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25 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

So tell me - they got the test results the day after taking the test. Does this mean they probably sat for the test knowing they’d been exposed somewhere somehow that warranted a test, maybe even tested because they had symptoms, and sat for the test knowing their test results were pending? Because I bet that is what they did. 

I have no idea what their individual circumstances are. It doesn’t really matter in the context of schools not being safe to open in an unchecked and raging pandemic, though, because they aren’t isolated incidents. It’s not a judgement on these two kids, but I do think it is yet another warning about the insidious truths of this virus. 

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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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I watched our school board meeting this week. In our district, parents had to choose all-online or all-in-person. A little less than 20%  chose the online option, so the classrooms will be 80% full.

They have not finalized their online lesson provider yet, but they are mostly sure which one they will pick, and it came down to cost. The one they are picking will cost the district less than $10,000 for the year, and other options ranged from $60,000 to a million dollars. I completely understand the need to choose an affordable option, but I'm wondering whether choosing the lower priced one means sacrificing quality. The district will be using its own teachers for the elementary online classes, perhaps for the middle school classes, and for the high school special ed students who need specially designed instruction. Some IEP accommodations will not be possible with the online classes, so they may need to have IEP meetings to revise some students' plans.

There is no information yet about classes such as band, choir, and art. Sports teams are practicing, but it's questionable whether competition will go forward (no mention of this at the school board meeting). A coalition of state football coaches presented a plan to the governor, which is being reviewed. Part of that plan involves a short half time during games, so I assume that would affect bands, and the distancing guides for the sidelines might affect cheerleading (I have musicians and a cheerleader).

They read a letter from the teacher's union that stated that a poll of teachers showed 65% of teachers think the reopening plan is unsafe, and almost 80% of teachers think they won't be able to ensure social distancing. The school board's only comments about this are that they wished the union would have presented their concerns in a way that would allow them to be discussed (that portion of the meeting was only for the presentation of statements and not for discussion).

Obviously, the students will not be able to social distance if 80% of them are still together in the building.

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30 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

The thing is, we don’t know if it will. There are some differences in risks and demographics, less multigenerational families, etc. But my point is that even if the schools have to shut back down and it spreads among the children like wildfire (which is not what the evidence points to overall) it still is probably the best choice for much of the population. It’s the reason my own high risk child is going back, even though I DO homeschool. Tradeoffs and risk are a part of life and staying home or working distance is NOT the best answer for many students and their families.

well, I believe it will almost certainly happen here given that they had very, very few cases when they reopened; I just can't imagine that any demographic differences here could make up for that advantage that they started out with (and, of course, multigenerational households are quite common in some parts of the US). As for the rest, I guess I just disagree that what happened there--explosive growth of covid when before it had appeared to be under control, much of it traced to school outbreaks, having to start all over again in a much worse position than they started out with--are acceptable trade-offs for a month or two of in person school. And that's putting aside for the moment how some people will get very sick and some will die. Honestly, I think you have a much different tolerance for risk than most people; if you told people we'd likely see massive growth of covid after opening schools and could trace nearly half of that growth to schools opening and that thousands and thousands of schools would need to shut back down within weeks, I really don't think you'd see much support for schools opening right now. 

ETA: but you're totally right that there's an element of uncertainty here. I would sincerely love to be wrong and will readily admit if I am and schools reopening goes well. We're about to start a huge experiment with every state and/or district trying something different, so we'll know soon enough.

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2 hours ago, JadeOrchidSong said:

Interesting article...not exactly what I was expecting the message to be.  At the end, I am not sure what he was expecting homeschoolers to share about low contact activities.  Homeschooling is primarily chosen by families who have sacrificed to have a parent stay home in order to teach their children.  Most of our organized activities aren’t going to be happening this year either.  I have worked for years to find a couple of compatible families with similar ages children to socialize with occasionally.  Occasionally because we all have school to do daily.

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54 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

So tell me - they got the test results the day after taking the test. Does this mean they probably sat for the test knowing they’d been exposed somewhere somehow that warranted a test, maybe even tested because they had symptoms, and sat for the test knowing their test results were pending? Because I bet that is what they did. 

I agree that is likely what they did.  With so many test dates being canceled, I am not surprised that some tested anyway to get it done for college admissions.

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16 minutes ago, MEmama said:

So what do we do now, when our federal government has proudly abdicated its role in protecting public health? When 50 governors are expected to just figure it out on their own? Quite clearly, there aren’t any good solutions, are there? It’s too damn late now to be crying that it’s each man for his own when that’s exactly what so many people insist they want for this country.

Exactly!!

Child with severe mental illness?  You're on your own.  No health insurance?  You're on your own.  Addicted to drugs?  You're on your own.  Victim of pervasive discrimination?  Single parent trying to get an education?  Older worker in a dying industry?  Want to bond with your new baby, but can't afford to not get paid?  You're on your own.

And here we are.  And unfortunately, many of the people who feel strongest about small government, are now also those who most need schools to open as childcare.   But their need to have their kids in school does not trump the rights of the teachers, janitors, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, grandparents, medical professionals, and community in general who would be put in harm's way.  The virus does not care about their needs, and unfortunately we have built a government that doesn't know how to take care of their needs.  So mostly they are on their own.  😞

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3 minutes ago, Medicmom2.0 said:


Well, honestly this is the message our local school superintendents have been giving people.  Yet the latest survey they did still had 75-80% of parents wanting fully opened, five day a week school with before and after care.

really? They're saying opening schools will dramatically worsen and prolong the outbreak in your community and that lots of kids and teachers will get sick and that many schools will likely shut down again soon anyway? Are these school superintendents arguing in favor of or against schools reopening? I guess I shouldn't so much say if people said this most parents wouldn't be in favor of schools reopening so much as that if parents BELIEVED it they wouldn't. 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

Yeah, it really depends on the age. Past some age it does make sense, I think. 

Maybe, but if you look at online colleges for adults who are paying to attend and ostensibly have some outside motivation like a job, attrition rates are pretty high.

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8 minutes ago, square_25 said:

And at least in NY, it's vaguely reasonable to have school. Lots of places are way worse off!! 

Ah. Yeah, I definitely think part of the problem with having this conversation is that different parts of the country are in such different positions right now. There are going to be risks to opening anywhere right now, but those risks look a whole lot different in Florida or Texas or Georgia than they do in New York or New Hampshire or Massachusetts. One of big things I'm seeing, though, is that it's often the very places with the most risk right now that are willing to take the fewest steps that might make reopening successful. There's a better way to word that that's eluding me at the moment. 

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15 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

Child with severe mental illness?  You're on your own.  No health insurance?  You're on your own.  Addicted to drugs?  You're on your own.  Victim of pervasive discrimination?  Single parent trying to get an education?  Older worker in a dying industry?  Want to bond with your new baby, but can't afford to not get paid?  You're on your own.

It makes me feel sick to think that this may be the prevailing view in this country. I hope it's not. I'm all for much higher taxes to pay for services for everyone on this list and more. We need a major overhaul of the tax system to make this happen, not to mention a massive rethinking of our national priorities.

I would certainly die for my students. If one of them was about to get run down by a bus, I'd jump in front of the bus and push them out of the way. But I don't want to PUT them in front of the bus, and THEN leap in front of the bus to save them. 

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18 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

By the way, you guys can claim that people just don't care about others and want teachers to die, but the most vocal people for schools re-opening in some way are essential workers who have been working through all of this time. There are a whole lot of people who think that it's ridiculous that teachers somehow are the only people who can't go back to work safely. I know people here seem to think that people who think that way are wrong, but it's a big thought going around. Many of us essential workers have also taken pay cuts in order to work throughout this and take all of the risk.

CA does have the political clout to make laws that many here would like, but we haven't. Why? Money.  They already had to cut out expanding social programs because of the budget deficit.

You can complain about all this and motivations, but the question that's being evaded completely is what.about.subs.??!!  Teachers are going to be out more often and for longer, because you're not supposed to come in with 'symptoms' - which could be anything.  And if you do get this, it's not a sick day or two, it's two weeks to two months to oops, you're dead.  WHO are the subs?  How is this actually workable?  For long-term subs like that, you also need people who can actually teach, not just put on movies.  I used to sub.  That's what many, many, many teachers do as their plan.  But I can't imagine who all these competent subs are who are going to sign up for a Covid-infected teacher (who probably has at least 1 kid positive in the class and rising), long-term, and for pretty much minimum wage.  I'm not volunteering myself.

As many others have said, you can't just will or wish this to work.  The plans being put out are just not going to work past the first round of infections.  Other than the meat packing places, which have had terrible outbreaks, there aren't a lot of places that have people working in as close conditions for that many hours a day.  It is different than being a grocery or Walmart worker.  It just is.  We need a plan that works with current reality, not wishes.

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I came across this piece today and I think it is something that we should definitely be considering. These factors, along with the fact that due to covid protocols we are going to have to keep teachers and students home that have any potential symptoms, I just don’t see socially distanced classrooms as being superior to online learning, except for perhaps the childcare issue.

https://gen.medium.com/i-spent-three-weeks-in-school-with-kids-under-covid-19-21b78c1a9339

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The article about the private school, he wasn't impressed with the learning and felt it lost a lot because he couldn't see expressions, but nobody got sick.   The masks, distancing, etc. evidently worked.  

The transmission at the ACT, in addition to the students possibly having had symptoms already, there were few people masking.  

If we want schools to open we need to try and reduce the number of students in many cases, by offering online options for those who can do that, AND make sure they are requiring everyone to follow safety guidelines - masks, distancing as much as possible, cleaning, etc.   

I don't understand why anyone would want to just open up with no safety guidelines or anything.  That's just asking for trouble.  

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3 hours ago, Medicmom2.0 said:



I don't understand at all why there's a lot of talk about closing schools, and not any discussion on how to make it feasible for families.  

I and others have talked about it quite a bit, I think. Goal needs to be middle and highschool online, except for special education. No, it won't be as good as in person, but it's the best we can do right now. Anyone with an elementary student who CAN keep them home and do virtual school or homeschool, needs to. Those who cannot, due to work or special needs, etc, those kids go to school on campus but use the same virtual learning as those at home. They do their coursework on computers in small groups and siblings are in the same group. You don't have to do it by age/grade since they are doing their own work on the computer. You can use the empty middle and high school rooms to space kids out, and you don't need certified teachers, just lab assistants to help supervise the kids and answer questions. Those assistants work in the same classroom as their own children, if their children are school aged, to reduce contact even further. 

Ideal? Heck no. Feasible? Possibly. More so than having kids bring this home in wide numbers, infecting their parents and grandparents and siblings and such. Especially since the ones that need the childcare are also the ones that can't afford to be out sick for themselves or their kids. 

You say we haven't discussed what to do with the kids if we don't open schools. I want to know what those who advocate for opening schools say we should do with the kids when their classmates expose them? When classes shut down randomly for quarantine? What do we do with the kids when their single working mom catches it when they bring it home and can't care for them?

If opening schools was an obvious better answer, we wouldn't be fighting it. But it's not. There will still be logistical problems. 

2 hours ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

. The likelihood of severe side effects and severe, life threatening illness to the school aged cohort and their parents is small enough to be a sensible risk for most of us. And it comes with the built in trade off of possibly danger to higher risk extended family, neighbors, etc. 
 

And you know what? That still doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice.

Their parents will spread it in the community, as will they if we are talking older kids, teens, etc. How do we protect the most vulnerable if we let it run rampant through the community at large? 

1 hour ago, square_25 said:

Yeah, I don't disagree with any of that. I just thought the article posted was rather privileged, because it talked about a school that stayed open but that "didn't result in great learning happening." You know what? That may very well be good enough for the year. 

Same can be said for those complaining that virtual learning isn't good enough for their AP student and what not. It might not b, but it may be the only real option. 

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29 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

By the way, you guys can claim that people just don't care about others and want teachers to die, but the most vocal people for schools re-opening in some way are essential workers who have been working through all of this time. There are a whole lot of people who think that it's ridiculous that teachers somehow are the only people who can't go back to work safely. I know people here seem to think that people who think that way are wrong, but it's a big thought going around. Many of us essential workers have also taken pay cuts in order to work throughout this and take all of the risk.

 

Plenty of people HAVEN'T gone back to work safely. They've gone back to work (or never stopped working) under unsafe conditions, and that's responsible for a huge percentage of the numbers we're seeing right now. That's not right, and thank God more and more companies are finally taking steps to protect their workers now. You've said that your workplace, for example, requires that everyone wear masks, correct? Most of the schools in my area that are planning to go back to in person school are NOT requiring masks. They're not making any attempt at social distancing. I've said it before, but if you show me another job where people are working in close, sustained contact with 150 different people a day AND no one is even protecting them with basic safety precautions then I will ABSOLUTELY speak up against that, too. Because it's not only unsafe for those workers, it's unsafe for the entire community they live in, and that sort of situation is a lot of why we're in this position right now. It would be foolish to subject hundreds of thousands more people to those kinds of conditions. 

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10 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

The article about the private school, he wasn't impressed with the learning and felt it lost a lot because he couldn't see expressions, but nobody got sick.   The masks, distancing, etc. evidently worked.  

The transmission at the ACT, in addition to the students possibly having had symptoms already, there were few people masking.  

If we want schools to open we need to try and reduce the number of students in many cases, by offering online options for those who can do that, AND make sure they are requiring everyone to follow safety guidelines - masks, distancing as much as possible, cleaning, etc.   

I don't understand why anyone would want to just open up with no safety guidelines or anything.  That's just asking for trouble.  

 

I agree with you. The article just reinforced for me that, until it is safe to be back in school without masks and distancing, learning is going to be negatively impacted whether it is happening online or in a socially distanced classroom. 

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7 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Who else is going back to work in places that stuff 20 people in a crowded room for hours at a time, without PPE or adequate testing? That's not most workplaces (and lots offices are staying remote, frankly.) It's very hard to keep spread out of schools in the same way that it's very hard to keep spread out of bars! 

Bars! There's another workplace with similar conditions to schools, particularly since people can't wear masks while they're drinking (assuming the bars don't limit capacity). Well, there you go. I don't think bars (inside seating anyway) should be open in my area, either, and you can trace our numbers going up to when bars reopened. 

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

Are you personally going to mind if your school reopens and then closes again? 

I think she was saying they shouldn't close, because the risk of the disease is less than having kids out of school, even with an outbreak. I could be worng, but that seemed the  point to me. 

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13 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I and others have talked about it quite a bit, I think. Goal needs to be middle and highschool online, except for special education. No, it won't be as good as in person, but it's the best we can do right now. Anyone with an elementary student who CAN keep them home and do virtual school or homeschool, needs to. Those who cannot, due to work or special needs, etc, those kids go to school on campus but use the same virtual learning as those at home. They do their coursework on computers in small groups and siblings are in the same group. You don't have to do it by age/grade since they are doing their own work on the computer. You can use the empty middle and high school rooms to space kids out, and you don't need certified teachers, just lab assistants to help supervise the kids and answer questions. Those assistants work in the same classroom as their own children, if their children are school aged, to reduce contact even further. 

Ideal? Heck no. Feasible? Possibly. More so than having kids bring this home in wide numbers, infecting their parents and grandparents and siblings and such. Especially since the ones that need the childcare are also the ones that can't afford to be out sick for themselves or their kids. 

 

 

I don't think it is feasible. 68 percent of our kids get free breakfast and lunch.  A decent percentage of kids come from homes where their parents only speak Spanish. They will not be able to help their kids navigate the technology IF they even have it.  We have paid bukoos of money trying to get the internet to be reliable and fast enough to do what I need to do for grad school.  A mifi, plus big antenna, plus some kind of booster thing that scans channels or something. The Hispanic family living across the street with the 6th grader in the trailer home...yeah, they don't have that.   Basically you would have at least 3/4 of our district doing what you would propose,  

I honestly don't know how it will work.  You can choose either online or in-person.  I think you can switch once.  But the attendance policy hasn't changed.  I don't know how in cold season, allergies, etc.  But this is the policy:

When a student between ages 6 and 19 incurs unexcused absences for three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, the school will send a notice to the student’s parent, as required by law, to remind the parent that it is the parent’s duty to monitor his or her child’s attendance and to require the student to come to school. The notice will also inform the parent that the district will initiate truancy prevention measures and request a conference between school administrators and the parent. These measures will include a behavior improvement plan, school-based community service, or referrals to either in-school or out-of-school counseling or other social services. Any other measures considered appropriate by the district will also be initiated.

A court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school. A complaint against the parent may be filed in court if the student:

• Is absent without excuse from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a 180 day in the same school year

       or
 
 • Is absent without excuse on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period.

For a student younger than 12 years of age, the student’s parent could be charged with an offense based on the student’s failure to attend school. If a student age 12 through age 17 violates the compulsory attendance law, both the parent and student could be charged with an offense.
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Just now, Ktgrok said:

I think she was saying they shouldn't close, because the risk of the disease is less than having kids out of school, even with an outbreak. I could be worng, but that seemed the  point to me. 

She's said before that she fully expects some closures and quarantines, but still thinks reopening is the best option for the most people. I think I'm representing that fairly; let me know if I'm not.

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2 hours ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

The thing is, we don’t know if it will. There are some differences in risks and demographics, less multigenerational families, etc. But my point is that even if the schools have to shut back down and it spreads among the children like wildfire (which is not what the evidence points to overall) it still is probably the best choice for much of the population. It’s the reason my own high risk child is going back, even though I DO homeschool. Tradeoffs and risk are a part of life and staying home or working distance is NOT the best answer for many students and their families.

 

You speak of wildfires. We don't allow people to assess their own tradeoffs and risks when it comes to setting fires willy-nilly in dry areas, do we? No, we regulate that because one person should not be empowered to put everybody else at risk.

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2 minutes ago, Happymomof1 said:

 

I don't think it is feasible. 68 percent of our kids get free breakfast and lunch.  A decent percentage of kids come from homes where their parents only speak Spanish. They will not be able to help their kids navigate the technology IF they even have it. 

Even if 70% of elementary school kids attend, or lets say up to 6th grade even, as those kids are still pretty young, having all middle and high school students do distance learning would leave a lot of empty classrooms to use to spread out. 

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

I would assume there's going to be more parent-directed enforcement at these virtual schools, lol. 

I don't know why. That's the whole problem of two working parents and virtual school. Who directs the kid to log in each day? Who makes sure they are paying attention to their zoom meeting? Based on my experience with virtual ed both myself and with my (homeschooled) kids, I honestly don't know how people think virtual class is going to work for the vast majority of students.

It is going to be good enough for kids with a TON of parent direction, but that was my earlier point: I tell parents who are willing to put in that kind of time that they are better off not being beholden to the public school requirements. For others, I think it will just be a lost year of education.

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Just now, Ktgrok said:

Even if 70% of elementary school kids attend, or lets say up to 6th grade even, as those kids are still pretty young, having all middle and high school students do distance learning would leave a lot of empty classrooms to use to spread out. 

???  Ok, maybe I'm just not understanding. So in the school that is K-3rd, there are a total of maybe 24 classrooms.  So you are saying that if we have 70 percent  stay home, that gives us 7 extra classrooms.  But really, if we social distanced that school like we should we need 48 classrooms. So really we don't have enough classrooms for the elementary students much less high school. ( Yes, our schools are like that. We have a 4th and 5th grade school. then 6-8, then 9-12. I'm not sure, their maybe a K/1 campus.  The built new schools since my kids attended.  

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2 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

I’ll just go stand in the heartless bitch corner for being willing to state the tradeoff plainly.  Continue without me 🥂 

I don't think you are heartless at all.  I understand the sentiment. It sounds good.  I'm just afraid your school is going to end up closed more than it is open and the absolute lack of consistency will be a problem, particularly for special needs. 

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5 minutes ago, square_25 said:

If high schoolers are staying home, you can use those buildings. 

But they cannot. 78 percent need free breakfast and lunch.  They cannot stay home. They do not have supervision and/or their parents speak Spanish and cannot help them.  Many times the children have to translate for the parents at school events. Many do not have internet or laptops or whatever.  Our district had to have paper packets last spring for the kids to pick up and then drop off because the access to technology isn't there in my district.  They also handed out free lunch in the parking lot as well. ( Church youth helped with that...few at a time, masked, etc.)

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

I think around here, people were providing meals for pick up at schools, and then no one was picking them up. Anyway, delivering meals is easier than making them safe at school. 

According to our district plan they are supposed to bring their lunch this year or pick up a to go at the cafeteria and eat it in the classroom.

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Just now, square_25 said:

I still don't see opening high schools going reasonably. Everyone will get sick. 

Yeah, I agree.  This is going to be such a crappy year.

On the other spectrum, my sister-in-laws' district is doing online for at least 3 weeks.  One of them teaches 2nd grade.  Zoom was bad enough last year, but starting the year with ZOOM?  These kids don't know her. So she is getting to know them with an hour or something a day.  I'm not sure how they are organizing it. Last spring, she went on a couple of times a day to answer questions and give help.  I have no idea if they will have specific times for instruction or what.  Haven't talked to her about it yet.  But I just cannot imagine teaching a young elementary class effectively remotely.

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17 minutes ago, Happymomof1 said:

???  Ok, maybe I'm just not understanding. So in the school that is K-3rd, there are a total of maybe 24 classrooms.  So you are saying that if we have 70 percent  stay home, that gives us 7 extra classrooms.  But really, if we social distanced that school like we should we need 48 classrooms. So really we don't have enough classrooms for the elementary students much less high school. ( Yes, our schools are like that. We have a 4th and 5th grade school. then 6-8, then 9-12. I'm not sure, their maybe a K/1 campus.  The built new schools since my kids attended.  

You use the middle school and high school classrooms. Because those kids need to stay home. they are old enough. 

11 minutes ago, Happymomof1 said:

But they cannot. 78 percent need free breakfast and lunch.  They cannot stay home. They do not have supervision and/or their parents speak Spanish and cannot help them.  Many times the children have to translate for the parents at school events. Many do not have internet or laptops or whatever.  Our district had to have paper packets last spring for the kids to pick up and then drop off because the access to technology isn't there in my district.  They also handed out free lunch in the parking lot as well. ( Church youth helped with that...few at a time, masked, etc.)

They don't NEED supervision. I mean, seriously, are we going to say teenagers in highschool need supervision and help with technology? And it is WAY easier to logistically manage meal drop off sites than keeping the virus from running rampant in a highschool. Weekly meal drop offs or pick ups are much more feasible - some areas did them with the buses. And it again, is more feasible to get tech to teens than to keep them from spreading the virus throughout the school, to their teachers, community, etc. 

2 minutes ago, square_25 said:

I still don't see opening high schools going reasonably. Everyone will get sick. 

Yeah, there is NOT excuse for that, especially in hard hit areas. None. Special education, sure. Everyone else, no. 

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What I find it interesting is that the district here that has the highest % high need kids (Title I, special needs, ELL, etc) also has the highest percentage opting for virtual for the first semester. The percentages are much lower in the suburbs which are more middle income. Having said that, the district with the highest % opting out has also delayed their start date and was the first to officially close in March. 

 

My gut feeling is that there will be a lot of grad students analyzing this year for years to come.

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6 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

You use the middle school and high school classrooms. Because those kids need to stay home. they are old enough. 

They don't NEED supervision. I mean, seriously, are we going to say teenagers in highschool need supervision and help with technology? And it is WAY easier to logistically manage meal drop off sites than keeping the virus from running rampant in a highschool. Weekly meal drop offs or pick ups are much more feasible - some areas did them with the buses. And it again, is more feasible to get tech to teens than to keep them from spreading the virus throughout the school, to their teachers, community, etc. 

 

Yeah, I think the rate was 30 percent or so didn't ever log in and/or turn in their packets.  Then a lot of ones that did, didn't try.   

Listen, I agree with you sort of.  I'm just saying they will not get an education.  But if they go everyone will get sick and they won't get an education.  Basically, unless a parent is taking charge of their education, many, many students will be left behind whether it is online or in person.  That is my only point.  The vulnerable will get left behind either way.

Edited to add, last year I know the high school had paper packets.  But those in dual credit or AP had online though it was awful from what I heard.  I had a friend trying to teach her kids precalc.  Our district had no new instruction once Covid hit and they got the grade they left with.  They could go up, but not down. 

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33 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Absolutely not, I expect it. Why would I change my mind about whether it was a good idea to go back or not on the merits of the value of school simply because of some spread? The spread is not what I prioritize, if that was my chief issue then I’d respond differently. 

My chief issue is that children be educated and cared for during the day if their parents cannot manage it. Especially for vulnerable students like my own and children in situations where school meals, child care, and educational content are paramount to their thriving.

I assume there will be at least one or two big closures here, based on the criteria our district set. That’s still less problematic than distance learning the whole semester, or a part time schedule.

School reopening carries risks I am comfortable with, as a parent sending back my most vulnerable child. Of course I’m cool with distance options for those who can do them, and who feel that is their best choice. But I am absolutely opposed to that being standard for numerous reasons (which I have stated here at length).

Special ed kids are being exempted in Melbourne for their school closures.  

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I've been a witness to how the online schooling experience thru the eyes of my daughter who is a public school teacher.  Back in March they closed down all the schools and the governor rules that schoolwork was optional.  Teachers could not teach any further skills to finish out the year but you could review skills already learned.  Depending upon the school you worked in resulted in how much you had to work with to come up with lessons.  My dd's school had invested in 1 online program - nothing more. (She has since transferred to a different school for the fall and this school had 20+ options to work with and offering to do more.) She had to search for ideas and projects that she could implement online.  She spent some $$ making it come together.  She had 26 students but less than 1/2 ever showed up for a 30 minute lesson 1x a week - again, all that the state/governor mandated.  Sure, they made the kids all had laptops and most likely the state will never see a whole bunch of laptops that were handed out.  Some parents sat nearby during the lesson and made sure their child was engaged and participated.  Some parents did nothing when their kid was putting their feet and other body parts up into the screen.  One child was playing on their DS - with mom sitting next to the child.  Some kids did the assignments and many were done by the parents - not the child.  It just didn't matter because they passed all the kids on to the next grade level.

3 weeks ago she took on the role as a summer school teacher.  She had hoped it was going to be in person, but alas, it was all online.  23 kids were assigned to her class - the kids that were assigned were kids that received the instruction for free (if you didn't qualify you could pay $150 for 3 weeks of instruction) because they desperately needed the extra time and attention.  Once again, 1/2 the kids showed up.  This time she was allowed to schedule 30 min small groups and 30 minutes per day 4x during the week.  Kids were late in signing on - like half the class was already over.  Kids didn't show up to their small groups and parents demanded they be allowed to attend a different one (they were grouped by skill level).  She had some behavior issues with some of the kids, once again, but parents, who were sitting by, did absolutely nothing to help correct/redirect.  Parents were submitting work done by the parent - not the child. 

Both of these courses were for 2nd grade.  If parents don't step up to help their child learn then it really will be a lost year of education. 

Her new school lead teacher has shared that they believe the schools will open in January.  They currently have 5 first grade classes (my dd is moving to teach 1st and loves it better) but still needed one more teacher with the numbers of enrollment and rising Kindies but between June and July a whole bunch of parents have removed their kids from the school to either homeschool or have them attend private school for the year (they are opening in my area - supposedly) so they don't need to add another classroom.  They think this will change in January when everything will open back up and parents will be tired of homeschooling or paying a tuition (although I'm sure they'd need to finish the year 😉  My dd was not looking forward to another 4/5 months of remote teaching from her bedroom but it looks like they might have the teachers come into the building and teach from their classrooms.  This will allow them the access to all the things they need - storybooks to read, visuals, etc. that might make it a bit easier.

This is going to be quite a year -- I suppose my dd should keep a journal because this will be one for the books!

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5 minutes ago, 1shortmomto4 said:

I'

This is going to be quite a year -- I suppose my dd should keep a journal because this will be one for the books!

Your description sounds similar to my sister-in-law's experience.  I wonder what will happen with student teaching this semester!!!  Can you imagine?  But if they cannot do it, then they cannot graduate. 

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good thread with overview of studies in school reopening.  Conclusion that’s it’s safe with low transmission but not with a big outbreak ... helpful for the links to studies etc.

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The teachers in my family who have kids have opted for their dc to do online school. They don’t think schools will stay open long and don’t want the disruption so they’ve found family/friends to stay home with the kids while they teach. 

Dh’s company was supposed to be back in the office by September 1st but they announced it will be sometime next year instead. No specific date at all anymore.

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

I don't know why. That's the whole problem of two working parents and virtual school. Who directs the kid to log in each day? Who makes sure they are paying attention to their zoom meeting? Based on my experience with virtual ed both myself and with my (homeschooled) kids, I honestly don't know how people think virtual class is going to work for the vast majority of students.

It is going to be good enough for kids with a TON of parent direction, but that was my earlier point: I tell parents who are willing to put in that kind of time that they are better off not being beholden to the public school requirements. For others, I think it will just be a lost year of education.

 It was a huge problem with our local virtual school setup in the spring. Students were simply not engaging. The numbers were documented in school district stats and they were shocking. I had a long conversation recently with a local physician who is quite concerned about schools going online (which is definitely our situation now) because she could not get her (difficult) teens to log in. Single working parent in an essential job, running a private practice. One of the kids failed classes.

My daughter does fine. It's not a personal issue for me. But I see that many will struggle, and essentially lose a year or more of education.

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1 hour ago, Happymomof1 said:

I don't think you are heartless at all.  I understand the sentiment. It sounds good.  I'm just afraid your school is going to end up closed more than it is open and the absolute lack of consistency will be a problem, particularly for special needs. 

This is exactly why we're keeping home the one child we have who attends public school. He has autism, and while distance learning may not be the greatest option, his need for consistency and routine is greater, and if the school keeps shutting down, he's not going to be learning anyway, and he'll be miserable.

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3 hours ago, kokotg said:

well, I believe it will almost certainly happen here given that they had very, very few cases when they reopened; I just can't imagine that any demographic differences here could make up for that advantage that they started out with (and, of course, multigenerational households are quite common in some parts of the US). As for the rest, I guess I just disagree that what happened there--explosive growth of covid when before it had appeared to be under control, much of it traced to school outbreaks, having to start all over again in a much worse position than they started out with--are acceptable trade-offs for a month or two of in person school. And that's putting aside for the moment how some people will get very sick and some will die. Honestly, I think you have a much different tolerance for risk than most people; if you told people we'd likely see massive growth of covid after opening schools and could trace nearly half of that growth to schools opening and that thousands and thousands of schools would need to shut back down within weeks, I really don't think you'd see much support for schools opening right now. 

RE: the bolded... I think the Powers That Be are only really concerned with those first couple of months anyway. If schools are forced to reopen in September, so parents all go back to work, unemployment goes down, the economy looks like it's picking up, then even if there are sporadic shutdowns in September and October, as long as the shit doesn't truly hit the fan and close everything back down until after November 3rd, they will have accomplished what they set out to do. It's easy to order schools to reopen without providing any kind of plan to make them safe, or keep them open, if you only really care that they stay open for a couple of months.

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56 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

RE: the bolded... I think the Powers That Be are only really concerned with those first couple of months anyway. If schools are forced to reopen in September, so parents all go back to work, unemployment goes down, the economy looks like it's picking up, then even if there are sporadic shutdowns in September and October, as long as the shit doesn't truly hit the fan and close everything back down until after November 3rd, they will have accomplished what they set out to do. It's easy to order schools to reopen without providing any kind of plan to make them safe, or keep them open, if you only really care that they stay open for a couple of months.

This might be an even darker explanation for the thought process going on right now than what I had in my head. But....yeah. 

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2 hours ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Absolutely not, I expect it. Why would I change my mind about whether it was a good idea to go back or not on the merits of the value of school simply because of some spread? The spread is not what I prioritize, if that was my chief issue then I’d respond differently. 

My chief issue is that children be educated and cared for during the day if their parents cannot manage it. Especially for vulnerable students like my own and children in situations where school meals, child care, and educational content are paramount to their thriving.

I assume there will be at least one or two big closures here, based on the criteria our district set. That’s still less problematic than distance learning the whole semester, or a part time schedule.

School reopening carries risks I am comfortable with, as a parent sending back my most vulnerable child. Of course I’m cool with distance options for those who can do them, and who feel that is their best choice. But I am absolutely opposed to that being standard for numerous reasons (which I have stated here at length).

As a special educator, I REALLY want my students back in school for in-person instruction. Some of my kiddos did really well during shutdown, some even thrived more than they did in school, but there were enough that struggled that I really really want them all back for in person instruction. Vermont has been seeing numerous back to school plans over the past week, with each district having different ideas about how to go back. Tonight, the superintendent of a neighboring district sent out a very pointed letter to the families, staff, and teachers in her district and the rest of the internet since she posted it publicly. One of my teacher friends posted it on twitter and I read it. Her main message is that the elephant in the room that no one knows how to address is the logistics of opening back up. The superintendents have no clue how they're going to keep the schools staffed. If a teacher works in district A, but their kids go to two different schools in district B, how does that work if a school has to close for a few days? What about custodial staff - how do we keep enough in place for the cleaning measures necessary? Same with subs - how to convince enough subs to come to work? Letters of resignation and requests for FMLA leave are coming into all of the districts right now too, which may create shortages. This was a really thoughtful paragraph in the letter: 

"So, the BIG elephant in the room is unveiled. School districts across the state all have published plans that they cannot guarantee they can staff, and even if by some miracle one can, it is highly unlikely they will be able to sustain it. Childcare for all families AND school employees is a huge problem that crosses many district geographical boundaries. This is a significant statewide problem in need of a significant statewide solution made by those that have the authority to do so, at the top of the food chain, not individual community administrators and local school boards. This one superintendent respectfully recommends that the only way out is through, by having the Scott administration, the AOE, and the VTNEA take this bull by the horns and lean into it."

I think schools need to get more creative if they can and try hard to get the younger kids in, k-4 maybe? And for the older students, get the kids with higher needs in as much as possible and do distance learning for everyone that can. If the elementary schools are spread between the elementary and high school buildings, that could help with getting class size down some and use the middle schools for higher needs older students. It's such a hard puzzle to figure out with a lot of moving parts.

 

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2 hours ago, GoodGrief1 said:

 It was a huge problem with our local virtual school setup in the spring. Students were simply not engaging. The numbers were documented in school district stats and they were shocking. I had a long conversation recently with a local physician who is quite concerned about schools going online (which is definitely our situation now) because she could not get her (difficult) teens to log in. Single working parent in an essential job, running a private practice. One of the kids failed classes.

My daughter does fine. It's not a personal issue for me. But I see that many will struggle, and essentially lose a year or more of education.

But what is the better alternative? If teachers are constantly out isolating when they have possible symptoms, subs rotating in and out, classes shut down for exposure off and on, the stress of worrying about bringing it home to family, etc?

24 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

What is the point you’re aiming for with virtual? When do you switch over to in person? Because it seems to me that whenever it starts up the spread could increase, and in most communities the numbers are still simply not that high. Where is the tipping point for you trite, all will be well if we just stay online people?

My tipping point has already come and gone. Good numbers for infections and deaths among children and low death rates overall for most of the population as treatments and knowledge improves. That’s my line. But I have yet to hear a real convincing point of why a nine week or three month delay will somehow drastically improve safety for school compared to now.

Below 5% positivity has been floated by many, as well as decreasing hospitalizations. We are over double that, triple that in many areas or above, and rising hospitalizations and deaths. So, having our hospitals even more flooded does not sound good. 

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Just now, Danae said:

Large numbers of kids are going to lose a year of education. That's a given at this point. They're either going to lose it to crappy virtual schooling or to disrupted in-person schooling.  

Yes. That is what no one wants to acknowledge. It's going to be crappy. 

But crappy and NOT living with the guilt of giving your mom a disease that makes her miss so much work you go hungry, or giving it to your grandmother who dies, etc is better than crappy and dealing with that guilt. 

Not to mention the costs to the country at large regarding healthcare. 

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Just now, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Below 5% isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Not worth the time lost.

I'm not sure my neighbor's daughter, working double shifts in the local ICU, broken down and exhausted after losing covid patients nearly daily, would agree that it isn't worth the time lost. 

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I can't say when opening schools will be a good idea, but I'm not seeing how anyone can look at this graph of hospitalizations in Florida and think NOW is the time for us to force schools to reopen. Or can look at that and think thousands of teenagers on a single campus mingling will be anything other than a disaster for them and the hundreds of staff that are there to instruct them. 

HOSP0725.jpg

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27 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

What is the point you’re aiming for with virtual? When do you switch over to in person? Because it seems to me that whenever it starts up the spread could increase, and in most communities the numbers are still simply not that high. Where is the tipping point for you trite, all will be well if we just stay online people?

My tipping point has already come and gone. Good numbers for infections and deaths among children and low death rates overall for most of the population as treatments and knowledge improves. That’s my line. But I have yet to hear a real convincing point of why a nine week or three month delay will somehow drastically improve safety for school compared to now.

I think you can look to countries that are opening successfully to see that. The number one thing is to get transmission rates down in the communities where you're reopening and then put strong safety measures in place to limit outbreaks as much as possible and be ready to stop them in their tracks when they happen. It doesn't necessarily have much to do with how many people die or have serious complications from covid (I mean it DOES, but even if NO ONE died, I still think the logistics of having a highly contagious virus running rampant in schools and keeping teachers out for weeks at a time are impossible to deal with in many places right now). I think three months is absolutely enough time to turn things around enough to start reopening carefully if people do what they need to do. Our district already has a plan in place for a phased reopening starting on September 8, but it depends on a steady decrease in cases in the community. 

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3 hours ago, square_25 said:

I think around here, people were providing meals for pick up at schools, and then no one was picking them up. Anyway, delivering meals is easier than making them safe at school. 

But you have to have transportation to pick up meals.  In rural areas that can be a big deal.  And as the poster said earlier, there is no internet for them to do distance learning and many parents don’t even speak English.  They aren’t going to be able to advocate for their kids very well.

What I don’t hear being discussed are the districts that already have truancy problems.  Are those parents going to be supervising all that online learning?  What about the people who think it is ok to leave their 12 year old home while they are gone all day.  I would trust my 6 year old to stay home alone before I would leave a middle schooler home alone for an extended period of time. They are big enough to get into serious trouble without being big enough to have good sense.  Do we honestly think if we keep kids home from school that the kids aren’t going to get together anyway, especially when unsupervised?

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I think block learning where possible could help for levels that usually change classes.  Instead of 50 minutes in 7 different groups, have one group do a single subject start to finish for full day with same class and teacher for however many days gives correct hours.  Then maybe a  distance learning block, then another in person intensive block...   So not only try for half the older students on campus at any time to make distance easier, but for any time 3 weeks or so? in each block there’d only be maybe teacher and 15 students, rather than each teacher having ~ 105 different student exposures daily  (15 different students  for 7 periods) . 

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2 minutes ago, Mom2mthj said:

But you have to have transportation to pick up meals.  In rural areas that can be a big deal.  And as the poster said earlier, there is no internet for them to do distance learning and many parents don’t even speak English.  They aren’t going to be able to advocate for their kids very well.

What I don’t hear being discussed are the districts that already have truancy problems.  Are those parents going to be supervising all that online learning?  What about the people who think it is ok to leave their 12 year old home while they are gone all day.  I would trust my 6 year old to stay home alone before I would leave a middle schooler home alone for an extended period of time. They are big enough to get into serious trouble without being big enough to have good sense.  Do we honestly think if we keep kids home from school that the kids aren’t going to get together anyway, especially when unsupervised?

So....you put them in school, and then the teacher has to isolate with symptoms and then? All the same problems, but less predictable. 

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