Town Square

Mountain View school districts announce new policies to slow spread of new coronavirus

Original post made on Mar 9, 2020

With 37 cases of the new coronavirus confirmed in Santa Clara County and the county's first death reported today, local schools are evolving new protocols to protect students. Here's how Mountain View's school districts are preparing.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, March 9, 2020, 4:19 PM


Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 9, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Why such weak language? Are they afraid of the coronavirus or of offending/triggering all the morons who put themselves in ahead of community safety?

"the district will... ask anyone". How about PROHIBIT??

"Spectators should stay at arm's length." How about WILL??

"the state suggests not allowing anyone" How about PROHIBIT??

"to encourage student hand-washing. How about REQUIRE??

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:09 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Parent
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:33 pm

It's okay to cancel all of the music concerts and field trips but not indoor sports games? What is going on? That makes NO SENSE.

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:30 pm

@Parent: Social distancing is a lot easier for a small team sport with a relatively small event attendance. The auditoriums are usually quite full for the concerts and the music trips consist of two 7-hour incubators-on-wheels bus rides with multiple days in between in a theme park that mixes people from all over the place. But I agree the cancellation stinks. Covid-19 stinks.

Think that people are trying to do their best to cancel/postpone the minimum vs just canning everything now. At least the risk is still low enough that the schools aren’t closing. That’s gonna be a whole other experience when it happens. Check out what’s going on in Elk Grove...

Posted by .Money
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 9, 2020 at 7:54 pm

The state should count as in school any student online or otherwise engaged in school work. That way, school districts that get paid based on attendance will not have the incentive to require in-person teaching when there is a smarter alternative and students will continue to progress but not risk getting or carrying the.virus.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:40 am

Who is thinking about the seniors who are most at risk? The people who work at the senior homes need to be protected, but when their kids are in a situation where they are in close proximity and touching surfaces touched by hundreds of students when we know COVID-19 is established in the community, then despite the best precautions our seniors will sooner or later get the virus from the kids via their caregivers. While we lead the Bay Area with 43 cases and one death, the true extent of the number of infected in Santa Clara will become visible as tests become more available and accessible over the next week or two and infected people start experiencing symptoms (since it there is much more of a delay than with the flu).

Posted by Mom
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:24 pm

Many of you parents keep your kids in a bubble, this Coronavirust feeds right into your thinking.

Posted by Time to Close the Schools
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm

This article explains why not closing schools now is short-sighted/dangerous (to Adults)

Web Link

Posted by OldGuy
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 10, 2020 at 6:01 pm

It seems that only sick people or their contacts are being tested. They should additionally test random samples of healthy people in the general community. This would provide data, rather than guesses, about community spread.

The methods of statistical inference allow conclusions to be drawn about an entire population from a relatively small sample, so this would not require a large number of test kits.

Posted by Teacher
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2020 at 8:44 am

The bus response is exactly why class should be canceled. 33 kids in a confined room touching the same surfaces over and over. Then using the some computers, bathrooms and recess equipment that hundreds use! These aren't wiped down... how many students have been tested? 2 week incubation think of how many kids would be exposed... and being it home! If adults in companies (who can exercise far more caution!!) are being told to stay home..the kids should be their work place is far dirtier and far more underfunded/staffed for cleaning! There are days vacuuming/garbage/sink cleaning gets skipped on an average day.. now suddenly deep cleaning gets done in similar time?? Do you trust in that.. ?
Maybe it is time for the state to shut down schools. Who wants to be responsible if this goes too far and we get a revolving door of seriously sick kids? Not me.

Posted by margie
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:33 pm

The students seem not to be at too much risk but schools have many older staff members. I have not seen any recommendations that take into account their health which it seems would be at risk from the many young people that may be carrying the virus but not looking very ill.

Posted by Teacher/Mom
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2020 at 3:23 pm

I no longer live in Mountain View, but we are having similar conversations up here in Contra Costa County. Teachers and school staff members are in disbelief that the schools are still open. We need to close the schools down to protect our vulnerable populations of elderly and immunocompromised people. We can set up a situation where children can pick up lunches at parks, like they do in the summers. Childcare will be an issue, but with many companies offering work from home, it could work in the short term for many. I don't have the perfect answer, but what we are doing currently simply will not work to mitigate this pandemic.

Posted by Close it now
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 11, 2020 at 3:59 pm

At the current exponential growth rate, schools are definitely going to close in the next couple of weeks. Knowing that, in order to flatten the curve and not overwhelm our healthcare system, I think we need to close schools immediately.

A lot of kids in our neighborhood come home to mixed-generation families, including babies and grandparents with weaker immune systems. Do we really need to wait until the first elementary schooler tests positive to shut down schools? By then the virus could be transmitted to dozens or hundreds of folks in the community.

I'm not trying to induce panic...but we need some swift action now to keep this thing at bay as long as possible until there's better testing and some treatment available.

Posted by JillHolder
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Schools across the Bay Area are closing now for at least 2 weeks if not more. The Catholic Archdiocese has closed their 90 schools in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties from March 12 - March 25, 2020. What is the district waiting for? Close the school and limit exposure. They've had weeks to come up with a Remote Learning Plan for students.

Posted by Close the schools!
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 11, 2020 at 5:56 pm

I find it highly unlikely for MVLA high schools to close due to previous situations. For instance, during the paradise fire with toxic air pouring into the bay, the schools DID NOT CLOSE FOR TWO WHOLE DAYS. When they did close it down, it was too late. Many of the kids with asthma were having breathing difficulties and some kids felt nauseous. Do you expect MVLA to close when it should be? Nope. I don’t think Mvla would even bother closing when there is a case tied to one of their high schools. When they respond, it is always too late, this is very frustrating for everyone from staff to parents to students. Mvla please up your gain and protect your employees, students, and their families.

Posted by StFrancisIsClosingForTwoWeeks
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2020 at 6:50 pm

St Francis just advised closing for two weeks - close all the schools.

Posted by Alison
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2020 at 6:53 pm

St Francis just advised families at 5:30pm today that closing for two weeks until Mar 30th.

Posted by Member
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 11, 2020 at 10:17 pm

PYT will not close its shows down. Children who ask about this are reminded that they will upset other kids who are participating. It makes no sense.

Posted by Bruno
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm

Why do we have to wait for children or teachers to test positive before the schools close? This is a once in 100 year type of pandemic. Maybe we should take it seriously for the sake of each other, if not for ourselves.

Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 12, 2020 at 4:01 pm

As a substitute teacher in Palo Alto I asked the students what they would do if they were in charge.

"Close all the schools until June 12th!!!" came the near shouted reply.

"But wouldn't that extend the current year into August?" I asked.

"Not if the Governor says the year would count - even if it was short," they all stated.

OK Governor, I guess you have your marching orders!

Smart kids.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 12, 2020 at 4:06 pm

MVWSD is responding to a potential emergency situation that they. have long officially prepared for. That is why they were able to clearly respond with a written update plan - to their previously officially adopted Pandemic Plan on March 6, when the other public districts mentioned were "working" or would adopt "emergency" written plans 3 days later.

March 12 MVWSD update
Web Link

Congratulations to the MVWSD Admin who have been updating their protocol - under direction of the County Public Health Office, as the board adopted policy anticipated.

- Note - every public high school in SF has not been closed! Elderly people or others with preexisting health concerns SHOULD SELF QUARANTINE, so they do not expose themselves. Maybe the District can figure out how to allow 'work from home' for some of these employees. For instance - preparing lesson plans or Skype from home input into a school room with a substitute.

May of us do not support - complete suspension of all public schools. Too many kids and families swept up in unintended consequences (poor - living check to check ? now deal with THIS!)

Posted by OldGuy
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 12, 2020 at 5:01 pm

The Republic of Ireland has *ordered* all schools and colleges to be closed for a minimum of two weeks.

While it appears that children are not at much risk from this outbreak, it is also true that children in schools are very efficient spreaders of whatever viruses are going around. Closing the schools would definitely slow the spread of the virus. This is exactly what public health authorities have been asking for in order to even out the demand for emergency services over a longer period, and possibly provide eough time for developing and testing antivirals. (A vaccine will take longer.)

Do we want to see almost every family have a grandparent face serious illness? The time to act is now.

Posted by Winston C.
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 12, 2020 at 5:21 pm

It's time to step up and make sacrifices. It could be a lot worse and could very well be our darkest hour if decisive action is not taken.

"Our grandfathers were drafted to go to war; we're being asked to stay at home," said Mr Di Maio Italian Foreign Minister

Posted by MV High Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 12, 2020 at 7:16 pm

This afternoon I asked a MV High music staff member why kids were still practicing their music together when the shows have been cancelled. He said that there was one more show this Saturday with no attendees. I asked him if he knew our county received special requests from the CDC yesterday to cancel all types of school related congregations. He said he knew and that he understood that the news was scary. Wow, was he responding to my factual news with an implication that I was a hysterical woman? I’m starting to understand why we aren’t closing our schools. Some of us are worried about the elderly and those with risk factors. And some of us are worried about looking chicken. Because there’s nothing worse than being compared to a scared and helpless girl.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 13, 2020 at 8:34 am

The high school district is holding a meeting this morning at 9am to decide whether to close the schools.

Web Link

Posted by bemused
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2020 at 8:37 am

@MV High Mom, that's the typical response now from anyone who doesn't want to cancel their particular event or gathering. I guess they can't understand the science that's staring us in the face, so they think we must be acting out of blind fear? Either very selfish - no ability to do what's best for the community and see that all of us are giving up things that are important or "essential" for now; or very ignorant - somehow thinking their particular gathering somehow is magically immune to the virus.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 13, 2020 at 9:57 am

: ) maybe the music staff member needs to be Kneecaped? Just ignore the advice of dumbbells. (IMO) Send a letter to the Superintendent, with a copy to the Board of the MVLA District, on why you are completely ignoring the advice of that teacher, in this instance.

Posted by Mountain View Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 13, 2020 at 12:04 pm

I think that one helpful thing that I read in a newspaper from Ireland this morning was to think about getting outside into the fresh air and to simply walk and refresh your mind and spirit and to provide some peace to yourself and your loved ones. This is true for all ages including children who may be out of school but can be encouraged to take some time to simply be by themselves in their yards or nearby neighborhoods with a bit of instruction to keep some essential distance with others. This is also good for middle-aged and seniors who need some rest and peace from too much stress. Finally, the other one was that there is a possibility that people can set up a means on the computer to assist older people and those people who cannot go out or who are afraid to leave their home with some basic food and any medical needs they may have such as prescriptions. These can be given to the person with words of encouragement or even left at the door of the person with an encouraging note if that seems appropriate. Just a couple of humble thoughts and prayers for Everyone and for our own Brothers and Sisters around us.