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Superintendent proposes Mountain View Whisman schools stay closed until January

Original post made on Oct 2, 2020

Schools across the Mountain View Whisman School District could remain closed until January 2021, following deep concerns by teachers and school staff that reopening would pose an unreasonable public health risk.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 2, 2020, 1:40 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 2, 2020 at 2:12 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

The Superintendent of the Los Altos schools (PK-8) has figured out / over the summer / to organize a parent-choice system and gotten his staff and parents working together on this. This has gotten a formal waiver approved by County Health Dept. It is too bad (IMO) that the Board of Trustees [Laura Blakely up for reelection] has been ineffectual at making this our own enlightened public policy.

The KIDS in The CRACKS are still hurting - "why my Board, gently weeps"?

Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 2, 2020 at 6:19 pm

SRB is a registered user.

@Steven Nelson, isn't one of the MWWSD board members running for City Council? What's his record on reopening delay?

Posted by What about JOSE GUTIERREZ?
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 2, 2020 at 7:14 pm

What about JOSE GUTIERREZ? is a registered user.

Last post - good question. What did school board member /city council candidate Jose Gutierrez say at the meeting about reopening schools? Nothing? Kinda yes and kinda no?

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2020 at 9:12 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Trustee Gutierrez / I don't know. I'm assuming, as usual for most current trustees, he is 'accepting the recommendation of the Superintendent' - as Trustee Blakely similarly talked about in general terms in her recent LWV MVWSD Candidate forum.

Perhaps Jose is now specifically focusing on City issues, during his run for City Council.

Posted by Joel Lachter
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 3, 2020 at 12:39 pm

Joel Lachter is a registered user.

@Steven Nelson: Is there some reason to believe that the LASD program is going to work? Originally I was all for getting the kids (and, in particular, my kids) back to school. However, it looks to me like a lot of these school reopenings fail quickly and all the kids end up back at home after a few weeks. That seems more disruptive than just leaving them home. LASD has money they can throw at this kind of experimentation. I am happy to have them experiment, and we can copy them if it looks like things are working out.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@ Joel Lachter. We shall see (and measure the results). LASD is taking a very aggressive step-by-step process with very aggressive testing! (Yes Testing 3 day turn) They are relying on the new El Camino Health Care District testing program / fast / focused on school districts / and very very local. Kevin at The Voice has recently reported specifically on this (El Camino and LASD cooperative program).

Open Close would be disruptive. Not having a Medical Professional quantitative control system would be a disaster [No, Principals and Teachers are not medical professionals]. If like Poll Watchers, there were School Watchers, who could easily step Way Back and watch check-in, student #s, 100% temperature checking (and isolation of feverish), eh, maybe it could work. IF 75% of the parents wanting and students needing IN-PERSON Learning get that?
Joel - would you consider that a success.? Something like 50% of the parents in MVWSD seem to want it. If it was 40% to 45% - does this minority - deserve to be served (give it a good try - "Copy Exact" the LASD approved plan.)

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Um - by "aggressive" I mean their "stepped" incremental program is very aggressively controlled. This is not a Jackson Pollock "black poring" or "drip" painting!

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2020 at 2:48 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

LASD Instructional Plan
Web Link
LASD county approved reopening plan
Web Link">Web Link
LASD reopening top web-page
Web Link">Web Link

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

Reporter Kevin - I believe, looking at the end of this item that THE VOTE (final decision by Board) will be next Board Meeting October 15.

The Board majority sets the Public Policy of the district. The administration implements That Policy. U all Know: [email protected]

Posted by Cfrink
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 4, 2020 at 9:06 pm

Cfrink is a registered user.

Los Altos has a board. Their board looked at their evidence and made a decision about their kids. Our board, elected by us, looked at their evidence and made a different decision.

I see no reason why we need to follow the decisions of other districts. We have our own people here to make our own decisions about our own kids. I’m good with what we’re doing. I don’t think our kids should be in school. And I’m also annoyed with this nonsense that kids are falling behind. There’s no clock on education. As far as I’m concerned, we can just do over this whole school year once we have a viable vaccination program. Anyone who has fallen behind can catch up or get whatever skill remediation they need in 2021. The rest of the world isn’t going to disappear if our children need an extra year of instruction.

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2020 at 9:20 pm

Gary is a registered user.

Not to be disagreeable BUT, as I heard it, the MV-Whisman board granted the Superintendent the discretion to reopen in-person learning six months ago and at the October 2 meeting, the board was not asked to take any action. The board simply received an update on what the Superintendent was thinking.

Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 4, 2020 at 9:28 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Given the current state of COVID, my "humble" opinion is that we cannot "encourage" the spread of it. Donald Trump got COVID possibly while outdoors, of all things.

So the risk is high enough to warrant not gambling with anyone's health.

Posted by Just a Teacher
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2020 at 10:22 pm

Just a Teacher is a registered user.

I am so grateful that Dr. Rudolph is standing up for the health and safety of his community. What we don't need right now is a reopening that is rushed and places our children and staff at a greater risk.

I think that it's also vital for the community to understand what a hybrid plan looks like for the kids. Based on what I know, I am personally keeping my 2 children home for the remainder of this school year. School will not hold the value that it does in normal times, and the risks outweigh any small benefits that might come from in-person learning. Here's a short list of the concerns I have, as a parent and teacher:

- less interaction with their teachers (2 days on campus, 3 in asynchronous/virtual learning, likely with a teacher that is not their own)

- sitting in one room, 6 feet away from peers, for 6+ hours

- no peer interaction outside of that classroom (lunches, recess, etc)

- no hands-on learning that would require shared materials or close proximity (think labs, art projects, posters, group picture/word sorts)

- minimal physical movement during a day

- all work will still be done on a screen, as passing papers back and forth is not conducive to social distancing

- teachers, who are already stretched further than I can remember ever being in 15 years as an educator, now doing 2 full-time jobs (planning in-person, staggered learning, and the asynchronous learning days)

Any "setbacks" in instruction will be taken care of by the next year - we're professionals and we're all experiencing the same moment in history.

My heart aches for us all, and I cry when I think about how much I miss being with my kids in my classroom, but as we stand, there is no alternative that keeps learning moving forward and keeps our community safe.

Respectfully, Just a Teacher

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 5, 2020 at 8:55 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@Just a Teacher. You do a very good job of articulating what a middle class professional who can keep their job (at home) is experiencing during this pandemic. CFrink, same for you.

You both seem to lack any expressed empathy for those in our community, and statewide & nationally, who are "essential workers", parents, and in the service economy. They cannot do 'their job' at home and they are often starting out ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED. Often this is because they do not have the college educations you do.

Think about that. Put yourself in Their Shoes!

Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 5, 2020 at 9:06 am

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Steve Nelson,

Please help me understand?

Are you promoting more risk of anyone working at a school to contract COVID?

Given that many tests out there have the problems with false negatives?

And that the incubation period in humans has been proven to be that one is infectious before symptoms are present?

The general rules should be that in order to control COVID, while in public all people are assumed infected.

Look at Donald Trump? It may be that the White House Outbreak occurred when people were outdoors at the Supreme Court Judge announcement. There goes any assumption that even outdoors is not safe?


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 5, 2020 at 9:31 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@SG. I looked at Donald Trump and how the White House is actually implementing COVID safe workplace practices. From 'what is reported' and what I can see happening in Rose Garden events at the White House? [disrespectful language - self redacted]

@SG. Read the LASD protocols. If they are implemented faithfully and with fidelity they can (I'd guess) work as well as "isolating at home". Just as hospital emergency rooms, admitting non-COVID patients, can effectively control thing. For years I worked with deadly organic-arsenic materials, and eye-popping high power lasers. (no exposures, no burns under my watch) Effective OSHA/Health Department protocols can absolutely reduce risk to any workplace hazard.

I went to the hospital emergency room recently. It was Not for a respiratory illness. They took care of me fine. They had very good protocol AND THEY FAITHFULLY kept to it!

Posted by Steven Goldstein
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 5, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Steven Goldstein is a registered user.

Steven Nelson,

I would EXPECT a hospital would be experts at preventing the spread of ANY infection.

However the CDC has released again that COVID is an airborne infectious agent. Lets see how long it stays up this time?

As far as your workplace regarding its safety, again, it has expertise in the FULLY KNOWN issues with FULLY IDENTIFIED public health threats. And that those THREATS have SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN remediation and prevention

Can you write us up a contract saying that the students are not at ANY additional risk by going to a school under penalty of perjury?

With all the SPIN going one regarding what is known and unknow risk factors now, I would if I had a child, PREVENT them from going to school. And NO ONE would be in any position to tell me that I am not taking care of my child, and the schools have no authority to discipline them or their parents.

Isn't this COMMON SENSE?

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 6, 2020 at 10:34 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

@SG This discussion is "a moot point" because I think both you and I fully expect this current Board to just VOTE to follow "the recommendation" of the Superintendent at the next meeting. He and no one on his staff is a pandemic expert. They all have much less expertise than the County Health Department (agreed?).

Posted by Nate
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 16, 2020 at 10:05 am

Nate is a registered user.

I really hope that the quarantine will end soon. My kids switched to distance learning and it was still difficult for them to adapt. But since the beginning of this school year, the state has approved a new curriculum for schools, and it's terrible. My kids don't have time to complete their homework. We allowed them to use a special service site Web Link to order scientific articles and essays. To help, we also gave children the opportunity to use Web Link an online library for schoolchildren and students where we find materials for lessons. Everyone understands that people are not to blame for the fact that a virus happened to us. But the state must protect us and help us in this.

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