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About 1shortmomto4

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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    Manassas, Virginia

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  1. I live in one of those zip codes the CDC is supposedly going to visit - actually I thought they were to start yesterday but haven't seen a thing. Now, in some reports they said they were only going to focus on families who were Spanish speaking - not sure how they were going to come up with which houses to visit. I'm not so sure I'm trusting those rising numbers because there was a big push for two weeks to test, test and test everywhere and anywhere - and they reported that they were backlogged in giving out the results to all those tests but meanwhile in the county next door where there have been numerous reports of high cases in the low income hispanic communities they aren't going door to door so that doesn't make any sense. They do have issues with the nursing homes and those numbers, that is for sure! Something is just not right here in my zip code and the two that neighbor me.
  2. My dd is an elementary teacher. The governor has finally formed a team of experts to come up with a plan. Apparently, they omitted the Special Ed/LD expert(s) from the team so not sure how these plans will come out to help all students. My dd has been so disappointed in what she has and hasn't been allowed to do with her students. The state made all online learning optional and nothing counted towards grades. Of the 3 classes from her grade level, her attendance levels have remained the highest. Now, what she sees going on during the 1 hour interaction she is allowed to have is another thing - one student spent the entire time sitting in front the screen playing on his DS - even though mom was nearby! -( I'm not sure how well things would/will work if they go online in the fall. Some of the parents were doing the "assignments" for the kids versus the kids doing the work. My dd is scheduled to teach summer school, which, so far, hasn't been canceled. Because most of her class was comprised of kids in the barely passing to below passing basic skills, she is very concerned about the long term and their ability to keep up without the necessary foundational skills. She would have loved to have been able to work with them way more but the principal would not allow - no student was allowed to be given any more time/attention than the next one. This has been very hard on her teacher heart to say the least.
  3. Virginia is off the hook - and just wait because I believe it is going to get worse. It was only about 2 weeks ago in which providers were even offering the antibody testing and the question of the validity of the tests offered haven't even been discussed. I think there are a few labs that have been given approval for accuracy? Virginia was counting people as "new cases" each time the same person tested positive. If a person received a positive result on Monday and then for whatever reason were retested on Wednesday - that counted as 2 new cases for the state. So how many cases does my state really have? They started posting info positive results/number of tests per zip code - my zip equated to 40% of tests. The governor has been very very slow to get the ball rolling here - we are 49th (maybe 50th) in testing but how can that be. VA has always been at the top of all the "good" lists but, as of late, not so much. They are now focusing on providing a lot of free testing to all who want to drive up/walk up - do it yourself testing. There are two free testings events close to me on Monday so I guess by Wednesday/Thursday there will be record numbers of positive cases and the Governor will continue to keep this area locked down. People are done being locked down. The weekends come and the stores that they can shop in are flooded - and so are the parking lots - with used rubber gloves and masks just littered everywhere. Sorry to say but it looks like a third world country. I personally watched two women with their N95 masks and gloves exit Target, load up the car with their purchases and then use hand sanitizer over the gloves they had on and drive off with gloves and masks still on. Also saw a woman spray herself from head to toe with Lysol - a home health care provider ;-( My guess is this lack of testing and creative use of data results further enables the Federal government offices to remain closed so we continue to be unable to get our country moving once again.
  4. I've looked at DIVE numerous times over the years and just couldn't do it. I had a struggling student and just couldn't see it working for them. A lot of people recommend Conceptual Physics and other courses by Hewitt. I know you've cross-posted so perhaps they'll have some other suggestions that might work. I've had great success with the new versions of Apologia. They are now releasing a 3rd edition of Biology (they are offering 25% off at numerous stores across the internet) along with the video component and all the changes have been excellent in the ability to engage more students - those with various LD issues. I know many don't like Apologia - some say not enough rigor, etc. but having had 2 kids succeed thru college and do extremely well in their science courses; it did its job and then some. I do believe that sometimes it can hard to recommend a program/text/etc when dealing with a student with dyslexia because what works for one student is a flop for another because there is so much involved in how the brain processes from one student to the next. So many students with dyslexia typically have other dx that hamper their abilities even further and I've found science choices the hardest to choose.
  5. My dd teaches 2nd grade and she's actually more disappointed that she has only been allowed to give 1 hour on 1 day per week - nothing more. It took a month or more for the county to even allow that much interaction. The first day the kids all came on line 23 out of 26 was great for both the kids and her. They all felt like they had a purpose - even if they aren't allowed to teach anything new. The material must be a review of any already covered topic. She had to mute some mics a few times but it went great. Her biggest complaint - parents were doing the work for the kids - not the student. And you could see them doing it! I guess when they make all work optional, as well as attending the online meeting, people aren't necessarily putting in much effort. And sadly, the troublesome parent(s) before the closing are still the troublesome parent(s) during the closing. One parent was demanding a retake of a bunch of "tests" that she had to rewrite and allow student to take - grades were NOT going to change. She could see where the parent erased the kid's wrong answer and wrote in the correct one. I can't imagine what will happen should they shut down again sometime in the fall. My neighbor's grandchildren who live in the state but a different county have contact each day with their teacher and they text and meet online if they need help with any assignments - much different experience. The grandchildren are enjoying the work and the connection. Some areas are doing a great job and some, not so much. Just a side note but they did tracked down 2 of the 3 students that weren't attending - they had been given laptops and internet to be sure they could interact but parents have chosen not to participate and the 3rd student is missing - the family home is empty.
  6. I had to get creative real fast for my ds who wears hearing aides (and glasses so there is no real estate left behind the ear) and works in a store now requiring all employees to be masked - a shoe lace and the toggle off a pair of old snow boots (sometimes they are inside of coats). He runs the shoe lace through the straps and uses the toggle to secure it.
  7. My ds who works at Target. He makes it his mission for each shift to find that guest that really needs the help. The guest who was trampled on as others rushed in the door that morning to grab up all the paper and cleaning products - usually the elderly man or woman who becomes overwhelmed by the whole experience. They don't have someone to shop for them but had to come anyways. He finds that last package of TP, paper towels, eggs, etc. He gets them checked out quickly and back to their cars. Every shift he touches somebody's life in a positive way.
  8. I'm with the others - read read read. Many moons ago I did AAS with my ASD/dyslexic fellow and while AAS 1 was mostly great, it was very challenging as time went on. It is a great review of phonics skills and these kids tend to need a lot of review but it just seemed too much when I think back. We ended up stopping not far into Level 3 but I should have stopped sooner. Now, I will say that Spelling You See was wonderful in that it got my ds writing and triggered his creative side of the brain. I want to say Level 2 or 3 has a day in which the student uses the words and creates sentences and then can illustrate them - they have a storybook/lined page for them to work on. I didn't do that program as written because he (and his younger brother) wanted more time to write their own sentences which turned into stories and then to illustrate them so I just let them free to do that. I also didn't do the timed narrations, etc. It added stress that wasn't necessary so we just completed the whole paragraph on the last day of the week - no matter how long it took. This just seemed to be a less confrontational way to review the skills and allowed some time for my ds to complete work on his own and it also developed his creative side which I had tried to do with art class, crafts, etc. It opened up a new path in the brain which was very helpful in coping skills - especially now when everyone is so stressed. Note - I will say that All About Reading had a much more pleasant outcome and no where near the meltdowns and great retention.
  9. The Liberty physician? from the health center? If that is so, trust me, he was unable to diagnose an ear infection - twice. After the students returned from break they identified 4 students who had come from NY - they told them they had to go home or be quarantined - 2 went home, 2 went into quarantine. They then identified 7 students that had been around those 4 and told them - go home or go into quarantine. They went into quarantine. None have shown symptoms. None have been tested. There were 3 students - all living off campus that have been tested. 1 negative, 1 positive and 1 still unknown. Only 1 student actually visited that health center with any symptoms and only because he had established a doctor/patient relationship - he is a graduate student who has, since the fall lived off campus. There was a news story by the NYT I believe stating that 11 were sick with symptoms but that just wasn't the case. I'm not in favor or against. Everyone has their own opinions but I do believe there has been a fair amount of false reporting on this situation and it is just fueling panic and anger which isn't helpful to anyone. I've seen one to many stories making its rounds on the internet written by big news corporations that later are proven to be false or exaggerated. As for the new governor's orders - nothing has really changed. This is not going to be a big change on how Liberty is proceeding. People can still go to the stores, etc. and move around but not supposed to be in groups. Should cut down your shopping, etc. No beaches, parks, etc. but these were very same recommendations 2 weeks ago but now the police can be called and they can give you a ticket/fine/jail. After the Governor announced the stay at home orders people got in their cars and headed out to all the stores. I had no seen that much traffic for 2 weeks until 2 hours after that news conference. I had to pick up my ds who works at one of those big box stores and the place was full and people couldn't follow the signs to stand on the round dot to keep your distance, wait until the cashier calls you, etc. Customers were impatient as cashiers tried to wipe down surfaces before the next customer. It sure has brought the worst out in us - in the stores at least.
  10. Perhaps getting more info from the actual source might be helpful: only 1 has tested positive and 1 pending.
  11. My ds works in one of those big nationwide stores (not Walmart) and supplies are low. A truck may come in, they stock it for the morning opening and a line of people are outside (crammed up next to each other! and now they have security spreading out the herd because they can't seem to do it themselves). It is exactly like Black Friday shopping. People run to the paper aisle and goods, etc. and just start grabbing everything. Humans at their worst. There has been no meat in 2 weeks. I've been to 4 stores and absolutely nothing - nothing frozen, nothing fresh. I spoke with a customer service person at one grocery store and they don't have a clue when or if - yesterday I was told they might get a truck but if they don't then it will be another 2 days. I don't live in a small town - but I've heard that small towns actually have supplies. How does this work when we are supposed to be at home as much as possible? Not sure why there is absolutely nothing - other than when the Governor announced schools closed for the year there was yet another big onslaught at the stores and shelves were picked clean. I think you need to be watchful at the number of cases in your area. As they grow in number I believe you'll start to see fewer workers able to come to work. They are either out because they have their own health issues or they are sick. This is on the verge of happening at my ds' location and hiring new employees takes time and training - something they may not have at this point. My ds and my dh both work in areas that are serving our communities. I do worry about them but they've got a job to do - if they don't, then who? My ds has gone above and beyond in trying to help the elderly when they come in to find the items they need. Yesterday they had special hours and an elderly woman was in tears and was so thankful that she could finally get some supplies that she desperately needed. My elderly neighbor, who grew up in the depression times, was making her 2 ply into 1 ply (my ds finally found her TP). I read that so many use or try to use Walmart but my experience at their store has led me to make this the last place to shop. They have been slow to respond to the protocols of cleaning and social distancing. I've yet to see anyone wiping down any surface. Workers were more focused on putting stock out (there was already plenty), and self-checkout lines were absolutely crazy - just a matter of minutes before the one closest to me will have reported cases. There is no way I'd feel confident that proper procedures were being followed if they were preparing an online order; I'd just be bringing it home with me and into my home 😞 I don't have any ideas to offer up. Protocols are changing by the minute and in areas that become centers for the disease will find it harder to function for awhile until they begin to recover but boy is it ever hard to have 2 weeks worth of food in your home and to find it without unnecessarily exposing yourself by having to travel all over town and visit grocery store after grocery store in the hopes of finding just a little gold.
  12. I'm not sure why Liberty has been what seems like the only school in VA not to close for the semester and go to online learning but I've seen a lot of social media complaining about parents wanting refunds for monies spent for the semester for housing and food. At one point, they were telling students that if you didn't have a course that required in-person learning (say nursing, PA - medical field) then they recommended that you not return and finish the courses online. Something changed along the way but not sure what. I will share that my ds graduated from there this past December and most of his senior courses were only offered online so why stay anyways? They had way more offerings and strength in their online courses before it was a "thing" so not sure why the push not to return to that for now. My dd, finishing her Masters at another VA school (GMU), went all online and the students have to be signed in and basically on camera during the full course time. They also tacked on another week of class work to make up for the extra week of Spring break they took to get things in order to teach online. They don't have a big online course system but maybe now they just might develop one. Their student health system is abysmal, to put it nicely. My ds had to visit twice over the 2 years he was there and they couldn't diagnose an ear infection! They would, in no way, be prepared for any kind of outbreak. And the excuse for internet - theirs is shoddy at best but perhaps with much less students using it then it might be able to handle the demand. My only guess is they had issues with the numerous foreign students who are on visas studying at the school; that could be the real issue. They don't have any financial problems as can be seen from their social media posts this week - they showcased two new big buildings (one is a basketball sports complex) they were opening in the Fall. The optics of how this playing out is not good, not good at all. And the Governor closed all elementary/high schools - public and private but didn't say a word about colleges.
  13. I couldn't agree more with what Maize said - because what she describes about her dh is my ds in a nutshell! Couldn't have said it better. I did share with my ds about this conversation and he said "If I didn't have the accommodations I never would have made it through college. There was no way I could work through the exam and finish it, let alone pass it." And, sadly, there were accommodations that should have been provided by professors that were not or were finally honored but not without a lot of fight. At the college level the laws aren't there - yet - they are in the works but it is slow. As far as what happens in the workplace - we as a society can do better for sure but, then again, we could do better when it comes to people with all disabilities seen or unseen. I do think that professors are perhaps getting weary of the numerous MOAs that come from many of these students. I do think it has caused them to be suspicious and, unfortunately, it does affect the student. I can't tell you how many times professors were giving my ds a hard time about accommodations and questioning them because they don't state what the disability is on that paper but once he told them he was hearing impaired most changed their tune. There was the one professor who refused to wear the microphone that would stream into his aides and that did cause a lower score in her course but my ds got tired fighting with the system - because it isn't law. Yes, there is ADA but those accommodations aren't in the ADA. Here in my county in VA (I'm not sure if this is state-wide) they are addressing the issue of the invisible disability and working on options for students to have approved absences because of them. Interesting to note - many employers are now putting "self-identify" on their applications. My dh's workplace has recently asked their workers (already hired) to self-identify any medical/disability needs - definitely something new. I'm undecided if this is good or not. They say they don't discriminate if you have a disability but I'm concerned they then don't even interview you for the job. The hearing-disabled DS has applied to positions and they ask this question and he's truthful and he's heard absolutely nothing which makes you go hmmmm... if everyone is working and get a job why aren't they contacting him. He is applying for jobs that are entry-level using his retail experience along with his degree and he is qualified based on their job descriptions. Now, he does have a retail job that he's held for 5 years while attending college and provided documentation and two no-cost accommodations and they've failed on every front to accommodate and recently have been judging his ability to do the job efficiently/effectively negatively - which is unfair because he can do the job if you, the employer do the right thing (facing the employee when speaking to him would be a great start!). Now, my other ds (ASD) checked that self-identify box and was hired and no one ever asked him if he needed any assistance. He just had the most awesome driver that had to be an answer to prayer!!! (he worked UPS over holidays as driver assistance - something I've written to the company and asked if they could do year-round). People of all disabilities can achieve and overcome if we'd just give them the tools and the opportunities.
  14. Fairfax has fireworks and Manassas has two - and if you go to the one on Signal Hill you experience that one along with the ones going off in Old Town. I've done the DC one a few times with kids - might be hard with a 1 year old because of the lateness and the crowds. Two options - going all the way into DC and yes, it is full of lots and lots and lots of people. Usually there always seems to be a big dangerous rain storm that comes out of nowhere and sends people running - not to scare you but have a plan - know where those museums are so you can shelter quickly. There will be security check points and it will be hot and humid. That time frame is just really very crowded with people but definitely an experience to remember. Other option is to find a place to park in Rosslyn (the Virginia side) by the Iwo Jima monument and enjoy the show. Better yet, see if there is an airbnb in that area because it would allow for much easier access to the city. Many people also finds spots along the side of the Potomac where, if you come super early and bring a picnic, you can find a place to park and be set for the evening but keep in mind -- all those people that came in to the city have to go back out of the city and traffic is BAD but then, so is the metro. I typically waited over an hour before we started the trek back. Traffic is probably the biggest challenge in the area along with parking options. Not sure what you are planning to do in Manassas - I'm having a hard time thinking there's a day's worth of activity and I live there 😉
  15. That is wonderful that you got to spend time with your dd. I'm thinking positive that the professor will give your dd a whole heaping of grace and all will work out - most of them are understanding but there are a few of them that make you shake your head. I've been thinking all day about ideas - especially around using your dd's talents - art. Do you live/have easy access to an art museum where she might be able to work teaching/assisting in a kid's camp? A community center where they offer summer courses might be another option for her to teach/assist. A camp counselor? Sometimes kids that struggle do better when working around young kids as they are much more accepting and form strong bonds which builds confidence. Michaels - the craft store? Hobby Lobby? Some of these even give classes so she could help/teach one and they also do summer drop in courses for kids. I know she loves writing but not coming up with options there - hmmm..... Could she work on a college class online over the summer while working through appointments? This might help if you keep the course load down to 12 credits. She may just need a break from course work, too. It is so hard trying to help these kids. My kids always joke that I'm that mom running along the sidelines from the commercial where the boy is playing football. My oldest finally graduated from college in December - something that 5 years ago we didn't think would or could happen but boy was the road long and winding and a few potholes along the way.
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