At the last Piedmont City Council meeting, we highlighted the extraordinary pain, illness, and suffering that one year of Covid-19 has brought to our community. Alameda County has been badly impacted by this virus, and the loss of life is a tragedy that is hard to grasp. In our own town, there have been scores of people infected and we have seen one fatality — a beloved and valued neighbor.
Now, after 12 months of school closure, Piedmont schools are opening up with limited opportunity for in-person instruction.
As a mom of three Piedmont Middle School students, I understand the impact of school closures on kids. And, as a member of the Piedmont City Council, I hear through emails, phone calls, stops on the street, and text messages the worry and frustration of fellow parents. Some families are desperate.
I know first hand that the City of Piedmont is committed to assisting our School District with in-person learning to the extent that it meets with CDC guidelines and recommendations.
To that end, city facilities such as the Veteran’s Hall, the Piedmont Community Center, and other properties owned and managed by the City of Piedmont should and can be made available for use by the Piedmont Unified School District. There are many locations that are large, provide ample space, and are well ventilated.
In addition, the Piedmont Recreation Department could provide childcare to teachers’ children who need supervision. By offering safe, high quality childcare, teachers would have the opportunity to return to the classroom knowing their children are cared for in a location that is safe and observant of masking and social distancing.
I requested that the city manager immediately create a plan that will offer these services and that the Piedmont City Council consider and approve it as soon as possible.
These are extraordinary times, and I strongly believe that the Piedmont City government must step up our partnership with the schools and our parent community in support of increased hours for in-person learning. I know that by working hard, and working together, we will be able to give our kids the best possible learning opportunity in the midst of this pandemic.
With appreciation to the families, teachers, kids and everyone trying to assist Piedmont students,
Mayor Teddy Gray King
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