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Old 08-07-2020, 02:16 PM   #1
tarcone
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Covid and School

I think it is time to start this thread.

People are saying teachers are essential. My district had the balls to send out a survey and say that parents needed childcare.

Is school essential? Are teachers front line workers, without the resources of private entities? Are teachers baby sitters, because they do not get paid like a baby sitter?

What is the answer at this point? All virtual? a blended model? Full speed ahead?

What are the districts and colleges doing around you?
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:21 PM   #2
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Send them all to school and let God sort them out.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:25 PM   #3
tarcone
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Send them all to school and let God sort them out.

Or is it darwinism?
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:25 PM   #4
ISiddiqui
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What seems strange about 'essential worker'-izing teachers is that the work can be done remotely in a lot of places. That is something that distinguished essential workers - you couldn't do it at home. You had to go in to work at a grocery store, or fight fires, or police areas.

Anyways, my county is doing virtual learning - pushed back the start of school a few weeks, and then will reassess at the next School Board meeting in September. They are using Microsoft Teams and every kid was assigned a Chromebook. Wife says they are doing for each class 15 mins of teacher lecture followed by 20 mins (or so) of students doing the work - and teachers can correct on the fly. Though I have to ask her how that works for art - as there is digital art you can do but most of elementary art is using physical materials. Maybe they show them after the time?
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:26 PM   #5
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I know quite a few teachers and most are resentful that they are viewed as babysitters for the kids so the rest of society can go back to work. Look at the idiocy in Cherokee County and Paulding County in GA. I mean, we had one case in Indiana where the parents sent their kid to school while awaiting the results of a test. I think I said it earlier in a thread, but the percentage of parents who will send their kids to school sick is >50%.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:28 PM   #6
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I will start by saying there are no good options here. My local towns and our school facebook groups are blowing up about all of this as you can imagine.

My town has 4 elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. My 2 kids are in elementary, going into 2nd and 5th grade. Their school is doing 5 days a week. Early release with no lunch. You can opt in for virtual if you like and can opt out of transportation. Masks mandatory, no sharing supplies, no playground equipment, other safety measures. As of now we are sending them and opting out of transportation since the bus is basically the wild west. My buddy lives 3 doors from the school. My plan is to park at his place and walk over with him and his son.

We are lucky since we don't start until Sept 8th we will get to see what happens in other areas of the country. If there are a lot of outbreaks I may decide to do virtual, or I suspect the school will go to all virtual.

Your other points are far more complicated. I know a lot of teachers and haven't heard any of them say they are opting out, but they all say they expect to catch it. They also all realize in some respect they are babysitters.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:29 PM   #7
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I think I said it earlier in a thread, but the percentage of parents who will send their kids to school sick is >50%.

They need to make this criminal...
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:42 PM   #8
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Send them all to school and let God sort them out.

I'm pretty sure that the motto for the Texas 2020-2021 school year

SI
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:46 PM   #9
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They need to make this criminal...

Didn't you see? We're trying to actually grant immunity for it instead.

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Old 08-07-2020, 03:04 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure that the motto for the Texas 2020-2021 school year

SI

If Bevin were still governor of KY, it WOULD be the motto here.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:09 PM   #11
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I think it's part parents needing the kids to go to school for work purposes, part wanting them out of the house for sanity purposes, and part knowing that online learning is practically useless from how things worked in the spring. Now, I expect the "virtual academy" we will be using will be better than what they quickly threw together in the spring, but I don't know how much. And it was useless for actual learning purposes in the spring. So if it's only marginally better, kids aren't going to learn much.

It's a problem without a good solution - although we were on track to having things mostly under control around September 1 and then threw it all away around Memorial Day.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:19 PM   #12
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Daughter one finishes college this semester with all online classes. Her professors are super old. PA state schools pay them a grip so nobody is in a hurry to retire. Daughter 2 is starting high school online this semester.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:27 PM   #13
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My daughter in college is an education major and is supposed to be spending a significant amount of time in observations/student teaching in the local schools this year. We'll see how they handle that. They had no plan in the spring, but I assume they'll figure something out so that she can remain on pace to graduate on time.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:46 PM   #14
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We're in such a bad spot. We have a 2nd grader and 5th grader.

Because we're not doing a great job of quarantining ourselves in our daily lives we feel like it's fruitless to take them out or maybe pointless is the right word. We mask up and try to eat at restaurants outside but my son still plays baseball, we still go to friend's homes, work in an office (while keeping 6') but it's just fruitless to think we can avoid this thing wholly. We'll pull them if someone pops but until then I guess we're riding the lightning.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:00 PM   #15
JonInMiddleGA
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Around me it's mixed. There are adjacent counties doing completely different models and everything is still a fairly steady state of flux for those who haven't actually gone back yet (i.e. either weren't scheduled back yet or adjusted their start date by a couple weeks that haven't arrived yet).

If there's a variant -- in person, mixed, online-only -- it's probably in use within 25-50 miles of me.

edit to add: And sitting in a university town, with almost constant local media coverage, I couldn't tell you wtf UGA will ultimately end up doing. The plan is to largely reopen, but between the staff protests and godknowswhatall behind the scenes maneuvering is taking place, I wouldn't put two cents on anything be a sure thing right now.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:02 PM   #16
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My daughter in college is an education major and is supposed to be spending a significant amount of time in observations/student teaching in the local schools this year. We'll see how they handle that. They had no plan in the spring, but I assume they'll figure something out so that she can remain on pace to graduate on time.

That is one of the worst scenarios I've heard mentioned -- student teachers in general I mean, I know a few in similar situations -- and she gets my sincere sympathy for having to deal with it.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:26 PM   #17
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That is one of the worst scenarios I've heard mentioned -- student teachers in general I mean, I know a few in similar situations -- and she gets my sincere sympathy for having to deal with it.

If it's like NY, the state Dept. of Ed. has to make rule changes for this environment. For certification programs, colleges are largely at the mercy of what the state says they can do.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:01 PM   #18
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I know quite a few teachers and most are resentful that they are viewed as babysitters for the kids so the rest of society can go back to work.

This. I would say about 20% of the conversation that I hear about wanting the kids back at school have anything to do with the quality of education the kids would be getting in the classroom. Everything else has been about getting the kids to someone else to take care of while the parents are working.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:21 PM   #19
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That is one of the worst scenarios I've heard mentioned -- student teachers in general I mean, I know a few in similar situations -- and she gets my sincere sympathy for having to deal with it.

This whole situation sucks. And to top it off, NKU just let everything know that the first athlete tested positive. That's going to be another whole situation she has to navigate.

Our younger daughter plays basketball and my wife is really not loving all the practices, no masks, etc. I'm cautious but she's really trying to minimize all of our contacts as much as possible. Anyway, tonight we let her go to a teammate's house with 3 other girls to practice and they're all spending the night and we won't let Mackenzie, so she's all pissed. And it makes us look like we are strict a-holes, when in fact no one should really be spending the night while cases continue to increase in Lexington. I hate feeling like a bad parent for being responsible.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:52 PM   #20
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Around here, I believe most of the districts opened with a virutal option and some of them are going 50/50.

My daughter's district is one of the few that went 100% virtual and I am glad they did. All of the large districts that opened schools have all had reported cases already and most have been in school less than a week.
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:08 AM   #21
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Are teachers' unions weak or non-existent in these areas where schools are back and in person? I dont see how any unions would allow a district to roll the dice with the teachers' and their families' lives. My employer allows employees to be exempt from returning to the office if anyone at home smokes, as they are therefore at risk.

My son is in high school, and they are strictly online. I don't think school can be done in person safely. Probably a bad parallel, but Health care workers have the equipment and training to use it, and they get sick. Students won't be diligent and some will come to school sick, knowingly and unknowingly. This just looks like a bad deal for students, teachers, and their families.
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:09 AM   #22
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In Australia, most schools have been back for about eight school weeks. We are currently in winter (right now, this is the equaivalent of February in the northern hemisphere) and the middle of our flu season. Our national case numbers are 20,000 with 266 deaths from a population of 25 million. My school recently had a student case discovered which closed us down for two days for cleaning.

As a 56 year old, I don't feel safe nor comfortable. I have been the only one of the teachers to wear a mask for the entire time we have been back teaching even though it has not been a requirement. The students do not socially distance at all and the teachers pay lip service to it. Thankfully I am a social isolate and have been keeping my distance well before the coronavirus. We live in a reasonably moderate climate where a maximum temperature of 60F is considered cold. Even on these days, I have every window and the door open for ventilation. It is only uncomfortable on mornings that get down to about 40F but I have the reverse cycle AC on in those cases with everything still open.

As little as two weeks ago, you would think that the virus doesn't exist anymore. We have had very few case numbers in my city (population around 400,000) and certain restrictions like school sport off-site and school incursions had started again. My school reopens on Monday and I will be interested to see what will be people's reactions to this. Masks have not been a requirement in my state (NSW) but have recently been strongly suggested for shopping or public transport. I'm guessing that I won't be the only weirdo with a mask.

Our daily routine has been teachers administering hand sanitizer at the start of every lesson (BTW the spray bottles are so much better than the slow drip ones) and then spraying the desks with disinfectant at the end of each period. How effective is this? Who knows? I think it just gives a false sense of security. At home, I am not a germaphobe at all but quite a slob. At work, if I touch a projector remote, I sanitize. If I answer the phone, sanitize. Touch anything that doesn't belong to me, sanitize.

For any teachers out there, make sure that you know what your leave requirements are if you need to get tested or isolate. Does the school/department cover you or does it come from your personal leave?
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:14 AM   #23
JonInMiddleGA
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Are teachers' unions weak or non-existent in these areas where schools are back and in person?

That presumes that teachers are all against returning, which is definitely not the case in all places, particularly at the K-12 level.

The ones I know / see comment -- which is an unduly high percentage of my social media since probably 25% or more of my HS graduating class ended up teaching -- appear split along lines similar to the public in their area.

A few are even as adamant as I am on the subject.
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:45 AM   #24
Brian Swartz
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Originally Posted by Lathum
I will start by saying there are no good options here.

This - also true of the pandemic in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarcone
Is school essential? Are teachers front line workers, without the resources of private entities?

I say no, but I would put schools in the most-important spot of the non-essential category; that is, it's what you should open first before bars, beaches, etc.

Children not being able to go to school is a very bad thing that has repercussions on parents, the rest of the economy, their future, etc. But it's not in the same category as food, electricity, etc. that is needed at a basic level to keep society functioning in the short-term. So I don't put it in the essential category. I think it's being put there right now as a emotional rather than logical decision.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:18 AM   #25
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Children not being able to go to school is a very bad thing that has repercussions on parents, the rest of the economy, their future, etc. But it's not in the same category as food, electricity, etc. that is needed at a basic level to keep society functioning in the short-term. So I don't put it in the essential category. I think it's being put there right now as a emotional rather than logical decision.

I completely disagree with this. Unless you are someone who downplays mental health issues there are millions of kids suffering from not having that daily routine, structure, socialization, challenges, etc...that doesn't even count millions of kids who rely on schools for their only decent meals.

Even with virtual learning the longer this goes on the higher the number of kids we are going to see with long term emotional and mental issues.

I am lucky my kids have handled it pretty well, but even they are starting to shows signs of having some issues. Shorter fuses, lack of motivation, not enjoying some activities they used to, wanting to be alone, etc...nothing rising to the level of concern, yet, but another 6 months into winter could be a different story. I know a lot of people who have it way worse.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:34 AM   #26
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I am lucky my kids have handled it pretty well, but even they are starting to shows signs of having some issues. Shorter fuses, lack of motivation, not enjoying some activities they used to, wanting to be alone, etc...nothing rising to the level of concern, yet, but another 6 months into winter could be a different story. I know a lot of people who have it way worse.

Serious question? Does this go away if they go back to school in the middle of a pandemic?

I'm pretty sure it's the pandemic that is the stressor (or parents stressed about it), not the lack of school or lack of a routine?

And it's not like the teachers are robots- they are also going to be stressed, because of the pandemic. And your kids will know.

Never mind that this false normalcy is going to be shattered as soon as classmates start getting sick or teachers or parents.

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Old 08-08-2020, 10:51 AM   #27
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I honestly don’t have an answer to that but my opinion is they need that routine and time with other kids that aren’t siblings. We are on vacation and just the change in scenery has done them good.
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Old 08-08-2020, 02:01 PM   #28
Brian Swartz
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Originally Posted by Lathum
Unless you are someone who downplays mental health issues there are millions of kids suffering from not having that daily routine, structure, socialization, challenges, etc...that doesn't even count millions of kids who rely on schools for their only decent meals.

Even with virtual learning the longer this goes on the higher the number of kids we are going to see with long term emotional and mental issues.

I'm not downplaying that, I'm saying it's not in the same survival category as the others. School is not the only place children can get routine, structure, etc.; parents can provide that in other ways. They've done it for most of human history. If that weren't the case, homeschooled children would all be basketcases; in fact the studies I'm aware of show that more homeschooled kids graduate from college than those who aren't.

The bottom line is these are things that can be overcome. Not having food isn't.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:55 AM   #29
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That presumes that teachers are all against returning, which is definitely not the case in all places, particularly at the K-12 level.

The ones I know / see comment -- which is an unduly high percentage of my social media since probably 25% or more of my HS graduating class ended up teaching -- appear split along lines similar to the public in their area.

A few are even as adamant as I am on the subject.

I guess my experience with teachers' unions is that they aren't truly democratic when it comes to determining policy. Sure there are votes for strikes and such, but posturing with school districts and state leadership seems to be entirely within the realm of the union leadership. Stereotypical Union leadership don't fall into the same stereotype that youve painted yourself into. So there must be something else there.

On I side note. Something I've noted about myself is that I've found your Covid posts to be much more personally provocative than other positions you've taken over the years. I usually. Just chuckle and move on while your usual adversaries fire volley after volley. So maybe I skew liberal on Covid.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:30 AM   #30
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I'm not downplaying that, I'm saying it's not in the same survival category as the others. School is not the only place children can get routine, structure, etc.; parents can provide that in other ways. They've done it for most of human history. If that weren't the case, homeschooled children would all be basketcases; in fact the studies I'm aware of show that more homeschooled kids graduate from college than those who aren't.

The bottom line is these are things that can be overcome. Not having food isn't.

If you want to break society down to basic needs, sure, but mental health is every bit as important as physical health.

As for homeschooling, I have never met someone who is homeschooled where both parents are also trying to work full time while homeschooling.
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Old 08-09-2020, 02:34 PM   #31
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I completely disagree with this. Unless you are someone who downplays mental health issues there are millions of kids suffering from not having that daily routine, structure, socialization, challenges, etc...that doesn't even count millions of kids who rely on schools for their only decent meals.

Even with virtual learning the longer this goes on the higher the number of kids we are going to see with long term emotional and mental issues.

I am lucky my kids have handled it pretty well, but even they are starting to shows signs of having some issues. Shorter fuses, lack of motivation, not enjoying some activities they used to, wanting to be alone, etc...nothing rising to the level of concern, yet, but another 6 months into winter could be a different story. I know a lot of people who have it way worse.

This is true, and yet this is compared with going back to school as normal. When I see images of schools that are taking harm reduction seriously, with reduced class size, spaced out desks, no students within 3 feet of each other, mask wearing, eating lunch at their desk, no interacting in the halls, I have to wonder if that will help at all with the mental health needs of kids. If a school went from normal to this, we'd all be outraged at the disruption to our kids' natural needs for socialization, interaction, closeness, play, etc. I'm honestly not sure if this helps enough to be worth the risk it still entails.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:42 AM   #32
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I finished my Master of Arts, Teaching degree last year. My student teaching was cut short in March. They just gave us some extra reflection assignments to make it up.

The county I got a job in is doing all virtual instruction, but is having the teachers still come in to the school and lead lessons from there. It's been a crazy way to begin my career as most of the people who would normally be helping me get situated and ready are just as confused as I am. Part of the problem is that the county waited so long trying to make in person lessons happen that when they switched, they didn't really have time to fully prepare for how it was going to work.

I actually agree with the mental health issues. Not only that, but online instruction is useless for kids in SPED programs or with specific IEP's. But there are ways to work around that. Allowing small class pods to meet for SPED/IEP instruction, allowing in person appointments for counseling services, etc. are all reasonable adjustments that can be made, just like the meal service programs that have been created. These can be done without shoving 2,000 kids into crowded hallways and classrooms.
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:12 AM   #33
Lathum
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The county I got a job in is doing all virtual instruction, but is having the teachers still come in to the school and lead lessons from there. It's been a crazy way to begin my career as most of the people who would normally be helping me get situated and ready are just as confused as I am. Part of the problem is that the county waited so long trying to make in person lessons happen that when they switched, they didn't really have time to fully prepare for how it was going to work.


This is what I am worried about. Our district is pushing forward with 5 days in person, early releases with no lunch. We don't go back until sept 8th and I am really worried they will see other parts of the countries have issues and pull the plug and go all virtual with no plan.

I said last year they should have shut it all down in May, virtual learning was pretty much useless at that point, and start working on contingencies for all scenarios.

In other news did you change careers to go into teaching?
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:58 PM   #34
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The Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools has recommended online learning only for the fall and that proposal will be voted on by the board on Wednesday (I expect it will pass).

As one half of two full-time working parents of two grade school kids, this is frustrating. I completely sympathize with teachers being scared about this and feeling like they aren't in the same category as emergency medical professionals. On the other hand, there's this which I have a hard time disputing:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...-i-did/614902/

My wife and I are fortunate that we have been able to work from home since this hit, and so the kids finishing up their spring quarter at home was possible. But any parent of kids that age can imaging just how difficult that could be and how disruptive it is to the parent(s) nearby that are also expected to be doing their jobs. We're not teachers. We can both provide some guidance and help, but even in the best of situations (kids fully engaged with the topic and wanting to complete the assignment) it can be a real time sink to work with them. We were both counting the days until the school year was done so we could actually be closer to truly working full-time from home again and not splitting time trying to also be teachers.

This summer they have been attending the usual day-camp they do that is put on by the after-school care program at their school. The camp has been following social-distancing protocols, mask-wearing, screening each morning before entering, etc. and other than one false-positive scare with a counselor, has had no issues with COVID.

We are also fortunate that this after-school program at their school is preparing to offer part-day and full-day care including support for the kids doing their online learning. This will take place in the school buildings, same as their normal after-school care and the same as they've been doing this summer. Which raises the obvious question: if this program can have a certain number of kids in the school buildings, using school equipment to access their online learning and providing support for their online learning, why the fuck aren't they just doing this with their actual teachers?

It's a failure all around that something couldn't have been worked out here. Seattle Public Schools had initially suggested that for elementary school students they would try for a schedule of in-person learning 2 days a week and online learning the rest of the time as a means of limiting the number of students in the school each day to meet social distancing protocols. That's effectively what's going to happen now with this after-school care program, only the "teachers" will be minimum-wage college-aged counselors instead of highly-trained teachers.

Bigger picture, yes, schools are effectively day-care. Our society has gravitated to an economic model where, in most decent-sized cities, both parents need to work in order for a household to bring in the income necessary to achieve a middle-class lifestyle. And so for younger kids that can't be left home alone, schools provide the additional role of day-care. When there is a disruption to that routine such as this pandemic, we need to prioritize finding solutions to this issue. My wife and I are in a position to where we can work from home and keep an eye on the kids (though it's a severe hit to our work productivity), but I think about other families where they can't work from home, and those that are much closer to poverty level (which in Seattle doesn't take much given our insane real estate market) and how disruptive this has all been for them.

I think the other bigger-picture issue here is understanding different needs and approaches for students depending on their age. There's a different between a 2nd grader trying to learn online vs. a 7th grader vs. a 12th grader. While the structure and set-up of schools isn't the only way to teach kids, it's the way our society chooses to do it and a sudden disruption without a well-planned substitute is a recipe for real problems for these kids and their education. What long-term issues are we going to see from these significant curveballs these kids have had to endure in their academic careers? How many will be thrown-off in a way that has lasting damage?

So, yes, I'm sympathetic to teachers that say they didn't sign up to be front-line workers. Except, they actually did whether they were conscious of it or not. I'll avoid getting overtly political here, but I'll just say I don't think we had the leadership necessary (at many, many levels, not just the President) to adequately address this.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:58 PM   #35
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Only issue is that the evidence we have indicates that reopening schools can cause spike in cases, even if protective measures are put in place. Look at Israel.

Isreal Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster that Wiped Out Lockdown Gains

This isn't like grocery stores, where distancing is easy to do. You have seen those pictures in North Georgia? Paulding County schools were people are shoulder to shoulder. And it came out that 9 people in that school have tested for COVID, so we'll see how far they spread that.

It seems to indicate that schools are superspreader events.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:30 PM   #36
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Our district has a special board meeting Monday. The local NEA sent the board a scathing letter. I imagine we go to a blended schedule 2 days for the students and 2 days for the other half.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:30 PM   #37
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We have to make a choice for our teen boys by the 17th.

The regular plan for high school is 2 days a week in person, slightly shorter days. They've switched to a block semester schedule so the kids have only 4 classes at a time and less switching, will have only half the number of kids in class, masks on, etc. The rest of the week they work remotely.

Alternately, we can choose to opt out of that and go full remote learning. Here they clearly don't really have a plan. They're waiting to see how many students do it, how many teachers refuse to teach in-person and then winging it from there. It seems obvious to me there are severe logistical problems with doing this at a high school level, but no real plan to address them.

My oldest wants to go to school because he recognizes he did poorly on his own. My youngest wants to stay home because he can't imagine having to wear a mask all day in a stuffy room (he's always been very sensitive to fabrics, sensations, etc.).

I am torn. On the one hand, remote learning sounds like a mess because they have not prepped for it. On the other, chances of everyone being sent home within a few weeks of school seem high, so why run the risk of getting them exposed? Teachers will have a couple weeks to plan for this hybrid learning, students are spaced out in desks with masks and can't really interact, I'm not sure how much better that will be than an admittedly half-assed remote plan.

My wife and I mostly work at home, and these guys are teens, so we can afford to keep them home if we want (though it wasn't exactly easy even so). So I also wonder if we should just do that and reduce the population in the school for those who have to go. This is tough.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:49 PM   #38
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In other news did you change careers to go into teaching?

Yeah, I was the director of a tutoring center. I was doing well, but the lifestyle was terrible, as tutoring has to be done after school so lots of late nights and weekends, not to mention the constant sales pressure. Also, we were a high end company and could only help a wealthier clientele. I had always wanted to be a teacher, and when I got engaged, we decided to bite the bullet and have me go back to get my Masters so I could have a better work/life balance.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:51 PM   #39
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Only issue is that the evidence we have indicates that reopening schools can cause spike in cases, even if protective measures are put in place. Look at Israel.

Isreal Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster that Wiped Out Lockdown Gains

This isn't like grocery stores, where distancing is easy to do. You have seen those pictures in North Georgia? Paulding County schools were people are shoulder to shoulder. And it came out that 9 people in that school have tested for COVID, so we'll see how far they spread that.

It seems to indicate that schools are superspreader events.

There isn't one spot in my classroom that is 6 ft away from where any student would be sitting.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:54 PM   #40
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Only issue is that the evidence we have indicates that reopening schools can cause spike in cases, even if protective measures are put in place. Look at Israel.

Isreal Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster that Wiped Out Lockdown Gains

This isn't like grocery stores, where distancing is easy to do. You have seen those pictures in North Georgia? Paulding County schools were people are shoulder to shoulder. And it came out that 9 people in that school have tested for COVID, so we'll see how far they spread that.

It seems to indicate that schools are superspreader events.

I don't doubt that they could be, but I'd like to see breakdowns of what kinds of set-ups lead to what frequency of problems. I'd also love to see data from all the various summer day-camp set-ups that have been taking place across the country and how they've performed.

Specifically in Seattle I think it would be instructive to see how the ones in the region have done. As I said (and obviously this is just one small example and not necessarily predictive of the idea as a whole) the day camp my kids have been doing this summer has been free of any positive cases.

It wouldn't surprise me if the school situations that have been more prone to problems are for older grades.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:07 PM   #41
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Looks like our school district is going to be on-line for my daughter until at least November, and because of that we decided to opt out until January. At least this way we know what we're getting for the first half of the year.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:59 PM   #42
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One other comment on this issue:

Like seemingly everything in our world now, this is something that is heavily politicized which is unfortunate. I suppose it's inevitable given how polarizing President Trump is, but it's too bad that battle lines were quickly drawn between "open schools = supporting Trump" and "opposing Trump requires opposing open schools".

It's not for lack of effort that this hasn't been framed in a bi-partisan/non-political discussion - I've seen multiple thoughtful think pieces about the need to open schools and ways to do so that would minimize risk from folks that have zero interest or desire to be supportive of Trump, but those battle lines are hard to erase.

The Atlantic has been all over this issue:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...chools/613939/
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...y-part/612046/
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...chools/614605/
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:18 PM   #43
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I don't doubt that they could be, but I'd like to see breakdowns of what kinds of set-ups lead to what frequency of problems. I'd also love to see data from all the various summer day-camp set-ups that have been taking place across the country and how they've performed.

I can't speak for all day camps, but there was an infamous one in North Georgia which resulted in over 200 Covid 19 cases.

CDC report: 200+ kids were infected with Covid at Georgia camp | 11alive.com

Now this camp didn't require the wearing off masks nor did they open all the windows and there was singing and cheering. But why should we expect GA schools to be any different? I saw those Paulding County pictures - 25% of kids may have been wearing masks as they were elbow to elbow.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:49 PM   #44
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‘Fox & Friends’ Host Ainsley Earhardt ‘Shocked’ to Learn Kids Can Get COVID-19

What? You mean kids are like, human or something?!!?
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:16 PM   #45
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I can't speak for all day camps, but there was an infamous one in North Georgia which resulted in over 200 Covid 19 cases.

CDC report: 200+ kids were infected with Covid at Georgia camp | 11alive.com

Now this camp didn't require the wearing off masks nor did they open all the windows and there was singing and cheering. But why should we expect GA schools to be any different? I saw those Paulding County pictures - 25% of kids may have been wearing masks as they were elbow to elbow.
Well sure. But if we're trying to get an idea of whether in-person instruction using social distancing and other safety protocols works, then looking at other similar situations (like the day camps in the Seattle area following those protocols) is what would be instructive, not looking at ill-advised attempts elsewhere that ignored common-sense guidelines.
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:29 PM   #46
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Well sure. But if we're trying to get an idea of whether in-person instruction using social distancing and other safety protocols works, then looking at other similar situations (like the day camps in the Seattle area following those protocols) is what would be instructive, not looking at ill-advised attempts elsewhere that ignored common-sense guidelines.

The thing is that they were following state guidelines. Which is the level of what the schools will do. That's the issue here. A lot of these states don't have strict mask or distance guidelines and it may be almost impossible to do it at schools - where students have been jammed in overcrowded schools for decades. So then you just gamble on how many people get it.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:23 AM   #47
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The thing is that they were following state guidelines. Which is the level of what the schools will do. That's the issue here. A lot of these states don't have strict mask or distance guidelines and it may be almost impossible to do it at schools - where students have been jammed in overcrowded schools for decades. So then you just gamble on how many people get it.
Right. I guess the disconnect here (if there is one) is I don't give any shits about what another state - particularly one that hasn't exactly shown the wisest of actions regarding this pandemic - is doing in terms of guidelines. I care about what my state is doing and whether the situation here could (have) support(ed) some kind of in-class approach for grade schoolers. I guess we'll get somewhat of an answer with the day camps that will host kids inside the school buildings.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:53 AM   #48
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I'm a school psycholgist in a management position and have been practicing for about 10 years now. As someone said, there are no good options here unfortunately.

There are a lot of factors that really are not being considered here. My responses are primarily for areas who are not in stage 4 of opening. In my case our county is on the watch list and already has a significant rise in cases. There may be areas where some of my points do not apply.

What happened in the spring was crisis learning, not remote learning. I can only speak for my district, but our planning, and training is significantly better now than it was then. As usual there will be variance but we have some teachers who are going to be doing a great job. Now will even a much improved remote learning experience be as good as pre pandemic normal schooling? Not even close. But is it on par with what school will look like with in person learning under these conditions? Possibly and in some cases in person could be worse. I can tell you some of our more talented teachers doing remote learning is much better than whoever we'd get in for an in person sub. .

Some practical considerations. There are huge sub shortages. We couldn't get enough sub coverage pre pandemic. With in person learning its due to a number of reasons its quite likely many teachers will be out and using their sick days often and we will likely have many classrooms with no teacher. And a lot of teachers who are not new have a lot of sick day. Not to mention time out if there was possible exposure.

Teachers are not health care workers. They are not trained in this. Teachers are scared, really scared. Scared teachers do not provide quality instruction. This isn't making sure a patient lives, its creating a learning environment for kids. Schools are not set up to follow procedures like hospitals. My wife works at a hospital directly with covid patients. But they have strict protocol. Not kids chasing each other threatening one another with covid. And along the previous point, starting on in person school where cases are high is just going to lead to shutdown and emergency response again, resulting in poorer remote learning. And for my county it currently takes a week to even get a test and a week to get results so again your going to have classrooms and potentially whole school sites shut down for weeks at a time to even know if someone was negative.

Mental health is a very real concern but this is true regardless of the learning model. Being at school 6 feet apart from everyone, not being allowed to play with classmates, do collaborative learning, play on the playground, having to wear a mask, not being able to come near your teacher, or having them back away from you etc.. these are not therapeutic conditions for mental health. Having more people get sick and or die are not good for mental health. We have many many kids who have their older grandparents as their guardians. Them getting sick or dying isn't good for mental health. Counseling services can be provided remotely. As a community we need to step up in regards to mental health, not just the schools.

Now remote learning has some major issues too. Some primary ones being equity and special education. Remote learning is really difficult for students who had school as their safe place and home is not a comfortable or safe place for them. These kids are suffering, though based on the polling we did, almost all of them chose remote learning for the year anyway. And while I do think kids with specific learning disabilities and speech or language can still benefit from remote support services, kids with autism, intellectual disabilities, significant emotional and behavioral difficulties and others in special day classes are the most affected.

All the options suck, but I am seeing teachers work their butts off all summer in prepping the best they possibly can for remote learning this go around.

This whole mess was caused by irresponsibility in the first place. We should have the virus largely contained and testing and tracing to a degree that in person learning could work and specific cases quickly isolated and dealt with. Back when we to crisis learning in the spring and shut down I was hopeful wed have the virus response managed and be back in to in person schooling now as when safe that really is best for kids. But were not even close.

This whole crappy situation is the result of our societal failings.

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Old 08-11-2020, 12:57 PM   #49
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That's a great response Danny, and I get all those points. What's left unsaid though is what are the options if in-person learning isn't going to happen? We can tiptoe around it all we want or tut-tut about this reality in our society, but working parents count on school to act not just as the way our kids learn, but also as a de facto child care for younger kids that can't be left alone at home.

Here's what's going to happen: in communities where local health guidelines allow (such as my county) and organizations are able to secure space and have the staffing to do it, after-school care groups will offer full-day care and where possible will try to provide opportunities for the kids to access their online learning. For working parents that can't be home to watch after their younger kids or who are working at home but need to be able to focus on their work and not get interrupted constantly, this is the next-best option to "normal" schooling...if they can afford it, and if they secure one of the limited spots available.

But what if these parents aren't able to get a spot in one of these day-care options? What if they can't afford it? What if there isn't one of these options close enough to where they live to be a viable option? Are they going to have any other options to A) watch the kids while the parents work and B) be able to provide access to their online learning and C) be able to help them in any way with that learning? Or are some of these kids going to get shuttled off to whoever can watch them and if learning doesn't happen, oh well, at least someone is watching them? What if that means one of the parents has to quit working because they can't find any way to take care of their young kid(s)?

Even if a community has some day care options, what happens when access to the online learning isn't working? The WiFi is down or there's not enough connections or come to find out the facility just can't support workstations for every kid, and so they are cared for but aren't keeping up with the expected learning?

I get the concern teachers have about in-person instruction with the pandemic going on. I know that we can't just open schools as we normally would, and the best-case scenarios (for places that aren't Phase 4) are probably going to mean middle-school and high-school kids are still remote learning close to 100% of the time and even grade-school kids aren't going in to class every day.

But any discussion about this that isn't also talking about how remote learning is supposed to actually work given that so many households rely on school as a de facto day care while the parents work is an incomplete discussion and isn't productive.
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Old 08-11-2020, 01:02 PM   #50
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Cherokee County schools currently have nearly 900 students, faculty, and staff in quarantine from exposure to positive cases.
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