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So, how do you reopen schools? (Preschool to High School & even College)


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My daughter told me on Monday that my granddaughter is still doing online school and will for the foreseeable future while Covid-19 numbers are still strong in the greater Austin area. That's very good news. I might get to see them this weekend, first time in months.

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So looks like Virginia districts are starting to announce when they’re reopening. I though ours was going with a phased approach (k-2 first 3 weeks, then k-5, etc) but joe sounds like everyone at once. Announcement is not exactly clear. they picked a date about a month and a half out. 
 

wife is read to send him to school. I told her I don’t understand how anyone feels comfortable making plans over a month out right now. Things are subject to change any day. 
 

they’re offering both a hybrid and a virtual model. No full time model is available. So we’re back to weighing the safety risk vs the quality of the learning that’s going on. Fun. 

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4 hours ago, tshile said:

So looks like Virginia districts are starting to announce when they’re reopening. I though ours was going with a phased approach (k-2 first 3 weeks, then k-5, etc) but joe sounds like everyone at once. Announcement is not exactly clear. they picked a date about a month and a half out. 
 

wife is read to send him to school. I told her I don’t understand how anyone feels comfortable making plans over a month out right now. Things are subject to change any day. 
 

they’re offering both a hybrid and a virtual model. No full time model is available. So we’re back to weighing the safety risk vs the quality of the learning that’s going on. Fun. 

Don't we need to set a date and be willing to roll it back though? By your logic above, you just never schedule something...

 

I think it's fair to set a date several weeks out based on what is known today with the option to push it out to the right if things change. The fact that things can change any day is going to be a reality for quite some time...

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I’ve been homeschooling our kid for the past 3 weeks. Ready to send him to school. Tell him to wear a mask and I’ll take his temp every day. Teachers are better at this than I am.

 

At some point, teachers are going to have to go to school. There’s never going to be 0 cases and there’s never going to be herd immunity due to a vaccine. There will ALWAYS be a risk. We can’t do virtual school indefinitely.

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On 9/23/2020 at 2:37 PM, visionary said:

 

Thanks for sharing that. I had been wondering if it HAD been football related because the only other article I read said that football activities had been cancelled at Cal U. since March.

 

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Keep the conversation honest so folks can plan for it.

 

Until its reasonable to require being vaccinated before coming to school like we do other things, in person isnt reasonable.

 

It sucks, im lucky to work from home for now to have this convo on raising my daughter and not having to put her anywhere, but I totally get that not being reasonable for some folks, too.  I got teams meetings, too, as high up as the director someones dog is barking or kid doesn't get it in every meeting im in it seems, like 90% right now.

 

Its not about 0 risk, its about realistic.  New place my office will be downstairs in the basement.  Wife works remotely as well, in Jan we'll know how long we can manage, but plan is to hold out long as we can.

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46 minutes ago, Springfield said:

 

At some point, teachers are going to have to go to school. 

 

One if the logistical problems schools are having to face is no, we actually don't. 

 

Even in normal times, there are plenty of burn outs who will just up and leave, sometimes in the middle of the year. Sometimes, in the middle of a CLASS. I wish I could tell that story... It's funny, if sad.

 

There are plenty of teachers I know who would (and were going to, before we went virtual) take a leave of absence or flat out quit if told we have to return to a germ factory before we feel safe. The salary in many cases is not enough to hold people.

 

That's not even considering the numerous people with ADA issues that mean they can't legally be made to return to the physical building.

 

If you don't have enough teachers, you can't run the school. 

 

FCPS didn't do the crazy flip flipping @tshileapparently had to deal with, but I'm pretty sure the reason the original hybrid plan was dropped is that most parents chose hybrid and most teachers chose virtual, and they couldn't figure out how to make it work.

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13 minutes ago, techboy said:

 

One if the logistical problems schools are having to face is no, we actually don't. 

 

Even in normal times, there are plenty of burn outs who will just up and leave, sometimes in the middle of the year. Sometimes, in the middle of a CLASS. I wish I could tell that story... It's funny, if sad.

 

There are plenty of teachers I know who would (and were going to, before we went virtual) take a leave of absence or flat out quit if told we have to return to a germ factory before we feel safe. The salary in many cases is not enough to hold people.

 

That's not even considering the numerous people with ADA issues that mean they can't legally be made to return to the physical building.

 

If you don't have enough teachers, you can't run the school. 

 

FCPS didn't do the crazy flip flipping @tshileapparently had to deal with, but I'm pretty sure the reason the original hybrid plan was dropped is that most parents chose hybrid and most teachers chose virtual, and they couldn't figure out how to make it work.


So then what you’re saying is that we are just going to go all virtual until probably next school year at the very best. To me, that’s unacceptable. The metric can’t be 0 to return to school and by the time there are enough vaccines available to give the kids attending it’ll be well after this school year is over. I’ll add that we don’t even know how effective the vaccines will be, if they need boosters, if it’s a yearly vaccine, anything really.

 

Teachers can’t actually believe that they are doing an effective job of teaching by doing virtual learning, especially teachers of younger children.

 

Fairfax DID do a bit of flip flopping. We were all set to send our kid to public school, part time. Had our schedules worked out. At the last minute (or month), they decided to pull the rug out. People have to cut their own hours and/or quit their jobs because the teachers decided it was unsafe.

Edited by Springfield
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5 minutes ago, Springfield said:


To me, that’s unacceptable.

 

I understand where you're coming from, but here's the thing...

 

As a teacher, I have to meet students where they are. It doesn't really matter what I THINK they should know coming into the class, or what their attitude towards school should be... All that matters is where they are. That's what I have to work with.

 

In a similar vein, the school system and parents are going to have to meet teachers where we are.

 

Whether or not anyone agrees with the reasoning behind the decisions, teachers are going to make the decision they feel is best for themselves and their families. If they don't feel safe, they'll use ADA, take an LOA or quit. 

 

If enough teachers bail with one of these methods, there won't be school. It sucks, but it's reality.

 

I recommend a really good plan that makes everyone feel safe, and an even better PR campaign.

 

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3 hours ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

Don't we need to set a date and be willing to roll it back though? By your logic above, you just never schedule something...

Sorry. Yes. My post was worded poorly. 
 

yes I expect people responsible for making these decisions on behalf of others (school boards) to give as much time as possible and be as flexible as possible to accommodate for the fact that much can change very quickly.

 

as far as responding to my wife asking what I think about sending our son to school in November? My response is: I don’t even know how to answer that when it’s so far out, too much can change. 

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12 minutes ago, techboy said:

n a similar vein, the school system and parents are going to have to meet teachers where we are.

Many of these parents that you want to meet you in this, are themselves going to work every day with risk. Or are now jobless or have significantly reduced hours already just to meet you currently. 
 

I care about the safety of teachers. Whenever this starts to roll back, my child will spend X days a week in that room with that teacher. Even if I didn’t particularly give a **** about any of them personally, not understanding how the welfare of their health impacts my child (and my wife, my other child, and me by extension) would be incredibly naive to the point you’d probably have to be one of the “its all a hoax” people. 
 

there are unreasonable parents. There are also unreasonable teachers. 
 

my preference would be for my school board to start replacing the ones that won’t  come back. Immediately. Raise my taxes to raise the wages to attract people. That’s fine. But the stance some are taking is unreasonable and the way they conducted themselves over the summer (and in some ways still are) is inexcusable and did harm to our community 

 

our teachers desperately need raises. Maybe cleaning house and having to raise wages to attract new teachers will finally be accepted by the people out here because they care more about getting their child back in school than the tax hit, and we can kill two birds with one stone. 
 

(I’m not saying we need to go back today. Just the commenting on the general conversation of figuring out when/how)

 

Edited by tshile
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2 minutes ago, tshile said:

 

my preference would be for my school board to start replacing the ones that one come back. Immediately. 

 

Obviously you can't do that with the ADA cases. That's actually what happens already for teachers that quit, and most of the time it goes further... If I resign outside of a very narrow window at the end of the year the county can (and usually will) get my license revoked. It's actually quite problematic for people that want to switch counties... You have to resign before you know if you're going to be able to get another job. Which is the point... Counties don't want to have to replace people. 

 

As I'm sure you know, though, the pay (especially outside the DMV) is not enough to make people want to risk their safety, and it's not enough to attract new, qualified people to replace them, even if there were enough, which there probably aren't.

 

Which leaves us back at the cold reality. Any plan has to account for the fact that many teachers don't feel safe going back and are willing to throw away their careers to avoid doing so.

 

As I said, I recommend good PR.

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As a side note - I rarely feel good about things these days, and I don’t really have any respect for northam, but I am thankful for what’s he’s done for the food program. 
 

it relieves a little stress for us from the day to day. We didn’t need that. It’s just a plus 

 

it at least attempts to help with the children that don’t have quality home situations (for whatever reason) and therefore have trouble eating regularly and with at least decent food. Anyone who’s spent any time on the subject has read enough studies to understand how important food is to children’s learning and behavior. 
 

it also gives money to our cafeteria workers. These are members of our community that don’t have lots of job options and weren’t sitting in the upper class to begin with. Getting them back to a way of earning some money is important. For them and our school system and our community as a whole. 
 

it’s rare I feel good about things but this one I feel good about and I’m glad northam did it. 

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3 minutes ago, techboy said:

As I said, I recommend good PR.

Yeah. Well. I think we’re seeing a lot of selfishness and lack of foresight out here. 
 

I don’t foresee any teachers priorities getting public support at the polls ever again. Raises? Hah. 
 

I’m not saying it’s right. But when you use your union power this way, there will be backlash. And one day the teachers will feel safe, and the community is still going to hate them. 
 

i, personally, am perfectly fine with having my taxes raised to pay teachers more to help replace them. I realize that’s a far cry from an actionable plan.

 

There’s right and wrong ways to do things. The teachers used their union power to force things. I think out here they will regret that over the long haul. We’ll see. 

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Right...teachers aren't the only group of people to consider here. Plenty of people (my wife included) have been working without any sort of stoppage through this entire pandemic. At some point, without the ability to effectively do our jobs remotely, we have to decide if we want to do our job in person or do something else. That's life and it happens all the time for non-COVID things. 

 

Anytime any requirements for any job become untenable, we are free to move on and do something else. That's life. But I'm getting a little tired for the pearl-clutching that's going on about our teachers when no one seems to care about any other group. Why are teachers more valuable than my wife who had to decide to either show up or lose her job? Do I admire what they do? Of course. So please don't turn this into "TD wants all teachers to die of COVID"

 

Unfortunately for them, teachers are the one domino that realistically has to fall for the rest of us to get back to some sort of normal schedule. If the kids are at home, that trickles up for a large percentage of this country. 

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Also, for the record, I know virtual learning sucks for parents. It sucks for kids. It sucks for teachers too... Despite being as ready as anyone could be and having materials already in electronic format ready to go, I'm working twice as hard as I ever have and still getting terrible results. I was about to rip my hair out today trying to get students to understand and complete an assignment.

 

There is no good option. We just have to choose the best of the bad.

 

The ACTUAL solution is in March, to have strong national leadership that called for universal masking and immediately used the defense production act to roll out scads of accurate tests so we could have used targeted shutdowns as necessary instead of burning everyone out on quarantine, even in places where it wasn't necessary.

 

THEN we could have just closed certain more dangerous venues like bars, while being able to open schools, which would have ACTUALLY helped the economy the buffoons in charge were so worried about damaging.

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2 minutes ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

Why are teachers more valuable than my wife who had to decide to either show up or lose her job?

They aren’t. They just have union powers and monopoly in the workforce. 
 

any other position in that pay range is generally considered replaceable. 
 

but no a county can’t replace 1/3 of it’s teachers 3 weeks before school starts. Especially since it’s a national problem. And that’s why they did what they did out here. The question is whether they’ll get away with it long term. 
 

You know who is holding in class sessions out here? Private schools. And they’re doing just fine. 
 

we looked. Can’t get into them. We were too late.  Hell, private school is cheaper than the private academy/daycare we use. 
 

our friends kid is going. He’s doing great. Having a blast. Getting everything mine isn’t. 
 

it’s a frustrating situation. The teachers didn’t even try out here. They strong armed the entire county. They were smart in how they did it, they shut everything down at the last minute. I’m skeptical they understand the backlash they’ve created and for how long it will go on. We’ll see. 

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5 minutes ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

 

Unfortunately for them, teachers are the one domino that realistically has to fall for the rest of us to get back to some sort of normal schedule. If the kids are at home, that trickles up for a large percentage of this country

 

 

You're right, but it doesn't matter. There are enough teachers ready to "move on and find something else" that you won't be ABLE to replace them. And as much as @tshile wants to complain about unions, Virginia is a Right to Work State. There ARE no unions. The schools could open tomorrow and fire every non-ADA eligible teacher that refused to show up.

 

If the plan was reasonable, I'd even support that, and I'm a teacher.

 

IF it would work.

 

It wouldn't, though, because there would be too many teachers to replace.

 

So you guys can go on and on all you want about how everybody is hurting, and you're not wrong, but it won't matter if you can't convince enough teachers to show up.

 

This is one time playing it tough probably isn't going to work.

 

 

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@techboy

also, I just want to take a moment to say I understand everything you’re saying. You’re not responsible for what happened out here and you don’t seem to have the wrong priorities at all. 
 

you’re in an unfortunate position of feeling the need to defend the entire profession and that sucks. You shouldn’t. Especially since every area handles this differently. 
 

Many of the teacher out here that I know and the one my kid has are doing the best they can. And I get that. There’s just other things going on as well. 
 

and it’s really frustrating to watch teachers act as if they’re somehow special in all this. Plenty of other people are going to work in riskier positions. They’re not special. And a lot of other people are getting screwed over because of it. 

 

(the impact to me and my kid and my family is minimal. Basically he isn’t getting the full thing but it’s kindergarten so it doesn’t really matter. The real impact was having the pay for daycare when we weren’t planning on it but whatever. My frustration is on behalf of the many people who aren’t as lucky as us. )

5 minutes ago, techboy said:

There ARE no unions. The schools could open tomorrow and fire every non-ADA eligible teacher that refused to show up.

*sigh* this is a distinction without a difference. 
 

there are teachers unions here. They’re barred from collectively bargaining for wages in this state. 
 

but they absolutely can, and did, get together and force school board hands with their union-esque  abilities and power. Pretending otherwise is silly. 
 

The question is will they be made accountable for it. 

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The Virginia High School League has announced its plan and schedule to reintroduce high school sports.

  • Season 1 (Winter) December 14 to February 20 (First Contest Date–December 28): Basketball, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Swim/Dive, Wrestling.
  • Season 2 (Fall) February 15 to May 1 (First Contest Date–March 1): Cheer, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Volleyball.
  • Season 3 (Spring) April 12 to June 26 (First Contest Date–April 26): Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field.

Basketball's condensed schedule allows for 14 regular season contests.  Football's schedule allows for 6 regular season games.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CZyXbIZBXkgfBXAP075DIzCXQY9XrA6z/view

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Just now, tshile said:

@techboy

 

you’re in an unfortunate position of feeling the need to defend the entire profession and that sucks. You shouldn’t. Especially since every area handles this differently. 

 

Actually, I'm not even really defending teachers. I'll admit I have a sensitive spot about unions, though, since someone close to me got run out of the profession very unfairly and the "union" couldn't do anything (though to be fair, they tried).

 

I've become pragmatic in my old age, about teaching and politics, so mostly I'm just trying to let people know the reality of the situation.

 

I don't have to think it's fair to kids to know that too many teachers to replace will quit so we're going to have to find some other solution.

 

I also know a lot of this thread is understandable venting of frustration, and I don't want to minimize that, either.

 

Carry on... I'm going for a walk.

 

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