Re: Superintendent's Update - March 12, 2020
Thu, Mar 12 6:32pm

Dear Addison Families,


At 5:40pm this evening, our Superintendent sent an update to all families.  If you did not receive it, please see below.  I wanted to provide you a few specifics regarding absences and flexible learning options:


  • PAUSD schools remain open but if parents choose to keep their children home, they can do so for (10) days at a time through notification with the front office.  Please email indicating the start date of the intended absence and the date in which the student is expected to return.  Notification must be sent again after the 10th day to request an extension. 
  • For those students who stay home, options for flexible learning will begin on Monday, March 16th, and will be centralized across the District (i.e. Guidelines for K, Guidelines for 1st, etc.). Therefore, teachers will not be expected to individually create or send home work for students who stay at home.  More information regarding how to access resources will be shared on Monday.

Thank you for your patience and support as we work through these rapidly changing times and I will be sure to update you again if conditions change.



Amanda Boyce




From the office of the Superintendent:


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,


Since our March 9 update, the guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) and the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) regarding school closures remains unchanged. SCCPHD currently is not recommending closing schools. This update provides some slight changes to previous guidance on educational continuity options available to families.


Santa Clara County Public Health Department is working closely to provide guidance to districts and schools. Broadly closing schools is a decision that is not taken lightly and is a last resort as it causes significant community disruption. Many families also rely on schools and staff for basic needs for their children, including regular meals, healthcare and childcare. At present time, the Public Health Department is not recommending closing schools in an effort to slow COVID-19 transmission.


We believe our schools provide a clean, safe learning environment to provide a high-quality education for all students. However, we understand some families may choose to keep their healthy children at home. Our dedicated staff is working to create flexible learning options for students to use while away from school. These resources are not intended to replicate the in-class learning experience, but simply provide a small degree of educational continuity during the current public health situation. If you choose to exercise a flexible learning option, for public health purposes, the expectation is that your children will be at home and not gathering for social or community activities.


Options for flexible learning will begin March 16th and be reassessed by April 3rd. Spring break will directly follow, April 6th -10th. All students will return to school on Monday, April 13th. More information will be shared regarding how to access these resources by each school site on Monday.


Parents opting to keep their child out of school for COVID-19 concerns/fears must provide notice to the school indicating the start date of the intended absence and the date in which the student is expected to return. Absences will be excused for up to 10 school days at a time. Notification must be sent again after the 10th day to request an extension.


Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools, commented, “School districts in Santa Clara County are working to ensure that they are making the right decisions for their communities in accordance with the recommendations from the Department of Public Health. I support the collaborative solutions that keep schools open.”


As a reminder, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department encourages preventative measures such as good hygiene practices to slow the spread of COVID-19. These practices include washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, being at arm’s length distance from others in public places, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 


Custodial staff at every PAUSD school continues to follow the recommended cleaning procedures daily, with extra effort on areas considered high-risk (e.g., bathrooms, athletic areas, cafeteria/kitchen, health room/nurse's office) and high-touch points (e.g., door handles, hand railings, lockers, and shared desks).


These flexible learning options are not being offered as a result of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our schools. We are simply working to identify solutions that keep schools open while encouraging social distancing, providing a safe space for children, and addressing the needs and best judgement of families.


I know that information is changing at a fast pace and I will continue to keep you updated. Thank you for your patience and partnership. 




Don Austin, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Palo Alto Unified School District