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1 hour ago, katilac said:

It's certainly an unproven narrative. I would be delighted if it's proven that children don't spread it, but I'm a little alarmed at how many people seem willing to bet teachers' lives on it. 

Yes. And many of the people who happily latch onto this fully unsupported idea are the same who demand irrefutable proof that wearing a piece of cloth over their mouths helps prevent the virus from spreading before they will agree to wear a mask (and even shun the irrefutable proof as mere opinion). 
 

I shouldn’t be surprised.

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Our society needs kids to be in school.  Our economy sure as hell needs kids in school full time.  Many kids need to be in school, for a wide variety of reasons.   But kids in school is only safe

From my perspective, because of what they've done, crap upon crap happens. Obviously the pandemic itself was out of everyone's control.  But as we have seen around the world, a population's behav

One of our good friends is a family practice physician and they were getting swamped by requests by adults when the mask requirements came out. They got together and unanimously decided their response

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The best solution I have come up with is to keep the middle and high schoolers in distance learning. Hire a lot more elementary teachers and spread elementary age children out across all buildings in a district allowing for social distancing and smaller class sizes. Of course, the government would actually have to fund hiring more elementary teachers because districts don't have that kind of money.

 

I agree. Although nobody likes to actually say it, elementary school is as much childcare as it is schooling for kids. And it serves an important function as childcare. I think we're going to have to open up elementary schools at least half time in most areas (so long as they are not currently experiencing a surge in cases! we'd have to be committed to shutting right back down as soon as cases go over a fairly low threshhold), and special education at all grade levels, but middle and high school is going to have to go primarily distance learning for the duration. It sucks, though we could reduce the suckiness a little by giving up on this idea that all the distance learning should be done via computers (sorry, it's not great, but packets are better than computers in schools where many kids have no consistent online access).

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9 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

I agree. Although nobody likes to actually say it, elementary school is as much childcare as it is schooling for kids. And it serves an important function as childcare. I think we're going to have to open up elementary schools at least half time in most areas (so long as they are not currently experiencing a surge in cases! we'd have to be committed to shutting right back down as soon as cases go over a fairly low threshhold), and special education at all grade levels, but middle and high school is going to have to go primarily distance learning for the duration. It sucks, though we could reduce the suckiness a little by giving up on this idea that all the distance learning should be done via computers (sorry, it's not great, but packets are better than computers in schools where many kids have no consistent online access).

Yes on the packets. My sister went once a week to her elementary students’ homes to drop off packets, pick up work/ return work, and wave through the door. It worked really well and she knows they’ll be ok if things have to go back to distance only.

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I think most kids will be safe from COVID-19 in the sense that it's rare kids die from it. But as far as kids who get COVID-19 and have mild or moderate symptoms, and don't have to go to the ER or a doctor, what are the stats on that?  And what about the kids who get COVID-19 and are still recovering from it or may have permanent issues from it? Even mild symptoms for COVID-19 are not fun. Are severe cases the ones that have to go to the ER? I guess so. Even if kids aren't super spreaders, it seems like there would be some spread at schools--what about the adults who work with kids or drive them to and fro to school (bus drivers, parents etc.). Data is out that sometimes kids with COVID-19 may get non-respiratory symptoms like neurological symptoms. I don't know if the CDC data has been posted already for death stats on ages of people re: COVID-19 but here it is: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku  -- yes deaths are statistically low for kids but nobody wants their kids to be in that statistic.

Then there are the special needs kids who really need to go back to school full-time, like my nephew -- who just won't keep a mask on his face. A hybrid program is a great option for school, but my nephew didn't do well with the emergency virtual learning. I'm glad I don't have to make a decision about how to reopen schools next month.

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We went with online rather than packets.  

I think especially now that surfaces Don’t seem to be primary spread issue, packets would be far better.  

Figuring out the online set up, or trying to do things like upload images to answer some questions was extremely time consuming compared to filling out the answers on a paper packet.

 

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14 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

I agree. Although nobody likes to actually say it, elementary school is as much childcare as it is schooling for kids. And it serves an important function as childcare. I think we're going to have to open up elementary schools at least half time in most areas (so long as they are not currently experiencing a surge in cases! we'd have to be committed to shutting right back down as soon as cases go over a fairly low threshhold), and special education at all grade levels, but middle and high school is going to have to go primarily distance learning for the duration. It sucks, though we could reduce the suckiness a little by giving up on this idea that all the distance learning should be done via computers (sorry, it's not great, but packets are better than computers in schools where many kids have no consistent online access).

 

I like the idea of packets soooo much better for the middle school set than the online only stuff too. I'm resigned to DIYing a hybrid option for him (live instruction online, paper projects/assignments) b/c I don't trust the district to maintain some continuity of learning in the event of sudden closure. *Some* 6-8th graders would be OK learning exclusively online but I'm not sure they're well served by it any more than the elementary set. In the spring, ALL of DS's assignments had to be completed online. There was no actual writing involved in any subject. DS isn't skilled enough with software, apps, or typing so everything took much longer than the teachers anticipated in their plans. An assignment that was supposed to take one hour a day for a week took DS 12 hours with significant help from DH (which is why I told the teacher that was the ONLY assignment you're getting, sorry not sorry). And this is my conscientious A student child. While we plan to work on computer skills, I don't want him spending hours learning how to use the computer when he should be learning the actual subject matter. His outschool math class is MUUUUCH better. He watches the live instruction component, completes the work on paper, and then emails it to the instructor for grading/critiques. This is something he can do independently (and a few reminders). He struggled mightily with Google doc submissions and all of the apps they asked him to use.

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5 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

. He struggled mightily with Google doc submissions and all of the apps they asked him to use.

 

Mine is older and quite good with computers, apps, typing etc — and still struggled with this.

Some assignments never got received apparently.

 then there were things like for a world history comparative religion unit, needing to put symbols for various world religions, it took an hour to try to get just a ✝️ cross image to load onto google classroom assignment page.  Even harder to draw symbols like ☯️ would have been way easier and faster to draw than to upload in that platform.   The physical doing with computer ended up taking hours and hours and was extremely frustrating which was a huge turn off. 

 

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2 hours ago, nrbeckking said:



The best solution I have come up with is to keep the middle and high schoolers in distance learning. Hire a lot more elementary teachers and spread elementary age children out across all buildings in a district allowing for social distancing and smaller class sizes. Of course, the government would actually have to fund hiring more elementary teachers because districts don't have that kind of money.

 

What if a thirty person elementary class was spread into five pods?  Most of these classes (here) have a full time special ed teacher, a full time classroom teacher, and an aide.  Hire two more aides.  Adults rotate between two groups.  Teachers teach, aides supervise seatwork etc. The 1:1 aides stay with their student.

Honestly, I don't half the students will attend.  The families have already found daycare and they aren't going to risk death to get busywork or review work.  They'll stay home and find online coursework at their dcs' instructional level.

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4 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

What if a thirty person elementary class was spread into five pods?  Most of these classes (here) have a full time special ed teacher, a full time classroom teacher, and an aide.  Hire two more aides.  Adults rotate between two groups.  Teachers teach, aides supervise seatwork etc. The 1:1 aides stay with their student.

 

here a class has one teacher, no aide.

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For a typical American High School, where students are changing classes, and have different electives they take, what is the plan for those districts who would have at least some in-person classes when (not if, but when) a student or teacher tests positive for covid?  Does everyone else in every class shared with the positive person have to quarantine for two weeks?  Including the teachers? Do those teachers immediately switch to teaching from home?  Bring in a lot of subs?  If it was a student in a sport or extracurricular, is the whole team/group/coach quarantined?   Seems like just a handful of cases would force the whole school online all of a sudden?

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1 hour ago, MEmama said:

Yes. And many of the people who happily latch onto this fully unsupported idea are the same who demand irrefutable proof that wearing a piece of cloth over their mouths helps prevent the virus from spreading before they will agree to wear a mask (and even shun the irrefutable proof as mere opinion). 
 

I shouldn’t be surprised.

Oh, you must know my neighbor. He's positive that masks don't work and he's angry that his children won't be going back to school full time.

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Just now, GGardner said:

For a typical American High School, where students are changing classes, and have different electives they take, what is the plan for those districts who would have at least some in-person classes when (not if, but when) a student or teacher tests positive for covid?  Does everyone else in every class shared with the positive person have to quarantine for two weeks?  Including the teachers? Do those teachers immediately switch to teaching from home?  Bring in a lot of subs?  If it was a student in a sport or extracurricular, is the whole team/group/coach quarantined?   Seems like just a handful of cases would force the whole school online all of a sudden?

This is why I think middle and high schools, with changing classes and older kids who seem more likely to spread and are not in need of babysitting, need to just be virtual this fall.

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28 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

What if a thirty person elementary class was spread into five pods?  Most of these classes (here) have a full time special ed teacher, a full time classroom teacher, and an aide.  Hire two more aides.  Adults rotate between two groups.  Teachers teach, aides supervise seatwork etc. The 1:1 aides stay with their student.

Honestly, I don't half the students will attend.  The families have already found daycare and they aren't going to risk death to get busywork or review work.  They'll stay home and find online coursework at their dcs' instructional level.

1. Most of the classes here have one teacher in a classroom (although our classes are smaller).

2. Where are they going to find those new aides? I have several teachers on my Facebook page who are already saying they aren't willing to go back and risk their lives and subs are always in short supply. 

3. How are they going to pay those aides when, due to decreased income taxes this year, school funding is being cut?

4. I agree that many students won't go back, so maybe class size won't be such a problem. 

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4 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

1. Most of the classes here have one teacher in a classroom (although our classes are smaller).

2. Where are they going to find those new aides? I have several teachers on my Facebook page who are already saying they aren't willing to go back and risk their lives and subs are always in short supply. 

3. How are they going to pay those aides when, due to decreased income taxes this year, school funding is being cut?

4. I agree that many students won't go back, so maybe class size won't be such a problem. 

Yeah, if we want smaller class sizes and distancing, then we need more teachers.  But instead they're laying teachers and other staff off, and minimizing the concerns of the rest, meaning many of them may just quit.  So where are all these magical adults to run these classrooms coming from?

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6 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

This is why I think middle and high schools, with changing classes and older kids who seem more likely to spread and are not in need of babysitting, need to just be virtual this fall.

My rising senior, who loves his entire high school experience and desperately wishes going back was feasible, agrees it simply must be virtual. There just isn’t any other viable way. 

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8 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

Oh, you must know my neighbor. He's positive that that masks don't work and he's angry that his children won't be going back to school full time.

My neighbor (who thinks "they" are putting "stuff" in vaccines) is wearing a mask - but he's sort of angry at himself for doing it, lol. It's hysterical in this weird way to listen to him try to talk about it. See, he's a chef, and trained in dealing with hygiene, cross contamination, etc. So when this first started, and no one was talking about masks, and they were not at all political, he was the first on wearing a mask, using sanitizer, wiping down groceries, etc. He had a whole system for phone in ziplock, keys in his pocket so he can press the button to open the car door without touching his keys, etc etc. 

Then masks became a topic of conversation. And now, after making such a big deal about wearing a mask and how germs work, he can't back up and stop wearing the mask without looking like an idiot. But you can tell he REALLY wants to, lol. He's SO funny about "I'm wearing a mask, but I don't want anyone telling me to wear a mask, and if I wasn't wearing a mask, I'd get all crazy if you tried to tell me to wear a mask"...but he's wearing one. The mental gymnastics are like a short circuit, lol. 

6 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

This is why I think middle and high schools, with changing classes and older kids who seem more likely to spread and are not in need of babysitting, need to just be virtual this fall.

Yup. I know it isn't ideal, but there is no ideal. If the goal is the economy foremost, and safety for small kids, then we need to prioritize those who need to be there the most. And you know, not have people crowded into bars. 

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2 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, if we want smaller class sizes and distancing, then we need more teachers.  But instead they're laying teachers and other staff off, and minimizing the concerns of the rest, meaning many of them may just quit.  So where are all these magical adults to run these classrooms coming from?

 

From the unemployed, furloughed, and the newly graduated...same people that are working the grocery store stocking at night, delivering groceries in the day, or babysitting in the day.  We could even hire some of the bus drivers, who already have a rapport with students - most are part-timers and would be happy to have additional work hours if it doesn't run them off a benefits cliff.

 

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19 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

This is why I think middle and high schools, with changing classes and older kids who seem more likely to spread and are not in need of babysitting, need to just be virtual this fall.

 

I don't know how middle schools are run where you are, but here students spend nearly the entire day with the same class - they change rooms and teachers, but their classmates stay the same except possibly for an elective or two... which might function as a second pod, where all the kids in the same main elective do ALL their electives together.

In that model, if we switch the electives to be online or done with your primary class, you could still have the middle schoolers attend one or two days, so long as they stay in one room and the teachers move. It's also suboptimal, though.

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27 minutes ago, GGardner said:

For a typical American High School, where students are changing classes, and have different electives they take, what is the plan for those districts who would have at least some in-person classes when (not if, but when) a student or teacher tests positive for covid?  Does everyone else in every class shared with the positive person have to quarantine for two weeks?  Including the teachers? Do those teachers immediately switch to teaching from home?  Bring in a lot of subs?  If it was a student in a sport or extracurricular, is the whole team/group/coach quarantined?   Seems like just a handful of cases would force the whole school online all of a sudden?

We are being told at the university that only people who are within six feet for more than 15 minutes is considered a "contact" that needs to be tested and quarantined.  If planned classroom protocols are followed (I am not saying that I think that will be possible), then theoretically there should not be any "contact" that occurs because of being in the same class.   I don't know if this same reasoning would apply to high schools or not.  

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28 minutes ago, MEmama said:

My rising senior, who loves his entire high school experience and desperately wishes going back was feasible, agrees it simply must be virtual. There just isn’t any other viable way. 

 

This is exactly the conclusion my kiddo came to also. It was a relief not to have to force her.

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42 minutes ago, GGardner said:

For a typical American High School, where students are changing classes, and have different electives they take, what is the plan for those districts who would have at least some in-person classes when (not if, but when) a student or teacher tests positive for covid?  Does everyone else in every class shared with the positive person have to quarantine for two weeks?  Including the teachers? Do those teachers immediately switch to teaching from home?  Bring in a lot of subs?  If it was a student in a sport or extracurricular, is the whole team/group/coach quarantined?   Seems like just a handful of cases would force the whole school online all of a sudden?

 

My county has published a "school closure decision matrix" that says schools will close until further notice in a situation where there's high community spread (there is) and there are 5 or more cases in more than one location. I'm fairly certain, given how many cases we have right now, that they'd find that if they tested everyone on the first day of school and have to immediately shut back down. But of course they're not planning on actually doing any testing, and they claim they're going to open back up in a few weeks with no masks required, no social distancing, and no health screenings at all. I have no clue how they think they're going to stay open any length of time at all. 

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35 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

From the unemployed, furloughed, and the newly graduated...same people that are working the grocery store stocking at night, delivering groceries in the day, or babysitting in the day.  We could even hire some of the bus drivers, who already have a rapport with students - most are part-timers and would be happy to have additional work hours if it doesn't run them off a benefits cliff.

 

I thought people who were arguing for in-person school were saying the kids needed good teaching, as the virtual stuff was just boring worksheets and stuff.

You think under-employed grocery baggers and just graduated teens are going to be the solution to better teaching than virtual?  Have classroom management skills to make sure these kids are maintaining their distance and keeping their masks on while proactively engaging them so they're not bored and acting out?  Who's making the lesson plans?  Who's buying the materials?  Usually it falls on the underpaid teacher, but underpaid temps certainly aren't going to be buying bulk crayons, pencils, and lysol wipes for their classrooms...

Speaking of a benefits cliff, in my state even if you're totally part-time, like a one day a year sub, you have to have 'teacher retirement benefits' taken out of your paycheck instead of social security.  And then if you work enough hours for that to add up, your future SS benefits are dinged, even if you never get any teacher pension.  It's beyond stupid, and one reason I decided (way pre-pandemic) to stop subbing.

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My sister, who is an admin at a highschool, is about to be working in person with 3-4 THOUSAND students, plus 250 staff. 

How anyone can look at Florida's numbers, and the fact that if nothing else, we know teens can spread it, and think that is anything other than bat guano crazy is beyond me. But hey, they are going to put arrows on the floor to make the hallways one way. A bunch of teens will totally do what they are told, right?

INSANE. 

I'm SO scared for her. And, since she has to be there full time, her kids now have to go to school in person, full time, along with all the staff members at all the other schools. 

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When I have seen the possibility of a pod style middle school raised on a local message board, people have reacted with horror at the possibility that it might mean that their honors science kid is in the same room as kids who should be in on level science, or that they might have a semester of art and a semester of music, when they selected two semesters of music.

 

It's middle school. Really, it doesn't matter that much - everything Honors Science kids learn is retaught in high school. Source: BTDT - and seen this with other people's kids as an adult.

Assume most kids in 1 honors class can stand to be in 4 honors classes, divide up the classes that way, call it a freaking day. And tell your music + art kid to suck it up.

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29 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

I don't know how middle schools are run where you are, but here students spend nearly the entire day with the same class - they change rooms and teachers, but their classmates stay the same except possibly for an elective or two... which might function as a second pod, where all the kids in the same main elective do ALL their electives together.

In that model, if we switch the electives to be online or done with your primary class, you could still have the middle schoolers attend one or two days, so long as they stay in one room and the teachers move. It's also suboptimal, though.

Yeah, that's true.  It's been a while since middle school!  When I was that age we did change classes every period and had multiple teachers (it was called jr. high), but stayed mostly with the same kids.  In the local middle school here, there are two classes that share two teachers and one does LA/SS and the other math/science, and they swap halfway through, and only are in the two classrooms other than 'extras'.  So, more mixing than elementary, but possibly doable with some outside-the-box thinking...

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6 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

 

It's middle school. Really, it doesn't matter that much - everything Honors Science kids learn is retaught in high school. Source: BTDT - and seen this with other people's kids as an adult.

Assume most kids in 1 honors class can stand to be in 4 honors classes, divide up the classes that way, call it a freaking day. And tell your music + art kid to suck it up.

 

DS's middle school operates in 'teams', four per grade. There were about 1200 kids/day in the building in three grades. Each team of kids was roughly 75-100 kids. They all share the same teachers for core classes but there were sections for honors, regular, and gifted cohorts. Math/science or English/history were grouped together.

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We were notified yesterday that our school district will be either all online or all in-person instruction. More information to come in a couple of days. I was pinning my hopes on a hybrid option and am now having to readjust my thinking. As much as I dislike it, I think my three high schoolers will be attending full time in person. One needs intervention and has some special ed classes, and I think being his intervention teacher for the entire school year would be a poor choice for both of us (though we did make the remote learning work better than I expected). The other two will also benefit academically and socially by being in the classroom, and homeschooling them in the past was.....let's just say that there are good reasons that we no longer homeschool.

So I guess our risk is going to be greater than I thought it would be. I was really hoping they could just go part time. I'm still worrying about band and choir and art and cheerleading and sports -- all of which one or more of my kids participate in.

My oldest is heading off for her first year of college in a month. The college had a pre-orientation day yesterday, and DD and her roommate took a picture with each other, unmasked and hugging. ACK!!!!!! DH was the parent who went with her, and he said it happened before he could stop it. I don't have much hope for college students to be able to adhere to social distancing rules during their free time, no matter what the classroom rules are.

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7 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

We were notified yesterday that our school district will be either all online or all in-person instruction. More information to come in a couple of days. I was pinning my hopes on a hybrid option and am now having to readjust my thinking. As much as I dislike it, I think my three high schoolers will be attending full time in person. One needs intervention and has some special ed classes, and I think being his intervention teacher for the entire school year would be a poor choice for both of us (though we did make the remote learning work better than I expected). The other two will also benefit academically and socially by being in the classroom, and homeschooling them in the past was.....let's just say that there are good reasons that we no longer homeschool.

So I guess our risk is going to be greater than I thought it would be. I was really hoping they could just go part time. I'm still worrying about band and choir and art and cheerleading and sports -- all of which one or more of my kids participate in.

My oldest is heading off for her first year of college in a month. The college had a pre-orientation day yesterday, and DD and her roommate took a picture with each other, unmasked and hugging. ACK!!!!!! DH was the parent who went with her, and he said it happened before he could stop it. I don't have much hope for college students to be able to adhere to social distancing rules during their free time, no matter what the classroom rules are.

 

Our fall/winter sports are essentially outdoor conditioning only. No competitions. DD only participated in comp. cheer and fall cheer and that's already been ruled out for the year. For the most part, our state and local government are doing a nice job of balancing safety and reopening. Those who want/need in-person school will have access to as much as medical guidance allows. Those who need distance ed can at least have live instruction everyday. They've committed to providing computers and hotspots for those who need them.

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7 minutes ago, kokotg said:

have people seen Georgia tech's new event planning tool? https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu ....in my county, there's a greater than 99% chance that a gathering of 500 people will have at least 1 positive person....so it's  likely that EVERY SCHOOL IN THE COUNTY will start the year with covid cases. 

Wow. 

So, that says a greater than 80% chance of having a Covid positiver person in a group of 25 people in my county. In a group of 100 people there is a greater than 99% chance someone is positive. But hey, schools are opening, and Disney is open!

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Wow. 

So, that says a greater than 80% chance of having a Covid positiver person in a group of 25 people in my county. In a group of 100 people there is a greater than 99% chance someone is positive. But hey, schools are opening, and Disney is open!

"Only" 56% here for 25 people. That's a fairly average class size; my math teacher husband just calculated that that means there's a 1.6% chance that NO ONE in any of his 5 classes will be positive. So there's only a 98.4% chance that he and every one of his students will be exposed every day. 

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Our district announced they will start in person as planned early August. I read the entire plan in the paper and it said that when cases active cases are between .25% of the county population and 1% they will do a blended school with part time virtual and enhanced social distancing. Less than .25% is mostly business as usual with a few modifications and excess of 1% active cases  per county population will be a full closure. Alrighty...well I get out my nifty calculator and the previous day's stats and we are already at .6% and rising.  So even if they opened tomorrow it would be in the blended learning model. But no one is pointing that out. Everyone is "yay! back to normal." 

A friend is a teacher in a neighboring district and she was told if there was one positive identified in a student or staff member the school would shut down for a certain number of days and be deep cleaned. In our district they said a positive test would only be reported to the parents of other children in the affected pod of ten. No closure. 

I am a middle school youth group leader at church and we are starting back the week school starts back. The plan is for small groups of less than ten and masks and social distancing. Our church has been very cautious so I am sure there will be plans in place for safety. I started thinking though that last year I could have a group of ten girls from 5 or six different schools. So even in their pods at school they come together once a week and share all their germs. I'm going to take on a virtual group because it just doesn't seem worth the risk- exposing dd and myself to germs from six different schools when she is homeschooled and otherwise hardly exposed. 

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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

From the unemployed, furloughed, and the newly graduated...same people that are working the grocery store stocking at night, delivering groceries in the day, or babysitting in the day.  We could even hire some of the bus drivers, who already have a rapport with students - most are part-timers and would be happy to have additional work hours if it doesn't run them off a benefits cliff.

I think you're babysitting at that point - which might be needed, but is certainly not going to make for a more robust school year just because it's in person. I also think more people than you might imagine will be reluctant to work in the schools, both because of covid concerns and because, well, if they haven't worked with schools or kids to this point, they probably aren't that interested. 

Recent graduates might be the most willing group, but man, I don't want to be the person supervising a school with tons of first year teachers and inexperienced subs! 

56 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

We are being told at the university that only people who are within six feet for more than 15 minutes is considered a "contact" that needs to be tested and quarantined.  If planned classroom protocols are followed (I am not saying that I think that will be possible), then theoretically there should not be any "contact" that occurs because of being in the same class.   I don't know if this same reasoning would apply to high schools or not.  

Right. Space considerations aside, I do not at all see how a teacher will maintain control of the classroom when they can't walk within 6 feet of students. Even in high school, how is the teacher helping individual students with their work from such a distance? This may be where distance learning has an advantage, the teacher can see each student's work as needed. 

26 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

We were notified yesterday that our school district will be either all online or all in-person instruction.  <snip>

My oldest is heading off for her first year of college in a month. The college had a pre-orientation day yesterday, and DD and her roommate took a picture with each other, unmasked and hugging. ACK!!!!!! DH was the parent who went with her, and he said it happened before he could stop it. I don't have much hope for college students to be able to adhere to social distancing rules during their free time, no matter what the classroom rules are.

Our district is actually offering 3 choices: all in-person, all online, and hybrid. You can change after 9 weeks. 

I wouldn't worry about such a quick contact very much, but . . . yeaaaah, college students are not going to physically distance to six feet apart. I still want them to have classroom protocols, because that can be a much larger number of people/exposures. Even with small classes, multiply that by 5 or 6 and that's a good number of people an individual student might not see otherwise. dd's uni is planning to start in person, and I really hope they can maintain it for at least a couple of months. They already plan to go remote at Thanksgiving. 

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4 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I'm a high school teacher, and before COVID, I would often have students who really really didn't want me in the classroom, open assignments in their gen ed classroom in google docs, so that I could provide help from the special ed classroom. It worked surprisingly well. In my classroom, when my kids were working independently, I would often sit at my desk, and look through kids' google docs to see what teaching points I needed to make, or whose desk to walk by. 

Our high schools are pencil and paper, not Google docs, and I'm sure that's pretty common. We barely have the money for the paper and the pencils, much less devices. 

If you're pulling the babysitting comment from my last post, I said it would be babysitting if the teacher and sub slots are extensively filled with people who have no training or experience. Experienced teachers are often very capable and creative, no doubt, but I was responding to the suggestion that sub slots could easily be filled with the inexperienced. 

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1 hour ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, that's true.  It's been a while since middle school!  When I was that age we did change classes every period and had multiple teachers (it was called jr. high), but stayed mostly with the same kids.  In the local middle school here, there are two classes that share two teachers and one does LA/SS and the other math/science, and they swap halfway through, and only are in the two classrooms other than 'extras'.  So, more mixing than elementary, but possibly doable with some outside-the-box thinking...

That swap is how they do 4th adn 5th grade here. I expect it not to happen this year for my going into 4th grade kid and it sounds like they are going to be running middle school more that way -- cohorts that stay together rather than switching classes.

 

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3 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

From the unemployed, furloughed, and the newly graduated...same people that are working the grocery store stocking at night, delivering groceries in the day, or babysitting in the day.  We could even hire some of the bus drivers, who already have a rapport with students - most are part-timers and would be happy to have additional work hours if it doesn't run them off a benefits cliff.

 

Seems like a good opportunity to start a micro school. One that serves only a few families would be a bonus. There’s soon going to be plenty of commercial space 🥺 to take over. Grouping by 1-2 families and keeping the turnover minimal would be an idea I’d float if I were queen of education. 👸🏻

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7 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Wow, this was hard to read. But it is also true, to a large extent. And I know that there are parents who can't keep their kids home and still provide a roof over their heads or food to eat. Which is a whole other freaking vent. But if everyone who CAN keep kids home, does, at least in hard hit areas like mine were cases are out of control, it would make class sizes smaller, and make it safer for the kids and teachers that DO need to be there. Especially the special needs classes, etc. (which I agree, are their own category and a different consideration)

I posed the following question to 40 people today, representing professional and management roles in corporations, government agencies, and military commands: “Would your company or command have a 12 person, 45 minute meeting in a conference room?”

100% of them said no, they would not. These are some of their answers:

“No. Until further notice we are on Zoom.”
“(Our company) doesn’t allow us in (company space).”
“Oh hell no.”
“No absolutely not.”
“Is there a percentage lower than zero?”
“Something of that size would be virtual.”

We do not even consider putting our office employees into the same situation we are contemplating putting our children into. And let’s drive this point home: there are instances here when commanding officers will not put soldiers, ACTUAL SOLDIERS, into the kind of indoor environment we’re contemplating for our children. 

Yes, dh’s company hasn’t allowed anyone to work onsite since March (they are based in FL) They said they aren’t even going to reconsider things until at least September but aren’t expecting things to change until next year. So, it’s wild to me to think of teachers and students in the school environment any time soon. 

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Our community Facebook page already has people talking about a big party going on with 50+ people, no masks, and lots of drinking at one of the fraternity houses. Also, the adjoining county has a face mask mandate because their numbers are spiking and all of the "can't make me wear a mask" people have decided they'll come to my city. I'm not expecting the numbers of new cases to go down anytime soon.🙁

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5 hours ago, kokotg said:

"Only" 56% here for 25 people. That's a fairly average class size; my math teacher husband just calculated that that means there's a 1.6% chance that NO ONE in any of his 5 classes will be positive. So there's only a 98.4% chance that he and every one of his students will be exposed every day. 

And.... bearing in mind that the CDC says there could actually be 10x the number of cases than have been diagnosed. 

After multiplying case numbers by 10, my math teacher husband just calculated that there's a 14% chance someone at my school in middle of nowhere Maine would have COVID. 

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6 hours ago, Bootsie said:

We are being told at the university that only people who are within six feet for more than 15 minutes is considered a "contact" that needs to be tested and quarantined.  If planned classroom protocols are followed (I am not saying that I think that will be possible), then theoretically there should not be any "contact" that occurs because of being in the same class.   I don't know if this same reasoning would apply to high schools or not.  

This is what the message is here but if the doctors who believe it’s aerosol spread are correct two meters is not enough.  Two metres is effective for droplets.  At least if I understood the doctor that does our coronavirus podcast here is correct.

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And.... bearing in mind that the CDC says there could actually be 10x the number of cases than have been diagnosed. 

After multiplying case numbers by 10, my math teacher husband just calculated that there's a 14% chance someone at my school in middle of nowhere Maine would have COVID. 

 

 

Even using the smaller number, don't forget exponential growth. That's how this disease spreads - exponentially. The trouble is that people are really, really bad at understanding what that means.

I keep telling people - and I've probably posted it here, so bear with me if you've seen it before - about the invasive plant in the lake.

Picture a big lake, and waaaaaay in the corner of the lake there's a small, invasive plant. This plant doubles in size every day, and in 40 days it will cover the entire lake. How many days will it take for it to cover half the lake?

Either this question is amazingly simple for you, or you took a stab and guessed "around 20". There's no math skills needed, only the willingness to think a minute - if the plant doubles in size every day, and it covers the entire lake on day 40, then it covers half the lake on day 39. Most people understand that when told, but when it's presented to them - they guess!

But that's not the important part here. The important part is this. If the plant will take 39 days to cover half the lake, and 40 days to cover the entire lake, how many days does it take to cover just 1% of the lake? I'll answer that one for you - 33 days. It takes 33 days to cover even 1% of the lake. For one month, the plant was so insignificant you couldn't even see it, and then a week later - it's everywhere!

That's coronavirus, in a nutshell. While you're standing there going "Well, we don't have any cases" and "I don't think we have any cases" and "We hardly have any cases", the disease is spreading. Suddenly you're going to look around, and see yourself surrounded.

Which is why you still should avoid unnecessary contact with large groups and wear a gosh-darned mask and face shield when close contact can't be avoided. It's not fun, but just deal with it. If your own grandmother should die, or your husband should get sick, and you didn't take those two reasonable steps, you will never forgive yourself.

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This just came up here on my feed from 9 news in Australia.

Child-to-child transmission of COVID-19 'more apparent' in Victoria

Victoria's Chief Health Officer has warned that extensive testing in the state is revealing that child-to-child transmission of COVID-19 is "more apparent" than first thought.

Professor Brett Sutton said while the instances of transmission among children was not a significant risk, the data was showing that it had a greater prevalence in the community.

.       

"Child to child transmission has become more apparent as we have tested more kids," Professor Sutton said.

READ MORE: Eight employees at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital test positive to COVID-19

"It is still not a significant risk, but some of the earlier evidence was clearly biased by the fact that kids have mild symptoms and they were not being tested.

"We have done much more extensive testing, we have found there are probably more kids that get infected, not necessarily propagating an outbreak, but certainly kids are getting infected when you have a high community levels of transmission."

Professor Sutton made the comments as Victoria moves to remote learning for 700,000 students to reduce contact between school populations.

READ MORE: Almost 700,000 Victorian students to return to remote learning during lockdown

"I think we are at a point with more than 270 cases per day, it is the wrong decision to say here is an additional huge cohort of people moving around metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire," Professor Sutton said.

"The default setting will be for teachers to be at school.

"You will have a number of tasks were teachers and staff will be required to be at school and a number of teachers required to be providing face-to-face teaching.

"The default staff at school, but each school will have the flexibility to have a number of teachers and staff working remotely."

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9 hours ago, katilac said:

It's certainly an unproven narrative. I would be delighted if it's proven that children don't spread it, but I'm a little alarmed at how many people seem willing to bet teachers' lives on it



I get what you’re saying- I do.  But the bolded is a bit dramatic.  Teachers-  like everyone else- can, have and will choose what they are comfortable doing.   They are not commodities that we force into service.  We lost 60% of our income and an entire small business to COVID so I really feel for those who will suffer financial hardship if they aren’t comfortable or cannot returning to work due to safety concerns. 😞 I get it.  More than most.  I am one of the few on WTM who has been severely affected by COVID. so I’ve earned the right to comment on realities.  Teachers, if they don’t want to teacher can pivot like we have been forced to do, and find another path.
 

Life, especially now, is far from easy or perfect.  Our ideals are on hold right now. You can stay at home and wait till everything is safer and more contained and I bless you if that is your choice and option.  But there are some of us who really don’t have any options other than to make this work, try to be safe and find a way forward in this awful situation. Because, we have no other choice. 

I would encourage all of us to start digging more into how can we make this work instead of promoting discussions that favor idealism, “catastrophizing”, politicizing.every.single.thing, and ruminating over worst case scenarios.  I’m not saying be reckless and in denial- but respect that life and time goes forward. And we are all living different realities and have varying perspectives so there is not “perfect” option anymore.  Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!  Time is already going on. It’s been 4 months. We can’t go back and fix or change anything, we can only work from here and try to salvage what we can. 

I feel I have earned the right, having lost our business, tens of thousands of dollars and financial stability, to speak to this from a pretty blunt, base level. YMMV 

 

4 hours ago, Joker said:

Yes, dh’s company hasn’t allowed anyone to work onsite since March (they are based in FL) They said they aren’t even going to reconsider things until at least September but aren’t expecting things to change until next year. So, it’s wild to me to think of teachers and students in the school environment any time soon. 

 

I can imagine it is wild to have that contrast play out in front of you.  Another reality is that there are a LOT of people who have been working on what we have celebrated as the “front lines” this entire time!  For months and months.  People knowingly and repeatedly exposed to germs and doing high volume, prolonged contact, public facing roles.    Airline flight attendants, medical personnel, millions of store employees, mass transit, daycares...the list goes on. 

It’s awesome that your DH can work from home and stay safer.  And presumably hasn’t had a salary disruption. But that has not been the case for millions of households and remote work will never be an option so it’s unrealistic to keep putting that lens in place in these discussions as a viable option. 

My experience has been the opposite of yours so it is not weird at all to think of modified school restarting.  Both my husband and my DD16 are now in high contact public facing jobs....literally doing work so that those who choose, can stay hunkered down. God willing, in September  I will be starting a job in a busy office environment.  Not remote. Not Zoom.  Just regular office with precautions in place. New career path for me- YAY!   
 

My thinking is this..... Either masks, social distancing and hygiene related endeavors help us or they don’t. It really seems they do slow down the spread and minimize prolonged, heavy viral load exposure, so I have no problem making responsible living choices in that context.  Sure everyone won’t be compliant but if I’m trying to stay safe and smart, that’s the only thing I can control. 

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44 minutes ago, LarlaB said:

I can imagine it is wild to have that contrast play out in front of you.  Another reality is that there are a LOT of people who have been working on what we have celebrated as the “front lines” this entire time!  For months and months.  People knowingly and repeatedly exposed to germs and doing high volume, prolonged contact, public facing roles.    Airline flight attendants, medical personnel, millions of store employees, mass transit, daycares...the list goes on. 

I WAS working from home -- but I'm back in the office now. NO WAY in our company would it be acceptable for anyone to work from home full time until 2021.

They are very family friendly and will work with me (Which is better than my husband's job. He works in the testing environment and no one under age 16 is allowed in the building at all). But just working from home until 2021 is not an option.

 

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@LarlaB, what you said. Teachers seemingly are the only workers who can't go back to work and not die in droves, despite the fact that so many have been doing it this entire time. I mean, our state is providing PPE to schools and schools cannot open if students don't have six feet distance between each other in the classroom (and have to wear masks). All classes will be no bigger than half the normal size, either, because of the spacing requirements. If it's honestly too dangerous for teachers to work in that situation, it's too dangerous for just about anyone to work in any industry.

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