Parent-led protest for faster school returns gathers on campus, “cautiously optimistic” with new three phase plan


Sidney Rochnik

In a protest to the board at 1 p.m. on March 5, parents and students gathered on the front lawn of Los Altos High School in an effort to push for a quicker return for both students and teachers back on campus, according to event organizer Laura Teksler.

An announcement was made from the district in an email yesterday on March 4, which described allowing all teachers back onto campus and initiating a rotating hybrid model after spring break, or April 19, in the final phase. 

After this announcement, Teksler said the event’s message is one of “cautious optimism.” While happy to see the progress, she said event attendees will be listening in on the next board meeting, on March 8, for further details.

“[In the upcoming board meeting, I’m hoping] they [will] have a little more clarity on what they intend phase three to look like… I would like to think they’ve met all the requirements at this point, so hopefully there’s nothing more to hash out,” fellow protestor Pattie Rotondo said.

Rotondo said that with schools reopening she hopes to see support for “kids who are having real problems” in an academic environment with teachers again, unlike in phase two, which lacks teacher involvement and according to her fails to address these concerns.

Teksler also voiced concerns about student mental health, stating that however in the year, she believes that getting students and teachers back will allow for student activities to begin again, and be able to engage with each other and a learning environment properly again.

Teksler said that while she was disappointed that a plan didn’t come sooner, before the county entered the red tier, or that it would take six weeks to initiate phase three, she was relieved to see the information.

“It gives us a little bit of hope to know our students will be back on campus this year. We were fearful that wasn’t going to happen,” Teksler said.