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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Pleasanton elementary students should be back in school now

Uploaded: Feb 11, 2021
Young elementary students in the San Ramon Valley started attending in-person classes Wednesday, returning to the classroom for the first time in about 11 months or nearly 300 days.
Meanwhile Pleasanton students, who by health department guidelines, could have joined their San Ramon Valley counterparts, remain working with their teachers remotely. Last week, I praised the trustees for staying committed to getting the schools open without realizing they could have resumed classes sooner.
Trustees stuck to the plan they approved in December that elementary students can return after the county is in the red tier for five days. It’s currently in the purple tier, but state guidelines allow students to return in the purple tier based on infection rates.
Pleasanton mom Samantha Niesen politely took me to task and pointed out the situation in an email last week. She has three children—a 2nd grader, a kindergartner and a 1 ½ year old—so she’s certainly got her hands full during school hours.
“A team of very smart people with impressive degrees worked on the recommended guidelines and accompanying protocols. They have been proven safe around our country and throughout the world. The board should have done right by our kids and voted them back ASAP,” she wrote.
“Even if we do hit projections and return to red at the end of the month, most of secondary won’t return until after spring break. There are 70 instructional days left in the school year. If we stay on the projected path and 7-8 and 10-12 returns after 5 weeks in red, they’ll have 35 days left to see the inside of their classrooms. It’s time. “
Well said.
The district has agreements in place with both the teachers’ union and the classified employees’ union so that key hurdle has been cleared.
Samantha certainly is not alone in pushing trustees to reopen in-person classes sooner. Some people have demonstrated publicly and someone hired a single engine plane to fly over the district office with a banner urging opening the schools.
Trustees need to revisit the timetable and get students back into the in-person hybrid program in the lower grades. Zoom has been a major challenge for many students, but it’s particularly vexing for younger students with limited attention spans.
In an email responding to my questions, district spokesman Patrick Gannon wrote, “(I) did want to clarify…that in our January 28th (staff) presentation we did not recommend all middle and high school students remain in remote learning through the end of the year. We did recommend that we focus on improving remote learning, as this will be required for us to continue by law, as well as improve and enhance support to students - which would include in-person academic and social emotional support.”


We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   29 people like this
Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 11:39 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

Sure would be nice if Our local congressman were not so caught up in a Impeachment of a non sitting President and would get to work on this issue of kids back in school, Covid Vaccine distributions, Stimulus much needed here in the 15th district and the rise of illegal immigration. But no the inept one Swalwell cannot do anything but hate on trump and waste time and tax payer monies on a SHAM impeachment. Truth is The Corrupt spy Swalwell is the one who should be investigated and impeached. He took monies from the communist chinese even to this day!


 +   33 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 12:35 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

ALL kids should be back in school. Enough is enough. If teachers don't want to return to the classroom, perhaps they're in the wrong profession. It's time to think of the kids.


 +   31 people like this
Posted by James Michael, a resident of Val Vista,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

I grew up during the polio pandemic when children were the most vulnerable and they never closed the schools. We got are Salk and Sabin vaccines and life went on. What's wrong with this country now...oh, ya POLITICS!


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Nia, a resident of Downtown,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Nia is a registered user.

County's Health Department has already given the full green light for elementary schools to reopen in Purple Tier when the case rate is <25/100K. We are at 18 and have been below 25/100K for 10+ days.

We really need to ask ourselves the question: What is the rationale NOT to open schools when in this exact moment everything is lined up for us to open? Our neighboring San Ramon district welcomed their K-2 students yesterday with a higher case rate than us, why can't we?


 +   15 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 2:25 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

I've been saying it here on Tims Blog and in Townhall for years:

Most teachers are OVERPAID and a lot are entitled whiners.

No other profession can work as little, but make the money and benefits that teachers make. I've proven it mathematically now at least a dozen times in various comments, you can look it up. If calculated by actual classroom time in front of kids, the average teacher makes the equivalent of a mid-level engineer in Silicon Valley. The odd few work longer hours but the vast majority are out the door when class lets out. I've seen them hundreds of times.

A few will come on to challenge my assertions but they quickly fall of when confronted.

This COVID has been a godsend to them and their unions. Our children suffer, while the teachers have no accountability.

Our kids are screwed because of they and their greed.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Brooke Krusi, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 8:00 pm

Brooke Krusi is a registered user.

Open the schools! Our kids have suffered long enough and this is not sustainable.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 11, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

The Teachers Union is a wealthy and politically strong organization that is calling the shots. Gavin Newsom needs their support at election time. There are teachers who want to go back to the classroom, but receive a lot of pushback and intimidation if they speak out. I predict the Union will be successful, after all, Biden moved the goalposts again, and has shown his support to this organization. Real hero's today are our growers, truck drivers, Health Care personnel, grocery store personnel, law enforcement, fire, and more. Teachers are among the least category working that would get the virus from the students. We are turning into a weak, whining country.

China is watching.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 12, 2021 at 7:07 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Let's put Nias numbers to the test.

The city/county/State government wants the infection rate BELOW 25/100000 population.

Has anyone taken a second to do the math to see how ABSURDLY low that % really is?

Here it is: .025%

You read that right, a meer .025% infectious rate to get us back to start.

We're still wearing masks for .025% and they're asking us now to wear two??

Calling Dr BobB...



 +   4 people like this
Posted by Mr. Julius, a resident of Downtown,
on Feb 12, 2021 at 11:12 am

Mr. Julius is a registered user.

What is the teacher's motivation? Greed, laziness, ignorance, politics? Havd we have entered the Age of Mass Ignorance & Fecklessness?

I understood the original needs for caution as we worked to acquire equipment our leaders failed to stockpile. (Governor Schwarzenegger did; Governor Brown sold it off.) I've continually read that the most at risk are those over 70, typically morbidly obese, with multiple comorbidities. Children are young and healthy. I believe Sweden never closed their schools.

So much of this was politics and Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Its OK if you think Orange Man is bad. But logic would have meant, at minimum:

1) A mass trial of harmless and cheap HCQ to prevent infection.
2) Governor Cuomo using the Javits Center & USS Comfort for released seniors - not sending them back into senior housing.
3) Governor Newsom producing masks in California or the US, not buying $1 Billion in masks from China! (Some faulty.) Not an America First policy.
4) Broadcast loud & wide the need for Vitamin D, especially for our fellow citizens w dark complexions (metabolize Vitamin D differently).
5) Early outreach to our Hispanic and African American communities.
6) Gang buster, take-no-prisoners Vaccine distribution.
7) Perfect time to beat the drum for weight loss.

A sobering point. A local medical professional I know claims a 200% to 400% increase in attempted suicides by youth! Meanwhile, our media and hi tech sensor medical experts who disagree with our failed leaders.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mr. Julius, a resident of Downtown,
on Feb 12, 2021 at 11:17 am

Mr. Julius is a registered user.

P.S. Edit- are silenced.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Ben J., a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 13, 2021 at 4:53 am

Ben J. is a registered user.

Others, I believe on here and Nextdoor, have rightly pointed out that 100's of school districts in other states have been back at school since August, with those kids enjoying a regular year. High schools enjoying fall sports like football, soccer, winter sports like basketball, volleyball etc. In other words they followed the TRUE science, while our so called local leaders followed California's leaders using the Marxist science. Meaning show the minions who are the boss, restrict their freedoms, liberties, and Constitional right. The leftists in the media and at the monopolistic tech companies like FB, YT, and Twitter joined in by completely suppressing 100% of scientific evidence, facts, and opinions that did not tow the line with the Marxist shutdowns of business, schools, and personal liberty. Even the Weekly deleted posts that did not tow the line; claiming unverified of false/misleading scientific information, when in fact, it just didn't fit the Leftists agenda. Unfortunately we reap what we sow; allowing our far leftist leaders, so drunk on power, to bring the hammer down on all of our social, community and personal liberties. It's called social engineering folks, until you speak and stand up to it, they will never stop.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Drexl S, a resident of Ironwood,
on Feb 13, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Drexl S is a registered user.

My kids do not want to go back to school, they really enjoy remote learning. So, we think it is great the kids can learn remotely. Instead of worrying about reopening, I think it is time we improve remote learning as I think it is here to stay.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by BobB, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School,
on Feb 14, 2021 at 10:43 am

BobB is a registered user.

"Calling Dr BobB"

I'm here to answer. I agree with Tim. We should be opening elementary school for parents who want their children in school. Of course all the safety protocols should be followed.

As to all the business about China and impeachment, can people please stick to the subject?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Feb 15, 2021 at 9:18 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Where did the COVID-19 virus originate?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by John, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 16, 2021 at 7:16 pm

John is a registered user.

Dr. Bobb. WAMWYHSD or Wear A Mask, Wash Your Hands, Socially Distance.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Feb 17, 2021 at 7:36 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Interesting that the Biden administration is looking at sanctioning Florida, for having the temerity to act like a State in a Federal Republic.

Florida is a success story and it's Governor DeSanctis embodies the new MAGA spirit.

Look for a Presidential run in the future and look for liberals heads to explode.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Feb 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

DHKSK, DeSantis will be lucky if he gets elected as mayor of Matlacha with population of 700. He is very unpopular governor.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Feb 17, 2021 at 9:02 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Same as governor of Texas - blaming Democrats on Hateful Fox Network for what it will be like if we have the Green New Deal when the poor Texas infrastructure caused their problems with lack of heat and electricity during a cold spell.

I hear the Californians that moved to Texas are desperate to come back!


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