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59 minutes ago, MEmama said:

We finally got a survey from our school department. It was all of six questions, with no opportunity for multiple answers or for comments. I have been consistently impressed with our local district but they have totally dropped the communication ball. According to a news report, we won’t even know any potential plan until August.

I understand there are no absolutes—and shouldn’t be yet with 6 weeks before the start of school—but I have no idea how working parents are supposed to plan for the year ahead. There were no questions about masking or a family’s work situation, nothing much at all beyond will you send your kid this year. Bah. 
 

I hope the powers that be are more thoughtful than they are conveying and that the teachers at least have more information than we do.

Oh, that's stressful. No comment section?! Sorry the questions were so useless.

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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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5 minutes ago, MEmama said:

I guess the people who continue to say they want their kids to get it or who insist they don’t care won’t mind. Something something about personal responsibility. 
 

Maybe a waiver would serve as a wake up call for the majority, though, who obviously want to avoid their children and communities from becoming experiments in this horror show.

I think this one is only for athletic activities etc so like the standard waiver but with a Covid clause added.  Wondering how many schools will go that way though.

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4 minutes ago, Kanin said:

Oh, that's stressful. No comment section?! Sorry the questions were so useless.

Yeah, the complete lack of detail was surprising.

If you by chance come across some super secret insider information about the schools in my town, I’d love to know! Lol

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6 hours ago, kbutton said:

I have a very different perspective than Arctic Mama and live in the same general area of the same state. Our governor is going to have a special address tomorrow evening rather than the regular press conference, our entire corner of the state has cases that are rising rapidly, and multiple counties nearby have rates high enough that they've instituted a mask mandate for those counties. I don't consider our area to be faring well at all. Meanwhile, the sheriff in one of the counties that is supposed to mask made a big production on media saying he isn't going to enforce the mask order (all public health orders are enforced by the health department, which is abundantly clear from past press conferences), and he also basically laid out a blueprint for how to get around the order (he can't ask you about health issues that would lead to not wearing a mask). It was a bunch of grandstanding to thank those who voted him into office, IMO. He laid on a folksy Southern-ish accent and all but winked his way through the whole thing. It was gross.

 

This. We are in Warren County. I have friends in Hamilton and Butler and Clermont Counties (all on mask mandates). We don't have a mask mandate. In Warren County (adjacent to Hamilton and  Butler) there is a general attitude I am noticing on FB of "everything is just fine here" and I see about 10-20% masking in most places.  Even the local leaders are pushing this idea that the pandemic is not really in our county. Testing is really slow now--a friend waited eight days for her test.  People here are questioning the governor's color system and why Butler County is on the warning for purple (the worst case).  Meanwhile, Butler county's data is nearly impossible to navigate--they don't have it on their website for their health district, and the state's website is really frustrating to use to figure out what county specific numbers are.  So some people feel like they are being forced to wear masks unnecessarily, and that the color system is a sham.

My observation based on what ArticMama has said is that her area is just different.  It is not so strange that in a state as large as ours you could have extremely different responses from one county to another. I am glad for ArticMama that she feels safe and that she thinks people in her area are being responsible for the most part.  I am not seeing that in my area the way I would like. 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Kanin said:

Whoa! What ended up happening?

They finally, around 11pm I think, ended up adjourning and said they would reconvene on Friday. Partly that was because one of the board members was having technical difficulties and kept getting kicked out of the meeting. Because yes, the meeting to decide if kids should do in person school was partially virtual, only a few board members were in person, I believe. 

Hours and hours and hours of public comment from teachers, students, pediatricians, lawyers, etc. Only a few (who were saying demonstrably false things about the virus - it's the flu!) were for reopening in person. But...the school board is still saying they have to vote to reopen, because of the state mandate. Personally, I think they need to vote for what is right, and if the state wants to override them, let them do that so the fall out is on them rather than the board. To do otherwise is just hiding behind an excuse. 

Meanwhile next county over (many of my friends are in Seminole county, I shop in Seminole County, etc) voted to have 3 options, including full time in person. I don't think their teachers union is very happy. The teachers are REALLY upset in my county and I'm sure it is the same there - protests have been held, etc. Not only are they worried about the risk to themselves in the classroom, but worried about their children, because if they have to be in the classroom they will have to send their children as well. 

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32 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Yeah, the complete lack of detail was surprising.

If you by chance come across some super secret insider information about the schools in my town, I’d love to know! Lol

Ha, I'll try to snoop! 

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This infographic is being shared constantly by the Florida Department of Heath. Can anyone explain to me how schools are NOT places with crowds, confined spaces, and close conversations? 

I've emailed the county mayor, the school board, the local department of health, and the state education commissioner asking why these guidelines don't apply to schools, and how it is safe to ignore them for 6-7 hours a day, 5 days a week, in a room with 20-35 other people, on a campus of thousands?

 

107902485_3085996684817828_260789333158242577_o.jpg

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Ok, someone explain to me how this wouldn't work, if we as a society wanted it to? (again this is based on an area with uncontrolled spread, thousands of children already infected, summer programs already have positive students as young as 4 years old...etc)

Highschools and middle go to virtual only (other than special education). Have elementary kids do a virtual program, BUT for those that don't have anyone at home to supervise them have an option for them to do virtual, but on campus. Because the middle schools and high schools are empty you can do spread out and use those buildings, to have very small (five kids max) class sizes. Because they are doing work virtually, instead of grouping by grade, group siblings together. That reduces exposure further. And I know you won't have enough teachers, obviously, but because they are doing virtual school you don't need them - just a safe adult to act as an aid, or as they call them in the college level, a "lab assistant" to help kids log in, answer questions, and keep them safe during the day. Wouldn't have to be certified teachers, and could very well count towards credit for education majors if colleges will change their guidelines for that. And it would be easier to find those people both because they wouldn't need any particular certification, and because with a max of 5 kids in a class and often only 2 or 3 sibling groups, , it would be MUCH safer.

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A friend just posted this. https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/?fbclid=IwAR1RqNyPBIFy9QXDJlHCcwzjK0-blYlzJx4bPRrtFTpOvH-utuW_WLU0o1M

This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location (assuming 10:1 ascertainment bias).

The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event

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9 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, someone explain to me how this wouldn't work, if we as a society wanted it to? (again this is based on an area with uncontrolled spread, thousands of children already infected, summer programs already have positive students as young as 4 years old...etc)

Highschools and middle go to virtual only (other than special education). Have elementary kids do a virtual program, BUT for those that don't have anyone at home to supervise them have an option for them to do virtual, but on campus. Because the middle schools and high schools are empty you can do spread out and use those buildings, to have very small (five kids max) class sizes. Because they are doing work virtually, instead of grouping by grade, group siblings together. That reduces exposure further. And I know you won't have enough teachers, obviously, but because they are doing virtual school you don't need them - just a safe adult to act as an aid, or as they call them in the college level, a "lab assistant" to help kids log in, answer questions, and keep them safe during the day. Wouldn't have to be certified teachers, and could very well count towards credit for education majors if colleges will change their guidelines for that. And it would be easier to find those people both because they wouldn't need any particular certification, and because with a max of 5 kids in a class and often only 2 or 3 sibling groups, , it would be MUCH safer.

Brilliant. 

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6 minutes ago, cintinative said:

A friend just posted this. https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/?fbclid=IwAR1RqNyPBIFy9QXDJlHCcwzjK0-blYlzJx4bPRrtFTpOvH-utuW_WLU0o1M

This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location (assuming 10:1 ascertainment bias).

The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event

This is neat! But best viewed on something larger than a phone screen. 

It’s like when you’re selling a house, though; it only takes one buyer for the deal to happen.  

Edited by Seasider too
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3 hours ago, Runningmom80 said:


I’m at the other end of the state in a hotspot and I agree with this. Our area doesn’t even have a lot of testing, it feels like we’re flying blind. (And what you said about your county is why the patchwork mask mandate isn’t going to work.) 

 

The governor wasn't willing to do a patchwork shutdown for the same reason, but all reason is GONE about masks.

We just got the school plan today and have to answer a survey with our decision about school in TWO days. They do mandate masks for students, but only if our county goes up to red level--before that, they are recommended except during group work, which requires them.

2 hours ago, cintinative said:

This. We are in Warren County. I have friends in Hamilton and Butler and Clermont Counties (all on mask mandates). We don't have a mask mandate. In Warren County (adjacent to Hamilton and  Butler) there is a general attitude I am noticing on FB of "everything is just fine here" and I see about 10-20% masking in most places.  Even the local leaders are pushing this idea that the pandemic is not really in our county. Testing is really slow now--a friend waited eight days for her test.  People here are questioning the governor's color system and why Butler County is on the warning for purple (the worst case).  Meanwhile, Butler county's data is nearly impossible to navigate--they don't have it on their website for their health district, and the state's website is really frustrating to use to figure out what county specific numbers are.  So some people feel like they are being forced to wear masks unnecessarily, and that the color system is a sham.

My observation based on what ArticMama has said is that her area is just different.  It is not so strange that in a state as large as ours you could have extremely different responses from one county to another. I am glad for ArticMama that she feels safe and that she thinks people in her area are being responsible for the most part.  I am not seeing that in my area the way I would like. 

I am in Warren County also, but farther north and west, I think. 

I was under the impression that Arctic Mama is in a red county, but maybe she just neighbors it. If she's in the county I think she's in, people are masking more, and stores are being careful. I do shop up there sometimes because it seems like it's less busy/more masks (and some of the stores are still checking people numbers, etc.). I don't really shop locally--my DH does, but I've mostly avoided it.

28 minutes ago, cintinative said:

A friend just posted this. https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/?fbclid=IwAR1RqNyPBIFy9QXDJlHCcwzjK0-blYlzJx4bPRrtFTpOvH-utuW_WLU0o1M

This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location (assuming 10:1 ascertainment bias).

The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event

I can't get this to work. It was on another thread, and I tried it another day also. I am going to PM you about a local crowd if that's okay.

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3 minutes ago, kbutton said:

 

I was under the impression that Arctic Mama is in a red county, but maybe she just neighbors it. 

I think she is in Greene County. They are not red, the last I had checked. I believe Montgomery County is?  You would know better than I do.  😃

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38 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, someone explain to me how this wouldn't work, if we as a society wanted it to? (again this is based on an area with uncontrolled spread, thousands of children already infected, summer programs already have positive students as young as 4 years old...etc)

Highschools and middle go to virtual only (other than special education). Have elementary kids do a virtual program, BUT for those that don't have anyone at home to supervise them have an option for them to do virtual, but on campus. Because the middle schools and high schools are empty you can do spread out and use those buildings, to have very small (five kids max) class sizes. Because they are doing work virtually, instead of grouping by grade, group siblings together. That reduces exposure further. And I know you won't have enough teachers, obviously, but because they are doing virtual school you don't need them - just a safe adult to act as an aid, or as they call them in the college level, a "lab assistant" to help kids log in, answer questions, and keep them safe during the day. Wouldn't have to be certified teachers, and could very well count towards credit for education majors if colleges will change their guidelines for that. And it would be easier to find those people both because they wouldn't need any particular certification, and because with a max of 5 kids in a class and often only 2 or 3 sibling groups, , it would be MUCH safer.

Brilliant!

I feel like the people in power are not being creative, not even trying! This crisis will need creative ideas like yours.

Another positive with the lab is that the adult can pay closer attention to masks and distancing and cleaning etc. since they're not teaching.

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Just now, cintinative said:

I think she is in Greene County. They are not red, the last I had checked. I believe Montgomery County is?  You would know better than I do.  😃

That was my second guess scenario. Greene is far more rural. 

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1 hour ago, cintinative said:

A friend just posted this. https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/?fbclid=IwAR1RqNyPBIFy9QXDJlHCcwzjK0-blYlzJx4bPRrtFTpOvH-utuW_WLU0o1M

This map shows the risk level of attending an event, given the event size and location (assuming 10:1 ascertainment bias).

The risk level is the estimated chance (0-100%) that at least 1 COVID-19 positive individual will be present at an event in a county, given the size of the event

In my county in a class of 25 people risk is over 80%. In a group of 50, it is over 96%. Classes here are about 30 or so, so in between that. And in a group of 100, it is over 99% risk. Our smallest schools have 500 students, our largest have over 4,000 students, plus hundreds more staff. It isn't a matter of if, it is a matter of how many, will be positive. 

37 minutes ago, happi duck said:

Brilliant!

I feel like the people in power are not being creative, not even trying! This crisis will need creative ideas like yours.

Another positive with the lab is that the adult can pay closer attention to masks and distancing and cleaning etc. since they're not teaching.

My biggest gripe is that people keep trying to make old things work, rather than using this as a chance to do something totally new and different. 

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17 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

 

My biggest gripe is that people keep trying to make old things work, rather than using this as a chance to do something totally new and different. 

That or ignoring things that already work.  Hybrid school has kids that take all online classes with a 90 minute lab/study time to get help.  Are we expanding that out to other schools? Nope coming up with whole new online and hybrid options for them. 

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4 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

This infographic is being shared constantly by the Florida Department of Heath. Can anyone explain to me how schools are NOT places with crowds, confined spaces, and close conversations? 

I've emailed the county mayor, the school board, the local department of health, and the state education commissioner asking why these guidelines don't apply to schools, and how it is safe to ignore them for 6-7 hours a day, 5 days a week, in a room with 20-35 other people, on a campus of thousands?

 

107902485_3085996684817828_260789333158242577_o.jpg

Nope... looks like it hits all the three C's to me!

People just don't want it to be true. They want to believe that kids are "extremely low risk," although that isn't the whole story. 

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15 hours ago, Terabith said:

Our school district's plan is either a) 100% virtual, or b) 4 days a week in person with no attempts at social distancing.  

There is, of course, no testing.  They're asking teachers not to come to work sick but are not increasing sick leave.  

Because of transportation issues, elementary schools will go either 7-2 or 8-3 (half do 7-2; the other half of the elementary schools do 8-3).  High schools do 9-4, and middle schools do 10-5.  

Everyone does virtual learning on Fridays.  

I fail to see how the in person plan solves the need for child care for families.  

https://www.nbc12.com/2020/07/14/rps-approves-fully-virtual-learning-first-semester-this-fall/

Richmond is fully virtual for the first semester. I'm interested in seeing what Harrisonburg and Rockingham County do-they have a really, really large ELL population, which made virtual even more difficult in the Spring.

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Just now, dmmetler said:

https://www.nbc12.com/2020/07/14/rps-approves-fully-virtual-learning-first-semester-this-fall/

Richmond is fully virtual for the first semester. I'm interested in seeing what Harrisonburg and Rockingham County do-they have a really, really large ELL population, which made virtual even more difficult in the Spring.

I'm thinking we're going to have to do the virtual option.  But I would like to know if she can still take the courses she chose, particularly the foreign language, or if you're stuck with just the basics.  

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3 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I'm thinking we're going to have to do the virtual option.  But I would like to know if she can still take the courses she chose, particularly the foreign language, or if you're stuck with just the basics.  

 

In our greater Hampton Roads area, the district will be offering all/most of the regular electives online, including languages. Only select ones, like construction/engineering/auto mechanical stuff that require hands on work will not be available. This is a major improvement over VAVA tho b/c a 4x4 schedule will be available and students' existing course placements (honors, AP, etc) will be preserved.

Edited by Sneezyone
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Just now, Sneezyone said:

 

In our greater Hampton Roads area, the district will be offering all/most of the regular electives online, including languages. Only select ones, like construction/engineering/auto mechanical stuff that require hands on work will not be available.

That would be good.  

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5 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

They finally, around 11pm I think, ended up adjourning and said they would reconvene on Friday. Partly that was because one of the board members was having technical difficulties and kept getting kicked out of the meeting. Because yes, the meeting to decide if kids should do in person school was partially virtual, only a few board members were in person, I believe. 

Hours and hours and hours of public comment from teachers, students, pediatricians, lawyers, etc. Only a few (who were saying demonstrably false things about the virus - it's the flu!) were for reopening in person. But...the school board is still saying they have to vote to reopen, because of the state mandate. Personally, I think they need to vote for what is right, and if the state wants to override them, let them do that so the fall out is on them rather than the board. To do otherwise is just hiding behind an excuse. 

Meanwhile next county over (many of my friends are in Seminole county, I shop in Seminole County, etc) voted to have 3 options, including full time in person. I don't think their teachers union is very happy. The teachers are REALLY upset in my county and I'm sure it is the same there - protests have been held, etc. Not only are they worried about the risk to themselves in the classroom, but worried about their children, because if they have to be in the classroom they will have to send their children as well. 

Still praying. I wish politicians vote for what is right. We did what we could for our child which is virtual academy PS and are in planning stages to help out as much as we can virtually others.

I am saying the Serenity prayer over and over again for wisdom for things I can control and I cannot. Somedays I just despair at what is happening and pretend I am living on a private island with shark infested waters to keep the world at bay. But we cannot, it is frustrating to see deliberate actions which are callous however you spin it. So I pray for God to break hard hearts for I think wisdom and advice is there, people in power just do not want to see it and do the right thing. No one is pretending any of it is an easy or non-crappy decision. But. I am beyond giving "the benefit of the doubt" for it is obvious to me as the nose on my face people are not willing to do the right thing. Praying.

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7 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

Here's the plan for my local district-virtual or in person for elementary and middle, hybrid or virtual for high school, for the first 9 weeks. Face masks not required in classrooms, but are required in buses and shared spaces.

 

https://4.files.edl.io/f311/07/15/20/162045-781d1764-4c90-4ae6-afe3-3808e25e9609.pdf 

I really don't understand not requiring masks in high school classrooms, especially, where they're switching around all day long. Does anyone follow that logic? You're in much more sustained contact in a classroom than in a hallway. (Our district isn't requiring masks for students anywhere, but it does say it's encouraging them but that there will be "masks down" zones, like classrooms. I don't get it).

 

Edited by kokotg
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4 minutes ago, kokotg said:

I really don't understand not requiring masks in high school classrooms, especially, where they're switching around all day long. Does anyone follow that logic? You're in much more sustained contact in a classroom than in a hallway. (Our district isn't requiring masks for students anywhere, but it does say it's encouraging them but that there will be "masks down" zones, like classrooms. I don't get it).

 

I don't get not requiring them in classrooms in general. Even though students may be at individual desks, it doesn't mean teachers aren't traveling between them.

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11 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

I don't get not requiring them in classrooms in general. Even though students may be at individual desks, it doesn't mean teachers aren't traveling between them.

Yeah, definitely....in an elementary school classroom where kids are staying in one place all day, though, I can at least understand the logic, even though I strongly disagree with it (if you tested everyone when they got to school and then didn't let them go home again until the school year was over, it might make sense)....I imagine it's some kind of half-hearted attempt to duplicate the model they've seen in some other countries (Denmark, I think?) where they're doing very small cohorts of like 10 kids who stay together all the time. But in high school (and most middle schools, too, probably) you're just reducing things to "only" being in maskless close contact with 150 or so different people a day.

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2 minutes ago, kokotg said:

Yeah, definitely....in an elementary school classroom where kids are staying in one place all day, though, I can at least understand the logic, even though I strongly disagree with it (if you tested everyone when they got to school and then didn't let them go home again until the school year was over, it might make sense)....I imagine it's some kind of half-hearted attempt to duplicate the model they've seen in some other countries (Denmark, I think?) where they're doing very small cohorts of like 10 kids who stay together all the time. But in high school (and most middle schools, too, probably) you're just reducing things to "only" being in maskless close contact with 150 or so different people a day.

Ah it sounds like they are going to run our middle schools more like elementary though -- keeping cohorts of kids together and they wear masks when they aren't with that cohort. (When they finally open in person. For now they are starting 100% virtual until after September 7)

 

 

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1 minute ago, vonfirmath said:

Ah it sounds like they are going to run our middle schools more like elementary though -- keeping cohorts of kids together and they wear masks when they aren't with that cohort. (When they finally open in person. For now they are starting 100% virtual until after September 7)

 

 

Our district is not doing...anything like that.

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Y’all.
A CHOP doctor just said - out loud - on the PA state briefing - that teachers should feel just as comfortable heading back into schools this fall as the doctors and nurses at CHOP do going to work.

First off, I know countless doctors and nurses who are NOT OKAY with their working conditions!!!
Second, I’m just completely sick of paying lip service to teachers. Quit acting like they’re invincible superheros while paying most of them poverty wages. Go talk to a few instead of pretending they’re all ready to march in fearlessly. 

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15 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

Y’all.
A CHOP doctor just said - out loud - on the PA state briefing - that teachers should feel just as comfortable heading back into schools this fall as the doctors and nurses at CHOP do going to work.

First off, I know countless doctors and nurses who are NOT OKAY with their working conditions!!!
Second, I’m just completely sick of paying lip service to teachers. Quit acting like they’re invincible superheros while paying most of them poverty wages. Go talk to a few instead of pretending they’re all ready to march in fearlessly. 

Plus, doctors and nurses have PPE that teachers will not have.  

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Just now, Terabith said:

Plus, doctors and nurses have PPE that teachers will not have.  

And even doctors and nurses aren't stuck in a room with a sick person for 7 hours at a time - they come in, they do their thing, and they're back out of the room, usually in minutes.

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25 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

Y’all.
A CHOP doctor just said - out loud - on the PA state briefing - that teachers should feel just as comfortable heading back into schools this fall as the doctors and nurses at CHOP do going to work.

First off, I know countless doctors and nurses who are NOT OKAY with their working conditions!!!
Second, I’m just completely sick of paying lip service to teachers. Quit acting like they’re invincible superheros while paying most of them poverty wages. Go talk to a few instead of pretending they’re all ready to march in fearlessly. 

I’ve alreadt said that when the powers that be start praising your essential-ness it just means that they know and don’t care that you’re being sacrificed to the almighty dollar( and vote)

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5 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

In my county in a class of 25 people risk is over 80%. In a group of 50, it is over 96%. Classes here are about 30 or so, so in between that. And in a group of 100, it is over 99% risk. Our smallest schools have 500 students, our largest have over 4,000 students, plus hundreds more staff. It isn't a matter of if, it is a matter of how many, will be positive. 

My biggest gripe is that people keep trying to make old things work, rather than using this as a chance to do something totally new and different. 

Those are really crappy odds.  My county had 32% odds for a group of 100, 9% odds for a group of 25, only 4% for a group of 10.  

My local school district is offering a tentative plan so far since the state is making another announcement August 1st.  All scenarios require masks if can't be 6 feet apart, unless medically unable (required by the state).   Their most likely plan is 1/2 days five days a week to avoid eating lunch in school, allow extra time for cleaning, and teachers can use the extra time to assist kids who need extra help.

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22 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

Those are really crappy odds.  My county had 32% odds for a group of 100, 9% odds for a group of 25, only 4% for a group of 10.  

My local school district is offering a tentative plan so far since the state is making another announcement August 1st.  All scenarios require masks if can't be 6 feet apart, unless medically unable (required by the state).   Their most likely plan is 1/2 days five days a week to avoid eating lunch in school, allow extra time for cleaning, and teachers can use the extra time to assist kids who need extra help.

It seems that by the time you drop the kid off and then have to head back to pick them up, you wouldn't really be able to work even part time, if kids are in half day programs. So I don't see how that helps working families at all anyway. 

But it does show that things are really different in different areas. At 80% risk in a class of 25, I cannot see how they are justifying it being safe to be in class for a full day, including eating lunch in the classroom with masks off. . 

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

Y’all.
A CHOP doctor just said - out loud - on the PA state briefing - that teachers should feel just as comfortable heading back into schools this fall as the doctors and nurses at CHOP do going to work.

First off, I know countless doctors and nurses who are NOT OKAY with their working conditions!!!
Second, I’m just completely sick of paying lip service to teachers. Quit acting like they’re invincible superheros while paying most of them poverty wages. Go talk to a few instead of pretending they’re all ready to march in fearlessly. 

Honestly both our children’s hospital and the teachers directly involved in teaching my two public school kids are fine with going back and want to, and the hospital is one of the more I worried places I’ve seen because of the encouraging numbers even among more medically complex kids like my own.

I don’t think teachers should have to go back if they’re afraid for their health, there should be some options available, especially if we need teachers helping virtually too. I think teachers who express those concerns could be first in line to do the online content for a given grade or subject. 

Teachers aren’t monolithic in this topic, doctors aren’t, and honestly everyone can and should be able to choose whether to work somewhere else if they’re uncomfortable with the situation at their place of employment, zero judgment. Everyone has their own risk factors to consider, which is why our two main teachers and aides are cool going back - lower risk, healthy adults with fairly small classes that really need in person assistance. Not every class has that same thing going on though.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

 

I don’t think teachers should have to go back if they’re afraid for their health, there should be some options available, especially if we need teachers helping virtually too. I think teachers who express those concerns could be first in line to do the online content for a given grade or subject. 

Agreed, although right now the teachers are saying there are no openings in our virtual program, as of yet. Those that come up are snapped up immediately. That will hopefully change as they get a feel for how many will be doing virtual, but they will literally have a week or two to figure that out - people have until July 31st to sign up for virtual. 

And of course, the administrators are not given a virtual option, or the other staff. 

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1 hour ago, Carrie12345 said:

Y’all.
A CHOP doctor just said - out loud - on the PA state briefing - that teachers should feel just as comfortable heading back into schools this fall as the doctors and nurses at CHOP do going to work.

First off, I know countless doctors and nurses who are NOT OKAY with their working conditions!!!
Second, I’m just completely sick of paying lip service to teachers. Quit acting like they’re invincible superheros while paying most of them poverty wages. Go talk to a few instead of pretending they’re all ready to march in fearlessly. 

The PS teacher next door to me is sad and scared for all her kids that she won't see in person next year and is not afraid of covid. She thinks kids need to be back in school. Her concerns are more like, if they require the same person to be with the kids all day how she will go to the bathroom or take a lunch break. Her concerns are not about covid, but most of her kids struggle enough to get an education when they are in school. She doesn't think a semester or year at home is recoverable for most of them in the sense that they won't really catch up. This is the one teacher I know on person. A ped I follow on Twitter has much the same issue as the dr you mention above and would send his own kids to school if he could. Teachers & Drs are not monolithic on this issue.

I think the larger point the doctor was making is that pediatricians (among others) have been going to work with kids this whole time, close contact, dozens of kids, sick or well, day in, day out. The dr I mentioned above wasn't even taking a salary during this time because of appointment cancelations. We obviously don't think of those people as expendable, rather that their jobs are essential to keep society functioning on some level. Those two ideas can conflict, but are not the same thing.

I have been following this thread, and one thing I keep coming back to is that it does seem weird to me that teachers somehow get special dispensation over tons and tons of essential workers that have to show in person (including daycare workers if the teachers don't come back for in person instruction, right?). It is an interesting commentary on our current system of education maybe that we have decided school isn't essential, or at least not daily, in-person instruction from a licensed professional. Or a commentary on the demographics of this board where people know how to give and are committed to providing a solid education for their kids outside of a brick and mortar school so don't see an issue with have a semester or two out of the classroom.

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In case you guys are interested in what's happening in NorCal, our district just announced the following plan:

Full remote learning to start the school year with the hope to phase in on campus starting in September.

K-8 families have the option of electing to go remote for the full school year. They must commit to the full year up front.

High schools will return to a 4x4 schedule which is university style, up to 4 classes per semester, taken only for a semester each.These classes will meet more often. 

Middle schoolers will do the same with a 3x3 schedule. 

They're still working on a full year remote option for high school.

 

Practically, I get the point of the 4x4 schedule but I'm really concerned about them shoving a year's worth of content into one semester. I think this will be fine for some classes (English and History) but I'm concerned about math, foreign language, and science. I also wonder about the AP classes, where they're going to need to be test ready a full semester after the content.

 

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29 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

It seems that by the time you drop the kid off and then have to head back to pick them up, you wouldn't really be able to work even part time, if kids are in half day programs. So I don't see how that helps working families at all anyway. 

But it does show that things are really different in different areas. At 80% risk in a class of 25, I cannot see how they are justifying it being safe to be in class for a full day, including eating lunch in the classroom with masks off. . 

Yeah, it's certainly not ideal.  Although if it's going to work anywhere my district is probably a place to try it.   Small K-8 school, fairly wealthy town in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, lots of SAHMs, less than 0.5% free/reduced lunch, 10:1 ratio students to teachers, median teacher income of $65,000.    I know our local Y is going to expand their afterschool program for the schools.  

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45 minutes ago, EmseB said:

 

I think the larger point the doctor was making is that pediatricians (among others) have been going to work with kids this whole time, close contact, dozens of kids, sick or well, day in, day out.  

I have been following this thread, and one thing I keep coming back to is that it does seem weird to me that teachers somehow get special dispensation over tons and tons of essential workers that have to show in person (including daycare workers if the teachers don't come back for in person instruction, right?). It is an interesting commentary on our current system of education maybe that we have decided school isn't essential, or at least not daily, in-person instruction from a licensed professional. Or a commentary on the demographics of this board where people know how to give and are committed to providing a solid education for their kids outside of a brick and mortar school so don't see an issue with have a semester or two out of the classroom.

One kid at a time, each kid in a different room, sanitizing each room between uses. All the doctors I am aware of are also letting a set amount of time pass in between using each room; when Patient A exits the room, they do not usher in Patient B right after sanitizing. 

I think it's less that teachers are being viewed differently and more that schools are being viewed differently, and for good reason. It seems to be becoming more and more clear that avoiding the "3 C's" is crucial to containing covid. The short version: closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings. The longer version: closed spaces (with poor ventilation), crowded spaces (with many people nearby), close-contact settings (such as close-range conversations). 

The 3 C's couldn't describe a typical school any better if it were intended. They are closed spaces and the vast majority have poor ventilation. They are crowded spaces with many people nearby; the plans to improve this are often half-hearted and sometimes non-existent. Close-contact settings; a typical classroom is the epitome of a close-contact setting, with many close-range conversations and other interactions. Some people have posted that their district's version of physically distancing students is to . . . have the desks arranged exactly as they are already. There are districts who are not requiring or even recommending masks. 

Schools are a perfect fit to the 3 C's in ways that most other professions aren't, even before you address special needs classrooms where physical distancing from students will be impossible. Most grocery stores are quite sizable, with high ceilings, plexiglass barriers were put in place, number of customers limited, sanitation was increased. Restaurants also also less crowded spaces than classrooms, even before capacity is limited, and the server doesn't stand by the table for an hour while the customers eat - they can be much farther away than a teacher can be from their students. My dd works in a small local restaurant, and this is true even there. 

Many people, including leaders of states and of the country, and including the national secretary of education, are vocally opposed to one of the most sensible ways to reduce risks at schools: offer a distance learning alternative, and at least reduce the number of students and provide a safe alternative to those who may be at more risk. Many people fiercely oppose masks. And I think a few of us have mentioned on this thread already: there are teachers who have to buy pencils for their class, there are bathrooms which routinely lack soap, and we just don't have faith that anyone is actually going to do all the things recommended to keep teachers and students safe. Not just teachers, let's remember that people who are worried about schools are worried about the students as well! And, y'know, the entire rest of the community, because an outbreak at a school will not remain confined to that school. 

I certainly hope that I am wrong and that schools that disregard protocols don't cause severe outbreaks. And I hope that every single student has a clean classroom and soap to wash their hands and pencils to write with . . . although, if those things can absolutely be provided in the fall, it does beg the question of why they haven't been provided in the past. 

Edited by katilac
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51 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

It seems that by the time you drop the kid off and then have to head back to pick them up, you wouldn't really be able to work even part time, if kids are in half day programs. So I don't see how that helps working families at all anyway. 

 

I did 1/2 day kinder with my 1st.  I said never again.  I felt like I was always running around like a chicken with my head cut off and I only lived 1/2 mile from the school. As soon as I got home and started doing something it was time to go pick her up.  Forget having to run an errand anywhere.  IMO 1/2 day would be more disruptive to parents/kids thank 2 days on, 3 days off.  

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1 hour ago, Arctic Mama said:

I don’t think teachers should have to go back if they’re afraid for their health, there should be some options available, especially if we need teachers helping virtually too. I think teachers who express those concerns could be first in line to do the online content for a given grade or subject. 

We received guidance from our district today that if we, as teachers, feel like we're at risk that we need to get confirmation from our Dr. (totally ok with this) and then the administrative team will meet to decide if they think we're at risk. I'm honestly a little surprised at how tone deaf the email we got today was. I usually agree with our superintendent on most things and she is a lovely, compassionate person. But, as of right now, everything is opening on time and in person. She doesn't anticipate the need for any closures this year (not sure how she can know that without a crystal ball) and if school staff have kids in different districts that are closed, we will need to sort that out on our own time. 

 

All this as we may have a big outbreak that appears to have stemmed from outdoor football drills. They're not releasing the data until Friday which doesn't feel great to me. 

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4 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

All this as we may have a big outbreak that appears to have stemmed from outdoor football drills. They're not releasing the data until Friday which doesn't feel great to me. 

Wait, and this is in Vermont? You've got just about the lowest rates in the country! 

I juse think reopening fully schools is going to be a disaster. What are they thinking??

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16 minutes ago, katilac said:

One kid at a time, each kid in a different room, sanitizing each room between uses. All the doctors I am aware of are also letting a set amount of time pass in between using each room; when Patient A exits the room, they do not usher in Patient B right after sanitizing. 

I think it's less that teachers are being viewed differently and more that schools are being viewed differently, and for good reason. It seems to be becoming more and more clear that avoiding the "3 C's" is crucial to containing covid. The short version: closed spaces, crowded places, close-contact settings. The longer version: closed spaces (with poor ventilation), crowded spaces (with many people nearby), close-contact settings (such as close-range conversations). 

The 3 C's couldn't describe a typical school any better if it were intended. They are closed spaces and the vast majority have poor ventilation. They are crowded spaces with many people nearby; the plans to improve this are often half-hearted and sometimes non-existent. Close-contact settings; a typical classroom is the epitome of a close-contact setting, with many close-range conversations and other interactions. Some people have posted that their district's version of physically distancing students is to . . . have the desks arranged exactly as they are already. There are districts who are not requiring or even recommending masks. 

Schools are a perfect fit to the 3 C's in ways that most other professions aren't, even before you address special needs classrooms where physical distancing from students will be impossible. Most grocery stores are quite sizable, with high ceilings, plexiglass barriers were put in place, number of customers limited, sanitation was increased. Restaurants also also less crowded spaces than classrooms, even before capacity is limited, and the server doesn't stand by the table for an hour while the customers eat - they can be much farther away than a teacher can be from their students. My dd works in a small local restaurant, and this is true even there. 

Many people, including leaders of states and of the country, and including the national secretary of education, are vocally opposed to one of the most sensible ways to reduce risks at schools: offer a distance learning alternative, and at least reduce the number of students and provide a safe alternative to those who may be at more risk. Many people fiercely oppose masks. And I think a few of us have mentioned on this thread already: there are teachers who have to buy pencils for their class, there are bathrooms which routinely lack soap, and we just don't have faith that anyone is actually going to do all the things recommended to keep teachers and students safe. Not just teachers, let's remember that people who are worried about schools are worried about the students as well! And, y'know, the entire rest of the community, because an outbreak at a school will not remain confined to that school. 

I certainly hope that I am wrong and that schools that disregard protocols don't cause severe outbreaks. And I hope that every single student has a clean classroom and soap to wash their hands and pencils to write with . . . although, if those things can absolutely be provided in the fall, it does beg the question of why they haven't been provided in the past. 

I don't know that schools are much different than a lot of workplaces where employees are together for an 8 hour day, in a building, with AC or fans, etc. I mean, certainly, take precautions. Ventilate rooms and filter air or wear ppe, but are teachers less essential to a functioning society than a wal-mart employee? Someone in a produce processing facility? Are teachers lives' more precious than nurses or doctors? How do we view all these trade offs for health or a free an appropriate education? Do we really think that those who want kids in school value teacher's lives any more or less than someone who delivers their groceries? 

The question is, if those kids aren't in school learning every day, where are they? That is what my teacher neighbor is worried about. She doesn't see going back to school as martyring herself as many would say teachers are being asked to do.

I do think that if someone doesn't feel comfortable teaching (or nursing, or serving food, or whatever) they certainly shouldn't be forced to do so.

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

And the Vice President has said we should not let CDC guidelines keep schools from opening. 

(I’m saying bad words.) 

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8 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I don't know that schools are much different than a lot of workplaces where employees are together for an 8 hour day, in a building, with AC or fans, etc. I mean, certainly, take precautions. Ventilate rooms and filter air or wear ppe, but are teachers less essential to a functioning society than a wal-mart employee? Someone in a produce processing facility? Are teachers lives' more precious than nurses or doctors? How do we view all these trade offs for health or a free an appropriate education? Do we really think that those who want kids in school value teacher's lives any more or less than someone who delivers their groceries? 

The question is, if those kids aren't in school learning every day, where are they? That is what my teacher neighbor is worried about. She doesn't see going back to school as martyring herself as many would say teachers are being asked to do.

I do think that if someone doesn't feel comfortable teaching (or nursing, or serving food, or whatever) they certainly shouldn't be forced to do so.

 

NURSES AND DOCTORS HAVE ACCESS TO FULL BODY PPE AND ARE TRAINED TO USE THEM.

Sorry to shout but this is not an appropriate comparison.

Teachers are not medical professionals. No, their lives aren't more/less valuable but their expertise is not saving lives, it's teaching. My grocery delivery person(s) is on my porch for 5 minutes TOPS....outdoors. 

This is apples and elephants.

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