Patterson resident and parent Christopher Flynn addressed the Board members during the public comment period at the Oct. 5 meeting. Flynn told the Board, “...I’m concerned, and I’m saddened that our district has adopted some of the most lax rules on the most important safety measures.”
Rejecting the district’s choice to only encourage mask-wearing by TK (prekindergarten) through second-grade students as unsafe, Flynn argued that all students should be required to wear a mask. Industry guidance from the California Department of Public Health has been followed by the district in developing a reopening plan. Including the CDPH’s guidelines, which list children aged two through second grade as “strongly encouraged” to wear a mask.
He also shared his dissatisfaction with the reopening plan, believing that a phased approach would be best as it would allow the district to address any problems that may arise effectively.
Flynn expressed concern over the lack of input by parents the district received before filing the waiver and claimed, “The waiver was drafted, greenlighted by this very board, and sent to the county for approval before the parents - our community - were ever notified of its existence.”
The waiver, application process, and expectations of reopening were discussed at length over several virtual parent meetings hosted by the district and at multiple board meetings that were open to the public and presented virtually.
Superintendent Alfano informed board members and those in attendance that the waiver was granted, and if the district so chooses, elementary schools may reopen with an alternative schedule and in accordance with guidance from the department of public health.
CDPH guidance for schools and school-based programs can be found at https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools--en.pdf.
Presentation by employee organizations
Christina Garcia spoke to members on behalf of CSEA, stating that she and the organization have a good working relationship with Assistant Superintendents Joe Silveira and Jeff Menge. Garcia informed the Board that she has received complaints that some District employees have experienced harassment and intimidation. She did not provide details related to the incident but intimated that she expects the situation to be resolved with the support of Silveira and Menge.
Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) Michael Saunders presented the Patterson Education Foundation’s teacher grant recipients. Each teacher was awarded $500 for their respective projects in art, music and STEAM.
- James Jacobs - ukelele cases for elementary students.
- Loren Lima - speaker system for second through eighth grade music students.
- Emily Blickenstaff - art supplies to supplement distance learning.
- Alyssa Boscacci - art supplies to supplement distance learning.
- Celia Huerta - Stream science table for fifth grade STEAM lessons.
There were no comments made during the public hearing on Textbook Sufficiency, and the curriculum was approved for digital use.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 19.