Principal's Weekly

September 23, 2020

Dear Families,

It's been a very long week, and we're only at Wednesday.

In case you missed it, a recording of Don Austin's Backstage with the Superintendent can be found here.

At yesterday evening's board meeting, a reopening proposal for elementary schools was presented for board review. The session ended nearly at midnight. I have shared this before, but in case you need it again, here is the link to PAUSD's Return to Campus Roadmap document.

The hybrid schedule and distance learning schedules are different. In the hybrid model, students attend school in-person on either Mondays, Tuesdays and alternating Wednesdays OR Thursdays, Fridays, and alternating Wednesdays. Students will have asynchronous work on the days they are at home with an opportunity to Zoom with their teacher once per day. More information can be found here.

Families who select the full distance learning model will continue with the current schedule, with the exception of kindergarten. Students will most likely have a new teacher for full distance learning. Efforts will be made to keep students from the same school together when possible.

Students in the hybrid model may experience a change in teacher. There is the possibility that a classroom may be reduced if we have a lower number of students returning for hybrid learning.

There are some important Decision Point Dates for families to decide on which model they feel is best for their children. At the time of this writing:

  • TK-1st Grade Students- Respond by 9/28
  • 2nd-3rd Grade Students- Respond by 10/12
  • 4th-5th Grade Students- Respond by 10/28

I am acutely aware that this is a difficult decision for many of you. For TK-1st grade families, you have a very small window of time to make a decision. I've compiled a FAQ for families to look over (see below)

I also would like to invite parents to join me at a Principal's Coffee this Friday at 9am. At that time, I plan to share the most current information I have available. To help me address as much as possible with the time we have, please pre-submit questions to this document.

Principal's Coffee This Friday

Friday, Sep. 25th, 9am

Your House

Please access the Virtual Coffee by using this Zoom link below.


Annora Lee is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Parent Coffee 9/25

Time: Sep 25, 2020 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 934 0566 8508

One tap mobile

+16699006833,,93405668508# US (San Jose)

+12532158782,,93405668508# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 934 0566 8508

Hybrid Learning at Palo Verde - FAQs

I thought it would be important to share with families what hybrid learning would look like for a Palo Verde student. This information below does not cover the breadth of information that is available on the district’s Return to Campus Roadmap or the COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs.

*Please note: Information is always subject to change as PAUSD and PAEA are still in contract negotiations.

1. How will kids be dropped off? Students who arrive by car will be dropped off at the front entrance. For the time being, parents will not be allowed to escort their children on to campus.

  • All students who arrive by car or bus will be dropped off at the drive-through lane on Louis Road.

  • Walking TK-1st grade students will enter campus through the second Rorke gate closest to Room 1. Parents of TK-1 will be allowed to stay with their children outside the gate until the start of class.

  • Walking/biking 2nd-3rd grade will arrive through the front of the school, also on Louis Road.

  • Walking/biking 4th-5th grade students will enter campus through the perimeter gate on Rorke way, closest to Palo Verde Kids Club.

Children will go straight to their classrooms. Parents and caretakers will not be allowed on the campus.

2. What will the classroom environment look like? What safety measures are in place?

Each student will line up outside their classroom and hang their backpack, jacket, and school bags on their hook outside their classroom. All students will be required to wear face coverings/masks. Teacher/staff will also wear face shields and/or face masks inside the classroom. Upon entering the students will be required to wash/sanitize their hands.

There is a maximum of 14 students and 2 supervising adults in each classroom cohort. The desks will be spaced apart. Each student will be assigned their own desk and will keep all of their personal materials at their desk. Students will need to stay at their desks as much as practical. Clear partitions for each desk have been purchased to act and an additional barrier. If the teacher has the children move to other workspaces in the classroom the space will be cleaned before and after its use. Windows and doors will remain open to increase air circulation in the room.

3. Is the Hybrid schedule the same as the Distance Learning? No, the schedule is different. The Hybrid schedule week will consist of both live instruction when students are on campus, and asynchronous lessons or online apps when they are learning from home. Students will have contact with their teacher every day whether in person or via a ZOOM meeting. Attendance will be taken every day and the asynchronous lessons will need to be completed during the school day.

The Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten schedules are very different from the other grades. Students will come to school every day. The cohort grouping is an AM/PM schedule. The classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized mid-day after Cohort A leaves for the day, and then again at the end of the day when Cohort B is dismissed for the day.

4. What does recess look like? Recess breaks will be staggered to minimize the number of students eating and playing at the same time. Each classroom will be assigned a specific play area, including the play structures, each week to ensure no cohort mingling at recess breaks. Each classroom will have its own set of play equipment. Children will sanitize or wash their hands after eating and prior to playing with recess equipment.

5. What do snack and lunch breaks look like? Students will wash their hands before leaving class for snack recess and lunch recess. Recess and lunch breaks are staggered to minimize the number of students eating and playing at the same time. Students will always eat first and play second. Students will sit at an assigned seat within their stable cohort.

  • For TK-3 grade students who order a PAUSD lunch: These prepackaged meals will be delivered to each classroom before the start of lunch.

  • Fourth and fifth grade students: will retrieve their lunches at a station set up outside the MP room.

AM Cohort Kinder students will receive a “grab and go” lunch at the end of the day and eat at home or child care center. PM Cohort Kinder students will receive lunch and with their class at a designated eating area. Students in grades 1 to 5 will eat outside at their assigned table with their cohort group.

6. Pick up routine Students will exit through their designated exits (see #1) immediately after the end of the school day. Parents and caretakers will not be allowed on campus. Please make the proper arrangements to ensure that children are picked up on time, or they know the plan on how to get home. For grade TK-1, please wait at the gate on Rorke Way.

8. PAUSD Transportation The school administration and district transportation department will coordinate schedules for students riding the bus. For information on distancing protocols and cleaning procedures, please refer to the Return to Campus Roadmap, page 35.

9. What happens if a child or staff member is sick in the classroom?

Student exhibiting symptoms of COVID19 will go to our site’s “Feel Better Room”. If they are not wearing a mask already, they will be given one and monitored until parents arrive.

No situation will be identical, but in every case, we will follow Santa Clara Country Public Health Department’s guidelines when reporting cases.

Whenever possible, the health and office staff will make every effort to attend to bumps, cuts, and bruises outside of the office.

Additional Information:

Cohort Size -

  • According to the Cohort Guidance, Cohorts must be limited to no more than 14 children and no more than two supervising adults, or a configuration of no more than 16 individuals in total (children and adults) in the cohort.

Social Distancing Safety Protocols and Procedures for access to the classroom and non-classroom facilities and areas.

  • All students are required to wear cloth face coverings in any area outside the classroom (except when eating, drinking or engaging in physical activity) according to SCCPHD requirements.

  • The distance between teacher/staff desks and student desks will be at least six feet or in accordance with guidance from SCCDPH if different.

  • Students shall be assigned stable seating arrangements to ensure that close contacts within classrooms are minimized and easily identifiable.

  • Students should remain in their same workspace as much as practicable. If students need to move to other workspaces in a classroom, space shall be properly cleaned before and after its use.

Hand Washing Requirements

  • Following the SCCPHD requirements related to frequently reminding individuals to wash their hands or use medically effective hand sanitizer. Teachers will establish hand washing routines in class.

  • Students will sanitize or wash hands upon entering the classroom.

  • Students will wash their hands before leaving class for snack recess and lunch recess.

  • Students will use sanitizer or wash their hands after eating and prior to playing with recess equipment.

Snack/Lunch/Recess Protocols

  • Recess and lunch breaks are staggered to minimize the number of students eating and playing at the same time.

  • Students will always eat first and play second. Sanitizing or washing their hands after eating and prior to playing with recess equipment.

  • The play area will be sectioned off to prevent cohort mixing. Classes will rotate sections.

  • Only one cohort per time will be allowed on the play structures. They will be sanitized before another cohort will be allowed access.

  • Classrooms will have their own small set of play equipment. They will only be shared between students in the same cohort and sanitized daily.

This information is aligned with the current guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) and PAUSD agreement with the Palo Alto Teacher Association (PAEA). Information will be updated if changes are made in any of the topics below prior to the re-opening to in-person Hybrid instruction.

Welcome to School Site Council, Abraham!

Thank you for all who voted for their School Site Council parent representative. Please join me in welcoming Abraham Bagherjeiran, to the team. Other members serving on SSC this year are:


  • Annora Lee, principal
  • Carolyn Jones, teacher
  • Susan Kim, teacher
  • Mangla Oza, teacher
  • Kathleen Rice, teacher

Parent Representatives

  • Liat Kobza, parent
  • Sudipta Bhowmik, parent
  • Alia Chehadeh, parent
  • Abraham Bagherjeiran, parent

Information to come regarding our next meeting. A date will be shared after some additional details are finalized. Thank you to parents Cody Keffer and Laurence Pichot for their willingness and interest to support SSC.

Counselor's Corner- From Laura and Megan

Happy Autumn everyone!

This recent webinar was co-sponsored by Megan’s agency, CASSY. It gives great practical and reassuring information to parents as they adjust to being a very involved part of the daily learning of their child(ren). Megan and Laura both found it to be pretty “spot on” with some good, manageable ideas on how to get through the virtual school day.

It’s about 45 minutes long so try to watch during a quiet time with your kids are sleeping or Zooming with their class. We hope that you will find it helpful!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for support for you or your children.

We are here to help!

Laura Post, School Psychologist

Megan Miller, MFT Intern

Annora Lee, principal

Palo Verde Elementary School