Author Topic: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?  (Read 4031 times)

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2020, 02:45:19 PM »
I think people are going to be awfully surprised at how many young people will be really sick when this really rolls through the population.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2020, 03:03:41 PM »
I don't know what to say other than it probably has to happen at this point.

Thinking not about my own situation for a minute - what are parents to do this fall who cannot homeschool or supervise distance learning? Single parents, dual earners, and all the other myriad situations that make it just about impossible to help kids learn at home. How can they provide an education for their kids? It seems like the solution the callous people in my life have suggested is 'you shouldn't have had kids then' but that's just as insensitive as directing someone who doesn't want to interact with others for fear of Cocid to do just that.

I don't know what the good answer is here. I would never compel anyone into such an uncomfortable situation, but education is so so critical so I don't know that I can agree with folks (not saying anyone in this thread is suggesting this) who say the best thing is for no school or 100% remote or homeschool. It's just not a realistic solution.

I think as parents we're going to have to live with the risk. It's an inherent risk with kids in general (transmissible illness). I hope there are protections for educators, especially those most at risk. I will be assisting wherever I can come this fall if the school asks, but school will probably have to continue.

scrunchythief

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2020, 03:58:32 PM »
I just saw this (https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/), and it makes me hopeful our schools might actually be open this Fall.  Thankfully our state isn't part of the spike, so if we can just maintain that we should be ok.  Hopefully.

What do you think?  Do the AAP have any biases I'm neglecting?  I'd hope not, but I don't know a ton about them as an organization.

mrs sideways

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #53 on: July 08, 2020, 11:13:36 PM »
Ugh, one week later and the whole country is spiking. Even if kids don't get it, the adults who work at the schools are going to be more vulnerable than ever. There are absolutely no good options here for anyone.

It's enraging how much better other countries have handled this, and how much better WE could have handled it, if only we'd had even half-competent leadership at the top.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2020, 04:15:07 AM »
All our elementary school age kids go to a private Catholic school. As of now they are planning to reopen unless the state specifically stops them. The public schools are talking about half the kids rotating in each week. So Monday and Tuesday half the class is in-person, other half online. Wednesday the disinfect everything then bring the other half in for Thursday and Friday.

We had homeschooled for several years but with baby #6 it was too much for my wife to try and care for a toddler, a baby, and homeschool three kids (now four). Plus, we really like their school and want to make sure it survives. There's less than 100 kids in K-8 so removing our four would be a meaningful loss of income to keep the school going. They adapted to online OK but it was still tough. $12k a year in tuition for zoom classes and worksheets to do at home is a lot harder to swallow too. We'll end up maintaining a complete self-quarantine from March until they go back to school in August - assuming they can reopen.

meerkat

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2020, 07:09:44 AM »
Florida here. I guess our state decided that "flat" meant vertical, so we're keeping our Kindergartner home and maybe doing some form of online schooling.

Even if the virus doesn't kill, it is now known to cause long term organ damage to lungs and brains. I'm not exposing my family to that. Yes it's at the cost of my child being able to socialize with his peers, but he has several years of day care under his belt and we'll send him back some day. One year of home schooling is unlikely to screw up his life. I know others locally who are also home schooling their kids who never would have considered it otherwise, I hope this decreases the population of kids physically at schools enough to help with social distancing but given how many teachers will also be staying out of schools, who knows. I don't blame the teachers, they're being placed in an impossible situation and we already had a teacher shortage last year. Last January I dropped off two large containers of hand sanitizers and wipes because there were none left in the classroom and the teacher would have had to pay for it out of her own pocket if she wanted more. I doubt the supply issue will have improved at all when schools reopen.

StarBright

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2020, 07:18:39 AM »
Ohio here - We're thinking along the lines of meerkat.

Our school has currently offered two plans: one with half sized classes and the kids in class two days a week/three days online school, and one with full size classes and the kids in school 4 days a week/ one day online school.

If the school opts for the four day/full classrooms I am starting to think about keeping the kids home. The report about the Florida kids who didn't have severe symptoms but did show long term lung damage freaked me out. In addition to thinking about the long term physical health of my kids, I also don't want them ending up with a pre-existing condition the will negate insurance coverage down the road (until we have universal health coverage in the US I just don't trust it).

ETA - I saw an article a week ago or so about a senior living community where the director immediately started taking precautions back in February. And they haven't had a single case of COVID. It was hailed as this major success story and when asked how he had been so prescient in dealing with the pandemic he said that as soon as President had said "we're at 15 cases and it is going to disappear" his gut told him to prepare for the opposite.

So when President Trump tweeted that all schools must be fully open in the fall - I remembered that nursing home director and the importance of going with your gut sometimes.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 07:48:04 AM by StarBright »

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #57 on: July 09, 2020, 08:17:59 AM »
My dd is in health informatics (Epic) and works on the COVID team. She is leaning towards keeping their 4yo home this year from public Pre K, which is sad because he loves his school so much. She thinks itís going to be pretty bad this winter.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2020, 08:41:06 AM »
We learned yesterday that per our state's order (PA), all children aged two and older must wear masks at all times in school unless they're eating, they're physically 6 feet apart, or they have a condition (respiratory, mental, or emotional) that prevents them from wearing a face covering. Parents do not have to provide medical justification for their children's exemptions.

My wife is heartbroken over this order, previously it was stated that children under second grade did not have to wear masks at all. Our son says he will be okay with wearing a mask, but he doesn't like it because 'sometimes I can't breathe so well and it gives me headaches'. So it seems like he'll comply but my wife is not happy with it - she's drawn parallels to air raid drills.

We're still moving forward with sending him, though. As of now, the district's plan is to have full attendance and to modify classrooms to accommodate 6ft spacing between all desks and seats.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2020, 08:47:00 AM »
For most working parents, it's not a simple question of whether school will be safe enough to return (that's almost impossible to answer).  There's a big difference between keeping a Pre-K or kindergartener home from school and older elementary school children who need academic instruction but aren't old/capable enough to work independently like a middle or high schooler. We both work FT and even if I could negotiate a WFH situation in the fall (my spouse, who is essential, cannot), I can't work and adequately support the education of a special needs 5th grader and a 2nd grader who still struggles with reading. 

To pull that off, I'd need to go part time, or try to wfh and  hire a tutor, or risk grandparents being exposed by asking them for help.  Are people who are thinking of keeping kids home FIREd, quitting their jobs, or hiring outside help? 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #60 on: July 09, 2020, 08:56:49 AM »
I just saw this (https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/), and it makes me hopeful our schools might actually be open this Fall.  Thankfully our state isn't part of the spike, so if we can just maintain that we should be ok.  Hopefully.

What do you think?  Do the AAP have any biases I'm neglecting?  I'd hope not, but I don't know a ton about them as an organization.

I only skimmed, but when I read it AAP had excellent points about why students should go to school, but made no mention of the safety of the myriad of adults in the buildings.  If we can't provide doctors and healthcare workers with appropriate PPE, can we provide it to teachers who have 30-180 disease vectors who aren't great at observing social distancing interacting with them daily?

meerkat

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #61 on: July 09, 2020, 09:00:41 AM »
Are people who are thinking of keeping kids home FIREd, quitting their jobs, or hiring outside help?

We're both able to WFH, one kindergartner, current theory is that Saturday/Sunday will be the big school days with some other work happening on other days. We're also able to shift our schedules a bit as long as it's a permanent change (so one parent can work 7-4 and the other can work 9-6). We don't have grandparents near enough for them to help on a daily basis. I fully expect this to be a subpar home school experience for everyone. We're already trying to handle our kid's lack of physical therapy/occupational therapy at home, it's obviously not as good as when he had private therapy twice a week but it's better than nothing.

Everything sucks, basically.

If we were in your shoes with one spouse working out of the home and two kids to manage, I'm not sure how we'd handle things. I know someone who is lucky to have a grandparent in the picture who is a retired teacher, last spring the kids basically lived at grandma's house for two months because both parents were essential and at high exposure risk (health care jobs).

marbles4

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #62 on: July 09, 2020, 09:04:36 AM »
Agree with charis.  It is an impossible situation for working parents that can't simply "figure out a solution."

Rising 4th grader and rising 1st grader here. If they have to stay home (or if we choose to keep them home, which we wouldn't if school was open), I see no other option than having one of us parents quit. I make less, so it would be me. I know it seems rash, but what else can we do? Especially if we are both asked to start going into an office (hasn't happened yet, but it could). Our kids can't stay home by themselves and grandparents are not an option. Hire a tutor a full-time sitter? Probably should have looked into that months ago...

We are extremely fortunate that our family can afford to go back down to one income if we have to (obviously not what we would choose). Most two-parent working families cannot just flip that switch. What are they to do? And what about the single parents?

Our state doesn't have a plan yet, but first day is scheduled for 8/17. I hope we find out soon, even if it is full-remote. Parents need to plan their next move.

On masks: I'm fine with the kids wearing masks. Ours have been wearing them for camp for the past month and a half (not all day though). It becomes part of the routine and has been completely normalized since everybody wears them.

Cyanne

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2020, 09:18:05 AM »
Everyone needs to come up with a plan to manage distance learning. Even if you send your children back into the building, there is a good chance that the school may shut down. Who will staff or teach the kids when teachers get sick? Most of the substitutes in my building were older, retired teachers. They wonít be taking the jobs now with the risk of getting Covid.

There was a survey done that indicated that up to 20% of teachers may choose to not return to in person classes. How will that impact the schools ability to do hybrid classes that are supposed to be smaller?

I teach in a high school with over 2800 students. A decent number of parents surveyed donít want their children to have to wear masks. If someone comes into the building with Covid, it will take off. Perhaps the kids wonít get too sick but the staff, some of which are older, and some of which have pre-existing conditions will get sick. Some may get sick enough to be out for weeks.

Iím afraid too many people think that sending kids back to school will be a return to business as usual. It wonít. Prepare yourselves. Itís going to be a bumpy ride.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2020, 09:26:58 AM »
Actually, our situation is that we will both be working out of the house at the point of school starting. I can ask to go back to a wfh situation, but that's the best case scenario and it still might be denied.  We could live on either salary but quitting right now would be terrible for one career and disastrous for the other.

brandon1827

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #65 on: July 09, 2020, 09:33:23 AM »
My son is 10 and starting 5th grade. He will not be attending school in-person until a vaccine is available. Everyone making claims about what the virus will or won't do to children long-term have no idea what they're talking about. My son's health is not worth the risk of him getting sick and potentially having deadly results. It will be a hardship on us to do school work from home, but that's a small price to pay for ensuring his safety and long-term health.

Our school board hasn't finalized and announced their plan for re-opening schools...but regardless of what they decide, our son will be staying home.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2020, 09:33:44 AM »
I personally think we have enough evidence that kids aren't at any great risk to send them back to school - all the daycares full of essential worker's kids have yet to report an outbreak, and that's many thousands of kids over many months. Obviously opinions on that vary, but our kids will attend if schools are open. But I doubt they'll stay open for long, because nobody appears to have really thought about how to do that.

It baffles me that creative plans haven't been thought of. I mean, just off the top of my head:

Have every SAHP become a substitute teacher, and have vulnerable teachers teach remotely with 1 or 2 of those subs as in-person aides/helpers.

Hold classes outside in nice climates.

Convert gyms/cafeterias into more classroom space to spread kids out, buy some portable trailers as well.

Build bubble-boy enclosures for teachers so they can totally avoid physical contact with the students, but still talk to/see/interact with them.

Hire anyone with vaguely appropriate qualifications who needs a job and crash-train them to teach over the summer, hold classes at churches and libraries and anywhere available to allow social distancing.

There are plenty of much smarter and more creative people than me out there working in education. Yet it seems nobody really made any concerted effort to plan this. And now, well, it's too late.

-W
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 09:38:26 AM by waltworks »

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #67 on: July 09, 2020, 09:45:49 AM »
Everyone needs to come up with a plan to manage distance learning. Even if you send your children back into the building, there is a good chance that the school may shut down. Who will staff or teach the kids when teachers get sick? Most of the substitutes in my building were older, retired teachers. They wonít be taking the jobs now with the risk of getting Covid.

There was a survey done that indicated that up to 20% of teachers may choose to not return to in person classes. How will that impact the schools ability to do hybrid classes that are supposed to be smaller?

I teach in a high school with over 2800 students. A decent number of parents surveyed donít want their children to have to wear masks. If someone comes into the building with Covid, it will take off. Perhaps the kids wonít get too sick but the staff, some of which are older, and some of which have pre-existing conditions will get sick. Some may get sick enough to be out for weeks.

Iím afraid too many people think that sending kids back to school will be a return to business as usual. It wonít. Prepare yourselves. Itís going to be a bumpy ride.

Unless you can wfh or have an extremely flexible work situation, the only way to prepare to "plan" to leave your job.  Yes, we have local retired grandparents in their 70s, but who wants to risk their lives?  And even if emergency, back up, on-call nannies existed in any sufficient supply, it would be cost prohibitive for most people.

Cyanne

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #68 on: July 09, 2020, 09:46:53 AM »
Paying for those ideas is the issue. Public schools donít have the funding to add additional staff, portable classrooms, etc.

Cyanne

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #69 on: July 09, 2020, 09:52:56 AM »
Everyone needs to come up with a plan to manage distance learning. Even if you send your children back into the building, there is a good chance that the school may shut down. Who will staff or teach the kids when teachers get sick? Most of the substitutes in my building were older, retired teachers. They wonít be taking the jobs now with the risk of getting Covid.

There was a survey done that indicated that up to 20% of teachers may choose to not return to in person classes. How will that impact the schools ability to do hybrid classes that are supposed to be smaller?

I teach in a high school with over 2800 students. A decent number of parents surveyed donít want their children to have to wear masks. If someone comes into the building with Covid, it will take off. Perhaps the kids wonít get too sick but the staff, some of which are older, and some of which have pre-existing conditions will get sick. Some may get sick enough to be out for weeks.

Iím afraid too many people think that sending kids back to school will be a return to business as usual. It wonít. Prepare yourselves. Itís going to be a bumpy ride.

Unless you can wfh or have an extremely flexible work situation, the only way to prepare to "plan" to leave your job.  Yes, we have local retired grandparents in their 70s, but who wants to risk their lives?  And even if emergency, back up, on-call nannies existed in any sufficient supply, it would be cost prohibitive for most people.

I understand the difficulty. Families still need to prepare for schools to close again. Not all will close (rural low incidence areas), but some will. If your schools close you need to have a plan. I posted what I did because I think a lot of people are being optimistic and choosing not to see the reality that just because schools may reopen does not mean they will stay open.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #70 on: July 09, 2020, 09:53:12 AM »
Paying for those ideas is the issue. Public schools donít have the funding to add additional staff, portable classrooms, etc.

You could get SAHPs to work for free, they know the stakes.

And yes, money (presumably from the Feds) would be required for a lot of that stuff. So what? The plans could have been made and money could have been requested. Whether congress decided to fund it or not is an open question, but it's too late now regardless.

Working parents are a HUGE chunk of the economy. It's hilarious to hear people talk about reopening the economy and not mentioning schools.

-W

v8rx7guy

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #71 on: July 09, 2020, 10:04:31 AM »
We learned yesterday that per our state's order (PA), all children aged two and older must wear masks at all times in school unless they're eating, they're physically 6 feet apart, or they have a condition (respiratory, mental, or emotional) that prevents them from wearing a face covering. Parents do not have to provide medical justification for their children's exemptions.

My wife is heartbroken over this order, previously it was stated that children under second grade did not have to wear masks at all. Our son says he will be okay with wearing a mask, but he doesn't like it because 'sometimes I can't breathe so well and it gives me headaches'. So it seems like he'll comply but my wife is not happy with it - she's drawn parallels to air raid drills.

We're still moving forward with sending him, though. As of now, the district's plan is to have full attendance and to modify classrooms to accommodate 6ft spacing between all desks and seats.

Look into a face shield for your son.  Ask if that would be acceptable.  A lot of people see face shields as an acceptable substitute for claustrophobic people, etc.

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #72 on: July 09, 2020, 10:11:33 AM »
We learned yesterday that per our state's order (PA), all children aged two and older must wear masks at all times in school unless they're eating, they're physically 6 feet apart, or they have a condition (respiratory, mental, or emotional) that prevents them from wearing a face covering. Parents do not have to provide medical justification for their children's exemptions.

My wife is heartbroken over this order, previously it was stated that children under second grade did not have to wear masks at all. Our son says he will be okay with wearing a mask, but he doesn't like it because 'sometimes I can't breathe so well and it gives me headaches'. So it seems like he'll comply but my wife is not happy with it - she's drawn parallels to air raid drills.

We're still moving forward with sending him, though. As of now, the district's plan is to have full attendance and to modify classrooms to accommodate 6ft spacing between all desks and seats.

Look into a face shield for your son.  Ask if that would be acceptable.  A lot of people see face shields as an acceptable substitute for claustrophobic people, etc.

Face shields are, indeed, acceptable. He would probably wear one but I think he'll be sporting the mask primarily because all the other kids in his class also would and he would definitely feel a bit left out/ostracized if he weren't wearing something similar to the rest of the kids.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #73 on: July 09, 2020, 10:12:57 AM »
Paying for those ideas is the issue. Public schools donít have the funding to add additional staff, portable classrooms, etc.

You could get SAHPs to work for free, they know the stakes.


Is that a joke? All the families that I know with a SAHP have at least one child who is not school aged.  That's generally why they can't just leave the house and go work somewhere for free 🙄

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2020, 10:23:02 AM »
Everyone needs to come up with a plan to manage distance learning. Even if you send your children back into the building, there is a good chance that the school may shut down. Who will staff or teach the kids when teachers get sick? Most of the substitutes in my building were older, retired teachers. They wonít be taking the jobs now with the risk of getting Covid.

There was a survey done that indicated that up to 20% of teachers may choose to not return to in person classes. How will that impact the schools ability to do hybrid classes that are supposed to be smaller?

I teach in a high school with over 2800 students. A decent number of parents surveyed donít want their children to have to wear masks. If someone comes into the building with Covid, it will take off. Perhaps the kids wonít get too sick but the staff, some of which are older, and some of which have pre-existing conditions will get sick. Some may get sick enough to be out for weeks.

Iím afraid too many people think that sending kids back to school will be a return to business as usual. It wonít. Prepare yourselves. Itís going to be a bumpy ride.

Unless you can wfh or have an extremely flexible work situation, the only way to prepare to "plan" to leave your job.  Yes, we have local retired grandparents in their 70s, but who wants to risk their lives?  And even if emergency, back up, on-call nannies existed in any sufficient supply, it would be cost prohibitive for most people.

I understand the difficulty. Families still need to prepare for schools to close again. Not all will close (rural low incidence areas), but some will. If your schools close you need to have a plan. I posted what I did because I think a lot of people are being optimistic and choosing not to see the reality that just because schools may reopen does not mean they will stay open.

I appreciate your perspective, and it's obviously realistic that many districts or schools will have to change course throughout the school year. Earlier upthread  I emphasized that I understand this is a tough situation all around but I also want to reiterate an earlier point I made and echo charis' comments -

Distance learning is not equitable or fair for all students. I'll have to go into the office more frequently as the year progresses and I won't be able to help my wife at all. How is she supposed to supervise Zoom learning while our 10 month old is screaming or our 3 year old is trying to pull his older brother into playtime? We have a grand total of zero family members nearby to help with the other two kids. And asking my wife and I to sacrifice every weekend so that we can tagteam 25 hours of homeschool curriculum over 2 or 3 days is just a nonstarter.

I'm not asking you, Cyanne for answers, but I posit this as more of a rhetorical question.

And again, recusing my own situation for a moment, I'll again bring up the situation of single parents who have to work outside the home - what the fuck are they supposed to do?

But on the flip side there's a glaring lack of funding, and worse there are plenty of teachers who would not do well if they were to catch this virus, so how are we supposed to protect them especially when kids often show mild symptoms to this?

Those are questions for the school districts to answer, not us as parents and not the teachers or other school employees. It's an impossible question but I think it's important to understand that I think we can all agree at least within this forum and especially in this thread, none of us are looking to send our kids to school to 'return to normal'. Normal is gone and statewide stay at home orders really can't happen again so they way I see it, we really all have to work together to figure out how to get schools to open.

Now, I will say that my wife and I will absolutely come up with a plan to handle distance learning because we have to, because our son would be a truant if we didn't. Not that truancy in younger students is really going to be enforced if distance learning were to happen, but you get the picture.

Edit: I also forgot to mention that I've heard half sarcastic/half serious responses from other people (not on this forum) "well, maybe you shouldn't have had kids" or "maybe you weren't ready for kids" and to that attitude (in case anyone here secretly holds that opinion), you can go shove it.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 10:25:30 AM by chemistk »

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #75 on: July 09, 2020, 10:55:13 AM »
For most working parents, it's not a simple question of whether school will be safe enough to return (that's almost impossible to answer).  There's a big difference between keeping a Pre-K or kindergartener home from school and older elementary school children who need academic instruction but aren't old/capable enough to work independently like a middle or high schooler. We both work FT and even if I could negotiate a WFH situation in the fall (my spouse, who is essential, cannot), I can't work and adequately support the education of a special needs 5th grader and a 2nd grader who still struggles with reading. 

To pull that off, I'd need to go part time, or try to wfh and  hire a tutor, or risk grandparents being exposed by asking them for help.  Are people who are thinking of keeping kids home FIREd, quitting their jobs, or hiring outside help?

I'm in CA.  MANY of my friends are thinking of keeping their kids at home, but they are predominantly SAHMs or teachers who were working only part time or as substitutes.

Our school district has not made a plan yet.  THey will within the next 2 weeks.  It's open full, open hybrid (students at school 2 days a week, half class size), or all virtual.  If they open full, it won't be fun.  Masks, distancing, face shields, no recess, no playground, no books. 

My younger son just finished 2nd grade and the last 3 months of distance learning was basically a shit show of us trying to help him while working FT from home. I agree that this is a tough age.  I think older kids (some 4th, plus 5th-8th) can mostly work independently.  My incoming 9th grader will be fine. 

But 2nd grade was a mess and 3rd isn't going to be any better.

Edit:
I really think that school districts should consider in person school for the kids that need it most.  In our school, that would be:
- disabled students
- children who are English learners
- poor kids
- children of single parents who must work.

My husband and I could muddle on through on distance learning if they give us a curriculum and have us check in periodically.  It would royally suck.

But my incoming 3rd grader is reading Harry Potter and can do multiplication (some of it anyway).  Shoot, he could take a year or two off and it wouldn't matter.  My kid is not the one who is going to suffer here. 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 11:00:36 AM by mm1970 »

Psychstache

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #76 on: July 09, 2020, 10:57:53 AM »
Distance learning is not equitable or fair for all students.

I agree with many of the points you have made and there is certainly a lot of nuance to this issue (or at least there should be, despite the behavior of the dumbasses in charge of this), but would like to point out that our 'old' way of doing school was not fair and equitable for all students either.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #77 on: July 09, 2020, 11:05:49 AM »
Paying for those ideas is the issue. Public schools donít have the funding to add additional staff, portable classrooms, etc.

You could get SAHPs to work for free, they know the stakes.


Is that a joke? All the families that I know with a SAHP have at least one child who is not school aged.  That's generally why they can't just leave the house and go work somewhere for free 🙄

There are lots of families that could pull it off, actually. Or you could have a daycare in the school. But hey, nevermind, why not just give up. Trying new solutions is for suckers. Got it.

-W
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 11:27:51 AM by waltworks »

Cyanne

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #78 on: July 09, 2020, 11:20:12 AM »
Everyone needs to come up with a plan to manage distance learning. Even if you send your children back into the building, there is a good chance that the school may shut down. Who will staff or teach the kids when teachers get sick? Most of the substitutes in my building were older, retired teachers. They wonít be taking the jobs now with the risk of getting Covid.

There was a survey done that indicated that up to 20% of teachers may choose to not return to in person classes. How will that impact the schools ability to do hybrid classes that are supposed to be smaller?

I teach in a high school with over 2800 students. A decent number of parents surveyed donít want their children to have to wear masks. If someone comes into the building with Covid, it will take off. Perhaps the kids wonít get too sick but the staff, some of which are older, and some of which have pre-existing conditions will get sick. Some may get sick enough to be out for weeks.

Iím afraid too many people think that sending kids back to school will be a return to business as usual. It wonít. Prepare yourselves. Itís going to be a bumpy ride.

Unless you can wfh or have an extremely flexible work situation, the only way to prepare to "plan" to leave your job.  Yes, we have local retired grandparents in their 70s, but who wants to risk their lives?  And even if emergency, back up, on-call nannies existed in any sufficient supply, it would be cost prohibitive for most people.

I understand the difficulty. Families still need to prepare for schools to close again. Not all will close (rural low incidence areas), but some will. If your schools close you need to have a plan. I posted what I did because I think a lot of people are being optimistic and choosing not to see the reality that just because schools may reopen does not mean they will stay open.

I appreciate your perspective, and it's obviously realistic that many districts or schools will have to change course throughout the school year. Earlier upthread  I emphasized that I understand this is a tough situation all around but I also want to reiterate an earlier point I made and echo charis' comments -

Distance learning is not equitable or fair for all students. I'll have to go into the office more frequently as the year progresses and I won't be able to help my wife at all. How is she supposed to supervise Zoom learning while our 10 month old is screaming or our 3 year old is trying to pull his older brother into playtime? We have a grand total of zero family members nearby to help with the other two kids. And asking my wife and I to sacrifice every weekend so that we can tagteam 25 hours of homeschool curriculum over 2 or 3 days is just a nonstarter.

I'm not asking you, Cyanne for answers, but I posit this as more of a rhetorical question.

And again, recusing my own situation for a moment, I'll again bring up the situation of single parents who have to work outside the home - what the fuck are they supposed to do?

But on the flip side there's a glaring lack of funding, and worse there are plenty of teachers who would not do well if they were to catch this virus, so how are we supposed to protect them especially when kids often show mild symptoms to this?

Those are questions for the school districts to answer, not us as parents and not the teachers or other school employees. It's an impossible question but I think it's important to understand that I think we can all agree at least within this forum and especially in this thread, none of us are looking to send our kids to school to 'return to normal'. Normal is gone and statewide stay at home orders really can't happen again so they way I see it, we really all have to work together to figure out how to get schools to open.

Now, I will say that my wife and I will absolutely come up with a plan to handle distance learning because we have to, because our son would be a truant if we didn't. Not that truancy in younger students is really going to be enforced if distance learning were to happen, but you get the picture.

Edit: I also forgot to mention that I've heard half sarcastic/half serious responses from other people (not on this forum) "well, maybe you shouldn't have had kids" or "maybe you weren't ready for kids" and to that attitude (in case anyone here secretly holds that opinion), you can go shove it.

It is definitely a difficult situation for all. I didnít want my posts to come off as unsympathetic. I was once a single parent and almost lost my job because my daughter had the chickenpox and my daycare couldnít take her. I know it is bad. I posted because most of the conversation I have read on various sites seems to focus on getting back into the classroom without addressing the reality that it is not a fix and there is a good chance of ending up in distance learning anyway.

I wish I had more answers. I also wish there had been more funds allocated to prepare for this fall. I can tell you that my state and district are working on plans to address the inequity. As a special education teacher I am very well aware of the challenges that are present.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #79 on: July 09, 2020, 11:25:18 AM »
Paying for those ideas is the issue. Public schools donít have the funding to add additional staff, portable classrooms, etc.

You could get SAHPs to work for free, they know the stakes.


Is that a joke? All the families that I know with a SAHP have at least one child who is not school aged.  That's generally why they can't just leave the house and go work somewhere for free 🙄

There are lots of families that could pull it off, actually. But hey, nevermind, why not just give up. Trying new solutions is for suckers. Got it.

-W

Your anecdote is equal to mine. I don't know a single sahp that doesn't have at least one child at home already.  So it's not a viable solution.  But feel free to suggest volunteer substitute teaching to your sahp friends that don't have any family responsibilities during the school day.

StarBright

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #80 on: July 09, 2020, 11:25:32 AM »
Are people who are thinking of keeping kids home FIREd, quitting their jobs, or hiring outside help?

I've been full time WFH for over a decade and DH has a somewhat flexible schedule as a professor.  His schedule is actually getting weirder in the fall and there may be more night and weekend classes and it will actually allow us more wiggle room rather than less.

I would anticipate that we would run a similar schedule to what we are doing now: DH gets up super early for his deep work and works until my day starts, I am expected at my desk from 9-5 but basically just answer the phone, respond to requests and triage work while DH and I split kids during the day and while he is required to be on campus, and I do my deep work from 9pm-1am or so.

It sucks and I hate it and it feels 100% unsustainable but if the alternative is nerve or lung damage for my kids . . . If news doesn't get better in the next month I want to have mentally prepared myself to keep the kids home.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 02:22:13 PM by StarBright »

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #81 on: July 09, 2020, 11:48:29 AM »
The Youngstown City Schools have already announced that they will be online only. I was really surprised- itís a very high poverty district with many at risk kids.

Itís also a district under state control, so the state must have approved this. Iím pretty sure that there is just no money for those creative solutions.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #82 on: July 09, 2020, 12:00:42 PM »
Your anecdote is equal to mine. I don't know a single sahp that doesn't have at least one child at home already.  So it's not a viable solution.  But feel free to suggest volunteer substitute teaching to your sahp friends that don't have any family responsibilities during the school day.

Run a little daycare in the school (many already do this). Boom.

_W

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #83 on: July 09, 2020, 12:38:36 PM »
Distance learning is not equitable or fair for all students.

I agree with many of the points you have made and there is certainly a lot of nuance to this issue (or at least there should be, despite the behavior of the dumbasses in charge of this), but would like to point out that our 'old' way of doing school was not fair and equitable for all students either.

I fully agree with you - this just only sets things back that much further (budget cuts, teacher absenteeism, truancy [among older students]).

brandon1827

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #84 on: July 09, 2020, 01:05:06 PM »
One idea our local school board is considering is to have high school kids (who are more capable of participating in distance learning programs) to stay home, and then utilize the high school spaces in the county to spread out the elementary school children. I don't know if they'll follow through with that, but it's something they've come up with to attempt to mitigate spread and allow for fewer kids in a single classroom. I don't know that they have all the finer details regarding staffing, transportation, meals, etc. worked out, but they're supposed to announce the final plan tomorrow...so we'll see.

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #85 on: July 09, 2020, 01:19:40 PM »
Your anecdote is equal to mine. I don't know a single sahp that doesn't have at least one child at home already.  So it's not a viable solution.  But feel free to suggest volunteer substitute teaching to your sahp friends that don't have any family responsibilities during the school day.

Run a little daycare in the school (many already do this). Boom.

_W

There are no daycares in any schools around here. Schools are already going to be short of space because they need smaller classes.

If I was a SAHP, I would not be too keen to put myself and my kids at risk so that I could work for free, but hey, what do *I* know? Except that Iíve actually been a SAHP and also a teacher, of course.

Have you ever worked  in a school?

All of these suggestions are do-able, but will cost $ and school budgets are being cut.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #86 on: July 09, 2020, 01:35:28 PM »
I personally think we have enough evidence that kids aren't at any great risk to send them back to school - all the daycares full of essential worker's kids have yet to report an outbreak, and that's many thousands of kids over many months. Obviously opinions on that vary, but our kids will attend if schools are open. But I doubt they'll stay open for long, because nobody appears to have really thought about how to do that.

It baffles me that creative plans haven't been thought of. I mean, just off the top of my head:

Have every SAHP become a substitute teacher, and have vulnerable teachers teach remotely with 1 or 2 of those subs as in-person aides/helpers.

Hold classes outside in nice climates.

Convert gyms/cafeterias into more classroom space to spread kids out, buy some portable trailers as well.

Build bubble-boy enclosures for teachers so they can totally avoid physical contact with the students, but still talk to/see/interact with them.

Hire anyone with vaguely appropriate qualifications who needs a job and crash-train them to teach over the summer, hold classes at churches and libraries and anywhere available to allow social distancing.

There are plenty of much smarter and more creative people than me out there working in education. Yet it seems nobody really made any concerted effort to plan this. And now, well, it's too late.

-W

Just want to say that I think this is an excellent point. We've had a necessary case study for younger kids in similar (if not worse) settings to classroom settings without any big problems I've heard of (please anyone correct me if I'm wrong). It would seem that this situation for whatever reason might not be the worst thing ever.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #87 on: July 09, 2020, 01:55:04 PM »
Many daycares in our area have been open this whole time with no outbreaks.  Folks on this thread keep referring to nerve or lung damage in children. Is this a documented problem or concern?  Almost no children in my region have tested positive for covid (presumably some have been asymptomatic?) so I'm not sure how to approach it.  I would be grateful if you could share links on this.  My friends in medical field have been sending their children to daycare and they don't seem concerned

brandon1827

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #88 on: July 09, 2020, 02:07:22 PM »
The only data that I've seen recently is that over 7,000 kids in Florida contracted the virus recently. With Florida being the biggest hot spot on the planet right now, that's not terribly surprising...but it does show that kids can in fact get it at high rates...and no one knows yet what people who contract the virus and recover will be susceptible to in the long term. Will kids who get it but recover now be more likely to get the flu every year? Pneumonia? Asthma? Cancer? No one knows these answers yet and I'm not willing to risk my son's health with incomplete data until a vaccine is ready.To each their own, but I'm not taking for granted that just because some people believe kids won't have serious long-term repercussions from contracting covid, that it's fine to send him back to school

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #89 on: July 09, 2020, 02:29:27 PM »
There are no daycares in any schools around here. Schools are already going to be short of space because they need smaller classes.

If I was a SAHP, I would not be too keen to put myself and my kids at risk so that I could work for free, but hey, what do *I* know? Except that Iíve actually been a SAHP and also a teacher, of course.

Have you ever worked  in a school?

All of these suggestions are do-able, but will cost $ and school budgets are being cut.

If you'd prefer to admit defeat and/or wait for a vaccine (which may or may not come) that's fine. If you truly can't think of a way to open schools and keep people safe, then I'm sorry, that's a bummer. For what it's worth I'm in the schools here basically every day (I'm an unpaid volunteer reading tutor and head classroom parent for a couple of classes) and my wife runs science programs for the district. I am also the parent rep on the safety committee for our elementary school. While I usually defer to the expertise of teachers, I think you may be too defeatist/pessimistic here. That said, if the teachers don't want to come teach - that's pretty much the end of the discussion.

Around here our schools have gymnasiums/cafeterias, art/music/specialist rooms, and conference rooms that, in a pinch, could be used for daycare. We have SAHP and flexible schedule parents who understand the stakes and could be organized to step up.

And again, that's just me spitballing, with roughly 1 minute of thought. With more time, effort, and expertise, there are probably even better solutions.

We don't have the leadership or (at this point) the time, though. Nor does it sound like many people are willing to try.

-W

StarBright

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #90 on: July 09, 2020, 03:00:32 PM »
Many daycares in our area have been open this whole time with no outbreaks.  Folks on this thread keep referring to nerve or lung damage in children. Is this a documented problem or concern?  Almost no children in my region have tested positive for covid (presumably some have been asymptomatic?) so I'm not sure how to approach it.  I would be grateful if you could share links on this.  My friends in medical field have been sending their children to daycare and they don't seem concerned

I think this is another area where it is very state dependent (regarding outbreaks). I have a friend in public health in a state with pretty clear restrictions in place on day care procedures (teachers in masks, parents not allowed inside, etc) and she is very comfortable dropping her kids off, and I posted a link upthread about how daycares in NYC and NJ were able to get through those outbreaks without cases.

But there are starting to be daycare cases in TX (both kids and care providers) and I know more cases in children in FL (but I'm not sure if those are daycare related).

Here is the lung damage report out of Florida:
https://cbs12.com/news/local/doctors-concerned-that-covid-19-may-be-harming-lungs-of-children

And the other places I have been hearing about long term damage are from friends in the UK and Italy. I'm not sure it is a huge problem in children but I'm trying to keep my eyes/ears open for child related news as we get closer to school starting in a month.

 


charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #91 on: July 09, 2020, 03:04:44 PM »
I'm not taking for granted that just because some people believe kids won't have serious long-term repercussions from contracting covid, that it's fine to send him back to school

No one on this thread is taking that for granted and no one believes that it's fine to go back to school. That's the entire reason that we are having this conversation.  Not everyone has the option to keep their children home from school, and some will have to quit their jobs if they choose to do so.  I get the sense that most people who have decided to keep their kids out of school are already working from home or have a sahp.  It's important to acknowledge that it makes the decision a lot easier (though still a very difficult situation).

Thanks for the links above.

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #92 on: July 09, 2020, 03:22:22 PM »
Your anecdote is equal to mine. I don't know a single sahp that doesn't have at least one child at home already.  So it's not a viable solution.  But feel free to suggest volunteer substitute teaching to your sahp friends that don't have any family responsibilities during the school day.

Run a little daycare in the school (many already do this). Boom.

_W

There are no daycares in any schools around here. Schools are already going to be short of space because they need smaller classes.

If I was a SAHP, I would not be too keen to put myself and my kids at risk so that I could work for free, but hey, what do *I* know? Except that Iíve actually been a SAHP and also a teacher, of course.

Have you ever worked  in a school?

All of these suggestions are do-able, but will cost $ and school budgets are being cut.
Our school is full...(the elementary).  They won't be able to fully keep 6' between students without splitting classes into different days.  There's literally no room for daycare on campus.  That is the case in all of our elementary schools.

brandon1827

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #93 on: July 09, 2020, 03:25:35 PM »
Neither myself nor my wife are sahp...and neither one of us works from home...just so you know before you go assuming that I'm coming from a place of comfort with this. It will be extremely difficult for us to manage keeping our son home from school, but we aren't willing to risk the alternative because there are so many unknowns. I don't have "the option" to keep my son home because one of us will be there, so we're going to have to make some difficult decisions that will have huge financial and career implications for one or both of us.

I don't recall stating that anyone else was taking anything for granted specifically, but there are posts above relating anecdotal evidence that daycares have been running without huge outbreaks occurring in children. I related the data from Florida as a counter point. My 7,000 number was actually out of date. The number now is apparently 11,000

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus-outbreak-and-kids

https://www.wtxl.com/news/coronavirus/more-than-11-000-children-test-positive-for-coronavirus-in-florida

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #94 on: July 09, 2020, 03:27:54 PM »
Many daycares in our area have been open this whole time with no outbreaks.  Folks on this thread keep referring to nerve or lung damage in children. Is this a documented problem or concern?  Almost no children in my region have tested positive for covid (presumably some have been asymptomatic?) so I'm not sure how to approach it.  I would be grateful if you could share links on this.  My friends in medical field have been sending their children to daycare and they don't seem concerned
https://people.com/health/n-c-reports-covid-19-clusters-at-daycares-as-parents-and-providers-weigh-options-amid-pandemic/

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article243670537.html

https://abc13.com/coronavirus-texas-day-care-cases-covid-19-cares/6259762/

https://www.wweek.com/news/state/2020/06/30/oregon-child-care-facility-reports-covid-19-outbreak-among-first-in-nation/

"Many" is not "all".  One of my good friends is a child care provider, and she has been open the whole time but ONLY for essential workers for the first few months.  There just haven't been as many children in childcares.  School, like work, church, childcare - they are only as safe as their least safe member.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200524/Children-with-COVID-19-presenting-with-sudden-severe-lung-disease.aspx

https://cbs12.com/news/local/doctors-concerned-that-covid-19-may-be-harming-lungs-of-children

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #95 on: July 09, 2020, 03:41:43 PM »
Dude, TONS (again, millions) of kids have been in daycare this whole time. If meaningful numbers of them were getting sick, we'd know about it by now.

The issue is the adult teachers/staff, not the kids.

I refuse to take seriously case studies of one 14 year old, or vague "we don't know if this will harm them in the future!" announcements from doctors seriously, because we're already doing this experiment with ALL THOSE DOCTORS KIDS (plus the kids of all the grocery clerks and electricians and on and on).

If rich people like us want to keep their kids out of school and hire nannies/homeschool, that's fine. The kids who most need the schools open are the ones who are already going to be (or have been) exposed anyway because their parents aren't rich. We should be figuring out how to keep the staff safe and getting those kids back in school ASAP.

-W

Cranky

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #96 on: July 09, 2020, 06:21:28 PM »
We know how to do it - we have neither the facilities nor the funding nor the political will to do it.

9patch

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #97 on: Today at 12:24:25 AM »
My 10 year old is in public school, and the last few months of online learning were horrible. No 2 way interactive teaching, etc. Here in Oregon, his swim team started practices again in a lake, and I was venting to one of the moms about the terrible online schooling, and she told me about how she works for k12.com who does fully online schooling through public charter schools, and how they have live virtual teaching, and how the district sends the kids computers and textbooks and art supplies etc. So I actually decided to switch my son to fully online school for next year. I'm working from home still. If there is miraculously a vaccine, and the 3 of us get it, then we can return to physical school and work, but before then, we'll be staying at home.