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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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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

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

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

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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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18 minutes ago, MEmama said:

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.

Amen sister!

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34 minutes ago, kokotg said:

....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. 

 

I’m glad for the relief.

what is F2F?

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Hot off the presses: Reopening recommendations from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. They say that surgical masks for staff and cloth face coverings for ALL KIDs is necessary. They also say that ventilation systems need to be updated, and that federal and state funds must pay for it.

NYT article about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/15/health/coronavirus-schools-reopening.html

https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2020/07/schools-should-prioritize-reopening-in-fall-2020-especially-for-grades-k-5-while-weighing-risks-and-benefits

 

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The counties around me were all going with parent choice, 2 days in person, 3 days at home, push back the start of school until 9/8.  A city within my county decided Monday to break from that and went all virtual to start with a later start date.  My county decided last night to follow suit and went all virtual for the 1st quarter and start of 9/8.

Mine are homeschooled so we are home anyway, but wanted to say what was going on around me.  We are in No. VA.

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https://youtu.be/yh9gmca6o_A

 

If anyone watches this, there is an email for a task force contact that I’d like , and also any contact info for the presenter named, I think, Naomi (1st woman to talk, dark curly hair, glasses).

 I want to communicate to them that “outdoors” when possible should be another consideration. 

If anyone catches any of that info, could you tag me with it. 

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Our local district released their plans and face masks are required for all students and staff at every age level. Exceptions will have to be medically documented and on a case by case basis. They stated teachers could use face shields when they are able to keep a distance if they feel the mask will interfere with instruction. It also stated no student can ride the bus if not masked. All grades will have assigned lunch tables for the entire year. 

It all sounds good and I truly hope it works but our high school is three stories and about three thousand students. It’s so packed so I worry how things will actually play out.

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I see all kinds of pictures of children in Asian countries wearing masks. 🤔 Surely, children in the United States can learn to do the same. 

48 minutes ago, MEmama said:

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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This is kind of a side question that I'm not sure where to post. Are special classes like art, PE, and music pretty much out this coming school year? Do schools even attempt those virtually? And if they are out for the year in public schools, are homeschoolers exempt too? (Not that I really have to worry about it where I live.)

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3 minutes ago, pitterpatter said:

I see all kinds of pictures of children in Asian countries wearing masks. 🤔 Surely, children in the United States can learn to do the same. 

 

Yes. I sometimes wonder if people honestly don’t consider that there’s an entire universe out there beyond this country's borders, and that our ways are often not the only ways nor the best. 
It’s a frightening ignorance if so. 

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Do room-size air purifiers work?

We were at the oral surgeon yesterday--dd will have wisdom teeth out next week. They have an air purifier in the waiting room and they had another in the exam room we were in. It has a UV light in it to kill viruses as well as a hepa filter and I don't know what all. I found myself wanting one! Do these really work? Oral surgeons obviously have enough money to have one in every room. If they work, schools should have one in every room (I think the ones I saw are about $250, and not sure if that size is big enough for a classroom). It is the nature of my job to move from classroom to classroom (and it's quite possible all teachers are moving this year while students stay put--not sure about that yet). Even so, I could see getting a small one to carry around with me!

If we want to prioritize getting schools open, lets have some federal help paying for equipment to make it as safe as possible. And we're still taking other steps here--hybrid model, desks 6' apart, staff masked and I truly hope they are going to require kids over 11 to mask since that's the state mandate. I don't think it's enough to go back to everyone in the crowded classroom just because there's an air purifier. But it could be a tool in the toolkit.

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5 minutes ago, pitterpatter said:

This is kind of a side question that I'm not sure where to post. Are special classes like art, PE, and music pretty much out this coming school year? Do schools even attempt those virtually? And if they are out for the year in public schools, are homeschoolers exempt too? (Not that I really have to worry about it where I live.)

I think those could be done virtually.  Just met another piano teacher who's having great success with virtual lessons.  Never even would have thought that possible till dmmetler said she'd been doing it.  Art should be relatively easy to do virtually.  PE - my gym's been virtual all summer, posting daily workouts including live coach-led ones.  

Extracurriculars like marching band and group sports, maybe not so much, but even choirs and orchestras could be managed virtually - not in the same way, but look how many amazing videos of Zoom choirs and orchestras have come out since lockdown.

Things are just.not. going back to normal, no matter how much we want them too.  We need to stop thinking this will 'magically go away' in just a few more weeks, and start doing the hard work of figuring out a best-case scenario.  Which in many cases is virtual.  Virtual can be done right, but it takes planning - and if all we're planning for is F2F, then when schools inevitably go virtual again, it will be another crap shoot instead well-planned.

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5 minutes ago, Ali in OR said:

Do room-size air purifiers work?

We were at the oral surgeon yesterday--dd will have wisdom teeth out next week. They have an air purifier in the waiting room and they had another in the exam room we were in. It has a UV light in it to kill viruses as well as a hepa filter and I don't know what all. I found myself wanting one! Do these really work? Oral surgeons obviously have enough money to have one in every room. If they work, schools should have one in every room (I think the ones I saw are about $250, and not sure if that size is big enough for a classroom). It is the nature of my job to move from classroom to classroom (and it's quite possible all teachers are moving this year while students stay put--not sure about that yet). Even so, I could see getting a small one to carry around with me!

If we want to prioritize getting schools open, lets have some federal help paying for equipment to make it as safe as possible. And we're still taking other steps here--hybrid model, desks 6' apart, staff masked and I truly hope they are going to require kids over 11 to mask since that's the state mandate. I don't think it's enough to go back to everyone in the crowded classroom just because there's an air purifier. But it could be a tool in the toolkit.

I'm not sure how well those work, but you'd probably need something bigger than room-size for a typical classroom, which are much bigger than most 'rooms' those are designed for.

Also, the air has to go through the filter first for it to have any possible effect on a virus, even if it's somehow 100% effective.  So, if there's someone 3 feet away, you're going to breathe in their cloud way before it has any chance to get to a purifier.  Can't believe they're now trying to say 3 feet is suddenly fine for schools... 😡

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19 minutes ago, pitterpatter said:

This is kind of a side question that I'm not sure where to post. Are special classes like art, PE, and music pretty much out this coming school year? Do schools even attempt those virtually? And if they are out for the year in public schools, are homeschoolers exempt too? (Not that I really have to worry about it where I live.)

Last Spring, our school definitely did Art and PE virtually.

My son' s band did less (though they tried and HE has continued to practice and keep up private lessons).

My daughter's elementary music had them listening to different pieces adn trying to pick out specific instruments and then recording what time on the video they heard the sound to return. ANd how the music made them feel. How the instrument was being used in the piece.

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4 minutes ago, Ali in OR said:

Do room-size air purifiers work?

I don't know, but it seems worth a try to me. I bought one with a hepa filter and a UV light to send off with dd17 to her freshman dorm (always assuming the school actually opens in person). Can't hurt, might help, right?

1 hour ago, MEmama said:

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

You and me both.

Some kids will have a hard time, yes. Some harder than others. But if all the adults in their lives cheerfully assume this is the new normal*, I think most kids will pick it up easily.

Special needs are a different situation, of course.

In general, though, I think kids can handle this, just like they learn to sit on their spot for circle time and wait for their turn at the play dough.

*I think this is the problem. The adults don't want to accept wearing masks.

 

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26 minutes ago, pitterpatter said:

This is kind of a side question that I'm not sure where to post. Are special classes like art, PE, and music pretty much out this coming school year? Do schools even attempt those virtually? And if they are out for the year in public schools, are homeschoolers exempt too? (Not that I really have to worry about it where I live.)

I just met with my director this morning to discuss small group, socially distanced, masks required, mostly outdoor music class (Using individual kits, percussion based) that we can offer during the first quarter for kids who are doing the virtual option. We're also trying to offer socially distanced PE and art.  We may end up taking these online if the numbers rise too much, but the goal is to give small groups of kids that "pod" where they might do art, music, and PE each week with the same kids. They've been doing pods for the summer camps the last few weeks, and it seems to be working relatively well-mostly due to having a large, mostly shaded lot where groups can be spread out. 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I think those could be done virtually.  Just met another piano teacher who's having great success with virtual lessons.  Never even would have thought that possible till dmmetler said she'd been doing it.  Art should be relatively easy to do virtually.  PE - my gym's been virtual all summer, posting daily workouts including live coach-led ones.  

Extracurriculars like marching band and group sports, maybe not so much, but even choirs and orchestras could be managed virtually - not in the same way, but look how many amazing videos of Zoom choirs and orchestras have come out since lockdown.

Things are just.not. going back to normal, no matter how much we want them too.  We need to stop thinking this will 'magically go away' in just a few more weeks, and start doing the hard work of figuring out a best-case scenario.  Which in many cases is virtual.  Virtual can be done right, but it takes planning - and if all we're planning for is F2F, then when schools inevitably go virtual again, it will be another crap shoot instead well-planned.

The choirs and orchestras aren't playing live. Each musician records their part and the performance is spliced together. Doing live music classes is hard due to lag, so it ends up being more an appreciation class. For my classes this fall, if we have to go virtually, the kids will need to mute their mics, and we'll do a lot of playalongs and stuff like that, but I am really hoping doing it outdoors works for the first quarter, at least. 

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20 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I don't know, but it seems worth a try to me. I bought one with a hepa filter and a UV light to send off with dd17 to her freshman dorm (always assuming the school actually opens in person). Can't hurt, might help, right?

I think the air refreshers can’t hurt! OP you might want to search “air scrubber,” though no doubt those will be the pricier ones. Product details for any of them should include the amount of cubic air space it can handle. 

I would definitely get one for a kid going to a college dorm, if I had one going this year. 

Edited by Seasider too
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37 minutes ago, Ali in OR said:

Do room-size air purifiers work?

We were at the oral surgeon yesterday--dd will have wisdom teeth out next week. They have an air purifier in the waiting room and they had another in the exam room we were in. It has a UV light in it to kill viruses as well as a hepa filter and I don't know what all. I found myself wanting one! Do these really work? Oral surgeons obviously have enough money to have one in every room. If they work, schools should have one in every room (I think the ones I saw are about $250, and not sure if that size is big enough for a classroom). It is the nature of my job to move from classroom to classroom (and it's quite possible all teachers are moving this year while students stay put--not sure about that yet). Even so, I could see getting a small one to carry around with me!

If we want to prioritize getting schools open, lets have some federal help paying for equipment to make it as safe as possible. And we're still taking other steps here--hybrid model, desks 6' apart, staff masked and I truly hope they are going to require kids over 11 to mask since that's the state mandate. I don't think it's enough to go back to everyone in the crowded classroom just because there's an air purifier. But it could be a tool in the toolkit.

I have one for my in person piano lessons. My studio is about the size of a small bedroom or a really big closet. I am thinking of it more as a way to cycle air between students, since I am placing them 30 minutes apart, but hoping that my Happy Mask and maybe a face shield and students being masked and watching where we put seating is enough to make it OK during lessons (and about 2/3 of my students are staying online). It would be too small for the classrooms, especially since we're using the biggest ones. The city is looking at adding UV to the HVAC in city buildings, but it will involve major retrofitting. 

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1 hour ago, Joker said:

Our local district released their plans and face masks are required for all students and staff at every age level. Exceptions will have to be medically documented and on a case by case basis. They stated teachers could use face shields when they are able to keep a distance if they feel the mask will interfere with instruction. It also stated no student can ride the bus if not masked. All grades will have assigned lunch tables for the entire year. 

It all sounds good and I truly hope it works but our high school is three stories and about three thousand students. It’s so packed so I worry how things will actually play out.

What state are you in?

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Osterholm from CIDRAP just posted a podcast/video about reopening schools. I’ll be listening as I get some chores done. 
 

 

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14 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

The choirs and orchestras aren't playing live. Each musician records their part and the performance is spliced together. Doing live music classes is hard due to lag, so it ends up being more an appreciation class. For my classes this fall, if we have to go virtually, the kids will need to mute their mics, and we'll do a lot of playalongs and stuff like that, but I am really hoping doing it outdoors works for the first quarter, at least. 

Yeah, I know they're not playing live, but as a class, part of the 'homework' assignments could be to record the pieces solo so they could be put back together.  Other assignments could be figuring out the technology behind putting it together.  For live classes maybe the teacher could take turns working with individual students 1:1.  Just because they can't all play at the same time online doesn't mean the orchesta/choir classes have to be dropped, just reimagined...

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1 hour ago, pitterpatter said:

I see all kinds of pictures of children in Asian countries wearing masks. 🤔 Surely, children in the United States can learn to do the same. 

*sarcasm on*

What, and create a bunch of kids primed to be socialist puppets, which is just what members of a certain party want?

*sarcasm off*

That sentiment was widely shared in certain circles early on in all of this. They think it's all just a plot to control the masses and see who falls in line and who doesn't. 

😭🤬🙄

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1 hour ago, Ali in OR said:

Do room-size air purifiers work?

We were at the oral surgeon yesterday--dd will have wisdom teeth out next week. They have an air purifier in the waiting room and they had another in the exam room we were in. It has a UV light in it to kill viruses as well as a hepa filter and I don't know what all. I found myself wanting one! Do these really work? Oral surgeons obviously have enough money to have one in every room. If they work, schools should have one in every room (I think the ones I saw are about $250, and not sure if that size is big enough for a classroom). It is the nature of my job to move from classroom to classroom (and it's quite possible all teachers are moving this year while students stay put--not sure about that yet). Even so, I could see getting a small one to carry around with me!

If we want to prioritize getting schools open, lets have some federal help paying for equipment to make it as safe as possible. And we're still taking other steps here--hybrid model, desks 6' apart, staff masked and I truly hope they are going to require kids over 11 to mask since that's the state mandate. I don't think it's enough to go back to everyone in the crowded classroom just because there's an air purifier. But it could be a tool in the toolkit.

Ali--https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/can-hepa-air-purifiers-capture-coronavirus/

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37 minutes ago, Alte Veste Academy said:

*sarcasm on*

What, and create a bunch of kids primed to be socialist puppets, which is just what members of a certain party want?

*sarcasm off*

That sentiment was widely shared in certain circles early on in all of this. They think it's all just a plot to control the masses and see who falls in line and who doesn't. 

😭🤬🙄

I wonder if we could get a conspiracy theory going that the government doesn't want people to wear masks because then it is harder to track people with facial recognition software. Maybe that's why governors of some states are not allowing local mask requirements - so as better to track people!

LOL.

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1 hour ago, EmilyGF said:

I wonder if we could get a conspiracy theory going that the government doesn't want people to wear masks because then it is harder to track people with facial recognition software. Maybe that's why governors of some states are not allowing local mask requirements - so as better to track people!

LOL.


OOOOHHH....where’s a Russian troll when you need one! Genius!

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1 hour ago, EmilyGF said:

I wonder if we could get a conspiracy theory going that the government doesn't want people to wear masks because then it is harder to track people with facial recognition software. Maybe that's why governors of some states are not allowing local mask requirements - so as better to track people!

LOL.

I actually saw this one yesterday!!!

 

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4 hours ago, Ali in OR said:

Do room-size air purifiers work?

We were at the oral surgeon yesterday--dd will have wisdom teeth out next week. They have an air purifier in the waiting room and they had another in the exam room we were in. It has a UV light in it to kill viruses as well as a hepa filter and I don't know what all. I found myself wanting one! Do these really work? Oral surgeons obviously have enough money to have one in every room. If they work, schools should have one in every room (I think the ones I saw are about $250, and not sure if that size is big enough for a classroom). It is the nature of my job to move from classroom to classroom (and it's quite possible all teachers are moving this year while students stay put--not sure about that yet). Even so, I could see getting a small one to carry around with me!

If we want to prioritize getting schools open, lets have some federal help paying for equipment to make it as safe as possible. And we're still taking other steps here--hybrid model, desks 6' apart, staff masked and I truly hope they are going to require kids over 11 to mask since that's the state mandate. I don't think it's enough to go back to everyone in the crowded classroom just because there's an air purifier. But it could be a tool in the toolkit.

I'm getting ones for both my classrooms.  In addition to the room size, they'll have setting for how quickly they can "clean" the air in a room (CADR).  I'm using them combined with face shields with drapes for teachers, most kids in masks, short classes, cleaning in between, and a few other things but since viral load matters, I feel like the air purifiers can help.  

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23 minutes ago, square_25 said:

It's looking like middle schools were the biggest problem in Israel, maybe not very surprisingly: 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains

As the article says, middle-schoolers aren't obedient, and are also not in the age group that don't spread the virus easily. 

I had heard about problems in Israel, but hadn't looked into it much until the other night....and then I was like, "umm, how are we not all talking about this when we talk about reopening schools?!" 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

It's looking like middle schools were the biggest problem in Israel, maybe not very surprisingly: 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains

As the article says, middle-schoolers aren't obedient, and are also not in the age group that don't spread the virus easily. 

 

This is proof of what I've been saying all along - middle school is the worst.

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8 hours ago, dmmetler said:

I just met with my director this morning to discuss small group, socially distanced, masks required, mostly outdoor music class (Using individual kits, percussion based) that we can offer during the first quarter for kids who are doing the virtual option. We're also trying to offer socially distanced PE and art.  We may end up taking these online if the numbers rise too much, but the goal is to give small groups of kids that "pod" where they might do art, music, and PE each week with the same kids. They've been doing pods for the summer camps the last few weeks, and it seems to be working relatively well-mostly due to having a large, mostly shaded lot where groups can be spread out. 

 

 

 

PE is one situation where masks may be problematic?

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9 hours ago, pitterpatter said:

I see all kinds of pictures of children in Asian countries wearing masks. 🤔 Surely, children in the United States can learn to do the same. 

 

9 hours ago, MEmama said:

Yes. I sometimes wonder if people honestly don’t consider that there’s an entire universe out there beyond this country's borders, and that our ways are often not the only ways nor the best. 

My elementary school niece in Asia gets a choice of mask or face shield. Here I can buy face shields at Korean, Chinese and Japanese supermarkets. 

9 hours ago, pitterpatter said:

This is kind of a side question that I'm not sure where to post. Are special classes like art, PE, and music pretty much out this coming school year? Do schools even attempt those virtually? And if they are out for the year in public schools, are homeschoolers exempt too? (Not that I really have to worry about it where I live.)

My friend’s high school child had to attend PE lessons on Zoom, similar in style to online yoga classes. Music and art are out. Homeschooling regulations is lax (just need to file annually) in California.

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https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/year-round-schools-in-hayward-start-new-year-in-the-parking-lot/2327497/

“The first day of year-round school got underway in Hayward Thursday, but instead of welcome assemblies and hallways of screaming kids in new clothes, parents and students never left the car. 

With the schooling for now remaining virtual, Hayward Unified held a welcome-back drive-through at its four year-round schools. At Park Elementary School, parents pulled their cars up to tables where masked staff handed out school supplies, information and laptops. Students met their teachers through the car window. 

"I feel like I have lost something," said kindergarten teacher Argelia Ramos as she watched one of her students shuttled away. "I cannot see or hug the kids. That's very hard for me." 

The district said the event was an attempt to create a connection between the students and the school — albeit one that will rely on distance learning. 

"I think everyone loses out when you don't get to have that really personal connection," said school district spokeswoman Dionicia Ramos. "But our main focus has to be on the health and safety of our students and our staff." 

...

For the time being, students will attend daily Zoom classes — with parents meeting up with teachers in one-on-one virtual sessions and meetings.”

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10 hours ago, MEmama said:

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.

I’ve never asked either of my children to do something uncomfortable for 6-7 hours a day and they’re both grown now. Literally expecting 8-year-olds to get used to not breathing freely, while possible, is a tall order. The consequences of them doing it wrong and spreading a virus seems a bit too high. They’ll touch them and mess with them and remove them on the bus. Passing adult responsibility on to them makes me incredibly nervous. 

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10 hours ago, pitterpatter said:

This is kind of a side question that I'm not sure where to post. Are special classes like art, PE, and music pretty much out this coming school year? Do schools even attempt those virtually? And if they are out for the year in public schools, are homeschoolers exempt too? (Not that I really have to worry about it where I live.)

My district bringing everyone in five days a week for a shorter day. They are keeping PE and all non-core classes. Everything is being adapted based on space, facilities and numbers of students. For instance, elementary music will be using percussion instruments, learning about different types of music, etc. Middle and high school chorus will build in non-singing lessons such as theory, etc. I believe the kids won't be dressing for PE at all levels.

Even when we were doing remote learning, all of these continued. I believe PE was personal fitness, and they didn't have regular meeting times like the other classes did. 

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All schools (public, private, charter) in Dallas County, Texas, must be online-only until after Labor Day.  This was ordered by the county Health and Human Services Director, Dr. Philip Huang.

"Under the Dallas County order, all public and private schools must submit a written safety plan two weeks prior to resuming in-person classes. Those plans will be reviewed by Huang to ensure staff and students will have adequate access to handwashing stations and will be able to maintain 6 feet of physical distance."

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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

PE is one situation where masks may be problematic?

I think they're thinking yoga and similar activities that don't involve heavy breathing. I know the yoga teacher teaches some senior citizen and mom and tot classes during the day, so she would be potentially able to do classes for school age kids as well. 

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On 7/15/2020 at 3:58 PM, AmandaVT said:

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 a bit speechless at this. 

On 7/15/2020 at 4:06 PM, EmseB said:

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.

One factor for teachers is that many have paid into pensions for years that they will lose if they walk away from their job at this point. There needs to be a way that teachers don’t lose their retirement funds if they stay out of the classroom during this. 

On 7/15/2020 at 5:14 PM, kokotg said:

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. 

 

14 hours ago, Kanin said:

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

but masks IN the classroom, where it's most important? That's just TOO MUCH!

 

11 hours ago, Innisfree said:

Some kids will have a hard time, yes. Some harder than others. But if all the adults in their lives cheerfully assume this is the new normal*, I think most kids will pick it up easily.

Special needs are a different situation, of course.

In general, though, I think kids can handle this, just like they learn to sit on their spot for circle time and wait for their turn at the play dough.

*I think this is the problem. The adults don't want to accept wearing masks.

 

Yeah, I don’t buy this either. My exceedingly wiggly 3 year old now leaves her mask on beautifully, and is unphased by it. We worked on it in short stints, knowing that it was likely she might eventually need to wear one to go somewhere. At first she wanted it off after just a few minutes. Now it’s fine. Recently we were somewhere windy, and she asked for it on to keep her face warm. I really do think the adult attitude about it makes a huge difference. We’re all wearing them, including her siblings, and no one makes an issue out of it. 

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20 minutes ago, lovelearnandlive said:

I saw that Newsom will be holding a press conference at noon tomorrow re: CA schools. I think a big announcement is coming.

 

5 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

I think he'll come out and either says all schools online or all schools in counties on the watch list online. Either way, I hope he has solutions to the far reaching ramifications that type of thing will have.

Yesterday on NBC Bay Area https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/california/california-schools-chief-says-some-district-can-open-safely/2326670/

“California’s education chief on Wednesday applauded the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, for this week’s decision not to reopen classrooms this fall amid rising coronavirus cases but said the same rules need not apply in counties with low rates of infection.

With three weeks until some districts go back to school, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond called for “an abundance of caution” as many of California’s 1,000 school districts finalize plans for the new school term.

“In any place where there is uncertainty, we should proceed with caution. In many cases, that’s going to be opening in distance learning,” Thurmond said in a weekly media briefing held online.

California

However, there is no one-size-fits-all template for reopening schools, and classroom learning can still happen in counties or districts where it can be done safely, he said.

Many small, rural communities argue they shouldn’t have to comply with the same rules as big cities, where infection rates are higher, and Thurmond indicated Wednesday he agreed.

“We have some counties in this state where the number of cases is actually quite low,” he said. “Schools in those counties will actually be able to open and, if they’re following the guidance that our experts have provided — hand washing, 6 feet of spacing, maintaining physical distance and of course, everyone wearing a face covering — we believe that those schools can open safely.”

California’s Department of Education released a detailed guide in early June for the safe reopening of schools. The guide laid out recommendations for taking temperature upon entering buses and schools, spacing out desks, cutting class sizes and rigorous cleaning of campuses and hand sanitizing for students and staff. But that was before California’s case count exploded.

“Since we’ve issued our guidance, conditions have changed dramatically,” Thurmond said.

The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, the two largest in California with a combined K-12 student population of about 720,000, announced Monday their school years will begin next month with distance learning because of rising coronavirus hospitalizations and infection rates.”

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