Author Topic: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?  (Read 2905 times)

cats

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Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« on: June 04, 2020, 08:50:29 AM »
We've got one kid, age 4.  I was definitely looking forward to getting him off to public kindergarten in fall 2020 and seeing our monthly spend plummet.  However, the covid pandemic has me wondering if public school is a good choice. 

In the short term, I'm thinking about the odds of getting in-person instruction. Our local school district has already said they will probably be doing mostly distance learning for 2020-2021.  While I certainly hope there will be some kind of progress on a vaccine/therapies/developing herd immunity in a non-devastating way over the next year, it seems quite possible that some level of social distancing will be needed in fall 2021 (what with cold & flu season stressing medical system capacity as well).  I'm wondering if a private school that has smaller class sizes by design is better equipped to deal with this.  I guess I'll get some idea by observing what happens this year.

In the slightly longer term, it seems public school budgets are going to get hammered by the economic crisis accompanying the pandemic.  My kid is a delight but he's also VERY high energy and I do worry that he could struggle to meet classroom expectations to sit still, etc.  Again, I'm wondering if a private school with smaller classes and more time to devote to each kid would be a good choice for a year or two as he matures a bit more.

I haven't gotten as far into it as looking at specific schools or filling out enrollment forms, but I'm kind of surprised to find myself even thinking about it.  I've always been very pro-public school and have felt confident that we would be sending our kid to one.  Anyone else experiencing a similar shift in thought?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 09:34:53 PM by cats »

CNM

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 08:58:25 AM »
Private schools, at least in my area, will likely be following the public schools' lead in terms of the amount of in-person instruction possible next year.  So, going private may not get you what you're looking for.

appleseed

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 09:39:44 AM »
I have two kids in school - one in kindergarten and one in 3rd grade. The teachers are preparing them for distance learning in the fall, and our neighbor who is a teacher said she would be surprised IF they open school in the fall (we're in Pennsylvania). We've been told by the district that they will be making a decision in July.

My friends and family's kids in private school seem to have a lot more online instruction and work than my kids (although kindergarten is where I think it should be for work). I would not recommend online learning for a 4 year old - it's so much work to get a 6 year old to pay attention and it puts so much work on you to see them through it all (even for 3rd grader). One of the reasons that may force distance learning is the bussing kids to school (I heard it was like 12ish kids on the bus safely distance, depending on sibling groups), so you might find a private school open in the fall where public is not, because you are providing transportation.

My 3 year was in 3 morning preschool this year that ended in March with the shutdown. We're tentatively planning to send him back in the fall, but that will only be if they can safely provide the Montessori education. My friend with a 5 year old in the class who was (pre COVID) sending him to kindergarten in September is planning another year of preschool to avoid the distance learning possibility. I know others are looking for babysitters/nannies because they assume things will remain closed.

We're pro-public schools, too, and we moved to this HCOL area because of the schools (and family nearby to help with kids, but they can't because of pandemic). We are thinking about bigger picture - if the schooling stays distance learning then why are we here and can we look at other places to live.

AMandM

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 12:12:35 PM »
Not me, but one SIL is seriously considering switching to homeschooling this fall. If the parents have to supervise and direct and enforce the kids' educational activities anyway, they'd rather have the choice of which materials and approaches to use. It would also reduce screen time a lot, which is a concern for their young kids.

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 12:29:11 PM »
Quote
I would not recommend online learning for a 4 year old - it's so much work to get a 6 year old to pay attention and it puts so much work on you to see them through it all (even for 3rd grader).

This.  My son is 7, just finished 2nd grade.  Distance learning was HARD and required hours every day of sitting with him during class and during schoolwork.  If it's an hour of work a day, it's 3 hours of sitting with him.

I don't expect 3rd grade to be any different.  By 4th/5th, probably a little more independent.

(The teenager was easy.)

Similar for my friends with kinder/1st/2nd grade friends.  Kindergarten zooms were mostly pointless.

scrunchythief

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2020, 08:01:07 PM »
These experiences are really helpful to hear.  My daughter is 4 and was in full time preschool when the schools shut down.  She's loved being home with me so much, but it's hard since I work part time from home too.  Her teachers have been providing some activities to do and a short weekly Zoom meeting, but I haven't been too strict in following the activities.  She turns 5 this summer and we were planning to send her to private school for kindergarten, but my mom keeps suggesting I enroll her in online homeschooling so she doesn't have to go in person.  I'm starting to wonder if it might not be better since the online school was originally designed to be online.  If the schools close again in the fall we might be doing distance learning no matter what.

mrsnamemustache

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2020, 08:55:26 PM »
I have a 4 year old who we planned to start in kindergarten this fall. His birthday is right before the cut-off, but we were going to go ahead and start him. Now, we will probably wait another year to have him start if it looks like things will start online. Of course, if we get a vaccine in the fall and we end up being able to go back to normal a few months in to the year (optimistic thinking), I might regret this.

We don't really know what we will do with our son if he doesn't start kindergarten--I think they will still have a spot for him at his daycare/pre-school, and if things don't go crazy with covid in the next few weeks, I think we'll be sending both kids back to daycare in july.

Private school has not crossed my mind--I don't see any advantage.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 06:28:31 AM »
Our oldest is 5 and I'm pretty sure we're still sending him off on his way to kindergarten (public). He's super high energy and at home, barring Lego or puzzles, he has the attention span of a flea. I don't know what fuel he runs on but he dropped all naps at 16 months old, sleeps maybe 10 hours on a good night, and can still run laps around me. He's currently running laps around the house as I type this.

He loved preschool, he was the popular kid at class. When my wife would drop him off, half the kids would run over to say 'hi' to him (which they did for none of their other classmates). His daily behavior and attitude has been sharply affected since school ended - long story short, he really needs that socialization.

Our school district is in a good financial position and everything is still on track to resume in-person elementary (at least) in the fall. As of now I believe teachers and older kids will be required to wear masks but from the way things are trending, kindergarten and possibly first grade may not have to wear masks on a daily basis. I have no idea what it means for recess.

We talked about homeschooling him for a while, because there was indication a few months ago that fall elementary would be virtual, and there's no way he can sit in front of a laptop for hours at a time with teachers and classmates he's never met. Problem is, we have two younger boys at home (including a 7 month old) and there's no way we could reasonably homeschool while juggling work and the other two.

We also briefly talked about private school, but the cost is just too high and although my wife and I both attended private elementary school, neither of us feel like we benefited any more than if we had gone to public school. So, we affirmed our decision to send him to public school and as of now, we're going to have him attend in the fall unless the school has to switch to virtual learning. If they do switch to virtual learning, we're going to have to explore some alternative options but I don't think it will come to that point.

There's always the risk of the virus, but there's also always the risk of other illnesses from school. We've already been through HFM (and as an adult, that's not anything I would want other adults to have to live through), a number of colds, and a GI bug. Vaccine or not, I think we as a household have fully accepted the potential risk of Covid. We'd be ready to isolate ourselves if we knew one of us had it but we just can't keep our boys sheltered anymore, especially the kindergartener-to-be - he, more than anything else, needs to be playing with kids his age.

Marley09

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2020, 07:21:02 AM »
My son will also be starting kindergarten in the Fall 2020.  We have already decided to send him to private Kindergarten which is through the same center where he goes to preschool.  Not COVID related, but our school district is so large that they only do half day Kindergarten, split into half of the kids going in the AM (9-12) and half in the PM (12-3).  I personally don't feel like there is a point sending him for 3 hours and we both work full time, we would still have to pay someone for before/after school care.  The private Kindergarten is full day and the class limit is 10.  It sucks to have to pay for another year, but in my mind, since this Kindergarten is associated with a preschool/daycare and can stay open even when the schools are closed,  we may have a better chance of not doing distance learning if the schools do not reopen in the Fall. 

-Marley

Sibley

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2020, 08:02:35 AM »
For those considering private school because you think they'll be open for in person and the public schools won't, that may not be a safe assumption. I have friends who teach in private schools. Their administrations are struggling with the same things the public schools are. They are discussing a range of possibilities, including doing remote learning full time.

My friend is actively thinking about and planning for full time in the classroom; alternating who's in the classroom and remote, then a full day of remote (so Monday/Wednesday in classroom for half and rest remote, switch on Tue/Thur, and all remote Friday); fully remote, and probably a few other scenarios. It just depends on what happens with the virus.

cats

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2020, 09:17:22 AM »
Private schools, at least in my area, will likely be following the public schools' lead in terms of the amount of in-person instruction possible next year.  So, going private may not get you what you're looking for.

We'll definitely be waiting to see what happens this fall, and hopefully things will be clearer by the time we have to make a decision.  But at least in our area, private schools typically have fewer students per class to start with than public schools.  I am thinking also that by 2021-2022 (when our kid enters kinder) that we may be at a stage with social distancing where the recommended group sizes have edged up a bit as we'll presumably be a bit closer to herd immunity (either we'll be working through the process of deploying a vaccine or a larger share of the population will have already had it and achieved some immunity).  This might create a scenario where a class of 20 kids is considered fine while a class of 24 kids is too many, which would give our local private schools a pretty clear advantage.

Also, I am guessing that if they are forced to continue with online learning, private schools will be more motivated to provide some kind of "quality" instruction (though for a kindergarten student I definitely question what that could be) as they are dependent upon tuition, not taxpayer money, to stay going.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2020, 09:44:26 AM »
Here, the private schools have said they will do what the public schools do in terms of opening.

If schools do not open in the fall, we will be getting an actual kindergarten homeschool curriculum or enrolling in an accredited distance program. Distance learning, the way it is being done by in-person schools, doesn't seem appropriate or rigorous. Because it was implemented as an emergency; it wasn't based on sound pedagogical decisions. 

KateFIRE

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2020, 08:11:22 PM »
We did private Kindergarten last year and will switch to public 1st grade this year. The private school was wonderful when it was in session but they cancelled the school at the same time as the public schools.

They also didnít have the resources for remote learning that the public schools in our area had. Some public school districts were checking out Chromebooks to every student and they bought the children access to online learning websites for math and reading practice. Our private school had many teachers who were also parents. There was a lot of sympathy for the teachers and the adjustment to online. My daughter had one 15 minute 1-1 Zoom call a week with her teacher even though there were only 9 kids in the class. They also posted about five 2 minute videos a week. It was basically homeschooling and I did my own work with my daughter.

I would highly recommend our special private school if not for this pandemic. If school is going to be cancelled, I would rather not pay for it.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 08:33:56 PM by KateFIRE »

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2020, 04:59:01 AM »
I think a lot of private schools will go under, honestly. Distance learning is pretty terrible even if done well, so why pay for it when you can get it free from the public schools?

I know at least a couple of private schools in my area are in danger of shutting down (I've spoken with parents about it in passing - our kids go to public school). They operate on pretty tight budgets and losing even 20 percent of their students would be pretty devastating.

Adding all those kids to the public system here would be quite a disaster (not enough room in the schools), so I'm hoping that doesn't happen.

-W

MayDay

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2020, 05:19:44 PM »
The smart private schools will virtually guarantee in person learning by forming small enough pods that they can be assured of operating in all but full shelter in place situations. I'd pay for that for my middle schooler even.

It's going to be a train wreck and since we are rich, relatively speaking, we plan to deal with it by hiring a nanny.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2020, 06:42:08 PM »
The smart private schools will virtually guarantee in person learning by forming small enough pods that they can be assured of operating in all but full shelter in place situations. I'd pay for that for my middle schooler even.

It's going to be a train wreck and since we are rich, relatively speaking, we plan to deal with it by hiring a nanny.

Hahaha. Too late. The teachers and nannies are all hired.

I'm serious, you probably missed the boat. I live in a land of nannies and talk to parents all the time who ask me if I know of anyone (and if *I'm* interested in nannying their kid!) Good time to be a nanny who can teach algebra, I'm guessing.

Private schools can't reduce class sizes without raising prices or losing money/going out of business, probably. I don't think you'll see much difference from what the public schools do except maybe at the VERY high end, and those folks already hired nanny/tutor/chef types (in some cases hiring them away from the private school).

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marbles4

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2020, 08:04:19 AM »
I think a lot of private schools will go under, honestly. Distance learning is pretty terrible even if done well, so why pay for it when you can get it free from the public schools?

+1

If anything, my friends with kids at private schools told me that in order to "justify" parents' tuition, the workload that these schools were giving elementary school kids (like 9 and 10 year old kids) for distance learning was just unreasonable. Hell, I had a hard enough time getting my little guy to do 15 minutes of work (granted we are talking Kindergarten here). Imagine if it was multiple hours? And I'm paying thousands/yr for that responsibility? Uhh, no thanks.

Jon Bon

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2020, 12:38:05 PM »
My kids are all going to school.

Corona does not kill school aged children. Don't believe me?

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

Per the CDC 14 children (age 5-14) have died from Covid. Out of 41 million. I would also be willing to be that those children who died tragically had serious health complications that made them easy targets for Covid.

Now I am not trying to be glib or minimize the loss of children. It is always terrible.  I am just trying to do make a decision with logic and numbers.  14 children dying is terrible, but that is about as many children die in auto accidents in a single week. No one here is advocating for never letting their kid ride in a car ever again.

 

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2020, 07:44:08 PM »
My kids are all going to school.

Corona does not kill school aged children. Don't believe me?

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

Per the CDC 14 children (age 5-14) have died from Covid. Out of 41 million. I would also be willing to be that those children who died tragically had serious health complications that made them easy targets for Covid.

Now I am not trying to be glib or minimize the loss of children. It is always terrible.  I am just trying to do make a decision with logic and numbers.  14 children dying is terrible, but that is about as many children die in auto accidents in a single week. No one here is advocating for never letting their kid ride in a car ever again.
No but they might kill the teachers.  We've got teachers over 60, some teachers with pre-existing conditions.  Our school has a lot of disabled students, who are at MUCH greater risk.

Many of our students have parents or grandparents with pre-existing conditions. 

Our district is setting up a plan, releasing it next week.  I'm 95% sure they aren't starting up in the fall like normal.  I expect that they will only have half of the students on campus at any time, in order to distance.  What that looks like will vary by elementary/ junior high/ high school.

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2020, 04:41:24 AM »
I agree that in my area, a lot of private schools will go under. They were barely squeaking by as it was. Also, they mostly had larger classes than the public schools.

I think the public schools will have some kind of hybrid model with some kids at school and some not on any given day. Iíve heard a variety of plans depending on where you are.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2020, 12:52:32 PM »
My kids are all going to school.

Corona does not kill school aged children. Don't believe me?

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

Per the CDC 14 children (age 5-14) have died from Covid. Out of 41 million. I would also be willing to be that those children who died tragically had serious health complications that made them easy targets for Covid.

Now I am not trying to be glib or minimize the loss of children. It is always terrible.  I am just trying to do make a decision with logic and numbers.  14 children dying is terrible, but that is about as many children die in auto accidents in a single week. No one here is advocating for never letting their kid ride in a car ever again.

Your kids are only going to school if the school is open.  For many people, that is up in the air.  I agree with others that the concern is the teachers and staff.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2020, 02:28:48 PM »
I agree that in my area, a lot of private schools will go under. They were barely squeaking by as it was. Also, they mostly had larger classes than the public schools.

I think the public schools will have some kind of hybrid model with some kids at school and some not on any given day. Iíve heard a variety of plans depending on where you are.

I hear this a lot too, but the biggest thing that makes me think this won't happen is the practicality of it for parents who work. Parents have seen what it looked like for a few months, and that was with a lot of people on unemployment/working from home/significant lock downs and with classroom requirements being eased/much lower expectations of parents actually being able to get kids to learn something. Getting kids in schools five days a week is the lynch pin for a lot of things. Not saying it will or it won't happen, but there's going to be a lot of pressure that it does from people that have just seen first hand what it means if it doesn't.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2020, 02:30:44 PM »
yes, thinking how the hell can i get my kids back into a real face to face structured and displined environment as fast as possible.

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2020, 04:03:52 PM »
I agree that in my area, a lot of private schools will go under. They were barely squeaking by as it was. Also, they mostly had larger classes than the public schools.

I think the public schools will have some kind of hybrid model with some kids at school and some not on any given day. Iíve heard a variety of plans depending on where you are.

I hear this a lot too, but the biggest thing that makes me think this won't happen is the practicality of it for parents who work. Parents have seen what it looked like for a few months, and that was with a lot of people on unemployment/working from home/significant lock downs and with classroom requirements being eased/much lower expectations of parents actually being able to get kids to learn something. Getting kids in schools five days a week is the lynch pin for a lot of things. Not saying it will or it won't happen, but there's going to be a lot of pressure that it does from people that have just seen first hand what it means if it doesn't.
I don't know that the school districts 100% care what the parents think.  I mean, they do.  Our school did a survey to ask parents what they think.  And teachers.  But you really can't have a school without teachers.  I think some people are vastly underestimating the prevalence of teachers who have preexisting conditions, or spouses/ parents that they have to care for who are elderly/ ill, etc.

I can tell you that our local community college and university have both said they are going to be almost 100% remote learning for the fall semester/ quarter already.  I expect that the school district will not 100% open up.

Psychstache

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2020, 04:44:39 PM »
I agree that in my area, a lot of private schools will go under. They were barely squeaking by as it was. Also, they mostly had larger classes than the public schools.

I think the public schools will have some kind of hybrid model with some kids at school and some not on any given day. Iíve heard a variety of plans depending on where you are.

I hear this a lot too, but the biggest thing that makes me think this won't happen is the practicality of it for parents who work. Parents have seen what it looked like for a few months, and that was with a lot of people on unemployment/working from home/significant lock downs and with classroom requirements being eased/much lower expectations of parents actually being able to get kids to learn something. Getting kids in schools five days a week is the lynch pin for a lot of things. Not saying it will or it won't happen, but there's going to be a lot of pressure that it does from people that have just seen first hand what it means if it doesn't.
I don't know that the school districts 100% care what the parents think.  I mean, they do.  Our school did a survey to ask parents what they think.  And teachers.  But you really can't have a school without teachers.  I think some people are vastly underestimating the prevalence of teachers who have preexisting conditions, or spouses/ parents that they have to care for who are elderly/ ill, etc.

I can tell you that our local community college and university have both said they are going to be almost 100% remote learning for the fall semester/ quarter already.  I expect that the school district will not 100% open up.

Not to mention that pretty much every substitute teacher is a retired teacher (ie, old and usually don't need the money that badly) so as soon as a spike occurs among the staff, it's right back to distance learning.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2020, 09:34:42 AM »
My wife is a substitute teacher (basically for fun, $100 a day is peanuts) and I agree that it will be a struggle to get enough subs. Hell, it's a struggle without Covid19.

I think they may need to recruit a pool of parents who have some job flexibility or are SAH. Normally a lot of those people wouldn't want to be subs but they may be willing to given the circumstances and the stakes.

A lot of those subs won't be great, probably (DW has a PhD in biochemistry and is very good at teaching so she's often better than the teacher she's replacing) but it'll be better than distance learning.

-W

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2020, 06:38:24 AM »
At this point, I'd consider going to jail because I choose to make my son a truant than try and cope with distance learning. I'd rather have him skip kindergarten entirely than stick his face in front of a zoom meeting for hours on end every day. There's no way we're going to be able to juggle homeschooling either with the other two little ones running around demanding our attention.

He's already been registered for school, so legally according to our state he must participate in kindergarten in some form or fashion, because at this point they're not waiving this coming year even if cases spike and schools have to shift to zoom kindergarten. There's zero chance we'll be able to make Kindergarten at home work (I think it would break my wife mentally, permanently). Better to be a truant than the alternative.

Don't believe me that our kindergartener can be a truant? -

https://www.pubintlaw.org/cases-and-projects/a-problem-with-truancy-in-kindergarten/
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 06:41:03 AM by chemistk »

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2020, 12:28:02 PM »
I think that schools will make every attempt to have the younger kids in school at least part time.

My own kids went to half day kindergarten and it was fine.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2020, 01:50:35 PM »
I think that schools will make every attempt to have the younger kids in school at least part time.

My own kids went to half day kindergarten and it was fine.

I'd take half day kindergarten, would be much better than distance learning. Our district is full day kindergarten but many of the teachers and bus drivers are in the high risk group.

I will say - I don't know what I'd do if I were an administrator. I don't think you could get anyone younger than 3rd graders to wear masks daily and even then, a lot of kids would fiddle with or take them off absentmindedly. They have to be aware that young kids can't do distance learning effectively but can't really social distance either. I want my kids to go to school but the administration may not want our kids there who could very well be super spreaders.

I have the deepest empathy and sympathy for teachers and other education support staff who are high risk. I don't personally know what to do. My kids can't forego school at such a critical age but those who are high risk shouldn't be asked to put their lives on the line.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2020, 09:48:37 AM »
At this point, I'd consider going to jail because I choose to make my son a truant than try and cope with distance learning. I'd rather have him skip kindergarten entirely than stick his face in front of a zoom meeting for hours on end every day. There's no way we're going to be able to juggle homeschooling either with the other two little ones running around demanding our attention.

He's already been registered for school, so legally according to our state he must participate in kindergarten in some form or fashion, because at this point they're not waiving this coming year even if cases spike and schools have to shift to zoom kindergarten. There's zero chance we'll be able to make Kindergarten at home work (I think it would break my wife mentally, permanently). Better to be a truant than the alternative.

Don't believe me that our kindergartener can be a truant? -

https://www.pubintlaw.org/cases-and-projects/a-problem-with-truancy-in-kindergarten/

Are you in the US? Just pull them from the school district and register them as a homeschooler.  No truancy issue. Teach what you want.
Some states will require end of year accountability testing from homeschoolers, but most don't care what the scores are.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2020, 10:15:02 AM »
At this point, I'd consider going to jail because I choose to make my son a truant than try and cope with distance learning. I'd rather have him skip kindergarten entirely than stick his face in front of a zoom meeting for hours on end every day. There's no way we're going to be able to juggle homeschooling either with the other two little ones running around demanding our attention.

He's already been registered for school, so legally according to our state he must participate in kindergarten in some form or fashion, because at this point they're not waiving this coming year even if cases spike and schools have to shift to zoom kindergarten. There's zero chance we'll be able to make Kindergarten at home work (I think it would break my wife mentally, permanently). Better to be a truant than the alternative.

Don't believe me that our kindergartener can be a truant? -

https://www.pubintlaw.org/cases-and-projects/a-problem-with-truancy-in-kindergarten/

Are you in the US? Just pull them from the school district and register them as a homeschooler.  No truancy issue. Teach what you want.
Some states will require end of year accountability testing from homeschoolers, but most don't care what the scores are.

This is indeed an option for us, but ultimately I don't think much learning would be able to take place. I expect to be mostly back at work by the fall, and I don't think there's any realistic way my wife could implement a meaningful curriculum while also keeping our (at that point) 3 and 10 month old occupied/happy.

I know some people can successfully do it, but I don't think she (and thereby we) would be able to keep it up for a full year. Also lacking with the psuedo-homeschool approach is the sheer lack of socialization. If all the kids he knows now will be at school anyway, there's no way we could get him any significant interaction with kids his age. Not to mention, he really thrives in a structured play/learning environment. I've watched him in preschool, and then watched him interact with some of the same kids outside of preschool and you wouldn't know he was the same kid.

I get that whether the district does distance learning is entirely outside of our control, but I would be lying if I weren't wholeheartedly disappointed in the choice. That sounds cold and callous but it's how my wife and I feel.

20957

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2020, 04:55:46 PM »
If it comes down to the choice of online kindergarten, truancy, or lackadasical homeschool, though, wouldn't it make sense to sign up for homeschool just to avoid the complications with the district? Although I would also be looking for a preschool with a kindergarten class. My 4 year olds are going to one in the fall and we will know in a few weeks what it will look like when they open. My 6 year old just finished public kindergarten and, for better or worse, it was pretty low-key in the spring- 2 hours of zoom a week (some of which was spent socializing) and 2-4 worksheets a day. Not too much but I agree, the relentless nature is hard on the parents.

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2020, 05:58:35 PM »
I have no idea if it is legal but one of my friends was talking about her kids doing a "gap year."  Just keeping them out of school for a year and then having them re-enter at the grade they missed, graduating one year later.  I'm wondering what the implication would be on a society if we did this as a whole.  Obviously there would be massive child care issues for working parents.  Colleges would have a whole year with no freshmen.  It's just such an interesting thought.  Let kids just run wild for a year. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2020, 06:29:07 PM »
At this point, I'd consider going to jail because I choose to make my son a truant than try and cope with distance learning. I'd rather have him skip kindergarten entirely than stick his face in front of a zoom meeting for hours on end every day. There's no way we're going to be able to juggle homeschooling either with the other two little ones running around demanding our attention.

He's already been registered for school, so legally according to our state he must participate in kindergarten in some form or fashion, because at this point they're not waiving this coming year even if cases spike and schools have to shift to zoom kindergarten. There's zero chance we'll be able to make Kindergarten at home work (I think it would break my wife mentally, permanently). Better to be a truant than the alternative.

Don't believe me that our kindergartener can be a truant? -

https://www.pubintlaw.org/cases-and-projects/a-problem-with-truancy-in-kindergarten/

Are you in the US? Just pull them from the school district and register them as a homeschooler.  No truancy issue. Teach what you want.
Some states will require end of year accountability testing from homeschoolers, but most don't care what the scores are.

This is indeed an option for us, but ultimately I don't think much learning would be able to take place. I expect to be mostly back at work by the fall, and I don't think there's any realistic way my wife could implement a meaningful curriculum while also keeping our (at that point) 3 and 10 month old occupied/happy.

I know some people can successfully do it, but I don't think she (and thereby we) would be able to keep it up for a full year. Also lacking with the psuedo-homeschool approach is the sheer lack of socialization. If all the kids he knows now will be at school anyway, there's no way we could get him any significant interaction with kids his age. Not to mention, he really thrives in a structured play/learning environment. I've watched him in preschool, and then watched him interact with some of the same kids outside of preschool and you wouldn't know he was the same kid.

I get that whether the district does distance learning is entirely outside of our control, but I would be lying if I weren't wholeheartedly disappointed in the choice. That sounds cold and callous but it's how my wife and I feel.

I mean as an alternative to zoom kindergarten. Not as an alternative to in-person.
I don't think the kids are getting meaningful interaction online, especially not at that age.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2020, 07:20:11 PM »
For what it's worth, my wife and I have discussed the different options on a number of occasions. Before she had to put school on hold (for our kids) she was on track to graduate with a degree in early childhood education so to say it couldn't happen isn't giving her enough credit. The viability of homeschooling with our rising kindergartner is her own admission - he's a brilliant kid, and our house is not an environment conducive to learning.

My prior statement was clickbaity, obviously we would never choose to become incarcerated, but in a way it reflects how we feel toward the situation - that our education system is so under prepared for a circumstance like this that parents have to accept a responsibility that they previously never knew would be on the table.

I have no idea if it is legal but one of my friends was talking about her kids doing a "gap year."  Just keeping them out of school for a year and then having them re-enter at the grade they missed, graduating one year later.  I'm wondering what the implication would be on a society if we did this as a whole.  Obviously there would be massive child care issues for working parents.  Colleges would have a whole year with no freshmen.  It's just such an interesting thought.  Let kids just run wild for a year. 

My boys would freaking love that! We'd be willing to join an 'isolation cult' if it meant we could let the kids be kids and not make them paranoid about something they can't even understand.

Sometimes we have to remind our son not to cough or sneeze unprotected in public, and his response is often along the lines of "oh, because of the coronavirus, right?" Inevitably the 'why?' comes up (because, five year old) and when we tell him that we don't want other people to get sick his response is ALWAYS "or else they'll die?"

Like we never know how to respond to that, but that's his fear with this. He has associated the concept 'coronavirus' (and by extension, 'virus') with 'death'. That's not cool.

Show me the commune full of families with young kids and I think at this point we'd happily sign up.

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2020, 06:56:52 AM »
I absolutely think kindergarten aged kids will adapt to wearing masks at school. Let's face it - most 5yo kids wouldn't wear pants if it wasn't a social convention.

Gin1984

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2020, 07:06:38 AM »
I absolutely think kindergarten aged kids will adapt to wearing masks at school. Let's face it - most 5yo kids wouldn't wear pants if it wasn't a social convention.
Lol
My two year old and seven year old have practiced at home.  My seven year is now better than most adult. The two year old still does not get it so we continue our at home practice.

Psychstache

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2020, 04:26:13 PM »
I have no idea if it is legal but one of my friends was talking about her kids doing a "gap year."  Just keeping them out of school for a year and then having them re-enter at the grade they missed, graduating one year later.  I'm wondering what the implication would be on a society if we did this as a whole.  Obviously there would be massive child care issues for working parents.  Colleges would have a whole year with no freshmen. It's just such an interesting thought.  Let kids just run wild for a year.

Not really. We could extrapolate from the summer to get a good idea about what would happen. Students from disadvantaged low SES backgrounds would fall further behind while middle to high SES kids would maintain or grow skills AKA we would further the divide between the have and have nots, one of the things universal public education is supposed to address, not accelerate.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2020, 07:13:03 PM »
I absolutely think kindergarten aged kids will adapt to wearing masks at school. Let's face it - most 5yo kids wouldn't wear pants if it wasn't a social convention.

Having taught kindergarten, I think for the most part, masks will be useless.
Kids will pull them under their noses, they will stick their hands under them to chew on their fingers, pick or scratch their noses, etc.  They may catch the droplets of some sneezes or coughs, but I've already seen adults in public remove a mask to cough (WTF) so I imagine kids may too.  And the germ spread from all the finger in mask activity...well...

Why do I think this- let's use your example. I have routinely told kindergarteners, and kids all the way through high school- to get their hands out of their pants.  Generally not in a sexual manner (certainly not in kindergarten)- but I've had students just mindlessly scratch private areas, or pick at their butts...

I'm just so glad most of my classrooms had sinks in them! We could send the kids to wash hands after I told them to get them out of their pants.

(My 3 year old wears a mask when we have left the house with her- so far just one doctor's appt; and she did a good job, but it was for less than 20 minutes. And her hands touched the mask quite a few times.)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 12:38:54 PM by I'm a red panda »

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2020, 05:36:17 AM »
Totally agree with Kindergarteners and younger and masks. I think the longest I've seen our 5 year old wear a mask 'correctly' is about 30 minutes. Most of the time it's shorter before it comes off or is adjusted. Thankfully, he's okay with wearing one. Our 2 year old on the other hand? It's off in 30 seconds - he's a picky kid who doesn't like to wear anything on his head, face, or hands. He's still young enough though to not be required to wear a mask - and we haven't taken him anywhere indoors yet.


Sugaree

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2020, 05:46:51 AM »
Honestly?  I don't know what we're going to do if we have to do virtual learning next school year.  I thanked my lucky stars that my kiddo was only in first grade last year and all they really cared about was reading, spelling, and math (my best friend was sending me pictures of her sophomore's chemistry homework and asking for help, like I've had a chemistry class in the last 15 years).  But, it was not good.  Not only was I was never given the go-ahead to WFH, I was working extra hours at work to facilitate everyone who was cleared to WFH.  My husband is more or less technology illiterate, so I'd spend at least 30 minutes a day at work trying to talk them through how to set up a Zoom/Meet/whatever, but 90% of the time I'd end up just having to wait until I got home to pull up the recording of the session.  Plus, they are absolutely going stir-crazy stuck at home. 

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2020, 05:03:18 PM »
School options here are 100% in class or 100% virtual. We're on the 100% in class track, however any prison-like changes that may occur in the future would definitely have us rethinking the entire thing. If my kids have to be home again, I am almost certain they'll end up truant because it will require a full time parent observing all 3 of them to make sure they're in different rooms, actively watching and engaged in the assignments. At that point I'd rather pull them and homeschool so we wouldn't be subject to whatever their assignment requirements are. I hope it does not come to that though.

Teachers have been remarkably shielded from COVID so far. Please remember that it sounds insulting to the other essential workers who have had to put their needs / health aside to continue performing their jobs amongst the public.

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2020, 07:58:20 AM »
If I hadn't retired from teaching two years ago, I'd be doing that right now.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2020, 09:51:33 AM »
If I hadn't retired from teaching two years ago, I'd be doing that right now.

That's what my mom did.  Retired after 35 years of teaching preschool.  She just couldn't handle all of the new requirements and was concerned about getting at-risk family members ill. 

Cyanne

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2020, 09:02:41 AM »

Teachers have been remarkably shielded from COVID so far. Please remember that it sounds insulting to the other essential workers who have had to put their needs / health aside to continue performing their jobs amongst the public.

There are some unique challenges that teachers have in their work environment. In the school I work in there is no way to socially distance 2800 students. I am run into/ touched daily when walking in the hallways. I canít stand behind a plastic shield to talk to my students the way the a grocery store clerk does. I must walk around and get close to my students to assist or give feedback to them. Healthcare staff generally doesnít have 35 people in the same room with them all day long.  Even if I had access to PPE how does that work when the students I teach canít read my lips or see my facial expressions?

I teach special education and push in to general education classes to teach my students. How do we handle students who act out and refuse to follow health and safety guidelines? What do we do with students who are sick but say they arenít because they want to see their friends? If a teacher gets sick who will cover for them? Substitute teachers are usually retired teachers who are high risk and unlikely to take the job. Before Covid 19 I had days where no one picked up my job. The list goes on and on. I would love to teach in person but I wonder if we can do so in a safe manner, and if we can do it in a safe manner, I suspect it will not resemble what school has looked like in the past.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2020, 09:21:27 AM »
Recruit lots of parents, have vulnerable teachers work remote with on-site parent assistants. Add some telepresence robots into the mix!

Forget the masks, forget the cleaning. Every kid will infect every other kid eventually anyway.

Otherwise just cancel it until there's a vaccine, or let 'er rip. People in hazmat suits spraying mist around looks cool but it's not going to do anything useful. And we can only sacrifice the future of the young for the health of the very old for so long, IMO.

-W

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2020, 09:41:31 AM »
I will say this, I firmly believe that any educator or school support staff working this fall, wherever schools reopen, should be paid substantially more than they currently are.

Okay, in general teachers should be paid considerably more to begin with. Nobody should have to pull cash out of their pocket to pay for crayons, or have to rely on crowdfunding and generous donations. With average salaries in the $30k-$50k range, the job teachers do is grossly undervalued. I won't hear any argument that they are just regurgitating a preset curriculum either.

Now is the best time to bump the payrolls - first responders and the like have received hazard pay during this pandemic; teachers should absolutely be the next in line. Not having school or having poorly designed remote lesson plans is detrimental to a whole generation of kids - effectively setting them back a year because parents can't split time between homeschooling and remote working.
So, if we're going to have school then those teachers who can or will work should be compensated generously.


Gin1984

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2020, 10:39:50 AM »
I will say this, I firmly believe that any educator or school support staff working this fall, wherever schools reopen, should be paid substantially more than they currently are.

Okay, in general teachers should be paid considerably more to begin with. Nobody should have to pull cash out of their pocket to pay for crayons, or have to rely on crowdfunding and generous donations. With average salaries in the $30k-$50k range, the job teachers do is grossly undervalued. I won't hear any argument that they are just regurgitating a preset curriculum either.

Now is the best time to bump the payrolls - first responders and the like have received hazard pay during this pandemic; teachers should absolutely be the next in line. Not having school or having poorly designed remote lesson plans is detrimental to a whole generation of kids - effectively setting them back a year because parents can't split time between homeschooling and remote working.
So, if we're going to have school then those teachers who can or will work should be compensated generously.
Yea, that's not going to happen, my husband match and salary were cut.

Cyanne

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #48 on: June 30, 2020, 12:10:16 PM »
Our district is under a hiring freeze. It is always do more with less.

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #49 on: June 30, 2020, 12:42:25 PM »
https://www.npr.org/2020/06/24/882316641/what-parents-can-learn-from-child-care-centers-that-stayed-open-during-lockdowns

I found this interesting. I hope that there is community/gov support for the sort of small class size learning that seems like it would be needed - but I doubt it.

Our district was just asked to return almost a million dollars to the state education fund (in addition the cuts they will be making over the next two quarters) and we are also partially funded by a school district income tax so our dollars will be stretched farther than usual for the next school year. They have already pushed the bus bubble farther out from one mile from school to two miles.

Back in May or so I was really hopeful that the pandemic might actually bring some structural change (to healthcare, education, and corporate structure) but as we all drag on through this I am less hopeful.