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4 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I would agree with you that young children seem to be less at risk of spreading, but not all teachers teach young kids.  The average age of my students is 16 or 17.  

This. 

3 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Distance learning is a thing. It is not, by far, an appropriate education for the majority of elementary school students. You know how people get their backs up here about moms on FB wanting a curriculum that is free and that their 2nd grader can do all online without much effort on the parent's part? Yeah, that is what I see entire districts trying to implement in my state.

Some districts are going to offer crappy distance learning options, and that's unfortunate. I'm not sure it's any more unfortunate than when some districts pick dismal math curriculum, or have ongoing staffing problems. There isn't a student anywhere who has gone through twelve grades without having one or more crappy semesters. Maybe their teacher was on leave and they had a rotation of untrained subs. Maybe they had a terrible math curriculum that even their teachers didn't understand. Maybe they themselves have a series of illnesses. Whatever the reason, no one graduates from high school without having a crappy semester. It's not okay, but it's not a reason to open schools without proper protocols. 

As somebody already said, it's not like people don't want schools to open. Everybody I know would prefer that schools be able to open safely, but want to is never enough. If unprepared schools have waves of infection, the students are going to have one hell of a crappy semester educationally anyway, just with added sickness and trauma. 

What it comes down to is that many districts are simply not prepared to open in a safe manner. Tapping our heels three times and saying there's no place like school isn't going to change that. They have got to be ready and they have got to be prepared. It would be far better to open a month or two later than to have the entire year wrecked. It would be far better for many kids to have an entire subpar semester than to have the entire year or more wrecked.  

When will we learn that it can't be rushed? 

 

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2 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Where are people getting masks or face shields now? Almost everyone needs one any time they leave the house to do anything here. My husband is military. They required him to wear a mask starting the next day. They did not provide one. Somehow, everyone came to work the next day with a face covering. Do we assume teachers are currently not masking? I have managed to get disinfectant wipes, hand sanitzer, and soap through this whole thing. Businesses I have been in have had wipes and disinfectant and disposable masks to hand out. I'm an individual without the buying power of a government entity. Everyone has had to figure this out, not just school districts. Again, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just don't know why schools and their employees would be different than any other organization trying to function right now.

My husband's district is planning to supply two cloth masks to teachers and not supply or require them for students. Certainly he can find all the cloth masks he wants, but I have no idea where he can find a supply of N95s right now, which is the sort of thing he'd need to feel at all safe since his students won't be wearing masks and he needs something to protect himself and not just others. After someone on here said they were readily available at home depot in her area, I went on the website and checked. None available for shipping or within 100 miles of me. Even if we could find them, we'd feel funny buying them since we're again hearing about hospital PPE shortages, not to mention that buying a disposable n95 every day would be cost-prohibitive on a teacher's salary.

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49 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

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??

 

I have a friend who practices law in Vermont. Rural and compliant... big difference from  the rest of the country.

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It's pretty bad in my local area. We have refrigerated trucks for the bodies that won't fit in the morgues. We have multiple hospitals that are turning everybody away now because they are full. We will be opening the convention center for overflow soon. These are the conditions you open schools in. 

What people don't seem to realize is that the schools would not be able to stay open with infection rates this high. With the levels we have in the community right now, we will have multiple students in every school who are positive and it will be transmitted to others. I doubt that we'd be able to stay open more than 3 weeks before our first shutdown. And then we'll have a while before we are able to open up again because in a lot of cases this does not just run through in 2 weeks. One of our principals got it at the end of spring break helping one of her kids move home from school. She was unable to work for three months and was in and out of the hospital several times.

We won't be able to get substitute teachers. We had a hard time getting sufficient substitutes before. Most of our substitutes and bus drivers are retirees. They will be at high risk.

What we did in the spring was not great. We had to completely shift what we were doing and in my district, we were under a lot of limitations. 

Why not reopen anyway?
In my district, masks are required for staff and for students 10 and up, but they can take them off if they are uncomfortable. No distancing because TEA said every single person who wants in-person can come in person. Distancing and masks "if possible",  "where feasible", "is encouraged". All water fountains are shut off. All students will be seated facing the front with students spaced out as much as possible. Teachers keeping 6 feet away as much as possible. A "limited supply" of masks is available for students who don't have one.

In the crowded conditions at my school, there is not way that we wouldn't get transmission on the very first day. It would just take a while to get to enough people that we would see it.

In class we will be spending 100% of our time working on mask and distancing compliance and get no schoolwork done at all. 

I haven't had anybody that I know personally die, but several of my friends have had people that they know personally die. One of them had two friends who died last week, both under 25yo without underlying conditions.

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44 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? 

 

In no other situation, other than some factories, are people in a small to medium sized room a few feet away from eachother around the same 20-40 other people all day long. And in those factories, we've had bad outbreaks. And those have WAY higher ceilings, generally. But most office workers are not only 3 ft or so away from each other in rooms of 30 people all day long. 

In my area, high schools have 3-5 thousand students. About 30-38 kids per class. My state health department says to avoid crowds. How do you say "avoid crowds" and say "go to a campus with thousands"? 

24 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Without masks, no, but I dont consider young children the same risk profile as adults. I do think even 5yos can wear masks, so if that needs to be a condition of return depending on the data, then i think they should do that. My ped doesn't think masking is necessary for the younger set, but I appreciate there are differences of opinion there.

They will be eating lunch in the classroom, no mask. They need to drink water, take masks off for that. 

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7 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Where are people getting masks or face shields now? Almost everyone needs one any time they leave the house to do anything here. My husband is military. They required him to wear a mask starting the next day. They did not provide one. Somehow, everyone came to work the next day with a face covering. Do we assume teachers are currently not masking? I have managed to get disinfectant wipes, hand sanitzer, and soap through this whole thing. Businesses I have been in have had wipes and disinfectant and disposable masks to hand out. I'm an individual without the buying power of a government entity. Everyone has had to figure this out, not just school districts. Again, I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just don't know why schools and their employees would be different than any other organization trying to function right now.

Masks are not PPE. And, as has been mentioned a few times now, some schools are not allowing teachers to mask. 

I don't doubt you when you say that you have been able to get disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer through this whole thing, but I assure that has not been the case for huge portions of the country. 

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1 minute ago, katilac said:

 

As somebody already said, it's not like people don't want schools to open. Everybody I know would prefer that schools be able to open safely, but want to is never enough. If unprepared schools have waves of infection, the students are going to have one hell of a crappy semester educationally anyway, just with added sickness and trauma. 

What it comes down to is that many districts are simply not prepared to open in a safe manner. Tapping our heels three times and saying there's no place like school isn't going to change that. They have got to be ready and they have got to be prepared. It would be far better to open a month or two later than to have the entire year wrecked. It would be far better for many kids to have an entire subpar semester than to have the entire year or more wrecked.  

When will we learn that it can't be rushed? 

 

This

I'm genuinely curious for those who think schools can reopen in areas with large outbreaks right now--why do you expect it to work better here than it has in Israel? If you've followed what's happening in Israel at all, they reopened in May when cases were very low but with very few precautions, and they've seen their numbers explode (including many outbreaks in schools) and are having to start all over in MUCH more restricted way and in a much worse place than when they started. The only difference I see here is that schools are rushing to open without waiting for the numbers to go down first. The evidence from other countries seems to show very clearly that you can reopen safely if you get numbers down first AND take lots of precautions to open safely. I have no idea why the US thinks it can do neither and be successful. 

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Our hospitals and all health authorities are begging the governor to shut things down for at least two weeks to help stem the tide or at least give the local governments authority to do it (although most of our state needs it). He refuses. At least he did finally put a mask order in place.

 

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13 minutes ago, katilac said:

As a matter of fact, I do not think that education in person is essential for every single student, every single semester. Do you oppose distance learning options, or just requirement of distance learning? 

Do you think that schools should be required to follow physical distancing and other protocols? Or do you think they should open with or without accepted protocols in place? Because plenty of places have announced that they will be doing exactly that. 

I am not sure where you interpreted what I said to mean every single student every single semester. I do not oppose distance learning options. I do not think they work well for most kids. I got my college degree via distance learning and I have two of my kids in online classes at present. I am not ignorant of the amount of parental dedication and time devoted to independent study that distance learning requires. Most elementary students aren't going to fare well, and those that are have extremely available and involved parents.

If you go back to where I replied to Carrie to kick off this pile on, there was a specific idea I replied to with stuff that my teacher neighbor told me about returning to the classroom, and my thought that it was interesting to me that teachers are worried about returning to work when many, many people have been at work, with other people, getting their ppe and hygiene supplies, doing what it takes this whole time. People that have to take care of groups of children all day long, even.

I am not opposed to whatever safety protocols you're referring to above; I'm not sure why you think I would be. 

I just don't know what people think happens to these kids if schools aren't open. It's not like they disappear or their parents magically figure out how to give them a WTM education or they don't gather in groups. It just happens somewhere else rather than a school building.

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Just now, EmseB said:

 

If you go back to where I replied to Carrie to kick off this pile on, there was a specific idea I replied to with stuff that my teacher neighbor told me about returning to the classroom, and my thought that it was interesting to me that teachers are worried about returning to work when many, many people have been at work, with other people, getting their ppe and hygiene supplies, doing what it takes this whole time. People that have to take care of groups of children all day long, even.

 

And many have gotten sick, and many others are very worried as well. 

As for what will happen to the kids....well what happens to them when they get sent home over and over to isolate after being exposed int he classroom? With no notice? 

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It may have already been mentioned, but North Carolina is going to provide 5 cloth masks for each child and require them to wear them when attending school in person (including riding the bus, excluding while eating/drinking, exemptions for medical/developmental issues if needed). I understand that adults will have to provide their own masks, but masks are already required here. Schools open 8/17, except certain special-calendar schools here start 8/3.

Wake County says 19% (I think) of students are signed up for the new virtual-only option so far. That will give a bit more breathing room.

Our co-op is doing online only for fall semester.

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6 minutes ago, kokotg said:

This

I'm genuinely curious for those who think schools can reopen in areas with large outbreaks right now--why do you expect it to work better here than it has in Israel? If you've followed what's happening in Israel at all, they reopened in May when cases were very low but with very few precautions, and they've seen their numbers explode (including many outbreaks in schools) and are having to start all over in MUCH more restricted way and in a much worse place than when they started. The only difference I see here is that schools are rushing to open without waiting for the numbers to go down first. The evidence from other countries seems to show very clearly that you can reopen safely if you get numbers down first AND take lots of precautions to open safely. I have no idea why the US thinks it can do neither and be successful. 

I hadn't heard about Israel.

Ugh.  There's already evidence that opening like normal won't work and so many places are going to do it anyway?!?!??  I wish I was surprised.  The U.S. has made such a mess of this.

Why doesn't anyone understand that we need to contain this thing?  The U.S. is an 80s horror movie and everyone is shouting "don't do that!" because the danger is clear but everything keeps going in the direction of the danger.

A school *is* a different kind of workplace.  It just is.  If schools are vital to the point of recklessly opening then what is going to happen when schools shut down due to outbreaks??  If teachers are sick who'll teach remotely?

This is all so frustrating and terrifying.

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

And many have gotten sick, and many others are very worried as well. 

As for what will happen to the kids....well what happens to them when they get sent home over and over to isolate after being exposed int he classroom? With no notice? 

Right. I mean....clearly if I thought we could open schools back up and it would go great and few people would get sick, I'd be all for it. I'm against rushing into it because I think it will be a disaster, ultimately (sooner rather than later) a failure, and that a whole lot of people will have to get sick and some of them will have to die before that happens. In the meantime, instead of having months to plan, parents will be faced with having a kid who needs to quarantine for 2 weeks with no notice. And then quite likely with having another cobbled together semester of unplanned virtual learning instead of something teachers had time to prepare. 

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8 minutes ago, whitehawk said:

It may have already been mentioned, but North Carolina is going to provide 5 cloth masks for each child and require them to wear them when attending school in person (including riding the bus, excluding while eating/drinking, exemptions for medical/developmental issues if needed). I understand that adults will have to provide their own masks, but masks are already required here. Schools open 8/17, except certain special-calendar schools here start 8/3.

Wake County says 19% (I think) of students are signed up for the new virtual-only option so far. That will give a bit more breathing room.

Our co-op is doing online only for fall semester.

At Governor Cooper's press conference yesterday I understood him to say that five reusable masks would be provided to every student, teacher and staff member. 

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7 minutes ago, whitehawk said:

It may have already been mentioned, but North Carolina is going to provide 5 cloth masks for each child and require them to wear them when attending school in person (including riding the bus, excluding while eating/drinking, exemptions for medical/developmental issues if needed). I understand that adults will have to provide their own masks, but masks are already required here. Schools open 8/17, except certain special-calendar schools here start 8/3

That’s my state. I’m curious to see what our district plans to do with students who refuse to wear masks.  Masks are required in public in North Carolina but in my area I’d say you see around 1/3 not masking at our local Walmart. I think school will be similar with parents who believe the virus is a hoax or that masks trap CO2 🙄
 

My district is planning 30% 1 week on 2 weeks off which I’m fine with for my high schooler. I think that will be hard with my 2nd grader. Masks are really the key in the classroom and society at large to keep schools open but unfortunately I live in a very conservative area and masks have been too politicized.

 

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If you want to spend the evening full of rage and disappointment, this account of how things went in France will do it for you.

Will your kids be heading back to school?

 

My twins were in PS this past year and the year before, we had every intention of continuing to send them to public school until this happened. I've already sent in paperwork to homeschool them for the coming year but I've of course been paying attention to our district. We are in a hotspot and the district thinks it can provide 5 days a week for k-5. There is a virtual option as well. So far, after several emails, google form surveys and FB lives, I still don't know what the protocol is when someone gets sick, and they don't seem to know either. This is a failure on multiple levels, and we did not have to end up like this.

Edited by Runningmom80
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2 hours ago, sassenach said:

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.

 

My teen had one semester with a class like that (full year content in one semester). It was a miserable whirlwind, two unit tests each week.

Of course I understand that this is the university model. The problem is using a curriculum/text designed for an entire year and trying to squeeze that into a semester, rather than thoughtfully devising a teaching plan to cover the subject in 14-15 weeks of class. 

 

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27 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I am not sure where you interpreted what I said to mean every single student every single semester. I do not oppose distance learning options. I do not think they work well for most kids. I got my college degree via distance learning and I have two of my kids in online classes at present. I am not ignorant of the amount of parental dedication and time devoted to independent study that distance learning requires. Most elementary students aren't going to fare well, and those that are have extremely available and involved parents.

If you go back to where I replied to Carrie to kick off this pile on, there was a specific idea I replied to with stuff that my teacher neighbor told me about returning to the classroom, and my thought that it was interesting to me that teachers are worried about returning to work when many, many people have been at work, with other people, getting their ppe and hygiene supplies, doing what it takes this whole time. People that have to take care of groups of children all day long, even.

I am not opposed to whatever safety protocols you're referring to above; I'm not sure why you think I would be. 

I just don't know what people think happens to these kids if schools aren't open. It's not like they disappear or their parents magically figure out how to give them a WTM education or they don't gather in groups. It just happens somewhere else rather than a school building.

You hadn't answered me about distance learning options, so with that and the way you worded it, I wasn't sure if you were okay with it or not. Because quite a few people are on the 'all students and teachers in person' train, so it's not a crazy question. 

I asked about the safety protocols because it had come up repeatedly that many schools are not on board with them, and I wasn't sure if that information was woven into your answers or not. Because, for me, a school being unwilling to follow the basics is enough for me to oppose them opening. We don't let dangerous daycares operate just because people need childcare, and we shouldn't let dangerous schools operate just because people need childcare. 

Again, the reason many of us are concerned about teachers (and students) in particular is, one,  that they have a very particular setup, usually with all of the 3 C's in spades. And two, many districts are very clearly not prepared and even stating that they will purposefully not follow protocols. I don't know of any other work site that purposefully doesn't follow protocols. It doesn't work in their best interests, after all, because they don't want to have to close down. Plus all the other stuff about schools not having the most basic of supplies at any time. None of my work places have ever been out of soap for months at a time, so things like that do make schools a bit of a unique situation. 

What's the covid sitch where you are? It doesn't sound like you're in a hot spot, if you've been able to get coveted items throughout the whole deal, lol. Along with what I've read and considered throughout this time, I think two specific things have me even more firmly in the 'be cautious about schools' camp. First, I live in a hot spot. Covid is not a theoretical for me. Second, I live in a poor school district, adjacent to another poor school district. I've seen the poor ventilation and lack of soap and jam packed classrooms for myself. I know that many of the students come to their crowded school from a crowded apartment. No district should start the year with weak plans and weak protocols, no district should start the year until they're thoroughly prepared, but everything is going to be exponentially worse for students in low income areas. You can have an outbreak anywhere, absolutely, but I do think possibilities are improved when a school has, y'know, soap and disinfectant and a bit of room to breathe. 

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7 minutes ago, Runningmom80 said:

If you want to spend the evening full of rage and disappointment, this account of how things went in France will do it for you.

 

That's absolutely what I had planned, how did you know, lol? 

Will read after my grocery pickup, where I will have zero face to face contact with the person loading my groceries but we will both be wearing masks anyway. 

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My concerns are not solely for students, teachers, staff, and families.  Schools reopening is a massive vector that will be a HUGE issue for communities in general.  Schools are massive vectors for all kinds of diseases, and it will spread throughout the community and threaten hospital capacity.  

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https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN24G2IS?__twitter_impression=true
 

interestingly Sweden claim school openings haven’t had an impact on spread in children as they’ve had similar rates to Finland which didn’t open.  I would like to see the actual report to know if the testing etc was comparable between the countries.  It’s not peer reviewed yet.  However Israel and recently to some extent Melbourne do seem to be showing some spread linked to schools.  So if true maybe there’s something about the way schools are run or designed in Sweden that helps which seems like it would be worth knowing about.  Anyway a lot of ifs but will be looking out for the actual report.

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I am not ignoring people, I have to make, eat dinner, do bedtimes, etc.

My husband is an essential worker who had to go into a congregate living space. It's not that I don't understand the situation. I spoke up here only because I talked to a PS teacher directly whose concerns did not echo what was being said in this thread. Should have known better, I suppose.

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1 hour ago, AngieW in Texas said:

I haven't had anybody that I know personally die, but several of my friends have had people that they know personally die. One of them had two friends who died last week, both under 25yo without underlying conditions.

This, and everything else, is just awful. I'm so incredibly sorry. 😥

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36 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I am not ignoring people, I have to make, eat dinner, do bedtimes, etc.

My husband is an essential worker who had to go into a congregate living space. It's not that I don't understand the situation. I spoke up here only because I talked to a PS teacher directly whose concerns did not echo what was being said in this thread. Should have known better, I suppose.

 

Like minds tend to associate with like minds. I have had at least three teacher friends reach out and say they want to keep their kids home too but can't because they're 'essential' and need the paycheck.My DH is also experiencing a ROM and we aren't allowed to see him to prevent exposure prior to deployment. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't more than a little ticked at people who cavalierly want to 'reopen' b/c it literally cost my family three-five more weeks with him.

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1 hour ago, AngieW in Texas said:

Our hospitals and all health authorities are begging the governor to shut things down for at least two weeks to help stem the tide or at least give the local governments authority to do it (although most of our state needs it). He refuses. At least he did finally put a mask order in place.

Do you mind saying where you are in TX?

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My daughter begins her first year of teaching this year. They found out today that the first semester will be all online. I feel better about her safety, but her workload will be insane. 
 

This is in Maryland just outside the D.C. beltway. Every county could have a different plan and their deadline for deciding is August 15.

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4 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

First year teaching is super hard.  Online will just make it harder.  

 

I don’t envy her though, at her age, she’ll have a much easier time with the technology than a lot of veteran teachers. Part of the reason they hired her is because she got her online classes up and running so quickly as a student teacher. Her school shut down because of exposure before the entire state closed. 

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2 hours ago, Joker said:

Some schools aren’t allowing teachers to wear masks. It’s not just about having them, it’s also about the places that say not only can kids not learn online but they also can’t learn if we allow you to wear a mask and protect yourself.

Ok, so that has nothing to do with anything I was talking about in any of my posts. I'm not sure why it means taking what I said, applying the worst possible scenarios and motives and ascribing those things to what I personally think should happen in schools. No, I can't address each and every possible scenario in each and every possible school. We can "yeah, but..." every single post on this forum and it doesn't mean it's a productive discussion. I am happy to advocate for teachers to wear masks. I am still not sure what y'all think should happen to the kids who would otherwise be in school. But I am not willing to just write them off to distance learning with absentee parents that everyone here would find unacceptable for their own kids, or even if their well meaning neighbor asked about it on a fb post. Most of us here have little to worry about if our kids miss a year of school. That is not the case for a lot of families 

I regret implying that in-person school might be as essential to some kids as nurses, doctors, food supply chain workers, or Wal-Mart. I regret speaking out of turn here or contrary to anything other than the horribleness and hysteria of returning to in person instruction.

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2 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Ok, so that has nothing to do with anything I was talking about in any of my posts. I'm not sure why it means taking what I said, applying the worst possible scenarios and motives and ascribing those things to what I personally think should happen in schools. No, I can't address each and every possible scenario in each and every possible school. We can "yeah, but..." every single post on this forum and it doesn't mean it's a productive discussion. I am happy to advocate for teachers to wear masks. I am still not sure what y'all think should happen to the kids who would otherwise be in school. But I am not willing to just write them off to distance learning with absentee parents that everyone here would find unacceptable for their own kids, or even if their well meaning neighbor asked about it on a fb post. Most of us here have little to worry about if our kids miss a year of school. That is not the case for a lot of families 

I regret implying that in-person school might be as essential to some kids as nurses, doctors, food supply chain workers, or Wal-Mart. I regret speaking out of turn here or contrary to anything other than the horribleness and hysteria of returning to in person instruction.

I’m just pointing out that there are truly no good answers. There just aren’t. No matter what we choose, educators and students will suffer. That is how our society is set up these days and it sucks for most. I’m tired of the arguing because there are valid reasons for all sides but no one actually wins in this. I know students who need to be in school and I know teachers who need to stay home. I think opening up schools will just make things worse for everyone though and I really wish we had spent the last few months figuring this all out instead of doing what amounts to nothing. I’m angry. 

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3 hours ago, kokotg said:

 

My husband's district is planning to supply two cloth masks to teachers and not supply or require them for students. Certainly he can find all the cloth masks he wants, but I have no idea where he can find a supply of N95s right now, which is the sort of thing he'd need to feel at all safe since his students won't be wearing masks and he needs something to protect himself and not just others. After someone on here said they were readily available at home depot in her area, I went on the website and checked. None available for shipping or within 100 miles of me. Even if we could find them, we'd feel funny buying them since we're again hearing about hospital PPE shortages, not to mention that buying a disposable n95 every day would be cost-prohibitive on a teacher's salary.

 

I suggest you get (or get on waiting list) for more than one Happymask  https://www.happymasks.com/

they have been tested as still protective after 50 hand washes per instruction. But more thsn

one could allow a before and after lunch mask. And maybe more than one would allow fewer washes, with airing, and sunshine to let them last longer.  

 

 

 

I wear size large so pretty sure any man also

would 

 

face shield or other eye protection probably also a good idea 

Edited by Pen
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12 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Honestly, i don't know what so many families, especially low income, are going to do. They tend to have jobs that can't be done remotely, too. Should all of these kids just be put in daycares so that daycare workers get all of the exposure? Should one parent quit a job in order to stay at home? What of the single parents? What of the parents who can't afford to quit? Sure, people can say that this isn't how our society should work, but the reality is that this is how our society works. It's not going to change before school starts.

If education or daycare could be managed outdoors and in smaller groups it could make a huge difference.  

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19 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I suggest you get (or get on waiting list) for more than one Happymask  https://www.happymasks.com/

they have been tested as still protective after 50 hand washes per instruction. But more thsn

one could allow a before and after lunch mask. And maybe more than one would allow fewer washes, with airing, and sunshine to let them last longer.  

 

 

 

I wear size large so pretty sure any man also

would 

 

face shield or other eye protection probably also a good idea 

Already ordered! 

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12 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

If education or daycare could be managed outdoors and in smaller groups it could make a huge difference.  

 

Some parts of US will be too cold in parts of winter, but where and when  it can be done, I agree completely.  We might at least be able to get through till late October.   If Denmark kids could bundle up for outdoors school, so probably can much of US.

people complain about it being too hot to do outside school in the south, but having spent my early years in Brazil toward equator without a/c, (and later So Cal without A/c, though it was less hot and humid than Brazil still hot pretty hot), I’m More inclined to think heat is manageable.  Heat had been  managed without indoors a/c for most of human history afaik

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12 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

That's great, but those options aren't being given to people. They're being given the option of all online for at least another semester and nothing else. I live in CA, and in many areas kids could easily be outside all year (if the schools have enough outdoor space, many don't), but that wasn't given as a choice to people. 

Many low income families have their kids at school during the school day and then for either low-cost or free extended care. 

What they did here was keep schools available for essential workers or those without childcare but allowed/encouraged people who could to stay home.  Obviously things changed and schools reopened as per normal though now they are closed in Vic.  Really this isn’t going to be a one grand solution thing.  It might be a mess of online for some, in class but outdoors when possible for others etc.  I don’t know.  But I’m sure just opening as per normal is possibly better.  Reducing community spread by closing non essential stuff would really have helped but it’s probably too late now.

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45 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I am still not sure what y'all think should happen to the kids who would otherwise be in school. But I am not willing to just write them off to distance learning with absentee parents that everyone here would find unacceptable for their own kids, or even if their well meaning neighbor asked about it on a fb post. Most of us here have little to worry about if our kids miss a year of school. That is not the case for a lot of families 

I regret implying that in-person school might be as essential to some kids as nurses, doctors, food supply chain workers, or Wal-Mart. I regret speaking out of turn here or contrary to anything other than the horribleness and hysteria of returning to in person instruction.

You shouldn't regret posting what you believe to be true just because people disagree with you. This is a forum for discussion, with many passionate and opinionated people. 

We, and I daresay almost everyone on this thread, start from the same premise: we are not willing to write these kids off. We veer off sharply when it comes to what we consider the worst way of writing kids off. 

 I believe that we should not send kids to school when there is an unacceptable level of danger, and I believe that there is indeed an unacceptable level of danger at many schools (as per their published plans and statements). Never have we ever said it's okay to have kids in a dangerous place because we don't know what else to do with them. 

When a school or a daycare can not or does not provide a safe environment, it is shut down. That should not change now just because the scope of the problem is bigger. The scope of the problem is one of the reasons it might end in disaster. 

That doesn't mean I want students to have a subpar semester or be unsupervised. It means I think that we (as a society) would come up with alternatives if we weren't so willing to cross our fingers and hope for the best. Rather than pressuring districts to open schools when many of them aren't prepared or able to do so in a safe way, I want the government to use my damn tax dollars and show some damn leadership and come up with alternatives. The choice does not have to be between kids under supervised and struggling to learn, or kids in schools unprepared to keep them and their teachers safe. 

I do not believe those are the only two choices, but, of those choices, I think a local community and its students will do better by choosing the subpar semester. 

 

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Our district seems to be considering the childcare issue seriously. They are offering 5 day a week school for K-2, and 3 days a week for SN and ESL students. they are exploring community based low cost childcare options according to the q&a. Everyone else choosing the B&M goes two days a week. The health precautions are being pretty seriously considered.

Our district is also offering a virtual option.

 

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Honestly, I'd be okay with school being open for the children of strictly defined essential workers.  But part of my concern is, as soon as schools are open, employers become much less sympathetic to the need for child care.  The answer, in my mind, is society rallies around essential workers (medical professionals, people who run water/ power/ sanitation, grocery store workers, maybe a couple of other industries) and the government pays for people to stay home for 2-3 months.  You know, instead of the interminable military industrial complex and massive corporate welfare and incentives given to the 1% that our taxes currently pay for.  

That's not an option, however.  We have to choose, on Monday, either full time school four days a week (not five, so it doesn't solve anyone's child care needs) at odd start and dismissal times or full time virtual school.  And there's nobody available to answer questions, and there will be no attempts at social distancing.  

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10 minutes ago, katilac said:

come up with alternatives. The choice does not have to be between kids under supervised and struggling to learn, or kids in schools unprepared to keep them and their teachers safe. 

I do not believe those are the only two choices, but, of those choices, I think a local community and its students will do better by choosing the subpar semester. 

 

 

I think if kids go to school without measures to keep them and especially their teachers safe, it will end up being subpar . 

 

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4 hours ago, AngieW in Texas said:

It's pretty bad in my local area. We have refrigerated trucks for the bodies that won't fit in the morgues. We have multiple hospitals that are turning everybody away now because they are full. We will be opening the convention center for overflow soon. These are the conditions you open schools in. 

What people don't seem to realize is that the schools would not be able to stay open with infection rates this high. With the levels we have in the community right now, we will have multiple students in every school who are positive and it will be transmitted to others. I doubt that we'd be able to stay open more than 3 weeks before our first shutdown. And then we'll have a while before we are able to open up again because in a lot of cases this does not just run through in 2 weeks. One of our principals got it at the end of spring break helping one of her kids move home from school. She was unable to work for three months and was in and out of the hospital several times.

We won't be able to get substitute teachers. We had a hard time getting sufficient substitutes before. Most of our substitutes and bus drivers are retirees. They will be at high risk.

What we did in the spring was not great. We had to completely shift what we were doing and in my district, we were under a lot of limitations. 

Why not reopen anyway?
In my district, masks are required for staff and for students 10 and up, but they can take them off if they are uncomfortable. No distancing because TEA said every single person who wants in-person can come in person. Distancing and masks "if possible",  "where feasible", "is encouraged". All water fountains are shut off. All students will be seated facing the front with students spaced out as much as possible. Teachers keeping 6 feet away as much as possible. A "limited supply" of masks is available for students who don't have one.

In the crowded conditions at my school, there is not way that we wouldn't get transmission on the very first day. It would just take a while to get to enough people that we would see it.

In class we will be spending 100% of our time working on mask and distancing compliance and get no schoolwork done at all. 

I haven't had anybody that I know personally die, but several of my friends have had people that they know personally die. One of them had two friends who died last week, both under 25yo without underlying conditions.

If you are in Travis County no school will be opening in person until after September 7, at minimum.  (And the article I saw about both refrigerated trucks and convention center mentioned it was "just in case" -- they don't need them now but they want them available if needed. Which means preparing now.

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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Local School District here just announced "will offer both in-person and online learning opportunities during the 2020-2021 school year.

"In-person learning will allow students to attend school in classrooms with heightened measures of physical distancing and disinfecting. Mask-wearing will also be required. For further information about the precautions proposed, please continue to check the news page. Please remember that plans for the school year may change as conditions and state regulations change.

"Online learning will allow students to access schoolwork and instruction through an online platform. Students will be required to log in daily. Students using this option will have classes that they will participate in live and some instruction will be recorded that students will need to watch. Paper packets without logging in to the virtual class will not be an option for distance learning; however, WiFi hotspots and Chromebooks can be checked out to students.

"Families will also have the option of a hybrid model that allows for students to follow an AB type of schedule where they will be in person on certain days and online on others."

And it looks like they are doing a 4 day schedule, not 5. Glad to hear they are taking care of the WIFI and laptop situation since that's a big barrier in this area. 

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10 hours ago, happi duck said:

I hadn't heard about Israel.

Ugh.  There's already evidence that opening like normal won't work and so many places are going to do it anyway?!?!??  I wish I was surprised.  The U.S. has made such a mess of this.

Why doesn't anyone understand that we need to contain this thing?  The U.S. is an 80s horror movie and everyone is shouting "don't do that!" because the danger is clear but everything keeps going in the direction of the danger.

A school *is* a different kind of workplace.  It just is.  If schools are vital to the point of recklessly opening then what is going to happen when schools shut down due to outbreaks??  If teachers are sick who'll teach remotely?

This is all so frustrating and terrifying.

Nicely said. 

In my wishful, idealistic way, I keep thinking how much I wish the federal response to COVID had been unified, leadership-based, proactive and wise from March 1st at least, if not before then. I wonder how different we could be looking right now. 

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11 hours ago, EmseB said:

I am not ignoring people, I have to make, eat dinner, do bedtimes, etc.

My husband is an essential worker who had to go into a congregate living space. It's not that I don't understand the situation. I spoke up here only because I talked to a PS teacher directly whose concerns did not echo what was being said in this thread. Should have known better, I suppose.

Right. And I think where you are and what case numbers look like will influence that. And that in any area some will not be worried, and some will be. I mean, here with record deaths and huge spike in cases some people still are not worried. That doesn't mean they are right not to be concerned though, or that I'm wrong to be concerned. 

9 hours ago, EmseB said:

 I am still not sure what y'all think should happen to the kids who would otherwise be in school. But I am not willing to just write them off to distance learning with absentee parents that everyone here would find unacceptable for their own kids, or even if their well meaning neighbor asked about it on a fb post. 

You have not answered what you think should happen to the kids who will get sent home to isolate, over and over again, when a classmate or teacher tests positive. In that case, they will STILL have to find somewhere to go, but instead of a predictable thing it will b short notice, randomly. That seems even harder for parents to deal with, and harder mentally on the kids, and more disruptive. 

As for what I think should happen, my ideal would be beyond most people's comfort zone, which is paying parents to stay home and take care of their own kids until cases are under control. A HARD shut down could do that. But that wont happen. 

So my more practical (also won't happen, but should) idea for hot spots like mine is to make all actual TEACHING virtual, have grades 7-12 be totally off campus. (in less hard hit areas maybe have labs on campus spaced out in small groups). Use all those extra classrooms, and let kids K-6 who have no where else to go, no one at home, come in and do their virtual school in the classroom, in small pods based not on grade level but on sibling groups. That means less exposure since a family is already exposed to itself. Because most kids are home there are more classrooms, and you can get group sizes way down, and distance them better during the day. Because the teaching is virtual you don't need certified teachers for all those small pods of kids, just an aide or something to supervise, answer questions, help with technology, etc. And those aids can bring their own kids, since it isn't grade level dependent. 

 

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So at our school board meeting last night, I mostly heard:

1) Our state has low numbers, and our county in particular, so we don't need all these precautions.

2) We're cool with masks on busses and in hallways, but we're uncomfortable with it in the classroom.

3) How will the kids wear masks for 6 hours a day? (Despite the fact that it's been said OVER AND OVER that they'll have many mask breaks.)

4) If restaurants can be open with people not wearing masks, schools should be, too.

5) We get that mask wearing is important, but we just "can't see" how kids will do it. 

6) Desks will only be 3 feet apart, not always 6.

So they're cool with MANY, MANY onerous safety protocols - staggered starts, reduced kids on the bus, keeping kids in "pods" which means kids won't be with a bunch of their friends, eating lunch in classrooms and not in cafeteria with friends, masks on the bus and in the hallways, etc. but masks IN the classroom, where it's most important? That's just TOO MUCH!

The real kicker was that even though the meeting was remote, two board members were in the same room together (why?!), sitting about 5 inches apart. Obviously, they aren't practicing distancing in their everyday lives. UGH.

And yes, our state is doing well relative to other states, but people are still getting sick and dying. And if we put all the teachers and students together in schools all day every day, guess what! We're not distancing anymore. Cases will go up. And then everything everyone's been saying will probably happen... teacher or friend in the hospital or possibly passing away, kids sent home to remote learning unexpectedly, a nightmare for parents....

 

 

 

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Our school board voted last night.  It looks like our district will be making the first nine weeks all virtual.  Areas with poor connectivity will open one school building for kids to be able to access online learning.  After nine weeks, kids will return to classrooms.  I don’t recall the K-8 details, but high school will be two days per week, then intense cleaning for a day, then another group of kids will attend for two days.  Kids will have the option of all virtual school for the year. The rest of the details are a bit of a blur, it was a long meeting!

 

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....and our county just called it: virtual start, no F2F until numbers improve. It looks like all the metro Atlanta counties are falling in line. Phew. It sucks that this is necessary, and I hope it won't be for long, but I'm feeling a whole lot of relief right now. 

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I really, really do not understand the argument/excuse that kids can’t learn to wear masks at school.

Kids learn how to wear underwear with itchy labels, how to not kick their shoes off in the grocery cart, how to keep mittens on when it’s cold out, how to cough into their elbow instead of into someone’s face...how are masks different? Unless the adults around them are making them seem scary or difficult, it’s just another benign, now-normal thing to wear for most kids. Goodness, I’d hope they’ve been wearing them for several months now! 

So we make accommodations. We cut out the itchy label, we buy shoes with laces so they are harder to remove, we remind when the elbow trick gets forgotten. But as parents and educators, we don’t just throw up our hands when kids are presented with a new challenge; our job is to help them master it. And we can accommodate masks— if tying one around the head snarls Susies hair, try one with ear loops. Special needs or foreign language students can wear the kind with transparent plastic in front of their mouths. Masks are made in tons of materials, some so soft it’s easy to forget it's even there. 
 

I do not accept that wearing a piece of fabric over our mouths is the one thing too far beyond what we already require of kids every single day (and all members of our communities, for that matter). It’s a preposterous excuse, really.

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