Kudos to the Pleasanton school trustees for pushing to get back to in-person instruction for students.
The district has been providing in-person instruction for small groups of students who need extra help since the fall. Getting the rest of the students back in the classroom, particularly the elementary students, is critical. The planned program will be a hybrid of in-person and remote instruction on alternating days.
Trustees decided against the staff recommendation to limit in-person instruction to younger students and voted instead to move ahead with a staged re-opening once the infection rate in the county moves down to the red level for two weeks. It’s currently at the purple level.
Parents of students at all levels will have the option of remote learning so this option gives parents that choice, but, more importantly, gives the in-person option.
Looking statewide, Gov. Newsom’s effort to get students back in the classroom has gone nowhere. The California Teachers Association carries lots of clout in Sacramento and wrote a letter to Newsom objecting to his plan last week and arguing that teachers should be vaccinated before reopening classes. The plan had been heavily criticized from a variety of stakeholders. The vaccination demand would push reopening into the fall.
Frustrated parents of student athletes filed legal action against Newsom’s shutdown that has closed high school sports for nearly a year. Other states, in stark contrast to California, have offered both in-person instruction and sports throughout the school year. California, despite aggressive shutdowns by the governor and local public health officials, has shown miserable results when it comes to stemming infections despite the huge economic, mental health and educational costs.
Thanks to the generosity of the NorCal mini car club, Hope Hospice patients now have access to
animatronic pets. The Joy for All Companion Pets by Ageless Innovation are robotic dog and cat toys that are designed specifically to help lessen the impact that pandemic-related isolation has had on its patients. The agency purchased 20 cats to support its clients with funds from the car club. Because of COVID-19, the pets are a gift.
The pandemic has limited human contact, particularly family members, for patients. Hope Hospice staffers provide end-of-life care and palliative care.
"No one expected quarantine orders to have carried on this long," said Nikki Tildesley, Manager of Volunteer Services at Hope Hospice in a press release. "But here we are, nearly a year into this pandemic, and our patients continue to go without the benefit of face-to-face companionship visits from our volunteers, and in many cases, even the patient’s own family. They are truly suffering."
It’s good to see an innovative company that has a comfort tool to serve patients in these trying times.