In one Bay Area district, reopening high schools gets ugly – Los Angeles Times

South of San Francisco, the Sequoia Union High School District serves some of the Bay Area’s wealthiest communities, such as Atherton, Menlo Park and Woodside, as well as some of its neediest, including East Palo Alto, North Fair Oaks and Redwood City.

On Tuesday, the school district learned it had risen into a state tier that would allow high school students, if they chose, to resume on-campus learning. At the urging of many parents, district leaders on Wednesday announced an April reopening plan.

For the record:

7:13 PM, Feb. 27, 2021A previous version of this story misspelled the name of East Palo Alto Academy teacher Allison Mok as Alison Mock and referred to Sequoia Union school board President Alan Sarver as Adam. It also said Sequoia Union had eight high schools. The district has seven high schools.

That is when things got ugly.

“How many deaths will you accept as collateral for your two months of school? Can you live with that?” Allison Mok, a teacher at East Palo Alto Academy, asked the district’s board of trustees in a contentious Zoom meeting Wednesday.


Reopenings of high schools in the Bay Area provide a window into conflicts sure to play out in Los Angeles and other parts of California as more counties move into less restrictive tiers. Schools in wealthier areas tend to be more willing — and better prepared — than