forgive out your child care. A teacher’s main purpose is to educate your child and that will be done online so it is not “wrong on all accounts” like you also stated.
I am sure teachers will be able to look at themselves in the mirror proudly enough because...they...are...alive. Teachers are under no obligation to be “heroes of the pandemic.”
For some more discourse on this topic, can someone please explain to me with this unsafe return against current health recommendations everyone is clamoring for, what will happen if a teacher dies? If a teacher dies, they wouldn’t be able to teach anyway so they wouldn’t be providing the service you currently want. I guess they will just be replaced? What kind of an effect will that have on children if their teacher passes away? What happens if a school has multiple closures due to outbreaks? What’s the plan there? Would you then agree to Distance Learning? Do you think it just won’t happen here? Does the community just not care and will just move on? What happens if your child gets the virus? What happens if your child brings the virus home to you?
Please explain.
This just happened over the summer and the students weren’t even there:
Web Link
This is real.


11 people like this
Posted by Another veteran teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm

@ we can do better: You, and many other commenters in this thread, are continuing to willfully ignore the main point that many teachers are making about this issue. You are demanding that we potentially sacrifice our family members in the midst of a deadly pandemic so that you can have what you want for your child. I would never do that to you or any other member of this community. It is an unconscionable demand to make on teachers, especially when an alternative means of delivering instruction is available to us. Many will agree that the alternative means is a poor second choice, but it *is* a choice that is available to us, and ignoring that choice and instead demanding that teachers place themselves *and their families* directly in harms way so that YOU may have what you want is, well, just unspeakably selfish, self-centered, and wrong. And if you don't see that, I am sorry for you. Your moral compass is in need of recalibrating.

Footnote: Not that it will do a whole lot to convince you otherwise, but the science continues to evolve. It looks like kids over 10 are capable of spreading the virus just as much as adults. This thing is a lot more complicated than any of us want it to be. Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:24 pm

@Paly Teacher:
At the end of your message you ask:
1) What do you think of the White House Press Secretary saying on July 16 “The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open…The science should not stand in the way of this.”

Like most of the media, you misunderstood this because the CNN reporter who tweeted this took it out of context.

The Press Secretary actually went on to say:
"The science is very clear on this. For example, you look at the JAMA pediatric study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than the seasonal flu. The science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools," she continued.

In other words, the science should not stand in the way of this because the science is supporting it.

Many then criticized the CNN reporter, including CNN anchor Jake Tapper.

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by shameless bunch
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:34 pm

[Post removed.]


18 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:51 pm

I know many teachers will give excuses but parents who work in private companies don't have unions and taxpayers to pay the salary to work from home. We have to finish our work to earn wages. If you can't do the job, move over and let others do it.

Who is going to look after them while I am working? We somehow managed the last three months since everything was close but the situation is not the same anymore.

You know I won't contribute a single penny for school donation. Today I lost a lot of respect for teachers but they still expect appreciation from us (just work in private companies you will know how many times you get appreciated for work you are suppose to do and get paid)



8 people like this
Posted by When?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 9:53 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


26 people like this
Posted by to parent
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:05 pm

>Who is going to look after them while I am working?
I'd suggest you hire a babysitter. Looking after your kids is not the responsibility of their teachers. Their responsibility is to teach them, which they will be doing online this year.


12 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:25 pm

[Post removed.]


25 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:27 pm

Serious suggestion here, though it may seem radical. Since teachers won't be teaching in person for the foreseeable future, lay off all the current teaching staff and hire some people who are skilled at remote education. We'd only need to hire about 10-15% of of the current headcount so we'd get some budget back.

Since the school buildings will be unused going forward as part of the new normal, we could use the remaining reclaimed budget to convert the school buildings into low income housing.

Oh, also, let's use some of those excess funds to subsidize babysitting during the work day for low-income parents. (as a previous commenter said, people should just hire babysitters during the work day now)


2 people like this
Posted by When?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:41 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


16 people like this
Posted by Yet another PAUSD teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:46 pm

@shameless bunch -- I will have you know that I for one worked 15-hour days, including weekends, during school closure in the spring. And, I did not spend that time learning Zoom nor other tech tools -- I happen to be tech-savvy. All that time was spent on revising my curriculum so I could continue to teach. I also spent countless hours giving individual feedback to my students during that time. I will also have you know that I have held other jobs, both at a renown private school AND in industry. I choose to teach because that's where my passion is. Period.
@parent -- Plenty of people work from home, whether they belong to a union or not. Why is it that when teachers do their work from home, you assume that we “can’t do the job”? Also, I for one has never ASKED to be appreciated. I get paid doing what I do. While it’s gratifying to be appreciated, I never did and never will request it from anyone.

Reading some of these posts is not for the faint of heart. Today alone I spent good 6 hours fine tuning my curriculum, knowing that I would not be compensated for working during my unpaid vacation. Honestly, If I didn’t have integrity or if I didn't absolutely LOVE what I do, I think I might just give up.

I am not the only dedicated teacher at PAUSD. Most if not all the teachers that I personally know are dedicated too.


10 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2020 at 10:50 pm

To all the parents organizing play dates and pods: Unless they are fully outside and kids from different households are six feet apart, they are NOT legal under Santa Clara County’s SIP order. What places you above the law?


11 people like this
Posted by single dad
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:13 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


12 people like this
Posted by Sir Topham Hatt
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:48 pm

We can have mass riots and looting without any epidemiological repercussions? We can get manicures and buy $500 blouses with no threat of anything?

Yet somehow we are incapable of having kids and teachers wear masks and have normal school because why?

As we are clearly willing to roll the dice of frivolous diversions, perhaps we can take a small risk of actually educating our children.


15 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:57 pm

Serious suggestion here, though it may seem radical. Since teachers won't be teaching in person for the foreseeable future, lay off all the current teaching staff and hire some people who are skilled at remote education. We'd only need to hire about 10-15% of of the current headcount so we'd get some budget back.
Teachers...serious question for discussion here. How do you feel about some parents here on the one hand literally showing disregard for your life and the lives of your loved ones unless you serve them, fulfill their childcare needs, and also do what they demand, while some of the other parents in this group like this one demand your livelihoods because of their property taxes or because they didn’t get their way if you don’t risk your lives and the lives of of your loved ones to teach in person? How is your morale?
No. There will not be lay offs, subsidized child care, or school building conversions. Teachers will work online from the comfort and safety of their homes and they will continue to be paid off of your property taxes. When health and safety guidance says it is ok to return to in person instruction, then and only then will there be in person instruction and the free childcare you are seeking. These silly “radical” ideas are exactly why teachers have the union for protection. Can you imagine if there wasn’t the union and you all were free to run around in the background constantly proposing things like school building conversions and demanding mass layoffs? Who would be able to work through those conditions on a day to day basis? It’s comical that you all grouse about the union protections for teachers but would so quickly propose to not only toss aside an entire staff of human beings who have been your teachers/staff up to this point, eliminate their livelihoods, and also disregard their health and safety because you were told “no.” You and these wild suggestions are exactly why the union is in place. Lay off decisions are not up to you, the union will obviously not allow that to happen, and your “radical idea” is only a pipe dream.
Also, I want to point out another flaw in your little plan. You are clamoring for in person instruction and are angry you aren’t receiving it suggesting an entire different staff of experienced distance learning teachers get hired in place of current staff and you now have converted the school buildings to low income housing. If things go back to normal the following school year there would be no school buildings (or staff)for your child to return to. That would mean you and the rest of this group would continue distance learning indefinitely which you all don’t want to be doing in the first place as most parents here are angry that there will be no in person instruction to start the school year.
The new normal will be Distance Learning with the current staff who are people to. Serious suggestion, you go ahead and try to make that all happen though.
Teachers keep your heads up and know you are appreciated!
Stay safe everyone!


20 people like this
Posted by Sonya
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm

What if doctors, nurses, and other health care workers said "I don't want to catch the virus, so I'll only do my job remotely - seeing patients only via video, and instructing them or their family members via zoom to examine them, administer medications and perform any medical procedures?" No, of course they don't say that. And they see people who actually have the virus and are infectious. On the other hand, these teachers would be with kids (at a safe distance) who have very little chance of being infected, and even less chance of being infectious.

During this whole episode I've gained much, much more admiration and respect for medical workers.... and grocery clerks...... and others. Teachers? Not very much.


16 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2020 at 2:54 am

1. It should probably go without saying but teachers are under no such obligation to literally risk or sacrifice their lives for society as a whole and they aren’t being selfish because they don’t want to die.
2. Here is why public school was created: Credit for our modern version of the school system usually goes to Horace Mann. When he became Secretary of Education in Massachusetts in 1837, he set forth his vision for a system of professional teachers who would teach students an organized curriculum of basic content. Nowhere in there does it say “with the mindset to watch children while parents go to work and pay taxes to build our country” or even “in person.” In person, is just inferred. Technology has obviously changed since 1837.
3. Currently, even if students were allowed on campus they wouldn’t be allowed to socialize, or work in groups etc. That whole 6ft social distancing thing we all are going through is still going on and will be for the foreseeable future.
4. Teachers are under no obligation to be a role model for bravery in this situation. That’s just your belief about this situation. They don’t have to be “Heroes of the Pandemic” to satisfy your expectations of them. How about children looking up to their parents as role models?
5. Finally, for the wearing PPE/Medical Worker and Grocery Store Worker comparisons please see my earlier post today about why those are examples of false analogies and why teachers are neither medical workers nor essential workers.
6. You should keep your school donation if you are frustrated and angry. It’s totally fine. You should if you feel that way and you shouldn’t feel obligated to give anything especially considering the current situation. This is a tough time for everyone. None of us have gone through a pandemic before and it is stressful for all. Out of frustration you said some things about teachers giving up their jobs, but I hope things start trending in a positive direction for you. Maybe you can find a member of the community to help with your child care situation? I think it’s fair to say a huge amount of people are going through some sort of struggle right now, I’m sorry you are going through a tough time, and I wish you well.

In an attempt to maybe(?), possibly(?), hopefully(?) help some of you see the other side of the picture, here are two links. One is an opinion piece written by a teacher practically begging for her life. The second link is the sad story of an Israeli Kindergarten teacher that died today of COVID:

Web Link

Web Link

Stay safe everyone!


6 people like this
Posted by Duh
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 19, 2020 at 7:41 am

Hard choice

The entire life of a teacher or a semester or year of a kids social time. ( that can be replaced with family )


10 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2020 at 7:55 am

@Sonya, doctors and orthodontists have replaced every in-person appointment possible with teleconsults for all of our families members since March.

Unless there absolutely is no other choice and they MUST see patients in-person, they are switching to teleconsults too.

We do have an alternative for education. Maybe not for childcare, but that‘s not on teachers.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:06 am

As far as I know, Santa Clara County has never talked about bubbles apart from the point of view of restaurants/dining outdoors.

We are told not to mix with anyone outside our household. For many who live alone that is a very lonely option.

Schools open in the UK and other countries are using the bubble method. Children mix in school classrooms and in the playgrounds in the same bubbles. These bubble groups work for socialization as well as group learning.

I have already seen bubble groups forming through social media for doing online school. Some groups are talking about hiring a tutor to sit with the bubble group to supervise and aid the children where necessary. It will make things easier for all the parents and also for the children who can sit together and interact on the learning material, but also from the socialization point of view.

The County should be advocating for bubbles and accepting that they will happen. They may be in one home or they may be in a park setting. But with or without the County permission, bubbles will be forming. The dye is cast on this one already.


18 people like this
Posted by Broken McLaptop
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:08 am

">Who is going to look after them while I am working?
I'd suggest you hire a babysitter. Looking after your kids is not the responsibility of their teachers. Their responsibility is to teach them, which they will be doing online this year."

YES! Teachers are NOT obligated to provide child care! That is up to the parents, of course! And that is why, during the normal school year, I attend all my son's middle school classes, while simultaneously attending all of my other son's kindergarten day, to keep them supervised and provide child care to them both, Monday through Friday.

You know, I walk my middle schooler to each class, make sure he behaves in the school yard. I also make sure my kinder gets to lunch on time. I tie his shoe for him if he needs it. I even walk him to the office if he gets sick, so I can call myself at work, at 5 minute intervals, and tell myself that I have 15 minutes to get to school and pick him up, starting now! tick tock!

This is NOT part of the teacher's role, how dare we insinuate that! You know, as part of our societal pact to teach our children, funded by our tax dollars, so that we can continue to work and pay the salaries of the teachers and infrastructure of the school district. We're really only paying for their lectures! So yea, they can just video their lectures. The rest of it is... UpToUs!


12 people like this
Posted by Erika S - Parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:34 am

I am saddened at reading these thread. Some useful comments, but so much animosity and lack of constructive discussion.

Parents accusing teachers of not wanting to work and of being freeloaders on our dime, teachers accusing parents of wanting free daycare in exchange for killing them and their loved ones, holy cow!

I think we all need to go back to school to (1) be able to discuss people's judgement calls but not their motivations, because we never know what those are and (2) to respectfully disagree. Four things I find particularly misguided, 2 from the parents, 2 from the teachers:

(1) Parents accusing teachers of not working hard: actually remote learning is more work than on site learning. Teachers had on site learning down, they have to learn how to teach on line, modify curricula, etc. And teachers do not like on line learning either.
(2) Parents accusing teachers of not caring about their children: in my experience at the PAUSD, spanning 10 years now, teachers care deeply about their children, and they go out of their way to provide them with an education, and this for relatively low pay compared to other jobs in the PA area.

(3) Teachers accusing parents of wanting free daycare for their kids while they work: teachers do not provide daycare, they supervise kids while they teach them. This is their job description. When parents need additional daycare, and working parents do, parents pay for that separately. What parents are now saying, is that they will have to pay someone to actually sit with their kids while they are learning remotely (young ones at least), or quit their jobs to be able to do that themselves. Having parents supervise kids while the teachers teach is in no ones job description or social contract.

(4) Teachers accusing parents of wanting to kill them and their loved ones: we are not talking here about opening schools with a high background infection rate like they have in LA, we are not talking here about opening middle and high schools right away since kids above 13 transmit virus almost like adults, we are not talking here about sending teachers to school with full class sizes in elementary, we are not talking here about no distancing, no masks, about contact with parents, etc. We are talking about a hybrid model that only involves kids under 12 (very ineffective virus transmission) and minimizes the risk tremendously for teachers.

I hope can we get back to constructive dialog, because as a community, teachers, parents, administrators, we are all in this together. Lets not breed so much animosity that we break the bonds that need to hold strong for the wellbeing of the community.


11 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:36 am

@Resident, bubbles are not permitted in SCC:
Web Link

We are fortunate in SCC to have Sara Cody trying to guide us through this. Schools were mandated to be closed because even the hybrid approach was deemed too risky. Maybe not too risky for your child individually, but for the wider community — for public health.

It will be pointless to have closed schools if families are violating the ordinance and forming multi-family pods — and let’s be real that those families are each also seeing friends and family members outside of the classmates within a bubble.

We are in a pandemic trending the wrong way. Obey the law.


13 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:45 am

There is no law against forming multi-family pods for the purpose of schooling. It is being done and will continue to be done. One thing we can all agree on - it's pointless to have closed schools, as Parent of Old Palo Alto nicely stated. Remember next time you vote for governor.


10 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

@JR, read the SIP order again. Unless it’s outdoors with kids from different households 6ft apart it’s not permitted. Just because it’s being done, doesn’t make it legal.


14 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:53 am

@Sonya I agree with you. I have been to the dentist office since March and family member to ortho since May without a single issue (doctor's office is following safety protocols). Costco and so many other business outlets serving many customers during pandemic.

#People who suggest hiring babysitters talking nonsense. You're asking parents to let someone come inside your home to bring coronavirus. We hear this all the time, don't meet your friends and family without social distancing and now the same group of people suggest hiring someone or drop them at day care centers. If daycare centers can run safely why not school in a hybrid model?

How about nurses and frontline workers who have to report in-person? They have to let go of their jobs to take care of kids at home. Hospitals need nurses at the moment (if that’s understatement) and even if few drop out imagine more patients will go without treatment.

Now teachers will cry river oh look we have to work the entire summer to prepare for your kids but you took that upon yourself. Hybrid model was a perfect combo i.e. 3 days in and 2 days out or whatever way they wanted to do it.

Also it is election years so democrats want to make sure everything stays close and force people to think how much we are in a miserable situation...please vote for us and your pain is gone (magic wand..lol). We are going to pay more taxes next year to support the same teachers.


7 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:06 am

Parent, small "pod schools" are expressly permitted under the category "child care". It just so happens to be a "child care" run by a licensed educator for elementary school aged children. Isn't that convenient?


11 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:17 am

Most pods parents are now forming don’t have the required licensing. Irrelevant though. If it’s deemed in the best interest of their child, parents here will be doing it regardless of ordinances.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:46 am

@Parent.

Those bubbles in your link (if you follow the link to the guidelines) are under the heading of dining outside. They do not specifically say that forming social bubbles is not allowed apart from outside dining.

People are doing it anyway, particularly those who live alone. Two single neighbors are meeting on porches for coffee or lunch, each bringing their own. People are meeting for exercise and walks, still social distancing.

It may be bending the rules, but isolation is a form of depression and a bubble is a much better medicine than alcohol or drugs.


6 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2020 at 10:10 am

Fully understand parents are going to do them anyway — when affluent communities break laws they are actually bending not breaking them? — but play dates and unlicensed school pods are not legal unless our orders get updated:

Web Link

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by Yet another PAUSD teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 10:17 am

@Parent (Community Center) — Can we please stop comparing going to Costco with having kids in the classrooms? How long does one shop at Costco? How long do children stay in small classrooms without good ventilation?

If hiring babysitters and have them potentially bring in Coronavirus is of concern to you, why is it that you cannot understand that teachers have the same concern with regard to the hybrid model or in-person teaching? Daycare centers are not safe either, in my humble opinion, but they are an option for some parents, especially those who don’t believe that children are vectors.

Yes, there are nurses and doctors who still report to duty. My sister is one of them. But did you know that they have canceled elective surgeries and many are working from home, too?

And yes, I took it upon myself to work for free during the summer. I am comfortable with the decision I made there, and I don’t plan on “crying a river” nor do I plan on bragging about it. But while those of us who choose to beef up our curricula on our own time are faced with this kind of sarcasm, teachers also get attacked when there is talk to pay them to do the required PD during their unpaid vacation. It is disheartening, as one teacher repeatedly said in his/her posts -- We just can't win with some of you parents, can we?


10 people like this
Posted by Trump Newsom Austin
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jul 19, 2020 at 10:45 am

Teaching in a PAUSD classroom is just like shopping at Costco. I should know because I've done both. Not every teacher wants to teach online. The majority do, but you know what they say about the tyranny of the majority.


12 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 19, 2020 at 11:16 am

@Yet another PAUSD teacher - yes, many nurses are working from home when the work can be done from home. Just like the distance learning planned for middle and high school — distance learning is feasible for that group so they planned to have the teachers do it remotely.

Maybe older elementary should have been planned to be remote too, but the problem with your analogy is that for K-3, distance learning does not work. I loved our kinder teacher last year and she did her best, but a kinder cannot actually learn without an adult being present and interacting the entire time. You can call it distance learning, but what you mean is parent/caregiver home school, with materials they can print out. I feel for the K-3 kids who don’t have someone who can do that for them, they’re going to be very behind.

I personally think that the downsides for that age group are big enough and the Covid risk small enough that hybrid with masks was the right choice for young elementary, at least in north Santa Clara County, where the prevalence is so low.

We’re obviously stuck with the governor’s order and I’m sure it’s hard for them to be more granular than the county level, but it’s too bad we’re making decisions based on San Jose’s prevalence rate.


15 people like this
Posted by parent - NY school will open in September
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 19, 2020 at 11:29 am

New York will open school in September. They have the highest mortality rate and opening school and here we are debating….insane..

The Bay area has the lowest mortality rate (Santa Clara county total 178 deaths). Again nobody is celebrating the lowest death toll (one is too many). Teachers are acting as if kids will not behave and parents won't teach them about new health protocols implemented at school. You guys are thinking in a narrow lane and blame others when called out.

Classic now teachers are comparing Costco shopping time to classroom time. Even if you do on an average someone spends a good 30-50 mins at Costco per visit. It was the Costco operation I was talking about. They handle such heavy load (considering people went crazy during lock down but now it is normal) without any major or minor virus outbreak occurring at Mountain View/ Redwood City or Sunnyvale (closet one I am talking about).

If nothing is going to convince the teacher to do the job why bother posting here. We know you got your union back and nobody can do anything unless they defund teachers and unions.


29 people like this
Posted by Zeev Wurman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm

I hope all of you are aware that Santa Clara county ended up on the state "watch list" because of a stupid quirk in the watch-list criteria.

Seems the "scientifically driven" geniuses in Sacramento don't understand math and issued an ABSOLUTE criterion of hospitalization -- 10% increase in 3-day average -- rather than relative.So a county that moved from 3 hospitalization cases to 4 would end up on that wretched list because it had "25% increase" even if it is much lower in everything truly relevant than everyone else. As is the case with Santa Clara county.

In other words, we should be able to open the county to in-person schooling, if someone tells the idiots in Sacramento that they are ... idiots.

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by Zeev Wurman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Actually, it seems I don't know math either. From 3 to 4 is 33% increase, not 25%. But I don't issue verdicts that affect 35 million people. (smile).


16 people like this
Posted by Yet another PAUSD teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

Let’s be clear here. Teachers WANT to go back to the classrooms, but only when it’s safe to do so. I’ll speak for myself — If I wanted to teach online, I would have continued to work at the online school where I taught for a year.

It is a lot of work for teachers to move curricula online, not to mention this new way of teaching is a complete paradigm shift for most teachers. But, we are in the middle of a pandemic, so I totally agree that teachers must step up to the challenge and continue to educate our children to the best of our ability. This is the reason why I continue to modify my curricula during my unpaid vacation. I want to be ready and be able to teach effectively in the fall.

I am empathetic towards families who are struggling with childcare issues, and I agree that younger children struggle more than older students when asked to distance learn, but finger pointing at the teacher union, especially the teachers is really counterproductive. Does it not make sense for all of us to adjust and make the best of the situation?

And, having been a classroom teacher for many years, I can assure you that teaching one’s own kids to follow protocols is very different from enforcing them in small classrooms of 25 to 30 kids who all come from different households. So no, it really is very different from shopping at Costco.


24 people like this
Posted by politically motivated move
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 19, 2020 at 12:53 pm

@Zeev Wurman It sounds familiar as politicians want power at any cost no matter which party you're belong to. Newsom wants to build his profile for a higher post once he is done destroying California.

Article mentioned that they are counting people shifted from outside the county. For me that one line was enough to gauge it is all politics to achieve their November agenda.

Teachers care less and try to spin the narrative like governor Newsom.


11 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 19, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Executive orders are not law.


14 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm

@ Jennifer,

“Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq.)”

Fascinating the lengths the privileged and entitled will go to convince themselves laws do not apply to them.


22 people like this
Posted by Austin Newsom Trump
a resident of Juana Briones School
on Jul 19, 2020 at 6:14 pm

One, teaching in an enclosed classroom is really like being in Costco, except you can improve air flow with doors and windows. Some of our classrooms are better than others. Also, it is disingenuous to say that we want to teach, but then only when it is safe. It never was safe and it won't ever be safe, just as Costco will never be safe. We are going to live with this virus like we do with all the strains of flu. It is one of the tougher points of the job, but we look bad trying to hide behind the old excuse of only when it is safe. We can make it safer, but it will never be safe. Never was.


16 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:04 pm

@Parent,
You didn't read what you quoted. It is an Order, which isn't the same thing as a law. A law is enacted by the legislature. It doesn't matter that the
Order threatens punishment, that is just another way to scare people into compliance so they hopefully forget their civil rights.
Orders can be, and many times have been, overturned by the court system as an abuse of executive power.
This is just the latest example of abuse of power by our governor.


19 people like this
Posted by Covid-19 ready
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 19, 2020 at 8:17 pm

@Ze'ev
To make it worse, Stanford Hospital takes patients from all over the Bay Area. On Supervisor Simitian's talk today a question was asked about this very issue, and there are definitely patients from San Mateo County in the Stanford Santa Clara Hospital. No other counties were mentioned.how are we in Santa Clara County supposed to control who Stanford takes as patients? That's not fair to our K-12 students and their families, not at all.
So, yes Ze'ev you are right. The % increase is a trap for those counties that were doing a great job and it's a trap for counties that house destination hospitals.
Finally, the County rep made it 100% clear that it is ENCOURAGING districts to ask for elementary waivers. Why is PAUSD not asking for this waiver?


12 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:13 pm

What if doctors, nurses, and other health care workers said "I don't want to catch the virus, so I'll only do my job remotely - seeing patients only via video, and instructing them or their family members via zoom to examine them, administer medications and perform any medical procedures?" No, of course they don't say that. And they see people who actually have the virus and are infectious. On the other hand, these teachers would be with kids (at a safe distance) who have very little chance of being infected, and even less chance of being infectious.
Although you are obviously allowed to have your opinions that you respect medical workers and grocery store workers more than teachers, your argument for doing so is based on a logical fallacy called Faulty Comparison. Your argument here assumes that both teachers and medical workers are the same, and therefore must take the same or similar risks(you stated teachers would be taking less risk of exposure in the classroom). Teachers and Doctors are not the same. A Doctor has a college degree. A teacher also has a college degree. Therefore, a teacher can perform surgery on a patient. False. A teacher has a college degree. A Doctor also has a college degree. Therefore, a Doctor can teach an elementary school class. False. Doctors do not say they won’t see patients because of this virus because they have sworn upon the Hippocratic Oath which in part states, “I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.“ Obviously, teachers do not need to adhere to that. You thinking teachers should take these risks or to adhere to the oath that Doctors take, are your own personal expectations of teachers.
There are also two elements in your argument that could be considered a conceptual slippery slope. The first is by not stating there is any difference between a Doctor or a Teacher up front you begin arguing using incrementalism(a series of small steps) because of your commitment to get to your (invalid) point that both doctors and teachers should take what amounts to a similar(but lesser for teachers)risk of virus exposure. In reverse, since it’s possible to get through this same series of small steps showing how doctors and teachers should both risk virus exposure, there is no valid distinction between a teacher and a Doctor which as I illustrated in the above paragraph is false. To further illustrate: “If we allow Doctors to be exposed to the virus, then there is no reason why we shouldn’t allow teachers to be exposed to the virus.” It ignores the difference between voluntary and involuntary risk. It also contains an element of the sorites paradox(the paradox of the heap) in that “Where do you draw the line between Doctor and Teacher?”
Finally, your assumption that teachers would be taking less risk of exposure because they are working with children from distance is also possibly a false assumption. On one hand, you are correct, Medical professionals will likely come into contact with more virus patients and have a possible increased risk of virus exposure. But medical professionals are trained on how to use PPE, are working in a medical setting set up to treat virus patients, and are trained in other ways to deal with virus risk exposures and are trained on how to handle the virus. Teachers have no such training or expertise and are not trained in the use of PPE, nor do they have any special expertise in dealing with the virus. Your assumption of less risk exposure is either that kids won’t carry the virus into the classroom, or that they don’t transmit the virus as easily as adults do, or that 6ft distance will protect teachers. So are they really at less risk?


8 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:21 pm

@Covid-19 ready, Good Information. I guess asking for a waiver is not as easy as sick leave or asking sub in my opinion. But again Don Austin can answer that question. According to the school opening plan elementary school was supposed to open in hybrid mode and this same watch-list nonsense canceled the plan.

I think every elementary school parent should ask this question to the school district. Innocent children suffering because of this politics.


1 person likes this
Posted by Yet another PAUSD teacher
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:50 pm

85 children under age 2 tested positive for coronavirus in 1 Texas county.

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:55 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by Broken McLaptop
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2020 at 11:47 pm

Teachers, thank you so much for stepping up and bravely carrying our kids into Distance Learning! Here are some fine quotes from you, and your supporters, of your sentiments in this online forum. You even wrote some of these unironically! In your own words...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“To suggest that we have to be in person in order to do our jobs is a misunderstanding”

“Please don’t ask us to go back in the fall.”

“Please don't make all of us travel every single day from all across the Bay to sit in our classrooms”

“we can't be in the classroom if our own children are at home”

“no amount of PPE can reduce my risk of getting infected in my classroom enough where I can feel safe.”

“Believe me, if I could afford to resign I would have. “

“I hope they're hiring 200 substitutes. They're gonna need 'em.”

“we cannot possibly deliver the same quality of online learning that your friend's kid in private school is getting.”

“being required to be on campus is challenging if not impossible for working parents when our kids' schools are closed and childcare and carpooling options are extremely limited now.”

“Your child will be provided with online instruction. Schools are only required to provide an education”

“We don't know enough about the virus to take these chances.”

“we cannot go back to school with the risk of death being so high.”

“We will be back online for the foreseeable future. Get used to it and make the necessary adjustments.”

“Teachers do not owe anything to the children”

“Learning can happen just fine through remote instruction”

“kids in Palo Alto whose education, while good, has done such a poor job at supporting them to be self-directed learners”

“I am disgusted by people who insist that their kids absolutely must have in-classroom instruction. “

“I hope the teacher’s union advocate for a strike to protect everybody’s safety”

“Until the infrastructure is in place to protect all students and teachers we will be online learning. Spoiler alert...it might be awhile.”

“All other “free” services such as child care that schools and teachers provide will not be taking place this year. “

“Please stop asking me to sacrifice my family.”

“I'd suggest you hire a babysitter. Looking after your kids is not the responsibility of their teachers.”


20 people like this
Posted by teachers running away
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 20, 2020 at 12:00 am

@Broken McLaptop I have to say you nail it. After reading the entire post, teachers seem to offer endless excuses for in-person or hybrid model. If we give even one or two at our job pink slip is waiting next morning.

Government employees in every country are like that and America is no different (proved today).


12 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 20, 2020 at 2:45 am

@Mclaptop-I enjoy reading your posts, and appreciate your sense of humor, and I have empathy for what you have said will be a childcare hardship for you.
Let me ask you this for the purpose of a discussion with you:
If the shoe was on the other foot, and you were a teacher that has been home since March allowing you a chance to not only be home safe, but also to witness the trajectory of the pandemic continue to get worse, would you be frightened to rush back into an indoor setting and risk your health/life(and the lives of your family members) after watching other public workers such as bus drivers and grocery store workers pass away(and just recently a summer school teacher), and after watching massive COVID outbreaks in other indoor settings like gyms, while also knowing that the pandemic will not be permanent and that there is an alternate way of teaching safely for the time being? Would you take it? Or would you risk your life? Would you teach online for say 1 year so that you can survive and continue to teach for another 25 more? (Wouldn’t that be for the greater good?) What about the right to life?
Your ironic use of “bravery” is based on your false assumption that teachers “need to be brave,” or as I have said in earlier posts, your own expectation of teachers being “heroes of the pandemic.”
Oh no! We have 300 case of coronavirus! Let’s close the schools! Oh no! We have 3,000,000 cases of Coronavirus! Let’s open the schools! “Teachers didn’t run away.” They smartly stayed home due to an incredible amount of danger.
“To suggest that we have to be in person in order to do our jobs is a misunderstanding”
This shouldn’t necessarily be termed a “misunderstanding.” The ideal is obviously in person instruction. No one denies that. Distance Learning is the substitute that is being used right now and the way teachers will be doing their jobs now because of the public health crisis.
“Please don’t ask us to go back in the fall.”
People are scared. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, people should be.
“Please don't make all of us travel every single day from all across the Bay to sit in our classrooms”
I don’t understand the context of this. On one hand it does sound like laziness because they don’t want to travel across the Bay, or possibly, did they mean, please don’t make us sit in our classrooms because we are scared to come in to work? Not sure.
“we can't be in the classroom if our own children are at home”
Sounds like the same child care issues that many parents are going through right now unfortunately.
“no amount of PPE can reduce my risk of getting infected in my classroom enough where I can feel safe.”
Teachers aren’t medical workers and shouldn’t be expected to work in PPE or to deal with a deadly virus on a daily basis.
“Believe me, if I could afford to resign I would have. “
Sounds like they were also scared of the virus. Nothing wrong with that. They should be.
“I hope they're hiring 200 substitutes. They're gonna need 'em.”
It sounds like more fear about returning to work or they were saying that there could potentially be massive COVID sickness among staff.
“we cannot possibly deliver the same quality of online learning that your friend's kid in private school is getting.”
That may or may not be true, but in any case let’s hope there will be more rigorous distance learning with more preparation time.
“being required to be on campus is challenging if not impossible for working parents when our kids' schools are closed and childcare and carpooling options are extremely limited now.”
Again, sounds like some of the same child care issues that unfortunately parents are going through also.
“Your child will be provided with online instruction. Schools are only required to provide an education”
I guess you can say at a minimum, this is true. Due to the terrible public health crisis, we are all now basically dealing with the minimum.
“We don't know enough about the virus to take these chances.”
Correct. We don’t.
“we cannot go back to school with the risk of death being so high.”
Correct. We can’t.
“We will be back online for the foreseeable future. Get used to it and make the necessary adjustments.”
Correct. We are starting online.
“Teachers do not owe anything to the children”
Teachers play an important role in our society. But in this case they do not “owe it to the children” to go and risk their lives which according to current public health recommendations is what you are asking teachers to do.
“Learning can happen just fine through remote instruction”
No one can really argue it can fully replace in person instruction, but it will have to suffice for the time being.
“kids in Palo Alto whose education, while good, has done such a poor job at supporting them to be self-directed learners”
This sounds a bit like “passing the buck” to the parents to make their kids self directed learners, but I don’t know the full context of the quote.
“I am disgusted by people who insist that their kids absolutely must have in-classroom instruction.”
This is taken out of context. I remember in this case, the poster was worried about the health and safety of staff, parents, and children after quite a few of the previous posts demanded staff return to an unsafe working environment against public health recommendations.
“I hope the teacher’s union advocate for a strike to protect everybody’s safety”
In a worst case scenario, and in a dispute over health and safety, that would be the unions job.
“Until the infrastructure is in place to protect all students and teachers we will be online learning. Spoiler alert...it might be awhile.”
Definitely. Safety first.
“All other “free” services such as child care that schools and teachers provide will not be taking place this year. “
They will not be until school returns to in person learning, although there may end up being child care services set up and/or meal services set up. I don’t know how that would be set up or if that’s even possible but maybe those will be some ideas to try to suggest as things proceed forward.
“Please stop asking me to sacrifice my family.”
Good point. Please don’t.
“I'd suggest you hire a babysitter. Looking after your kids is not the responsibility of their teachers.”
It’s not. A teacher’s job is to prepare lesson plans and to educate students.


14 people like this
Posted by Joan
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2020 at 7:41 am

The Wall Street Journal weighs in, specifically on the issue of not even allowing private schools to open. (And suggests that the teachers union, who own Newsom, was the main force for that.)

Web Link


29 people like this
Posted by Shyam
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 20, 2020 at 8:26 am

A few things that are already emerging from this "experiment":

- Parents leaning harder towards private school in 2021, PAUSD has many parents that can easily afford private school, and who send their kids to public school out of principle; but after this experience, some of those who can afford it are thinking private in 2021. Private schools will request waivers to the Governor's mandate.

- Parents are creating pods and hiring folks to help their kids; whether or not they are "legal" is beside the point, it will happen since parents are left with no good options. In terms of spread in the community, this is a worse situation than a well controlled "pod" in the school with reduced class size and strict adherence to the health rules.

- In general parents want to have a voice and more control over the process. Public schools are enabled with our tax dollars, and extra donations of money and time. Some parents are rethinking this concept, since when the rubber hits the road they become disenfranchised and are left out in the cold by the district and the teachers union.


24 people like this
Posted by Zeev Wurman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:18 am

Everyone--and research--acknowledges that remote learning is much less efficient than in person learning. NWEA puts it at about 40% loss of learning, not to mention the almost 100% loss of socialization.

Some teachers offer dozens of reasons why they can't do what grocers, construction workers, and bus drivers routinely do.

Perhaps the reasons are sincerely felt, yet one suspect that some--or even all--are strongly driven by the guaranteed job safety and salary of teachers. After all, all those other professions have similar reasons, yet they show up to work.

So here is a suggestion. The pandemic emergency is a perfect opportunity to break the labor agreement with teachers' union, and cut the salaries of teachers who are only willing to engage in remote instruction by 40%, the same fraction of learning loss that remote instruction causes.

This will allow us to see how many of those proffered reasons are sincere.

Life is made of trade-offs and compromises. No reason why teachers and administrators should be excused from having to make them.

Finally, Palo Alto school district just recently voted to put a new parcel tax on the ballot this November. Does it really think it can tax us even more while providing even less instruction?


12 people like this
Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 20, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Parents, please write to the school board regarding childcare. The district employees will be getting 50% off the price of childcare. Minimally, those much less fortunate in our school district should at least be given the same discount. Many of those who are essential employees likely do not make as much as district employees. Please encourage our district to help those less fortunate PAUSD families.


16 people like this
Posted by Silver Linings
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Good article in Vox today:The case for unschooling:
Why the hands-off alternative to homeschooling might get parents through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Web Link

If unschooling is too hard, understanding the self-directed nature of homeschooling at least.

Wouldn’t it be nice, students, to be able to learn more with less stress? To feel likely you were in charge of your time, more like in college? To be able to follow your passion in a way that school doesn’t allow? Just for this year? Parents, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to step completely away from being hall monitor and homework nag, and know that you were fostering your child’s independence (which is their job not yours), and that not mean failure? Teachers, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to be the students’ mentor and learning partner, not constantly having to be measured against a model that no longer is in the menu?

When I have shared how our child’s learning changed, I have heard people say that their child could never do that, they aren’t independent enough. They aren’t independent enough because the school model was set up to do that to them so they would be compliant workers for the industrial revolution.

Today’s workforce needs workers to be far more nimble. We need to optimize everyone’s educations not just sift for a few. Employers have been complaining for decades that students come out of college unable to work independently and studies show that students believe they are far more prepared than employers believe they are.

And PAUSD has had long years of mental health crises. For what? It has never been hardest work and most self denial versus the best education, it’s just that within this educational model.

This is a chance, here in Silicon Valley, for us all to change this. I recommend the Unschooled documentary and I recommend Most Likely to Succeed. In the latter film, the discomfort everyone feels with more independence is because of changing educational models for more independence, but wouldn’t it be nice to know your child has become independent for life?

Another opportunity here- and as much as I support our teachers, I want them to understand that this is a criticism of everyone in formal education- is for schools and families to learn how to better support family relationships and health. I don’t just mean between families to school, though there is that, I mean the relationship between children and their families.

Homeschooling turned into an opportunity for our child to get a better more advanced education, but also to develop a more mature and stronger relationship with people outside school, including family. Until we left the traditional model, we hadn’t realized just how badly school was damaging our family, especially since while in school our child treated time with us on the weekend like a castaway to a life raft.

Something gross happens in high school here where it’s like parents compete to tell each other how little they have to do with their kids as a sign of their independence. I have news for everyone: it’s not, it’s just a sign of how the convenience of the educational model has harmed family relationships.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, teachers feel that they can do their jobs -within this educational model- better if parents are out of the picture, so therefore encouraging familial distancing must be best for everyone, right? Unfortunately it’s just another thing we all do to serve the educational model.

Realistically, the model confuses separation, which all children need, with a weird form of emotional detachment. No wonder we have an emotional health crisis.

Long after students have left school behind, they will have their families or their memory of family to support them emotionally. What you do to those relationships through school will affect their whole lives. This pandemic is an opportunity to fix a terrible misguided problem that most people don’t even realize is coming from an unquestioned acceptance of this educational model.

Independence is NOT incompatible with a strong family relationship. Most of the people reading this probably can’t even understand what I’m saying or will reject it, so powerful is the wrong ideas imposed from the school model.

The second opportunity we have because of this crisis, beyond fostering real student independence and creativity, is to learn how to support healthier family relationships rather than breaking them and telling ourselves it’s for the sake of their“independence”. (Independence isn’t how well your child grinds through boring worksheets that might not teach what you think it does,)

One of my child’s grandparents no longer knows who his own children are and is in the last days. Because my child homeschooled and had more discretion over time, education was far better yet every opportunity to see grandparents who lived far away never conflicted with homework, when they visited it was always possible to be fully present.

Parents having to be hall monitors for the hamster wheel during the pandemic is hurting relationships, too. Wouldn’t it be better to change that?

The way to do it is to set up a separate program that people CHOOSE , and in it, everyone will be working toward a better, more independent self-directed education, recognizing that imperfection is part of being a pioneer. Every one else can try to unhappily chug forward trying to do traditional school online. Because it’s either create a good online program or be disrupted and unhappy like last year, normal isn’t on the menu.

Lastly, this is a public school district, not a snooty restaurant. You do not get to demand the best just because you pay taxes. It was MY right to demand my child have a free and fair public education, to have special needs assessed and accommodated, and to be free from unlawful retaliation, but we didn’t get any of that either.

As a result, my child had to be educated on nothing while we paid for your children to get a PAUSD education through our taxes. (And we had a bump in income the FAFSA base year so colleges even judged our child not knowing the extreme struggle, probably judging negatively for being in Palo Alto and not going to the schools.)

No matter how much people criticize, it will not change the unpredictable and life threatening predicament. I support the teachers decision to put safety first. That can happen and what we do next CAN be an opportunity.

Studies of stress show that what people tell themselves about the stressful situation can affect whether it becomes an opportunity or hurts them physiologically. No duh. The district must take ownership for some of the maladaptive responses we are seeing here. We can all be better off because of this or we can let it hurt us. Our choice.

@cmarg
Good point, how can we all help?


18 people like this
Posted by Aletheia
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 20, 2020 at 1:10 pm

Some much for teaching being a vocation. According to the teachers and their union, it's just a decent paycheck and serious benefits.


2 people like this
Posted by T
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2020 at 1:50 pm

@John, you may not be aware that the AAP (I assume that is the group of doctors you are speaking of) has walked back their original statement. You can read more here:

Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 20, 2020 at 2:32 pm

So here is a suggestion. The pandemic emergency is a perfect opportunity to break the labor agreement with teachers' union, and cut the salaries of teachers who are only willing to engage in remote instruction by 40%, the same fraction of learning loss that remote instruction causes.
1. Teachers are and will be showing up to work online. No one can deny that distance learning is not the same as in person instruction, but you are now using an extreme formulation based on (supposed) learning loss to calculate a punishment for teachers. “Since studies show that learning loss is 40%, I demand that teachers take a 40% pay cut.” What if the learning loss turns out to only be 20%? Can we run it back by you so that you can graciously grant teachers back that 20% of salary? What if a student achieves a 40% increase in learning above 100% learning, will you generously grant teachers a 40% raise? You are also placing teachers between the Scylla and Charybdis with your demands. Teachers which do you choose? Risking your life and health or giving up 40% of your salary? Also, let’s say a teacher would want to go in next year, what kind of motivation would it be for them to read your post and run into a classroom to serve you under potentially dangerous conditions when you so quickly demand them to take a 40% pay cut due to an extreme circumstance. Is the pandemic the teachers fault? Are the current health recommendations the teachers fault? Do you really blame teachers for being scared of possibly dying? Stop being punitive. Also, if you cut teachers salary and disband the union, what kind of quality of teachers will you attract in this district if teachers would be making 40% less than other districts and working without union backing? Speaking of the union, if you blame the union, the union’s job is to protect the health and safety of their members. Also, the union is In place to protect members from ridiculous demands like taking a “40% pay cut due to a supposed 40% learning loss.” Newsom made the decision, so for now, blame Newsom. Another parent just posted that they want parents to have more of a voice in decision making and control over the process. These extreme suggestions are why they do not. Not to mention a significant number of parents here would be demanding the unsafe decision to return against current public health recommendations. You are external stakeholders and not employees. Your voices are to be heard in board meetings and the like, but you are not decision makers because of your tax dollars and suggestions like yours and decisions like going against public health recommendations to reopen are the reasons why you don’t get to make the decisions. Staff doesn’t need to make any compromises with you or anyone for that matter when health and safety are involved.
2. The article you posted is from the Wall Street journal pertaining to the reopening of Catholic Schools. The Wall Street Journal is run by the Dow Jones Company. The Dow Jones measures the daily price movements of 30 large American companies on the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. So no real surprise that the opinion there would slant towards “school should reopen for economic purposes” and not safety. Also, the article proposes the question:
If Catholic schools could find a way to open safely, what excuse do public schools have for staying closed? It never says HOW the private schools propose to open and run safely, it just makes an assumption that they CAN without providing any evidence that they actually can. If private schools could have found a guaranteed way to run safely that would have been wonderful news, as that could have provided a road map for all schools to possibly reopen safely. Finally, if private schools are run as a business, and follow a business model, other indoor establishments are currently shut down, so why would private schools be allowed to open up?
3. You both were correct.
An executive order is not a law.
Executive orders carry the weight of the law and have attached penalties.
What you next began arguing is the potential for “government overreach” due to executive orders.
Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but it does look like there would be more of a chance to “escape penalty” and having it dismissed for breaking an executive order as opposed to being able to escape the penalties for breaking a law.
4. Private schools in 2021 would be a great option. If parents want to choose to pay for private school and go private that would be a great choice if private schools suit your needs better. You wouldn’t have to deal with the union that frustrates many of you here and the schools aren’t run on your tax dollars. Instead you would obviously have to “put your money where your mouth is” and pay the tuition fees out of your own pocket and private school tuition fees are not tax deductible. Also, and someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think you would still be required to pay parcel taxes unless there is some kind of waiver or loophole I am not aware of allowing you not to pay parcel taxes because your child is enrolled in private school.


18 people like this
Posted by Zeev Wurman
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 20, 2020 at 6:13 pm

@The_Voice_of_Palo_Alto

It is unlikely you are the voice of Palo Alto, unless Palo Alto is a farm, which it is not. So many straw-men as you built and demolished can be only done by a farmer.

First, I didn't "demand" as you wrote, I SUGGESTED.

Second, you seem to misunderstand the concept of averages. In any average you have values that are above and below it. It is not about individual data as you tried to show, but about the average.

Third, I don't "blame" teachers. I simply cited research-based facts and suggested that they, like any of us, has to balance trade-offs and compromises.

Fourth, I did not suggest to "disband the union" as you write. I suggested to break the existing contract with the union and modify it.

It's OK to disagree with me, but please don't pot your words in my mouth.

Oh, yes. When you quote someone, please put quotation marks around the quote. That's what they are for.


4 people like this
Posted by GraceBrown
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 20, 2020 at 8:15 pm

@Zeev Wurman,

It's not clear that PAUSD can "break the existing" contract any more than PAEA union members can strike. Check the contract language.

Like it or not, the grown-ups are required to sort out this tragedy.

Time for all stakeholders to do the adult thing, and find common ground.

GB


7 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 20, 2020 at 8:37 pm

It is unlikely you are the voice of Palo Alto, unless Palo Alto is a farm, which it is not. So many straw-men as you built and demolished can be only done by a farmer.
I instantly have no integrity(straw man) because I disagree with your post and pointed out it’s flaws? Interesting.

First, I didn't "demand" as you wrote, I SUGGESTED.
It was a demand under the guise of a suggestion.

Second, you seem to misunderstand the concept of averages. In any average you have values that are above and below it. It is not about individual data as you tried to show, but about the average.
I am not misunderstanding “averages.” You are actually misunderstanding that your post is based on a logical fallacy called False Equivalence. You drew a false equivalence between teacher compensation and potential student learning loss. First, you used an extreme formulation to calculate a way to impose(oh I mean SUGGEST) that teachers take a mandatory 40% pay cut. Next as I pointed out earlier, you were going to do this across the board for ALL teachers because of the “average.” No where did you mention incentives for any high performing teachers or even low performing teachers taking a more extreme pay cut. So why should a high performing teacher take a pay cut If they are able to get the students not to take a learning loss and why shouldn’t a low performing teacher get paid an even lower amount if they can’t even get students even up to this 40% learning loss Statistical average you found? Also, why should a teacher with 10 years of experience get paid the same as a teacher in their 1st year? What kind of salary scale is that? That doesn’t happen in any line of work. Don’t managers make more than regular employees? Is there a universal salary scale in the United States that I am not aware of? No. Of course not. You just “SUGGESTED” all teachers take a 40% pay cut because you found a convenient statistic about 40% learning loss that benefited your proposal and used incrementalism(such as oh everyone needs to make compromises in life), to try to make your point of cutting teacher salary by 40% to be punitive with teachers since there won’t be any in person instruction to start the year. Again, what if that average learning loss turns out to only be 20% in Palo Alto this year? Why should Palo Alto teachers be paid at a 40% loss because of the, I assume, national 40% statistic you found if you are going to base pay on the “average.” How do you propose we even measure average student learning loss? You likely can’t except for citing that convenient statistic that is the so called “average” so why would you base teachers compensation on learning loss in the 1st place? Again, what if average learning loss is only 20%, can the teachers please, please, pretty please run it by you so that they can get some of their compensation back since the learning loss average was only 20% and not 40%? What if we are able to go back to in person learning in say October? Would teachers also be able to ask pretty please from you to get back on their old salary scale? Also, according to your proposal you have also broken the labor agreement, so why would teachers go back in person without a labor agreement in place? You would still have to stay online(or not receive any services) which is what you are upset about in the first place. So again, your post basing teacher compensation on a supposed learning loss is based on the logical fallacy of False Equivalence.
Next, why should anyone agree to your proposal in the first place when current health recommendations are recommending everyone to stay home? Like I asked earlier, is that the teachers fault? Did the teachers make this order or did Newsom? Another flaw in your argument is that you stated up front that other employees are “showing up to work” with the indication being that teachers will not be showing up to work. The teachers are and will be showing up to work, but just not in the MANNER you want them to(in person).

Third, I don't "blame" teachers. I simply cited research-based facts and suggested that they, like any of us, has to balance trade-offs and compromises.
I disagreed with this point. Teachers do not need to risk their health and safety(or that of their families) for a compromise with you(your “life is full of compromises” quote) or to try to meet your expectations of them, or even with your extreme formula that is based on a logical fallacy on how teachers should be compensated because of unfortunate public health circumstances. Again, this is partly why the teachers have the backing of a union, to protect from these type of extreme suggestions. Also, not to again be accused of putting words in your mouth, but it does kind of seem like you actually ARE blaming the teachers because they aren’t going to be doing in person instruction and you are now going to great lengths to find and cite a statistic to build your argument around so that you can find a way to be punitive. What about the right to life?

Fourth, I did not suggest to "disband the union" as you write. I suggested to break the existing contract with the union and modify it.
That’s false. You said:
The pandemic emergency is a perfect opportunity to break the labor agreement with teachers' union, and cut the salaries of teachers who are only willing to engage in remote instruction by 40%
Where did you say break the labor agreement and MODIFY IT? You used the pandemic as the “perfect opportunity” as your excuse to break up the labor agreement with the union and impose, oops I mean SUGGEST, teachers take a mandatory 40% pay cut. It’s the perfect opportunity after all...
Again, as I mentioned earlier, this suggestion of yours also places teachers between The Scylla and Charybdis. Take an involuntary risk of contracting the coronavirus or stay home and lose 40% of your salary! That’s really nice! But you aren’t blaming the teachers or anything.

It's OK to disagree with me, but please don't pot your words in my mouth.
Apparently, it was not ok to disagree with you as you immediately called me a “Straw Man” which indicates you didn’t exactly like the fact that I disagreed with your post, and that because I disagreed with your post, I now, in your view, don’t have or lack integrity. How do I not have any integrity because I don’t agree with your post that is based on the logical fallacy of False Equivalence? Equating the amount of integrity I have with my not being in agreement with your post is another example of False Equivalence. I also ended up not putting words in your mouth as you actually didn’t actually say “MODIFY IT” in reference to the breaking of the labor agreement.

“Oh, yes. When you quote someone, please put quotation marks around the quote. That's what they are for.”
Ok. I did it for you on this last one to make you happy.
Stay safe everyone!


11 people like this
Posted by Anonymous parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 20, 2020 at 9:31 pm

Well the State is failing children and parents. The "pods" or cooperative small schools, conducted in person, are what parents will have to resort to to ensure their children's education, socialization and mental health. These have always been around in some form so there are probably materials out there that we can use.

It's really sad that the state will force parents out of work to ensure that their children will be educated, so that at least one parent can be available to handle it.

It will probably be more mothers impacted by this than fathers. Single-parent families will be SOL unless they have a friend who will help them with some arrangement to be involved in a pod.

Most teachers should be let go and parents with kids who would normally be in school should get a childcare/education credit.

The "unschooling" option is an interesting one too. We may learn that teachers are not as necessary as we have been led to believe.


15 people like this
Posted by Anonymous parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 20, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Pods are a great idea. Sorry, it doesn't matter if it is "legal." Sometimes you have to do what is right when the law is wrong, especially when your children's welfare is at stake.


26 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:29 pm

@Anonymous Parent, “doesn’t matter if it’s legal” as long as my child benefits. This is entitlement and privilege defined.

Palo Alto parents last month: Black Lives Matter! (look, I even changed my social media profile pic temporarily)

Palo Alto parents this month: Doesn’t matter if it’s legal, or if those without the means to form pods get left behind, my child first.


12 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2020 at 2:32 am

I just realized you also imposed your little special “take a 40% pay cut or risk your life scenario” that in the end forces teachers into a dilemma of choosing between two undesirable options and then said, “This will allow us to see how many of those proffered reasons are sincere.” This is written as if you, and what I assume is in reference to part of a parent group you are involved with when you said “us,” are the Sovereign Rulers of Palo Alto and have the supreme power and authority to even do this, and then will begin to delight and derive satisfaction from having found a way to attain retribution for having to start online(and not getting your way), as you watch your little teacher “subjects” scramble to make this impossible choice. “Your Majesty, I choose to not potentially die and to gladly take the generous 40% pay discount Your Majesty has offered for my proffered reasons for not returning to the classroom were sincere after all. Thank you for your kindness and generosity Your Majesty.” Or, “Your Majesty, please forgive me you were suspicions about me were correct all along. I have only been driven all this time by my guaranteed job safety and salary, but I couldn’t sneak my true motives past your vastly superior intellect Your Majesty. I choose to return to the classroom to keep my full pay. Once again, please forgive me Your Majesty.”
How completely condescending.
It was all just a “suggestion” though. Right?

Also, stop comparing teachers to grocery store workers, bus drivers, and construction workers. Those are False Comparisons. A quick reason it is a false comparison is that teachers hold a position of authority while bus drivers, grocery store workers, and construction workers do not.

It's really sad that the state will force parents out of work to ensure that their children will be educated, so that at least one parent can be available to handle it. Most teachers should be let go and parents with kids who would normally be in school should get a childcare/education credit.
While I agree with you that it is sad that one parent may be forced out of work, that doesn’t mean teachers have to lose their jobs because something bad has happened to you. What you are actually saying is, “Something bad has happened to me, so I insist something bad now has to happen to someone else.” Why should teachers endure a loss of income because you now have a hardship? Aren’t teachers people to? What if losing their jobs sets off a chain of events that causes them to lose their homes? Should I give you the benefit of the doubt that you are just posting while you are angry and frustrated? What you are saying sounds a bit spiteful.

In my final attempt here to possibly get you to view things from a different perspective, here is an article about teachers writing their wills:

Web Link

Stay safe everyone!


13 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 21, 2020 at 8:25 am

It seems one poster trying pretty hard to justify selfish behavior of PUBLIC FUNDED school teachers.

More you try to defend more you convince they're selfish & useless union.


13 people like this
Posted by Broken McLaptop
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2020 at 10:34 am


Yes! Parents - just suck it up! The teachers have always only been responsible for delivering content - nothing more! The kinder-garden teachers should be allowed to lecture from a podium, bow to applause, and then exit stage left!
Stop leeching off of these hard working teachers for all of that free childcare you have been enjoying for that last century! Horace Mann was right! He handed out laptops at his school, right?

OH and parents, stop comparing teachers to doctors! They didn’t sign up for the risks, and they are not compensated for it. Don’t expect them to be heroes, as if they work in hospitals!
Hospitals for example, where the sickest patients go for care, are only filled with…Doctors! I went to Stanford yesterday, the guy at the parking lot was an MD, taking my ticket stub. All the valets are MDs too! Then I went to the clerk’s desk- that 22 yr old woman was also a doctor! She’s paid 220k a year to check people in to the hospital!
All of the lab techs, nurses, and even the custodians are doctors! Sadly they are protesting now, since they are afraid their hours are going to be cut! They want to work more, isn’t that crazy.

Now, parents. Let’s work together on this and adapt as a community, like the teachers are telling us to do!. Let’s see… first, it’s inefficient for us to all stay home from work for us to work a laptop with our kids in every house. We’re gonna need some physical spaces. Maybe some small desks. Hmm. Ok.
Then, you know we need to efficiently distribute meals, some at low or no cost, particularly to the underprivileged kids. We’ll have to work on that. It might be safer too to have the kids eat outdoors at some kind of tables. Ok. Then, the schedule says we’re going to need a recess too. So, we’ll need to have a play area for the kids that is built for safety, and was funded from our collective dollars, having paid into some kind of fund, and used over time to build this infrastructure. Finally, we’ll need some adults. We have a lot of smart parents. We should pick some who are qualified in different areas, like math, or reading, even some PE! Ok, next we’ll have to compensate these parents for their time, for organizing and providing all the free child care, whilst also explaining difficult concepts to kids who didn’t catch what the lady on their laptop just breezed through.
Does anyone know of any physical learning space, meal distribution centers, and recreational areas in our communities that we could parents could use, staff, and compensate for these services out of our shared dollars? You know, as the teacher suggested, “hire a baby sitter” “hire substitutes, they’re gonna need ‘em”. Oh, and the teachers who can’t drive to work, because they have kids? Their kids will need to have a spot in these new things we plan to build together, since they’ll be trying to work from home too!

C’mon parents - we can do this. Who’s with me?


17 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 21, 2020 at 10:54 am

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Soccer Club at Greene, Baseball at Baylands, with kids really enjoying themselves, I have watched.

So my question again is why not have a choice for kids: you want to come back we will provide for you in safe classroom setting and if not comfortable you can learn online at home.

I'm sure their are plenty of teachers who are willing to do both, especially in person learning but Union vote was very strong.

If it becomes safe enough to go back when Newsom gives the okay and if they refuse to come back, they don't get paid. You will see lots of changed attitudes!

I feel very bad for elementary school parents: okay 3rd grade Johnny or Suzie go start your online work for the day, we will be out here in the front room trying to make a living while you monitor your online learning by yourself because we have zoom meetings etc..REALLY!!!

This fact is what makes teachers and being on campus, especially for the younger kids, ESSENTIAL! By the way, the attitude being portrayed by Union is what is being taught in the schools right now: life needs to be fair, it's all about me and my family and not what I need to do for others in my chosen profession and just a lot of not willing to step up in selfless way.

Look at California Stats: Population California: 39,510,000.
Covid cases: 400,000. / .01percent
Deaths:7,764. / .0001

STATS DON'T LIE and these stats are with grocery workers, nurses and doctors all working in essential roles last 4 1/2 months in the whole state. I just feel like a whole lot of fear going on right now for POLITICAL REASONS and teachers union caught up in it.

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Actually my prior post makes it look like union fault but really this whole fiasco lies with Newsom and based on Politics for sure if you look at stats.

Now, when and if Newsom says it is okay to go back to in person and teachers refuse, well lots of parents in Palo Alto will have a problem with that for sure. Especially elementary school parents!


15 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:14 pm

Actually Palo Alto Unified can apply for a waiver with State for elementary ed to take place and with Palo Alto numbers probably will get okayed.

Story is on SFGATE.

Asking a elementary student to do online ed is sure asking a lot!


7 people like this
Posted by Kids won’t like masks
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:24 am

@ curious

Would you also like to choose who gets the virus and dies? Will you tell the teachers family it had to happen for your child’s socialization? Will you tell them every year their loved one is gone? Would you like to explain to the teacher who has a family member at risk who contracts it and passes away that they died as hero’s so your child can have the socialization you chose?

There is no online hospital care and groceries frankly should be ordered. Bars and restaurants are not essential. Expendable teachers lives for your convenience. Many kids receive negative socialization at school and I would argue that being around mixed ages can help kids socialize.


Does the district have things in place hospitals have? Covered toilet seats , soap, professional cleaning staff, decent masks? NO they could not even clean black years of handprints off doors

Do you think Young children will become submissive and follow all rules and stay in their boxes at their desk? Do you think that putting kids in boxes desks with scary rules and masked adults will socialize them or scare them? Here is your spot.. do not talk or move and now you listen to me as a Hostage! They will be in constant notice if deadly virus in person at school and thus will scare them. !

Young children must see full faces for language development and new vocabulary . Masked adults will be at a disadvantage in delivering full language cues in person. They can look more normal online and kids can move and respond better online With these cues.
Asking teachers to risk lives for boxed up masked days with no real recess is
not worth it.

Pods seem really interesting and could be the safer spot for kids to be together.


12 people like this
Posted by JF - Born & Raised PA
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:49 am

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2020 at 6:07 am

@ JF - Born & Raised PA
Don't expect it to be better in Oregon if you are headed there.
My son says teachers are refusing to work in the fall. Small businesses are closed due to employees falling sick. The Covid cases were low until their state was overtaken by Californians a few months ago. There is a strict mask law. Total hatred for all outsiders especially Californians who are being blamed for spreading the virus. They may vandalize your car and property if they know you are from CA. Just warning you. People will not be friendly to you or your kids right now.
Arguments in restaurants. Fights over limited supply of housing.
They want no Californians in their state right now. The orders are very clear - Stay to f*** home! Check what the locals say on reddit. We are staying put here because the grass is the same color on the other side.


15 people like this
Posted by JF - Born & Raised PA
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:24 am

[Post removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 12:01 pm

I agree with most above here, as I can attest that the CA Teachers Union is the most powerful (and sadly very corrupt generally placing the kids last) thing in our state.

Remember folks, it is also a fact that in LA County they reported that 40% of the student during the SIP did not even log on to a single class online, not one class!
It does not work, has not been properly vetted or tested, and will never come close to being an adequate method to replace in-class teaching.

As we watch the absolute corruption of our enormous state we must also look at what this is doing to our second most important life investment too, our homes.
Generations ago my families moved here for the schools! Now that they are corrupted with a kids last mentality roots have grown unabated, this will assuredly be reflected into our home values (wait and see!) as our community is in a 70 million dollar (and counting) hole due to these decisions, and schooling and home value were the two reasons our grandfather moved us to this region, third was a good job.
Will that be next?

You believers in masks should make your own decisions within your own comfort zones, as you are also free to believe and act as you wish. But somewhere the adults in this state must rise up and take back the helm of intelligent long-term wisdom and common sense enough to place our actions 'immediately' to the most important blessed thing we can affect, and that is the future of our kids.


14 people like this
Posted by PA > Truth Unfiltered
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Wake up:

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm

I agree with most above here, as I can attest that the CA Teachers Union is the most powerful (and sadly very corrupt generally placing the kids last) thing in our state.
Please cite evidence or examples of CA teacher union corruption in the past but especially with regard to this current public health crisis. Also, again, for the last time in this thread, this was Newsom’s decision made along with his health advisor Mark Ghaly and not the so called corrupt Union’s. You say put kids first, but children aren’t the only ones in the school. How will you prevent staff members from dying especially with your anti-mask rhetoric(which I will get to)? Should staff members “just get in there for the kids” with a potentially deadly virus circulating in our community? Easy for you to say, you are a retired teacher. Please lay out your plan to keep schools safe for everyone. This is a new disease and information can always change, but here is the latest research regarding kids and COVID spread:
(Spoiler Alert: Kids spread it)
Web Link
It does not work, has not been properly vetted or tested, and will never come close to being an adequate method to replace in-class teaching.
I somewhat agree with you here, but please name a better alternative solution to this problem since in person instruction is not available. What’s your plan other than a return to in person that would possibly put everyone in danger?
As we watch the absolute corruption of our enormous state we must also look at what this is doing to our second most important life investment too, our homes.
Ahhh...here is where we get to what you are really worried about. Your home value. What a hardship! Yes. We are currently in the midst of an economic downturn, but is that really the fault of the Union or of so called “State Corruption,” or is it because we currently are in a pandemic? Plus, if the worst thing that happens to you is that your home value decreases temporarily, I think you could consider yourself lucky. Do I even need to mention the people that have already lost loved ones or their jobs because of the pandemic. Home values will eventually go back up once things go back to normal. A temporary decrease in your property value should be the last of anyone’s worries. Imagine losing your home and your job and being left to live on the streets. Oh and of course, “the entire state is corrupt” because your property value has decreased.
You believers in masks should make your own decisions within your own comfort zones, as you are also free to believe and act as you wish. But somewhere the adults in this state must rise up
On one hand you SEEM to be saying “it’s ok if people choose to wear a mask” but then in your very next sentence you then say the “ADULTS in this state must rise up” indicating people who wear masks to protect themselves(and by extension their family members and our community)are childish and possibly one can infer, that you think they are making the wrong decision by wearing masks. It actually is the mask wearers who are acting as the ADULTS and being responsible and setting the example as ADULTS should. So, no to you. Wearing masks is the correct decision based on current public health recommendations(even Trump reversed his position last night on mask wearing if you are making wearing masks a partisan issue), although you can CHOOSE not to wear one if that is your personal decision(although I think some penalties may now be in place if you don’t). Ironically, if people would have all worn masks in the 1st place to help curb the spread of the virus, schools may have been able to reopen in the fall, which in turn would have protected your precious home value and also in turn would have protected the education and futures of our children. Furthermore, when/if schools DO actually return, children will now be required to wear masks in schools. So much for the
anti-mask rhetoric.
Finally, please list out some explicit examples of your common sense ideas that you have for immediately helping the betterment of the future of our children. That was a very vague statement to close your post. Or, was your post just really an opportunity for you to complain about your decreased property value under the guise of being concerned for the future of our children?
Please take care, and remember, be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
Stay Safe Everyone!


15 people like this
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:49 pm

The Voice of Palo Alto

Your response is pure fear-driven drivel.

Let us go through it in simple short-hand here as you obviously place misinformation (you fake 'science' web link . . note the word 'MAY' in title and text . . hint: that means not science but suppositional guessing) and fear of death as a premium priority over all else, and I would like you to answer the following questions if I may pose them for you to rationalize reality over hype and raw emotions only:

1 - How many teachers have died in CA or entire USA (or globe) in year 2020? [current 'scientific' article above you comment is new and valid study BTW]

2 - How many 'essential workers' have died in CA since March 19th? [Hint: its verified under 30 - most believed to be non C19 as of today]

3 - How many children 17yrs and younger out of CA's 8.9 MILLION have died?
A: ZERO

4 - What % of teachers are over the age of 65 (@risk age)?
A: less than 1% [if so they should simply be allowed a peaceful early retirement like police are now]

Now, if you don't know the forgone absolute FACT that THE MOST POWERFUL UNION in CA is the Teacher Union, then please spend your time on Google instead of positioning writing(s) to something you know nothing about (fine to admit but pls honor us all w a tiny modicum of care), I am 3rd generation PAUSD and Sacramento's Teachers Union controls more government strings than Black Water Consulting did in DC regarding Iraq! They NEVER have placed the kids first (PAUSD has often fought them tooth and nail on behalf of our kids - mostly losing), as we are witnessing now.
I am sorry if you are new to this, but then please find a 10+ yr veteran you trust familiar, sit down, and listen to the truth. It is a sordid and sick misuse of funds, horrific lobbying to all the wrong measures (no parent would ever approve!), and has wasteful results record so terrible ($ > kids not Union itself)

[Portion removed; link to source data.]

As a retired educator and grandparent, and parent, I have ALWAYS placed the sole premium of a society's value on how it treats and prioritizes it children. And in doing so, I proudly never will shy away from other opinions or simply admitting I am/was wrong.

But in this case, Covid19 is - by stark comparison - 'a friendly' to us all when compared to the errors and raw unbridled human error here to all of this, and the facts and numbers do not lie.

Those fearing, are 100% FREE to chose and should be able to take their tax credit anywhere, as this is a crisis, and the kids come first . . . RIGHT???

In closing, what I see here are 'some' people placing EVERYTHING before kids like I have never heard (not in the USA at least!) nor witnessed ever before this through world wars and the 60's revolution, and so-so much more. In my humble opinion from what changes I am seeing in children in 2020, I see a potential for a lost generation driven by fear, fake screen living, and very little mental strength and health, and practical learning so they can lead; but maybe I am wrong, and that's what I am seeing reflected by a few parents?

Time will tell, as I feel very little care is going into those truly susceptible (like me - which is fine but true), and instead, everyone is being distracted and divided while the lost days pass our children by -- losing their childhood over our adult fears/issues, and not theirs.


16 people like this
Posted by Confused Parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 6:45 pm

I am beyond confused: just found out that schools will be offering daycare on campus through 3rd party providers, with a max of 12 kids per space. This will be offered 6:30 am to 6 pm. So you can send your kid to such a daycare 12h a day 5 days a week, 12 kids per space BUT, we cannot openen schools on a hybrid model with 8-10 kids per classroom. I do not get it! What am I missing ?!


3 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:09 pm

PAUSD must plan for the full school year of 2020-21 to be distance learning. As much as we want one of the vaccine candidates to succeed in Phase III trials, it is most prudent to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Lets say that a vaccine candidate is approved on Jan 1st, 2021. The entire population won't be vaccinated on Jan 2nd. We do not yet know how long it will take or what hurdles will be along the way.

So, PAUSD must plan from August to be in distance learning mode for the whole school year.


4 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:51 pm

[Portion removed.]

You are sort of arguing the “let’s keep the economy going” side of things mixed in with your concern with the welfare of children and then posted stats saying how they haven’t gotten sick or died (ZERO!!!). But, could it really be that the children(and by extension-the teachers) were shielded the most from the pandemic and were able to be sheltered from its most dangerous effects BECAUSE OF the school closures? Look at what has happened with children and staff at day cares and summer camps all across the country this summer with outbreaks. So you can argue the whole “don’t let the cure be worse than the problem itself” thing but you don’t REALLY KNOW(neither do I) what would have happened if we went the other way and kept schools open from March-June. Perhaps 1000s of children and staff members could have gotten sick and/or died of COVID. Then you would have been on here posting “WE should have shut the schools down when we had a chance! What’s wrong with our government and that corrupt teachers union not protecting our precious children!” It’s not a stretch to say there COULD HAVE been massive school outbreaks considering every other indoor establishment such as gyms and restaurants had to dial back their reopenings due to outbreaks, and every other person in any line of work such as nurses, bus drivers and grocery store workers have died. Do you think children and teachers are immune to the Coronavirus? Also, you are conveniently forgetting due to the fact we did shut down, and did an unprecedented shelter in place where the entire economy was shut down for MONTHS(when has that ever happened before?) the virus spread was at its lowest at that point, which also in turn, helped to keep sickness and death numbers down. Look at what is happening now that we tried to open up fully. We are having record numbers of cases and deaths in CA on an almost daily basis. Perhaps you are thinking only locally because so far, fortunately, the virus spread hasn’t been horrible in PA. I just want to mention though the virus spread is increasing in EPA, and EPA children do attend school in PA. Finally, again you could be right that closing schools caused a worse outcome but it also could have just been a lose-lose situation. Close-Adverse effects with jobs and mental health. Stay open-Massive sickness and death.
As far as your anti-union stuff. I asked you for SPECIFIC examples of how the union was corrupt in the past, but also how they were corrupt in this specific instance in this public health crisis. You told me they were THE MOST POWERFUL UNION IN ALL CAPS no less, and gave vague examples about pulling government strings, lobbying on the wrong measures, being anti-children, misusing funds and then told me to “use google” and then you deflected further and told me to “sit down with a 10 year VET” as if I am a Rookie and just don’t have the great knowledge and wisdom that comes with age and the experience like you and others have. That’s all just nonsense. Without specific examples of union corruption, it just sounds like conspiracy theories on your part(ooooh they are pulling government strings) or in your OPINION you don’t agree with what they lobby for or how they use their funds. Regardless, the past is the past. Let’s say there was all this unbelievable corruption, why are you blaming the union here when Newsom, with advice from Ghaly, closed the schools on the state’s watch list? That sounds more like another conspiracy theory about the evil union...they lobbied...they pulled the strings for the school closings. Maybe it’s just not this great conspiracy of wide ranging State Corruption organized by the Teacher’s Union to lower property values and keep the kids out of school. Maybe, it’s just the worst public health crisis in 100 years.
Finally, you initially tried to dismiss my post as “Pure Fear Driven Drivel” and also dismissed the scientific article I attached as “fake science” because it DIDN’T fit your opinion and narrative, but then you conveniently latched on to the article about “No Teacher Has Gotten Sick in the World” because it DID fit your opinion and narrative. More nonsense and deflecting from you. First, the article I sent isn’t another conspiracy theory or “fake science.” It’s real and kids do spread it. Second, if “no teachers in the world” have gotten sick yet, most schools around the world are in SUMMER, the virus transmission is lower in most countries outside of the U.S. so it’s slightly safer to return to classrooms there(you know because the responsible ADULTS in other countries wore MASKS, which you know only FEAR DRIVEN CHILDREN do here according to your previous post), and in the U.S. schools have been closed. It’s a little early to put too much stock into that article because it conveniently fits your opinion. Here is a link to a story about an Israeli Kindergarten teacher that just died of COVID:
Web Link
So which science is actually fake? I thought not one teacher has gotten sick or died.
Finally, you seem to be big on the whole “Having No Fear” thing. Keep in mind you may not be risk averse but a lot of people are, and there is absolutely no reason that a teacher should potentially “sacrifice their lives for the children” because you THINK they should. This whole “sacrifice yourself” line of thinking is silly. If a teacher dies they can’t perform the service you want anyway! You are retired so you conveniently don’t have to make that choice.
I was going to Initially tell you to come out of retirement and come back into the classroom because you have such incredible wisdom and experience, but at the end of your post you said you were “susceptible” probably due to your retirement age. I think you are making a false assumption that only “old people” or “people with underlying conditions” are adversely effected by COVID. That line of thinking should stop. Younger people are dying and are having adverse effects. Please spend your time on Google instead of positioning writing(s) on something you know nothing about.
Stay safe everyone!


7 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:08 pm

@ Confused Parent, the difference is the district isn’t liable and those overseeing the implementation of distance learning for the kids aren’t unionized.


18 people like this
Posted by PA Peace Path
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Dear 'The [self anointed?] Voice of Palo Alto',

First, paragraphs were invented for a reason.

Beyond that seemingly impossible hurdle, less is also more.

I read all 150+ comments above here, and can see that if measured by these comments alone two key things are very clear:

1 - The vast majority disagree with everything being done as it stands today

2 - Parents have little to no voice to this decision and their kids


As a retired medical practitioner I can tell you that it is a generally known fact that mom's and teachers both share the strongest immunity to all known virus's and flu bugs etc., and that this suppression (vs. exposure) is not the scientific path to immunity or people not getting sick. No humans in our present civilization are more naturally resilient in modern recorded viral history.

With that, I wholeheartedly disagree with this path, and pretending a vaccine or any other measures will be better than a sound hybrid with practical measures, not all no contact, and not all normal contact. if you all recall (prior to this fear campaign blinding some), we have vaccines for the flu, yet many of us still get it, and many die of that too. Last year many more than this virus, which here in California is something to be very grateful for.

Last, I just want to remind all that you are the sole boss of your children's future, not government. Born in Russia I have been amazed how easily my fellow American Citizens gave everything with little to no argument, logic, fact, or reason. You all have it as easy in this modern life (food delivery, some choice to work at home, prescription deliveries, charities, compassionate neighbors, etc.) something old Russia as a child we did not have, yet still we fought for freedom and our rights endlessly each day. Gratefully I am here, and I never forget this, and that we here in USA are deeply united. Not divided.

Remember your country got here by many dying to be free for us all. I am honored to be here, and know most -- if not all -- of this will likely end too November 4th.
Something all us old communists know as fact, even if most of you cannot accept what this truly is.

Peace to all.


14 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Hi Voice,

Can you please use, at least, paragraphs? Your thoughts are so hard to read, I gave up even trying to read your posts.

And just an FYI. I am not sure I might not agree with you. But I now totally skip your comments.


12 people like this
Posted by More Curious
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:55 pm

I gave up trying to understand what @The Voice of Palo Alto was trying to say about a week ago. I couldn't understand it either.

I think the gist of his argument, though, is that he wants to be educated and that he needs school. He is attempting to make this point by demonstrating his current writing abilities.


2 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:05 am

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:00 am

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by More Curious
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:43 am

@Confused Parent said:
"I am beyond confused: just found out that schools will be offering daycare on campus through 3rd party providers, with a max of 12 kids per space. This will be offered 6:30 am to 6 pm. So you can send your kid to such a daycare 12h a day 5 days a week, 12 kids per space BUT, we cannot openen schools on a hybrid model with 8-10 kids per classroom. I do not get it! What am I missing ?!"

This is an example of "following the science" to make decisions. Here are the scientific facts:

1) Daycare centers don't make any revenue unless they are physically open. Public school districts make the same revenue regardless of whether they are physically open or not.

2) Daycare workers don't have a strong union. They will not be paid unless they come into work. Teachers will be paid regardless of whether the students are physically present at school and (if the union has its way) regardless of whether the teachers are physically present at school.





8 people like this
Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:55 am

Today's Washington Post has a useful article which summarizes some of what we know about whether children can spread the virus. It's worth a read, regardless of which side you're on.

Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Roy M
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:22 am

@DTN Paul. Thanks for the link. Good to see the evidence for both sides in one place.

@More Curious. Thanks for showing all of us, especially @The Voice of Palo Alto, proper post etiquette by citing the author of posts, using quotations, and writing in paragraphs.


8 people like this
Posted by Scary Truth Nobody Says
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:41 am

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Conspiracy theories aren't helpful
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:49 am

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Scary Truth Nobody Says
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 23, 2020 at 2:12 pm

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


6 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm

PAUSD must immediately plan for a full school year of distance learning.
Earlier in the comment section, I lay out a number of ideas for transparent, effective distance learning for all students within PAUSD. I urge the school board to immediately develop these ideas with management, teachers, parents and students to develop a written plan for distance learning before the start of the school year.

As I've mentioned earlier, we must hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. The vaccine timelines are aggressive. We all hope the vaccines succeed and we return to normal asap.

But hope is not a plan.

We need a plan for distance learning through the end of this coming school year. A plan for all learners, homework, tests, labs, projects, sports, arts, etc. Everything should be transparent. Everything should be out in the open.


2 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 6:08 pm

See what Bill Gates has to say about schooling in this interview with CBS News yesterday:

They discuss schools at the 4 minute 40 second mark in the video.

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 6:10 pm

[Post removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Recall Newsome
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 23, 2020 at 6:53 pm

Dear Architect,

Bill Gates is a technologist & programmer, not a doctor, researcher, or valid towards anything medical. Billions buys attention and TV time, Foundations and access to anything he so chooses, but not my body nor my kids.
Trust him about as far as I could throw him.

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:21 pm

@Recall: By that same standard, none of the leadership of the organization you linked to have MDs or MD.PhDs.

Regardless of what you, I or Bill Gates think about the disease or vaccines, I think we can all reasonably conclude that restarting in-person schooling is going to be a herculean task.

Neither you, nor I are going to change the conclusions of unions or public health departments by posting on this discussion board. I hope that those organizations are getting guidance and advice from reputable sources.

What we can do is direct the attention of PAUSD to the possibility of a full school year of distance learning. The facts & conclusions leading up to distance learning is not what I care to debate.

To me, all indications currently suggest that the disease, the vaccines, testing and tracing and political will not magically align to reopen schools in any reasonable time frame.

If we indeed are heading for a full school year of distance learning (and I believe we are) then PAUSD must openly and transparently plan to meet the needs of all learners, teachers and staff. It would be terrible for all involved to go from an adhoc 3 month plan with hopes of in-person schooling, to disappointment, rinse and repeat. We would squander an entire school year that way chasing an elusive return to normalcy.

Better to accept the reality of a full year of distance learning immediately and plan to deliver the best possible education to all students.




4 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 8:50 pm

"Bay Area Health Expert Predicts COVID-19 May Impact Our Lives For Years To Come"

Web Link

An excerpt from the article:

"Dr. Jeff Smith is the executive officer in Santa Clara County. Two weeks ago, he predicted the virus will spiral out of control again and now he is even more concerned about the Fall.

“We’re not even near the end of the problem,” said Dr. Smith.

On Wednesday, Smith made an announcement that he knew, he would eventually have to make.

“I just told all county employees, not to expect to come back to work or anything near normal until at least the end of February and not even then,” he said."


17 people like this
Posted by Fed up parent
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:09 pm

The district is throwing our kids under the bus; distance learning does not work for K-3 at least, ask any parent who tried it in the Spring, it is not as if we did not run the experiment. I see parents scrambling to find solutions, organizing pods and hiring tutors to teach their kids, considering full time daycare for their kids (pods of 12 kids per class!).

Elementary school teachers are considered essential workers, Newsom said this over and over today. A Teachers Union that supports teachers not going into the classrooms even in areas with low infection rate, even with a hybrid model, even with all the precautions that we have in place, is betraying our children.

As much as I appreciate the effort of the teachers, for elementary school at least, please at least have the presence of mind to acknowledge that distance learning does not work, and that if you chose to not go into the classroom, no matter how much work you are actually doing, you are in large part relinquishing your job as a teacher for a while... The parents on the other end of the screen will have to be the ones figuring it out.


21 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:54 pm

When my PAMF doctor early in the pandemic suggested that we do our annual wellness check virtually, my reaction "who are you kidding, let's just skip it". On line learning for 5-6 year olds? 4h a day on a computer watching videos, uploading stuff, clicking comments at each other, "who are you kidding, let's just skip it", it would at least be more honest that this pretending that you will be "teaching" anyone.


Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm

@ Architect, agree with you


5 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:48 pm

“Elementary school teachers are considered essential workers, Newsom said this over and over today. A Teachers Union that supports teachers not going into the classrooms even in areas with low infection rate, even with a hybrid model....”
This is misinformation. Teachers are NOT considered essential workers during COVID. Maybe Newsom said “teachers are essential” but saying teachers are essential workers is false!

Common question
Are teachers essential workers?

Teachers are essential. Yet during the novel coronavirus pandemic, they have not been designated as or treated as essential front-line workers in the United States. ... While at least 28 states labeled child-care providers as essential workers, teachers weren't, according to the NCSL.

Here’s the list of essential workers in CA:
Web Link

I can save you time and tell you teachers are not on list. Good thing there is a union so students, families, and staff can stay safe no matter how much everyone want schools to reopen. Thank you to the teachers union and to Gavin Newsom for protecting the health and safety of our most precious commodity, our children!



6 people like this
Posted by Silver Linings
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2020 at 7:24 am

>” The "unschooling" option is an interesting one too. We may learn that teachers are not as necessary as we have been led to believe.”

I agree that unschooling is a good possible option, but it’s not no-schooling. Good unschooling often involves many teachers. Unschooling is about student and family independence, self-direction, “free-range” learning — this absolutely needs teachers of many kinds.

I think that’s one of the problems that keeps people stuck in Prussian-model ruts, they think homeschooling doesn’t use classes and teachers or that parents necessarily become the sole teachers, which is for the most part not true these days.

Another mistake above. Someone reported CA has 40 million people and 400,000 cases of Covid, suggesting that’s.01 percent. Go get your calculator. 10% of 40 million is 4 million, and 10% of that is 400,000, I.e., 400,000 is 1 percent of 40 million, not .01 percent. You’re understating it by a factor of 100.

That’s not a very helpful way of looking at it anyway. But just taking your numbers at face value, with a 20% hospitalization rate, that’s 80,000 hospitalizations and people with potentially lifelong consequences, just from a few months when people were quarantining and not in school to boot.

In our district of 12,000 students, 1% infection rate is 120 students and 24 hospitalizations. Those 12,000 students have siblings and parents. How many teachers is that? But while that’s bad enough, it is an unrealistic way of looking at it.

How likely is we’ll have at least one serious outbreak (very), and if a teacher or a child dies, how likely is it that things will proceed normally thereafter? We’re better off focusing limited resources on making the best online education possible rather than committing lots of resources for a highly likely disruption.


17 people like this
Posted by Frustrated Parent
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:14 am

What frustrates me is that the district already had a plan to not open middle and high schools in person. The plan was to open only elementary and with a hybrid model that was carefully crafted. Parents got to chose full remote of hybrid (I imagine this broke down 1/3 remote and 2/3 on site). Then teachers would be offered the choice to teach remotely or go on site. To me this was an ideal and balanced solution.

In the teachers union letter we have about 1/3 of the teachers from each elementary school petitioning for not reopening at all. These teachers could have been the ones teaching fully remote and the teachers who wanted to go on site could do that.

What I find painful about the letter is the dishonesty in it, mention of cases increasing in Santa Clara, yes, due to testing mostly, infectivity rate remains below 4% to this day. The infectivity in the PA district is much lower than in Santa Clara. Also the argument that on line learning is not like regular school, but neither is the planned on site learning..., so basically if we cannot get back to normal lets throw in the towel completely, which is what on line learning represents for young kids, throwing in the towel on them.

I guess what I am struggling with also is with a new way to see teaching in the district as a purely transactional enterprise; this is the only way in which I can make sense of how some teachers are approaching this situation. It confuses me to hear about teachers loving their students, I personally don't want to hear any of that. Create community on line, etc, please spare us all of that. It is not going to happen and lets just come to grips with that. As other posters are saying, teachers will basically organize materials and throw them over the fence for parents to take care of the rest.


13 people like this
Posted by Special Ed Parent
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2020 at 9:15 am

Welcome to our world. Parents of special ed kids give up work, take less pay, juggle schedules, provide care at home, and not just for weeks or months, but for years and throughout our adult lives. Is it hard? Extremely. Did we ask for it? Absolutely not. Do we get enough help? Not at all. It's just the hand we were dealt with, just like you have been now.

I'm amazed at how many parents are so upset at the fact that they cannot give up a part of themselves, now that they don't have adequate support system. If you don't know how, then look to parents who have.


3 people like this
Posted by Architect
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 24, 2020 at 10:50 am

It is useful to see how other comparable school districts are handling the Coronavirus. Here is one, Wellesley, MA:

Wellesley Public Schools Community Update 7/23:

Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by Joy
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 24, 2020 at 11:57 am

Santa Clara is in the watchlist by a hair (barely over by ~ 1% on 2 out of 5 metrics). Web Link

Within that, PAUSD is in much better shape than the whole of Santa Clara County; only

It looks like the dice has been cast for the start of the school year, and my hope is that this will be re-examined as soon as Santa Clara emerges out of watchout, since there was no appetite to request a waiver.

Regarding the push of the teachers union to not provide any in person learning, even when the metrics support it, this is highly irresponsible and disruptive. Let those parents AND teachers that are comfortable and supportive of proceeding with in person learning do it. Lets be real, if there is no support for this now, there will be no support for this until at least the end of Winter Quarter, we are looking at 6 months folks!


11 people like this
Posted by Covid-19 ready
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 24, 2020 at 10:10 pm

Upset about elementary, attend the board meeting online next week and ask the district why it refuses to ask for the elementary waiver.

Why?

1. Palo Alto's Covid-19 rate is about 40% of San Jose's. As a city, we fall well within ALL the watchlist parameters.

2. The District is offering childcare, so why not elementary school.

3. It's allowed.


7 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 25, 2020 at 2:28 am

@Covid19-
The union will not sign the waiver that’s why.
I feel like you won’t stop until you “win.”
The tone all across the United States about schools reopening has shifted.

We had nearly 80k infections today and over 1100 deaths. It’s only going to get worse. How many times on here have I said the union isn’t interested in having their members die or even get sick. This isn’t the flu! I have no idea why you are so obsessed about the schools having to be reopened. Big deal, school is closed, and your kid is at home for a few extra months. It is not safe.

Not to mention that there have been several warnings by experts about a dangerous fall and winter this year. Take a step back and realize the pandemic is really only in the beginning stages as only just over 1% of the population has been infected.

A virus only seeks hosts. Your insistence on reopening will put your child, yourself, and the staff in danger. Insistent and vocal parents like you will make Don Austin “act like a hero” and open the schools if he can and it will put everyone in danger.

Big deal. The schools are closed and you didn’t get your way. I will throw all of your posts back at you after a staff member dies. What do you think is going on here? Stop with infection rates this statistics that! Once the school doors open and everyone mixes together, the second wave of the pandemic will begin. Will you then regret your insistence? Will you have remorse?

The union will not agree to the waiver no matter how much vocal parents like you keep screaming about reopening or no matter how much Don Austin tries to “get stern” with them. Come back on here and do the union complaining. TVOPA will be waiting.
You have been told NO and you can’t take it. It’s childish. Accept it and when it’s actually safe to reopen, schools will reopen.

2020 is a dangerous year! Stop it now.

Here are more kids dying:

Web Link

Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Joy
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2020 at 7:47 am

CDC WEBSITE

COVID-19 and Children
The best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children. Children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults. To put this in perspective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of July 17, 2020, the United States reported that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths.[5] Although relatively rare, flu-related deaths in children occur every year. From 2004-2005 to 2018-2019, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons ranged from 37 to 187 deaths. During the H1N1pandemic (April 15, 2009 to October 2, 2010), 358 pediatric deaths were reported to CDC. So far in this pandemic, deaths of children are less than in each of the last five flu seasons, with only 64.† Additionally, some children with certain underlying medical conditions, however, are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.*

Scientific studies suggest that COVID-19 transmission among children in schools may be low. International studies that have assessed how readily COVID-19 spreads in schools also reveal low rates of transmission when community transmission is low. Based on current data, the rate of infection among younger school children, and from students to teachers, has been low, especially if proper precautions are followed. There have also been few reports of children being the primary source of COVID-19 transmission among family members.[6],[7],[8] This is consistent with data from both virus and antibody testing, suggesting that children are not the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in schools or in the community.[9],[10],[11] No studies are conclusive, but the available evidence provides reason to believe that in-person schooling is in the best interest of students, particularly in the context of appropriate mitigation measures similar to those implemented at essential workplaces.


12 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 25, 2020 at 8:10 am

This from our superintendent yesterday:

"Staffing: Changing conditions make concrete staffing challenging at this point in the summer. PAEA has proposed no return to sites until January 2021. While only a proposal, the sentiment has led PAUSD to look for alternatives. If allowed by the Public Health Department, our 75-member administrative unit is prepared to step in to support our students. We believe this work is central to the mission of our Student Success Coaches and can't imagine the program not involving them. We have many classified positions that make sense to assist. Finally, PTAC has indicated a strong desire to help, which came as no surprise. If we are allowed to have students in-person, we will have caring adults ready to work."

I also see after school care centers, old and newly created stepping up and offering care and also offering to assist with the distance learning, basically doing the job of the teachers for the school year.

Are the teachers who do not agree with the approach of the union speaking up on this, basically your job is going to be outsourced to an array of elements within the community.


12 people like this
Posted by My wife / your kids
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 25, 2020 at 11:05 am

My wife teaches in PAUSD. We live in a different community. We have a school aged daughter, so like all of you we are experiencing the unfortunate fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic on her socialization and education.

Why is PAUSD so much more of a disaster than the surrounding communities? I can tell you it’s not because of the quality of the teachers. My wife is more dedicated to her job than most of the people I work with in high tech. She could easily have chosen a different career paying 4x what she makes teaching your children. She teaches because she loves it. ...and she is very good at it.

Frankly, after reading the garbage on these comment boards from the Palo Alto community I think she should quit. She has the credentials to get a job teaching in any of the surrounding districts where she would be supported by her community. And by supported I mean that they would focus on training and technology to get the most out of distance learning until it is safe for everyone (students and staff) to get back to in-person instruction.

Stop wasting time complaining and figure out how the teachers, administration, and parents in PA can make the most out of distance learning.


6 people like this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 25, 2020 at 1:47 pm

“Finally, PTAC has indicated a strong desire to help, which came as no surprise. If we are allowed to have students in-person, we will have caring adults ready to work."
This is just another example of the typical blustering and bully tactics from Don Austin. He appears to have a fractious relationship with the teachers union and their demands to appear as “the people’s champ” to please the vocal parent community here. He also does those tactics when “he doesn’t get his way.” Childish. He also tweeted, and since deleted, some nonsense about continuing band practices which showed he has zero understanding of the dangers of how the virus spreads. How about worrying about the health and safety of your staff and the children? As I have written before, this is exactly why it was a blessing that Newsom took all decisions away from local authorities like him. I hope he visits each school and every classroom in person to make sure they are running in a healthy and safe way. After all, that will be his new responsibility. Or he will continue to earn a salary that is anywhere from 3-6x more than teaching staff while he works online only?
Here is an example of his past intimidation tactics with the union:
Web Link
Key statement:
Austin accused her during the meeting of grandstanding, and said she liked to fight. He then suggested that the two of them “step outside,” she wrote.
What a calm and level headed leader!

@Joy: “as of July 17, 2020, the United States reported that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than”
More statistics that appear favorable so parents get their way of getting a dangerous in person return to school. Sigh. Those statistics are based off of numbers with schools being CLOSED since March so children have lacked exposure to the virus since they’ve been at home.
There would be 56,600,000 students returning to school across the country so if the case rate of 7% stays stable(which it likely wouldn’t) that would be an additional 3,962,000 new infections. If the .1% death statistic stays stable(which it wouldn’t) that would be an additional 396,200 deaths. That’s suddenly a lot of deceased children Joy just so everyone can get the schools open so we can go back to normal. Of course that doesn’t even count for new staff cases and deaths with a return to school.

“Frankly, after reading the garbage on these comment boards from the Palo Alto community I think she should quit.”
Agreed. If your wife can’t work remotely and you can afford it financially, have her quit and take a gap year. It’s totally worthless for her to risk her health and your health this year to service this community. Good luck to you.


21 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 6:54 am

Get rid of the teachers union.


20 people like this
Posted by Bully Tactics
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:36 am

[Portion removed]

PA is a community that cares about the education of their kids, PA parents are involved with schools and PA residents work very hard at keeping the virus under control and preventing an epidemic within their community, you see this every single day walking on the streets, going to the parks, etc, the compliance is terrific., truly exemplary.

Hard work, NUMBERS DOWN IN THE COMMUNITY, follow the science, OPEN SCHOOLS.


8 people like this
Posted by My wife / your kids
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 9:18 am

@Jennifer it is truly a shame that teachers unions are a necessity in this country. …but they are a necessity as long as the “I pay taxes so I pay your salary” attitude prevails. If you truly want “to be a boss” in this situation recognize that compromises will need to be made to come up with a workable solution.

It should be no surprise that PAUSD is so unprepared to face today’s challenges. Remind me again what the average tenure of a principle or superintendent in your district?...


3 people like this
Posted by My wife / your kids
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 10:41 am

*Sigh... @Bully Tactics

I am so sorry if bringing the perspective of a concerned husband of a PAUSD teacher seems “unfair” to you. I think it is “unfair” of you to infer that science clearly supports the opening of schools. People on both sides of the issue seem to feel strongly that science validates their position. Personally I prefer to rely on data.

Californians are testing positive and dying at a faster rate than can be explained away by increases in testing, and as we test more the percent of those testing positive is going up. I am not making this up. You can see the data for yourself here: Web Link.

You can argue until you are blue in the face over opening /not opening PAUSD to in person instruction... at the end of the day you are JUST WASTING TIME... PAUSD will end up needing a distance learning strategy based on the data.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 26, 2020 at 11:24 am

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 11:38 am

I don't think unions are necessary in any business. I'm not anti-union, there are pros and cons of at-will and union employment. But prior to unions, teachers were paid less but you attracted better quality teachers. Too many people in "helping" professions these days that are just in it for the money. Prior to making good money, teaching attracted teachers whose heart was in the right place, and they were okay with less money, or they wouldn't have entered the profession. Years ago, teachers put the children first. Sadly, those days are gone. A lot of people are in the wrong profession.


10 people like this
Posted by My wife / your kids
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Jennifer - I totally get it. If there is one thing I’ve learned in business, it is that the key to recruiting and retaining the best and brightest in any field is to under pay them.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm

^ Tom Sawyer key to recruiting, persuade people to think the work is a privilege.


6 people like this
Posted by Those who can...
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 26, 2020 at 4:35 pm

@My wife/your kids - I doubt your wife went into teaching to make a lot of money. We won't get into the argument of summers off, job security, etc... as they've been hashed out.

People choose their profession for their own reasons. I'm sure most go into it because they want to do good, they like kids and despite the low pay, the benefits are great. As a 19-22-year-old, how can you not like summers off? You've had them off your whole life!

To a degree, I think most of us can admit that there are times when unions do the profession a disservice.

I agree, that teachers shouldn't be forced indoors with a group of kids at this point. However, the union has offered nothing up to offset the loss of in-person teaching. I have no idea what that would be, but their stance/demands has little to actually do with the students.


1 person likes this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 26, 2020 at 5:31 pm

Jennifer,

Those were the days when women had few real options in male-dominated professions.


5 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 7:08 pm

You don't go into a "helping" profession for the money. The quality of people in helping professions today is pathetic. A lot of them are in it for the money and benefits that unions provide. Teachers should be fighting to teach the kids in the classrooms and quit being so selfish. Their risk is extremely minimal. If minimum wage essential workers can get out their during a pandemic, anyone can.

Years ago women may have had less employment options, but a lot of women didn't have to work. If they were working, it was usually by choice.


9 people like this
Posted by Eric - parent
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:44 pm

Jennifer: this is the kind of polarized commentary that will pitch teachers against parents and that is not productive. Teachers are not being selfish for wanting to work in a safe environment. Teachers are mostly vocationally inclined and they work hard for little pay. They care deeply about the children that they teach as well.

What I react to is to an umbrella petition to not return to the classroom for the rest of the year, without consideration for what the data in the community indicates. Once the county is out of the watchlist, I hope that we will all come together to open the elementary schools in a hybrid model. And then lets move on from there carefully.

We probably have enough children opting for full year remote to accommodate those teachers that do not want to come into the classroom. My hope is that the teachers union does not ruin a sensible solution that would accommodate both parents and teachers.


14 people like this
Posted by @thankyounext
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:59 pm

There are only so many “@jennifer” type people teachers can take. Let’s be honest, there is already a teacher shortage. Teachers could have gotten a bachelors/masters degree in something else and be making A LOT more - maybe they could actually live in the communities where they work (something most teachers cannot do in PA due to high cost of living!) If you want to start paying less and deunionize, you better not expect highly-educated teachers and high quality instruction. And get ready for A LOT more teacher turnover! Teachers will all be choosing different careers that VALUE and PAY them what they deserve.

Teachers went into the profession to TEACH and right now teaching looks very different. @Jennifer to say that the quality of people in helping professions is pathetic is such a pathetic generalization. Do you know all of the teachers? Every single one?


13 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2020 at 9:54 pm

It's the teachers responsibility to teach the children in the classroom, not the parents responsibility at home. Most parents work. If you're not willing to teach in the classroom, you shouldn't be teaching. Earn your check. Distance learning is a cop out. And teacher turnover is higher these days than it was years ago.


10 people like this
Posted by Thankyounext
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 26, 2020 at 10:51 pm

@jennifer Teachers will continue to teach and earn their check in Distance or In-person learning. It’s not a cop out to distance learn when the schools do not have the infrastructure to make sure ALL are safe. Until the district can put those systems in place...the teacher’s responsibility is to continue to teach and as a parent you signed up to supervise until your kid is 18. This isn’t the reality anyone wants...but it’s where we are. The sooner we all accept it, the more prepared we can be.


7 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2020 at 8:43 am

Teachers were coping out prior to the pandemic. Over 30% of teachers get out of the teaching profession in less than five years. With the exception of minimum wage jobs (that aren't professions) no other profession has that high of turnover. And teachers are making more money than they've ever made. And you wonder why so many parents are homeschooling their children. We need higher quality teachers that put children first.


11 people like this
Posted by Thankyounext
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 27, 2020 at 9:54 am

@Jennifer yes the turnover in the first five years is high because teachers are not supported (by administration or their COMMUNITY) and are underpaid. I’m not sure how your “pay them less” idea is going to result in better teachers...if will certainly result in fewer teachers and a worse teacher shortage than we already have. The world has changed since...whenever you are from. The majority of those “self-sacrificing” or as you call them “helper” teachers has evolved because women (who are the majority of teachers) can actually get a high paying job instead of being forced into a few marginalized careers. Choosing a career path is much different than previous eras. The people who choose teaching deserve respect and compassion just like we show to other “helper” careers because a majority of them DO put children and their education and SAFETY first. You obviously have very little idea of what being a teacher involves but you feel like you can talk because you pay tax dollars. Tax dollars do not make you an expert. Thank you next. I’m done discussing this with you. You are part of the reason teachers leave this profession. Ungrateful and entitled.


13 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:16 am

I don't believe teachers are underpaid (they used to be) nor did I say they should be paid less. I said prior to making good money, the helping professions (teachers, nurses, etc.) attracted better quality people because their heart was in the right place.

My grandmother was a first grade teacher for 39 years. She told me she would've "taught for free" because of her love for children and education. She needed the money, and made very little, but it didn't bother her.

Teaching is NOT a marginalized profession. It's a calling that most teachers lack these days.

Do any of us have "support" from the higher ups in the workforce? And if you are a higher up, are you supporting others? We're on our own pofessionally.


3 people like this
Posted by Seriously?!
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:39 am

Jennifer, seriously! Are you suggesting that teachers should work for free or that since teaching should be such a calling, they should take undue risks with their health and that of their families. This is sooo not helpful, as a parent, I find this dialogue disturbing. Folks with opinions like yours are what gets the teachers all worked up and very reluctant to find a balanced solution.


20 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:53 am

Of course I don't expect teachers or anyone to work for free. I grew up in Palo Alto, and understand the high cost of living. That was an example of the quality of teachers that are a thing of the past. I doubt my grandma was the only teacher who felt that way.

My point is put the children first. Kids need to be in the classroom, and so do teachers. Being in the classroom isn't an "undue risk" anymore than minimum wage essential employees working forty hours a week during a pandemic. If that was the case, all those businesses would be closed down, and they're not. We need teachers and children in the classroom. We don't need alcohol, cigarettes, candy and soda sold by minimum wage workers, but those place are open for our convenience. Open the schools.


16 people like this
Posted by Broken McLaptop
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Parents: Great news - PAUSD is hiring an outside firm to host our kids for all of that "free childcare" we have been swindling our teachers out of! You know, for the last century. They will even be in the exact same schools as our regular already built community schools! Amazing how they can pull this off! And for the low low price of ~$1000 a month EXTRA, in addition to our sky high property taxes that fund these same schools, we can almost recreate full time school! This way the teachers will do what they were MEANT to do all along (stop calling it a "calling"!) and provide low quality educational content over their web cam!

Teachers: Brilliant strategy! Outsourcing your "non-teacher" roles to a private organization of other adults AVOIDS you having to drive across the bay to sit in a class room! (Stop calling these teachers "essential employees"! As they have already told you, they are NOT! It's not like they are tattoo artists!!) This way you can provide web based education, among the many other web based education providers that already exist. You know, like Khan academy, Coursera, Udemy, and on and on. That is a sure fire way to keep your job secure while insisting that you are not essential and that you shouldn't have to drive to work or appear in person, and instead provide your services only via video! Now you're thinking!


14 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 27, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Jennifer:

You are VERY OLD SCHOOL in your thinking but unfortunately your school CLOSED YEARS BACK!

I personally love your thinking.

Kids need to be in school and if Newsom gives okay PAUSD needs to give parents an option, A CHOICE.

Teachers that do not want to be in person can do online crap and teachers willing to be there in person, PROBLEM SOLVED!

ALL ABOUT HAVING A CHOICE and then parents will buy in.




2 people like this
Posted by Truth Shall Set You Free
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 28, 2020 at 5:20 pm

[Post removed.]


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