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Most families ready for Pleasanton schools to reopen, survey finds

Original post made on Jun 24, 2020

Several options for reopening Pleasanton schools in August will be presented to the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees at their regular online meeting on Thursday night, starting 7 p.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 3:50 PM

Comments (36)

7 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 7:15 pm

The result makes total sense. Unless the state is willing to give back the money to the property tax payers, they are going to want return on their property tax money (that’s already subsidizing lower income districts) that was supposed to pay for full time in person education.

20 people like this
Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Schools are Petri dishes. Any illness that gets in there spreads to most of the kids within a few days. Seems odd that we’d force our kids into a physical building just to get a “return tax money.” It’s not normal times.

7 people like this
Posted by Wombat
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 24, 2020 at 8:47 pm


Kids are at very, very low risk of developing complications due to coronavirus. If infected, most of them will shrug it off with no symptoms or minor symptoms. The average age of those dying due to coronavirus in this country is about 75.

23 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:02 pm

OK, kids are low risk.

What about family members that those kids go home to every day?

Would that home, maybe include high risk grand parents, that are also in the home?

12 people like this
Posted by Wombat
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:11 pm

@Michael Austin

There is no pain-free solution. Basically, the options are (1) to effectively stop normal life for everyone including those who are at little risk for coronavirus complications such as kids and working age adults or (2) to allow most people to go back to their normal lives, including work and school, while focussing efforts on protecting seniors and those with significant pre-existing health problems.

Option #1 is accompanied by widespread unemployment (70 million unemployed due to coronavirus in this country right now) and huge economic problems. Option #2 will be difficult and expensive, but not as expensive as option #1 which has already required about $2 trillion in government aid and resulted in massive unemployment.

2 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:24 pm

I understand your current options do not support your first post!

19 people like this
Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 9:41 pm

Michael - precisely my point. 0% of those kids live alone. If the virus takes hold, this is the vector that will spread it to the adults all over town within days.

7 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:04 pm

Those who are terrified of schools being in person need to take down the tinfoil up on their windows and look into the streets, children are still hanging out in groups and all over the place.

Keep schools closed makes zero sense when the kids are still congregating.

11 people like this
Posted by Parentwith2inpusd
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:55 pm

This article seems to be misleading for me. The pre-registration is due on 7/3. I believe many parents are not turning in the form yet because there are many things to be clarified. Main questions out there include: how to maintain necessary physical distance during onsite days, esp. middle and high schools where students switch classroom and have classes with different peers; clear implementation plan for FLEX, etc. Parents are still seeking for better clarification before turning in the surveys. Let’s see if the distribution of the selections would remain the same or not after the deadline.

8 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:21 pm

PUSD has failed to provide a full time return to school offering as DUSD has done, and the remote learning option does not have a classroom like offering - its "on your own" distance learning similar to what we ended the school year with. No regular school day schedule.

15 people like this
Posted by A concerned parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:58 pm

I concur with parentwith2inpusd. This article did not mention that the survey conducted by PUSD earlier revealed that more than 40% of middle school and high school parents chose distance learning. The results can be found here Web Link.
There are many issues not clarified in the 6/23 Townhall meeting. For example, is it possible for the Flex Academy to follow the bell schedule? What classes are available through Flex Academy and what are not available? How will Flex Academy affect the math path of middle schoolers? The students were assigned a math placement at the end of the last semester. Will Flex Academy still follow the same math path? Also, for hybrid, how social bubbles are possibly be maintained if the students have to switch among classrooms and mingle with different group of students? Each day, they won't be able to stay with the same group of students. In addition, will the students be able to finish the courses that are supposed to be taught in a year by only attending the school for 2 days a week? How will the 3 days of self learning look like? How do we ensure a high quality education by only attending school for less than half of the normal time?
I have not been able to submit the pre-registration form because there are so many questions not answered. Without sufficient information and clearer picture, I am not able to make a choice for my kids. For myself, I would prefer a distance learning because we have grandparents living with us. However, I would more confident in this choice of remote learning if PUSD would offer live streaming of the lessons so that the at-home and on-campus students can learn together. By doing so, we will follow a traditional school way and lessen the impact on both the teachers and students. The teachers just teach how they normally teach. If the classroom is half full, the teacher will teach those students in person while broadcasting the lesson to the students learning at home. I think that is the most efficient way.
Though everyone wants to return to a normal life, it cannot be rushed.

18 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 25, 2020 at 6:08 am

Sorry. Learn to live with this people. It’s not going away.

We need to provide options that support families that want to go back to a 5 day schedule and families that do not.

6 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 25, 2020 at 8:06 am

The following editorial is from The Federalist and speaks to the dangers of keeping kids away from schools, not to mention lightly, but also the detriment to households especially those disadvantaged by single parent or two working parent families. Remember, our state is around 39 or 40 in national educational ratings. Kids stay home and we will drop even further.

Teachers, students, and families are not prepared for this new techno teaching. How did we manage our kids going to school during the flu season, where we have experienced a number of bad flu’s in recent times? We need herd immunity. Waiting for the ‘magic vaccine’ is not the answer and will, as evidenced by the yearly flu vaccine, only be effective for about 50-55% of the population. By then this country will definitely be devastated.

And please, don’t nauseate me with numbers you follow on some statistical accounting site or confuse everyone with the classification of ‘cases’ when they are just positive tests of those who are asymptomatic. This has gone on long enough and it is hurting this country and it’s people causing many to turn on each other. You can see that fact as witnessed by many in these blogs shaming other Pleasantonians for not wearing a mask.

Hide all you want in your basement, in the dark, with all your windows covered in aluminum wrap, but in the end you will have to come up into the light and find that the virus is still there, as it always will be. Protect the elderly, the nursing homes, and the compromised, but get busy living.

“Why Keeping Schools Closed This Fall Would Destroy Public Education.”
Web Link

2 people like this
Posted by 2KidsInPublicSchoolToo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 9:57 am

I don't know if "most families are ready" is entirely accurate. Every parent I've spoken with has opted for the hybrid. And we all have the same reason for it - our kids aren't motivated or mature enough for Independent Study and if you opt for Flex, your kid loses their spot at their current school. So when things do go back to some version of normal and the kids want to go back to school full time, there's a good chance they'll be going to some other school. For the majority of people, it seems like the hybrid option looks a lot better in comparison to the others. I'm not saying I'm not concerned. We have elderly family members and friends who are high risk. The last thing we want to do is put anyone else in danger. Speaking for our family - of the three options offered, the hybrid is the only model that would work for our kids.

11 people like this
Posted by Wombat
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:39 am

COVID-19 was initially thought to have a mortality rate of about 2%, but multiple recent studies are finding that the mortality rate is almost ten-times smaller than that. It's time to stop behaving like this is the bubonic plague. History will look back on COVID-19 and say that the world overreacted.

There may be a day when we are faced with a very serious new viral threat with an extremely high mortality rate which requires extreme sheltering-in-place and social distancing measures - BUT this isn't it.

7 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:47 am

The population of Pleasanton is in the neighborhood of 82,000+. A sampling of 5,500 is not a good scientific poll. In my closest circle of 7 friends with school-age kids, NONE of them are currently planning to send any of them back to physical school in August.

5 people like this
Posted by Need More Time
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:48 am

I think we need more time to see the real effects of students together, not just guess work or opinions. I am closely watching the college football “return to play” experiment. So far these young people are starting to infect each other at a pretty fast rate, and keep in mind this with all sorts of special sanitation attempts, social distancing, room isolation etc...and still they are getting sick. They are not full contact yet, and they are the only students on campus....(not the thousands that will be there soon).

So in another week or two we can check the football transmission rates (assuming the colleges are being honest, they have some financial incentives to low ball).

More importantly- we need to look to see the “recovery” of these healthy young people... are they getting better in two weeks, back to play?

From the early numbers it looks clear that infection/transmission rate is really high Sith young PUSD students should expect the same, or higher since they are indoors. But we need time to see the recovery data to help make any decisions.

The caveat here though is the college kids are not going home to mom & dad. I don’t know that we will have a good case study for that critical piece.

Tough times

9 people like this
Posted by Wombat
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:51 am


Yes, your anecdotal claim about your circle of friends sounds much more "scientific" than this poll.

(P.S.: BTW, I'm a scientist.)

17 people like this
Posted by Ptown mom
a resident of Avignon
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:58 am

I appreciate the options PUSD is putting forth to the community. I don’t expect all of the details to be worked out yet. They were not planning for COVID-19. I personally will choose what works best for my family with the risks that we have and the desires for school in mind. As someone mentioned earlier tough choices will have to be made. This will not be a normal school year.

10 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:02 am

So kids go back to school and the board keeps meeting remotely?

Seems if the kids meet in person the school board should do the same...........??????

8 people like this
Posted by All of Pleasanton should be heard
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 25, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I have to agree with Rob... “The population of Pleasanton is in the neighborhood of 82,000+. A sampling of 5,500 is not a good scientific poll.” How do 5500 speak for all of Pleasanton? How about sending surveys to each and every household to get their input. As for the person who said kids are outside socializing already....they are in small groups, not around 100s of other kids. In addition, how do you keep groups small, especially when kids go to different classes for different subjects with different kids in each class? Unless teachers are teaching all subject to the same group of kids, you can’t control how many kids interact with each other. Then comes the question of how to sanitize each classroom and desk and doorway and seat, etc. after each class. And where are these PPE and cleaning supplies coming from? Is someone donating them? They cost money and the schools are having money problems already. And who and how are they to clean everything in the class before the next group of kids come in? There are so many questions and so few answers and they should be addressed and answered before decisions are made. As for kids most likely not getting COVID, have you not understood yet that they don’t live alone? They live with family members who can get sick if the child carries the virus home. I think we need to survey all if Pleasanton residents for their feelings on this as it does affect all of us. I understand there are open forums for input but if people aren’t aware of these forums they can’t participate. If you mail a survey to each household at least that gives everyone a say on something that can impact them. There is no perfect solution, but everyone should have an opportunity to be heard.

7 people like this
Posted by 1PEparent
a resident of Las Positas
on Jun 25, 2020 at 12:54 pm

I wanted to bring up the topic of physical education and our current situation. Most of our upper grades have PE classes well over 45 students, and in some classes at Foothill my child was in a class of over 60. Understanding that PE can't always be outside, and students use shared equipment/space for multiple classes thorought the day, I just don't see how we can keep locker rooms, PE equipment, and classroom space sanitary let alone socially distant. Are we going to expect students wear face coverings while participating in physical activity (running the mile, warm up calisthenics, and the like)? Its hard enough to be at comfortable breathing levels during minimal effort, and now students in PE will have to excert themselves wearing a mask?

Nearly all elementary schools have limited indoor space for Physical Education classes. Especially, those that have more than 1 PE teacher on site. MPRs are used for lunch, shared with PE on inclement weather. Socially distancing will be near impossible at best.

Our best bet is to have more students on a flex schedule similar to Dublin. Smaller class sizes are a must. Its the time we are living in now. Staff, students and families deserve to have a safe environment in order to see us through this pandemic smoothly.

7 people like this
Posted by Schoolbound
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 1:39 pm

For you parents who don’t want to send your kids to school because they MIGHT catch covid which has a lower death rate than the flu when you account for the fact the flu HAS a vaccine, please continue to protect your child at home and make sure they don’t ever see their friends, never go to the store with you, stay away from you for 2 weeks after you go to the store and that they ALWAYS wear a mask .....because as you stated they could infect you or your other family members that live with you. Sounds impossible to do? I agree and accept that just being alive in these times has inherent risk, but a child going to a school with other students has proven to be best for children in even riskier times. This virus is here to stay and it is not, IF but WHEN we will all get it....even with a vaccine where you actually are exposed from the vaccine and shed the virus for 2 days like most vaccines...the immunocompromised may be more at risk if family members get a covid vaccine and live with them. And yes, I worked in infectious disease....

7 people like this
Posted by Karl Aitken
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 25, 2020 at 1:40 pm

Per an article in the Independent today, teachers and their union are refusing to accept 3 furlough days to avoid laying off of non-teaching staff.

So these layoffs will more than likely impact the ability of the schools to adequately support kids when they go back to school.

The school board gives raises when they knew they would have a budget shortfall. When they try to prevent laying off 12 people through the use of 3 furlough days, those same people that got their raises earlier this year don't want to sacrifice a little to help their follow workers.

Here I thought teachers were supposed to be "caring" people.......

Over the years I have given up raises to avoid laying off fellow workers. I'm glad I did it.

I guess government workers and unions live by a separate set of values that I don't agree with nor support.

In the end, it's the students of Pleasanton that will suffer......

7 people like this
Posted by 2choose
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:05 pm

We may need more teachers in the district not less, if we attempt to lessen risk by socially distancing desks. Bottom line is RISK is relative and there should really only be 2 choices for the next year; Send your student to school and accept the risk of possibly catching Coronavirus, or choose do a stay at home online option for the year. The district should think about putting all funds into cameras to make the online at home option as similar as possible to the in school day. Parents should have to commit for the whole year, as the district should not have to scramble to hire/fire when an individual’s risk tolerance changes.

14 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Oh great we have anti-vaxxer "Jake Waters" weighing in on evil vaccines. Anti-vaxxers are (removed). Just go away.

5 people like this
Posted by Vaxy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:46 pm

And here is Big Pharma Bob like clockwork... How much does Bill Gates pay you Bob for all the free advertising?

9 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:47 pm

And for everybody, when you're out, wear a mask.

10 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:48 pm


Don't be this person:

Web Link

20 people like this
Posted by Why Scramble With A Hybrid?
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 3:22 pm

I sort of think that PUSD should just commit now to doing a great job at all "remote learning" for the Fall semester. They should delay the start of school for a few weeks to allow time to get things in place like training teachers, testing appropriate technology etc... and do this right the first time.

This is what many colleges have already decided to do and I think more are going to follow with recent surge in Covid cases. The goal is two fold; one is to come back to campus for the Spring semester after the traditional flu season and the predicted "second wave"....maybe also get lucky and a vaccine is ready by the start of the new year.

The other goal is to have "remote learning" in place, road tested and working in the event that we have to extend it for a longer period - rather than having to scramble with no time to prepare. Colleges are worried about not having much in place for remote learning, sending kids back in the Fall only to send them home again in October if cases spike. Now nothing is in place to continue their education.

The PUSD "hybrid" might seem attractive on paper - but the approach seems like a whole lot of effort, costs, turmoil, planning, disruption, tension etc... and for what? If one goal is to keep kids safe and then in turn keep their families safe, I don't the "hybrid" model will achieve that. Regardless of all the additional effort put into to distancing classrooms, wearing, masks, sanitization etc..... as soon as kids return together in mass numbers - infections will follow.

Most of our school are close to double the capacity of students they were originally designed to handle, so cutting the enrollment in half really only gets you back to normal, and then we are going to try to "distance" them all day - and monitor their adherence to new protocols. I think that is being very optimistic at best.

Our schools are not set up or staff trained on any of this (nor are the kids) - so when is all that supposed to take place? There is no time now to prepare for a "return to school" under these new conditions. All the teachers and staff are off for summer and not set to return until two days before the start of school... and the proposed start is really early in August.

The custodial staff alone wold have to be tripled and trained to accommodate any of this. Really not worth the effort in my mind. I think the board was looking to cut custodial staff due to budget cuts as well.

All the proposed plans are going to cost money... that it sounds like we don't have, so why attempt a "hybrid" plan that will cost twice as much as just going remote for a semester.

I think it is pretty clear that many kids will become infected as soon as school starts and they are back together.....then they will go home to their families :(

7 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer and Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 9:18 pm

For those who favor “science,” why are they ignoring the facts? Across multiple studies and across multiple continents, children are far less likely to contract and spread the virus. There is no evidence that children are super spreaders. Children are back in school in Sweden, France, China...and other European countries. But these facts are not being reported.

Our children are more “at risk” from not going to school than from staying home. This is true even more-so for our disadvantaged children, or for students who need intervention.

I believe our children are resilient. They CAN learn, despite COVID. They need, and their parents need, to return to some “normalcy.” If proper safety protocols are adhered to, kids will get the education they need and deserve. Learning gaps will need to closed beginning in the fall, and I am concerned about them widening if kids do not have the full opportunities to engage with their teachers and peers.

For parents who are concerned about the return to school option, there are alternatives.

From every angle, there are various opinions. Sometimes people formulate opinions based more on emotion than facts. Consider the science. We know more now than we did last March. We just need to be nimble and smart!

11 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 25, 2020 at 9:50 pm

Re-open the schools for those that want their kids in class 5 days a week. Allow remote learning for those that want that.

Stop letting your fear dictate others decisions and options.

11 people like this
Posted by PapaDan
a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:12 am

Sounds like Pleasanton students need to return to school in two categories thi year:
1. Those old enough to benefit from digital, distance learing (middle school and high school) can use computers to interact with teachers from home
2. Younger students will need to be scheduled in shifts that spread them across the school day (and perhaps across the week) in smaller groups.
This second group will be a big logistical challenge — greater minds than mine will have to make it happen; but it needs to happen.
What's obvious? We will need more teachers, not fewer. Expensive? Yep. But I am reminded of a quote attributed to a number of wise people:
"If you think education is expensive try ignorance."
Our students, which include my grandchildren, deserve a good plan that will educate them all.

4 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:26 am


Looks like Texas didn't get the memo. They're reversing some of their opening and Florida is stopping sales of alcohol and bars.

16 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer and Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:24 am

Assuming teachers are “selfish” for not giving up much deserved raises shows how out of touch people are with what teachers deal with. Most work beyond what they are compensated for, and often give out of their own pockets to support student learning. Several teachers I know are suffering in this economy as well, as they try to support their adult children and family members who are in financial crisis. Some even work second jobs to make ends meet. We are in a top performing district because of our teachers, so show compassion. This is a tough situation for almost everyone.

When it comes to funding concerns for our schools, why not be proactive and contact lawmakers in Congress, and in the State Legislature to allocate much needed resources to our schools? Asking one group to sacrifice is preposterous. It will take everyone working together to get out of this mess.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 26, 2020 at 8:54 pm

Taxpayer and Citizen,
Start by disbanding the Union. They voted to sacrifice teachers over their own interests.

I’m more disappointed in the district for not establishing baseline expectations for teachers to follow, but this situation has amplified the efforts of the great teachers from the meadiocre. I would gladly pay more for the great, but unfortunately the Union won’t allow the great to receive adequate pay without also paying the meadiocre

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