Reopening California: Palo Alto students could go to school twice a week next year if new model is approved

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Thursday, May 14, 2020
Palo Alto students could go to school twice a week next year if new model is approved
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In Palo Alto, it is possible that middle school and high school students will be able to go to class twice a week if the new model is approved.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- It's the question weighing heavily on parents, students, and teacher's minds.

What will school look like in the fall?

Palo Alto Unified School District has a blueprint of what could end up happening in their system.

RELATED: California superintendent suggests staggered reopening of schools

"We're looking at 12-15 students in a classroom right now," says Superintendent Don Austin.

He says the district is looking at the possibility next year of having middle and high school students come to school two days a week and work from home the other three days.

"Students come for two days, the other half come for two days, and day five in our model would be teacher preparation day," Austin said.

Across the state, districts are closely looking at what can be done to ensure student safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Many schools are considering having a rotating schedule each day. There would be a morning shift and an afternoon shift for other students as a way of keeping the class size small," says California state superintendent Tony Thurmond.

RELATED: State superintendent explains changes coming to schools this fall

When we asked you on Facebook about a two day 'at school' week for your kids you responded with dozens of comments - many taking it a step further with concerns about elementary school kids like Ishan, who is in first grade.

"If we do go back to work most of us can't afford to have a day care or someone to look after our kids," says Ishan's mom Ashiyana Begum.

Superintendent Austin says elementary school kids would not be included in his district's possible two-day 'at school' week.

"Our goal is to keep our elementary school students with us as much as physically possible."

But they're goals that could change depending on what happens state-wide with the virus.

"We're trying to create things that honor the social distancing requirements whatever those maybe but don't create a system that is scary for kids, schools should not be scary."

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