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PAEA - Palo Alto Educators Association




Educators want to come back in person

We agree with the parents that students would benefit from being back on campuses safely. We see how challenging this situation is when we interact with our students daily. We are also interested in clarity and advanced planning. Our concern is that moving too quickly, ahead of vaccinations especially, invites a combination of unintended consequences for instruction, along with increased risks from increased contacts.

We are not preventing a return to campus. The district can actually mandate that on their own, and essentially, they have. When we negotiate, it’s to make sure that we are able to effectively support students and provide the best possible learning experience.



“Livestreaming'' is a complicated issue. Teachers are against mandating such an approach without knowing details and options, knowing what technology and training would be offered, what the trade-offs or unintended consequences are, and how privacy and legal concerns can be addressed. And then factoring in costs, and time, the issue is far from being as simple as turning on cameras and teaching.



Research and News






Important info


Marie-José Kolly

What we would need to know to know if open schools are fueling the pandemic

-outbreaks in Swiss schools increasing; variants play a role

- Swiss and British students and teachers as likely infected as general population

- in autumn 2020, children (2-16) were more likely to infect family than to be infected by family

- Swiss children (6-17) as likely to be infected as adults, and younger children only slightly less likely

- Austrian children and teachers infected as often as community overall

- evidence re: viral loads in children is mixed; comparative methodological issues make it difficult to ascertain

- closing schools in Germany lowered the rate of COVID in children  


Times of Israel

Kids more likely to catch COVID-19 than adults, Health Ministry finds

- Children are more likely than adults to catch and spread COVID

- Open schools contributed to broader community infection rate


Li, et. al. 

The Lancet

The temporal association of introducing and lifting non-pharmaceutical interventions with the time-varying reproduction number (R) of SARS-CoV-2: a modelling study across 131 countries



Opening and closing of schools correlates temporally with increase and decrease in infection rates


Data from 131 countries


Flasche, Edmunds

The Lancet

The role of schools and school-aged children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission


“since September, when [UK] schools, universities, and colleges have been fully open, the highest rates of infection have been observed in young adults (about 18–25 years old). However, the next highest prevalence has been observed in secondary school children (11–18 years old), suggesting that they are likely to be an important source of infection to peers and others rather than a sink. Yet, primary school children (5–11 years old) have been found to have an infection prevalence comparable to that of working-aged adults.”

– “UK Office for National Statistics's COVID-19 infection survey found that secondary school-aged children are about eight times more likely to introduce an infection to a household than adults”


Montreal Gazette

Montreal schools now driving force of COVID-19 spread: experts

Schools (teens in particular) drive COVID rates up

Community rates increased when schools opened (while other interventions were relatively unchanged)


Grijalva, et. al. 

  • Posted by CDC

Transmission of SARS-COV-2 Infections in Households — Tennessee and Wisconsin, April–September 2020

Children and adults in families infect each other similarly

Nov. 2020

Laxminarayan, et. al. 


Epidemiology and transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in two Indian states

Same-age contacts were associated with the greatest infection risk.

Jan. 2021

Okarska-Napierała, et. al., posted at CDC

SARS-CoV-2 Cluster in Nursery, Poland

Cluster associated with a nursery school suggests young children can transmit virus to peers, adults


Pray, et. al. - CDC

Trends in Outbreak-Associated Cases of COVID-19 — Wisconsin, March–November 2020

5,700 COVID cases were linked to outbreaks in K-12 schools and childcare facilities last fall


Harris, et. al.

The Effects of School Reopenings on COVID-19 Hospitalizations


A key finding of this study is that it appears safe to reopen schools in counties where there are fewer than 36 to 44 new COVID-19 county hospitalizations per 100,000 people per week. We have therefore created this searchable spreadsheet,




CA Safe Schools for All:


COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year


Santa Clara Co. School Reopening Plan (12/14/20 rev.)


EU Guidance re: schools - (updated 1/25/21)


Who Is the Teachers Union?


97% of the eligible educators in PAUSD are members of PAEA. Role of the union: When the union takes a position, it comes from our membership. As union leaders, we are proud to speak on their behalf to share their insights and concerns.