Town Square

Post a New Topic

Guest opinion: The risk of returning to the classroom in the fall

Original post made on Jun 27, 2020

In a guest opinion, Mountain View High School social studies teacher Sophia Caramagno writes about her concern with potentially reopening schools in the fall.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, June 27, 2020, 7:57 AM

Comments (54)

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2020 at 9:12 am

Bravo for saying what needs to be said! I am a parent who wants the best for my kid but also couldn't believe how some parents are demanding so much and complaining nonstop about every little thing and dissecting every thing as if they are some hero-expert on all of this and some guy sending 3 page emails every *single* day on the MVHS parent mailing list like he is the czar of all this. I swear entitlement at its finest. It's a global catastrophe for heaven's sake. Dial down your expectations to fit the scale of emergency. I hope teachers refuse to show up for work if this is how parents treat the schools, staff and teachers.

Posted by Sajini Yogasundram
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 27, 2020 at 9:41 am

This amazing teacher was my daughter’s teacher this past year. I am also a teacher by profession and have my Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins. Before this pandemic, I repeatedly told my daughter and her my colleagues that I finally found a teacher who was able to differentiate teaching, while passionately teaching the content using best practices. My daughter has a learning disability and she advocated for her and made my daughter feel safe advocating for herself. When we transitioned to virtual learning, I never questioned any of her teachers because I knew they were doing their best with nothing but good intentions. Neither of my kids are self-motivated and struggled with virtual learning but I would never want to put any teacher in harm’s way. Let’s be kind to our teachers and kudos to her for speaking her truth.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2020 at 11:15 am

I am shocked that parents think this way, but then I’m shocked at how the general public is reacting to this pandemic. As the parent of a soon-to-be eighth grader considering high schools, I applaud your stance and am glad you posted this article. I also found it difficult to engage my kids in distance learning but they adapted fairly quickly. Of course things can be improved but we need to have realistic expectations in the midst of this global pandemic. I will not be sending my kids back to (physical) school, and I sincerely hope they do not reopen schools and just continue with distance learning.

Posted by Jay Heyman
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2020 at 11:20 am

As one of the parents who responded to the survey and who will be working at home myself through the end of this year at least, I understand Sophia Caramagno's desire not to be put at risk of serious illness or death due to the inevitable exposure in the petri dish that is a high school classroom. However, I really hope that MVHS takes remote learning seriously if that is what we end up with. I don't feel that the teachers had time to transition their teaching online in a structured and planned manner due to the speed of the change. However there will have been 4-5 months before the start of the school year this time. I hope that the district invests in some serious training for the teachers and some serious discussion about what sort of daily schedule should be kept. There are online schools all across the country that manage to teach kids at a high level entirely remotely. MVHS is at the center of a strong community technology and resource wise, use those resources to put in place a better learning environment for the kids.

Posted by MogensLauritzen
a resident of Gemello
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Being a parent is much more than making a baby. It brings with it the responsibility to do your best to raise that child. Society can only help, but the responsibility is at the end the parent(s). Our country is presently handicapped. It would be unreasonable to demand anybody into a potentially fatal situation. Instead we have to make do with the tools at hand. Just because remote learning is new and novel, doesn't mean it's a terrible idea. Look at this as an opportunity. Perhaps it will in the future enable - say Bakersfield (no offense meant) - kids to receive the same quality education as Palo Alto kids? In fact, this is an opportunity for the state of California to create online K-12 course material, which can be augmented by local teacher staff.

So (some parents) stop complaining, and step up to help. This is but a small chapter of your child's life.

Cheers - ML

Posted by MVResident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for this article. Teachers have been undervalued for way too long. Any reconfiguring of schools for fall must prioritize teacher safety. And --- given these kinds of comments that parents are making about how poorly their kids performed academically during COVID home schooling - it is high time that families prioritize learning in the home. For the parents who are complaining, and for the kids who just couldn't get their act together to do any academic work - - It is high time that parents teach their kids how to be independent learners, how to become self motivated to learn. And it is high time that parents learn how to be more effective in their teaching and tutoring of their kids. Parents who complain that they just couldn't teach their kids math, or reading, or anything during this time may benefit from some instruction on how to provide education in the home. Even when kids return to the classroom, active and positive parental involvement in their kids learning will help everyone in the family.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2020 at 12:48 pm

I understand the valid safety concern. There are many teachers with COVID risk factors. If teachers think that going back to work puts them at a serious health risk, then they will not go back to work. The choice is between teachers staying in their current jobs and in-person schooling, not between death and in-person schooling.

Posted by ML Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2020 at 2:18 pm

This is the Bay Area. We should easily be able to set up tents and conduct schooling outdoors. The lack of creativity during this crisis has been breath taking. Our decision making should be data driven, but our political climate is effectively left wing Fear Mongers vs right wing bone heads.

The disease does not transmit in the open air. We can ventilate classrooms or move then outside entirely. Keep the viral load down and you’ll be safe.

Posted by Concerned Dad and Husband
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2020 at 4:12 pm

My wife is a teacher. My daughter is in High School. My wife and both have multiple risk factors that greatly increase our odds of dying if Covid enters our home. It is hard to balance education vs. deadly risk especially since my wife has dedicated her life to teaching. However, push comes to shove, we will protect our family and our lives. Reduced educational quality seems better than dying to me. And yes, we must be honest, some parents of students will have their personal careers negatively impacted if they choose to stay home and help their children learn remotely. If some are willing to risk their lives to teach then surely others can risk their careers to also help teach. Protecting the lives of all educators must be paramount, otherwise the community will lose its educational foundation because folks will either retire, or die, whichever comes first. Please support remote learning until there is a vaccine.

Posted by MVWSD parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2020 at 5:21 pm

I don't argue with any individual's choice on going back to work (certainly not people who have extra COVID-19 risk-factors), I would never blame any teacher for deciding they only want to teach over the Internet. That being said, I would like to put a little statistical balance into the risk/benefit calculation we are all struggling with.

We Californians have all internalized and accepted the 3,600 car deaths and the 6,900 seasonal flu deaths in California each year. (Those are not even the heavy-hitters that cause deaths in California.)

But, the 5,900 deaths (and counting) from COVID-19 in California is all so new that we have yet to fold it into our individual risk/benefit calculations and thus we are filled with wildly conflicting emotions and everyone has to figure it out for themselves.

They say: "When you are going through Hell, keep on going, because it's the only way out."

Parents have a long-term view and different risk/benefit calculations because, well, we're parents and the most important thing to us is our child's futures.

We all have different family situations and in most cases parents cannot leave their kids alone at home and thus they cannot even have the choice of going back to work until the schools are open.

The schools being closed delivers the greatest harm to the very families who can least afford the losses and who's kids are already at an educational disadvantage. Maybe some parents can stay home, maybe some can work and get full pay from home, but I would guess the vast majority cannot.

We need the schools to open. We need to figure out how to do that as safely as we can and set it up on a very short time-table.

Posted by Think Like a Businessman
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jun 27, 2020 at 5:59 pm

Given the extensive business acumen of our Silicon Valley denizens - I can't believe SV parents would be so short sighted as to force teachers back to the classroom this fall. If your business is in trouble, you don't layoff 20% of your most experienced staff - those are the ones you want to keep, they know how to make the business run. However, that is exactly what is being proposed by forcing teachers back to the classroom. About 20% of the teachers in the various SV school districts are at, or near retirement. It is safe to assume they will choose personal safety over death, even if the "odds are low" - better safe then sorry. In that way, we would lose the most experienced staff we have in this business of teaching - a bad plan. The loss of that high quality staff would surely reduce the quality of teaching/learning no matter where it occurs. Much better to tough out a year of remote teaching, keep the best staff engaged and working, and then, when a vaccine is available, return to normal. A chink in the educational breast plate is better than removing all the armor and lose the best teachers we have by asking them to choose life or death.

Posted by Mountain View Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2020 at 6:01 pm

This is a complicated issue, but we need to have effective education for our children. The remote learning from the spring was a failure. It's not that the teachers weren't trying, but that the concept is fundamentally flawed. We are damaging our kids.

The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a position paper that can be summed up by:

"AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school."

I strongly suggest reading the whole document at:

Web Link

Teachers should be protected while teaching, but that should be through the use of careful PPE and practices, not by cancelling education.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 27, 2020 at 6:35 pm

The online instruction that my children received was a disaster. Our children need classroom instruction. What is more important than the education and future of our children? A very slight chance that you will contract a virus that is usually not deadly? You are more likely to die in a car accident. We can't live our lives like this. We can't sacrifice our children and their future over your paranoia. If you don't want to do your job then please resign.

Posted by Mountain View Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 27, 2020 at 10:38 pm

Though nothing can come close to the power of a teacher in the classroom, and I certainly understand the frustration of parents trying to engage their own kids in learning at home (I'm right there with you), I think we are seriously underestimating how challenging it will be to engage students in learning on campus under COVID conditions... and seriously overestimating how effective that education actually will be. As I'm reading the comments, it strikes me that folks are comparing remote learning from this past spring to a vision of on-campus learning pre-COVID. So, let's re-contextualize the comparison. I don't know about you, but I can hardly carry on a clear conversation with my neighbor from a six-foot distance with the two of us in masks, let alone imagine leading a bustling class of teenagers through a problem set or Shakespearean soliloquy, with each masked student six feet away from the next. And, of course, we're not just asking for someone to babysit or entertain our kids; we're expecting meaningful learning experiences in a rigorous, transformative, college preparatory curriculum. Frankly, we're asking teachers to do the impossible: to keep kids engaged when they are uncomfortable, to read the room when they can hardly see kids' faces, to work closely with children they cannot actually get close to, and to shift their pedagogy from the best practices of a student-centered, group facilitated classroom back to the old factory model of desks in rows with the teacher at the front of the room lecturing. For every parent who says that kids have to be back in school to learn, I want to make sure we're super clear: there will be no clusters of kids huddled around butcher paper with markers in hand. There will be no teams of teenagers leaning over a lab table to hypothesize, measure, and analyze. There will be no teacher kneeling next to a student desk, pointing out passages in a book or marking sections of a paper to revise. This will be the most sterile, sanitized version of school imaginable, and I can't imagine it will be all that transformative -- or accessible-- for kids. Add to that the expectation that anyone exposed to COVID self-isolates for two weeks at a time, and you have the potential for mass absences of kids and teachers. I can only imagine that the logistics around instructional continuity in that scenario will be a nightmare. Are we really expecting that teachers teach robust lessons to students on campus and online simultaneously? Meanwhile, teachers will have the added task of supervising kids at every break, lunch period, and passing period to remind them to keep their distance, wear their masks, wash their hands... Of course none of this is ideal, but by demanding that we open schools irrespective of the toll on teachers, students, and learning in general, we risk a crisis far more long-lasting than COVID. Who would want to do this job you're demanding, especially knowing the potential personal risk it requires? What's next?: asking teachers in their newly-constructed outdoor classrooms to practice the now-annual active shooter drills to lockdown their tent classrooms? It's already hard enough to attract talented teachers to a profession that is grossly underpaid for the work. This pandemic teaching job you're demanding sounds demoralizing at best, completely quit-worthy at worst. We'd better find a way to step up and have our teachers' backs, or we'll be homeschooling for much longer than we'd like to imagine. If we parents don't start treating our teachers with the respect they have earned, the education crisis we'll face on the flip side of this pandemic will be truly unbearable. Come on, Mountain View. Let's play the long game.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2020 at 1:51 am

I love the person saying that teachers who don't feel safe should quit because schools need to reopen!

Very few teachers who can live in the area long term can do so without a partner in tech that makes the teaching career more of a passion project than a career. I think you would be surprised at how many teachers could quit in bad conditions, and even more so, and how many of those teachers are in the STEM fields. If you can make double the pay with your credentials, you have to love your job to do it in spite of the pay cut.

Many teachers I have met in the Bay Area could quit if it was a choice between that and their health. So, if schools reopen in those conditions, what quality of education do you think they would provide?

Do you want a quality leaning space for your children, or, lets be honest, just a parking lot for kids that is outside of your house? We can do that a lot cheaper without qualified educators or a union.

Posted by Lamonte
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2020 at 5:29 am

I wish the president would tell the world the same thing way to go ur the voice of the year stay home stay safe until vaccine works and available for every living heart on earth

Posted by MVLA parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2020 at 7:01 am

While we all have our individual circumstances, concerns and opinions, as a parent, I am not pushing for a return to campus...I believe a 100% online, distance learning model should be used in the fall semester, while the district uses that time to prepare for the hybrid model in Spring semester. We also need to take the concerns of teachers seriously.

The district needs to prioritize providing a safe work environment in the fall for:

- Teachers - give them their classrooms to work from with the video equipment and hi-speed internet they need in a professional environment. That way they don't have to accommodate virtual classrooms in their homes.
- Provide high-quality childcare on-site, or, stipends to pay for childcare for teachers who need it.
- At risk students - give them a safe work environment on campus with high-speed internet and tech support. They can work "remotely" from these workstations, with supervision, attendance, and tutors on hand.
- Special needs students - programs should be continued on campus if that is the best practice.

This would allow the district and teachers to focus on teaching (via distance learning) and implementing a high-quality distance learning platform (including a high-quality content provider like UC Scout, Edgenuity etc), and meeting a pre-CoVid academic equivalency as close as possible to 100%.

Once they have a working distance learning model up and running we can work on the hybrid model of bringing kids back to campus. But, by having a strong online learning component in place the district can manage future potential virus outbreaks, and necessary learning from home for students who are at-risk medically.

Posted by MV parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 28, 2020 at 7:16 am

Distance learning was a total failure- maybe because of the way it was done. A colleague who lives in another school district, mentioned that their kid's teacher kept the same schedule online via zoom classes for the school hours (~8:30-2:30) with recess/lunch break but taught all subjects and kept the kids engaged with math, English, art etc. And this is another public school. So, why could Mountain View not do something better than a check in on zoom for 30 min a week, where all they did was ask kids to share randomly and the shy kids kept quiet. The kids are not motivated to even try to learn. To expect full time working parents to teach while the teachers are only spending 30 min and just providing a ton of online links, and not doing small groups or online class to motivate and help students is not acceptable. That is why, as parents, it has been frustrating and worrisome that our kids are falling behind compared to others. Also these are kids, and they thrive with interaction -therefore why do 100% distance learning when the risks can be mitigated by other options (PPE, small class size, outdoor classes (done in many rural schools with no classroom setup)). Should grocery workers/restaurant workers etc doing businesses stop working as well - and they are not even paid teacher's salary. In the case of teachers, it is the same cohort of students that they are exposed to and the city should invest in contact tracing and ensuring that kids in contact with Covid19 positive people be quarantined for 14 days, if so, the risk will be significantly lower than projected by the teacher.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:13 am

First of all, I don't think that distance learning was a total disaster. Given the circumstances, most teachers did their best to keep instructions going in some way. Was it comparable to regular school? No, and that's why we need to find a way to get them back to the classroom and protect the teachers. Do I want a teacher to die for doing their job? Of course not! But do I want my dentist to die because I needed tooth cleaning? Or my Safeway cashier because I needed groceries? Or my kids soccer coach because he is doing a summer camp? The answer is no and we could go on like that, yet all these people are doing their job and as a society we need to protect them by giving them PPE, wearing masks, washing hands etc. If we do all these safety measures, the chances of contracting the virus at school for a teacher should be minimal.

Posted by JB
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 8:34 am

I don’t want to diminish Ms Caramagno’s concerns — I grew up the son of a public school teacher and care deeply about the profession — but one of the primary reasons we can’t get to a good solution here is that any parent who expresses a desire to have their kids back in the classroom is immediately dismissed as “anti-science” or “doesn’t care if teachers die”. I care about teachers like my mom and I’m pro-science, which is why I DO want my kids back in the classroom this Fall. Most of the rest of the world agrees with this as well, which is why you see Europe and Asia largely resuming classroom learning already. And the American Academy of Pediatrics just came out and said we should take many precautions to keep everyone safe in the school, but that kids need to be back in the classroom for public health reasons: Web Link

I also found this quote from Ms Caramagno on why she thinks parents want their kids back in school to be deeply out of touch and offensive: “parents were confronted with just how difficult it is to engage a teenager in work they do not wish to do.” You realize that there are many families in MVLA are single parents and/or have both parents who have to work, often in essential jobs, right? Maybe some parents want their kids back in the classroom because they’re lazy, but the vast majority of parents who want kids back in the classroom have this viewpoint because they see the devastating impacts of being away from a classroom on their kids and believe we can come up with ways to keep teachers safe while kids are back in the schools.

Posted by Polomom
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:00 am

Schools in Germany were only closed with online learning for 6 weeks for most kids. All kids under 10 went back first with 1/2 the kids at the same time in the class room, in a rotating schedule. But after a month all kids were back together. High School kids are considered more endangered. They stayed in the 1/2 the number of students till the end of the school year. Seniors finished their finals just like a normal school year. Their educational disruption was minimal. Research in Europe has not found any increase in kids COVID cases after reopening schools. Playgrounds were opened 2 months ago. We need to look abroad for ideas and direction in this pandemic. All new hot spots were indoor party, restaurant and meat packing plants related.

Posted by Jay C.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:12 am

Distance Learning was new to everyone in the Spring. Very few teachers stepped up and went above and beyond on their own - with little guidence from district leaders. Most teachers took their district and union leadership to "take care" and "protect yourself and family". There were limited guidlines. So that is why we saw a large disconnect and different levels of engagement from classroom to classroom around the state. But this fall, things will look different. It took the state law makers to establish guidelines in Distance Learning. Districts must now follow these guidelines, or not get their funding Bill - AB 77.

This includes: a) Daily live interaction with certificated employees and peers for purposes of instruction, progress monitoring, and maintaining school connectedness. b) content aligned to grade level standards that is provided at a level of quality and intellectual challenge substantially equivalent to in-person instruction. c) Academic and other supports designed to address the needs of pupils who are not performing at grade level, or need support in other areas, such as English learners, pupils with exceptional needs, pupils in foster care or experiencing homelessness, and pupils requiring mental health supports,

Web Link

The unions are strong. Their guidence prevented many robust distance learning from happening. Now it is state law - unions cannot go against state law.

Posted by Educator
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:18 am

Education comes in many forms. Let's focus on our children's mental health and physical health and we will likely see an improvement in their futures, their quality of life, and our society. Get out of the Silicon Valley bubble of pressure cooker academics, please.

Posted by Pay for your own
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:46 am

Public education should be "free" only to poor families - not to rich whiners who work for Google or Facebook. Hire your own babysitter and tutor and teacher(s). If you want your children to fetch the coronavirus for you and your extended family to contract and spread,, take them to a Trump rally. Trump will tell you that a vaccine or cure or help from a higher power is expected on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 IF AND ONLY IF he is re-elected on November 3.

Posted by a community member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

There are certainly subsets of teachers and students who should be accommodated to work from home, but that's not the majority. The majority of teachers should lean in to do their part in this crisis. We all know teachers who heroically leaned in during the spring shutdown, and we also know some teachers who skated by doing far less work than they would traditionally. The most vulnerable suffer most in remote teaching and the potential loss of a quarter of a child's schooling is no small matter.

If the food worker or nurse can put themselves at risk these last few months for less money, teachers can at least ensure their children are taken care of, or we further the class divide that COVID-19 falls solely on the working class.

If MVLA goes remote (an outcome that may be out of anyone's control), it should expect its teachers, the highest paid in the state, to work full work weeks, and not what took place this spring.

Posted by JB
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:07 am

“Educators” comment above is a perfect example of the difficult nature of the arguments here and the often faulty assumptions made about the motivations of many parents. “Educator” seems to assume that parents want their kids back in the classroom because of the “Silicon Valley academic pressure cooker” and that we should instead focus on the mental and physical health of our kids. I agree that our kids’ mental and physical health is paramount, which is why I want kids back in the classroom *because it’s better for their mental and physical health than being sheltered in place*. The American Academy of Pediatrics clearly articulates this, as well as studies from many countries in Europe, which is why they’re all back or going back to the classroom.

Posted by Pay for your own
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:43 am

Most residents have no school children. Many with school-age children do not use the public schools. If you think placing your child in a virus-load assembly plant of 30 students or 500 students or 2,000 students, pay for it. Hire some Trump-ancies to provide the services you want. Whether that is child abuse or neglect can be examined later.

Posted by Pay for your own
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

Let me correct the spelling on the new word I just made up: TRUMPANZEES

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Thanks Sophia! My husband and I answered the survey. As a parents with multiple children in MVHS, I really hope all the teachers, staff, and students stay safe and healthy in the fall. We totally understand the challenges the teachers experienced in the Spring. I do not have a strong preference of face to face learning in class over online learning. However, I do care about the learning quality. If the decision is online school in the fall, I do think the school district and administration should provide all the support to enable all teachers in transitioning to "close to classroom learning". If private schools could enable the online learning in a couple of weeks in Spring, we believe MVLA district should be able to do it in 5 months (from March to August).

Posted by Kathy
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2020 at 3:02 pm

To "Pay for your own". I think your statement "Public education should be "free" only to poor families - not to rich whiners who work for Google or Facebook." is controversial and opposes to the Constitution. Public education has been free to "poor families" for many many years. People who work for Google and Facebook are paying large amount income taxes and property taxes to support our public schools. There is no legislation saying these parents should pay for their children's K-12 public education on top of the taxes they have paid.

Posted by MVLA parent
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 28, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Unfortunately the new trailer bill AB 77 reduces the requirement for daily instruction for 4-12 grades for 2020-21 by 33%!!! That's a reduction by 2 hours per day of direct instruction!! We can and should advocate for higher instruction. Trying to do too many things (in person and distance learning) at the same time (hybrid model) is going to cause chaos and lack of learning. While your child rotates "home" for three days who will be teaching them? Certainly not their teacher who will be fully occupied by the other students on campus on those days. Also, can we avoid the 1 full-day of teacher "planning" every week? Maybe by allowing teachers to teach online 100% we can reach a higher level of instructional minutes than the drastically reduced state levels permit. MVLA can and should be able to do better than the bare minimums.

Posted by WG - MVLA parent
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 28, 2020 at 3:37 pm

First of all, when we have challenge like what we are facing, we should unit and face the problem together, instead of some disappointing blaming, even politics involved. This is for our kids education, not for politics.

Second, distance learning like spring is not acceptable. Let us be honest. Distance learning should like regular school learning, teaching should be live and with student camera on . It should be same as class room, just it is distanced classroom. It is not vacation time.

If other school can do it in two weeks time, why not MVLA? And to do online teaching is really not as difficulty as someone think it is. Most of us have used Zoom, or similar tool to chat, right?

At certain time, government will evaluate the risk and have proper control, and should have kids back to school. We cannot make this important decision based on someone's feeling, it should be based on facts, and each one's individual condition.

Let us all be good neighbors, and get together to get school high quality. It will help our community, will benefit each of us, and be good to our future.

I totally trust MVLA will do the right

Posted by Pay for your own
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 4:41 pm

@Kathy. My contention is that you whiners should pay for your child's education on top of anything you contribute to public schools. That is what parents of private school students do. As to private schools, you can make any deal you like. You don't run public schools. Public schools should operate remotely. You may argue otherwise all you like. Public schools are not opening to business-as-usually anytime soon - maybe never.

Posted by Anonyumous MVHS Student
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 9:52 pm

Yes, Ms Carmagno!

Posted by K
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 28, 2020 at 10:22 pm

I am a high school science teacher in another nearby district that uses MVLA as a close model when making decisions. Right now when looking at possible schedules to return to school (on a schedule similar to what PAUSD is doing) I would get 75 min/week with each group of students, down from 225/week on the regular schedule, and one day for planning. This is because of the block schedule, half-sized classes, and increased passing period between each class to allow for the teacher to apparently clean the entire room. Since I teach in a science room, I have a lot more surfaces, and unlike normal class I'm not allowed to have students help-- I don't know how that's going to work because before school closed, it took me longer than 10 minutes to clean. And that doesn't include cleaning lab supplies, which I'm guessing our safety plan will also have to be cleaned by me and not students. During that 75 minutre period, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to run labs- I only have 8 lab setups and the tables are smaller than 6 feet, so working with groups/partners will probably be out. Most models of what I have seen in other countries has students facing forward and seated individually- good for lecture and not much else. Lecture is the *easiest* of all our activities to move online. So at this point, is being in the classroom worth it? I guess I could have the students take a quiz during this time and do a demo.

If students are at home for part of the week, I still have to plan and grade that part of their work. Honestly, that part is stressing me out the most. In the spring, I could have my classes of 30 meet, or use the time flexibly and have them work independently while meeting individually with students on projects. Now the model seems to be teaching 4 days with smaller classes, which doesn't leave me any time to help students with the work I'd assign through distance learning. Like another poster said above, at what point does this become more stress than it's worth? I have been planning online labs and discussion formats under the assumption that we would not go back, and I actually have taken several science teaching classes with labs online, which puts me ahead of most other teachers in my subject area. The in-class model they want us to use pretty much guarantees an ineffective use of class time and a ton of stress.

I really like my job. I have a BS and MS in science and an MA in teaching. I'm probably overqualified for my job but I take my profession seriously and spend a lot of time planning in a normal year. I am not easily replaceable- last year, there were 0 teacher candidates for my hard-to-staff subject at SJSU, and lots of openings in the county. I love my students and my job. But my partner has a health condition and had a surgery postponed by COVID. His surgeon told him in no uncertain words not to get infected. With all the papers and case studies I have read regarding indoor spread at workplaces and other groups, it's hard for me not to take this seriously as something that is a major risk to our household. One of my colleagues, also in a hard-to-staff subject area, is in her 30s like me but immunocompromised. We can't even get a regular sub for one sick day - what's going to happen if one of us has to quarantine or take leave on short notice when there's no one qualified to replace us in a normal year?

By the way, for those who are skeptical of teacher planning- this is going to require rewriting or completely retooling the curriculum for a lot of us to fit the new constraints. The US has much more time for teachers *teaching* and very little time planning compared to most other countries. If you've never taught before, imagine having to give 1-2 new hour-long presentations every day. That's what it's like to teach a new class. You'd want time to prepare it, wouldn't you?

Posted by M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2020 at 9:31 am

Thank you, Ms. Caramagno, for the very powerful comments. We need to be realistic - teachers won't return to the classroom unless they feel safe. And no one should selfishly expect them to put their own lives at risk. Safety in the classroom means small class sizes, use of outdoor space, technology to promote circulation of outside air in classrooms, and, most important, testing. If kids and teachers are tested, for free, once or twice per week, we can all be comfortable that no one in the classroom is contagious. Asking about physical symptoms and taking temperatures will not accomplish that goal.

In addition, we need to be realistic in the likely event that a safe return to the classroom is impossible. Teaching online is very different than teaching in the classroom, and teachers need professional development instruction right now to prepare them for that. Let's spend our scarce resources here, where we are likely to get a big bang for the buck. Stanford online high school is offering free courses (10 hours of instruction during the week of July 13) to STEM and humanities teachers, to teach them how to teach online. MVLA should encourage our teachers to enroll, and should seek out and fund additional professional development opportunities this summer. Web Link

Posted by MVHSparent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2020 at 2:47 pm

When I log onto ThoughtExchange, none of the top 10 highest-rated comments say anything along the lines of what this teacher is complaining about. The majority are commenting on the need for safety for students and teachers, and the remaining few are complaining about the quality of distance learning in the Spring and the need for better communication and transparency from the district. There is no contradiction to any of this - distance learning WAS a disaster, and much more so it seems at MVLA than in neighboring districts and private schools, which also had to pivot quickly to a new model of learning but seemed to do a much better job overall, at least anecdotally. And the vast majority of parents value the safety and health of our children and their teachers, and certainly don't want to put them at risk because we are too lazy to deal with motivating our own kids. The bottom line is that the district needs to learn from other schools who were more successful, follow the guidance of the SC County health and education departments, and hold teachers and students accountable to a higher standard than in the Spring.

Posted by Sloane P.
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm

I sympathize with this teacher but reading her comments, I think she is under the impression that parents are home with their teens, relaxing with time on their hands, during the school day. This is far from the case. Are you expected to also teach your own kids at the same time you're working at your job? Of course not-- it's not possible for you and it's not possible for us.

I have a teen with a learning disability. Distance learning was a disaster for him -- he cannot manage his time without serious structure and supports. But I'm a whiner because I can't teach him Algebra II while I'm doing my full-time job and supporting my family? Also, being socially isolated has caused him to spiral into a serious depression and he is receiving additional mental health care that I also have to pay for. Yes I want him back in the classroom, in a mask, with a teacher, safely seeing his friends at a distance and and I'm not apologizing for it.

Posted by psr
a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Although I understand the concerns of this teacher, the concerns of parents for their children has to enter into the discussion. The children are supposed to be the focus here. What is best for them is supposed to be what counts.

There is absolutely no question that the distance learning was a complete disaster. As the parent of rising senior, I am appalled at the suggestion that we can just jettison the learning process for something approaching a year, as some seem to be suggesting here, and then "make it up later". My kid is going to be a senior next year. When, exactly, is he going to "make up" what he isn't getting? How can he be prepared for college without the proper foundations he is supposed to be getting now? What about the hundreds of other kids like him in the district?

During the entire 4th quarter at school, my son had weekly live interaction via ZOOM with ONE out of his 6 teachers. ONE. As for the rest, one ran the course by posting slides of the planned lectures and having the kids do what was similar to what the workload had been prior to the close. The rest were either giving two assignments a week vs the normal four or giving one assignment for the week to be submitted Friday. There were one or two live interactions TOTAL with two of the teachers and none at all from the rest. Though not all subjects have to run the same way, it would have nice to know what to expect, because what we were told and what we got did not match at all. I really don't understand why the classes didn't go forward at the usual time, for the usual duration, via ZOOM. Lab courses could have had demos from the teacher in place of the students doing things hands-on. I have personally taught science that way for years during camps and the learning is not affected negatively. What DOESN'T work is handing the kids a pile of paperwork to do without proper guidance and expecting them to figure it out on their own.

As for the suggestion that we parents are somehow lacking because we were challenged at motivating our kids to learn under the conditions that were foisted upon us without notice, that is out of line. Of course the kids were not motivated, especially the ones who could generally be called hard workers. The district took the grades that they had been working for for an entire quarter and threw them in the garbage, then replaced them with pass/fail assessments. Imagine working hard for a promotion, only to have the boss say, "Sorry. Something out of your control happened, so we are going to ignore all your work. There won't be any promotion and you are going to get exactly the same raise as the guy that does half the work that you do." I wouldn't be motivated either. Yet we were supposed to motivate our kids with a very lax schedule, no lectures and no grades. Hardly fair to say we aren't entitled to be frustrated.

I consider myself lucky. My son has parents that are able to tutor him if he doesn't understand a concept and we have the time to guide him toward more challenging content if the school is leaving gaps. Not every kid has that going for them. My concern if for the kids who don't. They deserve better from the people who are supposed to be helping them. The kids are old enough in MVLA to follow rules that make sense. There is no reason that we can't work toward getting them some semblance of normalcy. Kids with medical conditions and those with at-risk family should have options, but those who can attend while following rules should start getting their lives back. It is a disservice them to not allow them that choice.

Posted by SNK
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 29, 2020 at 4:58 pm

I think we need to tell the truth. The truth is that some of the kids are already not socially distancing. There seems to be some magical thinking that bad things cannot happen to these highly privileged kids and their parents. Some of the things that my child is seeing on social media with kids gathering and traveling scare me. This disease is (likely unseen) going to burn through the teenagers. Then it is going to sicken and possibly kill teachers and their loved ones. If families cannot take it seriously now, all high school teachers are in real, long term danger.

Posted by This is a test
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 30, 2020 at 7:13 am

This is a test. A marshmallow test. A parenting test. A maturity test. Parents who demand that others put themselves at risk of serious harm or death fail the test while their children watch and learn from their example. Likewise, children will watch and learn when their parents engage with personal responsibility, a mindset for growth, compassion, and humble problem solving.

Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Jun 30, 2020 at 2:47 pm

Although my 5th-grade child is not in a public school, distance learning has been a disaster for us too. I and my spouse both have jobs that occupy us full time during the "school day" and we have been pretty slammed by work. When the shelter order hit, suddenly we needed to do the teacher's job as well as our own! That was not possible, and still isn't.

Our child doesn't work independently, attends online classes but doesn't participate, gets almost nothing done because we aren't available to supervise and teach, and the assignments given have been, to put it politely, fluffy and academically weak. I don't blame the teachers; they didn't sign up for this when they chose their career. It took 2-3 months for the school and teachers to adapt and evolve into a new way of teaching, which is now working somewhat better and includes one-on-one time with students who need it. In the meantime, my child has basically skipped 3 months of school work while other children appear to be excelling in this environment.

We have found and paid for alternative online learning programs that are designed by experts to be effective at online learning, unlike the stumbling experimentation that schools, public and private, have engaged in. Our child does much better there, for example catching up to 5th grade math from 3rd grade level in just 3 months. We will continue doing that until we see more effectiveness coming from the school. And that means, we don't send our child to class, and we continue working from home (and I miss the air conditioning at my workplace).

Posted by Neighborhood Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2020 at 3:20 pm

The public education you are receiving for your child is free. How dare you complain about a free, excellent education being provided for your child (even if it is online). If you have a problem with the free education your child is receiving, go enroll your child in a private school

Posted by vsms
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 1, 2020 at 4:13 pm

@Neighborhood Parent,

At the risk of derailing the discussion: we pay taxes; it's not free; it's perfectly justified to complain.

Posted by @Alex M
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 1, 2020 at 6:25 pm

Can you share the online instructional resources you found useful? Thank you.

Posted by Los Altos Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:38 pm

I am a veteran teacher at Los Altos High School. I am deeply saddened by the tenor of some of these comments. And I have heard from my students that they are too. They are watching. They are reading. Someone mentioned Germany. Germany flattened the curve. Ours is skyrocketing. The U.S. now has more cases than India, China, and Europe--combined. Someone equated teaching with being a grocery clerk. Grocery clerks don't stand in a small room packed with teenagers for six hours. And you can't eat food online. If you could, do you think they'd be there? Someone mentioned that we are more likely to die in a car accident than from exposure to COVID-19. Car accidents aren't contagious. Someone mentioned quitting if we don't like the situation. Some of us undoubtedly will. But the overwhelming majority of us won't. Even though we're disrespected by those we serve over and over again. Even though we're underpaid. Yes-underpaid. Even the highest paid among us are underpaid. Even though, many, like me, commute for two hours, one way, in the afternoon in order to afford a home. I've been teaching for 20 years. I've devoted my life to my students. So yes, I get a little irritated when people who are not in my profession speak with contempt about us. And I get really irritated at the self-righteous arrogance of people who think they can speak with authority about a profession with which they have no direct experience. Having been a student doesn't qualify you. Having a student at our school doesn't qualify you. Any more than me being a health patient qualifies me to speak with authority about medicine. You ARE qualified to discuss what you want for your child, of course! But slinging mud at us isn't furthering your cause. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But here's the thing: my opinion matters more than yours. Yours matters. For sure. We care about you! We especially care about your students! But many of the people complaining are doing so without anywhere near the perspective and access to actual facts that are needed to make reasonable assessments about education and learning. Because they. are. not. educators. Distance learning was a "disaster"? What are your metrics? What is your evidence? That's a pretty sweeping indictment. Are you basing an opinion on your own experience in your own home? Have you done some kind of wide-ranging statistical analysis? Are you a social scientist whose area of expertise is education in the time of pandemics? Our high school serves over 2,000 students and their families. We make decisions and do the best we can to service ALL of our community stakeholders. I've been studying pedagogy for 20 years. I have three degrees. I go to professional training every summer. How many hours of your life have you devoted to learning about best practices in education? The teaching profession has a 50% attrition rate over the first five years of someone's career. That's BEFORE all this was happening. Part of the reason is because teachers are routinely disrespected and belittled. You want quality education and world-class educators? Then start advocating for better pay for us. Trust us or choose another path. There are lots of schools to choose from. Or home school. Or move out of the district! I had to and I work there! And if you have means, you can even escape public school--though as someone who has taught in private schools, I'm going to guess you will find even more to complain about. I understand there is frustration. We are all frustrated. I don't know any teachers--not one--who look forward to doing remote learning instead of returning to campus. So when you hear us advocating it, please take a breathe and realize we're not doing it out of selfishness, or out of left-leaning fear mongering... we are professionals. Like doctors. Like lawyers. Only they make much, much more money than we do and are treated with much, much more respect. And that's okay. We're used to it. We will continue to do what we do, at least most of us (I say "most" because we're human, just like your doctors and lawyers and there's a range of competence, sorry!) because we care about students. I completely respect your right to disagree, but continually denigrating us as if we are some kind of monolith is naive. You want to know about me, ask my students. I'll stand by what they say, including how I did during distance learning. And I promise not to weigh in on your abilities as parents, because I understand that it would be rude and relying on my limited, anecdotal understanding of the complexities of your family's situation, my judgments might be ill-founded. How complex do you think teaching is? As much? Thank you for those of you who have articulated eloquent defenses on our behalf, and for those of you who are seeking to understand the nuances that are too often eclipsed by those taking potshots. For me, I'll teach from home. I'll teach with a mask. I'll do what I'm called to do. But I am going to make sure my professional opinion, and the professional opinions of those who do the job, like my colleague Ms. Caramagno, matter most. We are experts at what we do. And what we do matters. And we are sick of the unfounded complaints. Distance learning was a "disaster"? Talk to your child's teacher. And I don't know, offer to help maybe? Don't yell at hundreds of us.

Posted by Los Altos Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2020 at 9:36 pm

Also, forgive me this one last comment. Can the person suggesting outdoor tents explain the "data driven" decision making behind that suggestion? Computer Science outside? Biology Labs? Or, I don't know, ANY class that depends on laptops (read: all). Sure, we'll get the Army Corps of Engineers right on it. Start running some extension cords out onto the quad for the kids to be able to still type their essays. Or should we be nimble and switch back to all-pencil instruction? As someone indicated, yes, taxes justify the ability to complain. But that doesn't make the complaints valid or useful. I apologize for the ardor, but seriously?

Posted by @Los Altos Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2020 at 7:49 pm

I am a teacher, I taught everyday remotely. I watched this video of my colleagues Web Link who did the same and cried because of what we did. And I'm proud to have, proud of them. Those teachers who did not work like those in this video should know they did not step up.

There are many in our profession who did not really teach, despite getting paid when their students' families were not. And when that happens, the voices of the students and families who despaired falling behind deserve to be heard as much as us teachers.

So, as a teacher, I have contempt for not what you say, but how you say it.

Posted by Los Altos Teacher
a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2020 at 9:44 pm

I stand by my words and my tone, strident as it is at times.

I qualified my remarks and indicated that not all teachers operate with the same competence. That's true during remote learning just like it's true during on campus learning.

You illustrate one of my points, because you are in no position to tell some anonymous group of teachers to "step up". That's the kind of language I am reacting to -- have you really looked into what caused each of these instances where teachers didn't "step up"? What sample size are you talking about? This is exactly what I'm upset about. You can't make blanket statements about the quality of instruction without knowing much, much more about every situation.
I directly responded to specific criticisms and suggestions and the "way" in which those were levied. You're a teacher. Great. If you want to offer your opinion about specific pedagogical choices, I get that. But you're not doing that.

I wonder if you have empathy for teachers who might not have "stepped up" because they were suddenly doing at-home schooling for four children of different ages, one of whom has learning disabilities, while they were being asked to turn on a dime and deliver their curriculum in a completely different way? Did they fail? Did they not "step up"? Isn't it more complicated than that?

In some instances, I'm sure you're right, teachers who could have done much better did not perform well. Again, that's not some new phenomenon and it just reflects the range of performance one might find during normal instruction. Just like some hard to motivate students became even more unmotivated, understandably, given the circumstances.

I don't have contempt for you. And I extended my empathy several times in my post. I addressed specific instances where people were trying to tell me how to do my job. I apologized for my ardor. I am not trying to shut down people who are despairing, but forgive me if I find falling behind academically less important than the emotional and psychological well being of my students and their teachers during a plague. The link you shared is a provocation. If someone didn't do that they didn't "step up"? Okay.

Posted by LATEACH
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2020 at 10:03 pm

@Los Altos Teacher version “Step Up”. You missed the entire point of the video you site as exemplary. The very last point that video leaves us with is that WHATEVER YOU DID IT WAS ENOUGH. And last spring in the wake of a shocking move to remote learning THAT NO ONE WAS PREPARED FOR, whatever people did was what he or she could manage. Get off the cross, we need the wood.

Posted by LATEACH
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2020 at 10:06 pm

I've really had it y'all. This is a response to the person who suggested we just reopen and teach the kids outside." --- Let's talk about that scenario (small groups outside) shall we? Because I'm not sure it's grounded in a real understanding of what teaching effectively looks like. I use a lot of technology, screens and projections almost daily, in my classes. As well, I have a very tightly organized system for class discussions (I'm in ELA) where I monitor, give feedback, prompt the kids who are getting off task, as for large group sharing out,etc. Now- If half my kids are inside the classroom and half are outside.... (I'm sure you can see where this is going)... I can move in and out of the room, sure. But guess what is happening each time I leave VISUAL sight of the kids (either inside or outside). Now, many kids are focused, yes. But, I can no longer see and/or hear the quality of what is happening. And how do the kids outside benefit from what the kids share inside. And how do I contend with the 4 or 5 other classrooms of teachers and students who are also outside in my hallway? That would be the equivalent of trying to attend a concert while there is another concert happening 10 feet away. You are essentially asking me to teach simultaneously in two different classrooms. ????? SO much of what I do has become instinctual, preventative, based on watching facial expressions, body language etc. I think parents who have well-meaning, but totally uninformed suggestions (the equivalent to telling doctors how to do surgery - which I don't think EVER happens) simply do not understand all that goes into teaching. Having kids spread out around a large space for class might get them back on campus with their rear ends in a desk. But I would argue that the quality of the experience (being masked and unable to even really HAVE discussions - because who can have a discussion with a mask on sitting 6 feet apart or with a barrier between you-- have you tried doing this at Safeway for longer than about 30 seconds?) - is going to be severely compromised. Not to mention the fact that I will have to be so preoccupied with all the physical distancing and ppe protocols during class that I will be so anxious that I won't be at my best. Since March 17 when we went into social distancing I have spent hundreds of hours getting better at remote learning. So far this summer I have attended 4 different professional development courses all focused on delivering instruction more effectively in a remote environment (How to build community, writing instruction to support learning in the digital world, Tech tools, and Canvas). I have 4 more that I have yet to take. Without the added stress of having to police children all day, I am free to create and support learning in ways that I had no clue about in the Spring (News flash- none of us did - parents, students, teachers). I can handle ONE thing well. Either we are back in school safely without the need for constant policing of students and I am free to be the teacher I have always been (with a lot of cool new tools! I look forward to that day!) OR I can be a Remote Teacher v2.0 - newly enhanced after a summer of learning, but SAFE from fear and anxiety of contracting COVID, and able to focus on delivering all that cool content to your kids. BUT I CANNOT DO BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. Plus... Should we make the disastrous decision to return in August.... All the things that students LOVE about being on campus... getting to "hangout" with friends during lunch and brunch -- that's gone for the foreseeable future. Sports, performing arts, not so much. The real benefit to kids being on campus is all of the enriching experiences that make us more human. I get that. I want that as much as the next teacher. I miss my students. I miss hugging them, high-fiving them, sitting with them and talking about writing, laughing with them (will they ever see me laugh and smile with a facemask on???). I am HEARTBROKEN about what is happening. I love students and teaching... You know, last week I went to HomeGoods for the first time in 6 months. I put on my mask and my gloves and I joyfully walked through the sliding glass doors that I have walked through a million times, passing greeters covered in masks and gloves, ugh... first knot in my stomach. Grabbed my cart that I wondered if it had been sanitized, second knot. As I walked through the store, I had this constant nagging "hurry up and find your stuff and get outta here feeling" - not the joyful, relaxing stroll around a store that I could spend hours in. Third knot - stomach now full of knots. Several times I went the wrong way down the aisle and had a person snap at me. I mean who looks at the floor when you're shopping? The aisles were not as well-stocked as they have been in the past. Some were even empty. I had to hurry through because people were waiting at one end or the other for me. I was constantly thinking about people around me instead of enjoying the shopping experience. I finally got so frustrated that I left. As I sat in my car, I thought, well that was wildly unsatisfying and not at all what I had hoped it would be and I went home and bought what I needed online safely, and totally free from anxiety and frustration of not being able to focus on getting what I needed. That's how trying to teach and learn on a campus in August will feel. But the stakes will be significantly higher. ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR US???

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 3, 2020 at 11:19 pm

Public schools will not open for in-person instruction - for more than a few weeks of another coronavirus explosion. Remote learning only.

Posted by Sloane P.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2020 at 1:43 pm

Distance learning was indeed a disaster for our student with learning disabilities.

I know this because he failed one of his classes which he had previously excelled in, barely got a passing grade in the others, and because his "finals" consisted of things like memorizing a short poem and taking a brief test that was *not graded for correctness,* only. completion. These are the core subjects, not the extras or fluff. Learning these subjects is cumulative so the effects are going to be long term.

I'm sorry if that's not what teachers want to hear. I know many of them did their best (though some were AWOL, frankly). This isn't just my opinion -- lots of research bearing out that it just didn't work that well:

Web Link

Posted by LATEACH
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2020 at 7:11 pm

@Sloane P. Are you really though? Sorry? Doubtful. Here’s why:

Los Altos Teacher (1): Here are all the reasons why the word “disastrous” is painful and problematic for us.

Sloane P.: “Disastrous!”

What Teachers Heard: Teachers don’t matter more than my need to insult you publicly about the work you did in the wake of a global pandemic shuttering the doors of the way you’ve done business for your entire careers.

Me: Perhaaaaaaaps—- we learned some difficult lessons during that experience and perhaaaaaaaps, we will, like all professionals, learn from them and do better.

How totally antagonistic of you.

The Good News: You made it even easier for Los Altos Teacher to rest his case.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

What to do if you get a noisy Rheem/Ruud heat pump water heater
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 3,965 views

Do Palo Alto city officials ever, ever have enough money?
By Diana Diamond | 38 comments | 2,712 views

Don't Wait Till Your Child is 42 to Say "I'm Proud of You."
By Chandrama Anderson | 5 comments | 1,882 views

Restaurateur behind pizza favorites Terún and iTalico sets sights on San Carlos
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 1,603 views

Travelin’ Solo: Salvation Mountain and East Jesus
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,092 views