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


Rdskns2000
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I can already see my snow day email.

 

"Dear families,

 

I regret to inform you that my connection to Zoom appears to be frozen. I seem to be having a blizzard of technical difficulties. 

 

With a heavy heart, I will have to cancel online learning for today."

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I’m gonna get to see all this first hand soon.  My new job is as an accountant with Prince William County Schools. I will have and office inside the office of an actual school.  I think it’s going to be fascinating watching close up the inner workings of a school. 

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8 hours ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

It sucks, but if the ability to work remotely exists then what's the justification for a snow day other than "fun for the kids"?

That's all the justification needed.

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10 hours ago, Springfield said:

It’s dumb that they’re gonna make the kids do school when it snows. Playing in the snow is a rite of passage.


Adults have killed childhood as best they could.  We stole unsupervised play, where kids learned to socialize and find their own individuality, and replaced it with a dreadful scheduled existence and social media.  Now snow days?  Is nothing sacred?

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On 4/26/2021 at 7:25 AM, purbeast said:

My son's now been in school for over a month in MoCo and it's going fantastically.  The virtual school day on Wednesday is a joke though so it's really him going to school 4 days a week with Wednesday off.  

 

 

MoCo with a 6 year old here as well!  In-person was 100% the right choice for my son and he's making gains from lost time in the classroom.  His teacher was excellent in keeping the chaos moving in virtual school but has been tremendous in person. 

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I just received some paperwork from my daughter's school, it would appear that the 2021-2022 is planning on being back to the regular in-classroom teaching.  I am good with it, I suppose I take some solace knowing I live in a state where the majority of people are going to be vaccinated by then. 

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On 5/4/2021 at 2:24 PM, TD_washingtonredskins said:

 

Back to the point of the thread...I'm starting to get curious about how things are going to work in the fall when all schools and students can be back full-time but some will want to opt out. 

 

According to the latest emails, Fairfax County Public Schools is doing a full five days in person for everyone next school year, with only limited students allowed to opt out (with properly documented health issues). Those students will have their own online classes, so it won't be concurrent, I guess.

 

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38 minutes ago, bearrock said:

Will schools have enough space for distancing and such?  Or is distancing no longer going to be required in the fall?

 

CDC changed guidance for student spacing from 6 feet apart to 3. I guess they think that'll be enough. I did see some reference to outdoor classrooms. Dunno. The emails were just a very high overview.

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3 hours ago, techboy said:

 

CDC changed guidance for student spacing from 6 feet apart to 3. I guess they think that'll be enough. I did see some reference to outdoor classrooms. Dunno. The emails were just a very high overview.

Plus, studies are showing that social distancing indoors is not the primary factor in preventing covid spread.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/27/mit-study-indoor-transmission-airborne/

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12 minutes ago, dchogs said:

Plus, studies are showing that social distancing indoors is not the primary factor in preventing covid spread.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/04/27/mit-study-indoor-transmission-airborne/

 

Yes, but as the research team notes

 

Quote

The researchers stressed their findings do not suggest that social distancing is ineffective — only that it does not provide sufficient protection in the particular indoor circumstances calculated in their models.

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, bearrock said:

 

Yes, but as the research team notes

 

 

Of course.  Which is why I said, "not the PRIMARY factor..." 

 

The fall is going to look very different in schools.  Teachers will be vaccinated.  HS student will largely be vaccinated (if they want to be/are worried about it); heck, MS students too with the progress suspected by the CDC.  We're learning more about how this spreads (or doesn't) in schools, and in three months, the atmosphere will be totally different.  Granted a rogue Indian strain could make that "totally different" worse than what the trends now would predict, but looking ahead, I think we'll generally be full steam ahead in schools.  Thank God.

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10 hours ago, dchogs said:

Of course.  Which is why I said, "not the PRIMARY factor..." 

 

The fall is going to look very different in schools.  Teachers will be vaccinated.  HS student will largely be vaccinated (if they want to be/are worried about it); heck, MS students too with the progress suspected by the CDC.  We're learning more about how this spreads (or doesn't) in schools, and in three months, the atmosphere will be totally different.  Granted a rogue Indian strain could make that "totally different" worse than what the trends now would predict, but looking ahead, I think we'll generally be full steam ahead in schools.  Thank God.

 

I think the administrators will have to keep in mind that initially, back to school rollout is going to have to be different for Elementary vs Middle and High school (obviously flexible depending on the status of the pandemic at the time).  It looks like middle and high school students will be eligible for vaccination over the summer, whereas elementary will be eligible sometime after school starts (looking like authorization request will go in during September, so hopefully by October-ish?).  If we have a good vaccination rate (which is definitely an if), we should be back to full swing at the beginning or shortly thereafter for middle and high school.  For elementary, the beginning of the Fall is about the same as where we are now.  Hopefully, we see lowering infection rate as vaccination for adults take hold and over the summer months.  But I would be concerned with administrators overjealously spiking the ball at the five yard line.

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20 hours ago, techboy said:

 

According to the latest emails, Fairfax County Public Schools is doing a full five days in person for everyone next school year, with only limited students allowed to opt out (with properly documented health issues). Those students will have their own online classes, so it won't be concurrent, I guess.

 

I like that. One of my fears was that the in-person kids would be at the mercy of the virtual teaching (essentially participating in virtual learning while co-located). This definitely makes me feel better. 

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20 hours ago, techboy said:

 

According to the latest emails, Fairfax County Public Schools is doing a full five days in person for everyone next school year, with only limited students allowed to opt out (with properly documented health issues). Those students will have their own online classes, so it won't be concurrent, I guess.

 

 

Montgomery County MD is going to provide a virtual option, but not for every school - meaning students from different schools will be grouped together into a collective virtual program instead of having every school have one. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Last day of school. Gonna just wrap up the year for us since it’s been an ongoing discussion for quite a few of us. 
 

first in terms of covid - based on the public information provided by the school and their tracing efforts with the VA health department, positive covid cases for both students and staff were minimal and there were 0 confirmed cases of in-school transmission. Every case was ultimate determined to be community spread. They followed guidelines from CDC and VA health department to a T. Mask restrictions were only lifted in accordance with their guidance. They went back to in person 2 days a week in October I think? And 4 days a week in January. Every confirmed case resulted in an email notification to every parent, with a follow up to parents for children that had contact and could have been exposed. 
 

Now in terms of educational experience - I’ll preface this by saying every child/teacher/grade level is different. So this is just our personal situation. You can tell by the scores through the year exactly when my son went to 2 days in school a week. And when he went to 4 days a week. He struggled early with everything. Virtual school was unquestionably a total failure for him. Now this was for kindergarten… so in addition to the list of general issues with virtual for children, he had the “had never been in a classroom and has no reference point” problem. We tried him at home with me but my job was too demanding. We tried daycare running it but they were unprepared and under qualified and had kids in different schools, grades, and teachers. I have no doubts that had he been virtual all year he would be repeating. 
 

ultimately what started as having regular conversations with the teacher about the issues, ended with scores on the state assessment of (score/max/benchmark) 32/34/24 for math and 90/95/83 for literacy. We couldn’t be happier/more proud of the hard work and improvement. 
 

he had a great teacher. I couldn’t have asked for more from her. 
 

so we’ll be celebrating him this weekend. There were a lot of rough spots including some that I’m not proud of myself and how I handled it. But he worked hard and the results show it. 
 

im happy the year isn’t ending with me ranting about what could have been if only he was allowed to be in class. I’m glad the schools decision turned out to be the correct one given the covid data results. As much as we all wanted it I find it hard to think anyone could have been sure it was the right thing to do when the decisions were made - I know I sure as hell didn’t. And the fear that it was the wrong decision was very, very real - and something you couldn’t get away from as a constant, through the day every day thought. 
 

I hope the rest of you ended your school year somewhere near as happy as us. And for those that didn’t I am very sorry for that - I personally find the impact on children from covid heartbreaking. 

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We have another week, but I'll chime in. 

 

My children finally were able to go back 2 days per week in March and then 4 days per week in April. There were a couple cases of Covid reported, but nothing crazy and the county/school notified the parents, etc. 

 

Academically, it's tough to gauge. My kids' grades are very good but I have no idea of knowing if things were "dumbed down" due to the circumstances. My daughter definitely had to rally to bring her math grade up and that completely improved as she shifted to in-person more often. She struggles with math and I think being with the teacher helped her. 

 

All in all, I'm proud of them for dealing with something so unique. I'm also very happy we chose to send them back (more than 75% of our county did not). I think August is going to be much easier for them than it will be for the kids who haven't had to go through the daily routine in 18 months. 

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Yeah I will say my son going back to school in March 4 days a week in MoCo has been very good for him.  Hell even this past Wednesday he threw up and got sick (think it was old bread he ate) but we had him stay home Thursday just in case, and he was upset that he couldn't go to school on Thursday because he likes it.  He hates Wednesdays which is supposed to be "at home learning" but it's really 1 hour of virtual stuff and then he is done for the day with school.  It was supposedely when they are cleaning the school and stuff but it really doesn't seem necessary at this point.

 

He is in Kindergarten and while he did okay with virtual school, usually by Thursday he was checked out.  He clearly had trouble focusing as well.  I was happily surprised however at how well he was doing with his sight words and math in general though.  Going to in person again helped out tremendously though.  I believe they have like 48 or so sight words they need to know by the end of the year and his last assessment a few weeks ago he knew 44 so I'm not concerned at all.

 

He did however go to preschoool the past 2 years prior to his kindergarten year.  He went for 3 days a week both years, for 4 hours those days, but he at least knew what school was and the routine and stuff.  So I'm thinking that could have also helped him.

 

One of his other classmates who lives right up the street, she is different however.  Her mom said she pretty much got nothing out of virtual school.  She knew like 10 of the sight words before going to in person learning.  Her parents are weighing all options such as summer school or even holding her back but are undecided right now.

 

As for covid cases, we didn't hear a thing about any cases at all in the school, so I am assuming there were none.  At least not in his class for sure since we definitely would have heard about it.  

 

It's also amazing to me how these 5-6 year olds have no problem wearing a mask all day and you have grown adults making a huge fuss over wearing it in the store for 30 minutes.  Just mind blowing.  My son even wears his mask when he plays with kids down the street who are still doing virtual learning, and he does it by choice because he knows he is in school around a bunch of people and they aren't.

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4 minutes ago, purbeast said:

It's also amazing to me how these 5-6 year olds have no problem wearing a mask all day and you have grown adults making a huge fuss over wearing it in the store for 30 minutes.  Just mind blowing.  My son even wears his mask when he plays with kids down the street who are still doing virtual learning, and he does it by choice because he knows he is in school around a bunch of people and they aren't.

Yup 

 

I was one who took the “how they hell do you expect little children to wear masks all day” when reopening was first being considered. 
 

don’t get me wrong my 2 year old is a clown show with the mask

 

but my 5 year old, and seemingly all the other ones I know, had 0 issue. I have to tell my son it’s ok to take it off otherwise he’d just wear it all day at home. 
 

I think older kids (high school) is quite different but I’m not entirely sure. College age and adults? Morons. All of them. 
 

at this point I’m convinced the answer to our government issues is to put the 5-10 year olds in charge. 

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Just now, tshile said:

Yup 

 

I was one who took the “how they hell do you expect little children to wear masks all day” when reopening was first being considered. 
 

don’t get me wrong my 2 year old is a clown show with the mask

 

but my 5 year old, and seemingly all the other ones I know, had 0 issue. I have to tell my son it’s ok to take it off otherwise he’d just wear it all day at home. 
 

I think older kids (high school) is quite different but I’m not entirely sure. College age and adults? Morons. All of them. 
 

at this point I’m convinced the answer to our government issues is to put the 5-10 year olds in charge. 

Yeah half the time my son would put his mask on before we even got in the car to go to school.  I'm like dude, you don't have to put it on yet.

 

Although I will say, it may be one of the reasons that when we traveled a few weeks ago he had no issues wearing it for 6+ hours straight (other than eating) during the whole airport/flight experience.

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24 minutes ago, tshile said:

I think older kids (high school) is quite different but I’m not entirely sure.

 

I actually have been (pleasantly) shocked at how few masking issues we seem to have had at my high school. There are a few students that want to wear it with their noses uncovered and have to be continually reminded to pull it back up, but I've encountered zero pushback on the topic and I haven't heard of anyone else having problems.

 

Well, except the adults in the stands at sports events. As one would expect (sadly).

 

I was honestly expecting said adults to lead at least some of the kids to make a stink about it, but as far as I know, it hasn't happened.

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Undergraduate Enrollment Plummets 727,000 (4.9%); Graduate Enrollment Rises 124,000 (4.6%)

 

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Spring 2021 Enrollment Estimates:

 

Higher education enrollment fell to new lows this spring, showing the persistent impact of COVID-19 related disruptions. Overall spring enrollment fell to 16.9 million from 17.5 million, marking a one-year decline of 3.5 percent or 603,000 students, seven times worse than the decline a year earlier. Undergraduate students accounted for all of the decline, with a 4.9 percent drop or 727,000 students. In contrast, graduate enrollment jumped by 4.6 percent, adding more than 124,000 students.

 

Chronicle of Higher Education, Spring Enrollment’s Final Count Is In. Colleges Lost 600,000 Students.:

 

6a00d8341c4eab53ef0278802f77e1200d-800wi

 

Click on the link for the full article

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As a parent:

There's no doubt in-person would've been better, but my kids both did really well with online learning under the circumstances. My daughter (9) pretty much managed herself, and my son (6) learned to read, so I can't complain.

 

As a teacher:

I'm pleasantly surprised by how many of my students showed progress throughout the year, but I wonder how long those gains will last. I've talked to my principal and the school is going to pay me to do some summer programs to help kids get ready for the next year, so I'm pretty pumped about that.

 

Mask-wise there was a lot of reminding about covering your nose, but other than that things were fine. A lot of my students are vaccinated at this point as well. 

 

Still though, I have no desire to do this again next year.

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