Palo Alto Unified’s plan to reopen elementary schools in October has sparked intense anxiety among teachers and staff members who do not feel safe returning to work in person, illustrating a deepening divide between them and school leaders who support safely getting back to face-to-face instruction.
More than 100 people spoke during the school board’s virtual meeting on Tuesday night, with the majority being teachers and staff who urged the district against reopening campuses in the coming weeks. Many said they felt the plan was rushed and had not included their input, fueling a sense of distrust and lack of confidence in the plan. A recent teachers union survey found that 82% of special education teachers and specialists and 83% of elementary teachers who responded do not feel comfortable going back to work in person. According to the union, 84% of elementary teachers and 82% of special education teachers responded