Rumor Has It

  • Rumor Versus Fact - Uncovering the Real Story

    Heard a rumor? Want information? Ask us!

    We all know how quickly rumors can spread and grow. Have you heard something about SCUSD and want to hear the facts straight from us? Submit your question through our Rumor Has It form. We'll post Q&As here.

    Note: Questions are not edited for content and are posted exactly as submitted.


    October 3, 2022

    Rumor: Why is the Peterson field all locked up??? For the last 30 plus years I have been running around the field. Several years ago the entire Birdland Neighborhood fought to save Peterson Field from being sold to a developer. Yesterday, I went for my run and all the gates are chained and there is no easement from one end to the field to the other. NO NOTICES whatsoever on why the field is totally locked up. Students use those gates to get to school instead of getting through Bryan or Rosalia where there is a lot of traffic. What's going on???

    Truth: Gates are unlocked before school so that students can enter the campus, and then, for the safety of our students, they are locked again until the school day is over. The fields are available after 6 p.m. for public use.

    August 1, 2022

    Rumor: Do you know yet if weekly Covid testing will be part of the 2022-2023 school year? 

    Truth: The CDPH guidance for schools for 2022-2023 focuses on at-home rapid antigen testing and communicating availability of free community testing resources for diagnostic screening. As rapid tests are now more widely available in the community, there are no state grant-funded school testing programs like we had last year with Concentric Testing.

    April 18, 2022

    Rumor: Rumor Has It…Dr. Kemp threatened a board room full of concerned parents and staff with legal action because she’s trying to deflect attention from her improper and possibly illegal hiring process of a less qualified friend’s daughter and former colleague of Dr. Gonzalez. Don’t worry, I don’t expect a truthful answer from this administration. 

    Truth: During the request to pull the agenda item from the April 7 board meeting, Dr. Kemp outlined the rationale for removing this request at this time. One of the reasons she listed was to seek the opinion of legal counsel. Employment laws impact school districts in significant ways. Part of the effort to protect the integrity of the interview process means that all candidates have a right to their candidacy remaining confidential until the board formally approves a hire. To release candidate information prior to that point may cause embarrassment to that individual or make public a job search their current employer is not yet aware of. We operate in this manner to respect the integrity of our process and the confidentiality of the professionals who seek employment with SCUSD. For that reason, it was important to Dr. Kemp to seek a legal opinion on what legal liabilities SCUSD may face from candidates over what SCUSD believes to be a tainted process. *Personally identifiable information redacted. 

    April 15, 2022

    Rumor: Rumor has it that if your child has two elementary school teachers one teacher will not get Concentric tested on the testing day.

    Truth: This is partially true. If two teachers' job share and one is not present on the regular pooled testing day for that site, there are three options. That staff member can (1) test the day before (pools are good for 48 hours), they can (2) test as a walk-in at the District Office, or they can (3) test through their health care provider/SCCPH testing site/at home RAT and submit results to HR.

    April 7, 2022

    Rumor: I have heard SCUSD is out of compliance for ELL and have heard starting next year we will need to have targeted support classes for ELL levels 3 and 4. This will affect the master schedule. Is this true. 

    Truth: Yes, this is true. As a Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) finding, and new legislation, we may not have content area EL/SDAIE classes. All English Learners must also have designated ELD classes, even levels 3 & 4. We are working with secondary sites to rebuild their course pathways.

    January 25, 2022

    1. Are pool tests administered during a single period to middle schoolers, or are they potentially tested multiple times in a day? If once, then which period is tested for Peterson? A positive in another period with the same teacher would not necessarily indicate exposure?
    2. If a child's pool tests positive, are you still providing individual tests via concentric? My wife believes that individual rapid testing via concentric has gone away, with only pooled testing remaining. (Not including Grapefruit.)

    1. Each student who is signed up is tested once per week. Exact times can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. Group exposures are determined through the investigation process.
    2. Yes, our weekly testing provider (Concentric) is still conducting follow-up rapid antigen testing of all individuals in a positive testing pool. Follow-up rapid testing has not gone away. During the surge, there have been some instances, due to delays in lab results for various reasons, where the positive pool results were received late in the week and so we recommended families visit our central testing center (Grapefruit) for a rapid test, or use an at-home kit to test their students over the weekend. 

    December 16, 2021

    Rumor: What is the weekly screening testing situation in December? My child says that half the class has been tested every week but now it's going to be 1/3 of the class? It seems like we need to be testing more, not less.

    Truth: The weekly screening testing program is continuing. In addition, we also offer our families an in-district COVID-19 Testing Center that may be used for anyone who has symptoms or has received a close contact notice. As we're unsure of the specific circumstances, it is difficult to fully answer your questions. For example, perhaps more families have removed their students from participating in weekly testing as their children become fully vaccinated. Please contact so we can research your specific situation.

    November 5, 2021

    1. IIRC, the past rapid antigen tests were not acceptable for readmittance according to school staff, or maybe that was for home tests? Are these rapid tests valid for readmittance, or do we still have to wait for the PCR?
    2. The District email states: Each person will receive both a rapid antigen test (results in 20 minutes) and PCR test (results in 24-48 hours). But the website says: Results are received within 24 hours! Which is it?

    1. A PCR test is recommended in all scenarios. The acceptance of antigen test results by SCCPHD varies by scenario. At-home tests are not accepted.
    Symptomatic (showing symptoms): If symptomatic, test should be PCR; a positive antigen test is acceptable; a negative antigen test needs to be confirmed with a PCR test.
    Asymptomatic (not showing symptoms): If asymptomatic, a negative antigen test is acceptable; a positive antigen test needs to be confirmed with a PCR test.
    2. You will receive your rapid test result in about 15–20 minutes, and your PCR test result is often available within hours but may take 24-48 hours after the test was administered and sent electronically via text message and email. We have updated our website to clarify this.

    November 4, 2021

    Rumor: I heard a rumor that some 6th graders at Peterson Middle School are being forced to read LGBTQ books and "choose" a sexual identity.  

    Truth: We appreciate your interest in SCUSD's recognition of LBGTQ+ students, staff, and community at large. Consistent with SCUSD's commitment to equity, schools in SCUSD include literature written by LGBTQ+ authors and information about how LGBTQ+ individuals have contributed to our history.   

    At SCUSD, we understand that "sexual orientation" refers to the romantic or sexual attraction a person has, and "gender identity" refers to a person's concept of self as male, female, both, or neither. No one is forced to "choose" a sexual orientation or gender identity at any SCUSD school. We understand that gender identity can be a sensitive topic for some members of our SCUSD community. However, as uncomfortable as it may be to discuss gender identity, children and teens who are raising questions about their gender identity are at greater risk of engaging in unhealthy behaviors, being bullied, and/or experiencing anxiety or depression, among other things. We, therefore, think that addressing issues of gender identity is important to help ensure that students are informed and understand and respect the diversity of our community.  

    October 22, 2021

    Rumor: I heard a rumor that Peterson Middle School is getting rid of honors classes? Please say this isn't true.

    Truth: Peterson Middle School currently offers English honors classes for 7th and 8th grade students. Next year's courses are dependent on staffing and enrollment.

    September 24, 2021

    Rumor: Rumor has it… that although the district has said all staff must be tested weekly, that not ALL teachers or other staff are being tested… that some teachers and staff have yet to be tested at all.

    Truth: This is true. The test administration company, Concentric, experienced an unexpected staffing shortage during the same few weeks we were ramping up our new program which caused multiple challenges to our program. The staffing challenges have been addressed through Concentric, and the district has also established memoranda with our labor partners in order to enlist the help of our staff in proctoring the pooled testing, as needed. The district is also further developing protocols for monitoring regular staff testing, starting with the unvaccinated staff who are required by state mandate to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing by October 15. We will then focus on refining the monitoring process for the district's requirement, which includes testing vaccinated staff.

    September 21, 2021

    Rumor: A repetitive rumor has it there are not enough tests and staff to adequately do COVID testing at SCHS? Rumor also has it that the first two weeks classes who were missed the first round, were again missed the following week. ???

    Truth: This is partly true. We currently have enough tests and staff for the weekly testing program. However, the test administration company, Concentric, did experience an unexpected staffing shortage during the same few weeks we were ramping up our new program. The staff challenges have been addressed through Concentric, which is adding additional staff and hours across the district including our comprehensive high schools. Additionally, the district has also established memoranda with our labor partners in order to enlist the help of our staff in proctoring the pooled testing, as needed.

    September 11, 2021

    Rumor: 1. Rumor has it that students with runny nose and/or headache are being kept in classrooms instead of being sent home for testing, because it's probably allergies. Is this safe? 2. Rumor also has it that the District is thinking of removing "runny nose" from the symptom list even though it is a common symptom of the Delta variant, because lots of kids have runny noses. Is this true?

    Truth: 1. Our health offices are trained and follow CDPH and SCCPHD guidance when evaluating students for next steps. According to SCCPHD, "if a child has a runny nose but no other symptoms of COVID-19, it would be reasonable to allow that child to go to school, provided the child does not develop any other symptoms of COVID-19 and is not a close contact to a COVID-19 case." 2. We follow CDPH and SCCPHD guidance for COVID-19 symptom screening. The symptom list in our safety plan is accurate and includes "congestion or runny nose with another symptom."

    September 9, 2021

    Rumor: I heard that after our students are pool tested, it could take over a week for results to come back? Is this true?

    Truth: No, this is not true. It takes 24-48 hours for the pooled testing results to come back.

    September 8, 2021

    Rumor: Rummor has it that Santa Clara Vision 2035 social justice considers families of white students in the district responsible of white supremacy, slavery and other social injustices with the white boys students being mostly responsible and in lesser amount white girl students also being responsible? And is it true that all instruction material, pictures / books/ / references of white folks must all be replaced in the district with instruction/ materials / images / works created by POC (people of color) only?

    Truth: Santa Clara Unified School District Vision 2035 includes the core values of students first, empathy and respect, and equity and social justice. Within each of these core values is a commitment to providing safe and welcoming learning spaces for each and every child who attends our schools. We do not target any groups based on protected class or other reasons and work against issues of discrimination and harassment.

    September 7, 2021

    Rumor: I heard that children doing the pooled testing will have to swab while inside the classroom. Is this true? Best practice for testing is outdoors. I really hope this is not true.

    Truth: Yes, this is true. Students will be swabbing their noses inside the classroom. The test takes 4 seconds per nostril so students will not be without a mask for over 10seconds.

    August 27, 2021

    Rumor: This seems like it’s true. She [Superintendent Kemp] definitely doesn’t care about the well-being of our students or staff.” 

    Truth: This is absolutely not true. Superintendent Kemp, as well as other superintendents across the state, are implementing school openings to the best of their abilities following expert guidance from state and local public health officials.