PAUSD+, an initiative created by the Palo Alto Unified School District, works to improve student outcomes for those particularly affected by the pandemic. 

The program officially began on Sept. 8 for students in PAUSD secondary schools, and offers workspaces and individualized support to students.

“The program is designed to reduce the impact of school closures on our families during distance learning,” Superintendent Don Austin wrote in a September Superintendent’s Update.

Students in PAUSD+ have access to homework and technology support, a safe and quiet place to work, free internet access and tutoring services. The goal is to prevent any long-term academic fallout for students who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic or experiencing a situation at home that is not optimal for learning. 

Students are separated into cohorts of 14 and complete a COVID-19 screening every morning before in-person learning.

“Physical distancing between children in the same cohort will be balanced with developmental and socio‐emotional needs of the age group,” the Superintendent’s Update stated.

Finding the students who would best utilize the program has been one of the greatest challenges, according to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson. 

“Students who may not have a need now could have one later,” Berkson said. 

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