At local schools, 2022 brought leadership shuffles, new programs, late starts and dwindling enrollment | News

Jeanne Loh, right, drops off her twins, Fibonacci, center, and Pascal, left, at the start of the first day of school for transitional kindergarten at Laurel School’s lower campus on Aug, 18, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Midpeninsula schools went through a year full of change as administrators stepped down and new programs were introduced.

One of the biggest changes came when Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Darnise Williams abruptly resigned following closed-door board meetings and emotional public meetings with community members alleging that the board was trying to fire her.

Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Darnise Williams in 2021. Courtesy Sequoia Union High School District.

With a new state law in effect, some local school districts rolled out new transitional kindergarten programs for children under age 5 while districts like Ravenswood, Portola Valley and Woodside expanded their TK offerings. The Almanac documented some of the first days of these programs.

Regionally, districts continued to see student enrollment dip as families continue to leave the area because thanks to increased flexibility from remote work and from the economic pressures of the rising cost of living.

High school start times were pushed back because a new state law that took effect this past fall. It aims to improve students’ academic performance and mental health by more closely aligning the school day to typical teenage sleep patterns.

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