Author Topic: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?  (Read 10642 times)

ysette9

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #150 on: July 18, 2020, 05:13:30 PM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

GuitarStv

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #151 on: July 18, 2020, 05:24:57 PM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

We just finished doing a couple months of pretty half assed distance ed + twoparents WFH with a single 6 year old child who is very smart and able to work better than the average kid with little instruction . . . and even that was a huge work disruption every single day.  Basically, every day was 12 - 16 hours working/educating.  That's not going to be something we even try to do in September . . . it's just not sustainable and is way too stressful.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #152 on: July 18, 2020, 07:14:20 PM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

Meh, easy to solve. 5 parents all take their <school age kids to one parents house, other parents help at school.

That's probably what we'll do if the need for subs is desperate. It's not what I'd prefer, but I'd rather step up than step back.

-W

Chris Pascale

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #153 on: July 18, 2020, 07:17:08 PM »
I'm just hoping schools open up because that means the virus is not penetrating enough of the population.

NY guideline is that if less than 5% of the pop is infected, schools will open. Right now it's 2%.

Poundwise

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #154 on: July 18, 2020, 11:00:52 PM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. I’d enjoy the break that a job would bring. But can’t do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

Meh, easy to solve. 5 parents all take their <school age kids to one parents house, other parents help at school.

That's probably what we'll do if the need for subs is desperate. It's not what I'd prefer, but I'd rather step up than step back.

-W

I organized a babysitting co-op with three other families for several years. It's not that easy breezy even under the best of circumstances to deal with other people's toddlers/preschoolers, their food foibles, the different discipline standards, wiping their bottoms. Also back in the day, any time one of the families was sick, it quickly spread to the rest of us... I'd say that some sort of disease blasted through our families about once every six weeks.

Under the current circumstances, I would not want to have other people's young kids in my home. We have elderly parents whom we don't want to endanger; also I have no desire to acquire a chronic disease. We live in a former Covid hotspot and among the literally HUNDREDS of people I know who have had it,  I do know a couple of people whose health is still broken four months later (including somebody in his 30s). Not to mention those who actually died.

I think that at least those who can afford to keep their kids home should do so, to make it safer for kids whose parents have no choice but to send them outside to school.

I just looked into our school's policy on home schooling because distance learning was such a chore last spring. We started out great in March with me teaching our kids stuff they enjoyed like calligraphy (to improve handwriting of fifth grader) and multiplication (for fast learning kindergartner), but once the school system pulled itself together and began pumping out worksheets, it got deadly boring and the kids tuned out. If I'm going to give all this one on one attention to the kids anyway, I may as well customize the lessons to their speed and interests.

Only thing is, for home schooling, they want us to submit a learning plan every quarter... not sure that I can be that organized ahead of time. I feel that if I knew what they were expected to know by the end of the year, I could hit the targets with only a couple hours of instruction a day. Then the kids could play and my husband and I could do our own work.

[edited because I wrote "distance learning" where I meant "home schooling"]
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 06:47:34 AM by Poundwise »

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #155 on: July 19, 2020, 03:31:16 AM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

Meh, easy to solve. 5 parents all take their <school age kids to one parents house, other parents help at school.

That's probably what we'll do if the need for subs is desperate. It's not what I'd prefer, but I'd rather step up than step back.

-W

I just looked into our school's policy on home schooling because distance learning was such a chore last spring. We started out great in March with me teaching our kids stuff they enjoyed like calligraphy (to improve handwriting of fifth grader) and multiplication (for fast learning kindergartner), but once the school system pulled itself together and began pumping out worksheets, it got deadly boring and the kids tuned out. If I'm going to give all this one on one attention to the kids anyway, I may as well customize the lessons to their speed and interests.

Only thing is, for distance learning, they want us to submit a learning plan every quarter... not sure that I can be that organized ahead of time. I feel that if I knew what they were expected to know by the end of the year, I could hit the targets with only a couple hours of instruction a day. Then the kids could play and my husband and I could do our own work.

This was basically our experience with homeschooling for several years. With only 1 or 2 kids you could pack in as much before lunch as they would get at a regular school going until mid-afternoon. Plus have plenty of breaks for them to run around outside. However, my wife did spend many many hours on curriculum and lesson plans and we changed course a couple of times over several years - finally settling on a classical curriculum.

I'm guessing you're in New York? As I recall it has some of the least homeschool friendly laws. Here in NM the only requirements are the parent/teacher has to have at least a high school education and you have to submit a very simple online form each year by August stating that you will be homeschooling your child. No requirement for submitting lesson plans, no standardized tests, etc.

https://hslda.org/legal It looks like NY and a few other states in the northeast have the most homeschool regulations.

LWYRUP

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #156 on: July 19, 2020, 06:20:47 AM »

I just found out that our county's schools will start closed (distance learning) but our kids' small parochial school might be open.  Most parents seem happy about that but my wife is super stressed out.  She's worried that we don't know much about the virus yet and there may be long term damage we can't predict.  But also maybe that it would harm our kids' development / make our kids outcasts if everyone goes back to school and we don't.  Our area is densely populated but not one of the areas that's spiking like crazy, but the fear is that we will have a spike in the fall when schools start. 

We're considering just doing homeschooling for a year.   Wife doesn't want to do the public school distance learning and then all of a sudden the kids are called in (big school, lots of kids, bus ride, so probably more dangerous than the smaller parochial school if it actually goes back).   Kids are 1st and Pre-K 4.  Wife is SAHM and we have a 1 year old too (which will make things challenging).  I am full time WFH; right now pretty much unable to help during working hours but free outside of about a standard 40-45 hours. 

I'm not that worried about the "outcast" thing, if the other families are that big of jerks we should just change schools / go public after pandemic is over.  But I am wondering if my wife will be putting an unnecessary burden on herself / deprive the kids of social development out of fear, or whether we should just be as prudent as possible if we have the money and time to do so.  (We do.  Even if I were fired tomorrow, I could probably freelance enough to pay most bills and we could just wait out this whole pandemic not interacting with anyone else with no ill effect other than delay to FIRE.)

Is anyone else considering just doing home schooling until we have more information?

Poundwise

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #157 on: July 19, 2020, 07:01:44 AM »
This was basically our experience with homeschooling for several years. With only 1 or 2 kids you could pack in as much before lunch as they would get at a regular school going until mid-afternoon. Plus have plenty of breaks for them to run around outside. However, my wife did spend many many hours on curriculum and lesson plans and we changed course a couple of times over several years - finally settling on a classical curriculum.

I'm guessing you're in New York? As I recall it has some of the least homeschool friendly laws. Here in NM the only requirements are the parent/teacher has to have at least a high school education and you have to submit a very simple online form each year by August stating that you will be homeschooling your child. No requirement for submitting lesson plans, no standardized tests, etc.

https://hslda.org/legal It looks like NY and a few other states in the northeast have the most homeschool regulations.

Yes, we're in New York. Thanks for the link!   I will look it over. I think the best of all worlds would be if we asked the schools if they would base grades/assessments not on daily assignments, but on how the kids hit targets at the end of distance learning.  Then my kids will be able to sit in on some Zoom calls just to connect a bit with their friends/teachers, but basically we would do our own thing.

I'm also going to ask if they would give us "to-go" packets of arts and crafts periodically.

StarBright

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #158 on: July 19, 2020, 07:06:44 AM »

Most parents seem happy about that but my wife is super stressed out.  She's worried that we don't know much about the virus yet and there may be long term damage we can't predict.  But also maybe that it would harm our kids' development / make our kids outcasts if everyone goes back to school and we don't. 

^This is exactly where I am. Our classes are just too big. The unknowns are massive. I'm hoping the huge upticks in child cases in Florida and Texas give us more data soon (though obviously I'd rather children not be sick).

Someone in another thread mentioned that there are concerns that covid may cause infertility.

We live in area with a lot of anti-mask protests and I am very stressed about sending my children into that. But my children desperately need social interaction. I am pretty mad at our leaders for putting us into this situation.

ysette9

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #159 on: July 19, 2020, 07:51:13 AM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

Meh, easy to solve. 5 parents all take their <school age kids to one parents house, other parents help at school.

That's probably what we'll do if the need for subs is desperate. It's not what I'd prefer, but I'd rather step up than step back.

-W
I think that presupposes a few things:
1) no younger siblings to also care for (Iíve got a toddler and a baby)
2) an adult has the skill set and temperament to homeschool five kids at once (I sure as hell donít)
3) youíve got a house large enough (many people in HCOL areas have families in 2-bed apartments with no outdoor space)

Some people in my sphere are trying to set up something like this to allow parents to get a little uninterrupted work time during the week, so I am sure this would work for some folks also. It just isnít necessarily a widely-applicable solution.

waltworks

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #160 on: July 19, 2020, 08:07:05 AM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

Meh, easy to solve. 5 parents all take their <school age kids to one parents house, other parents help at school.

That's probably what we'll do if the need for subs is desperate. It's not what I'd prefer, but I'd rather step up than step back.

-W
I think that presupposes a few things:
1) no younger siblings to also care for (Iíve got a toddler and a baby)
2) an adult has the skill set and temperament to homeschool five kids at once (I sure as hell donít)
3) youíve got a house large enough (many people in HCOL areas have families in 2-bed apartments with no outdoor space)

Some people in my sphere are trying to set up something like this to allow parents to get a little uninterrupted work time during the week, so I am sure this would work for some folks also. It just isnít necessarily a widely-applicable solution.

I'm not sure you understood me. My proposal had to do with backing up/substituting for teachers who are sick or vulnerable, for SAHPs. Not homeschooling anyone.

Essentially this would mean (for my family) finding someone to watch the baby so we could go sub at school. Luckily we have many friends that could do that if the stakes were high enough, and since we all know they are, there you go.

-W

startingsmall

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #161 on: July 19, 2020, 08:42:07 AM »

I just found out that our county's schools will start closed (distance learning) but our kids' small parochial school might be open.  Most parents seem happy about that but my wife is super stressed out.  She's worried that we don't know much about the virus yet and there may be long term damage we can't predict.  But also maybe that it would harm our kids' development / make our kids outcasts if everyone goes back to school and we don't.  Our area is densely populated but not one of the areas that's spiking like crazy, but the fear is that we will have a spike in the fall when schools start. 

We're considering just doing homeschooling for a year.   Wife doesn't want to do the public school distance learning and then all of a sudden the kids are called in (big school, lots of kids, bus ride, so probably more dangerous than the smaller parochial school if it actually goes back).   Kids are 1st and Pre-K 4.  Wife is SAHM and we have a 1 year old too (which will make things challenging).  I am full time WFH; right now pretty much unable to help during working hours but free outside of about a standard 40-45 hours. 

I'm not that worried about the "outcast" thing, if the other families are that big of jerks we should just change schools / go public after pandemic is over.  But I am wondering if my wife will be putting an unnecessary burden on herself / deprive the kids of social development out of fear, or whether we should just be as prudent as possible if we have the money and time to do so.  (We do.  Even if I were fired tomorrow, I could probably freelance enough to pay most bills and we could just wait out this whole pandemic not interacting with anyone else with no ill effect other than delay to FIRE.)

Is anyone else considering just doing home schooling until we have more information?

We are. I only work away from home one day per week (which I can quit if necessary) and freelance from home the rest of the time.... so we're keeping our daughter home from school and I'll do most of her schooling. We're currently planning to try out the public school's distance learning plan, but I've been researching homeschooling curricula and we'll pull her if the distance learning is as bad as it was in the spring.

Our public schools are doing a hybrid plan for "in person" schooling: 2 days in school, 3 days of distance. Between the potential risk to the kids and the instability that will result if there are changes over the course of the year (everyone home for an outbreak, then the hybrid kids back in when it dies down, then maybe back home, etc etc.), sending her to school seems like a terrible idea. Plus, I figure that if everyone who CAN keep their kid at home DOES keep their kid at home, it makes things safer for the kids whose parents can't keep them home full-time as easily.

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #162 on: July 19, 2020, 08:55:04 AM »

I just found out that our county's schools will start closed (distance learning) but our kids' small parochial school might be open.  Most parents seem happy about that but my wife is super stressed out.  She's worried that we don't know much about the virus yet and there may be long term damage we can't predict.  But also maybe that it would harm our kids' development / make our kids outcasts if everyone goes back to school and we don't.  Our area is densely populated but not one of the areas that's spiking like crazy, but the fear is that we will have a spike in the fall when schools start. 

We're considering just doing homeschooling for a year.   Wife doesn't want to do the public school distance learning and then all of a sudden the kids are called in (big school, lots of kids, bus ride, so probably more dangerous than the smaller parochial school if it actually goes back).   Kids are 1st and Pre-K 4.  Wife is SAHM and we have a 1 year old too (which will make things challenging).  I am full time WFH; right now pretty much unable to help during working hours but free outside of about a standard 40-45 hours. 

I'm not that worried about the "outcast" thing, if the other families are that big of jerks we should just change schools / go public after pandemic is over.  But I am wondering if my wife will be putting an unnecessary burden on herself / deprive the kids of social development out of fear, or whether we should just be as prudent as possible if we have the money and time to do so.  (We do.  Even if I were fired tomorrow, I could probably freelance enough to pay most bills and we could just wait out this whole pandemic not interacting with anyone else with no ill effect other than delay to FIRE.)

Is anyone else considering just doing home schooling until we have more information?

We are. I only work away from home one day per week (which I can quit if necessary) and freelance from home the rest of the time.... so we're keeping our daughter home from school and I'll do most of her schooling. We're currently planning to try out the public school's distance learning plan, but I've been researching homeschooling curricula and we'll pull her if the distance learning is as bad as it was in the spring.

Our public schools are doing a hybrid plan for "in person" schooling: 2 days in school, 3 days of distance. Between the potential risk to the kids and the instability that will result if there are changes over the course of the year (everyone home for an outbreak, then the hybrid kids back in when it dies down, then maybe back home, etc etc.), sending her to school seems like a terrible idea. Plus, I figure that if everyone who CAN keep their kid at home DOES keep their kid at home, it makes things safer for the kids whose parents can't keep them home full-time as easily.
This is exactly how I feel. My husband and I can keep them home, so we will. Others are not so lucky.

I agreed to the virtual program for our district, although my husband just said that if it's just sitting in front of a screen all day, he'll want to pursue homeschooling. Not something I was ever planning on doing (we moved to this hcol bc of the schools, dammit!).

I just started rebuilding my career after having the 3 kids and was starting to look at full time jobs (also out of panic for health insurance if the ACA goes away). I've been freelancing for years part time, so I'll just have to work around the school schedule. I wouldn't take an in office position right now anyways.

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brandon1827

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #163 on: July 20, 2020, 08:25:53 AM »

I just found out that our county's schools will start closed (distance learning) but our kids' small parochial school might be open.  Most parents seem happy about that but my wife is super stressed out.  She's worried that we don't know much about the virus yet and there may be long term damage we can't predict.  But also maybe that it would harm our kids' development / make our kids outcasts if everyone goes back to school and we don't.  Our area is densely populated but not one of the areas that's spiking like crazy, but the fear is that we will have a spike in the fall when schools start. 

We're considering just doing homeschooling for a year.   Wife doesn't want to do the public school distance learning and then all of a sudden the kids are called in (big school, lots of kids, bus ride, so probably more dangerous than the smaller parochial school if it actually goes back).   Kids are 1st and Pre-K 4.  Wife is SAHM and we have a 1 year old too (which will make things challenging).  I am full time WFH; right now pretty much unable to help during working hours but free outside of about a standard 40-45 hours. 

I'm not that worried about the "outcast" thing, if the other families are that big of jerks we should just change schools / go public after pandemic is over.  But I am wondering if my wife will be putting an unnecessary burden on herself / deprive the kids of social development out of fear, or whether we should just be as prudent as possible if we have the money and time to do so.  (We do.  Even if I were fired tomorrow, I could probably freelance enough to pay most bills and we could just wait out this whole pandemic not interacting with anyone else with no ill effect other than delay to FIRE.)

Is anyone else considering just doing home schooling until we have more information?

We are. I only work away from home one day per week (which I can quit if necessary) and freelance from home the rest of the time.... so we're keeping our daughter home from school and I'll do most of her schooling. We're currently planning to try out the public school's distance learning plan, but I've been researching homeschooling curricula and we'll pull her if the distance learning is as bad as it was in the spring.

Our public schools are doing a hybrid plan for "in person" schooling: 2 days in school, 3 days of distance. Between the potential risk to the kids and the instability that will result if there are changes over the course of the year (everyone home for an outbreak, then the hybrid kids back in when it dies down, then maybe back home, etc etc.), sending her to school seems like a terrible idea. Plus, I figure that if everyone who CAN keep their kid at home DOES keep their kid at home, it makes things safer for the kids whose parents can't keep them home full-time as easily.
This is exactly how I feel. My husband and I can keep them home, so we will. Others are not so lucky.

I agreed to the virtual program for our district, although my husband just said that if it's just sitting in front of a screen all day, he'll want to pursue homeschooling. Not something I was ever planning on doing (we moved to this hcol bc of the schools, dammit!).

I just started rebuilding my career after having the 3 kids and was starting to look at full time jobs (also out of panic for health insurance if the ACA goes away). I've been freelancing for years part time, so I'll just have to work around the school schedule. I wouldn't take an in office position right now anyways.

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

We are also keeping our 5th grader at home. The school system is providing a device and hotspot for any families that need it. We live in an area that isn't currently served by any of the major internet service providers, so we will be taking them up on the offer for hardware. My wife is planning to take off 2 afternoons per week, and I will take one afternoon per week, and use that time to help our son navigate the remote learning curriculum. It's going to be difficult, but the peace of mind knowing he won't be exposed is enough to make it work. Plus, like others, we figure since we can keep him home, that will help those who have no choice but to send their kids to in-person classes. I think the data I saw locally was that around 60% were sending kids to in-person school and 40% were keeping their kids home. Hopefully that will be a good enough balance to help everyone get through this until a vaccine is available.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 02:46:23 PM by brandon1827 »

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #164 on: July 20, 2020, 02:44:21 PM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

We just finished doing a couple months of pretty half assed distance ed + twoparents WFH with a single 6 year old child who is very smart and able to work better than the average kid with little instruction . . . and even that was a huge work disruption every single day.  Basically, every day was 12 - 16 hours working/educating.  That's not going to be something we even try to do in September . . . it's just not sustainable and is way too stressful.
Yup...I just don't know what it's going to look like.  Although today (no school), not so bad because I'm locked out of the vpn...

Quote
Although, from a development/safety perspective, having a revolving door of new adults coming and going in schools as people get sick or quarantined, people get other jobs, class sizes change and move from 2 to 3 to 5 days, could lead to more and different negative outcomes.  Uncertainty, fear, and regular change are not good for promoting resiliency or healthy development.

When my son was in 3rd grade, one of the teachers (not his) went out on mat leave.  Now, you'd think the district could have assigned a permanent sub for this.  Because you know, this is known in advance.  They didn't.  It was a hot mess.  A revolving door all year of new  subs.  Those kids came out of 3rd grade not knowing their times tables...

ysette9

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #165 on: July 20, 2020, 03:50:30 PM »
When my son was in 3rd grade, one of the teachers (not his) went out on mat leave.  Now, you'd think the district could have assigned a permanent sub for this.  Because you know, this is known in advance.  They didn't.  It was a hot mess.  A revolving door all year of new  subs.  Those kids came out of 3rd grade not knowing their times tables...
I distinctly remember being in 5th grade and not knowing all of my times tables. 7s and 8s seemed designed by the devil to be impossible to remember.

Sugaree

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #166 on: July 21, 2020, 06:23:19 AM »
Speaking from my own personal experience, SAHP are busy from sun up to sun down taking care of kids. Iíd enjoy the break that a job would bring. But canít do that because someone has to watch the kids. I think we have millions of people in the same pickle right now.

We just finished doing a couple months of pretty half assed distance ed + twoparents WFH with a single 6 year old child who is very smart and able to work better than the average kid with little instruction . . . and even that was a huge work disruption every single day.  Basically, every day was 12 - 16 hours working/educating.  That's not going to be something we even try to do in September . . . it's just not sustainable and is way too stressful.
Yup...I just don't know what it's going to look like.  Although today (no school), not so bad because I'm locked out of the vpn...

Quote
Although, from a development/safety perspective, having a revolving door of new adults coming and going in schools as people get sick or quarantined, people get other jobs, class sizes change and move from 2 to 3 to 5 days, could lead to more and different negative outcomes.  Uncertainty, fear, and regular change are not good for promoting resiliency or healthy development.

When my son was in 3rd grade, one of the teachers (not his) went out on mat leave.  Now, you'd think the district could have assigned a permanent sub for this.  Because you know, this is known in advance.  They didn't.  It was a hot mess.  A revolving door all year of new  subs.  Those kids came out of 3rd grade not knowing their times tables...

My son's Pre-K teacher went out on maternity leave in February of that school year.  They had two different subs who split the week because they couldn't/didn't want to pay either one of them for being full time.

MissPeach

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #167 on: July 24, 2020, 10:45:12 AM »
Kiddo goes to a charter school but they are following the lead of the major public school district in the area. I expect the private schools to do the same. It's partially a liability thing on top of a health thing I would imagine.

With younger kiddos there is something about the peer pressure that gets kids to pay attention and follow the rules so much better at school than at home. I remember in the preschool years stopping mid day and seeming 20 kids asleep. I have so much trouble getting one down! I can't imagine that working for distance learning.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #168 on: July 24, 2020, 03:33:56 PM »
I've just started the process to enroll my two oldest in an actual online school. I believe that online learning is not as good as in-person, but also that an online-only school probably can do a better job of teaching online than a regular public school. I've experienced what the local schools here are capable of providing online and...underwhelmed does not even begin. More time was spent trying to figure out what was supposed to be done, how it was supposed to be done, and trying to actually get to it (many "assignments" were just videos telling you how to login to a completely different site, and if that was down or not working quite right...). Many youtube videos said they couldn't load because they were restricted (probably something like not being allowed to be embedded, I dunno, but the best a particular teacher could offer was "well it's not required for that specific assignment"). It's just...ugh.

Youngest is too young for the online school, so we'll probably sign him up for an umbrella school just to get around the insane requirements for "real" homeschooling. My mom is a retired teacher, so we're lucky in that regard.

marbles4

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #169 on: July 24, 2020, 03:41:39 PM »
Can you expand on this "umbrella school"?

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #170 on: July 24, 2020, 04:24:26 PM »
Can you expand on this "umbrella school"?

It's technically a private school, and you're a satellite location of that school. So, it puts an umbrella over you. You're not homeschooling your children; your children are enrolled in a school, and you're teaching your children on the school's behalf.

I think they're generally religious based, though there may be exceptions. Some require there to be religious instruction (how it'd be enforced, don't ask me), but others don't care. The one I've used in the past is Home Life Academy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #171 on: July 25, 2020, 12:32:51 PM »
Can you expand on this "umbrella school"?

A school run by the umbrella corporation.  They promise this time there will be no zombies and I, for one, think we can take them at their word on this.

TheFrenchCat

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #172 on: July 29, 2020, 08:24:53 AM »
The closer we get to school opening the more nervous I get.  Our county is doing pretty good with the virus (holding steady at about 3 cases per 100,000 a day) and surrounding counties are similar or better.  Our daughter's school is planning to open 5 days a week with lots of precautions outlined (masking, distancing, cleaning), but I don't know how well they'll hold especially for kindergartners.  They're also going to have a "Virtual Academy" which they're going to send out more information on in the next week.  I didn't do a good job of following the activities that her preschool sent us this spring, but I'm hoping this time will be more structured, which might make it easier.  I worry about her being socially isolated from kids her own age and she was really excited to go, but I just am worried it's not worth the risk.  I'm not too worried about her academically, even if she basically misses this year, since she's on the young side for kindergarten.  I wish I could just trust that since the government says we can reopen schools that it's safe, but I'm just not sure.  I just want to do what's best for her and our community and it feels so hard to know what that is. 

appleseed

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #173 on: July 29, 2020, 08:44:24 AM »
We just got our plans for the fall. The virtual academy is intended to mimic the 5 hours in school. It's so much screen time. My husband is already pushing removing the kids from the district and homeschooling. I'm on the side of trying it and seeing how much work it actually is before we bail. We have a 1st grader and 4th grader. If we lose the busy work part of the school day, I could see them completing the requirements in fewer hours and not being tied to a screen all day.

Our district held a town hall call yesterday that I missed, but a friend said a parent asked about disclosure if someone tested positive for Covid19. The district plans to only disclose if the other person has been 6 ft or less from your child. Which confirms we are making the correct decision not to send them back in. It's ludicrous. So kid A has Covid and was 6 ft from kid B and kid B was 6 ft from my kid, but I am not given a heads up? Plus the 6ft thing is highly dependent on the sick person wearing a mask, washing hands, airflow in the room, and limiting exposure (not being in a room all day).

Ugh. This whole thing sucks all around.

Someone recommended kids fire tablets - did anyone use those for virtual schooling? I'm curious if they'll work with Schoology, zoom, and Microsoft teams before I buy.

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chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #174 on: July 29, 2020, 09:47:42 AM »
About two weeks ago, our district formally outlined its plans:

Option 1 - In person

Under this option, students would attend school during normal hours assuming our county stays in (PA) the 'green' or 'yellow' phase. Under normal circumstances, classrooms will be organized so that 6' is between students. All students must wear a mask unless 6' away and stationary and/or eating. Other precautions such as bus seating, etc. will be followed. If our county goes to 'red' or 'lockdown', or if there's an outbreak in the school (not just one case) all in-person students will learn virtually - each student will be provided a relevant device (depending on grade level) and will be online with their teacher and classmates during normal school hours. Parents will only have to provide internet and will have to collect meals if they require them.

Option 2 - Virtual

Selecting this option, students will be 100% virtual the entire semester, taught by a 3rd party that's occasionally audited by the district. They will video chat with their teacher once and will never meet the other students, most of whom will be from the Northeast. There is no guarantee their teacher even lives in PA. They will be assigned roughly 2-5 hours of online and offline work a day that has to be 100% supervised by parents. Devices and meals will be provided by the district. If students select this option, they cannot elect to go into the classroom mid-year.

Option 3 - You're on your own (aka Homeschool, here's all the stuff you need to inform the state).

So it's a no-brainer which option we chose. My wife was growing to be more on the fence  about the whole thing until we really talked through what Option 2 would mean for our Kindergartner - we would have to entirely supervise his every move since he really can't read or write yet and our middle son is currently about to be a threenager and is beating the shit out of our oldest right now. 100% chance the device the school provides would be broken within a week. I think the worst part about our virtual option would be that there's no classroom, teacher, or classmates at all for him. It's essentially a cyber charter school but with more work for the parent.

Yesterday, we had a follow up virtual doctor's appointment with the pulmonologist (the chief pulmonologist for the 4th best hospital in the state) for our middle son's asthma and narrowed airway, and at the end of the appointment he (out of curiosity) asked what we're planning on doing for school. He told us that he would be sending his son to kindergarten in-person as well, primarily because socialization (even in its neutered form currently) is so vitally important for kid's development at this age.

I don't name-drop to try to invalidate anyone's concerns, just that it was the biggest sigh of relief for my wife to hear that a medical professional who has been dealing with respiratory illness his whole career feels so strongly about in-person school. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 09:50:05 AM by chemistk »

Laserjet3051

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #175 on: July 29, 2020, 10:26:13 AM »
About two weeks ago, our district formally outlined its plans:

Option 1 - In person

Under this option, students would attend school during normal ho4urs assuming our county stays in (PA) the 'green' or 'yellow' phase. Under normal circumstances, classrooms will be organized so that 6' is between students. All students must wear a mask unless 6' away and stationary and/or eating. Other precautions such as bus seating, etc. will be followed. If our county goes to 'red' or 'lockdown', or if there's an outbreak in the school (not just one case) all in-person students will learn virtually - each student will be provided a relevant device (depending on grade level) and will be online with their teacher and classmates during normal school hours. Parents will only have to provide internet and will have to collect meals if they require them.

Option 2 - Virtual

Selecting this option, students will be 100% virtual the entire semester, taught by a 3rd party that's occasionally audited by the district. They will video chat with their teacher once and will never meet the other students, most of whom will be from the Northeast. There is no guarantee their teacher even lives in PA. They will be assigned roughly 2-5 hours of online and offline work a day that has to be 100% supervised by parents. Devices and meals will be provided by the district. If students select this option, they cannot elect to go into the classroom mid-year.

Option 3 - You're on your own (aka Homeschool, here's all the stuff you need to inform the state).

So it's a no-brainer which option we chose. My wife was growing to be more on the fence  about the whole thing until we really talked through what Option 2 would mean for our Kindergartner - we would have to entirely supervise his every move since he really can't read or write yet and our middle son is currently about to be a threenager and is beating the shit out of our oldest right now. 100% chance the device the school provides would be broken within a week. I think the worst part about our virtual option would be that there's no classroom, teacher, or classmates at all for him. It's essentially a cyber charter school but with more work for the parent.

Yesterday, we had a follow up virtual doctor's appointment with the pulmonologist (the chief pulmonologist for the 4th best hospital in the state) for our middle son's asthma and narrowed airway, and at the end of the appointment he (out of curiosity) asked what we're planning on doing for school. He told us that he would be sending his son to kindergarten in-person as well, primarily because socialization (even in its neutered form currently) is so vitally important for kid's development at this age.

I don't name-drop to try to invalidate anyone's concerns, just that it was the biggest sigh of relief for my wife to hear that a medical professional who has been dealing with respiratory illness his whole career feels so strongly about in-person school.

How did the school district address feasibility of option 2 (virtual) where both parents work (out of the home every day)? FWIW, if given the option, we will send our daughter to in person school in sept, she has infrequent asthma, and i am a medical scientist who works with, and understands, infectious viruses.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #176 on: July 29, 2020, 10:38:36 AM »
We are at 3 per 100k in my area, so doing ok. But looks like our district is trying to do 2 days in person and 3 days remote learning. I was hoping for more in school days for my kids since neither of us have a wfh option currently.  I understand a cautious opening though.

Private schools are on a tear because they're all promising normal school hours.

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #177 on: July 29, 2020, 12:28:52 PM »
The closer we get to school opening the more nervous I get.  Our county is doing pretty good with the virus (holding steady at about 3 cases per 100,000 a day) and surrounding counties are similar or better.  Our daughter's school is planning to open 5 days a week with lots of precautions outlined (masking, distancing, cleaning), but I don't know how well they'll hold especially for kindergartners.  They're also going to have a "Virtual Academy" which they're going to send out more information on in the next week.  I didn't do a good job of following the activities that her preschool sent us this spring, but I'm hoping this time will be more structured, which might make it easier.  I worry about her being socially isolated from kids her own age and she was really excited to go, but I just am worried it's not worth the risk.  I'm not too worried about her academically, even if she basically misses this year, since she's on the young side for kindergarten.  I wish I could just trust that since the government says we can reopen schools that it's safe, but I'm just not sure.  I just want to do what's best for her and our community and it feels so hard to know what that is.
This is interesting.  3 per day is a 14-day case rate of 42 per 100,000.

My state (CA) requires the county to be <25 for 14 days straight before you can go back to in person school

(Or <100 with new case positive rate at <8%, which is an easier metric I think).

Our county case rate is >300 (14 days per 100,000)

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #178 on: July 29, 2020, 12:30:46 PM »
About two weeks ago, our district formally outlined its plans:

Option 1 - In person

Under this option, students would attend school during normal ho4urs assuming our county stays in (PA) the 'green' or 'yellow' phase. Under normal circumstances, classrooms will be organized so that 6' is between students. All students must wear a mask unless 6' away and stationary and/or eating. Other precautions such as bus seating, etc. will be followed. If our county goes to 'red' or 'lockdown', or if there's an outbreak in the school (not just one case) all in-person students will learn virtually - each student will be provided a relevant device (depending on grade level) and will be online with their teacher and classmates during normal school hours. Parents will only have to provide internet and will have to collect meals if they require them.

Option 2 - Virtual

Selecting this option, students will be 100% virtual the entire semester, taught by a 3rd party that's occasionally audited by the district. They will video chat with their teacher once and will never meet the other students, most of whom will be from the Northeast. There is no guarantee their teacher even lives in PA. They will be assigned roughly 2-5 hours of online and offline work a day that has to be 100% supervised by parents. Devices and meals will be provided by the district. If students select this option, they cannot elect to go into the classroom mid-year.

Option 3 - You're on your own (aka Homeschool, here's all the stuff you need to inform the state).

So it's a no-brainer which option we chose. My wife was growing to be more on the fence  about the whole thing until we really talked through what Option 2 would mean for our Kindergartner - we would have to entirely supervise his every move since he really can't read or write yet and our middle son is currently about to be a threenager and is beating the shit out of our oldest right now. 100% chance the device the school provides would be broken within a week. I think the worst part about our virtual option would be that there's no classroom, teacher, or classmates at all for him. It's essentially a cyber charter school but with more work for the parent.

Yesterday, we had a follow up virtual doctor's appointment with the pulmonologist (the chief pulmonologist for the 4th best hospital in the state) for our middle son's asthma and narrowed airway, and at the end of the appointment he (out of curiosity) asked what we're planning on doing for school. He told us that he would be sending his son to kindergarten in-person as well, primarily because socialization (even in its neutered form currently) is so vitally important for kid's development at this age.

I don't name-drop to try to invalidate anyone's concerns, just that it was the biggest sigh of relief for my wife to hear that a medical professional who has been dealing with respiratory illness his whole career feels so strongly about in-person school.

How did the school district address feasibility of option 2 (virtual) where both parents work (out of the home every day)? FWIW, if given the option, we will send our daughter to in person school in sept, she has infrequent asthma, and i am a medical scientist who works with, and understands, infectious viruses.

Option 2 is not on a set schedule. Students (well, mostly parents at the K level), from what I understand, log in daily and are required to do both online and offline work. It can be accomplished at any point during the day since you are only in a virtual classroom. Blegh.

I will add to my post that the one thing which discourages me about Option 1 for our district is that if we were to go back to lockdown, students would be expected to be online for the full day. For older students, this isn't so much of an issue but for K-1 or 2, having those kids in front of the screen all day isn't going to work very well - especially to your (and my previously in this thread) question of how it's expected that parents who can't WFH can supervise the learning.

I also appreciate you highlighting your credentials - this is a difficult time for any parent, and there have been plenty of people here and elsewhere citing advice and anecdotes from medical and education professionals stating that those professionals won't be sending their kids to in-person school. I don't mean to start an argument over whose opinion holds more sway, instead I want to thank you for letting others know that there are those who are well aware of the ins and outs of this disease (and other diseases) who believe in-person school is still important. Not necessarily for all grades and families but at least for those that would benefit the most.

Allie

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #179 on: July 29, 2020, 12:52:46 PM »
As I mentioned earlier, we chose to pull and homeschool at the end of last school year.  To be fair, this is a choice weíd been considering even before the virus, so it works with our family.  We have been enrolled in a charter (which is available through our district but obviously homeschool options and structure vary greatly by state) and procured all of our supplies back in May/June, chose curriculum, and just kinda jumped in.

For everyone who is posting that you will want to wait and see what happens and that homeschooling is a possibility, please be aware that there are TONS of families who are finding out what their district plans, having a moment of panic, and pulling their kids!  Iím not saying this because I think you should, too.  But, homeschool supports are filling up and, more importantly, companies that provide homeschool materials are now back ordering and pushing out delivery dates. 

Iíve had a few friends concerned that Homeschool is ďstartingĒ (in quotes cause homeschool starts when you want it to start) and they donít have materials or canít get what they want in time.  People call me (and they should not cause Iím a total newbie) to ask questions and then the places I send them for more information are no longer available because they are full! 

 So, please, if you think this is something you may do, research what Is available in your state, what curriculums you think may work best, and what you would want it to look like now.  Iím all about being prepared and home school (not some weird computer based zoom school provided by your regular school) takes some time and energy to get prepared for...even more than it normally would due to the overwhelming demand.

I just want to put that out there so no one puts their kids in school or virtual school, decides itís not for the best, and wants to homeschool only to have difficulty finding materials or navigating the system!

Also, as an actual to goodness professional who has spent years studying and working and specializes in child development/dysfunction/trauma, there is *nothing* that regular school provides in terms of socialization that will cause most children who are not sent to regular school to fall behind developmentally.  The exceptions being kids who have actual issues and are provided professional supports for social and emotional reasons by the school and kids who are pulled from school to be placed in isolated and neglectful circumstances.  In fact, there is some evidence that kids who are homeschooled and/or placed in settings that are more varied (classes with varying ages) fare better, long term. 

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #180 on: July 29, 2020, 01:46:12 PM »
Are many people on this thread really considering homeschooling?  I'd have to quit my job or hire someone else to conduct the homeschooling. So I'm surprised that tons of families are going to suddenly decide to homeschool right before school starts.

appleseed

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #181 on: July 29, 2020, 01:54:10 PM »
Are many people on this thread really considering homeschooling?  I'd have to quit my job or hire someone else to conduct the homeschooling. So I'm surprised that tons of families are going to suddenly decide to homeschool right before school starts.
We would consider it, but we both work remotely now anyways (and I'm part time). Only if the virtual academy offered by the district became more trouble then it was worth or harmful for the kids would I really consider it. My oldest was already interested in homeschooling (absolutely hates the waiting parts of school and busywork) but I'm not interested in running a homeschool. 

We have neighbors who homeschool, so I'm not worried about ordering anything at this point. My brother-in-law is a teacher and creating resources for his kids, and we could probably tap into those, too.

It's hard on every one making decisions with such little information and all these things can change so quickly (especially if all schools have to close because of an outbreak).

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Allie

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #182 on: July 29, 2020, 02:44:06 PM »
Are many people on this thread really considering homeschooling?  I'd have to quit my job or hire someone else to conduct the homeschooling. So I'm surprised that tons of families are going to suddenly decide to homeschool right before school starts.

In our district, homeschool would be far more flexible than the virtual school that would be provided and far less screen time.  I know lots of friends who have homeschooling for a year as an idea if virtual school doesnít work for their more kinetic, hands on learners.  Since it doesnít have to be done during school hours and only really requires a couple hours a day, it isnít as much of a time suck as people imagine.  In our district, the part time class option would require kids to be present for live zooms or turn in assignments at certain times...for homeschool it can be done whenever I want it to be. 

Iím a part time worker, primarily stay at home parent.  Which is why this was an easy decision for us.  Would I ever want to deal with any of this and two full time jobs!  Absolutely not.  Itís an impossible ask no matter which choice you go with.

charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #183 on: July 29, 2020, 07:35:03 PM »
Are many people on this thread really considering homeschooling?  I'd have to quit my job or hire someone else to conduct the homeschooling. So I'm surprised that tons of families are going to suddenly decide to homeschool right before school starts.

In our district, homeschool would be far more flexible than the virtual school that would be provided and far less screen time.  I know lots of friends who have homeschooling for a year as an idea if virtual school doesnít work for their more kinetic, hands on learners.  Since it doesnít have to be done during school hours and only really requires a couple hours a day, it isnít as much of a time suck as people imagine.  In our district, the part time class option would require kids to be present for live zooms or turn in assignments at certain times...for homeschool it can be done whenever I want it to be. 

Iím a part time worker, primarily stay at home parent.  Which is why this was an easy decision for us.  Would I ever want to deal with any of this and two full time jobs!  Absolutely not.  Itís an impossible ask no matter which choice you go with.

Ah, we aren't required to do all virtual school here, and even when we did it in the spring, you could choose some to no screen time.  We did some, by necessity to get work done. The most common set up will be a hybrid week with some days in school and some remote days. We'll likely have to hire someone on the off days.  Apparently we are in the minority on this forum with two working out of the home parents. I would love to homeschool at this point, but this is the situation.

Psychstache

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #184 on: July 30, 2020, 09:18:25 AM »
Are many people on this thread really considering homeschooling?  I'd have to quit my job or hire someone else to conduct the homeschooling. So I'm surprised that tons of families are going to suddenly decide to homeschool right before school starts.

In our district, homeschool would be far more flexible than the virtual school that would be provided and far less screen time.  I know lots of friends who have homeschooling for a year as an idea if virtual school doesnít work for their more kinetic, hands on learners.  Since it doesnít have to be done during school hours and only really requires a couple hours a day, it isnít as much of a time suck as people imagine.  In our district, the part time class option would require kids to be present for live zooms or turn in assignments at certain times...for homeschool it can be done whenever I want it to be. 

Iím a part time worker, primarily stay at home parent.  Which is why this was an easy decision for us.  Would I ever want to deal with any of this and two full time jobs!  Absolutely not.  Itís an impossible ask no matter which choice you go with.

Ah, we aren't required to do all virtual school here, and even when we did it in the spring, you could choose some to no screen time.  We did some, by necessity to get work done. The most common set up will be a hybrid week with some days in school and some remote days. We'll likely have to hire someone on the off days.  Apparently we are in the minority on this forum with two working out of the home parents. I would love to homeschool at this point, but this is the situation.

There's also a lot of selection bias on who clicks on and contributes to a thread. The majority of respondents are people with young children who would need a lot of support with actually accomplishing something digitally. My wife is a HS teacher and many of her students and families are fine with virtual learning and leaving the student home alone to do so while they both go work.

StarBright

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #185 on: July 30, 2020, 10:36:42 AM »

There's also a lot of selection bias on who clicks on and contributes to a thread. The majority of respondents are people with young children who would need a lot of support with actually accomplishing something digitally. My wife is a HS teacher and many of her students and families are fine with virtual learning and leaving the student home alone to do so while they both go work.

This seems to be the group with the biggest concern in my school district as well (our family included) - the local FB group regarding fall schooling has about 200 parents of K-3rd graders and 50 parents of all the other grades combined. I understand why they've given us the options they have, but each option is sub-par enough that it is really hard to make a decision.

At the elementary level we have basically been offered full time (4 days), full classes, no masks (age 9 and younger), best effort social distancing or subbing out to a virtual charter which is an entirely computerized program with no actual adult interaction and a heavy "parent led" component.  They have committed to shutting the schools down and going teacher-led virtual if our county reaches the highest warning level but you only get that if you are sending them to school in the first place.

They also haven't yet answered questions to how choosing the virtual program works with IEPs, 504s, and Gifted.  We have to give the school our answer by August 1 and are still waiting on answers to things that impact our family.

The COVID numbers are creeping up in our county and at the HS level they've had to pause athletic practices twice this month because of positive COVID tests. I wish they would push our start back a bit or something. I know there are no perfect solutions but all of our choices feel particularly crappy.


charis

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #186 on: July 30, 2020, 11:15:08 AM »
Agreed. If you have children that can't legally be left alone (nevermind whether it's appropriate or if they will will even engage in remote learning if left alone), none of those options will work unless there is a parent at home. 

And younger students on a hybrid schedule will still have to go to daycare, babysitters, or be watched by probably more vulnerable family members such as grandparents on their non-school days.

 It really doesn't seem anymore more beneficial to reducing the spread than having elementary students in the same class group on a daily basis, including to the teachers who are exposed two or more groups of students who moving about the community on off days. 


chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #187 on: July 30, 2020, 11:29:56 AM »

There's also a lot of selection bias on who clicks on and contributes to a thread. The majority of respondents are people with young children who would need a lot of support with actually accomplishing something digitally. My wife is a HS teacher and many of her students and families are fine with virtual learning and leaving the student home alone to do so while they both go work.

This seems to be the group with the biggest concern in my school district as well (our family included) - the local FB group regarding fall schooling has about 200 parents of K-3rd graders and 50 parents of all the other grades combined. I understand why they've given us the options they have, but each option is sub-par enough that it is really hard to make a decision.

At the elementary level we have basically been offered full time (4 days), full classes, no masks (age 9 and younger), best effort social distancing or subbing out to a virtual charter which is an entirely computerized program with no actual adult interaction and a heavy "parent led" component.  They have committed to shutting the schools down and going teacher-led virtual if our county reaches the highest warning level but you only get that if you are sending them to school in the first place.

They also haven't yet answered questions to how choosing the virtual program works with IEPs, 504s, and Gifted.  We have to give the school our answer by August 1 and are still waiting on answers to things that impact our family.

The COVID numbers are creeping up in our county and at the HS level they've had to pause athletic practices twice this month because of positive COVID tests. I wish they would push our start back a bit or something. I know there are no perfect solutions but all of our choices feel particularly crappy.

Your whole post sounds exactly how our experience has been. I think the last part is something I've failed to express more here, but I really wish school weren't starting so soon. I get that there's whole industries that revolve around school start dates and logistically, pushing school back to October would be tricky, but I think it would give parents and districts 4 or 5 more precious weeks of being able to figure out what to do.

meerkat

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #188 on: July 30, 2020, 12:41:56 PM »
pushing school back to October would be tricky, but I think it would give parents and districts 4 or 5 more precious weeks of being able to figure out what to do.

At this point, in my state (Florida) I feel like pushing the start date back will accomplish absolutely nothing. The population has shown through their actions over the summer, generally, Floridians feel that personal freedom to not wear masks is more important than everyone sacrificing a little bit for a few weeks to get infection numbers down. I'm nostalgic for what our numbers looked like in May, in April, in freaking March when schools were closed in the first place. Four or five weeks is not going to improve things here, unfortunately. It won't magically provide technology and internet access for students that don't have it (or at least not any better than the district is already trying to accommodate with the resources they are already able to provide to students). It won't help teachers in my area that are being asked to teach students in brick and mortar classrooms and digitally at the same time. I thought there were going to be two groups of teachers, some teaching in classrooms and others teaching online classes, but a meeting earlier this week made it clear that they will be expected to manage both at the same time.

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #189 on: July 30, 2020, 06:08:16 PM »
Are many people on this thread really considering homeschooling?  I'd have to quit my job or hire someone else to conduct the homeschooling. So I'm surprised that tons of families are going to suddenly decide to homeschool right before school starts.
I'm not, but I'm not sure what virtual learning is going to look like. 

They haven't announced, but it sounds like children will be expected to get active teaching for 230 minutes a day.  That's nearly 4 hours on a screen.

I have an 8 yo in 3rd grade.  He CANNOT be on a screen, by himself, for 4 hours.  Most children 3rd and under cannot do this.  That means one of us needs to sit with him, and then add it homework.  Honestly, if this is the case, homeschooling would take LESS of our time, and then he can just play/ watch TV/ do whatever the rest of the time.

(We both work FT, currently from home.)

mm1970

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #190 on: July 30, 2020, 06:14:55 PM »
Agreed. If you have children that can't legally be left alone (nevermind whether it's appropriate or if they will will even engage in remote learning if left alone), none of those options will work unless there is a parent at home. 

And younger students on a hybrid schedule will still have to go to daycare, babysitters, or be watched by probably more vulnerable family members such as grandparents on their non-school days.

 It really doesn't seem anymore more beneficial to reducing the spread than having elementary students in the same class group on a daily basis, including to the teachers who are exposed two or more groups of students who moving about the community on off days.
It really depends on how the school district handles it.

On a hybrid schedule vs full time, for example:  my 3rd grader would be in a classroom of 12 students instead of 24 (reducing the exposure to others, PLUS all their family members.  You are only as safe as your weakest family member.)
That means the classroom would be set up to allow for 6' of space, which increases safety.
Approximately 50-70% of the students would NOT need outside care (depends on the class really).
That means approximately 5 of the 12 students would be in other care/ day care.
Our district is working on ways to make this happen in a safe manner (working with partners).  This may involve keeping students with their same cohort on the "off" days.  Also, likely to be set up to involve distancing and masking.

The details matter.  The details aren't out yet, of course.

In any event, I expect in our district, we will go from fully virtual to hybrid to in person.  In that order.  So there will be practice in the fully virtual before going to hybrid.

Smokystache

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #191 on: July 30, 2020, 06:38:20 PM »
We have decided to start homeschooling our 4th and 6th graders. My DW and I also have a 4 year old. DW is full-time at-home parent, I can be home about 1/2 time. We had thought about homeschooling prepandemic, but we're in a very good public school system - so this isn't a completely new thought, but it is new in practice. My local public school started today, we didn't start "formal" homeschooling today.

We signed on under an umbrella school that qualifies in our state, but we only have to report grades and attendance to them (I guess whatever grades we assign) and they provide the official report to the state. We have some friends who are Radical Unschoolers - we weren't comfortable with that, so we purchased the corresponding curriculums/resources from Oak Meadow. It's a long-time homeschooling company that is secular. Both children enjoy learning and especially reading and projects. So we'll see how it goes.

Local school was offering either in-person (which turned out to be 2 days a week at school, 3 days at home) or a virtual option (but with in-person assessments several times per year)and state assessments, etc). We wanted the flexibility to travel (when safe) and wanted to give the "real" homeschool option a try for this year- so we decided against the virtual option. Had open, honest conversations with the kiddos and they were on-board. It helps that they are each others best friends. 

chemistk

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #192 on: July 31, 2020, 06:04:50 AM »
pushing school back to October would be tricky, but I think it would give parents and districts 4 or 5 more precious weeks of being able to figure out what to do.

At this point, in my state (Florida) I feel like pushing the start date back will accomplish absolutely nothing. The population has shown through their actions over the summer, generally, Floridians feel that personal freedom to not wear masks is more important than everyone sacrificing a little bit for a few weeks to get infection numbers down. I'm nostalgic for what our numbers looked like in May, in April, in freaking March when schools were closed in the first place. Four or five weeks is not going to improve things here, unfortunately. It won't magically provide technology and internet access for students that don't have it (or at least not any better than the district is already trying to accommodate with the resources they are already able to provide to students). It won't help teachers in my area that are being asked to teach students in brick and mortar classrooms and digitally at the same time. I thought there were going to be two groups of teachers, some teaching in classrooms and others teaching online classes, but a meeting earlier this week made it clear that they will be expected to manage both at the same time.

That's really frustrating. Our district posted that many, many, many families asked why they (the district) weren't going to have the teachers teach in the classrooms as well as the virtual students and their response was a very eloquent "You're fucking nuts if you expect that teachers should be asked to do that. No."

That's the other merit to the third party, I suppose. The teachers know that they have to prepare a single curriculum (with contingencies for virtual learning) vs. preparing a whole myriad of plans.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #193 on: July 31, 2020, 07:52:16 AM »
Our governor just announced a county must be at a 15% positivity testing rate and 10% absenteeism, or a 20% positivity rate, before they can consider more than 50% of classes online.

So that also assumes tests are even available.  My son was again exposed at daycare (and had a 104 degree fever last night), and the state testing site has 0 appointments available.    Our pediatrician thinks the risk to my 1 and 3 year old at daycare is small, but this is the second time he's had a teacher with a positive test. (Last time the daycare closed for two weeks- of course, we still paid, this time due to state ruling, they won't. He has to be out for 72 hours due to the fever though.) Last time his fever was coincidental to the teacher's positive test, and I assume this one is as well, but it will be difficult to even find out since we might not be able to get a test.  (My husband works outside the home- so knowing if someone in the house is positive is important, as he'd then stay home.)

Our state does not have a mask mandate.  We are still unsure if the governor will allow schools to have them. 

This is going to be a disaster. Even if the kids don't get sick in large numbers, will the staff and teachers be safe?

meerkat

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #194 on: July 31, 2020, 08:05:44 AM »
Manatee County Florida's Reopening Video

Manatee County had a positivity rate of 7.9% on 7/29 and has had an average positivity rate of 8.8% over the last fourteen days. As of 7/29 in that county there are 190 cases in kids age 0-4, 522 in ages 5-14, and 1,308 in ages 15-24. (citation: pages 82 and 83)

Sugaree

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #195 on: August 01, 2020, 04:42:54 PM »
As of today, we're officially going blended.  Two days in school, three days virtually.  Big ass trump tally this afternoon with no mask to be seen probably means we'll be fully virtual before it's all said and done.

SwordGuy

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #196 on: August 01, 2020, 07:25:40 PM »
For all you folks sending your kids back to school:


YttriumNitrate

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #197 on: August 01, 2020, 07:34:55 PM »
My son will be doing 5 day preschool starting after Labor Day. So far, the only change I'm contemplating is not paying the whole year's tuition upfront like I did the past two years. If schools open for a month and then shut down again, I'd rather not be in a position where I have to hope for a refund.

fuzzy math

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #198 on: August 01, 2020, 07:50:35 PM »
Agreed. If you have children that can't legally be left alone (nevermind whether it's appropriate or if they will will even engage in remote learning if left alone), none of those options will work unless there is a parent at home. 

And younger students on a hybrid schedule will still have to go to daycare, babysitters, or be watched by probably more vulnerable family members such as grandparents on their non-school days.

 It really doesn't seem anymore more beneficial to reducing the spread than having elementary students in the same class group on a daily basis, including to the teachers who are exposed two or more groups of students who moving about the community on off days.

All of this needs to be emphasized to administrators who seem to be overlooking these points when they make decisions. Kids have to go somewhere so parents can work and people can catch it anywhere. They're just ignoring what won't  be blatantly in their faces to make decisions that they can claim make people safer. It's not safer for kids or teachers, it's going to bankrupt families and kids aren't going to learn as much. Two thumbs up!!

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Does the covid pandemic have you rethinking school plans?
« Reply #199 on: August 02, 2020, 02:52:39 AM »
pushing school back to October would be tricky, but I think it would give parents and districts 4 or 5 more precious weeks of being able to figure out what to do.

At this point, in my state (Florida) I feel like pushing the start date back will accomplish absolutely nothing. The population has shown through their actions over the summer, generally, Floridians feel that personal freedom to not wear masks is more important than everyone sacrificing a little bit for a few weeks to get infection numbers down. I'm nostalgic for what our numbers looked like in May, in April, in freaking March when schools were closed in the first place. Four or five weeks is not going to improve things here, unfortunately. It won't magically provide technology and internet access for students that don't have it (or at least not any better than the district is already trying to accommodate with the resources they are already able to provide to students). It won't help teachers in my area that are being asked to teach students in brick and mortar classrooms and digitally at the same time. I thought there were going to be two groups of teachers, some teaching in classrooms and others teaching online classes, but a meeting earlier this week made it clear that they will be expected to manage both at the same time.

Barring a vaccine - which will not be approved and widely distributed in the next month - waiting a few weeks or even months probably won't change anything. Most of us have spent the last few months in a holding pattern waiting for things to get better or change. At this point we just have to move forward as best we can. Most people can't just sit and work from home for the next 3, 6, 12 months waiting for a vaccine. Even if the government started dumping even more helicopter money there's still going to be people interacting daily to keep basic utilities online, food production and distribution, medical services, etc. Everyone of those interactions is a potential way to spread the virus.



Our private school is limited to 25% of the building capacity by the state. They've just finished an expansion with a new building over the last several months so there should be enough room to spread the 80-100 K-8 students out to meet that requirement. We homeschooled our older kids for several years but it's just not feasible long-term with another baby and young child at home for my wife to homeschool 4 kids in 1st through 6th grade. The other thing is that with such a small enrollment, it would not take that many families choosing to drop out before the school would be forced to shut down. So in a couple of weeks our four kids will be back in school five days a week.