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Sequoia high school district classrooms set to reopen April 5

Original post made on Feb 26, 2021

After nearly a year of distance learning, Sequoia Union High School District students will have the option to return to classrooms on April 5, pending ratification of an agreement with the teachers union.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 25, 2021, 4:52 PM

Comments (6)

Posted by Alan Eaton
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 26, 2021 at 4:43 pm

Alan Eaton is a registered user.

If we now live in a world in which elected officials to the school board of the SUHSD employ the concept of "school shootings" rhetorically in order to browbeat or persuade, then we need new officials. Let us start in 2022. The trauma of others used in this fashion is not an element of rhetoric that does anything other than undermine the character and intellectual integrity of the speaker. Board President Sarver is not quoted but the attribution suggests callouses of the cerebrum rather than sparks of intellect. Also, sensible precautions against transmission of COVID can be taken, no such precautions in the form of liberal mental health supports, social and economic equity, and safer licensing of weapons have yet been tried to see if policy can diminish the shattering trauma made light of, it would seem, by the Board. Schools should open, so teachers can teach and students can learn. Not so teachers must sit in rooms below roaring HEPA filters, speaking masked into Zoom cameras for a mostly distant class, while those who are present also follow class via Zoom with the sanitized Chromebooks on their desks. Urgency rather than thought, privilege rather than solidarity fills a moment that, were we a greater generation, we might find aspires to "one for all, all for one". If it's safe, let's do this. If it's not, let's not. And if we can make it safe, let's do so through provident planning, not through knee-jerk efforts after the fact. The Board has opened schools but has it contacted SamTrans to discover whether students from many of the communities in the SUHSD can access transportation to schools? Given the rash haste in the Board's conciliation and that the resolution of Feb. 24 is only likely to further exacerbate educational inequities and disruption, perhaps we should put the rhetoric of "equity" and "access" in the same bin as "school shootings" for a goodly time when we stir persuasion. Brain and manners, please.


Posted by Alan Eaton
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 26, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Alan Eaton is a registered user.

I apologize for the two infelicities, failed edits, in the top note, but it does need to be emphasized since it is not clear from the article above that the "Zoomers and Roomers" requires teachers to teach via Zoom for the benefit of the distance students and, as a result, no in-class lessons will be able or permitted to draw on any resources, conversations, or enrichments that are not also equivalently available on the screen. "Zoomers and Roomers" just means some people are at school, all teachers are masked, and everyone is still stuck staring into a screen to the exclusion of the world we inhabit, including the relationships, voices, and spontaneity we cherish. If we are going to open our schools but the medium of instruction does not change then there is little incentive for students to return in that many will face potential transmission risks in a model that maintains no stable cohorts but experience no improvement in the mode of instruction and no (authorized) opportunities for in-person engagement with either teachers or peers.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Mar 3, 2021 at 11:51 am

Kevin is a registered user.

@Alan,
I hear a lot of what you are saying - all good points. But you seem to ignore one important point - actual and perceived risk from COVID-19 varies widely in the population, so an "all for one, one for all model" only becomes operable once we drive the risk for the student, teacher, or staffer with the greatest real or perceived risk to near-zero. Seems like the board has made some prudent trade-offs that will only improve as the percentage of the population vaccinated expands.


Posted by Alan Eaton
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Mar 3, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Alan Eaton is a registered user.

Dear @Kevin,
The Board has done nothing prudent. I do comprehend the science and statistics, but if you are increasing the risk without increasing the quality or conditions of educational access and efficacy, then you are just being, let us say, imprudent. All teachers and all students will be on Zoom, no matter where they sit and all will be masked. Pyrrhic victories and Potemkin villages will not educate our students. The resolution as it stands only diminishes educational access and teacher efficacy while opening all to risk for no gains but the political. Again, I am all in favor of all going back, but only if all go back and schools operate as they should, when it is safe. If it's not, then, again, this is negligent and imprudent action, and, the primary point of my previous remarks that School Board Presidents should not casually use school shootings, the greatest tragedy that can befall a community, as rhetorical leverage; that is unacceptable on every level no matter how this is resolved.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Mar 3, 2021 at 10:11 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Thanks @Alan !,
Sorry, but if that’s what you think, then I’m forced to disagree. In-person attendance will have tangible and intangible benefits for those who are willing and able to attend. You can claim what you will, but the reality is that even a stilted in-person is better for both teacher and student. We’ll see - I’m much more sanguine about April 5, and ongoing improvements.


Posted by HelenKer
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 6, 2021 at 7:07 am

HelenKer is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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