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With 'mixed feelings,' Mountain View Whisman superintendent recommends reopening of schools

Original post made on Feb 6, 2021

After nearly a year of school closures, Mountain View Whisman School District plans to start bringing back students to campuses once Santa Clara County has been in the red tier of COVID-19 case rates for two weeks.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 5, 2021, 5:23 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Tal Shaya
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2021 at 8:58 am

Tal Shaya is a registered user.

The first lockdown was only to gauge the spread of the virus. It's painfully obvious now that Gov. Newsom plans to operate CA's economy with hospitals at full capacity. This disease has a name: capitalism.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2021 at 8:25 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

nice reporting

1:3:1 (quicker-Berman):OK:(slower-Blakely) Superintendent Rudolph seems to have hit the 'sweet spot' with his Board in how aggressively to reopen. The teacher's union seems to be a drag on this (slower), and at least a sizable group of parents want a famly-by-family choice of quicker.

A Superintendent, needs to listen closely to 'the direction' of his Board and Rudolph seems to have navigated this well! If you want to hear a good in depth explanation of this by a Trustee - scan to the meeting recording segment where Trustee Chiang (an educator who really studies "comparison districts") talks about why he supports 'OK', the middle road.

[I myself support the Berman, Los Altos SD, Palo Alto USD 'quicker' approach.]

Posted by A
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 8, 2021 at 12:08 pm

A is a registered user.

Laura Blakely aptly raised a concern for our teachers. Also explained well here: Web Link

Posted by SC Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2021 at 2:29 pm

SC Parent is a registered user.

Parents - don't get your hopes up. MVWSD won't open this school year. I think this was a calculated PR play by the Superintendent and some of the board members so MVWSD wouldn't be hit with a lawsuit by disgruntled parents like other nearby districts have. They didn't even include a focus group of parents like they have in the past, which makes me think it was a back-room deal with the teacher's union. They cleverly tied it to achieving red tier, which isn't at all part of the recommendation by state or county health officials. But, by the the the County hits the red tier, there won't be enough time before the end of the school year for this very protracted plan to be executed. There certainly won't be time for a lawsuit to reopen schools to work its way through the court system. String everyone along until it's a fait accompli.

District staff has failed to execute every one of their various iterations of "reopening plans," despite wasting about $10 million on unused equipment (walk-through temperature sensors, multiple masks for all teachers/students, designing outdoor learning environments that will be complete in 2023, etc.)

I already know how this year is going to turn out. But, I'm worried that our most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and at-risk kids are going to start in distance learning NEXT YEAR, too.

Posted by gcoladon
a resident of Slater
on Feb 9, 2021 at 8:24 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

@SC Parent, you said

"They cleverly tied it to achieving red tier, which isn't at all part of the recommendation by state or county health officials."

When I go to the State's COVID portal, at Web Link and enter Santa Clara and Schools in the boxes, it responds with this text:

Schools may not reopen fully for in-person instruction until the county has been in the Substantial (red) tier for 5 days. School officials may decide to conduct in-person instruction for a limited set of students in small cohorts.

Note on exception: Schools that have already re-opened if the county was in a less restrictive tier do not have to close. However, if a school had not already reopened for in-person instruction, it may not reopen until the county moves back to the Substantial (red) tier for 5 consecutive days.

How do you square that with that part of your post that I quoted above? It sounds to me like being tied to red tier is in fact one of the official constraints? Am I misunderstanding you or the website?

Posted by Mountain View Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 9, 2021 at 8:57 pm

Mountain View Parent is a registered user.

I’m dissatisfied with the politics and mismanagement of the MVWSD. The superintendent does not have a good reputation. The board has only a couple sane members. This group is acting like emperors and empresses, focusing on power trips that serve themselves and not the children. These are not the people I want in charge of my child’s education. Get a clue MVWSD — you’re losing folks fast. Many parents are moving to private schools because of your inability to get it together for the well being of students. Los Altos schools took action much sooner for the benefit of their students. Stop the power plays please. You’re driving the quality of education in Mtn View down the drain. I’ve decided to leave and pay for private school to get away from this nonsense. Not everyone is in this position, but those who can leave the public schools are actively doing so now. The quality will sadly suffer, but MVWSD you did this. Get it together before it’s too late. You’re on the fast track to further scrutiny and potential lawsuits.

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