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Do you think states should open back up?


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On 4/16/2020 at 12:49 PM, bolt. said:

This article (from a Canadian news source) articulates a Canadian perspective on the US border, and the presumptuous hinting that the USA might simply open it.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/trump-says-canada-s-doing-well-restrictions-at-border-could-ease-soon-1.4898545

It has the US presidential quote, "'Our relationship with Canada is very good -- we'll talk about that. It will be one of the early borders to be released,' the president said. 'Canada's doing well, we're doing well -- so we'll see.'" Followed later in the article with this deadpan analysis: "If indeed the U.S. is anxious to lift the restrictions, the dramatic imbalance in the outbreak's severity in the two countries... could put the [Canadian] federal government in an awkward position."

Which, in short, means that even though the USA might be big, rich, and important to the Canadian economy -- they really can't open our borders without our consent! Canadian policy is not even contemplating economic restarts or cross-border travel for weeks, at least.

We've slowed the spread dramatically, but we are like a kid with our finger in the dam. The coronavirus hasn't gone away: it's on pause. Figuring out how, when (and whether) to gradually release its destructive potential is an important national conversation. It's not going to be dictated by the head-of-state(s) of neighbouring nation(s). Hopefully this is an example of bluster rather than international policy... because it usually is. Even so, I wouldn't like to be the person who has to explain to the US president that he can't just open other country's borders. He can decide whether to allow Canadians into the US. *We* decide whether to allow Americans into Canada.

 

THIS. Governors can do as they choose. They cannot presume that their residents will enjoy freedom of movement outside their borders, particularly if they are not controlling the spread. There's a thread on here about traveling to a funeral. Good luck with that if your state isn't managing the crisis effectively. The lack of a NATIONAL policy may, in fact, create more unpleasant scenes at state borders. This piecemeal approach will put us at a MAJOR disadvantage as the rest of the world begins to resume normal operations (with robust testing and quarantine policies). We will not be able to travel outside the U.S.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

This piecemeal approach will put us at a MAJOR disadvantage as the rest of the world begins to resume normal operations (with robust testing and quarantine policies). We will not be able to travel outside the U.S

I’ve been concerned about this, especially when it comes to the long term.  How will our relationship with the rest of the world be impacted by these decisions.  It seems like almost every country closed sooner than us, stayed closed longer and they all seem to have more control over it.  They all have better testing regiments, better tracing.  It’s going to have an impact, I’m just not savvy enough to see what it will be.  

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On 4/15/2020 at 12:42 AM, MEmama said:

I agree, we are neither shut down nor will anything work effectively if we aren’t on the same page. But Americans, alas, don’t take kindly to being told what to do—even when and sometimes especially if it will hurt them and the ones they care about. And the states are far from united in anything. We are a dysfunctional union, designed that way some 300 years ago and clung to despite all consequences. 
Honestly, for some us “on the inside” it’s as hard to fathom as it must be for you.

To be fair there is a sizable percentage in NZ who feel that the rules don't apply to them and completely ignore the rules. There have been several cases of people having to be rescued after breaking the rules and getting themselves in danger.  I think in some ways though the herd immunity thing applies.  If we can get 90 to 95% to comply even with loud complaints about communism and fascism then we can work round the other 5% or so.  Since the government started talking about stepping back a level (which takes us to similar to the shut states) people have begun to act like it has already happened and the police are having to really clamp down.  I can see having to call out the army for the last few days.

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

 

THIS. Governors can do as they choose. They cannot presume that their residents will enjoy freedom of movement outside their borders, particularly if they are not controlling the spread. There's a thread on here about traveling to a funeral. Good luck with that if your state isn't managing the crisis effectively. The lack of a NATIONAL policy may, in fact, create more unpleasant scenes at state borders. This piecemeal approach will put us at a MAJOR disadvantage as the rest of the world begins to resume normal operations (with robust testing and quarantine policies). We will not be able to travel outside the U.S.

That will be a big shock to Americans. We're the ones who are supposed to stop 'them' from coming to our country, not the other way around. 

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Our Governor announced a little bit of loosening today. 

  • Gardening shops and construction supply shops can reopen for online/phone orders and curbside pickup
  • Landscaping and construction can work in 2 person (max) crews with masks
  • Farmer's markets can open with guidelines to be safe - guidelines haven't been released
  • People in "low contact" businesses can come to work, 2 max at a time. Lawyers, accountants, municipal clerks were mentioned as examples

Our cases have gone down a lot - I think we're at less than 10 new cases a day now and have been for a bit. I think the guidelines are reasonable. I think they're going to keep reassessing to see how things are and how many cases we have. Our parks haven't closed- we're pretty spread out in VT and even in the summer, there are so many outside places to go to walk or hike or swim that it's never crowded, so things have been ok on that front. 

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Do you think states should open back up?  Not yet. I would feel better with widespread testing, quarantining those who test positive, and contact tracing abilities in place.

Do you think it should be done state by state or all states at the same time? I think states should get together in groups. We obviously aren't going to have a national policy because our federal government is refusing to take part in anything.

What do you think should open back up? The first things to open up would be elective surgeries that are elective only in the sense that they are not emergencies. Then any kind of store where you can either phone in an order or order online and they can bring it out to you (no customers actually inside the store). 

What do you think should stay closed? Any places where people are in a confined place for a prolonged period of time (>20 minutes) with close proximity to each other and inadequate ventilation (a classroom would be an ideal example of this)

What modifications do you think should be made if things open back up? Mask wearing any time you are indoors has to be compulsory (at least 80% were wearing masks at the grocery store today!) and maintaining distance. My 24yo works at the grocery store, so I really want everybody wearing masks to keep her and everybody else there safer.

Has your state peaked yet? No. I think we are supposed to peak in 1-2 weeks.

What state are you in? Texas

Does your state have a plan for opening back up? Yes. It isn't awful. He has pretty much opened things up like I said. He closed schools for this semester. 

Is your job (or dh's) been effected by Covid? 26yo is furloughed. 24yo is a grocery store worker and is working full-time and sometimes overtime. 21yo is going to college and has switched to online for the rest of the semester. I am a high school teacher and am teaching through remote learning.

Have you or anyone in your family had Covid? No, but one of the people on staff at my school did. That was well after we were out from spring break, so nobody else at school was exposed.

If your state opens back up, how will you behave?  Stay home, go out to everything, only some things? Still keep outings to a minimum. If school starts up again in the fall with in-person classes, I am going to push for masks for all. I at least need to wear one. I have a heart arrythmia and Covid is supposed to cause havoc with that.

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This week in my world: 2 extended family members died, as well as a family friend. 2 family members are still in care homes with high positive cases. Another family member has been hospitalized. 

While I am on board with increasing retail pick up and more medical services (assuming appropriate precautions are taken), I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would like to open up the possibility of the people from my world traveling into theirs.

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On 4/14/2020 at 10:15 AM, Paige said:

Do you think states will be forced to reduce class sizes in public schools before reopening? 

 

No way to do that in most of our schools.  We already have trailers outside to accommodate the growth.  I think most schools are in similar situations.

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5 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

No way to do that in most of our schools.  We already have trailers outside to accommodate the growth.  I think most schools are in similar situations.

I'm in a high growth area, too. Trailers and year round schedules are the norm. But, if we re-prioritize spending, it could happen. I am truly befuddled sometimes when I think of how consideration for the common good has fallen by the wayside.

Many communities in our area have clubhouses. We have a beautiful clubhouse in our community with one room that has a max capacity of 100 and several smaller rooms. It also has a kitchen and two sets of bathrooms. That could be converted to a small school temporarily and neighborhood children could attend in shifts according to their age or subject with strict cleaning protocols in place. We have several teachers in the neighborhood as well that could be assigned there if there was a way to make it so that they can competently work outside of their specialty, licensed area - lots of remote support for them in learning & organizing new material, for example. This would keep any resulting virus spread in the immediate community instead of the wider city as well.

There are also a lot of privately owned buildings with multiple rooms - churches are one example - they could be used as schools during the week if existing districts are split up to make smaller schools, or even if certain grades were sent to alternative sites with smaller class sizes. Vacant office buildings and even buildings owned by companies that have a work force that could easily work from home could be used. There are dozens of empty to near empty office buildings in our area and even more available if you include companies that keep part or all of their work force home to work. Now, would these schools be able to provide a full day of learning with hot meals, physical education, etc. - probably not in all circumstances. But, it would be better than what is happening now or what could happen if schools are opened indiscriminately. Employing a university model where students attend class two or three days a week and study independently might also be helpful.

There are potential solutions, but we have to think outside the box and we have to realize that striving for the perfect solution can be the enemy of accepting what a good, workable alternative might look like.

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I am more than half expecting my community center to be turned back into a school for the fall (it used to be a high school, and then an elementary school, and then two new schools were built to replace it about 20 years ago, so it became a community facility for classes, sports, etc). It's not a big building-maybe 12 classrooms, a cafetorium, and a gym, plus a few smaller office-type rooms, but if you moved, say, the 5th grade of one school to that building, it would allow small enough class sizes for that grade to allow social distancing, and also give that many classrooms open to separate another grade or two into. If we added temporary walls, the gym could hold a few classes as well-it's big enough to have two full basketball courts.

 

I'm mentally toying with the idea of submitting my resume, just in case they need extra certificated teachers next fall to allow smaller classes. I'm torn because I hadn't planned to ever go back to the school system, and it's DD's senior year. I'd prefer to be at home. But it seems like it might be an area of need, and I just did all the paperwork to renew my license, so I'm good there.

 

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Cross post:

I posted this on the main virus thread, but I would like to see more counties start taking steps like the following. (This is the county in Kansas where our younger daughter goes to college, although she is home now.)

"Johnson County has launched its $400,000 program expanding community testing in order to better collect data on the outbreak of COVID-19. The county is inviting hundreds of randomly selected residents, who are supposed to be representative of the population, to be tested at a drive-thru location.

"Meanwhile, Johnson County has also collected data about the coronavirus outbreak through an online survey, which was available last week. Areola said more than 72,000 people responded, with about 1.5% reporting that they might have symptoms.

"In addition to testing randomly selected residents, this week the county is starting to expand testing for nursing home staff and clients, as well as front-line workers, such as grocery store employees, delivery drivers and first responders."

www.kansascity.com/news/local/article242010356.html

 
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On 4/13/2020 at 9:16 PM, kiwik said:

Based purely in this forum the US doesn't seem to have actually shut.  People are discussing getting take aways, going to Walmart, hiking and a bunch of other things that don't sound very shut down to me.  Also it brings to the forefront how un-united the states are.  Unless you are going to completely shut and patrol state borders and enforce mandatory quarantine there is no point in doing it state by state.  The whole US has to get on the same programme.

They are the size of many European countries. Apples to oranges.

ETA: I see this was addressed well by others earlier on. Nothing to see here...

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On 4/13/2020 at 9:52 PM, Paige said:

I think it is too soon to discuss opening things up. We should open up when we're prepared to handle the risks- when everyone who needs it can have effective PPE, when we have beds and a better idea of what the virus is doing to people and how to treat it, when anyone who wants a test can get it as easily as we get swabbed for flu or strep throat. I'd also really like to know if catching it gives you at least immunity for now or not before reopening.

Those things should be our number one focus in every state. I am tempted to say that if people in N Dakota can say they've met those conditions then they should be able to open up, but I also feel if N Dakota has plenty of PPE for their nurses and they don't need it yet, they should be sending it to NYC, Detroit, and New Orleans, and whoever is in crisis.

I'm uncomfortable with this talk of "peaking." It is not as if once your state peaks and the curve flattens and even zeros out then you are done, over with it, and can relax. It can come right back without continued vigilance and communities should be prepared rather than complacent. Think of it like the Vikings in England- they didn't just raid once, go home, and stay there. People needed to learn and be prepared for the next raid.

The 1918 flu killed more in the second peaks. I'm not a pessimist- I'm a realist. I want to open things back ASAP, but I want it done right, so we don't have to close everything down again next fall or spring! Thinking of opening up without having in place the resources we need to prevent another shutdown makes me itchy. Get the PPE, get the tests and the supplies needed to run the tests, get people ready to have contact tracing be their job, have a plan to make sure exposed people stay put- preferably outside of their homes, and do whatever else the people who know more than me are saying needs to be done. 

If the Yanomami are seeing cases then small town USA cannot be safe. 

I agree about the PPE and testing, but what I've read right from the start said that this was going to managed with a run of opening things up and shutting them back down.
It's like cleaning house when the kids are little - you are going to have to do it again, there is no way to do it so right it won't need to be done again.

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5 hours ago, TechWife said:

I'm in a high growth area, too. Trailers and year round schedules are the norm. But, if we re-prioritize spending, it could happen. I am truly befuddled sometimes when I think of how consideration for the common good has fallen by the wayside.

Many communities in our area have clubhouses. We have a beautiful clubhouse in our community with one room that has a max capacity of 100 and several smaller rooms. It also has a kitchen and two sets of bathrooms. That could be converted to a small school temporarily and neighborhood children could attend in shifts according to their age or subject with strict cleaning protocols in place. We have several teachers in the neighborhood as well that could be assigned there if there was a way to make it so that they can competently work outside of their specialty, licensed area - lots of remote support for them in learning & organizing new material, for example. This would keep any resulting virus spread in the immediate community instead of the wider city as well.

There are also a lot of privately owned buildings with multiple rooms - churches are one example - they could be used as schools during the week if existing districts are split up to make smaller schools, or even if certain grades were sent to alternative sites with smaller class sizes. Vacant office buildings and even buildings owned by companies that have a work force that could easily work from home could be used. There are dozens of empty to near empty office buildings in our area and even more available if you include companies that keep part or all of their work force home to work. Now, would these schools be able to provide a full day of learning with hot meals, physical education, etc. - probably not in all circumstances. But, it would be better than what is happening now or what could happen if schools are opened indiscriminately. Employing a university model where students attend class two or three days a week and study independently might also be helpful.

There are potential solutions, but we have to think outside the box and we have to realize that striving for the perfect solution can be the enemy of accepting what a good, workable alternative might look like.

 

We will never do that.  Cold storage/lunch/transportation issues and the first thing I thought of was liability.  Anyone gets hurt, or an allergic reaction with no nurse on duty.......maybe your area wouldn't worry about those things, but I can see the opposition around here.

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4 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

We will never do that.  Cold storage/lunch/transportation issues and the first thing I thought of was liability.  Anyone gets hurt, or an allergic reaction with no nurse on duty.......maybe your area wouldn't worry about those things, but I can see the opposition around here.

 

Well, I can see all areas worrying about it, but I think that would be an example about the perfect being the enemy of the good. Sometimes good is all we have to go with.

I don't want to make light of your concerns, but I can easily conceive work-arounds for them:

Lunches could be sent from home, insulated carriers provided. Microwaves could be provided in classrooms or not. Kids with assistance in lunch costs could be provided with grocery store credits. Food is needed, not hot food, not perfect food. Also, if hours end up staggered it's possible no one other than teachers would need to eat in the building (although I love the model I've seen in a piece on another country where each classroom has a kitchen and students make  & serve their own lunches - that's a want, not a need).

Insurance addresses liability just like it is now - possibly at an increased cost, which is why re-ordering financial priorities is important.

Medical needs - For allergic reactions we could actually trust the kids that need the epi-pens to carry them on their person, be trained in their use and train teachers and others. We are the only ones stopping ourselves from changing. We could  contract with nearby urgent care centers or ED's to provide care and bill the school system, more complicated than the current model but not completely unreasonable. Or, how about this - someone gets sick, the secretary calls the parent, the parent picks the kid up and take care of him/her. Emergencies always get a 911 call, even if there's a nurse in the building, so that wouldn't change.

IEP's are a huge issue now - there needs to be a serious amount of work done on how to make sure everyone is educated. This may mean hiring more teachers, aids, more specialized equipment - I have no idea. But again, that's where re-prioritizing financial expenditures comes into play.

I went to pick up a prescription this week and realized that there was a new sign on the side of the road identifying the name of the water basin - that's the kind of stuff that can go by the wayside for the purpose of providing education. Many other things we think are necessities could go also - maybe roads don't get repaired as quickly, maybe some roads even get detoured at certain times of the year due to potholes. Maybe if we decentralize schools then fewer school buses will be needed, which would be a huge cost savings for some areas. Maybe if we changed a law that says kids can't cross railroad tracks on their walk to school (true law in my area - one of my friends kids have to ride a bus to the school two blocks from their house because they have to cross a track)) and instead taught kids how to safely cross railroad tracks to get to the school down the block, then we could save transportation costs. There are a ton of things we could do do cut state & local costs and there are also some things we could do to raise money. We would need to get comfortable with change and comfortable with less than perfect.

I'm an idea generator type person, can you tell???

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11 minutes ago, TechWife said:

 

Well, I can see all areas worrying about it, but I think that would be an example about the perfect being the enemy of the good. Sometimes good is all we have to go with.

Insurance addresses liability just like it is now - possibly at an increased cost, which is why re-ordering financial priorities is important. For allergic reactions we could actually trust the kids that need the epi-pens to carry them on their person, be trained in their use and train teachers and others. We are the only ones stopping ourselves from changing.

 

 

 

It seems logical, but logistically, I can see it being a huge deal.

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1 minute ago, DawnM said:

 

It seems logical, but logistically, I can see it being a huge deal.

I edited my post to add a lot of thoughts - you might (or might not) want to review it.

But, yes, some people will make a big deal out of some things - the trick will be not letting them do so at the expense of the common good. It's a mindset as much as anything - and it's hard to teach in our country with an emphasis on individual rights.

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3 minutes ago, TechWife said:

I edited my post to add a lot of thoughts - you might (or might not) want to review it.

But, yes, some people will make a big deal out of some things - the trick will be not letting them do so at the expense of the common good. It's a mindset as much as anything - and it's hard to teach in our country with an emphasis on individual rights.

 

I don't think they are making a big deal out of nothing, they are legitimate concerns.  And there are others.  

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On 4/14/2020 at 9:33 AM, Pawz4me said:

8 in 10 would wait to resume activities after government lifts coronavirus restrictions

That's of course just one poll, but it certainly seems to indicate there's widespread bipartisan support for NOT rushing to re-open.

That matches what I'm seeing here. After 5 weeks of shutdown, the provincial govt. is still reluctant to discuss even partially re-opening in two more weeks. They're saying maybe 2 weeks after that, so four more weeks til even a partial reopen. They might have to shovel the people out of their houses at that point, because the fear I'm seeing would suggest you won't get people participating at much more than 50% levels, regardless.

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49 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

We will never do that.  Cold storage/lunch/transportation issues and the first thing I thought of was liability.  Anyone gets hurt, or an allergic reaction with no nurse on duty.......maybe your area wouldn't worry about those things, but I can see the opposition around here.

We don't have a full time nurse on duty in schools here anyway, unless said school has a class specifically for medically involved kids who require a nurse, as opposed to a trained paraprofessional or CNA. There are a few teachers in every school with epipen and glucogen training, first aid, CPR, etc-usually those teachers who see the entire student body (as a music teacher, I usually was one of the chosen few) . it may not even include the child's classroom teacher unlessthe parents had it written into the IEP/504. 

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41 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

I don't think they are making a big deal out of nothing, they are legitimate concerns.  And there are others.  

I agree. I can only speak for myself, while I am interested in helping others, when it comes to my children I will practically bubble wrap them to keep their environment as safe as possible. The thing I am seeing most people agitated about is how it will affect their kids. In a hyper situation where people are sanitizing boxes, the grocery, mail, washing hands till the skin falls off, people will make a big deal out of nothing. I'll be one of them.

Liabilities are there for a reason, it is because something happened and someone was hurt. I am sure there are scenarios that will be acceptable to people, but they will do it because it suits them, not because of benefitting the common good..  If they are, I have not met them and I am talking about people who buy groceries for their elderly neighbors or make masks for others. People will help out of the goodness of their heart, individuals, but that does not mean they will do something "for the common good" or accept a less than perfect situation because "perfect is the enemy of good". They will find workarounds for their individual families. 

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Yeah, that really won't work. I mean, if we 100% de-funded military spending and spent every penny of that on a temporary coronavirus school situation, then maybe you could do something. I think those ideas contain an extreme minimizing of the cost and effort required - for something that isn't actually effecting many children and may not even be a threat in a year. 

My school district has 10 high schools with an average of 3,300 kids in each, almost 120,000 kids in the entire district - which is just a large sliver of the city, geographically. There is one large and two tiny community centers in this sliver. Only old or rich neighborhoods have clubhouses and most of them are not large at all (they might fit one or two small classrooms). Any large church already has its own private school using those classrooms. There are not many buildings standing empty, and can you imagine the cost to inspect (for mold and other safety issues), cool, and provide power and water to hundreds (it would actually take thousands or tens of thousands of locations to bring class sizes down given the size of the buildings available and the size of the school district) of locations across town?

You are talking about neighborhoods going to school in clubhouses in their own neighborhoods instead of bussing somewhere - but there are TWO elementary schools in my neighborhood, less than a mile away  that serve just my little subdivision, and that is not unusual. How exactly would we double our population of teachers across the entire united states overnight? Many areas already have teacher shortages. Not to mention that by junior high, and high school, one teacher teaches one or two related subjects. How does that work with tiny sequestered classes all over town? My history teachers at that level could not have taught AP math or vice versa. The teachers were specialized. 

I would see half days, block scheduling, or year round school looooong before people start shaking trees that will never yield fruit. Just throwing out random ideas and saying they would work if people just tried hard enough doesn't really make it true. And our district is not unusual. Every district in the city is in a similar situation. The biggest district in the city has double our numbers and extreme poverty.

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3 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

I don't think they are making a big deal out of nothing, they are legitimate concerns.  And there are others.  

I didn’t say the concerns are nothing. They are legitimate. My point is that they are not insurmountable. 

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2 hours ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

Yeah, that really won't work. I mean, if we 100% de-funded military spending and spent every penny of that on a temporary coronavirus school situation, then maybe you could do something. I think those ideas contain an extreme minimizing of the cost and effort required - for something that isn't actually effecting many children and may not even be a threat in a year. 

My school district has 10 high schools with an average of 3,300 kids in each, almost 120,000 kids in the entire district - which is just a large sliver of the city, geographically. There is one large and two tiny community centers in this sliver. Only old or rich neighborhoods have clubhouses and most of them are not large at all (they might fit one or two small classrooms). Any large church already has its own private school using those classrooms. There are not many buildings standing empty, and can you imagine the cost to inspect (for mold and other safety issues), cool, and provide power and water to hundreds (it would actually take thousands or tens of thousands of locations to bring class sizes down given the size of the buildings available and the size of the school district) of locations across town?

You are talking about neighborhoods going to school in clubhouses in their own neighborhoods instead of bussing somewhere - but there are TWO elementary schools in my neighborhood, less than a mile away  that serve just my little subdivision, and that is not unusual. How exactly would we double our population of teachers across the entire united states overnight? Many areas already have teacher shortages. Not to mention that by junior high, and high school, one teacher teaches one or two related subjects. How does that work with tiny sequestered classes all over town? My history teachers at that level could not have taught AP math or vice versa. The teachers were specialized. 

I would see half days, block scheduling, or year round school looooong before people start shaking trees that will never yield fruit. Just throwing out random ideas and saying they would work if people just tried hard enough doesn't really make it true. And our district is not unusual. Every district in the city is in a similar situation. The biggest district in the city has double our numbers and extreme poverty.


im really responding to multiple posts here. My thoughts  are all running together and I’m on my iPad, which I find hard to use multi quote on.  

There’s a lot packed into the responses here and the ideas I threw out are just that, ideas. They won’t work everywhere and may not work anywhere. But, the main thing I’m seeing is the desire to have everything the way it is now. For example, AP classes aren’t a necessary part of a high school education. They are college level courses that can be taken in college. Maybe they should be eliminated for a year or two. College admissions will adjust. The fact that people, me included, don’t see many people would make decisions based upon a common god is part of the problem that got us here. Our propensity as a nation to make decisions that are based on what we think is the best for ourselves and our family is an issue when it comes to solving problems the entire community faces. Not everyone can wrap their kids in bubble wrap. But, those that can do so really shouldn’t stand in the way of those that can’t improving the current situation. Just because I don’t need public school doesn’t mean that I should stand in the way of those who are looking for a solution. We may have a wildly different economy than we had before all of this and cost considerations will be different. Certainly if companies close because hey have lost too much money that will change the real estate landscape. The fact is, when it comes to education, we have a lot of bells and whistles and we still have high language, math and science illiteracy. There are other ways to do things. This is a homeschool board - we know this from experience. 

For those of you who say my ideas won’t work in your area, I believe you. What would work in your area? What is your community like and what can be done to make the situation manageable so that kids can get an education? 

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The problem is I don't think any of the ideas proposed would improve the current situation, even if they were workable. I think they would make it worse in every way. To me, saying "Cut AP classes for a year or two" means you don't care that anyone is actually getting a real education, just that they're back in a daycare situation? It doesn't matter what they're learning or who is teaching them as long as they're in a classroom? You say people here would try to stand in the way of public schoolers looking for a better solution, but no public school parent I know would ever be down with the things you listed for the situation we're in. There would be riots. 

I think that there's a very real chance that there will be viable treatments for this by September and there will be no need to alter school at all. If there was still high concern, I could see every district working with the online public school options so that families who had high risk members or were just very concerned had the ability to get a full public education at home. (For example, my district does not currently have any recognized online options.) I am sure there will be out of work people (or heck, my daughter's gymnastics gym has toyed with it before) willing to be the overseeing adults for a number of children doing online education, but whose parents need to work. Perhaps there could even be a temporary stipend for families that need to pay for care for their online-schooling child. Maybe even a request to parents to use online public schooling next year if their family was able to, to reduce numbers in schools. If it were still more serious, I could see block scheduling for sure with the kids only in 2-3 days per week. I definitely see them canceling specials and eating lunch in their rooms. I could see them adding even more temporary buildings for class size reduction (though how they would get more teachers, I really don't know.) 

I am sure the school board members have their heads together, working on the best solutions they can within reasonable, workable and legal frameworks. I don't think anything I can throw out off the cuff is going to trump what they come up with. I am sure they're going to make a plan and then decide, probably in July, whether they have to put it into action. But they're not going to drop literal billions of dollars they don't have on a poor solution to a temporary problem. 

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6 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

I don't think any of the proposed solutions would work for most areas, and I'm also not OK with throwing away an entire year of education for these kids, unlike so many seem to be. Three hours a day in a class with fifteen (no way will you be able to get smaller than that) eight-year-olds for a year is not an education, especially when you figure in that a lot of those kids will also need to do the material from the last three months of the last year since so many aren't actually doing any new material now. 

 

You don't think 3 hours, with 2nd graders, to cover basic math and literacy, is possible? Then with perhaps more homework? So say, 45 minutes of math instruction and, with extra practice problems sent home. Then spelling/word study/basic grammar for 30-40 minutes. Then time for writing instruction, with students given an assignment to do at home for homework. Youtube videos could be assigned on science and social studies topics and then discussed the next morning. 

8 hours ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

To me, saying "Cut AP classes for a year or two" means you don't care that anyone is actually getting a real education, just that they're back in a daycare situation?

Seriously? Students that don't take AP classes are not getting a real education?

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2 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Seriously? Students that don't take AP classes are not getting a real education?

It depends on the student. In some ways AP classes may be the equivalent to gifted education in high school. If you cut out AP, DE, and other programs intended for advanced and gifted students, then those students will stagnate. 

Maybe the school could try the university model or cottage school styles where they go to school 2 days and do the rest of the work at home. It won’t solve the problem of kids needing full week all day daycare, but it could take a little pressure off if parents can go to work at least 2 days. 

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I think we’ll be in economic gridlock until the schools and daycares can reopen. Parents can’t leave their kids home alone to return to the workforce. I can imagine a scenario where the school year is picked back up for part of the summer and the usual summer child-care infrastructure is all or partially destroyed. 
 

I can also imagine reworking the curriculum so that the lost classroom time is made up over the next few school years; maybe shorter summers for a while? I don’t think it’s possible to space the kids out or do staggered scheduling. That would be a logistical nightmare in populated areas and would require more staff and facilities than we have. 

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9 hours ago, TechWife said:


im really responding to multiple posts here. My thoughts  are all running together and I’m on my iPad, which I find hard to use multi quote on.  

There’s a lot packed into the responses here and the ideas I threw out are just that, ideas. They won’t work everywhere and may not work anywhere. But, the main thing I’m seeing is the desire to have everything the way it is now. For example, AP classes aren’t a necessary part of a high school education. They are college level courses that can be taken in college. Maybe they should be eliminated for a year or two. College admissions will adjust. The fact that people, me included, don’t see many people would make decisions based upon a common god is part of the problem that got us here. Our propensity as a nation to make decisions that are based on what we think is the best for ourselves and our family is an issue when it comes to solving problems the entire community faces. Not everyone can wrap their kids in bubble wrap. But, those that can do so really shouldn’t stand in the way of those that can’t improving the current situation. Just because I don’t need public school doesn’t mean that I should stand in the way of those who are looking for a solution. We may have a wildly different economy than we had before all of this and cost considerations will be different. Certainly if companies close because hey have lost too much money that will change the real estate landscape. The fact is, when it comes to education, we have a lot of bells and whistles and we still have high language, math and science illiteracy. There are other ways to do things. This is a homeschool board - we know this from experience. 

For those of you who say my ideas won’t work in your area, I believe you. What would work in your area? What is your community like and what can be done to make the situation manageable so that kids can get an education? 

I am a public school parent, with a strong possibility of being a homeschool one in the future. We bought our house in a location where school district was the number one deciding factor. We live in a planned community where the HOA would not even open the swimming pool. Our gym which we pay a monthly fee for and has all sorts of wonderful amenities, same case. My state is opening back up slowly, has firm plans to do so, but the schools are closed for the school year. My community is one of the fortunate ones with extremely involved parents, often mothers who have left careers to be SAHM or work part time like me. My husband and I are still deeply involved in the day to day of our children, we do not have teaching degrees, but we both have professional master degrees that will help in fully homeschooling our kids if we need to. But we would not volunteer to teach a class simply because we do not have the skills to teach even in person. We have helped kids of friends and neighbor kids occasionally, but all of these are one on one and not often. I know nothing about these kids learning styles like I know my kids nor do I want the responsibility.

My ISD is conducting seminars for parents whose kids are in AP class. My kids are young, so we have not utilized that service nor have I looked into it. I think many parents are taking more responsibility for their kids education more than they did even if they were involved before. Every one I know is involved, except they are not fully responsible like Homeschooling them. So I expect kids with that type of parents will benefit from that. As for the larger picture, I simply have no clue. I expect school districts with more experience to come up with plans to educate their kids. I just know education for all kids around the world is affected this year and this is one of those that will be getting the short end of the stick until a cure or a vaccine is found. 

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3 hours ago, Paige said:

It depends on the student. In some ways AP classes may be the equivalent to gifted education in high school. If you cut out AP, DE, and other programs intended for advanced and gifted students, then those students will stagnate. 

Maybe the school could try the university model or cottage school styles where they go to school 2 days and do the rest of the work at home. It won’t solve the problem of kids needing full week all day daycare, but it could take a little pressure off if parents can go to work at least 2 days. 

Exactly. In our schools, AP takes the place of GT and Honors classes after 10th grade. Nothing they were offering in regulars classes would have been any kind of education for my classmates and me. Might as well have stayed home. 

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2 minutes ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

Exactly. In our schools, AP takes the place of GT and Honors classes after 10th grade. Nothing they were offering in regulars classes would have been any kind of education for my classmates and me. Might as well have stayed home. 

Maybe students of advanced ability *can* just test-out and stay home. Maybe they can test-out and start college. It would certainly enable the public education system to focus on it's major sociological function: to provide a basic educational service to the majority of citizens and residents in order to allow them to be functional contributing members of society. If, in 10th grade, regular classes have nothing to offer some students... maybe those students have already achieved what is desired.

Providing more than a basic education, helping bright students reach their potential, nurturing their strong academic abilities... that's wonderful. It's a mark of a good society that values and nurtures everyone. I hope lots of places can do it.

But right now, we started from a place of, "We can't safely provide any education at all." We moved to the situation where we can provide emergency distance education to most students, (except in cases where there is a lack of social, familial, or financial capacity for students to receive distance education). From that point, we hope to begin to re-achieve the basic goal of public education: providing a basic educational service in person. A basic educational service is one that can achieve literacy, numerical competence, and some elements of understanding around sociology and physical sciences for everyone. If we can create a system that can do *that* by September, it will be a win.

And that might mean that students who have already achieved that standard won't really benefit from what's on offer in a crisis year. That's unfortunate. I hope fuller forms of education can be offered as soon as possible. In the meantime, something is better than nothing.

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I don't know what the answers are. We have a public school superintendent in our Sunday school class, and on Zoom today, he said the decisions about what to do for this year's graduating class, how to manage the remote schooling, and how to plan for the fall are the most difficult things he has dealt with in his 36 year career.

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So 16 year olds across the country should head off to college this fall, without ever having taken the SAT, looked at colleges, applied to them, gotten a high school diploma? They should all miss out on the rest of their high school experiences (including graduation, homecomings and prom - and these things will certainly be happening two years from now) because they are more academically advanced than their peers? They will be mature enough to handle a college environment (and their parents are ready to pay for it?) There were 40-60 kids in my class of roughly 1000 who would have fit this demographic. And please don't say community college. The freshman-level community college classes here are mostly equivalent to 8th or 9th grade public school classes (I've taken several) and not all colleges accept them. They are a waste of time and money *for the type of student we are talking about.* 

What about those who are in remedial or special education classes? They are not served by the mainstream classes either. Should we drop their education as well?

Thankfully I know no school boards will actually entertain ideas like this. 

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25 minutes ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

So 16 year olds across the country should head off to college this fall, without ever having taken the SAT, looked at colleges, applied to them, gotten a high school diploma? They should all miss out on the rest of their high school experiences (including graduation, homecomings and prom - and these things will certainly be happening two years from now) because they are more academically advanced than their peers? They will be mature enough to handle a college environment (and their parents are ready to pay for it?) There were 40-60 kids in my class of roughly 1000 who would have fit this demographic. And please don't say community college. The freshman-level community college classes here are mostly equivalent to 8th or 9th grade public school classes (I've taken several) and not all colleges accept them. They are a waste of time and money *for the type of student we are talking about.* 

What about those who are in remedial or special education classes? They are not served by the mainstream classes either. Should we drop their education as well?

Thankfully I know no school boards will actually entertain ideas like this. 

It's a worldwide state of emergency. They should stay home, find something useful to do for their community, and carry on their studies under the direction of a parent or mentor. If a college (community or otherwise) wants them, and they want college, and distance learning is working, and the student seems mature enough for the challenge: that might be a useful relationship. If not, then not.

I don't know why it's hard to understand that a pandemic is a damaging thing, and it's going to hurt people. It's a natural disaster. People will suffer. Education will suffer. No one is going to be the same. No one's life is going to be quite the same. It's real.

Of course it's right and good to grieve when good things cease being possible. That's not nothing. But the idea that losses like "high school experiences" (which are window-dressing to education, and not at all common or traditional), the ability to receive post-secondary educational components while in high school at public expense, the freedom to take a certain standardized test, the ability to select from a whole country's worth of post-secondary schools at a whim (and with tours) -- these are serious losses, but not critical. The loss of an entire public education system is a critical loss. The basic public education system needs to be restored first (if it actually turns out to be possible to do even that). Then we can start shifting our focus to advanced cases where students would benefit from learning beyond than the basics. To me, prioritization in an emergency is only sensible.

The American education system, especially the connections and transitions between high school and post secondary schools, is very idiosyncratic. I can see why it suits the American  situation, but it's not an immovable institution. It didn't used to be this way, and it doesn't have to stay this way. Shift it to fit new realities, and you might find out that things are better another way. Or maybe not. Maybe it will take a decade before any student is fully served. Maybe 'high school' won't be for everyone, and college will be for hardly anyone any more. Maybe 16 is the new 'young adulthood'. Who knows?

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I am not educated enough about the public school system in general or community college to make any coherent argument, I just know my ISD and my kid's school. But if I get the gist of the argument we should try to reform the school system during the pandemic crisis because of emergency distance education being inadequate and kids who do well should somehow sacrifice "for the greater good" ?

Well, the greatest good anyone can do right now is just stay put. My oldest is 13 and the public school district we chose with deliberation is quite adequate during these times. This of course with us as parents being vigilant and supplementing things that we found lacking. But we always did that pre-pandemic. The kids who are falling through the cracks now are most probably the ones who were teetering before. Any reform should start, not as a hastily cobbled together online system, but meaningful reform at a time when teachers are not dying of an infectious disease and schools are closed. Now is not the time to do any reform, period or pour money into changing a system. Not when people need PPE, Ventilators and research into finding a cure for this $%%^$&$ Virus. 

But small meaningful steps can be taken, like in places where we know kids are more likely to be the ones whose only meal is in school which is likely in a low income area, perhaps we can give more stimulus money to the parents instead of lunch. There are stories of kids who do not have a computer and have access only to a relative's phone. Perhaps schools can identify them rapidly and a part of the stimulus money can be sent to provide those kids with a basic computer. All these are perhaps nonsensical ideas but I would rather fix a band aid for this short term than try to reform something in a pandemic. We are in survival mode now. 

Suggesting people whose kids just happened to be advantaged because of various reasons to go to college at 16 without any clue as to their maturity or idea about where, major and ask middle class parents who will probably have to pay or the kid will take out loans is outrageous. It is what happens in developing countries. A system of reservation. It is one of the primary reasons if not one of the most common where top talent flees the country. I was one of them. I came to America because there was a place for merit. Yes, I know I am privileged, but we were middle class too and my parents sacrificed to get me here. I am doing to same for my kids and I will be damned if America is going to turn into the same short or long term.

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4 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

I am a public school parent, with a strong possibility of being a homeschool one in the future. We bought our house in a location where school district was the number one deciding factor. We live in a planned community where the HOA would not even open the swimming pool. Our gym which we pay a monthly fee for and has all sorts of wonderful amenities, same case. My state is opening back up slowly, has firm plans to do so, but the schools are closed for the school year. My community is one of the fortunate ones with extremely involved parents, often mothers who have left careers to be SAHM or work part time like me. My husband and I are still deeply involved in the day to day of our children, we do not have teaching degrees, but we both have professional master degrees that will help in fully homeschooling our kids if we need to. But we would not volunteer to teach a class simply because we do not have the skills to teach even in person. We have helped kids of friends and neighbor kids occasionally, but all of these are one on one and not often. I know nothing about these kids learning styles like I know my kids nor do I want the responsibility.

My ISD is conducting seminars for parents whose kids are in AP class. My kids are young, so we have not utilized that service nor have I looked into it. I think many parents are taking more responsibility for their kids education more than they did even if they were involved before. Every one I know is involved, except they are not fully responsible like Homeschooling them. So I expect kids with that type of parents will benefit from that. As for the larger picture, I simply have no clue. I expect school districts with more experience to come up with plans to educate their kids. I just know education for all kids around the world is affected this year and this is one of those that will be getting the short end of the stick until a cure or a vaccine is found. 

 

My friends in Honduras (where they JUST started the school year in February) is thinking the poorer kids they serve are going to end up losing a year of school and having to take the year over next year.  In a lot of these countries, it is normal for kids to drift in and out of school because of family needs so kids are not promoted until they learn the work. So they are already set up without the same outside pressures for kids to be promoted no matter what.

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34 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

I am not educated enough about the public school system in general or community college to make any coherent argument, I just know my ISD and my kid's school. But if I get the gist of the argument we should try to reform the school system during the pandemic crisis because of emergency distance education being inadequate and kids who do well should somehow sacrifice "for the greater good" ?

Well, the greatest good anyone can do right now is just stay put. My oldest is 13 and the public school district we chose with deliberation is quite adequate during these times. This of course with us as parents being vigilant and supplementing things that we found lacking. But we always did that pre-pandemic. The kids who are falling through the cracks now are most probably the ones who were teetering before. Any reform should start, not as a hastily cobbled together online system, but meaningful reform at a time when teachers are not dying of an infectious disease and schools are closed. Now is not the time to do any reform, period or pour money into changing a system. Not when people need PPE, Ventilators and research into finding a cure for this $%%^$&$ Virus. 

But small meaningful steps can be taken, like in places where we know kids are more likely to be the ones whose only meal is in school which is likely in a low income area, perhaps we can give more stimulus money to the parents instead of lunch. There are stories of kids who do not have a computer and have access only to a relative's phone. Perhaps schools can identify them rapidly and a part of the stimulus money can be sent to provide those kids with a basic computer. All these are perhaps nonsensical ideas but I would rather fix a band aid for this short term than try to reform something in a pandemic. We are in survival mode now. 

Suggesting people whose kids just happened to be advantaged because of various reasons to go to college at 16 without any clue as to their maturity or idea about where, major and ask middle class parents who will probably have to pay or the kid will take out loans is outrageous. It is what happens in developing countries. A system of reservation. It is one of the primary reasons if not one of the most common where top talent flees the country. I was one of them. I came to America because there was a place for merit. Yes, I know I am privileged, but we were middle class too and my parents sacrificed to get me here. I am doing to same for my kids and I will be damned if America is going to turn into the same short or long term.

Natural disasters often disrupt countries in this exact manner. I don't think of this ask asking anyone to sacrifice anything -- nor as reforming an existing education system. As of right now, no educational system exists other than emergency distance learning. Anything that starts after this will be a new offering. Whatever will be offered is going to be quite different than what was offered before in significant ways -- because what was offered before no longer meets basic safety requirements. "Going to college" is going to be a completely different thing -- and there's no reason it shouldn't involve bright 16yos in some way (colleges do 'dual enrollment' already) if high school without 'honours' or 'AP' or whatever isn't doing them any good. Or they can poke along in high school and hate it. Or they can learn online for curiosity's sake.

There's nowhere for 'top talent' to flee to. The whole world will be limping for a while. I don't understand why it's outrageous to suggest that it might be a harsh time to be 16 and smarter than average while trying to make the most of a limping-along public education system? It's not a good thing, but what's the alternative? All the same kids as before in all the same buildings, at the same density, with the same staff offering the same courses at the same level of quality? How?

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1 hour ago, bolt. said:

It's a worldwide state of emergency. They should stay home, find something useful to do for their community, and carry on their studies under the direction of a parent or mentor. If a college (community or otherwise) wants them, and they want college, and distance learning is working, and the student seems mature enough for the challenge: that might be a useful relationship. If not, then not.

I don't know why it's hard to understand that a pandemic is a damaging thing, and it's going to hurt people. It's a natural disaster. People will suffer. Education will suffer. No one is going to be the same. No one's life is going to be quite the same. It's real.

Of course it's right and good to grieve when good things cease being possible. That's not nothing. But the idea that losses like "high school experiences" (which are window-dressing to education, and not at all common or traditional), the ability to receive post-secondary educational components while in high school at public expense, the freedom to take a certain standardized test, the ability to select from a whole country's worth of post-secondary schools at a whim (and with tours) -- these are serious losses, but not critical. The loss of an entire public education system is a critical loss. The basic public education system needs to be restored first (if it actually turns out to be possible to do even that). Then we can start shifting our focus to advanced cases where students would benefit from learning beyond than the basics. To me, prioritization in an emergency is only sensible.

The American education system, especially the connections and transitions between high school and post secondary schools, is very idiosyncratic. I can see why it suits the American  situation, but it's not an immovable institution. It didn't used to be this way, and it doesn't have to stay this way. Shift it to fit new realities, and you might find out that things are better another way. Or maybe not. Maybe it will take a decade before any student is fully served. Maybe 'high school' won't be for everyone, and college will be for hardly anyone any more. Maybe 16 is the new 'young adulthood'. Who knows?

I remember listening to an interview years ago and the interviewee advocated for significant changes in American high schools. He claimed that the way high schools were structured (grouping kids age 14 to 18/19 together) was developmentally inappropriate. I can't remember the specifics but it stuck with me because I'd never considered different ways of doing high school. This person advocated smaller schools with more involvement from adults in the community. 

I recall my parents saying that high school used to be only 3 years instead of 4. I'm not sure about that one. 

I've been told that one of the primary reasons high schools are as large as they are is to draw a wide enough student body to support the sporting programs. 

Does high school work for most American kids? Those "high school experiences" that are so highly valued - do they matter to most kids? IDK. I don't think my typical American high school was that great for me and most of the kids I knew. We weren't into sports. There was a pretty strong hierarchy within the school that was almost encouraged by the school itself. I don't think it was healthy for most of us. Kids who were very different were ostracized. Homeschooling was not a thing in those days so those kids had no alternatives. There is something about having all those kids together at those ages that seems to cause that kind of behavior. 

 

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Lemme ask a dumb question.  Why can't kids in "AP" classes actually just participate in the higher grade classes?  Or if they are so smart, why can't they learn the additional info independently?

I care very very much about education, but in a case like the present, something has to give.  I am more concerned about making sure everyone can read and do basic math than spending resources on kids who already have a huge advantage.

Spoken by a person who was a gifted learner and survived a non-tailored education.

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3 hours ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

Exactly. In our schools, AP takes the place of GT and Honors classes after 10th grade. Nothing they were offering in regulars classes would have been any kind of education for my classmates and me. Might as well have stayed home. 

Or do dual enrollment, or graduate early, or take some different classes like a third or fourth language, or Home ec, auto mechanics, an instrument, a computer language, a certificate program,  independent study - the list goes on. 
 

There is more than one way to get an education. There are an infinite number of things to learn about. By requiring education to take place in limited locations and cover limited number of subjects, we are short changing what it means to be an educated person. 

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2 hours ago, Sk8ermaiden said:

So 16 year olds across the country should head off to college this fall, without ever having taken the SAT, looked at colleges, applied to them, gotten a high school diploma? They should all miss out on the rest of their high school experiences (including graduation, homecomings and prom - and these things will certainly be happening two years from now) because they are more academically advanced than their peers? They will be mature enough to handle a college environment (and their parents are ready to pay for it?) There were 40-60 kids in my class of roughly 1000 who would have fit this demographic. And please don't say community college. The freshman-level community college classes here are mostly equivalent to 8th or 9th grade public school classes (I've taken several) and not all colleges accept them. They are a waste of time and money *for the type of student we are talking about.* 

What about those who are in remedial or special education classes? They are not served by the mainstream classes either. Should we drop their education as well?

Thankfully I know no school boards will actually entertain ideas like this. 

In my state, high schools offer dual entry for free, and I would assume that could be continued for those ready for college courses.

I dunno.  Everyone in my family taught themselves, and most of us went to college early (my sister and I were 16).  While I don't see anyone suggesting carting all present smart 11th graders off to college next year, I don't see it as a catastrophe if a kid starts college early, not at all.  I would let my kids do it if they were the motivated type.

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9 minutes ago, bolt. said:

Natural disasters often disrupt countries in this exact manner. I don't think of this ask asking anyone to sacrifice anything -- nor as reforming an existing education system. As of right now, no educational system exists other than emergency distance learning. Anything that starts after this will be a new offering. Whatever will be offered is going to be quite different than what was offered before in significant ways -- because what was offered before no longer meets basic safety requirements. "Going to college" is going to be a completely different thing -- and there's no reason it shouldn't involve bright 16yos in some way (colleges do 'dual enrollment' already) if high school without 'honours' or 'AP' or whatever isn't doing them any good. Or they can poke along in high school and hate it. Or they can learn online for curiosity's sake.

There's nowhere for 'top talent' to flee to. The whole world will be limping for a while. I don't understand why it's outrageous to suggest that it might be a harsh time to be 16 and smarter than average while trying to make the most of a limping-along public education system? It's not a good thing, but what's the alternative? All the same kids as before in all the same buildings, at the same density, with the same staff offering the same courses at the same level of quality? How?

Usually when natural disaster strikes it is in a portion of the world or a country, it has been something people have seen before, other countries send aid, people to rescue, rebuild. Nowhere has the entire world practically shut down and waited in bated breath with no time table. But I do know not only America has issues with kids schooling. I have nieces and nephews in the UK where O and A level exams are cancelled. Their mom was thankful none of them were at that class, they are still doing online classes.

In my native country which is total lockdown with not even Amazon as an essential service, there is no school happening and these nieces and nephews of mine are being taught by their parents, they go to private school which is very common there. During this time they would be sitting for would be called 'Annual Exams' which is the final exam. Not at this time and kids will be promoted or detained based on performance of the whole year. But there are board exams especially for what is called 12th class which will decide what college you go to will have to wait until 10 days after the lockdown is lifted. These are kids that prepare for 2 years for this exam, highly competitive. This is taken by millions of kids all over the country. China has postponed the Gaokao which is the college exam taken by millions. Again kids prepare for years for exam and often live away from home to do so. 

In this environment why should 16 year American kids who can, go to college without a plan in place or preparation ? Because they can ? They should make way for others because their only "crime" was they were more prepared because I don't think intelligence alone will make a person prepare and their parents poured into them ? So we wait. Doing basics. Fixing the system which I completely agree should be done with more care at a time when people are not scrambling.   I don't have the wisdom for the 'How'?, but this is what I would do.

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Another thing - "going to college" may look very different in a few years. Many colleges were already in trouble before COVID19. IIRC the number of American 18 YOs peaked this year. 

Now colleges are facing less kids and cratering foreign enrollments. It's going to be a disaster for many colleges. 

American higher education will look very different in a few years, IMHO. 

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I would also point out that in the big picture, living through Covid changes is not a competitive disadvantage.  All students worldwide are being affected by it.  If it was a matter of a personal crisis preventing my individual kid from taking a test or whatever, that would be a whole different discussion.

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Well to be fair, the alternatives offered have been school districts renting 10s of thousands of outside buildings to put tiny cottage schools together, and dropping appropriate education for everyone in favor of average education for the average student, smart kids can just go to college, never mind if that's actually possible (and special ed kids do what?)  

I don't think in the current climate that any parents are going to be willing to sacrifice their kids' education more than it currently is for this term - and that is what is being asked. I think if, come next August, the United States looked like China or Italy at the height of the pandemic, or like New York looks, parents would still want their kids home, period. If it continues to look like most of the US looks now? They're going to be fine with a modified status quo. Parents here are already planning alterna-proms for July, so I guess that's what I'm looking at and wondering where on earth people think they're going to get support for some of these plans. 

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12 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I remember listening to an interview years ago and the interviewee advocated for significant changes in American high schools. He claimed that the way high schools were structured (grouping kids age 14 to 18/19 together) was developmentally inappropriate. I can't remember the specifics but it stuck with me because I'd never considered different ways of doing high school. This person advocated smaller schools with more involvement from adults in the community. 

I recall my parents saying that high school used to be only 3 years instead of 4. I'm not sure about that one. 

I've been told that one of the primary reasons high schools are as large as they are is to draw a wide enough student body to support the sporting programs. 

Does high school work for most American kids? Those "high school experiences" that are so highly valued - do they matter to most kids? IDK. I don't think my typical American high school was that great for me and most of the kids I knew. We weren't into sports. There was a pretty strong hierarchy within the school that was almost encouraged by the school itself. I don't think it was healthy for most of us. Kids who were very different were ostracized. Homeschooling was not a thing in those days so those kids had no alternatives. There is something about having all those kids together at those ages that seems to cause that kind of behavior. 

 

I agree with developmentally inappropriate, but mainly because of treating older teens like children (or more accurately, like juvenile delinquents).  What a breath of fresh air to go to college at 16 and not have to get permission or forgiveness for using the toilet.  I used to say I would have dropped out of high school if I had not been able to graduate at 16.  I can't imagine putting up with that crap past my 18th birthday.

As for your parents' high school, I know Jr high used to be 7-9 and high school used to be 10-12, so maybe that's what they meant.

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

I would also point out that in the big picture, living through Covid changes is not a competitive disadvantage.  All students worldwide are being affected by it.  If it was a matter of a personal crisis preventing my individual kid from taking a test or whatever, that would be a whole different discussion.

I had the same thought. We've been so focused on making sure our kids can compete globally. Maybe that doesn't matter so much in the future? 

Just now, Sk8ermaiden said:

Well to be fair, the alternatives offered have been school districts renting 10s of thousands of outside buildings to put tiny cottage schools together, and dropping appropriate education for everyone in favor of average education for the average student, smart kids can just go to college, never mind if that's actually possible (and special ed kids do what?)  

I don't think in the current climate that any parents are going to be willing to sacrifice their kids' education more than it currently is for this term - and that is what is being asked. I think if, come next August, the United States looked like China or Italy at the height of the pandemic, or like New York looks, parents would still want their kids home, period. If it continues to look like most of the US looks now? They're going to be fine with a modified status quo. Parents here are already planning alterna-proms for July, so I guess that's what I'm looking at and wondering where on earth people think they're going to get support for some of these plans. 

I would argue that the typical American education already sacrificed most (or many? IDK) kids' education anyway. It's not designed to promote education of the average kid. It's for sports and "that's how it's always been." So how is this so unthinkable now? 

 

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

I agree with developmentally inappropriate, but mainly because of treating older teens like children (or more accurately, like juvenile delinquents).  What a breath of fresh air to go to college at 16 and not have to get permission or forgiveness for using the toilet.  I used to say I would have dropped out of high school if I had not been able to graduate at 16.  I can't imagine putting up with that crap past my 18th birthday.

As for your parents' high school, I know Jr high used to be 7-9 and high school used to be 10-12, so maybe that's what they meant.

It wasn't my parents' generation. IIRC my dad said that his father went to high school for 3 years. I think maybe it was the Junior year that was added during the Great Depression? I did a quick google and couldn't confirm that but it makes sense. Adding an extra year of school during a time of high employment makes sense. Another example of how crises lead to changes? 

Junior high isn't the same in different parts of the country. Some school districts have middle school instead of junior high. 

 

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12 minutes ago, SKL said:

In my state, high schools offer dual entry for free, and I would assume that could be continued for those ready for college courses.

I dunno.  Everyone in my family taught themselves, and most of us went to college early (my sister and I were 16).  While I don't see anyone suggesting carting all present smart 11th graders off to college next year, I don't see it as a catastrophe if a kid starts college early, not at all.  I would let my kids do it if they were the motivated type.

If they were motivated, if they were prepared I would agree.There is nothing wrong in doing college early and in fact that is one of the great things possible in America. If it is not a pandemic year. But we are talking about sending kids off to college because they would ease the burden on a public school system on life support. Where would they go ?How would they do this ? Online ? Why ?  On this very board Jerry Falwell was scolded because he opened up dorms. So why are we sending off "smart" kids to college when their experience will not be the same. Perhaps it may never be the same, but unless a kid is very motivated, no parent is going to explicitly push their 16 year old to college "for the greater good" or ease the burden of the public school system. None of the parents I know anyway, who are good people, who do their share of charity but when it comes to their kids, are more the helicopter/mamabear kind than someone who just lets their go to public school and expects the school to take care of their education.

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