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6 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I am hearing some rumblings from people connected to the schools here that while nothing official has been stated they are getting the impression that they are starting school to connect with the kids/assess technology needs/train them in online schooling platforms and prepare to shut down very quickly. I am sure it is also to give the impression that they did indeed try. 

Some people that are connected to local day care providers for school age kids are also reporting lots of contact with the schools on contingency planning. All the while the public story is that they are returning fully face to face and that it is safe. 

Schools starts here in 5 days and we are at what I keep hoping is a peak...but if not we are on the way up. 😞

 

We have not been explicitly told this, but it's been heavily implied. First 6 or so weeks of school will be little to no academics. All teachers are to have everything up and running on google classrooms. It sounds like it's going to be online learning in the classroom. Teachers have been told to focus on social/emotional, teaching tech, and creating good routines. 

I also think parents and students are going to be very surprised at what in-person instruction will look like this year. It's going to suck for the kids, honestly. They're not going to be able to work in groups, socialize, eat lunch together, nothing. 

I liked this article earlier today. Parents you're being lied to.

"I hear a lot of parents saying that they “get to choose which option to do” or “are going to be in person for the full year”. No one — not your administrator, not your school board, not your teachers — knows that or can promise it. Hell, they don’t even believe it. The truth is that you will likely end up remote at some point, regardless of whatever snake oil you’re being sold in parent emails."

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3 hours ago, kokotg said:

I imagine it's an economic decision with private schools, too....they're afraid parents will pull their kids and send them elsewhere if they start online. I think it's the same reason so many colleges are planning on in person (or if they're not now, they held out deciding on virtual for as long as possible).

Yes, this is what we see.  At dd’s private school, 84% of the respondents have chosen in-person school, 9% online and 7% undecided.  They’ve heard back from 75% of the parents so far.

we are starting online.  Dd wants to stay with her school for continuation purposes for graduation and I get that.  The pandemic won’t last forever.  I hope!

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15 hours ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

In my area of NY, it appears that the smallest districts are going 5 day in person for elementary and 2 or 3 day virtual for 6-12. They also are offering virtual to any who want it, and are asking for parents to drive kids to school in order to lessen bus ridership. Going out a bit farther to mid size schools, they seem to be in person one day, virtual the next, for all grades. It seems like these towns, as they get closer to Rochester and have no troubles with internet capabilities, are requiring the kids to be online the whole school day, as opposed to the schools nearest me. They will be dividing the groups up by neighborhoods in order to keep siblings on the same schedule.

I was very happy to see all of them state that teachers and staff will have n95 masks and they all strongly urge kids to mask unless they have a doctor’s note. They all say there will be breaks for unmasking. I’m also very glad to see all of them say this will  depend on Cuomo’s plans regarding case rates,etc, and may possibly change. I haven’t seen any negative comments from parents yet, so that is encouraging. Maybe we’ve actually become enlightened in this neck of the woods!

This is probably something they have planned but I wonder how smooth drop off and pick up will be.  Traffic is bad here in areas due to no one using public transport.  

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Has anyone posted this yet? it’s a Forbes article suggesting young children spread the virus more efficiently than adults. 
 

I think mask use is easy to push because it’s a cheap solution, but in a school situation they’re going to have to address air exchange systems to avoid classrooms becoming the local Covid distribution centers. 
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/07/31/new-evidence-suggests-young-children-spread-covid-19-more-efficiently-than-adults/amp/

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10 hours ago, Ali in OR said:

I've heard nothing here.

Hey @Ali in OR, your quote included prairiewindmomma's request that you not quote. Oversight, I'm sure! But if you could edit your post it would restore harmony. 🙂

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41 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Has anyone posted this yet? it’s a Forbes article suggesting young children spread the virus more efficiently than adults. 
 

I think mask use is easy to push because it’s a cheap solution, but in a school situation they’re going to have to address air exchange systems to avoid classrooms becoming the local Covid distribution centers. 
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/07/31/new-evidence-suggests-young-children-spread-covid-19-more-efficiently-than-adults/amp/

 

You are first I have seen with it. Thanks!

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So I am wondering how schools (especially high schools) may be changing their curriculum or schedule where the start date is pushed back much.  Maybe a topic for another thread.

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3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Has anyone posted this yet? it’s a Forbes article suggesting young children spread the virus more efficiently than adults. 
 

I think mask use is easy to push because it’s a cheap solution, but in a school situation they’re going to have to address air exchange systems to avoid classrooms becoming the local Covid distribution centers. 
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/07/31/new-evidence-suggests-young-children-spread-covid-19-more-efficiently-than-adults/amp/

I have been seeing entire families at the grocery store now.  During lockdown only one person per family was the norm.  I tend to stay far away from the kids if I can and this article makes me glad that I do.

I wish people who are able would go back to sending one adult.

thanks for posting!

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Anyone talk about how Montgomery Country, MD has ordered ALL schools, public AND private to go online until (at least) Oct 1.  https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2020/08/montgomery-co-private-schools-ordered-to-remain-closed-for-in-person-instruction/

 

People are GRUMPY, especially the private school attending families.   I believe lawsuits and petitions are afoot.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

So I am wondering how schools (especially high schools) may be changing their curriculum or schedule where the start date is pushed back much.  Maybe a topic for another thread.

What I've heard about so far is still in the realm of some locations' normal--schools delaying the start to something before or near Labor Day. We don't start here until the Wednesday after Labor Day every year. The cost of that is attending school through mid-June. I personally am not a fan--it means our high schoolers have a month less to prep for AP tests. But it is still very doable to have a full year of school.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

So I am wondering how schools (especially high schools) may be changing their curriculum or schedule where the start date is pushed back much.  Maybe a topic for another thread.

I have heard rumblings that the Dept of Ed will allow this school year to be shorter, I think 165 days, due to the late start. Also, the first 6 or so weeks of school will not be academic here, just s/e and practice for learning online.

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5 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

I have heard rumblings that the Dept of Ed will allow this school year to be shorter, I think 165 days, due to the late start. Also, the first 6 or so weeks of school will not be academic here, just s/e and practice for learning online.

I just wonder what the plan is to make sure that kids will graduate from high school with the knowledge they are supposed to graduate with.  Or move from, say, alg2 to trigonometry with the requisite background, or how that's going to be remedied if they don't.

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5 minutes ago, SKL said:

I just wonder what the plan is to make sure that kids will graduate from high school with the knowledge they are supposed to graduate with.  Or move from, say, alg2 to trigonometry with the requisite background, or how that's going to be remedied if they don't.

That's a great question and one teachers have as well. We haven't been given any guidance on academic expectations/remediating what was lost in the spring/nothing. Just "focus on social emotional and making sure everyone understands how to use google classroom". In the district I live in, we have a jr/sr high school that starts at 7th. We were excited to visit and see if it was a good fit for DS to take a few classes. Once I heard the reopening plans, we changed our minds. I don't see how much/any academic progress will be made this year in our state given what we've been told. Of course it doesn't help that grades don't exist anymore in VT, just proficiencies, which is a WHOLE other thread. 🙄 

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9 minutes ago, SKL said:

I just wonder what the plan is to make sure that kids will graduate from high school with the knowledge they are supposed to graduate with.  Or move from, say, alg2 to trigonometry with the requisite background, or how that's going to be remedied if they don't.

My daughter actually just finished her Spring math class for this reason. The professor was not willing to reduce the amount of topics covered, and many of the students were struggling to get it done self-paced due to a lot of reasons. So, he extended the course through the end of the summer term, and made himself available for a set time each week to answer questions. In DD's case, she had the time to finish it in the Spring, so for her, the only difference was when the grade will be added to her transcript (and that it likely won't be on transcripts sent for college applications this fall)-but for some of the students, I suspect this is the difference between finishing and not finishing.

 

I suspect that teachers who teach sequenced high school classes will already have to back up and make up for the last quarter of the year. For elementary and middle, the state test timing pretty much dictates that there isn't much new content after Spring break-it's all test review and prep until after the test, and then enrichment and extra stuff.

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52 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

Of course it doesn't help that grades don't exist anymore in VT, just proficiencies, which is a WHOLE other thread. 🙄 

If you ever have the time and interest, this is a thread I would be interested to read!

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1 hour ago, AmandaVT said:

I have heard rumblings that the Dept of Ed will allow this school year to be shorter, I think 165 days, due to the late start. Also, the first 6 or so weeks of school will not be academic here, just s/e and practice for learning online.

6 weeks?! I hope that’s just for the younger grades? 
 

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A local school board in a neighboring town met in mid-July and voted for in person schooling.

A week later almost every person who attended that meeting, along with some family members, have tested positive. The superintendent sent out a note of apology stating COVID is more serious than expected and the fall semester will now be remote learning.

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21 hours ago, melmichigan said:

 but I was at the local pediatrician to pick up paperwork (all one big group for most of the county) and the number of people insisting Johnny has a condition and are demanding an excuse is unreal.  They are swamped with requests, so how it actually plays out in the classroom is anyones guess right now. 

Any doctor of any moral standing will refuse to write letters for children who don't need one. 

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15 minutes ago, MEmama said:

6 weeks?! I hope that’s just for the younger grades? 
 

Nope - all grades. I have no clue what classroom teachers will do if they can't do academics? Especially since there are no in-person specials (Zoom), no group work, no gym, no lunchroom. Seems like a long time to spend on s/e.

5 minutes ago, The Accidental Coach said:

A local school board in a neighboring town met in mid-July and voted for in person schooling.

A week later almost every person who attended that meeting, along with some family members, have tested positive. The superintendent sent out a note of apology stating COVID is more serious than expected and the fall semester will now be remote learning.

Our school board is deciding everyone's fate from the comfort of their computer screens which feels slightly hypocritical to me.

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I am in MN. Last year, I had 1.5 kids in private school, 1.5 homeschooled and one in public school. (One did half-time homeschool and half-time private.) This year, 3 will be homeschooled and 1 in private.

We have a statewide mask mandate that explicitly includes all public and private schools. My oldest child’s private high school had planned to require masks even before the mandate. It is a small school and I feel like they have a good plan. My youngest child, who is severely disabled, was in public. He would be exempt from the mandate due to his disability but he also is medically fragile so I will keep him home. Our public district is taking a hybrid approach and requiring masks of nearly everyone — you can’t just choose not to wear them; you have to have a really good reason, and then a face shield is required. My other child’s private school just released their COVID plan and they seem kind of wishy-washy on masks: parents or students can easily opt-out with notice to the school for such reasons as discomfort or impaired learning. No doctor’s note required. They also will not close classrooms until there are 2 COVID cases in the classroom. We’d already planned to keep her home, but I am sure now that it is the right decision. It is otherwise a very sweet school and a beautiful environment with lovely people, but I just can’t figure out why they aren’t following the law with respect to masking.

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5 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

Nope - all grades. I have no clue what classroom teachers will do if they can't do academics? Especially since there are no in-person specials (Zoom), no group work, no gym, no lunchroom. Seems like a long time to spend on s/e.

Our school board is deciding everyone's fate from the comfort of their computer screens which feels slightly hypocritical to me.

Wow, I’m sorry. Do the powers that be not understand that all these kids grew up using technology from day 1, that they can (and absolutely do) out-tech any adult? Seriously, I’d bet most 5th graders will be teaching the teachers how to learn online. 😂. And that virtually no kid past the 5th grade will willingly and publicly  talk about their emotions.

My guess is if this experiment actually lasts 6 weeks, the number of high school dropouts will increase. I’d pull my senior immediately if his school tried to pull such a stunt.

I'm mad for you, and sad for the students. The plan would be funny if it wasn’t so terribly misguided. 
 

Also, I agree with the second part, although I am dismayed that it took the poster's school board getting sick themselves to finally understand how serious and insidious this virus is. 😞 . Why are people not listening??!!

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16 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Wow, I’m sorry. Do the powers that be not understand that all these kids grew up using technology from day 1, that they can (and absolutely do) out-tech any adult? Seriously, I’d bet most 5th graders will be teaching the teachers how to learn online. 😂. And that virtually no kid past the 5th grade will willingly and publicly  talk about their emotions.

My guess is if this experiment actually lasts 6 weeks, the number of high school dropouts will increase. I’d pull my senior immediately if his school tried to pull such a stunt.

I'm mad for you, and sad for the students. The plan would be funny if it wasn’t so terribly misguided. 
 

Also, I agree with the second part, although I am dismayed that it took the poster's school board getting sick themselves to finally understand how serious and insidious this virus is. 😞 . Why are people not listening??!!

Agreed. On all counts! Luckily, in my position, I have a lot more flexibility than a classroom teacher. 

 

4 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

Not be academic at all? Or just focus on the s/e & online aspect more and don’t worry about curriculum timelines? There’s a big difference.

Last I heard, 90% s/e and tech, max 10% academic. I don't know what I'd do with my time if I were a classroom teacher. That doesn't seem sustainable. Also, we don't have curriculum in our district, teachers create their own content (which given what I've seen from students and our statewide standings, it's about as good a plan as you might guess). 🙄

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4 hours ago, YaelAldrich said:

Anyone talk about how Montgomery Country, MD has ordered ALL schools, public AND private to go online until (at least) Oct 1.  https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2020/08/montgomery-co-private-schools-ordered-to-remain-closed-for-in-person-instruction/

 

People are GRUMPY, especially the private school attending families.   I believe lawsuits and petitions are afoot.

My daughter begins her first year of teaching in a neighboring county by teaching online.  It's not ideal, but so far it's the only thing they can come up with that doesn't create rampant virus spreading.  My daughter is completely comfortable with the technology but some of the older teachers are really struggling to adjust lesson plans that have been on auto pilot for decades.  I'm not sure it's too big of a tragedy if kids learn literature online along with the latest weird food challenges and tic tok dances.  It seems like much less of a mental leap for them.

I felt Hogan was hitting it out of the park until recently.  Leaving quarantine decisions up to individual families is why we're all STILL in time out.  Montgomery county will be interesting to watch.  The number of lawsuits from people who really feel they should have been able to buy their kids back into a school building is going to be insane.  Private schools are going to worry about losing their funding, but will put out Very Earnest articles about everything BUT funding.  

I DO sympathize with the very real hardship of having to choose between eating and risking illness.  I have zero sympathy for people who are just bored and start rationalizing ways to get out and have fun because their personal boredom is just harder to cope with than everyone else's.  No, your whole family does NOT need to be at the grocery store for a change of scenery and , Mom at Wegmans, your 12-year-old is pulling down his mask whenever your back is turned.

 

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On 8/1/2020 at 3:12 PM, Medicmom2.0 said:


I live in central NY. My school district announced plans for five day a week school, and the parents are thrilled about that but furious that the kids have to wear masks and social distance.  I thought I’d see parents pull kids out to homeschool because they didn’t want full day, five day a week school, but they’re pulling their kids out because they don’t want them social distancing and wearing masks. The parents here want normal school with tables instead of desks and group projects and specials.  The superintendent has repeatedly said that’s out of his hands, but people are mad at him anyway.

On the other hand, parents in a neighboring district overwhelmingly answered that they wanted face to face five day a week school on the parent survey(68%).  The school district instead chose hybrid and parents are furious about that, they absolutely do not want anything less than face to face five day a week school.

There’s no winning in this situation.

Parents just want everything to go back to normal. They want to send their kids to school every day, not have to worry about childcare or helping with schoolwork, and don't want to think about how school will be very different with masks and distancing. Unfortunately for all of us, normal isn't one of the options.

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1 hour ago, AmandaVT said:

Agreed. On all counts! Luckily, in my position, I have a lot more flexibility than a classroom teacher. 

 

Last I heard, 90% s/e and tech, max 10% academic. I don't know what I'd do with my time if I were a classroom teacher. That doesn't seem sustainable. Also, we don't have curriculum in our district, teachers create their own content (which given what I've seen from students and our statewide standings, it's about as good a plan as you might guess). 🙄

I want to give your post some kind of emoji in recognition, but I can’t decide whether to like it, be sad, confused or what. 

I am glad to hear you have some flexibility at any rate. 

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Could this be construed as evidence that there is no choice other than mandating masks for kids?

Georgia Camp For Kids Had To Shutter Because Of 260 Positive COVID-19 Cases

The YMCA Camp High Harbour required masks for counselors, but was forced to close in June after the outbreak. In the gathering of 344 campers and staff tested, 260 came back positive in the weeks after the camp closed, according to the CDC’s analysis, which was released on Friday. Of that total, children were 168 of the positives, with 51 of the 100 children ages 6 to 10 positive.The overnight camp opened June 21 and closed six days later.

However, they did not mandate mask use for campers.

https://deadline.com/2020/08/georgia-camp-for-kids-shuttered-covid-19-1203001811/

 

 

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19 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

Parents just want everything to go back to normal. They want to send their kids to school every day, not have to worry about childcare or helping with schoolwork, and don't want to think about how school will be very different with masks and distancing. Unfortunately for all of us, normal isn't one of the options.

Exactly!

I think a lot of people are failing to grasp this concept. 

A pandemic is not a situation for Fake It Til You Make It.

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3 hours ago, Kanin said:

This is about the three Arizona teachers who taught summer school, and the one that passed away (thoughts from the superintendent, as told to a journalist):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/01/schools-reopening-coronavirus-arizona-superintendent/?arc404=true&fbclid=IwAR0gnppc-aMDn93Q-zV2ioMRyOmUi_eNnmT7FNQZ52thePKOZvRKtUXSHCQ

I came looking for this thread to post that same article. Really impactful. I think it’s helpful to read from the point of view of a school superintendent who desperately wants the schools to be open and knows that they need to be open. 

1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

I have zero sympathy for people who are just bored and start rationalizing ways to get out and have fun because their personal boredom is just harder to cope with than everyone else's.  No, your whole family does NOT need to be at the grocery store for a change of scenery and , Mom at Wegmans, your 12-year-old is pulling down his mask whenever your back is turned.

 

Right?! I do have sympathy for people who don’t have good options for doing an errand like that with someone else watching their kids, but if that’s the case, at least put them in masks, and if they’re small enough to ride in the cart and will otherwise be running up and down the aisles touching everything, please put them in the cart! Or even better, in a carrier on your own person. I don’t expect that everyone at the store with their kids is bringing them because it’s totally necessary, though. 

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11 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

This is probably something they have planned but I wonder how smooth drop off and pick up will be.  Traffic is bad here in areas due to no one using public transport.  

 

In much of US “busses” for children means dedicated school busses and no public transport is available.  In many suburbs and cities where there is a public transit option available, bikes may also work for getting to school. 

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4 hours ago, AmandaVT said:

I have heard rumblings that the Dept of Ed will allow this school year to be shorter, I think 165 days, due to the late start. Also, the first 6 or so weeks of school will not be academic here, just s/e and practice for learning online.

What's s/e again?

14 minutes ago, kand said:

 I do have sympathy for people who don’t have good options for doing an errand like that with someone else watching their kids 

Oddly enough, I never seem to see one parent with kids in the grocery store. If the kids are there, it's the whole family! I really do not understand. Even if there's a weird situation where you're all passing the grocery store on the way home, it seems like it would be so much easier to me for one parent to shop, one parent to have the kids in the car. 

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Well it's official, for the moment anyway ... my county's schools are going all virtual for the first quarter.  Unless they change it again for the 12th time.

I really don't think this is gonna inspire people to be more careful.  People are beyond done and no matter what they do, crap upon crap happens.

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1 hour ago, kand said:

I came looking for this thread to post that same article. Really impactful. I think it’s helpful to read from the point of view of a school superintendent who desperately wants the schools to be open and knows that they need to be open. 

Right?! I do have sympathy for people who don’t have good options for doing an errand like that with someone else watching their kids, but if that’s the case, at least put them in masks, and if they’re small enough to ride in the cart and will otherwise be running up and down the aisles touching everything, please put them in the cart! Or even better, in a carrier on your own person. I don’t expect that everyone at the store with their kids is bringing them because it’s totally necessary, though. 

I'm not even talking about parents with little guys.  Who knows their story and with limited hours they can't always wait for another adult to be available to help if another adult even exists. You can't really leave them home alone when they're little.  I'm seeing full family outings; mom, dad, grandma, and several teen children.  I'm seeing it often enough that it's probably not a one-off thing where they had to stop on the way and it was too hot in the car.  The fewer people in the store the quicker we can all get in and out.

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A school system in our region was the first to go back a week or two ago. It was reported they had an elementary student test positive. They didn't shut down the school. They identified and informed those that needed to be tested and/or quarantine. So the idea that the system would shut down with the first positive case didn't come to fruition but the idea that there would be positive cases right away did.

Ours starts Wednesday and our cases are really high, test positivity is really high. I am sure there will be lots of infected people walking through those doors Wednesday. In fact, the teachers are already back and I'm sure there are cases among them. Our infection rate is too high for there not to be. 

I don't see how it is going to work but I sure hope somehow I am wrong and it does. Our town does seem to be willingly and aggressively pursuing herd immunity. Maybe that is the thought? Let them all come in and pass it around and get it over with? I understand that will have poor consequences so I'm not suggesting it but maybe somewhere behind the scenes that is being advocated. 

I've also had the thought that people here are living their lives as normal and ignoring social distancing and masking recommendations so maybe the return to school won't be that big of a shock. All these people have already been living life as normal and surely passing it around for months. Maybe there are more antibodies in the population than one might think. In the past month we have had proms, graduations, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling tournaments, football and soccer summer practices, band camps, mega churches meeting with full choirs and no masks, church camps, VBS, scout camps, big extended family vacations, huge 4th of July parties, big big birthday parties and so on and so on.  Our numbers are bad, as bad as the ones people have been discussing in central florida. But our hospitals say they have capacity and we are not getting horror stories coming out of them. Maybe many of our teachers and students already have immunity even if they didn't know they had Covid? Seems possible at least. We definitely aren't testing alot and there are so many people here that are so skeptical of it all that I don't think most would get tested unless they were extremely ill. So I do think it is possible that our community has had alot of infection for a while. 

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26 minutes ago, SKL said:

People are beyond done and no matter what they do, crap upon crap happens.

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 behaviors can effect the outcomes.  Stricter lockdowns can lead to smaller outbreaks can lead to safer loosening of restrictions.  Looser lockdowns and more non-compliance can lead to larger outbreaks and more deaths which require longer, more disruptive restrictions. 

So I look at virtual schools and a tanking economy and prolonged social restrictions, and to me they are a direct consequence of every person who said, "Well, I just think that Timmy deserves to have a real birthday party in person" and "I'm not going to wear a mask into Home Depot because I'm not scared of getting sick" and "I just couldn't miss my hair appointment so I took a couple Tylenol so I could pass the temperature check."

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

Well it's official, for the moment anyway ... my county's schools are going all virtual for the first quarter. 

It is not surprising, given what we have seen happening in the schools around the country, including in my state. There is no humane way to make kids and teachers stay inside a school all day during a pandemic, especially when we are dealing with a deadly and contagious respiratory disease.

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22 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

A school system in our region was the first to go back a week or two ago. It was reported they had an elementary student test positive. They didn't shut down the school. They identified and informed those that needed to be tested and/or quarantine. So the idea that the system would shut down with the first positive case didn't come to fruition but the idea that there would be positive cases right away did.

Ours starts Wednesday and our cases are really high, test positivity is really high. I am sure there will be lots of infected people walking through those doors Wednesday. In fact, the teachers are already back and I'm sure there are cases among them. Our infection rate is too high for there not to be. 

I don't see how it is going to work but I sure hope somehow I am wrong and it does. Our town does seem to be willingly and aggressively pursuing herd immunity. Maybe that is the thought? Let them all come in and pass it around and get it over with? I understand that will have poor consequences so I'm not suggesting it but maybe somewhere behind the scenes that is being advocated. 

I've also had the thought that people here are living their lives as normal and ignoring social distancing and masking recommendations so maybe the return to school won't be that big of a shock. All these people have already been living life as normal and surely passing it around for months. Maybe there are more antibodies in the population than one might think. In the past month we have had proms, graduations, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling tournaments, football and soccer summer practices, band camps, mega churches meeting with full choirs and no masks, church camps, VBS, scout camps, big extended family vacations, huge 4th of July parties, big big birthday parties and so on and so on.  Our numbers are bad, as bad as the ones people have been discussing in central florida. But our hospitals say they have capacity and we are not getting horror stories coming out of them. Maybe many of our teachers and students already have immunity even if they didn't know they had Covid? Seems possible at least. We definitely aren't testing alot and there are so many people here that are so skeptical of it all that I don't think most would get tested unless they were extremely ill. So I do think it is possible that our community has had alot of infection for a while. 

In-service started here Weds and two schools have had teachers test positive and others told to quarantine. And that's with the biggest district 100% virtual. 

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12th largest school system in the country, outside of Atlanta--they're starting online, but teachers are required to be in the buildings. They started Wednesday and already have 260 people not working because of cases or exposure: https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/covid-cases-exposure-have-260-gwinnett-school-employees-not-working/RVZP4UFBPFHDNJJ73MNUFIKEPY/ The school system is all, "well, sure--we expect that based on spread in our area." Yeah--duh--that's why you shouldn't require staff to be in the buildings! 

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13 hours ago, wendyroo said:

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 behaviors can effect the outcomes.  Stricter lockdowns can lead to smaller outbreaks can lead to safer loosening of restrictions.  Looser lockdowns and more non-compliance can lead to larger outbreaks and more deaths which require longer, more disruptive restrictions. 

So I look at virtual schools and a tanking economy and prolonged social restrictions, and to me they are a direct consequence of every person who said, "Well, I just think that Timmy deserves to have a real birthday party in person" and "I'm not going to wear a mask into Home Depot because I'm not scared of getting sick" and "I just couldn't miss my hair appointment so I took a couple Tylenol so I could pass the temperature check."

Well that isn't how people acted in my school district.  People really did lock down for months.  The curve was flattened and the hospitals never came anywhere close to capacity.  Deaths went down to zero for the whole state at one point.  There is now a statewide mask mandate which people are following.  All for what?  Now they have recently increased the number of tests, so there is supposedly an increased number of positives, mostly mild cases of course - the ones that would not have been in the numbers at all previously.  I guess our health department has unilaterally decided that there must be zero illnesses before we can open schools.

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Oh well, it is my personality to look for the bright side once the bad news has a chance to be absorbed.  So ... on the positive side, I think, hope, that schools will take this opportunity to refine their online teaching skills and develop kids' online learning skills to a point where it becomes a real viable option in the future.  And then, the costs of things like standard college courses can go down and make higher education more accessible, which has been a hope of mine for a long time.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Well that isn't how people acted in my school district.  People really did lock down for months.  The curve was flattened and the hospitals never came anywhere close to capacity.  Deaths went down to zero for the whole state at one point.  There is now a statewide mask mandate which people are following.  All for what?  Now they have recently increased the number of tests, so there is supposedly an increased number of positives, mostly mild cases of course - the ones that would not have been in the numbers at all previously.  I guess our health department has unilaterally decided that there must be zero illnesses before we can open schools.

 

Are you seriously blaming testing for spread in your community? Clearly people WEREN'T consistently distancing or your schools would be able to open. Can't you just admit you were wrong about the ubiquity of the spread? Why is that so hard? There is no SUPPOSED increase in positives. There is an actual increase in spread in most of the states unrelated to testing.

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I'm not having any luck getting my representatives or local newspapers to tell me why retail establishments in Maine can allow 5 customers per 1,000 square feet of space, but schools can have so many more people in the same amount of space. 

Actually, I"m having trouble verifying that the order is still 5 people for every 1,000 square feet. I heard that some stores recently had their limits go up. But I can't find out, and I've emailed a TON of people asking for updated information. I feel like that should be easily accessible.... but nope. 

On the plus side, I've learned that my local representatives are quite responsive and write personal email replies quickly. I was very pleasantly surprised about that. 

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5 hours ago, SKL said:

Well that isn't how people acted in my school district.  People really did lock down for months.  The curve was flattened and the hospitals never came anywhere close to capacity.  Deaths went down to zero for the whole state at one point.  There is now a statewide mask mandate which people are following.  All for what?  Now they have recently increased the number of tests, so there is supposedly an increased number of positives, mostly mild cases of course - the ones that would not have been in the numbers at all previously.  I guess our health department has unilaterally decided that there must be zero illnesses before we can open schools.

Your state is currently averaging 30 deaths per day and around 1300 new cases. There is a big difference between "zero" and 1300/day.

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I've been following this thread from the start. It's been extremely interesting listening to what other districts and states are doing for school. I thought I would update on what's happening in my neck of the woods where I know there are several Hive members also zoned.

Houston area Texas, approx. 118k students, approx. 20th largest in USA enrollment

A few weeks ago, our district approved purchasing a chromebook AND hotspot for EVERY student. The price tag is $44 million. $4 million from Covid reserved funds (fund is $10 million). $40 million from bonds. It looked like the district was headed for virtual only for at least the first grading period (9 weeks). Then as days progressed they added $3.75 million for plexi-dividers for the schools from the Covid fund. Then, TEA (Texas Education board) and local County authorities and the governor and the state attorney (and UIL) have been fighting it out over who has the final authority on when and how schools will work. It's been a hot mess. Like many districts, normally school orgs such as band and athletics are 2-3 weeks into practices. School start date gets pushed back 2 weeks to Sept 8. Area districts are all over the map F2F, hybrid, virtual, pushed starts, etc etc. Many times area districts follow Houston ISD (super big), and they announced all virtual for first grading period. So we figure we'll be in for the same since we are next biggest, and we are spending $44 million on 1-to-1 computers PLUS free wifi. They even plan to use buses as mobile area hot spots for those areas that cellular hotspot service is wonky. Then the big school board announcement comes...

Parents much choose by Aug 5th to do F2F only or Virtual only. You can change your mind up until Aug 25th. For F2F. the plan is to have everyone all ages wear masks. Each school will make the best accommodations possible to distance students. That means some will have a "lazy-river" of 6ft-spaced single file lines snaking through the halls. Most schools and schedules won't work with this, so parents were told that each school will just do their best to accommodate. Everyone entering the school self-reports illness and covid exposure. If covid exposure happens and it's discovered under 3 days, they will cordon off the area and clean. If over 3 days then notifications will go out, and things proceed as normal (no cordon). Students are responsible for cleaning their area when they arrive and leave class. No mention of how lunch works except that they are no grab-n-go options anymore or self-serve in lines.

Virtual works same as going to school. Every class is live and every student must attend every class in real time. Absences still count except that if you are out "sick" for any reason, you can attend classes virtually in real time and be counted present. Once you choose Virtual, you cannot change for the grading period (9 weeks). I "think" if you choose F2F, you can opt over to virtual at anytime for the remaining period and not come back. This direction wasn't completely clear. Originally, parents were told that classes that require in-person activity (welding, cosmetology, band, athletics, etc) will have F2F components that MUST be completed in person (after school in designated times) even if you choose virtual in order to earn credit.

Marching band has an additional monkey wrench thrown into the mix. At first, we were told that the virtual option would include assignments and virtual sessions as course requirements, but no marching since you must be there in person to participate for obvious reasons. So a student would earn the band credit but not the dual PE credit (no marching component). If you were counting on this PE credit (especially upper class), this put you in a bind requiring schedule changes. Otherwise to participate in marching band you HAD to choose F2F. Now, they added an option that you can choose virtual instruction but still participate in marching band after school. This will get you the PE credit and keep your earned-in-previous-year-spot.

As crazy as it sounds, this decision is hard. In fact, it's very hard. We have watched in horror as our micro community as blown off precautions and partied like it's been a big ol' party for months. Our first venture outside came when spring baseball restarted in July. We took a calculated risk while WE controlled various precautions and protocols for son within the team and on the field. It wasn't too bad because we weren't the only ones. We could put any helicopter parent to shame at this point. But this also meant that we had to isolate even more from our vulnerable family. It's been a pain but doable.

Every fiber of my being is telling me F2F is a horrific choice. Summer band resumed today. While the rehearsals are outside and very socially-distanced, 300 kids passing through doors and commons areas can.not.be.done with distance. It just can't! They are all masked. The kids were not being obstinate about it. All were properly masked. But at the end of the day, masks will be the only protection from spreading. So if they aren't effective...man, please let them be effective. There are about 3000 students in this school. If you believe Facebook polls, 70% of those students will be F2F although color guard poll today was about 50% choosing virtual with after school marching band. We will probably have to make another calculated risk and go virtual with after school marching band. That's 2100 students all over that school. No lazy river there. The school is 3-stories. Plus there are 6 minutes passing. If this was a 1-season-and-done sacrifice, I think we would go pure virtual. But that's not how band works here. If you want to be an officer and hold the prominent spots, you just have to stay in the game. There are plenty of others who will be throwing elbows to take those spots. At this point, I'm not willing to blow up the entire band thread (6 years total) DD has been weaving. BUT this decision comes with further sacrifice in terms of further isolation outside this group, etc. 

Anyhow, this is what reopening school looks like for us.

I hate this. I have never had to agonize over what to do about school this much. I just hate this.

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@aggie96 I have two kids in the high school band, and music is very important to them (not just a casual hobby), so I get it. I really worry. And we are choosing our school's in-person option, because the virtual option in our district is a poor choice for my particular kids. So, yeah. It's really, really hard when the best choice for my kids is not the wisest choice overall.

Our band camp is next week. We haven't heard anything about how band in general will operate this year. The only information is that band camp is morning only, instead of all day. And that it will be completely outside, and brass and woodwind instruments cannot be played inside the building. How they will reconfigure band during the school year, in the winter, is still a mystery.

We had DD15 drop choir. She was okay with it.

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1 hour ago, aggie96 said:

Summer band resumed today. While the rehearsals are outside and very socially-distanced, 300 kids passing through doors and commons areas can.not.be.done with distance. It just can't! They are all masked. The kids were not being obstinate about it. All were properly masked.

Ok, I'm missing something, lol. How are they playing say, wind instruments, or brass, while masked?

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6 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, I'm missing something, lol. How are they playing say, wind instruments, or brass, while masked?

Our school district is doing it too.  They are wearing these gauzy gators that obviously if you can blow the instrument through you can certainly spread covid through. 

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