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Face-to-face school - anyone else's kids start yet?


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My kids returned to school this week (Mississippi) and the recent numbers of cases in our state is crazy. It's quite scary. My oldest is thinking of getting a vaccine and always has masked up, even when his peers did not last year. The school he attends (small private school) is very lax on mask use. 

I looked at the state's COVID numbers from last week and 15 teachers in a nearby school district had it and lots of kids have had to quarantine. 

Some parents are really upset that virtual options have disappeared at their schools. 

How is it going where you are? 

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The local districts here started Monday. Some of the others started last week. Athena's Academy started Monday. 

 

L moves into the dorm a week from today, has five days of orientation and group activities with the hall, science research program, and first year seminar groups, and starts classes the 23rd. 

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I have one who started Monday. His private middle school is tiny, about 35 kids and 6 teachers. All the teachers and all the kids who are eligible are vaxed. Masks required, hepa filters running, lunch outside. 
 

Ds had covid in January (asymptomatic) and is fully vaxed. 

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My two older kids started on Monday, we are in California. The COVID numbers are going up, but so far at least, the schools have been pretty strict about masking. It is required indoors, but optional outdoors, however, I have seen everyone wearing masks even outdoors.

My kids are both vaccinated, so I am not super concerned. I know they could still get COVID, but we don't have any health concerns at home, and everyone who is old enough in my home is vaccinated.

Oldest DD told me that most of the members of the football team have been quarantined either due to a positive COVID test or exposure, so I do wonder how disrupted the school year will be. Our schools have been closed since March of 2020, and I feel the benefit of them being in school in person far outweigh the risks (for our family).

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No mask rule here, and my son started part-time (three hours per day) at the local vocational school. He is the only person in his class opting to mask, though a few kids are masked elsewhere in the building. So glad we are all able to be vaxed.

The good news is that his classroom is large with really high ceilings because they build big stuff in there. 

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I sent my oldest to college today, my DH took him.  He is moving apartments this weekend and starts an extracurricular boot camp on Monday for 3 weeks before classes start.  He is fully vaccinated, I'm not overly worried about covid and him or his roomies or anything.  I just hope campus can stay running in a more normal way this year.  

ETA - his campus does have a mask mandate.  No vaccine requirement to this point, though the estimate is about 90% will come in vaccinated and the vaccine will be highly accessible on campus.  They've said things may shift depending on circumstances.  The county the college is in is like in the top 10 in the country for vaccination rate which is good too.  It is a huge big 10 campus though.  

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Our kids don’t go back until after Labor Day but the district is, for now, mask optional (despite state guidance to the contrary). My kids are vaxxed and will be masked. I have zero doubt that this will not end well and they’ll be backtracking in less than 60 days.

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3 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

My kids returned to school this week (Mississippi) and the recent numbers of cases in our state is crazy. It's quite scary. My oldest is thinking of getting a vaccine and always has masked up, even when his peers did not last year. The school he attends (small private school) is very lax on mask use. 

I looked at the state's COVID numbers from last week and 15 teachers in a nearby school district had it and lots of kids have had to quarantine. 

Some parents are really upset that virtual options have disappeared at their schools. 

How is it going where you are? 

Today was the first day for DD. Masks are "highly encouraged." This morning, few of the teachers wore masks and maybe 20% of the children? No social distancing. 

I'm waiting for the inevitable "your child was exposed to COVID" letter. 

Our governor mandated last year that a) schools are prohibited from offering online options and b) from requiring masks. Several local school districts are defying the governor's mandate and local GOP elected officials are trying to punish those districts by taking money from those schools. You know, because it's all about the kids and we believe in small government. 🙄

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If you know me you know I’m a bargain hunter so of course I looked for an incentive when I made the decision to get vaxxed. I just made the decision recently and got my first one this week. I got a $50 visa gift card and will get a second after the second shot. Ds has decided to get his but I don’t know when. I can’t take him because I don’t have him on the days that place is open (if he wants to get $100). It’s not a drug store chain so I think it’s just a local clinic. 

Dd is too young for a vaccine. They never wore them in her K5 class last year — even if the kids/parents wanted. They took the masks and put them in cubbies for the day. And kids frequently shared toys, etc. Sigh. Luckily I don’t think surface contact is a huge factor but still. 

Last year they said masks required on vans but I’d see the van at the bus stop and most were not wearing them. The driver didn’t always have hers on I think, too. 

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Today was day 2 in our district and a friend with 2 kids in the system got notice today they have both been exposed. Older kid is vaccinated so doesn't have to quarantine, the younger one the whole class is too young and they all have to quarantine - the whole class - for 2 weeks. How this is going to work, I have no idea. 

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31 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Today was day 2 in our district and a friend with 2 kids in the system got notice today they have both been exposed. Older kid is vaccinated so doesn't have to quarantine, the younger one the whole class is too young and they all have to quarantine - the whole class - for 2 weeks. How this is going to work, I have no idea. 

I don’t get the logic. The vaccinated one can still get it. Or spread it? 

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45 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

If you know me you know I’m a bargain hunter so of course I looked for an incentive when I made the decision to get vaxxed. I just made the decision recently and got my first one this week. I got a $50 visa gift card and will get a second after the second shot. Ds has decided to get his but I don’t know when. I can’t take him because I don’t have him on the days that place is open (if he wants to get $100). It’s not a drug store chain so I think it’s just a local clinic. 

This is why I and my kids get flu shots at Publix, gift cards! Three shots = dinner from the Publix deli and no cooking for mom. 😉I would get the flu shot anyway, just a matter of where. 

Edited by ScoutTN
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11 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

This is why I and my kids get flu shots at Publix, gift cards! Three shots = dinner from the Publix deli and no cooking for mom. 😉I would get the flu shot anyway, just a matter of where. 

A local restaurant chain says if you show your vaccine card you can get a $10 gift card there, too. I think it’s only for recent vaccines though… so I feel kinda bad for those that got shots earlier. 

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36 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

I don’t get the logic. The vaccinated one can still get it. Or spread it? 

It is current CDC guidance. And vaccinated are much LESS likely to get it - significantly so. 

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DD told me today that one of her teachers is home for 10 days being quarantined.  Our district is doing rapid testing for those exposed, so either she tested positive or refused to test, not sure which. I believe our governor announced today that teachers either must be vaccinated or test 2x per week. DD said at least 2 kids have tested positive (today was day 3 of school), I just imagine this being such a logistical nightmare for the entire school year. 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Today was the first day for DD. Masks are "highly encouraged." This morning, few of the teachers wore masks and maybe 20% of the children? No social distancing. 

I'm waiting for the inevitable "your child was exposed to COVID" letter. 

Our governor mandated last year that a) schools are prohibited from offering online options and b) from requiring masks. Several local school districts are defying the governor's mandate and local GOP elected officials are trying to punish those districts by taking money from those schools. You know, because it's all about the kids and we believe in small government. 🙄

No contact tracing here.

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6 minutes ago, math teacher said:

No contact tracing here.

Nor here. And no quarantining no matter how many kids in your class test positive.

I guess this is one way to avoid disruptions in education: don't send any kids home...just keep them in school until they have to go straight to the hospital or morgue.

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Regarding testing… I was shocked to learn that you can buy OTC Covid tests. I don’t know how fast they work but I imagine rapidly. A friend with a child that’s in and out if the hospital/dr offices tests herself regularly. Her child has a lot of health complications and was born with some rare thing. 
She says she buys 2pks at Walmart. 

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DS returned this week. Masks are required in our county, he is vaccinated, and he eats lunch outside. He is really happy to be seeing people. However, he is uncomfortable with the lack of social distance on the school buses. He has to transfer from one bus to another each way and rides with kids from three other schools plus his own (3 high schools and a middle school).  As of today there have been three covid cases reported from his school, fifteen from one of those other schools, none from the other two.  He will not be on the buses every day, as sometimes DH can drop him off and sometimes I will pick him up, but the ride feels like the riskiest part of his day.  

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7 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Regarding testing… I was shocked to learn that you can buy OTC Covid tests. I don’t know how fast they work but I imagine rapidly. A friend with a child that’s in and out if the hospital/dr offices tests herself regularly. Her child has a lot of health complications and was born with some rare thing. 
She says she buys 2pks at Walmart. 

We got the 2pks at the drug store.  They are the exact same tests that they use for entry to the assisted living facility where my husband's grandmother just moved to.  She has a studio apartment there and visitors have to register/sign up in advance to visit and then test at the door.  

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18 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

Nor here. And no quarantining no matter how many kids in your class test positive.

I guess this is one way to avoid disruptions in education: don't send any kids home...just keep them in school until they have to go straight to the hospital or morgue.

Or their relatives do 😕

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School starts back September 2nd here.  Which is waaay too early IMO (I am used to the Wednesday after Labor Day).  I had to sign up for school picture day  and sports today and I'm not really liking that summer will be over so soon.  

Masks are required by state order (our district would be doing it anyways though).  Both of my sons are vaccinated and vaccination rates are pretty high here.  Parents can opt out of Covid testing for students (but NOT for athletes- IIRC athletes must test regularly).  The school is newer with good ventilation and air filters.  There is an online only option but it's by district and not by school (basically, it's like registering for an online school in the district).  Registration for the online only option hasn't been as high as expected.  Registration is lower as private school and homeschooling have both added many new families in my area.  

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Our school started last week. Masks were optional until the night before school started when they reversed course. There was huge backlash. So far (6 actual school days in) one major outbreak at one of the high schools and smaller ones in all the other schools. It’s so so so so so so stressful.  Worse than 2020. 

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50 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

School starts back September 2nd here.  Which is waaay too early IMO (I am used to the Wednesday after Labor Day).  I had to sign up for school picture day  and sports today and I'm not really liking that summer will be over so soon.  

Masks are required by state order (our district would be doing it anyways though).  Both of my sons are vaccinated and vaccination rates are pretty high here.  Parents can opt out of Covid testing for students (but NOT for athletes- IIRC athletes must test regularly).  The school is newer with good ventilation and air filters.  There is an online only option but it's by district and not by school (basically, it's like registering for an online school in the district).  Registration for the online only option hasn't been as high as expected.  Registration is lower as private school and homeschooling have both added many new families in my area.  

I imagine some of the reason parents hesitate to sign up for virtual is because of their employment. But it’s nice to have an option. 

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In 2020 we sometimes had a babysitter and she did not wear a mask and dh wouldn’t ask her to and I felt like we should have cleared that topic before hiring her… so I ended up not pushing it. Now, if we have to have a sitter I feel even more strongly about it. Toward the end of summer I hesitated to send dd to a drop off daycare as the delta virus started to spread. She stayed with me those days but working from home was hard with her there. I can only imagine how hard this is on certain families with childcare constraints. I’m sure some employers are telling their employees to return to work and virtual school is just not an option if Mom or Dad can’t be home. 

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2 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Just got this text from the school. Where do they come up with the number 5? 
 

“All softball players were exposed to covid yesterday. You must stay home for 5 days before returning to school.” 

Well, you take 10, and you divide by 2 because... because... because 19 has two digits in it, that's why! 

Yeah, looking for logic here seems futile 😕 . 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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17 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

 Masks were optional until the night before school started when they reversed course.

This is what I am fervently hoping here. We have a little over a week until schools start.

So far all the local districts are touting a "Completely back to normal!! Pandemic? That is sooooo over!!" stance.

But, I have seen some itty-bitty baby steps. Since the CDC now qualifies us as "substantial community spread", the local library system is requiring employees to wear masks. A few more people are choosing to wear masks in stores...we seem to be up to ~5% again. And the number of people vaccinated in my county has climbed a bit, though most of the change seems to be in the 65+ age groups who were already around 75% vaccinated and now are around 80%.

But based on the swarms of young, unmasked children in stores, libraries, indoor vacation bible schools (as seen on social media posts), etc, it is clear that local parents are not worried in the least.

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My district -- I'm a teacher -- has encouraged masks, but hasn't require them because our governor prohibited it.  

Our county judge sued Gov Abbott, and a district court judge ruled that local leaders are permitted to issue mask mandates.  So this afternoon, the county judge issued a mask mandate for Dallas county that includes businesses, schools, and government buildings.  Masks will be mandatory in my district beginning tomorrow.

Our governor and the AG are fighting this.  We'll see...

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35 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, you take 10, and you divide by 2 because... because... because 19 has two digits in it, that's why! 

Yeah, looking for logic here seems futile 😕 . 

Serious topic but this made me laugh. 
 

H (do I have to say dh lol) said there are some softball players in ds’ class 

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DD reported that there were 5 kids in the class, out of 25, who wore masks today.  😬

I'm beginning to feel like DD is going to get it and there's nothing that I can do to prevent it other than pull her out of school. And I really really don't want to do that. DD had a great day today. She ditched me right after drop-off and ran off with a group of roving 6th grade girls. I think that she needs to be there now but geez...why can't they keep them safe? Honestly, I'm not naive enough to think that I can prevent all COVID exposure once we leave our house. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect some modest risk taking. 

But no...forcing kids to wear masks is akin to marching them off to the gas chambers or will cause them to go to hell. And the people in charge are too scared to stand up to that fear-mongering. You do you doesn't work for a virus. 

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18 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

DD reported that there were 5 kids in the class, out of 25, who wore masks today.  😬

I'm beginning to feel like DD is going to get it and there's nothing that I can do to prevent it other than pull her out of school. And I really really don't want to do that. DD had a great day today. She ditched me right after drop-off and ran off with a group of roving 6th grade girls. I think that she needs to be there now but geez...why can't they keep them safe? Honestly, I'm not naive enough to think that I can prevent all COVID exposure once we leave our house. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect some modest risk taking. 

But no...forcing kids to wear masks is akin to marching them off to the gas chambers or will cause them to go to hell. And the people in charge are too scared to stand up to that fear-mongering. You do you doesn't work for a virus. 

I remember last year showing up at the school to install a car seat in the van and seeing dd playing with her class… they were playing tag. I thought good grief they have to play a contact game? At that point I just prayed that they’d become a pod and be safe but the problem is how can you call it a pod when each kid goes home to more people or places? 

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8 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Just got this text from the school. Where do they come up with the number 5? 
 

“All softball players were exposed to covid yesterday. You must stay home for 5 days before returning to school.” 

I would guess 5 comes from the fact covid symptoms and positive results “usually “ (but not always) come 2-5 days after exposure. 

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So, my friend's school i a charter, and they sent the kids home for a normal quarantine, but it seems the night before school started the local health department changed the quarantine guidelines. Read and weep. I swear the dude wouldn't know evidence based practices if they up and bit him. 

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/08/09/orange-county-health-leaders-announce-new-covid-19-quarantine-protocols-for-students/?fbclid=IwAR1dITl8YNd0X2RYIp9OqdamM_IZ6VwzGb7ivqkwm0P6ROp7_SQ42olHstM

“Now, a student that has been exposed to a positive case — as long as they are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) — they can have a test on the fourth day of their quarantine and come back to school the next day if that test is negative,” Pino said.

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5 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

So, my friend's school i a charter, and they sent the kids home for a normal quarantine, but it seems the night before school started the local health department changed the quarantine guidelines. Read and weep. I swear the dude wouldn't know evidence based practices if they up and bit him. 

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2021/08/09/orange-county-health-leaders-announce-new-covid-19-quarantine-protocols-for-students/?fbclid=IwAR1dITl8YNd0X2RYIp9OqdamM_IZ6VwzGb7ivqkwm0P6ROp7_SQ42olHstM

“Now, a student that has been exposed to a positive case — as long as they are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms) — they can have a test on the fourth day of their quarantine and come back to school the next day if that test is negative,” Pino said.

This is actually better than our schools, which is saying that if you have a close contact, you don't have to quarantine at all unless showing symptoms.  No need for negative tests. No quarantine, period.

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11 hours ago, DoraBora said:

My district -- I'm a teacher -- has encouraged masks, but hasn't require them because our governor prohibited it.  

Our county judge sued Gov Abbott, and a district court judge ruled that local leaders are permitted to issue mask mandates.  So this afternoon, the county judge issued a mask mandate for Dallas county that includes businesses, schools, and government buildings.  Masks will be mandatory in my district beginning tomorrow.

Our governor and the AG are fighting this.  We'll see...

The AG in our state is doing the same thing. Interestingly  he is currently campaigning for some other higher political office. I don’t know how these people can look themselves in the mirror, especially since they say they are all about limited government.

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3 minutes ago, TCB said:

The AG in our state is doing the same thing. Interesting he is currently campaigning for some other higher political office. I don’t know how these people can look themselves in the mirror, especially since they say they are all about limited government.

As a long-time conservative who doesn't recognize current conservative politics, let me edit the phrase...limited [to their authoritarian] government.

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1 minute ago, kbutton said:

As a long-time conservative who doesn't recognize current conservative politics, let me edit the phrase...limited [to their authoritarian] government.

It is reminding me of the common idea that the puritans came to the Americas seeking "religious freedom" but they meant "freedom to impose their own religion"

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1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

It is reminding me of the common idea that the puritans came to the Americas seeking "religious freedom" but they meant "freedom to impose their own religion"

In all fairness, both, IIRC. They were the outsiders in Europe and not terribly free in some parts of it, right? But I agree. 

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I don't have kids in public school but they did start this week with no mitigation and teachers have been back since last week. I don't expect ours to shut down. Last year they shut down between Thanksgiving and Christmas but other than that the individual schools just shut down for 1-2 days when they had too much staff in quarantine. But this year they are not contact tracing/quarantining as they did last year. Just going to plow through I think. Last year the city district required masks and the county did not and they had similar outcomes so now neither is requiring masks as far as I know. That could change in the next weeks of course. 

There just is no political will to shut down/ require masks, etc. The whole area seems to be on a don't test/don't tell status. 

My dd is going to a cottage school twice a week and they are very small and requiring masks and encouraging vaccination. 

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2 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

It is reminding me of the common idea that the puritans came to the Americas seeking "religious freedom" but they meant "freedom to impose their own religion"

Yes, and it seems that Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, Rushdooney, Botkin, Gothard, and many others who advocated for America to be taken over by a patriarchal style theocracy of an authoritarian government based on their own whackaloon and very dangerous "biblical" interpretations may be winning that war. It is very likely that the downplaying of the influences of Jerry Falwell and the like was a massive strike against our form of democracy. So many people thought "Fringe group, not a threat". They thought wrong. 

https://www.lansingcitypulse.com/stories/lansing-hr-director-warns-of-biblical-end-times,17078

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Our schools started last week (earlier than other schools around here). Masks were originally encouraged for jr. high and high school, required for elementary. Then a few days in, the governor required masks for all schools, which was a big relief. Generally, our state has been good about restrictions and mask mandates and I was like, what is taking the governor so long? But then I remembered that our school was an anomaly in starting so early. 

My youngest is in an elementary afterschool program and the two staff members haven't bothered wearing masks correctly most days when I picked her up. DD said they usually have them down and pull them up when parents arrive, so that is concerning. Kids in the program of course weren't wearing them properly, because why bother if the staff don't model good behavior? 

I complained to their supervisor (at another site) yesterday, and she appreciated me telling her. I think I will figure out a way to pick up my daughter earlier and avoid the after school program most days. I just don't feel comfortable with how things are going there, and the sooner she gets home, the less likely she will be exposed. 

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2 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Graph for cases in my county. School started August 10th - note that dates go right to left instead of the normal way. image.thumb.png.595c55ada6214b3bf64d0f7f239c062a.png

That's bad.... But I'm super distracted by the dates going the wrong way! Just...why?

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