Elementary, high schools begin offering full-week physical classes

Elementary, high schools begin  offering full-week physical classes

Starting April 27, Paly students will be able to return to campus four days a week for in-person Zoom from the classroom. Students will still be able to choose which days they prefer. 

Principal Brent Kline said students will follow the same rules and regulations as before.

Senior Jenna Tetzlaff is planning on going back to school in-person four days a week once she gets the chance. 

“I love how it opened up to four days a week because now I get to see my friends that are in the A-L group,”  Tetzlaff said. “I now get to see more people and the classes don’t feel as empty.” 

Tetzlaff said she is also excited because there will be more people to play Spikeball with on the Quad.

PAUSD elementary schools also opened for in-person school five days a week for students in grades 3-5 on April 19; those in grades K-2 will be given the option to do the same on April 26.

Palo Alto Educators Association President Teri Baldwin said the district made the decision after the CDC adjusted its social distancing guidelines for elementary schools to three feet. 

Baldwin said the decision was not made in cooperation with the PAEA.

“We knew it was probably going to happen, but we did not make that decision together,” Baldwin said. “Students and staff will need to wear masks at all times except when eating and teachers are still supposed to keep a six feet distance from students.”

While the PAEA was not consulted, Superintendent Don Austin said principals have been working directly with their staffs in preparation for this change. 

“The single biggest difference was the Public Health Department’s revised spacing rules,” Austin said. “Shifting to three (feet) opened the door for a full return. We went through every room, including over break, to make sure they are ready.”

Austin also said that elementary schools could open with no distancing restrictions in the fall.

PAUSD parent Jenn Ibbotson, whose daughter goes to Addison and has been attending school in-person in a hybrid manner two to three days a week, said that her daughter was nervous about returning to school five days a week.

“I was worried it would be difficult for her to wear a mask for that long every day and that she no longer had the stamina to make it through that many days in a row in a school setting,” Ibbotson said. “Aside from these few worries I was excited for her. I knew she would love to have PE, music and library in-person and get more time with other kids in class and on the playground.”

Ibbotson also said that her daughter’s teacher has done a great job of adapting curriculum and activities in light of social distancing requirements. 

 “I am sure it’s been challenging for teachers and administrators to come up with creative solutions in order to comply with all of the restrictions and still carry out collaborative work,” Ibbotson said. “I am very impressed with Addison’s principal and all the other teachers. It has been a great experience for Alice.”

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