Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Educator-only housing construction begins

Local officials toss ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt to celebrate the groundbreaking of a planned educator housing project at 231 Grant Ave in Palo Alto. Photo by Zoe Morgan.

A new educator housing project had a ceremonial groundbreaking on 231 Grant Ave last month and aims to decrease commute time for teachers.

The educator housing project, first proposed by Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, has a total of 110 units located across the street from the Palo Alto Courthouse, built specifically for educators in the Bay Area. The construction started Aug. 22 and is scheduled to finish in 2025.

This includes Palo Alto Unified School District, Los Altos School District, Mountain View Whisman, and Foothill-De Anza.

 “Right now we have teachers and other school staff who are commuting vast distances to get to and from their jobs at school every day,” Simitian said. “This is time that is not spent preparing lesson plans, it is time that a teacher is not available to meet with a student before or after school to help.”

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Simitian additionally stressed the loss that this commute brings to students.

“So, you know, in a very real sense, these long-distance commutes are robbing Palo Alto students of the benefit of having teachers … to help them,” Simitian said.

Another reason Simitian believes that this housing is crucial is that it helps teachers have a better conception of the daily life of their students.

“When teachers and staff members live in the community where they work, they have a better understanding of the community and the pressures and circumstances that their students live with and are subjected to every day,” Simitian said.