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August 11, 2020

Comments

Editor

JV, I agree with you and have edited both instances of the expletive. Let's make our points without the pointed edge.

Mom

I stand by my deleted comment. At least you left the main point so thank you.

Will Hunting

Post Covid - An opportunity to rebuild

In October of 2023, Burlingame High School will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary.

The BHS was steeped in history and tradition made possible by great leaders like Mr. Teshara, Frank Firpo, Bob Booker and many others.

Is Burlingame High School the place we want it to be as we approach the 100-year anniversary?

This is not about the SMUHSD, but our high school, the one our children attend.

The SMUHSD conflicts over issues of pools, fields, and gyms, have been just as contentious as slashing AP courses and picking school leaders.

Maybe it time for Burlingame students, parents and community to re-take control of the high school?

At the other end of the state, La Jolla High School sits in the San Diego Unified School District, but the district does not mess with the community or its very successful school.

The end of COVID is an opportunity for Burlingame to regain direction over Burlingame High School.

What do parents and the community want in THEIR high school?

Angry Mom

Message from the BSD Board of Trustees ~ Reopening

Dear Burlingame School Community,

The recent and sudden changes made by the state which forced our school district to remain in distance learning have been frustrating for all of us. We know that it has been challenging for parents to explain to our youngest learners why, once again, they will not be going to school. Some of us are experiencing it with our own children. While our district administration has been incredibly thoughtful in coaching our children, families, and staff through all the twists and turns of this past year -- it pains us to experience the disruptions and stress caused by these last-minute decisions.

San Mateo County is made up of 24 school districts, of which only 3 are open for some in-person learning, with the remaining districts at various stages of reopening plans and waivers. Burlingame School District is next in line for live instruction, with an approved reopening safety plan and approved waiver already in place. However, because we had not yet started in-person instruction, the new state guidelines dictate that we will not be allowed to proceed with reopening until the whole county is at or below a Covid-19 adjusted case rate of 25/100,000. We understand that guidelines might shift as new information becomes available; however, these guidelines should be applied consistently across all schools and should be grounded in science and data. If it is safe for one district to conduct in-person education with an approved plan, then it should be safe for all districts with an approved plan.

We are working to communicate this message to our state elected officials and will share more information regarding progress and other steps the community can take in the near future. In the meantime, we encourage you to do the same -- write letters, send emails, make phone calls. It is important that our state elected officials understand how their decisions have impacted our community.

Please note that we have requested to discuss and vote on expanding in-person learning to grades 3-5 at the February 9th board meeting. We ultimately seek to safely return all BSD students to school as soon as circumstances permit.

We would like to give heartfelt thanks to all of our teachers and district staff. They have worked diligently to prepare their classrooms and welcome our students under ever-changing marching orders. We also want to thank Superintendent Mount-Benites and our administrators for their leadership, level-headedness, and determination to keep us moving forward during such a challenging and uncertain time. And, most importantly, the students remain at the forefront of our minds. We are so proud of their resiliency as they live through this historic time. We cannot wait for the day when we can see them ensconced in the warmth of their classrooms, with their teachers at the helm.

We also appreciate the support that so many of you have expressed and we welcome the continued constructive dialogue as we navigate unusual territory. Burlingame is an incredible community and we will keep striving to do what is in our control to enable the best education for all of our students. Superintendent Mount-Benites will be following up later today with his weekly communication which will contain more details and updates.

Best regards,

Elizabeth Kendall, Trustee
Florence Wong, Trustee
Kate Reed, Trustee
Deepak Sarpangal, Trustee
Lisa Mudd, Trustee

Angry Mom

https://youtu.be/1rsgWi1LcQY

Angry Mom

The Trustees are making this political when it is Health Pandemic issue.

Why are they pushing the return to school so hard?

Angry Mom

They wrote this letter to the Gov.

January 21, 2021
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor of the State of California
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, California 95814
Subject: Updates to the Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework -- A
Failing Grade?
Dear Governor Newsom:
We, the Burlingame School District Governing Board of Trustees, are writing to
express our concerns and disappointment regarding the state's most recent
Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework, which has deeply and negatively
impacted our school district and others within our county.
Our district, located in San Mateo County, serves approximately 3500 students,
grades TK-8. There are 24 districts in our county, 3 of which have safely reopened
their schools for in-person instruction while 5 additional districts have obtained a
waiver for a safe return.
Burlingame School District is among the districts with an approved waiver. It was
granted to us because we exceeded the standards provided by the county and
state. These safety measures for our community include:
● New HVAC systems/filters for our schools
● PPE for all teachers and students, hand sanitizer stations in each room,
touchless thermometers, plexiglass stations, sanitizing wipes, face shields, gowns,
protective eyewear and gloves
● Weekly Covid-19 testing through Curative for employees
● Voluntary Covid-19 testing for our students through Ambry and a local free,
public Curative site set up weekly at our middle school
● Dedicated web page for our Covid-19 Safety Plan on each school website
and the district website
● Contact tracing, notification, and reporting protocols
● Designated safety pathways within schools
● A hybrid program that provides daily in-person instruction for every child that
chooses to return to school.
Our youngest learners (TK-2) were prepared to return for in-person learning on November 30, 2020. On the
evening of November 29th, San Mateo County was moved to the Purple Tier outside of the normal data
update cycle. We put our plans to return to in-person instruction on hold with only hours notice.
Forced to scramble, we applied for a waiver for our youngest learners and the waiver was accepted
immediately due to our extensive planning and preparation. We planned to have our children return to school
two weeks after the winter break in order to provide time for families to quarantine after the holidays. School
was set to return on January 20, 2021. (Counterintuitively, had we not provided that 2-week safety net, our
kids would be in school now and these inconsistent guidelines would not have applied to us.)
On Thursday, January 14, 2021, you (Governor Newsom) announced the new framework, which requires a
county COVID-19 adjusted case rate of <25/100,000 to reopen. Initial interpretations of the newest framework
by CASBO and our county led us to believe that our waiver would be honored, allowing us to continue our
plan to return on January 20th.
However, on Monday, January 18th, merely 48 hours before our students were to return, our district received
revised guidance from our County Office of Education that once again, our children could not return to school.
Yet, one block over lies the community of Hillsborough and adjacent to that, Menlo Park. With nearly
identical plans for a safe return, these districts have successfully sent their children back to school. They are
allowed to remain in-person because they returned to school months before the new case rate requirement of
<25/100,000 was set. It is clear that there is an ever-widening equity gap, which must be addressed
immediately through more consistent guidelines.
This is our ask: If policy and guidance directs that districts currently providing in-person instruction can
safely remain open despite their county exceeding the adjusted case rate threshold, then all school districts
that have a similarly designed and approved COVID-19 Safety Plan should be allowed to provide in-person
instruction. If it is safe for one district to conduct in-person education with an approved plan, then it should be
safe for all districts with an approved plan. Consistency is key and provides the most equitable path.
We ask that our leaders provide a framework that is guided by logic, science, and fairness. We ask that our
students' well-being remain at the forefront of these decisions. We ask that guidance be clear and in writing
prior to being announced at press conferences. To continue doing otherwise damages districts’ prior work
which was conducted in good faith to meet previously announced guidance. We ask for this to preserve our
communities and their support of public education. We respectfully request that the state immediately
reconsider current guidelines and the manner in which future guidelines are determined and shared with
districts.
Our students and communities deserve real leadership from the state. Please demonstrate that by rectifying
this situation with appropriate urgency.
Sincerely,
Elizabeth Kendall, Trustee
Florence Wong, Trustee
Kate Reed, Trustee
Deepak Sarpangal, Trustee
Lisa Mudd, Trustee

Guido

Angry Mom, as a local school teacher I am with you, not sure why we are pushing to get kids back in school with Covid raging and we are still in the "purple" tier. That message does not come from the teachers and parents of kids in Burlingame. Time to pause and not do anything stupid, I guess they think we are lazy and that's why we should be back in class. I would be teaching with a mask on and the kids in front of screens under the current conditions and probably the "Red" tier. Can't share materials, etc. By the way, the State didn't change the the rules, they clarified them for stupid administrators who can't read and are trying to force the issue for some reason.

Common Sense

only 3 out of 24 San Mateo County School districts currently have some type of onsite learning.

that is 12.5 % of the districts.. this is a small amount.

I guess there is a reason 87.5% didn't reopen.

Common Sense?

Angrier Mom

Because the teachers like "working from home" ya think? None of that messy hands on teaching-disciplining-administrators watching-parent meeting-program monitoring stuff. Just put on the fuzzy slippers and collect the paycheck

Guido

No we don't, angrier mom, but I bet you do and eat bon bons all day. Lame. Program monitoring? What does that mean? Have fun being a bitter person.

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