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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Mini Money Mustaches => Topic started by: malacca on August 03, 2020, 09:48:31 PM

Title: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: malacca on August 03, 2020, 09:48:31 PM
Our state locked down in March and went to online schooling. My kids were fine with it. They are a grade or two above - so school was basically 3 hours a day all in. So they got to do a lot more in the day.

But they did miss many aspect of being at school.

I am quite informed about the virus. Not from the US perspective (we failed) but from how other countries / states are controlling it and the problems that countries are having even though they have actually controlled the virus. We were living in Taiwan up until Nov 2019.

We chose long ago not to put our kids in school this year.

What are your thoughts?

The superintendent of our school district has the difficult task of deciding to open the schools or not (along with the school board). Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

Here are the downsides:

If the school opens there will be infections within the first week. Then what? Keep your kid in school?

Statistically, if the school opens, one or more of the teachers, students, staff, workers or immediate family members will not only catch the virus from the school population but will die from it in the first year.

Almost every country that had the virus under control (less than 10 infections per pay per million) and opened schools saw rapid spread. We are at 2000 infections per day per million!!!! Just imagine.

Children are often asymptomatic and spread the virus to family. In Asia children are known to have killed grandma and / or grandpa.

______________________

I foresee a huge disaster as many states open up schools for in person learning.

______________________

Well, our governor passed the buck and is making each district decide wether to open schools or go online only. The kicker is the governor said that any student that can't / doesn't want in person education must receive an equivalent online education. AND any teacher / administrator that doesn't want to risk being in the schools can work from home.


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Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: kanga1622 on August 04, 2020, 01:15:12 PM
Our governor says schools should open and no masks should be required.

Thankfully our district only partly listened: we go back full time in-person in two weeks but masks are required. The current active infection rate in my county is pretty low but when the local college starts in two weeks.....

But DH and I are both expected to be in the office so no option to choose the virtual school option unless one of us quits our job. Which is ridiculous because I honestly spend 95% of my day in the office with the door shut working online or having Zoom meetings. I can get just as much done at home if I work when the kids are busy or sleeping.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: TheFrenchCat on August 05, 2020, 07:14:18 AM
We have until Friday to decide, but we're leaning towards virtual.  We have relatives that were in the school this spring and they said they did a good job switching to virtual.  And, while our county and state are doing well for the US, there's still enough cases that I'm worried cases will explode once schools open.  Our daughter's school also gives us the option to switch between in person and virtual every marking period, so if they open and cases stay low, we can reevaluate then.  I'm really not looking forward to trying to manage 6 classes a day for a 5 year old, but we'll do our best. 
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on August 05, 2020, 07:26:15 AM
Our schools are starting online, and will continue that way until January (at a minimum) for the middle school district. The high school district is also starting online, but hasn't committed to an end date.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: SwordGuy on August 05, 2020, 07:48:01 AM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: meerkat on August 05, 2020, 08:23:39 AM
Our schools are starting in person but with two online options. One of the online options (DA) takes place at the same time as the school day and everyone assumed the teachers for DA would be exclusively teaching DA. Nope! Teachers are being expected to have an in-person class and simultaneously teach an online class at the same time. This was not made clear when a survey was sent out earlier this summer asking parents which option they wanted for the fall.

Then last week a bus driver died, she had been cleaning buses was exposed to Covid through that but no one in her chain of command bothered to tell her. She did not have PPE. Earlier this summer, a school that had summer classes going on and of course there was a Covid positive person there and the communication by the school to exposed students/staff was ... less than encouraging. As far as I know, there is no person (much less multiple people across different schools) responsible for contact tracing.

I fully expect an outbreak to happen. I fully expect schools to be closed again and moved fully online within weeks. I fully expect more deaths will happen because of the choices of the school board and the state.

The second online option is more flexible - do the work whenever you want during the given week - so that's the option we went with because both parents are WFH during normal school hours. We have no idea how we're going to balance effectively having to be our child's teachers for Kindergarten and we won't be able to figure that our until school starts and we have the materials in hand and communication with his teacher set up. This is something we never would have considered as a long term schooling option six months ago.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: kanga1622 on August 05, 2020, 09:23:07 AM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: MissPeach on August 05, 2020, 03:45:10 PM
Our school opening is tied to case load and it's too high right now so it will be online only. As a single parent I fear I'll get called to work before schools open. My job is saying they won't be the first to call people back in but at the same time they aren't being as progressive as a lot of the Silicon Valley companies about it either even though my job (tech) is easy to do online.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: mm1970 on August 05, 2020, 06:04:56 PM
Our school opening is tied to case load and it's too high right now so it will be online only. As a single parent I fear I'll get called to work before schools open. My job is saying they won't be the first to call people back in but at the same time they aren't being as progressive as a lot of the Silicon Valley companies about it either even though my job (tech) is easy to do online.
Yeah, we are required to start online (So Cal).  Our case rate is 3x the rule.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 05, 2020, 08:53:39 PM
Our district is requiring masks and doing various other basic safety stuff, and going full in person, full time, at least for elementary. You have the option to do remote.

We could do remote, but our kids hated it in the spring and learned nothing. Like every other kid of someone who posts here, they're far "ahead" so we could just shrug and not worry about it, but we'd rather have them socializing and being physically there.

They'll shut it all down if there are significant cases, so we'll see how it goes, I guess. Our entire county has only had a case or two a day (or zero) for months now after being the epicenter of the UT outbreak, so *touch wood* we might do ok.

We did send grandma to live elsewhere, that seemed too risky. Everyone else is low risk and should be fine.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: SwordGuy on August 06, 2020, 05:23:17 AM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.
If someone has done the best they can then they should be able to live with their decision.

If they've just sent the kids off because -- although they have other options they simply don't want to use them due to laziness or greed or selfishness or stubborn ignorance -- then they'll have that to think about at the funeral if their kids get unlucky.

That's not fear mongering.    That's reality.

I would not want to be in a position of realizing that I though I did have the option to keep my kid home I chose not to use it  -- and my kid died as a result.   If I didn't have a  choice because we have to work to keep a simple roof over our heads and food on the table, then, well, I would be mad as hell at Trump and his enablers for making this epidemic far, far worse.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: ender on August 06, 2020, 05:48:14 AM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.
If someone has done the best they can then they should be able to live with their decision.

If they've just sent the kids off because -- although they have other options they simply don't want to use them due to laziness or greed or selfishness or stubborn ignorance -- then they'll have that to think about at the funeral if their kids get unlucky.

That's not fear mongering.    That's reality.

I would not want to be in a position of realizing that I though I did have the option to keep my kid home I chose not to use it  -- and my kid died as a result.   If I didn't have a  choice because we have to work to keep a simple roof over our heads and food on the table, then, well, I would be mad as hell at Trump and his enablers for making this epidemic far, far worse.

It's worth understanding and contextualizing actual risks here.

https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku

Of all deaths in the 0-14 age range since February 2nd, 0.3% of them are a result of covid (a total of 45. Additionally, 1.3% of deaths in 15-24 range were from covid but that's unfortunately including a much larger age range than high school).

Almost 10% of those who were 75+ who died in that same time period died of covid.

While we:


Using the data we have now, it's probable that the main impact of kids going to school is not going to be on children themselves but on the adults they come into contact with.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 06, 2020, 07:48:27 AM
Yeah, I'm not worried about my elementary aged kids. There are lots of things in life that are risky or dangerous, if you're healthy and 8/6 years old, Covid really isn't one of them based on what we know so far.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: smileyface on August 06, 2020, 08:28:36 AM
We're choosing remote for our tween and teen, even though we live in a state in the Northeast with low numbers right now. My husband has a high-risk condition, so for us it was a no-brainer. And with so much distressing information coming out about formerly healthy people dealing with Covid symptoms months after their diagnosis, it really has made me wonder about the impact of this virus even on the rest of us low-risk members of the household.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: StarBright on August 06, 2020, 09:46:34 AM
We are in Ohio. We chose virtual for our 1st and 3rd grader.

Today was my husband's first day back at his school after having the summer at home.

This morning I am regretting choosing virtual. My gut says I want my kids home, but I don't know how I will do this.

ETA - Now every school district surrounding ours has decided to start remote but our town has more cases than many of these other districts. Word on the street is that our school board is determined to start in person. I am feeling better about choosing virtual.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Sibley on August 06, 2020, 06:01:42 PM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

I would modify this.

"Make the best decision that you can with as much information as you have."

Whatever my local district had decided to do, the virus is completely disregarding those decisions. The situation is changing rapidly. Last I heard, at least the first month or so would be online only. No idea if that's changed in the past couple days.

Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: TheFrenchCat on August 06, 2020, 06:30:44 PM
Today we made the firm decision to have our daughter do virtual learning at least for the first marking period.  We're allowed to reevaluate then (and at the 3rd and 4th marking periods) and if cases haven't gone up and there haven't been any outbreaks at the school, we might send her in person then.  Also, we heard today that our local public school is only doing virtual to start, so that makes us feel better, since they're in the same town.  Hopefully, this will keep her safer and keep the class safer by not exposing them to us.  My husband still goes into work, and though he's not public facing, it's still another contact point.  Now I just need to keep a 5 year old on task for 4 hours of video lessons a day.  Yaay.

Edited to add: We're in PA.  According to the governor's plan our cases are low enough to open the schools, but it's up to each district to decide.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: chemistk on August 07, 2020, 05:52:34 AM
We're sending our son (5) to in-person Kindergarten. Our district is enforcing the statewide mask mandate for all individuals over the age of two inside school buildings. We're also fortunate enough to live in a district with enough space in the elementary schools that they can space the kids out without making makeshift classrooms around the buildings.

The alternative for us, given what the district outlined, was to do virtual Kindergarten run by a third party provider. Our son would never meet his 'classmates' under this option and would only have a personal (Zoom) conversation with his 'teacher' a handful of times this semester. Each day we as parents would be required to supervise a variable amount of learning and 'homework' - all prerecorded videos and lessons for the most part. We have 2 younger kids at home and I'm going into work more frequently now, so there's no way we (my wife) could supervise his learning while also tending to the needs of a toddler and an infant.

Now, it may all be for naught - if our county sees an uptick in cases or there's a significant outbreak at the school, our son will switch to virtual learning anyway. The only difference is that it will be real-time videochat with his teacher and classmates and not through a third party.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: malacca on August 08, 2020, 10:25:26 AM
** It would be helpful if people listed the state they live in. **

I am in MN.

Our governor passed the buck and made each school district decide. But all schools have to offer an online option that is "equivalent" to the in class option (good luck with that).

Also, any faculty that don't feel comfortable can work from home.

So our district came up with this crazy hybrid system:

K-3 go to school all day. Each class will be split in two groups. 1/2 taught by teacher and 1/2 by Para. Then switch groups.

4 and 5 are put in the high school and spread out and go to school 4 days a week.

6 to 8 go two days a week but split into two different groups.

High school kids go to school one day a week (when the young kids are not at the high school).

They also bought masks and large air filters.

Oh, they also bought 55 gallon drums of hand sanitizer (they still believe the virus is spread by touching!).

The other option was to have online only and any kid that couldn't stay home went to school but just studied online like the rest of the students (this was done during the shutdown and was largely successful). Of course there are parents out there that can't stay at home with their kids. And there are parents that can but just do not want to : )

We long ago chose the online option (or just home schooling). I FIREd long ago and my schedule is flexible. I have always been very active in my kids education and even homeschooled them when traveling.

Luckily my kids are self disciplined and online was not an issue.


Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 08, 2020, 10:36:55 AM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: malacca on August 08, 2020, 11:08:39 AM
                    ** Let's look at the risks vs rewards **

Keep in mind that even to this day we have very little accurate information on the virus.

*** The virus is primarily spread by people breathing on each other. Period. ***

*** Don't be fooled by hand sanitizers or wiping down desks, grocery carts, etc. It creates employment but that it is it ***

As a nation we have failed miserably. If you are not aware we are pretty much LAST PLACE in the world in dealing with the virus. National leadership was near zero. And most states also failed. And this is not a Republican or Democratic issue - all sides have failed. Only NY, NJ, CT, RI and HI have been successful in controlling the virus (maybe I missed a state or two).

So on the back of massive failure, don't expect your school district to somehow do a better job.

1. If your state has a high infection rate, the chances of it being a major problem in schools is near 100% based on all of the schools that tried to reopen worldwide (and most of those schools have far better social distancing measures and enforcement).

And if your state does not have a mandatory mask policy - then my advice is for you and your kids to stay home and self lockdown best you can.

2. Children do catch the virus. And they are harmed by the virus - even if they don't die. Further, we do not know the long term implications of the virus's impact on the body.

3. Children do spread the virus. Children are more than likely to be asymptomatic carriers. And children are much less likely to be tested. So they keep spreading.

4. We still have pretty much zero track and trace in place. And testing in most states is hit or miss at best.

5. There is a huge difference between younger kids and those 15+.

6. The virus statistics for children look better because we had lockdowns, they don't go to work, summer vacation, etc. Mark my word once school is in session the numbers will come out. All we have to do is look at countries that start their school year at different months.

7. What about you? What if you kid brings it home? How vulnerable are the people living in your home?

8. This virus is not going away anytime soon - especially in the USA. And forget the BS about developing a vaccine. Those press releases are about pumping up stocks so the insiders can make millions. For 17 years we tried to make a SARS vaccine but failed. How about a common flu vaccine? Ask yourself why we don't have a true flu vaccine? Sure, they sell a NEW one every year but it is very clear they have little efficacy. But the marketing / disinformation works well : )   Are people willing to take a new untested Corona Virus vaccine every 6 months?

9. Emotional stress. Imagine going to school knowing that one person per month was going to get randomly shot by a 22 revolver. They may not die from it but....  Well, that is what is going to happen as for sure sooner or later the virus WILL spread at school. Some people can handle this emotionally and some not.

So what is your kid missing out on?

1. Being with friends / socializing. Absolutely. My kids feel it. But I don't think it will harm them missing out for one year. They will still Zoom friends or meet them after school (preferably outside).

2. Academics. Yes, for many they will miss out on some stuff. Unless you are in Kindergarten or last 2 years of High School it is probably not critical.

3. Soft skills / other learning. This is where the kids will lose out the most. The art / music / plays / sports, etc. But a lot of this will not be taught even in school as social distancing is not feasible.

4. Upsides? Learning to work remotely is a life skill the kids will have to have as that is the way organizations are moving. So that is a huge advantage. Also, learning to be self disciplined is also a big plus. My kids had to keep a daily calendar so they would know to log on again for such and such event / class.

5. Teacher discipline. I think this is actually the parent's job. I cringe when parents' complain the teacher isn't doing enough.

I am sure there is more.

I think the most impacted will be kindergartners and juniors and seniors. Oh, don't forget about college students.

Everyone's situation is different. MN failed in controlling the virus even though Minnesotan's are more community oriented than most states. We locked down but not that well. We just started a mask policy a few weeks ago. Infection rates are surging.

*** Our leaders have failed at the basics - like math. ***

 If the infection rate is rising it will not miraculously start going down by itself. That is not how the virus works. The only way to bring down the rate is to lower the R0 to below 1. That means that if one person gets it they will on average spread it to less than one person.

The only way to stop the spread it to prevent people from breathing on each other.
--- THAT MEANS EITHER LOCKING DOWN OR REQUIRING MASKS. ---
We have not found any other way to stop the spread. None. Nada. Zero.




Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: malacca on August 08, 2020, 11:37:20 AM
That is bad. Well, just plain stupid.

I know overall Canada has been much more successful that the USA on controlling the virus. But Canada - like most countries - still has the virus spreading. 

No masks & people being inside = spread. Period.

Oh, you have one of those leaders. I know his brother was a crackhead. At least he is not the Prime Minister : )      > Yet.

Well, I spend a lot of time in Canada. Overall I rate it a grade higher than the US (well, until winter comes).

I would be there right now if we were allowed in : )





In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 08, 2020, 11:48:48 AM
Our schools (Park City, UT) are opening and requiring all kids to wear masks. We have around 5 new cases a week in our entire county, and dropping. A ton of parents have hired personal teachers/tutors and so I think we'll have pretty small class sizes.

So I think we'll be good, but who knows.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: okits on August 08, 2020, 12:29:13 PM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

I'm hopeful some of the pressure being exerted by parents, public health units, and teachers' unions will encourage movement on the class sizes issue.  I see a little backpedaling happening already, hopefully there's more.

Improved ventilation would be pretty welcome, too.

There's still four weeks for them to come up with slapdash improvements and/or for infection rates to soar.  We can make a decision now and change our minds if the situation changes, too.  (Sure, there will be hassle dealing with the school system bureaucracy but that's the least of our worries at this time.)

Context for non-Ontarians: our province is holding steady at around 7 new cases daily per 1 million people.  Our city had one new case today (for almost 3 million people). 
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 08, 2020, 01:13:29 PM
So we have a low infection rate in our county (<1%) surrounded by 0-case counties and state is at 1%.  So it does feel like fear mongering when people paint school opening as a death sentence.  Obviously, if you have wide spread community infection, you probably should not be opening schools in person.  But our county is not in that situation and our numbers continued to decrease even after the lock down was loosened.  Our children, as well as numerous friends and neighbors' children, have been in daycare and day camps for months at this point with very few cases and no transmission (to the extent that this is accurately reported) in those places.

So I would personally be comfortable sending my (younger) kids back IF I was confident that covid protocols could be followed (which they appear to be, but we are monitoring the situation as things unfold).  I am in general an anxious person when it comes to my kids' safety, but am hard pressed to find any rational reason why I NEED to keep them out of school in this specific situation.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: malacca on August 08, 2020, 01:59:54 PM
It is unclear what you mean by 1% rate.

But if you are in a truly low infection area then in-person school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

But most states are FAR from being able to open safely.


So we have a low infection rate in our county (<1%) surrounded by 0-case counties and state is at 1%.  So it does feel like fear mongering when people paint school opening as a death sentence.  Obviously, if you have wide spread community infection, you probably should not be opening schools in person.  But our county is not in that situation and our numbers continued to decrease even after the lock down was loosened.  Our children, as well as numerous friends and neighbors' children, have been in daycare and day camps for months at this point with very few cases and no transmission (to the extent that this is accurately reported) in those places.

So I would personally be comfortable sending my (younger) kids back IF I was confident that covid protocols could be followed (which they appear to be, but we are monitoring the situation as things unfold).  I am in general an anxious person when it comes to my kids' safety, but am hard pressed to find any rational reason why I NEED to keep them out of school in this specific situation.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: malacca on August 08, 2020, 02:07:18 PM
If you are in a truly low infection area (and the rate is dropping) then school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

I didn't see Utah on a low case count list. But within the state some areas may have started mask policies or locked down longer and are doing better.

Low case count & mask = OK!


Our schools (Park City, UT) are opening and requiring all kids to wear masks. We have around 5 new cases a week in our entire county, and dropping. A ton of parents have hired personal teachers/tutors and so I think we'll have pretty small class sizes.

So I think we'll be good, but who knows.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 08, 2020, 03:03:11 PM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

I'm hopeful some of the pressure being exerted by parents, public health units, and teachers' unions will encourage movement on the class sizes issue.  I see a little backpedaling happening already, hopefully there's more.

Improved ventilation would be pretty welcome, too.

There's still four weeks for them to come up with slapdash improvements and/or for infection rates to soar.  We can make a decision now and change our minds if the situation changes, too.  (Sure, there will be hassle dealing with the school system bureaucracy but that's the least of our worries at this time.)

Context for non-Ontarians: our province is holding steady at around 7 new cases daily per 1 million people.  Our city had one new case today (for almost 3 million people).

I'm hoping that they'll choose to listen to the public health officials on this.  Big class sizes is something that Conservatives have been pushing for in Ontario (because then we can hire fewer teachers - which saves money!) for an awful long time and it's near/dear to their heart . . . which dampens those hopes.

As far as ventilation . . . that's also going to be tough.  Many classrooms either have no windows, or windows that do not / cannot be opened.  At least that was a constant complaint that my mother had when she was teaching elementary school five years ago.

Many older schools were not built with proper ventilation systems to move air, and there's no money whatsoever allocated for this.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 08, 2020, 03:30:29 PM
If you are in a truly low infection area (and the rate is dropping) then school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

I didn't see Utah on a low case count list. But within the state some areas may have started mask policies or locked down longer and are doing better.

Low case count & mask = OK!

UT's case counts have been steadily dropping for at least a month now, and the state mandates masks for everyone in schools. Kids have been participating in summer camps, sports, going on trips, and goofing around at the playground/lake/trailheads for months now without causing any noticeable increase in cases. Other than masks indoors and seats spaced out more in restaurants, everything here is open/normal.

If kids were going to go infect their grandparents they would have by now, I'd say. It doesn't appear that's a big risk, at least so far.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: StarBright on August 08, 2020, 03:51:40 PM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

This is exactly the choice we were left with - it felt impossible to decide. I clicked the "commit" button 5 minutes before the midnight deadline.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 08, 2020, 08:54:05 PM
1% infection rate, less than that now.  I'm not sure why you seem to be questioning "if" we are in a "truly" low infection area. Do you think people are making this up?

We also opened summer camps, in and outdoor, playgrounds, and pools and cases numbers continued to fall. Masking is mandatory indoors but not outside in many places where kids are gathering.

I'm not saying that it's 100% safe anywhere but to suggest that parents should be self-flagellating if they send their kids to school for any reason other than that they have no choice (as one poster did) is ridiculous.  If that's the case, why would we ever expect teachers to go back into schools? Are they more expendable than children? (Likely not since we need them to teach, apparently). Should they refuse to return, or go on strike? What about their children?

It is unclear what you mean by 1% rate.

But if you are in a truly low infection area then in-person school is fine provided they do follow reasonable safe practices.

Places like Connecticut are OK as they have very low numbers.

But most states are FAR from being able to open safely.


So we have a low infection rate in our county (<1%) surrounded by 0-case counties and state is at 1%.  So it does feel like fear mongering when people paint school opening as a death sentence.  Obviously, if you have wide spread community infection, you probably should not be opening schools in person.  But our county is not in that situation and our numbers continued to decrease even after the lock down was loosened.  Our children, as well as numerous friends and neighbors' children, have been in daycare and day camps for months at this point with very few cases and no transmission (to the extent that this is accurately reported) in those places.

So I would personally be comfortable sending my (younger) kids back IF I was confident that covid protocols could be followed (which they appear to be, but we are monitoring the situation as things unfold).  I am in general an anxious person when it comes to my kids' safety, but am hard pressed to find any rational reason why I NEED to keep them out of school in this specific situation.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: SwordGuy on August 09, 2020, 08:28:16 AM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

I would modify this.

"Make the best decision that you can with as much information as you have."

Whatever my local district had decided to do, the virus is completely disregarding those decisions. The situation is changing rapidly. Last I heard, at least the first month or so would be online only. No idea if that's changed in the past couple days.

Depending on information sources in the US, your information may be totally bogus, with a very false rosy picture.

I would caution people to look at the preponderance of evidence from recent scientific sources, not right wing "news" sources.   I would not include doctors in my list of reputable sources who believe demon sperm is the cause of sex and reproductive organ issues no matter how much Trump recommends them.

Over 338,000 children have been diagnosed with Covid in the US as of 31-July.    That number may be artificially low because schools were closed last spring and it's been summer break.    A recent YMCA kid's summer camp had 260 confirmed covid cases out of 597 attendees after just a few days in camp.    FYI, that's 260 cases out of 340 tests, not everyone bothered to get tested.   Half the cases were kids 6-10 years old.    No masks, no outside ventilation in the buildings -- JUST LIKE schools in various parts of the USA are now doing.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out schools without masks are going to be breeding grounds.

And if you send your kid to school with a cool mask expect them to trade it for a mask they think is cooler....    You know they will.

Schools in the US are suspending students who take photos of crowded hallways chock full of students without masks and they are now threatening to fire teachers who allow those photos to be taken.   That tells me that they want to hide what they are doing wrong rather than do what's right.

There is a lot of political pressure by the President to re-open schools?  Why?

Because you can BS people about the numbers.  You can tell them that things are better than the media portrays.   But if they are tripping over their kids at home because it's too unsafe to have the schools open, you can't BS them on that anymore.    Trump and his enablers don't care how many kids and parents and teachers die as long as they can pretend all is normal once again -- at least until after the election.





Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: gooki on August 10, 2020, 01:11:09 AM
Quote
Many classrooms either have no windows...

Sorry to go of topic, but WTF? Why does any parent or teacher accept classrooms without windows?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on August 10, 2020, 05:37:00 AM
d00d, my HS was built for 2,000 students and we had 6,000 when I graduated in the early 2000's.

I had 1/3rd of my classes in trailers, the kind that are used as temporary offices at construction sites.

Forget about the hallways between periods. You were shoulder to shoulder and sometimes it was easier to go up a few flights of stairs to cross to the other side of the building and head back down the other side than trying to get across on the ground floor.

That particular school in NY is absolutely fucked if they go back to business as usual.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 10, 2020, 07:16:18 AM
Quote
Many classrooms either have no windows...

Sorry to go of topic, but WTF? Why does any parent or teacher accept classrooms without windows?

We have conservatives in Canada too . . . and sometimes they don't like to spend money on frivolous stuff like windows.  Lower cost is always better, right?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: smileyface on August 10, 2020, 09:29:48 AM
I find that it's important to read every school's reopening plan VERY carefully. For example, my DC's school's reopening plan makes it clear that masks will be required "at all times when social distancing is not possible". However, if the desks in a classroom are spaced 6 feet apart, social distancing is assumed to be in place and thus, the masks can come off in the classroom during instructional time. Which is where each cohort of students spends the vast majority of the day. So, in other words, my kid might be spending several hours a day in a room with dubious ventilation and 12-15 potentially unmasked classmates.

So I had to ask.... if the students can remove masks during instructional time in the classroom, and they obviously can't wear them while they're eating lunch, when exactly are the masks required by the school?  The answer was: in the hallways, in the restrooms, and upon arrival/dismissal.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: chemistk on August 10, 2020, 10:26:41 AM
We've been receiving regular updates from the district about the coming year and how the reopening plans are developing (and in some cases changing).

In this particular update, as of this past weekend nearly all the 3800 students/their parents in our district had chosen what they will be doing for this first semester.

81% have opted to do in-person learning.
16% have opted to take advantage of the virtual option being offered.
3% have decided to withdraw their kids' enrollment and switch to homeschooling.

Given those numbers that's well over 700 students that won't be attending school in class. I'd call that a pretty significant number. Parents are also being warned that the virtual learning option is going to require patience - the organization that's administering the virtual classrooms says there is an overwhelming amount of demand and that they're trying to figure out/make sure they can accommodate all the thousands of new kids onto the platform.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Cyanne on August 10, 2020, 09:11:57 PM
** It would be helpful if people listed the state they live in. **

I am in MN.

Our governor passed the buck and made each school district decide. But all schools have to offer an online option that is "equivalent" to the in class option (good luck with that).

Also, any faculty that don't feel comfortable can work from home.



Iím a teacher in Minnesota and the governorís office has clarified his statement. I canít choose to work from home unless I have a physicianís letter that documents my health condition puts me at high risk if I get Covid. Teachers may also take a FLMA unpaid leave if they donít have childcare or need to take care of a family member.

Many of my colleagues are uncomfortable returning to the classroom and donít feel itís safe for them or students (75% of the teachers in my district said this in a poll). They are being forced to go back or resign if they donít qualify for an exemption.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Freedomin5 on August 10, 2020, 09:46:24 PM
We are choosing in-person school. But then...

- We have to fill out a daily health questionnaire
- Temperature is taken at the school gate
- Social distancing measures are in place
- Mask wearing is in place
- Hand-washing procedures are in place
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures are in place
- We are not allowed to leave the city. If we do, we are required to self-quarantine for two weeks before returning to the school campus.

In addition, the school has given us access to:
- Online reading program
- Online mathematics program
- Online language arts program
- Online library resources
- Online resources for kids' yoga and physical activity
- Classroom management app so that we can move to online lessons at a moment's notice

School re-opened for about two months in May/June, with staggered start dates. There were no COVID cases reported and a lot of peer/parent-to-parent shaming if a family sent a kid to school sick or when they were supposed to be in self-quarantine.

We live in Shanghai.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 11, 2020, 07:09:40 AM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is truly unhelpful and fearmongering. I am TERRIFIED about sending my kids to school but unless we can magically make life free, both adults in our family need to work outside the home. Not everyone on this site is a high earner with a 50+% savings rate. Not everyone here is in a relationship so they have an option to have one partner stay home with the kids.

In a perfect world Iíd work from home and school my kids from home but we donít live in a perfect world.

Seriously.  What a horribly unhelpful thing to say to already worried parents.

My kids are not school age, but our pediatrician has told us it should not be a concern to have them in daycare.  (They are there.)  They have had 2 teachers test positive at the daycare since July, in both of our kids rooms, but no kids have been infected. The staff wear masks, the children do not. (Sometimes my daughter does because she loves her mask, but it isn't a requirement. My son is too young for one.) 

I think the biggest concern for school is the older kids and the teachers. 

Would you give this same "advice" to a parent who sent their kid to school where they contracted, and died from, meningitis?  "Well, you have to live with the decision to not homeschool them. You knew that schools could expose them to diseases."   Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered. 

Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 11, 2020, 07:56:15 AM
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 11, 2020, 09:01:37 AM
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

It is true that we do not know whether covid-19 infected children will suffer long term effects.

We do know the percentage of positive cases in children who then developed serious complications, and it is extremely rare.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 11, 2020, 09:21:23 AM
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

Can you link this evidence?

As far as I can tell, there is NO evidence of long term complications, because we haven't gotten to "long term" yet.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 11, 2020, 09:37:06 AM
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

Can you link this evidence?

As far as I can tell, there is NO evidence of long term complications, because we haven't gotten to "long term" yet.

At this point, everyone with covid is at risk for long term complications.  This may be a reference to the belief that because children have mostly mild symptoms, they would generally be fine, when actually there have been indications of continued lung damage even in the absence of underlying conditions.  I don't recall where I read that but it should be easy to pull up the articles regarding these findings.

The virus is no joke. But there have been several studies to show that children are much less likely transmit the virus.  So while that should be reassuring to teachers, in areas of widespread community infection, schools appear to reflect that rate and experience outbreaks.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 11, 2020, 09:42:42 AM
I should say that I do not think parents with school aged children have an easy decision at all, and I think those who choose to keep their kids home are making a perfectly valid choice.

I just think the quote I responded to was ridiculous fear mongering, and completely unfair to parents who are often stuck between a rock and a hard place with this choice. Keeping the kids home also has potential negative effects, even if their risk of covid-19 is much lower.

Like I said, our pediatrician recommended daycare. The AAP has recommended students do school in person.  People have to make their decision based on their interpretation of the information they have.  But telling people "you have to live with it, even if your kid dies"- that's not helpful.  If your kid dies after going to school, you have no way of knowing they also wouldn't have died if they stayed home, but got infected at the grocery store.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on August 11, 2020, 09:46:00 AM
Yes, the risk of being exposed to Covid-19 is much greater right now, but most scientific evidence, including the AAP recommendation, is that kids are not high risk. If they have pre-existing conditions, or live with people who are high risk, that, of course, needs to be considered.

No, this is incorrect.


The risk of younger children DYING from covid-19 is expected to be very low right now.  Most recent scientific evidence shows that children are at risk for the long term complications associated with the disease - even if they have no pre-existing conditions.  We don't know what percentage of children are at risk for this, but opening schools and allowing infections through the population will naturally lead to better data on this issue given time.

Can you link this evidence?

As far as I can tell, there is NO evidence of long term complications, because we haven't gotten to "long term" yet.

It's true that most studies are currently being done on acute cases of covid-19 in chidren where hospitalization is required, not the asymptomatic ones.  But evidence about asymptomatic children that is emerging is cause for concern:

ďAnd while many of these especially younger children are asymptomatic when you take x-rays of their lungs, down in Miami and other places across the country, theyíre seeing that there is damage to the lungs in these asymptomatic children.Ē - Doctor Alina Alonso, director of the Department of Health Palm Beach County
https://www.winknews.com/2020/07/17/health-officials-worry-about-long-term-effects-of-covid-19-on-kids/ (https://www.winknews.com/2020/07/17/health-officials-worry-about-long-term-effects-of-covid-19-on-kids/)

ďThese kids could have coronary artery aneurysms, their blood pressure could drop so precipitously theyíre in the ICU, getting aggressive fluids and medicines to elevate their blood pressure, they could have permanent blood vessel damage from vasculitis, they could have permanent heart damage from myocarditis, these are things we do not know fully yet,Ē - Emergency Response Dr. Stephen Stack

https://www.wkyt.com/2020/07/31/doctors-warn-covid-19-could-cause-long-term-effects/ (https://www.wkyt.com/2020/07/31/doctors-warn-covid-19-could-cause-long-term-effects/)

There are a variety of anaecdotal experiences related here https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article244849067.html (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article244849067.html) of kids who are showing symptoms months after infection.



When discussing their roles in spreading the disease in schools and then to the greater community, I think study showing that children carry 100 times more of the virus in their noses than adults do:  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2768952 (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2768952)
is probably worth reading as well.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 11, 2020, 01:14:11 PM
There's some risk in anything. I personally think the risk is low, so my kids are going (for however long that lasts).

In our case, the whole family has almost certainly already been exposed, so that changes the calculation a bit.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on August 11, 2020, 02:29:27 PM
GuitarStv- I think one of your quotes are saying exactly what I I am saying "These are things we do not know yet."  We have ZERO idea what the long term effects are, because this novel coronavirus hasn't hit long term yet.  Months isn't long term.  There is some evidence that there may be long term effects, there is some evidence that the vast majority of kids have minor infections.  We just don't know.

And for those showing signs of damage now, we do not know yet if that will heal or not (I don't know if lung tissue actually heals, but other tissue can take over it's function), and what effect the damage may have on someone's life. Would it be tragic for an olympic athlete in an endurance sport, probably; will it affect the average person- maybe, but maybe not. We don't know yet.  People can have remarkable levels of damage and be fine, others minor and not at all. (When my fetus was missing a cerebellum, a well meaning doctor showed me cases of people who didn't find out they were missing their cerebellum until adulthood; but by and large, those people are the outliers, and a missing cerebellum is a bad sign.  I bring this up to say- without actual long term studies though, we have zero idea what the long term effects are. All decisions made are guesses.)

Based on very recent news though, if your kid is a vaper, I'd keep them out of school... 

I wish we could make decisions on complete information, but we don't have complete information.  A crystal ball would be nice too.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: chemistk on August 12, 2020, 05:50:26 AM
A crystal ball would be nice too.

Wouldn't it?

Here's how I can find the risk of infection and the potential for side effects palatable:

-If I take my kids swimming in an inland lake, or river, there's a risk of drowning (dry drowning is even scarier). There's also a nonzero risk of flesh/brain eating microorganisms.
-If I allow my kids to ride their bike or scooter on the sidewalk, there's a risk that they'll fall and injure themselves or that someone without a backup camera hits them in the driveway.
-If I bring my kids to the park, they could be walloped in the head while running too close to the swings, or they could fall off the play structure and break a bone (or worse).
-If I give my kids medication to help with teething pain, headaches, or a foot, they could develop side effects that lead to hospitalization.
-If my kids go to school or to daycare, there's a petri dish of illnesses they can bring home - some benign while others severe.
-If my kids play on our back patio, there's a risk they could be stung by a bee. I have bee allergies and they may too.
-At every meal, there's always a chance a undeclared cashew could make its way to my 3 year old, requiring a trip to the emergency room.
-At every meal, there's always a chance that a new food causes a severe allergic reaction in our infant.
-If I keep my kids inside the house with no social interaction, there's a risk they'll develop separation anxiety that requires counseling.
-If I keep my kids inside the house with no social interaction, there's a risk one of them may eventually develop depression.

The list goes on.

Some of these are greater risks to our family than the virus (cashews, bees, chicken pox [I was never vaccinated for the pox and never got it], drowning, etc.).

Others are far out there and very unlikely to affect us.

If I live in fear of everything that could hurt, maim, disable, or kill my kids, we'd never leave the house and would probably live out in the boonies with no social interaction.

Granted, almost none of the aforementioned risks are transmissible to others, but I can't take every decision I need to make and create a list of all the impacts to those around me. I wear masks, my kids wear masks, we avoid crowds, we wash our hands and carry hand sanitizer. Above and beyond that, Covid is a risk that we now live with. We cannot take every action or decision and look at it through the Covid lens.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Kmp2 on August 12, 2020, 12:45:58 PM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

In Alberta - ditto

The school divisions basically said screw you to the government and are offering a HUB online learning option (against the gov'ts wishes) through to Feb. 1st - we have 2 weeks to opt in or out. And fancy that -  there are some enterprising businesses offering to babysit/tutor your kids on the online learning HUB for a fee of 1000-1200$/month in small groups similar to the way they ran summer camps this summer. One is a trampoline gym of all places. Also private school inquiries are up!

We are also undecided - we'll probably decide 10 minutes to the deadline... along with everybody else and crash the system. I think we are all hoping that we get a delay or a better option soon.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 12, 2020, 01:00:14 PM
Lots of day cares and kid related businesses are coming up with day programs for remote students. They kind of have to. I imagine at least 50% of working families will need some amount of child care this school year, whether in home or outside.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Chrissy on August 12, 2020, 04:46:34 PM
Chicago, Illinois.  Husband and I have decided to believe the worst case scenario:  no treatment or vaccine for 2 years and rolling shutdowns that whole time.  Given that timeline, we went ahead and put our girls back into daycare, camp, etc., all of which have covid protocols in place.  Our 4 years old will start in-person parochial preschool shortly.

Our expectation is that the girls will get it and be sick, but ultimately recover.  We will get it, and be VERY sick, but recover.  My parents and Husband's parents absolutely cannot get this thing, so that's where we've put our focus.  We've curtailed our contact with them.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: rosaz on August 16, 2020, 01:37:58 PM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

Does this go both ways, though? There's been a significant uptick in anxiety and depression symptoms among kids in lockdown, and we cannot take it as given that, once entrenched, these will magically disappear when they eventually go back to school. And these conditions can lower life expectancy by a decade plus. So when parents try to weigh the 1 in a... few hundred thousand?... chance their child will die of coronavirus, they should also consider the orders-of-magnitude higher chance of their kid dying young due to the knock-on effects of prolonged isolation. Even if they lose only 10 years rather than 70, if there's even a hundredfold greater chance, isolation could still be the losing bet. Particularly if their kid is already showing symptoms.

Maybe that all sounds overdramatic, but I watched my kid cry every single day during remote learning. And no, it wasn't just coronavirus anxiety; she wasn't like that the first month before the school rolled anything out, and she wasn't like that during the summer, which she spent at home, but making art, cooking, reading, etc. But when she was sitting in front of a computer for 6 hours a day, doing work that felt isolating and meaningless, without learning anything, she was a mess. And even if there are no long-term effects (and there may well be) how do you weigh the almost-certainty of another year spent in misery, against the one-in-a-million chance of losing 70 years?

Everything we do in life has risks. Sending your kid to school or a friend's house in normal times carries a risk of them dying in a car accident (in the car or out of it) that is far higher than the risk of them dying of coronavirus. But if a parent refused to let their kid have any normal experiences due to incredibly small risks in other circumstances, we would rightfully consider that paranoia and clearly not in the best interests of the child. What changed?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Christof on August 16, 2020, 03:56:42 PM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

This is really unsensible.... In Germany we do not have a choice of whether we send our kids to school. Please do not give advice on an international forum if your point of reference is only the US.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: okits on August 16, 2020, 04:05:31 PM
This is the advice I give to people considering sending their kids to in-person school this year:

"Make sure you can live with the results of your decision if your kids don't."

Does this go both ways, though?

It goes in all ways.  I have to live with the results of letting my kid eat that piece of birthday cake today.  I have to live with the results of letting my kid not attend an early French immersion program.  I have to live with the results of us taking the car somewhere instead of public transit.  I have to live with the results of letting my kid play at the playground.  On it goes.

I'm not entirely sure how to take that post from SwordGuy, whose many posts on this forum I have generally found to be extremely reasonable and insightful.  Our assessment of our local situation is that the physical and mental health benefits of school outweigh the harm of potential COVID exposure.  Particularly now, when local infection rates are very low and it's possible for students to spend a lot of time outside.  Our decision may change as the situation changes.  All options are open to us, our assessment is that right now, returning to school is the best one.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: 9patch on August 18, 2020, 03:18:52 PM
We decided in June to put our son in virtual school for next year (k12.com), because my husband has ALS, and we don't want our son to bring the virus home. Now, they've announced at our school district in Oregon that there will be 2 options, hybrid (2 cohorts), or fully virtual. But the hybrid one will start the year out as virtual and will re-evaluate in Nov. But we are committed to virtual for the whole year. I've been WFH since March and will likely continue to do so for a long time. But I really miss interacting with people in person. It's kind of a nightmare to WFH full time while home schooling.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Fru-Gal on August 18, 2020, 04:04:45 PM
It is our responsibility as parents to model for our children how to deal with a pandemic where we must work together to defeat a virus. It is highly unlikely that mental illness is on the rise after 3-5 months of no in-person school. Institutional school itself presents a variety of difficult situations such as violence, bullying, drug use, peer pressure, stress... Recessions may be associated with mental illness, but not always. Further, any recession factors in play here can only be solved by limiting the pandemic. Extending the pandemic is not a solution.

In the US, we have not experienced, for the most part, the highly isolated lockdowns seen in parts of Europe and Asia. We are able to go outside for exercise, to shop, to do a myriad of activities. If our children are bored or isolated, we must help them find strategies to fix those problems, knowing the limitations on in-person gatherings. Again, what kind of parents are we, and what are we modeling for our children, if our only response to this pandemic is to complain about how limiting it is?

Life is full of learning opportunities. This is one of them.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 18, 2020, 06:29:25 PM
It is our responsibility as parents to model for our children how to deal with a pandemic where we must work together to defeat a virus. It is highly unlikely that mental illness is on the rise after 3-5 months of no in-person school. Institutional school itself presents a variety of difficult situations such as violence, bullying, drug use, peer pressure, stress... Recessions may be associated with mental illness, but not always. Further, any recession factors in play here can only be solved by limiting the pandemic. Extending the pandemic is not a solution.

In the US, we have not experienced, for the most part, the highly isolated lockdowns seen in parts of Europe and Asia. We are able to go outside for exercise, to shop, to do a myriad of activities. If our children are bored or isolated, we must help them find strategies to fix those problems, knowing the limitations on in-person gatherings. Again, what kind of parents are we, and what are we modeling for our children, if our only response to this pandemic is to complain about how limiting it is?

Life is full of learning opportunities. This is one of them.

This is an odd and judgmental post. Very low infection rate in my area and schools are reopening whether you approve or not.  Are you suggesting that we should go to an isolated lockdown for no reason but model something?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Fru-Gal on August 18, 2020, 07:09:04 PM
Absolutely not, if there is no lockdown in your area and in-person school is happening, please take no offense as this POV obviously does not apply to you. It applies in my situation in a county where infection is rising and my kids' school will be remote for possibly the entire academic year, however.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 18, 2020, 07:34:13 PM
Absolutely not, if there is no lockdown in your area and in-person school is happening, please take no offense as this POV obviously does not apply to you. It applies in my situation in a county where infection is rising and my kids' school will be remote for possibly the entire academic year, however.

That wasn't not clear from the post.  It's really time to stop making sweeping generalizations about how all parents should act if we want to make helpful recommendations.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on August 18, 2020, 07:59:49 PM
Our kids go to private and will start school n person with several safety protocols in place. I do not expect a working vaccine in the foreseeable future, nor do I expect universal acceptance of a vaccine if one is developed, nor do I expect the political leadership (Federal, state, or local) to show any previously unseen competence. So to summarize, I think weíre good and screwed. All the choices are varying degrees of bad. I do think that the leadership at our kids school does have a clue and has put a good deal of thought into how theyíll make this work. So itís the least worst bad choice for us.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Michael in ABQ on August 18, 2020, 09:03:26 PM
Our kids returned to their first day of school yesterday at a relatively small Catholic school. I've been away for almost a year deployed but my wife and kids have been self-quarantining since March. The only exception has been her parents who were also in self-quarantine with them. So for five months they've had no one to play with or interact with but each other. My wife said she noticed an immediate positive change in their attitude yesterday evening after school. The negative behaviors built up during months of isolation (basically getting on each other's nerves) were gone and in place was the happy and nice behavior that used to exist. They were all excited to see friends again and return to some level of normalcy.

Our whole metro area of about 800,000 is experiencing around 50 new cases a day. The odds that one of the 100 or so students or staff, or even their immediate family members, will get sick and bring COVID to the school is quite small. It's a risk we're willing to take now that we will no longer by seeing my in-laws. They're in their 70s and will continue to self-quarantine, likely until a vaccine is developed. For the rest of us, we're not going to just sit at home for the next six months waiting for a vaccine.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 18, 2020, 09:44:36 PM
We start tomorrow - and enrollment is up so much from people moving to our resort town that they've called in my wife as a temporary 4th grade teacher. Hopefully temporary, that is.

I did find it a bit hilarious to be at soccer tonight (we coach, well, everything) and hear moms of first graders discussing whether or not they were sending their kids to in person school... while those same kids were clustered in a tight bunch frantically kicking the ball. Think you've already made the decision there, really.

I think it'll go fine.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: LiveLean on August 19, 2020, 11:27:08 AM
Tampa, Florida area. Heading back to in-person school Monday.

1. Millions of parents have been sending their kids to summer camps and daycares for months. But school is reason for concern?

2. Millions of kids who play year-round competitive sports have been training together for months. But now we're going to worry about high school sports? My son's club swim team has been practicing six days a week since early May. His club team overlaps by 90 percent with the high school team, which swims from the start of school until late October. They swim at the same pool. The only difference is that they wear different swim caps for high school season. But once high school season starts next week, we have to sign additional COVID release forms to train at the same pool at the same time with the same people they've been training with since early May.

The vaccine isn't coming any time soon. Rates are droping. Risk is minimal for kids (and, yes, I have an 81-year-old dad with emphysema, so I'm not insentiive to the kids-are-carriers argument).

But at a certain point -- almost six months now -- it's time to ignore the fear porn and get back to life.

Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 29, 2020, 11:34:48 AM
2 week in-person update - things are (so far, at our elementary school) going great! Kids are happy, wearing their masks and doing a great job distancing, parents are generally happy (though complaining about the long line of cars at pickup, as usual), and teachers are pretty happy, though we have a huge surge of new kids and some are having to fill in in classes they don't usually teach until more teachers can be hired.

So far so good. But the real test will come in a few months when flu/cold/etc season hits.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on August 29, 2020, 12:34:51 PM
2 week in-person update - things are (so far, at our elementary school) going great! Kids are happy, wearing their masks and doing a great job distancing, parents are generally happy (though complaining about the long line of cars at pickup, as usual), and teachers are pretty happy, though we have a huge surge of new kids and some are having to fill in in classes they don't usually teach until more teachers can be hired.

So far so good. But the real test will come in a few months when flu/cold/etc season hits.

-W
Our in person schooling started as well. So far, so good. I got my flu shot already, the kids will get it soon. Weíll do what we can to mitigate the risk, but self-incarceration isnít one of the options. Knee-jerk avoidance of all risk is not risk management.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 29, 2020, 12:56:00 PM
Yes, I find it interesting that we have a small minority of parents (10%) that kept their kids home/remote (which is offered by the district) but people who are opposed to in person school are vehement that "the community does not support this". I mean, it looks to me like 90% of the community does, actually.

We have a bit of a loose cannon/unfiltered president of the school board, which is sometimes bad and sometimes good, but he basically said that the board considers in-person education one of the most essential services that allows the community to function in the present and thrive in the future, and that going remote again is a last resort. He pointed out that 4 times as many people died skiing this year here (4) than died from Covid (1), for which he has caught quite a bit of flack. But it's a good point, though of course ski wrecks aren't communicable diseases.

I see the biggest potential problems at the high school, which is much more crowded, and also has kids more likely to get and spread Covid. We'll see.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on August 29, 2020, 02:40:06 PM
Yes, I find it interesting that we have a small minority of parents (10%) that kept their kids home/remote (which is offered by the district) but people who are opposed to in person school are vehement that "the community does not support this". I mean, it looks to me like 90% of the community does, actually.

We have a bit of a loose cannon/unfiltered president of the school board, which is sometimes bad and sometimes good, but he basically said that the board considers in-person education one of the most essential services that allows the community to function in the present and thrive in the future, and that going remote again is a last resort. He pointed out that 4 times as many people died skiing this year here (4) than died from Covid (1), for which he has caught quite a bit of flack. But it's a good point, though of course ski wrecks aren't communicable diseases.

I see the biggest potential problems at the high school, which is much more crowded, and also has kids more likely to get and spread Covid. We'll see.

-W

It's that way on a lot of issues.  A very loud minority decries something or someone, but when it comes time for people to commit with their money or their feet, you see which way the wind is really blowing.   
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: StarBright on August 30, 2020, 09:09:26 AM
Our kids started back last week - 4 days a week in person school, Mondays home learning for "deep cleaning" of school.

I've mentioned this a bit on other threads, but we had originally opted for the virtual learning. It ended up being rolled out so poorly that we switched to in-person a couple of days before it started (we originally had a 5 day window to make the switch).

I live in a community that seems to be strongly anti-mask (or at least the anti mask people are super vocal) and the virtual option felt punitive. They were very up front about all the rules they had put in place to make sure you were educating your child, such as the district hiring people to check on the parents several times a day, time keeping software that timed out if the mouse didn't move every 4 minutes, the requirement to log 5 hours of learning a day, etc.

But the virtual option did not include any actual teachers or in-person instruction, just videos and web forms, and they still hadn't sent us any log in information by the actual day school started.

The virtual roll out was so bad that they shut it back down for a week.

High school has been back in session two weeks, Elementary one week. We've had 7 district employees and 15 students test positive and I think they just said  40+ in quarantine as of Friday.

I'm actually concerned that this is starting to really hurt my community. We had a parent complain to a news station that the promised 4 foot distancing was non-existent in the lower schools. And that parent started getting "snitch" threats on facebook. What a frickin' world.

FWIW- I think the teachers are absolutely doing the best they can with what they have, but we really wish we had been able to stick with the virtual school (which wasn't possible for working parents).
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on August 30, 2020, 03:41:23 PM
Our kids started back last week - 4 days a week in person school, Mondays home learning for "deep cleaning" of school.

I've mentioned this a bit on other threads, but we had originally opted for the virtual learning. It ended up being rolled out so poorly that we switched to in-person a couple of days before it started (we originally had a 5 day window to make the switch).

I live in a community that seems to be strongly anti-mask (or at least the anti mask people are super vocal) and the virtual option felt punitive. They were very up front about all the rules they had put in place to make sure you were educating your child, such as the district hiring people to check on the parents several times a day, time keeping software that timed out if the mouse didn't move every 4 minutes, the requirement to log 5 hours of learning a day, etc.

But the virtual option did not include any actual teachers or in-person instruction, just videos and web forms, and they still hadn't sent us any log in information by the actual day school started.

The virtual roll out was so bad that they shut it back down for a week.

High school has been back in session two weeks, Elementary one week. We've had 7 district employees and 15 students test positive and I think they just said  40+ in quarantine as of Friday.

I'm actually concerned that this is starting to really hurt my community. We had a parent complain to a news station that the promised 4 foot distancing was non-existent in the lower schools. And that parent started getting "snitch" threats on facebook. What a frickin' world.

FWIW- I think the teachers are absolutely doing the best they can with what they have, but we really wish we had been able to stick with the virtual school (which wasn't possible for working parents).

Our kids are all virtual and I am confident that we would not be able to do it if those were the requirements.  It's not possible to work and monitor mouse movement, timing out, etc.  Luckily, in our district, the teachers will count the completion of work as attendance, whether it's "live" or done on our own schedule.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on August 30, 2020, 03:49:41 PM
This ďvirtualĒ schooling looks like homeschooling, but with more hassle. Yeah, you get the curriculum for free, but those arenít that expensive anyway.

It sucks that some of the public schools are botching it on the in-person schooling. At some point the parents who can afford to take their kids out, will.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: chemistk on August 31, 2020, 05:59:51 AM
Our district starts tomorrow, but Kindergarten's first day is Wednesday - so far so good locally. We haven't heard any reports of teachers or other school staff testing positive or being quarantined despite them having been at school sine last week preparing.

Some districts in my region have had positive tests from employees and teachers, and a couple students, but not nearly enough to really feel concerned. Time will tell.

High school football (and most fall sports) were strongly urged to cancel the season, but football will continue as many of the schools feel like it's important to have the football season. Some schools are opting out of football so it's going to make for a strange season.

Perhaps most interestingly, we learned that my wife's youngest siblings (who have autism) will be going to in-person school even if schools close and/or our state returns to a lockdown. The district's logic is that special needs students' IEP's would basically need to be crumpled up and burned in the trash if they were forced to send kids home in the middle of the semester. The only way the special needs kids would be kept home is if their classroom has an outbreak and then after two weeks, they would still return to class.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on August 31, 2020, 09:02:26 AM
That makes sense to me. The harm to a special needs kid missing school is significant.

Hell, the harm to younger kids as a group is significant. Elementary schools should be the *last* places to close, and then only if the adult staff are all getting sick or something. My wife is as we speak serving as an emergency 5th grade teacher while the district works to hire more teachers at our school. Neighbors are helping me with child care for our 1 year old. The whole community understands the stakes here.

I could see most high school kids being fine doing remote, though. I'm a little surprised more districts haven't done HS remote and used the extra space/teachers to spread out the in person elementary kids. I know here they have said that the high school having to close will not necessarily mean the elementary schools have to.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: meerkat on August 31, 2020, 09:54:15 AM
I'm a little surprised more districts haven't done HS remote and used the extra space/teachers to spread out the in person elementary kids.

In my area (Florida) I think they don't have enough computers to go around for that kind of set up. There's a blend of in person and online schooling, but even with that I've heard that computers are going to be thin on the ground in schools since they're having to provide so many to students who are working remotely (and they're not providing them to every single student who is working remotely, just the ones who need them).
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 01, 2020, 04:14:41 PM
I LOL'd at mentioning (and hence, presumably going and looking up) the AR level of a Harry Potter book.

It sounds like your son should just take the fall off from school, honestly. Unless your goal is just to make you both miserable. That's what we did with our (also, just like every freaking kid on this forum, "gifted") 6 and 8 year olds.

Opening colleges in person and not elementary schools is brutally stupid. Best of luck.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: StarBright on September 01, 2020, 04:34:27 PM
I LOL'd at mentioning (and hence, presumably going and looking up) the AR level of a Harry Potter book.

It sounds like your son should just take the fall off from school, honestly. Unless your goal is just to make you both miserable. That's what we did with our (also, just like every freaking kid on this forum, "gifted") 6 and 8 year olds.

Opening colleges in person and not elementary schools is brutally stupid. Best of luck.

-W

LOL- I always notice your posts where you use quotation marks around gifted. But is it so shocking that in a forum full of financial outliers and outside the box thinkers there would be a disproportionate amount of gifted children?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 01, 2020, 04:54:04 PM
I just think it's funny that people here constantly have to mention it.

I also grew up around a lot of kids (Los Alamos NM) where what passes for gifted here was decidedly average. That was a very good thing for me, since it helped me learn early on that once you get to the point where you're actually generating new/interesting knowledge (ie grad school/postdoc), everyone is basically as clever as you, so if you want to do well, you have to work hard and try lots of weird interesting things so you've got a broad base to generate new ideas. So we do our best to keep our kids away from the idea that being smart is a big deal.

But I digress. Get the paperwork for homeschool and give your kid a big project (read every book in the library about the Pacific theater in WWII and write a big report or something along those lines). Memorizing math he already knows is a net negative for both of you and it sounds like he can pass the state standards tests at the end of the year without trouble even if you do no formal "school" at all.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 01, 2020, 05:16:12 PM
I have two children of very different levels of skill, one who read at a high school level in 4th grade and one who barely reads at last year's grade level.  So I don't have much sympathy for parents who are worried about their gifted kids getting bored.  It sucks to deal with as working parents, totally, but they will be fine.  It's a completely different ball game to be worried about a struggling young student who also has no patience for online learning.  I'm lucky because I could hire a tutor, etc.  Now imagine all of the other parents dealing with the same issue who are struggling to make ends meet and scramble for child care.  Let's not quibble over what's gifted or not and recognize that there are large populations of special needs students and students in poverty who will be significantly harmed by what's happening right now.  And by public education in general.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 01, 2020, 05:33:00 PM
Indeed. If you care about social equity at all, keeping elementary schools open and functioning should be priority #1.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: ixtap on September 01, 2020, 05:51:46 PM
Indeed. If you care about social equity at all, keeping elementary schools open and functioning should be priority #1.

-W

Evidently, bars and gyms are a higher priority.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: marbles4 on September 01, 2020, 08:38:13 PM

- Remote learning for my 3rd grader who is 8 sucks monkey balls.  He just does not pay attention.  It's partly him (I mean, he's 8).  He needs in person school OR what he has now, which is his mother sitting next to him, taking away the little toys he's playing with, forcing him to focus on school work every single minute.

This. Just substitute 1st grade for 3rd.

Apparently our district has decided that despite kindergarten math last Spring consisting of having the kids be able to recognize shapes and compare lengths, the expectation for the third week of first grade math is that these same kids will be solving equations like 8 + ? = 14. On an iPad. On which they don't yet have the reading skills to read the word problems.

Unsurprisingly, it's not going well.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Fru-Gal on September 01, 2020, 10:58:01 PM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Arian on September 02, 2020, 05:02:58 AM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?

This!
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 02, 2020, 05:38:05 AM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?

This!

That's not what's happening. There are plenty of students who are getting book learning this year, possibly better, more individual learning if their families are somewhat affluent (plus private and wealthier suburban students).
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 02, 2020, 06:49:17 AM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?

The people who have no access to "book learning" are likely to regress, and will clearly not advance, academically, which will make them less competitive both in the national and international sense, which is likely to hurt their future earnings potential, as well as the competitiveness of any nation that makes this decision as a whole, since "nobody" isn't happening, it would only be certain individuals.

Maybe if someone spent this time learning a great trade, the lack of traditional school would not be a problem, but it's not "all students left behind" it is very much an equity issue of who is being left behind.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 02, 2020, 07:44:00 AM
MMM forum members/Lake Wobegon kids are fine. Remember, they're all above average.

Kids who are struggling to learn to read will end up illiterate. Kids who depend on school for 2 or 3 of their daily meals will go hungry. Kids whose parent beats them won't be noticed by their teacher or school counselor and nobody will intervene.

Honestly, even asking that question is pretty revealing about the bubbles some of us live in.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 02, 2020, 08:05:17 AM
Also wealthier classes of families will never allow for the chance that their kids could fall behind.  Many such families are also against the equitable funding of all school districts, ie, higher taxes= access to better education, and that's the way they want to keep it.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 02, 2020, 08:11:21 AM
It's ok, though. We all got "we believe" yard signs.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 02, 2020, 08:20:33 AM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?

Learning is a long, slow accumulation.  It doesn't happen all at once, and it's built upon previous successes.  The ability to learn in a school setting (for better or worse - and that's a whole other topic of discussion) is an important part of education.

Each time a student takes a break from studies, they regress.  The ability to learn in a school setting is actually lessened.  This is a well known phenomenon and is visible in student returning from summer vacation.  It's more significant the younger the child is.

For many kids, taking a year off from school would be a little set back and they'd be able to catch up and get back on track . . . but for a significant minority (especially those under grade 5) I suspect that it would be detrimental to their long term education.  As has been mentioned, rich families have the means to see that their kids are OK . . . so it will manifest as a bigger issue with poorer children - eventually causing an increase to the wealth/race gap.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Fru-Gal on September 02, 2020, 11:12:03 AM
I believe it's a sign of the times that asking a question results in an ad hominem. The responses are about what I expected.

If *everyone* is behind, no one is behind. Yes the Tiger Parents will require feats of athletic prowess. Yes the poor (for whom we were doing so very much before /s) will be affected.

Interestingly, in my district the school cafeteria program has been feeding 10s of thousands of students and families since April. It's a lovely thing, a genuine pivot to a helpful action. We also distributed hotspots and Chrome books. I'm seeing *more* equity in terms of accessibility to staff, principals, etc. via Zoom.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 02, 2020, 11:16:56 AM
Nice try. We gave everyone laptops too, last spring. Guess what? Lots of poor kids didn't have internet access. Or parents to help them out/make sure they do their schoolwork.

I mean, we already know what has happened:
https://www.yahoo.com/now/remote-school-in-the-fall-will-hurt-lowincome-students-the-most-152333355.html

Your comment was thoughtless. I mean, it really was. We might not have been doing great at helping poor kids before, but we're making it worse now, and saying "how much harm will come from a year of no book learning" is just... it's just an awful thing to say. Period.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 02, 2020, 11:46:42 AM
Everyone is not and will not be behind. We know this, we are seeing it unfold in real time.

We are also giving out food and chromebooks in my district. It doesn't make things close to equitable. I'm hearing from high school teachers that their kids frequently picked up more working hours during "school" this spring to help their families.

The poor urban district can't open mainly because it doesn't have any money to do it safely (update ventilation, space out, hire more staff, transportation, heck, it could barely afford to clean as it was). 

All these things the surrounding suburban districts can and are doing to host in person elementary school children for mostly 5-days a week.  Our community covid numbers are very low.  This is straight up - less money = less learning.

A lot of people find this perfectly ok, even preferable, but often wrap it up in the "I care more about my child's education" line of reasoning.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 02, 2020, 11:48:06 AM
I believe it's a sign of the times that asking a question results in an ad hominem. The responses are about what I expected.

If *everyone* is behind, no one is behind. Yes the Tiger Parents will require feats of athletic prowess. Yes the poor (for whom we were doing so very much before /s) will be affected.

Interestingly, in my district the school cafeteria program has been feeding 10s of thousands of students and families since April. It's a lovely thing, a genuine pivot to a helpful action. We also distributed hotspots and Chrome books. I'm seeing *more* equity in terms of accessibility to staff, principals, etc. via Zoom.

But NOT everyone will be behind.
How will you stop other countries from allowing their students to advance while ours take the year off?
How do you prevent those with means from getting private tutors, or be homeschooled, so that they don't "everyone" is behind?  It won't happen.  A very targeted segment of the population is who will be behind.

If your school district distributed hot spots to all students, that is phenomenal. That was not universal. 
Our public library has a line of kids sitting outside most days so students can access the wifi that was extended to the parking lot.  (Our kids are 75% in person, 25% virtual.)  The kids want to learn.  They don't want a year off.  What do you expect them to do for a year?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Fru-Gal on September 02, 2020, 12:02:50 PM
Have a nice day.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 02, 2020, 12:18:25 PM
Have a nice day.

I'm curious as to why you feel attacked by this disagreement?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on September 02, 2020, 02:12:44 PM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?

Serious answer: it screws over the kids who didnít get any ďbook learningĒ relative to those that did. Because you see the parents who can afford it will put their kids into private schools and get their education just the same. Unless weíre proposing some sort of authoritarian measures to shut down all schools and prevent homeschooling.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: marbles4 on September 02, 2020, 04:34:43 PM
Serious question: What is the harm of nobody (child, college student) getting any "book learning" done for the next year?

I have to confess that I don't follow the question.

Where I live, compulsory attendance applies to school-age kids as long as they are enrolled in public school, which mine are (as I have no interest in homeschooling them or paying for private school).

Public schools in our district are 100% doing remote learning this year. Ergo ....

In other words, what should they do? Nothing? And if so, for how long?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: mbl on September 03, 2020, 03:42:11 PM
 
Quote
It's really time to stop making sweeping generalizations about how all parents should act if we want to make helpful recommendations.

I have two children of very different levels of skill, one who read at a high school level in 4th grade and one who barely reads at last year's grade level.  So I don't have much sympathy for parents who are worried about their gifted kids getting bored. It sucks to deal with as working parents, totally, but they will be fine. 

It's a completely different ball game to be worried about a struggling young student who also has no patience for online learning.  I'm lucky because I could hire a tutor, etc.  Now imagine all of the other parents dealing with the same issue who are struggling to make ends meet and scramble for child care.  Let's not quibble over what's gifted or not and recognize that there are large populations of special needs students and students in poverty who will be significantly harmed by what's happening right now.  And by public education in general.

I read these two posts from you and thought that there was a bit of a contradiction there or at best a mean spirited response to a parent who has a concern for their kid.   Who are you to qualify someone's viewpoint for their particular kid and decide that it has a lower value?  They are different issues but valid nonetheless.  And that parent's worries don't invalidate other kids with different challenges.  Everyone has fears and worries about going back to school.  No one is less deserving of their feelings than anyone else.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Longwaytogo on September 03, 2020, 05:23:27 PM
I have two children of very different levels of skill, one who read at a high school level in 4th grade and one who barely reads at last year's grade level. So I don't have much sympathy for parents who are worried about their gifted kids getting bored.  It sucks to deal with as working parents, totally, but they will be fine.  It's a completely different ball game to be worried about a struggling young student who also has no patience for online learning.  I'm lucky because I could hire a tutor, etc.  Now imagine all of the other parents dealing with the same issue who are struggling to make ends meet and scramble for child care.  Let's not quibble over what's gifted or not and recognize that there are large populations of special needs students and students in poverty who will be significantly harmed by what's happening right now.  And by public education in general.

Anecdotal evidence from my families first week of BULLSHIT virtual learning-

My "gifted" 8 year old is losing her shit and saying she hates school and doesn't want to do it and is very very bored. (VS allows for little/no enrichment which she's been used to her whole life)

My more middle of the road or even occasionally below grade level 10 year old is really proud of herself for doing well so far and helping other kids out in their small group breakouts.

Of course they are just doing reviews from last year mostly so we'll see when new material is introduced, the roles may well reverse

Meanwhile my 9 year old nephew threw his laptop yesterday and said he was going to run away and live in the woods before he'd do any more virtual school.....

So yeah, off to a bangup start :(

----------

I was somewhat indifferent about Virtual school vs in person school this Summer; and figured we would be virtual anyway as our county is pretty liberal (see feud with MD governor and Trump over trying to ban private schools from opening as well) but a week in I'm already wishing they were back in person.

The polls this Summer to parents were almost an exact 50/50 split; but of course not equitable in each school. My wife was part of only 20% of staff that said she would go back.

About half the people I know have their children in learning "pods" with 6-12 other students and staff during the day with little to no PPE. I'm starting up coaching youth softball again 5 days a week. I don't know, school doesn't seem that much riskier. I get it's large numbers but with mask, spacing, less classroom shuffling, etc. it seems it would be better then what we have now.
-----------

February 1st is a looooooong ways off from where I sit today; and no guarantee they'll even go back then.

I don't know. It's frustrating. I just feel so bad for the kids :(
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 03, 2020, 06:05:24 PM
Quote
It's really time to stop making sweeping generalizations about how all parents should act if we want to make helpful recommendations.

I have two children of very different levels of skill, one who read at a high school level in 4th grade and one who barely reads at last year's grade level.  So I don't have much sympathy for parents who are worried about their gifted kids getting bored. It sucks to deal with as working parents, totally, but they will be fine. 

It's a completely different ball game to be worried about a struggling young student who also has no patience for online learning.  I'm lucky because I could hire a tutor, etc.  Now imagine all of the other parents dealing with the same issue who are struggling to make ends meet and scramble for child care.  Let's not quibble over what's gifted or not and recognize that there are large populations of special needs students and students in poverty who will be significantly harmed by what's happening right now.  And by public education in general.

I read these two posts from you and thought that there was a bit of a contradiction there or at best a mean spirited response to a parent who has a concern for their kid.   Who are you to qualify someone's viewpoint for their particular kid and decide that it has a lower value?  They are different issues but valid nonetheless.  And that parent's worries don't invalidate other kids with different challenges.  Everyone has fears and worries about going back to school.  No one is less deserving of their feelings than anyone else.

I think my comments were fairly measured. Not invalidated anyone's feelings.  I said it really sucks, but having dealt with both situations simultaneously, it's harder to deal with a bored child who was already struggling academically than a bored child who is well ahead of grade level. So I personally have less sympathy for the latter situation. You cut out the post I was responding to above so to that's a bit disingenuous.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: mm1970 on September 03, 2020, 06:20:04 PM
Quote
It's really time to stop making sweeping generalizations about how all parents should act if we want to make helpful recommendations.

I have two children of very different levels of skill, one who read at a high school level in 4th grade and one who barely reads at last year's grade level.  So I don't have much sympathy for parents who are worried about their gifted kids getting bored. It sucks to deal with as working parents, totally, but they will be fine. 

It's a completely different ball game to be worried about a struggling young student who also has no patience for online learning.  I'm lucky because I could hire a tutor, etc.  Now imagine all of the other parents dealing with the same issue who are struggling to make ends meet and scramble for child care.  Let's not quibble over what's gifted or not and recognize that there are large populations of special needs students and students in poverty who will be significantly harmed by what's happening right now.  And by public education in general.

I read these two posts from you and thought that there was a bit of a contradiction there or at best a mean spirited response to a parent who has a concern for their kid.   Who are you to qualify someone's viewpoint for their particular kid and decide that it has a lower value?  They are different issues but valid nonetheless.  And that parent's worries don't invalidate other kids with different challenges.  Everyone has fears and worries about going back to school.  No one is less deserving of their feelings than anyone else.

I think my comments were fairly measured. Not invalidated anyone's feelings.  I said it really sucks, but having dealt with both situations simultaneously, it's harder to deal with a bored child who was already struggling academically than a bored child who is well ahead of grade level. So I personally have less sympathy for the latter situation. You cut out the post I was responding to above so to that's a bit disingenuous.
You didn't quote anyone in your original post, BTW.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: charis on September 03, 2020, 06:48:36 PM
Quote
It's really time to stop making sweeping generalizations about how all parents should act if we want to make helpful recommendations.

I have two children of very different levels of skill, one who read at a high school level in 4th grade and one who barely reads at last year's grade level.  So I don't have much sympathy for parents who are worried about their gifted kids getting bored. It sucks to deal with as working parents, totally, but they will be fine. 

It's a completely different ball game to be worried about a struggling young student who also has no patience for online learning.  I'm lucky because I could hire a tutor, etc.  Now imagine all of the other parents dealing with the same issue who are struggling to make ends meet and scramble for child care.  Let's not quibble over what's gifted or not and recognize that there are large populations of special needs students and students in poverty who will be significantly harmed by what's happening right now.  And by public education in general.

I read these two posts from you and thought that there was a bit of a contradiction there or at best a mean spirited response to a parent who has a concern for their kid.   Who are you to qualify someone's viewpoint for their particular kid and decide that it has a lower value?  They are different issues but valid nonetheless.  And that parent's worries don't invalidate other kids with different challenges.  Everyone has fears and worries about going back to school.  No one is less deserving of their feelings than anyone else.

I think my comments were fairly measured. Not invalidated anyone's feelings.  I said it really sucks, but having dealt with both situations simultaneously, it's harder to deal with a bored child who was already struggling academically than a bored child who is well ahead of grade level. So I personally have less sympathy for the latter situation. You cut out the post I was responding to above so to that's a bit disingenuous.
You didn't quote anyone in your original post, BTW.

My apologies. I recall now that I was responding to a post above with quoting. But it was nonetheless taken out of context.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: ForeignServiceWife on September 04, 2020, 11:18:13 PM
Iím a little late to this whole conversation, but hereís my thoughts and experience with the whole question of school:

My family consists of myself, husband, 5 year old girl, 2.5 year old boy, 2 week old newborn boy. We are all low risk, except for the newborn - but thatís just because heís so ridiculously young. Husband leaves for Iraq in four weeks and will be there for 12 months so itís just me and the kids.

We live in Oregon, in a county with a low population and low case counts, with infection rates falling. Our R0 rate is 0.9 statewide and even lower in our county, although I donít have the specifics. Masks are mandated and use is widespread, people seem to be reasonably cautious for the most part.

Our 5 year old is eligible for kindergarten this year, but we are not putting her in public school. Long before the pandemic began, we decided against public school for her. We were doing a hybrid homeschool/in-person blend of school before coronavirus made it cool - she has some mild developmental delays and significant emotional/anxiety issues, so we started doing part time non-academic preschool for her two years ago, for the social development and also to give me a little bit of a break for a few hours a week because she requires SO much intense hands on parenting. We have done all ďacademicĒ work with her through homeschooling, which at this age is mostly reading aloud and lots of life skills.

This year, we chose to continue this model. She will go to an in person preschool M/W/F for 3 hours. We came to this decision for a few reasons:
-Daughter has always had significant issues with peer interaction and social development. Preschool has been the best therapy for her by FAR. We have noticed significant regression in her social skills since the lockdown began, in addition to marked boredom, loneliness, and anxiety.
-I will be a single stay at home parent for 12 months to three very young children. Having her at preschool for 9 hours per week will be essential to all of us surviving the year.
-As I said, case counts in our area are falling, public schools are not opening for at least another 7 weeks, and the university in our town is almost entirely virtual. The preschool itself is taking all reasonable precautions, but she will be in a classroom of 10-15 other 4/5 year olds so thereís only so much you can do. Masks are not required for the children, but are for adults.
-I discussed the issue with my very competent pediatrician today at the babyís well visit. He and I agree that the risk of any of us contracting Covid is fairly low, the risk of severe illness or long term effects is extremely low. The bigger concern is the baby contracting one of the many routine childhood illnesses that fester in preschools, particularly flu or RSV. But given the amount of disinfecting and other precautions being taken this year, the risk of that happening is probably lower this year than in the pre-Covid world.
-Daycares and summer camps have been operating in person for many weeks now, while cases continue to fall. This gives me even more confidence in my decision.

What it really comes down to for me is that the benefits of her going to school far, far outweigh the negatives. The risks of her staying in isolation at home for another year are significantly higher than sending her to school.

As a few others have said, coronavirus is here to stay. Herd immunity will not save us. A vaccine will not save us. At least not for another couple years. Itís one more risk that we face in our lives. Like anything else in life, we cannot eliminate the risk. We, as a society and as a world, have to learn how to live with that risk and carry on with our lives as best we can. Living holed up in our houses for the next couple years is not the answer. We have to decide what matters most and prioritize those things. I believe education, particularly early childhood education, should be one of the highest priorities. We are privileged to have choices for our daughter (especially given her unique needs) and we can pay for private preschool and supplement with homeschooling. We desperately need to figure our stuff out in this country and prioritize equitable access to education and healthcare for all populations, especially those most at risk of being left behind by this pandemic.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on September 05, 2020, 06:36:46 AM
Iím a little late to this whole conversation, but hereís my thoughts and experience with the whole question of school:

My family consists of myself, husband, 5 year old girl, 2.5 year old boy, 2 week old newborn boy. We are all low risk, except for the newborn - but thatís just because heís so ridiculously young. Husband leaves for Iraq in four weeks and will be there for 12 months so itís just me and the kids.

We live in Oregon, in a county with a low population and low case counts, with infection rates falling. Our R0 rate is 0.9 statewide and even lower in our county, although I donít have the specifics. Masks are mandated and use is widespread, people seem to be reasonably cautious for the most part.

Our 5 year old is eligible for kindergarten this year, but we are not putting her in public school. Long before the pandemic began, we decided against public school for her. We were doing a hybrid homeschool/in-person blend of school before coronavirus made it cool - she has some mild developmental delays and significant emotional/anxiety issues, so we started doing part time non-academic preschool for her two years ago, for the social development and also to give me a little bit of a break for a few hours a week because she requires SO much intense hands on parenting. We have done all ďacademicĒ work with her through homeschooling, which at this age is mostly reading aloud and lots of life skills.

This year, we chose to continue this model. She will go to an in person preschool M/W/F for 3 hours. We came to this decision for a few reasons:
-Daughter has always had significant issues with peer interaction and social development. Preschool has been the best therapy for her by FAR. We have noticed significant regression in her social skills since the lockdown began, in addition to marked boredom, loneliness, and anxiety.
-I will be a single stay at home parent for 12 months to three very young children. Having her at preschool for 9 hours per week will be essential to all of us surviving the year.
-As I said, case counts in our area are falling, public schools are not opening for at least another 7 weeks, and the university in our town is almost entirely virtual. The preschool itself is taking all reasonable precautions, but she will be in a classroom of 10-15 other 4/5 year olds so thereís only so much you can do. Masks are not required for the children, but are for adults.
-I discussed the issue with my very competent pediatrician today at the babyís well visit. He and I agree that the risk of any of us contracting Covid is fairly low, the risk of severe illness or long term effects is extremely low. The bigger concern is the baby contracting one of the many routine childhood illnesses that fester in preschools, particularly flu or RSV. But given the amount of disinfecting and other precautions being taken this year, the risk of that happening is probably lower this year than in the pre-Covid world.
-Daycares and summer camps have been operating in person for many weeks now, while cases continue to fall. This gives me even more confidence in my decision.

What it really comes down to for me is that the benefits of her going to school far, far outweigh the negatives. The risks of her staying in isolation at home for another year are significantly higher than sending her to school.

As a few others have said, coronavirus is here to stay. Herd immunity will not save us. A vaccine will not save us. At least not for another couple years. Itís one more risk that we face in our lives. Like anything else in life, we cannot eliminate the risk. We, as a society and as a world, have to learn how to live with that risk and carry on with our lives as best we can. Living holed up in our houses for the next couple years is not the answer. We have to decide what matters most and prioritize those things. I believe education, particularly early childhood education, should be one of the highest priorities. We are privileged to have choices for our daughter (especially given her unique needs) and we can pay for private preschool and supplement with homeschooling. We desperately need to figure our stuff out in this country and prioritize equitable access to education and healthcare for all populations, especially those most at risk of being left behind by this pandemic.

Wow.  Well said.  I haven't seen you around before.  Pleased to meetcha! 
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Michael in ABQ on September 07, 2020, 08:10:57 AM
Our kids have been going to in-person school for the last three weeks. It's a small private school, less than 100 students total. The kids and teachers all wear masks during the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up but once they're in their class the just have the desks spread apart more. They also don't move around to other classes as much (music, art, latin, etc.) those teachers come to their class. They also eat lunch in their classrooms.

The kids are enjoying it. The virtual stuff they did for the last part of spring semester was ok but basically just treading water. Everyone seems to be on board and they've even had a few kids join the school because the public schools are only virtual and for a lot of parents that's just not a viable option anymore. My wife stays at home so we could do the virtual thing, but I definitely wouldn't want to pay private school tuition to get virtual learning. It was one thing last semester when there was no other option and we didn't know enough about the virus. Now, all the positive factors outweigh the frankly miniscule health risks to our kids and by extension my wife and I as relatively young healthy adults.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: DesertRatNomad on September 07, 2020, 08:44:13 AM
As an inclusion teacher in a district that has been open in-person for 3 weeks Iíll add a perspective for anyone still wrestling with this.  Iím in multiple teachersí classrooms every day so I see a fair amount.  Please take the school reopening plan with a grain of salt and realize that many teachers do not take this very seriously.  Mask compliance is actually worse with teachers on my team than it is with the 7th grade students (which have been better than I expected). Social distancing isnít really happening. Many of the precautions planned for by my district address spread via surfaces (a low risk and as far as I know rarely documented route) while inadequately addressing the higher risk routes (droplets, aerosols).   The district puts its policies on the plan to protect itself but the reality on the ground may or may not really match the plan.  Our principal has had to repeatedly send out memos reminding us that we have to report any positive test or quarantine  in our household (because some staff evidently have not done so). 

That said, weíve made it 3 weeks with fewer people sick and quarantined than I expected so maybe take that as a somewhat positive sign. 

As for me, my wife and I are both wearing full face respirators with P100 filters all day at work so that might tell you my level of concern.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 07, 2020, 09:33:24 AM
Pretty interesting to hear about these different experiences. Teachers can't be bothered to wear masks? Really?

We're at 3 weeks in and so far so good. Kids are masked up, teachers are masked up, classes are kept separate, lunch is eaten in the classroom (or outside), etc. Things seem to be working great. Kids are happy, teachers are generally happy. We need more subs, but that was already the case pre-pandemic.

My wife is finally going to get a break, as the district filled the open 5th grade position! Yay!

If you have teachers that can't even manage to mask themselves, I think I'd rather not be at that school even if there wasn't a pandemic...

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Jon Bon on September 07, 2020, 09:54:04 AM
We start back in person tomorrow.

We did 2 weeks of virtual. My 2nd grader who is awesome at school is about done with it. She is at the age (last year) when she LOVES everything about it. Now she wants to throw her computer out the window (so do her parents fwiw)

It's honestly the worst of both worlds. The isolation of home school without the freedom to do as you please in the day.

So I am looking forward to tomorrow. They are sucking a whole lot of fun out of school, but it will be much better than virtual. With all the precautions I highly doubt it will spread IN the school but kids will continue of course to get it from family members, playmates, etc.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: mm1970 on September 07, 2020, 11:25:26 AM
We are still all virtual for the foreseeable future and it still kind of sucks.  I ran into one of the teachers at our elementary school yesterday at the grocery store and we chatted (both masked, natch).

It's ok for him.  He's teaching 6th.  Kids know the technology and their responsibilities.  If they don't do the work, it's because they don't want to.  His wife teaches also, but at a different school and I think kindergarten. 

He mentioned "I don't know how you can really expect younger kids to work without someone sitting with them."  I told him that's basically what I do with my 3rd grader.  His daughter is in the same class, and they have no idea how she's doing.  I said "she's doing pretty well, engaged, better than my kid!"  We are both hoping, maybe January?
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 07, 2020, 11:32:34 AM
latin

There exist schools in this day and age that teach latin?  Bizarre.  I thought that largely died out with cursive and abacus work.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: DesertRatNomad on September 07, 2020, 01:06:34 PM

If you have teachers that can't even manage to mask themselves, I think I'd rather not be at that school even if there wasn't a pandemic...

-W

Itís not an outright refusal to wear masks.  It is lots of pulling them down at every available opportunity (while teaching)  and not wearing them in close proximity to one another (not during class) and encouraging kids to pull their masks down when they are talking (so they can be heard).   
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Michael in ABQ on September 07, 2020, 02:04:52 PM
latin

There exist schools in this day and age that teach latin?  Bizarre.  I thought that largely died out with cursive and abacus work.

It's a classical school so all the kids learn Latin and the do write in cursive. Latin is the root of many English words as well as much of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. They do learn some Greek words as well. No abacus that I'm aware of. They use Singapore math in the lower grades and I can't recall for the upper grades.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 07, 2020, 04:18:47 PM
latin

There exist schools in this day and age that teach latin?  Bizarre.  I thought that largely died out with cursive and abacus work.

It's a classical school so all the kids learn Latin and the do write in cursive. Latin is the root of many English words as well as much of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. They do learn some Greek words as well. No abacus that I'm aware of. They use Singapore math in the lower grades and I can't recall for the upper grades.

I guess it doesn't make much difference in the end . . . we wasted lots of time in school learning stuff with pretty minimal or tangential value at best (sentence structure analysis/identification and fawnix - I'm lookin' at both of you).
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on September 08, 2020, 07:31:37 AM
latin

There exist schools in this day and age that teach latin?  Bizarre.  I thought that largely died out with cursive and abacus work.

Our public schools teach latin, you select the foreign language you want to study.

It does wonders for being able to figure out cognates in other languages.  I can't speak any other language but English, but my 8 years of Latin mean whenever I travel Europe, I can get the gist of signage in nearly any romance language.   It also helped immensely with my English vocabulary.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Kmp2 on September 11, 2020, 04:10:15 PM
So, schools went back here and we completed our first (fullish-we had a stat holiday on monday) week, and one staggered entry week last week.

So far schools 30ish schools reported a case, where the child was at school while infectious. That's a rate of about 1 out of every 100 schools. Each class that the infectious student was in has been asked to stay home for 14 days, and self isolate (stay in their own room and use their own designated bathroom if possible).  In one highschool 100 students were sent home because they were in a shared gym with 3 separate classes.  We are in for one long disruptive year at this rate!

This is going to be a long disruptive year.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on September 11, 2020, 05:04:57 PM
Itís been 3 weeks back for my kids and no drama so far. Theyíre working the plan and the plan seems to be working.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 11, 2020, 05:36:59 PM
1% having a problem in the first 1.5 weeks seems pretty good.

Where do you live where your district has 3000 schools?

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Longwaytogo on September 11, 2020, 05:47:19 PM
Itís been 3 weeks back for my kids and no drama so far. Theyíre working the plan and the plan seems to be working.

Nice! Glad it's going well so far :)
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Abe on September 11, 2020, 10:47:22 PM
My kid has stayed in daycare since they reopened in May (wife and I both are health workers, so had an exemption). Despite the surge in cases in June/July we had no issues and no reports of COVID at the facility (staff or children). The kids are semi-compliant with masks. The staff are fully compliant. Most of the parents work in the surrounding hospitals or clinics, so we're high risk, yet things seem fine. We will see in the fall after moving to Houston, which was also hard hit.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Kmp2 on September 12, 2020, 06:00:26 PM
1% having a problem in the first 1.5 weeks seems pretty good.

Where do you live where your district has 3000 schools?

-W

Canada - our stats are tabulated provincially.  And over the course of the year (if cases stay steady, and don't rise over the winter - which we know they will)... we'd expect 1/4-1/3 of students to have had to quarantined solely based on having a covid case in their class. That doesn't even start to consider the normal colds and flu isolation roughly 20-50x more prevalent than covid here. For that isolation is 10days, or until symptoms resolve (and that's with a -ve covid test). It's going to be a long year, with lots of absenteeism.  Note we have far far lower community spread than lots of states.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 12, 2020, 06:03:33 PM
If 1/4 of the student body has to at some point quarantine during the school year, that's a giant victory, because it means that basically, everyone got to go to school and learn.

I'd definitely take that.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Kmp2 on September 12, 2020, 06:08:43 PM
Sorry - 1/3-1/4 of schools would have a class requiring isolation. Only about 10% of kids would have to quarantine - but these are some pretty big assumptions (no in school spread, and cases in school age kids remain constant - not increase).  And yes, it's a testament to public health in Canada. And we are the worst performing province... some provinces will see many fewer cases.

The main question is if the quarantine and isolation rules can be followed - by lower income, at risk groups who NEED kids in school to meet rent/food.  The success will determine on how possible it is to follow the rules
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Kmp2 on September 14, 2020, 08:47:06 AM
And we are up to 46 schools with at least a single case, and 6 with confirmed outbreaks (2+cases).
This is probably close to what a full week will look like (as the first week was staggered, and last week had a holiday).

In on school a single case resulted in almost 100 grade 10's quarantining, but most look to affect about 25.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Margie on September 17, 2020, 11:12:41 AM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

If I had younger children I would be very conflicted...but my daughter is in HS and she wanted to go back.  She loves school and is a very motivated student.  Anyhow, our region is organizing HS in a five day cycle..but not M-F but rather W-W...so MTW mornings in school (15 kids in class); MTW afternoons at home online with other subject.  Then TF and the following MTW all lessons at home on line for both subjects.  The following week TF then MTW in class in morning and online in afternoon.  Makes sense?  It is so bizarre it literally makes no sense.  The teachers teach 15 kids in class followed by 15 kids online...they are considered one class.  I think it will be hard for a teacher to be sure they taught each group the exact same lesson so I think exams might be a bit off this year.   She is taking mainly AP classes so these kids are fairly bright but I do worry a bit for the ones at the other end, the ones who need a bit more attention.  Although, maybe 2.5 hours with 15 kids will help those kids better than normal class.  Who knows really? 

I have a compromised immune system but I have assured my family that if I get it and die please do not feel guilty about it.  My husband has worked throughout this whole thing (works outside) and my son started his apprenticeship (works inside).  I have for the most part stayed away from everyone.  Not looking forward to another potential lock down. 

Anyhow, just do the best you can and really at some point life goes on.  I am glad my daughter is not really interested in dating yet because I think with all this extra time off the teenagers who are will be closer than recommended. 


Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on September 17, 2020, 11:18:53 AM
In our province of Ontario we have the options of:

- don't put your kid in school

Or

- in person in classrooms with no reduction of class size, no mandatory mask wearing, no possibility of social distancing

Both of which suck.  We're still undecided.  Our son needs more social interaction and we both work full time . . . but the current plan in place seems like a really, really bad idea.

If I had younger children I would be very conflicted...but my daughter is in HS and she wanted to go back.  She loves school and is a very motivated student.  Anyhow, our region is organizing HS in a five day cycle..but not M-F but rather W-W...so MTW mornings in school (15 kids in class); MTW afternoons at home online with other subject.  Then TF and the following MTW all lessons at home on line for both subjects.  The following week TF then MTW in class in morning and online in afternoon.  Makes sense?  It is so bizarre it literally makes no sense.  The teachers teach 15 kids in class followed by 15 kids online...they are considered one class.  I think it will be hard for a teacher to be sure they taught each group the exact same lesson so I think exams might be a bit off this year.   She is taking mainly AP classes so these kids are fairly bright but I do worry a bit for the ones at the other end, the ones who need a bit more attention.  Although, maybe 2.5 hours with 15 kids will help those kids better than normal class.  Who knows really? 

I have a compromised immune system but I have assured my family that if I get it and die please do not feel guilty about it.  My husband has worked throughout this whole thing (works outside) and my son started his apprenticeship (works inside).  I have for the most part stayed away from everyone.  Not looking forward to another potential lock down. 

Anyhow, just do the best you can and really at some point life goes on.  I am glad my daughter is not really interested in dating yet because I think with all this extra time off the teenagers who are will be closer than recommended.

Things have changed since that post.  Mask wearing is now mandatory, distance learning is allowed, class sizes have been lowered, social distancing is being observed pretty well.  We've tentatively got our son going to school now (at least for another month or so until when I suspect that the continually rising case numbers get wildly out of control here in Toronto and it will be too unsafe).
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Margie on September 17, 2020, 11:35:10 AM
It is a weird time for sure.  I feel the same about just pulling her out if it gets bad.   So far, the kids and teachers are wearing their masks and sitting apart.  They have to sign in to use the bathroom (so they can contact trace) otherwise, it does seem to be business as usual.  She is much happier.  Without sports or her school friends the winter was a bit rough some days.  I was her main 'in person' conversationalist so that was awesome for me but probably not so much for her!  lol  I am glad we get along pretty well.  (my mom and I were like cats and dogs when I was a teenager - I would have lost my mind stuck at home with her for six months!)  Anyhow, good luck with everything...we are in Waterloo Region so a bit of a breather compared to TO.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: MayDay on September 20, 2020, 08:04:09 PM
Our district is hybrid based on local case levels. They've prioritized in person learning for at risk kids which means I have one kid 100% virtual and another in school 3 days a week (autistic).

All kids going in person are just in a single classroom, with no changing classes and only 10 kids. They eat lunch and do as much as possible outside. Masks on all day. They are doing tennis for PE and socialization so nice and spaced out. I can only imagine the hilarity of that tennis class based on my kid lolol.

Two weeks complete and no cases yet. And if there are cases it'll be only 10-12 people needing to quarantine. So fairly low risk.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: clarkfan1979 on September 29, 2020, 02:09:22 PM
Our son is 3 years old and qualifies for state funded pre-school because he has a speech delay. He went back to school face to face last week with masks. All parents in the district have the option to keep their kid at home and teach on-line.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: v8rx7guy on September 29, 2020, 02:13:42 PM
Our school district is returning to in person for high need students and grades K-12 .  Our county new infections/100K-wk is hovering around 30-40 which puts the health director of the state into aprroaching "recommend in person learning" territory per their flow chart.  The private schools in the county have had zero issues over the first month which is a good sign.  I think we are happy (?) that our kindergartner will receive in person learning, online is not working well for him, but of course have some nervousness to overcome.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on September 29, 2020, 02:15:17 PM
Week 6 update: Our high school quarantined one sports team (and I'm still not clear why sports are even going on, but whatever).

Elementary/middle schools totally good. So far. Kids learning, teachers happy, fingers crossed we can keep it up, even if it means my own life is a lot busier than I'd like (wife is still working 3-4 days a week to make sure any teacher with any kind of minor sniffles or health complaint or family vulnerability stays home).

At the state level, UT is getting just hammered with college kids testing positive, but no real health impacts so far (ie hospitalizations/deaths continue at around the same rate as in the summer).

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: chemistk on September 30, 2020, 05:35:04 AM
I'll toss in an update -

Our son has been in school for just about a month now. Our district has 4 elementary schools and only one middle and one high school.

To date there have only been 5 cases within the district, and although the district has not shared whether they are students are teachers, the wording on 4 of them has made it seem like it's been students. Two of the elementary schools have had one case (not our son's), the middle school has had two, and the high school has had one. 4 of the 5 cases have now 'lapsed' past the quarantine date and no other cases have stemmed from them.

Students wear masks daily and it sounds like compliance rates are high, at least in our son's class. I think it helps that our son's teacher is in her second year teaching and is committed to having the kids wear their masks instead of letting it slide. He has an assigned seat on the bus.

We're very glad he's in school. He gets home every day exhausted, mentally and physically. Many of the activities and classwork he's done are things we would have a hard time supervising here. They get to play outside every day, and the social interaction is invaluable. Many of his earlier anxieties have subsided - not disappeared, but he's been able to handle stressful situations much better since starting school.

My wife has also benefitted greatly. Our younger two are totally different personalities from our oldest and the youngest still naps for a couple hours. While he naps, our middle one solo plays (something our oldest never wanted to do), so she ends up getting a couple hours of quiet a day.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: 20957 on October 02, 2020, 04:05:17 AM
My first grader is in virtual school and I'm loving it. Pretty much all of my concerns about her school have been fixed by going virtual. She has 2.5 hours of FLA and math in the morning (with breaks) and 40 min of special in the afternoon. I had been unhappy with the sheer amount of time in a seat given the commute and the school's lack of commitment to recess- now she has plenty of time to play inside and out. The start time works much better for us. The disruptive kids can be muted. The teacher pays more attention to participation and understanding than to wiggling and fidgeting so her "behavior" has improved and she's pleased with herself at the end of the day. I have time to read to her and do projects. Basically it feels like semi-homeschooling and I am holding my breath for it to fall apart somehow.

My preschoolers are back in school every morning in a class with 6 other kids, mostly outdoors and masked- compliance seems better than I would have expected for 4 year olds. No positive tests in the school so far and their speech (they have articulation issues) has improved in just a few weeks despite not getting speech therapy (it has been put on hold by the school system). I love this school and am glad I took the risk to send them.

I feel very lucky with our options and choices for the older kids- now if someone could teach my baby to sleep...
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: TheFrenchCat on October 02, 2020, 10:15:19 AM
Our kindergartener has been in virtual school for almost a month and it's going much better than I anticipated.  She has three 40 minute lessons and then a 15 minute story time at the end of the day.  They just added in specials which I estimate will take about 15 minutes a day.  Her teacher has been doing great and I can even get some work done while she does school. 

The school she could go to in person just reported their first case yesterday of someone in the school, though they didn't say if it was staff, student or someone else.  They said the person had minimal contact, so they're not having anyone else quarantine.  If this doesn't spread we'll be more inclined to send her in person for marking period 2 or 3.  I feel lucky that they have a full virtual option and also that we have the choice to switch at each marking period.

I mostly feel reluctant to send her in person because our county's cases are relatively high, at about 10-20 cases per day per 100k people.  But I think most of it is from the colleges that opened in person, since the cases spiked right after they opened and they've reported high numbers of cases and shut down in person classes last week.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: marbles4 on October 02, 2020, 03:31:19 PM
My first grader is in virtual school and I'm loving it. Pretty much all of my concerns about her school have been fixed by going virtual. She has 2.5 hours of FLA and math in the morning (with breaks) and 40 min of special in the afternoon. I had been unhappy with the sheer amount of time in a seat given the commute and the school's lack of commitment to recess- now she has plenty of time to play inside and out. The start time works much better for us. The disruptive kids can be muted. The teacher pays more attention to participation and understanding than to wiggling and fidgeting so her "behavior" has improved and she's pleased with herself at the end of the day. I have time to read to her and do projects. Basically it feels like semi-homeschooling and I am holding my breath for it to fall apart somehow.

My preschoolers are back in school every morning in a class with 6 other kids, mostly outdoors and masked- compliance seems better than I would have expected for 4 year olds. No positive tests in the school so far and their speech (they have articulation issues) has improved in just a few weeks despite not getting speech therapy (it has been put on hold by the school system). I love this school and am glad I took the risk to send them.

I feel very lucky with our options and choices for the older kids- now if someone could teach my baby to sleep...

Our public school district has also been all virtual for the past month and a half now and our experience has been largely positive. Agree that it is like homeschool but better. Lots of outside playtime and 1x1 teaching assistance from mom or dad.

The main contributor to this successful outcome for us is the fact that we are two parents working from home everyday who have the ability and flexibility to be able to help out the kidsí school. A fortunate situation indeed, but not the norm for most.

ETA: our countyís daily cases are in the 60s per 100k residents
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: TVRodriguez on October 05, 2020, 09:35:42 AM
We chose to continue remote online learning for our three kids--4th grade, 6th grade, and 8th grade.  It's going well, but we are fortunate that both parents can work from home.  We're going to keep them virtual for as long as we can.  Our school is small, physically small, and we want to leave the seats open for those parents who are not able to keep working from home.  Plus, our kids are doing fine, so there's nothing pushing us to make them go back in person.

We had a few hiccups, but we've addressed them as they've arisen.  We have good communication with the teachers and administration at our school, which is good.  And our kids are fairly close in age and get along, so they're not completely missing the social aspect of school.  Plus we let them play video games online with their friends sometimes on the weekends, for the social aspect.

I LOVE not having the morning rush and rush to pickup in the afternoon.  That has been awesome.  And I enjoy having lunch with them each day.

And the 13 year old loves rolling out of bed over to his computer to log into school--he gets to sleep later.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: I'm a red panda on October 05, 2020, 10:30:59 AM
We've gone through a number of 2-week quarantines with our daycare when staff members test positive. Starting today, our 3-year old is now in a mask full time.  She loves wearing her mask, but has never done so for more than a few hours.  Hope it goes OK.  I think she will like it if all her friends wear them too.

Infant still doesn't wear one. So if a staff member in his room tests positive, both kids are out for 2 weeks again.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: meerkat on October 05, 2020, 10:58:16 AM
Five weeks in with a kindergartener, it's going okay overall. My biggest gripe is with the reading curriculum - the way its set up functionally is garbage (they'll do a story, then several slides later have questions about the story, sometimes there's a printable page that just says "Draw" with a box. Draw what? Where are the instructions? Then there's the times you need Adobe Flash just to ... go to a thing that you click on to take you to another page altogether. They could have just had a direct link and eliminated the need for Flash.) I have a book on order so we'll probably do a different reading curriculum and just fill out the three question quizzes (half of which he knows because of other work we've done with him on learning his letters and not because of him actually learning from the curriculum).

Pros: we signed up for a flexible set up so we blasted through the first units of science and social studies in two weeks when they suggested schedule has them taking two months. We do school first thing in the morning and after work. The subjects are math, reading, science, social studies, and gym. Gym is on the honor system, there's a "quiz" every week where we write what activities he's done that week and how many minutes (minimum 150, as soon as he has 150 I submit the quiz even if its early in the week). Activities have been stuff like family walk, running around inside, running around outside, dance party.

Given the shitty situation we're starting with, I'm actually really liking this online school set up. If the pandemic were over tomorrow, though, we'd happily send him back to a physical school where he could interact with other kids and probably go to after care till we picked him up after work.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: chemistk on October 14, 2020, 12:39:11 PM
Updating this thread with cautious optimism - we just got a note from our district today sharing its appreciation for all the families, students, and staff who are taking the virus seriously. It's only mid-October, and things are probably not going to be as 'easy' as they have been to date especially if our state's levels start to increase significantly, but they were eager to give thanks to everyone who has worked hard at this point to keep the schools clean and to everyone who is following the public health guidelines.

There have been about a dozen and a half or so cases within our district since the school year (in-person) started about 6 weeks ago. Through contact tracing, they have been able to determine that (so far) all of the cases were isolated - none of them led to another positive case within the district/all of the cases originated from outside school grounds. Multiple cases never even made it into the building - some individuals self-isolated out of caution only to later discover they were, indeed, positive.

Our district has roughly 4100 students, and about 85% or so opted for in-person school. Considering teachers and staff among the 6 schools, plus buses, there's probably over 5k people currently cycling through the district on a given day. That's a heck of a lot of opportunities for things to go south.

This is not standard for the area, many neighboring districts have seen far higher numbers, especially among high schoolers. In those districts, most of the outbreaks were linked back to unsanctioned afterschool gatherings where most kids didn't wear masks.

The above highlights how critical it is that families take things seriously, but my district's communication also shows that there could be a 'right way' to handle things. We don't know if any of the positive cases resulted in hospitalization, but we are very thankful for the vigilance of the district, the openness of their communications, and that in-person school has been going supremely well so far.

Also affirming our choice for in-person, there are families within the district that still have not yet received the necessary books, technology, and supplementary materials for virtual learning. 

Plus today was picture day, and I'm hoping our son cheesed well. His preschool picture was hilarious and I'd love if he turned out another great one.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: GuitarStv on October 14, 2020, 12:50:36 PM
We put our son back into school (in person) this year.  It has been a mixed bag.  The school is taking a lot of safety measures (every child required to wear a mask at all times, social distancing rules, plexiglass bubbles over each desk, etc.)  There's a daily questionnaire that has to be filled in by parents of student regarding chance of contacting someone with covid, and this has to be checked (outside) before the child is allowed to go into school.  Staggered entry times for each grade have made it a little more complicated to do drop off/pick up.

Attendance in the school has dropped to about 50% of normal.  A huge percentage of the schools in Toronto have had kids who tested positive now.  Our son's class was sent home for two weeks quarantine because of a positive case, and he's due to be allowed back in school this Thursday.

Virtual learning sounds like it has been pretty shit so far, and the last two weeks of trying to do virtual learning with our son while quarantining has been pretty bad.  I have to assume quality of education is much higher in person.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: waltworks on October 14, 2020, 07:39:15 PM
We're still chugging along at ~8 weeks in. There have been some outbreaks at the high school involving sports and parties. The biggest problem there is that a lot of the teachers have kids those ages and have had to quarantine. But it's at least going.

Elementary schools have had 1 case total, I think? They are doing great.

-W
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Longwaytogo on October 15, 2020, 10:15:01 AM
We are still 100% Virtual; it still 1000% sucks :/

Glad its going reasonably well for those of you that are open. Gives me some hope for next Semester.

Our district is hopefully meeting and making decisions through out Nov to determine if they'll go back in some fashion Feb 1st.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Chrissy on October 15, 2020, 10:31:52 AM
Update:  at Chunky Baby's last day at [BabyBarn], before heading to [MontessoriKids], a teacher tested positive at BabyBarn, so we had to hold off for 2 weeks before making the switch.  No one else ended up getting it from the teacher, who, in turn, had gotten it elsewhere.

Warrior Princess is in parochial preschool in the mornings, and french preschool in the afternoons.  Both had to shut down for a time, but there was no spread, and all the cases came from outside the schools.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Buffaloski Boris on October 16, 2020, 01:33:17 PM
We're still chugging along at ~8 weeks in. There have been some outbreaks at the high school involving sports and parties. The biggest problem there is that a lot of the teachers have kids those ages and have had to quarantine. But it's at least going.

Elementary schools have had 1 case total, I think? They are doing great.

-W

We're at about the same place 8 weeks in.  One teacher went out with COVID; got it from a family member outside of school. No in-school infections.  A couple of kids were exposed outside of school and were quarantined. So far, so good.  Temperature checks every morning, masks on all day, social distancing.  It seems to be working so far.  With the cold weather coming, time will tell.   
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Michael in ABQ on October 17, 2020, 03:43:49 PM
Our kids just finished their first quarter of in-person school. No cases so far. They wear masks outside and in the hallways but not all day in their classrooms. The public schools are all still online-only and my niece at a state university is coming home as they just shut down the minimal in-person classes they had. No reason to pay for a dorm room and live hours away if it's all online.
Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: Queen Frugal on October 17, 2020, 05:55:49 PM
We are still 100% Virtual; it still 1000% sucks :/

I hear you!

We are a family of two - myself and my 9 year old 4th grader. Virtual has been tough and there have been lots of tears. My mother is retired and lives in town and she has been helping me three days a week and for that I will be forever grateful. I would pretty much have to quit working without her help. I work from home but I don't get much done on school days. My daughter is depressed and I am exhausted. However, as the weeks go by, we do seem to be developing our own routine and it is getting easier week by week.

Our county's % positive rate just dropped below 6% for the first time in a long while.

Most of the schools around us are 100% in person but our district is all virtual right now. In a few weeks our district will start doing hybrid classes for those who want it but they will keep a 100% virtual option for those that want it. I'll be sticking with virtual until the school district works out the kinks. I am barely keeping our ship upright and I just can't deal with sudden changes of schedule.

My cousin teaches a few hours away in Missouri. She had a student test positive in her class (5th grade I think) and they only quarantined the other kids at the positive kid's table.

I watched part of my district's school board debate the return to hybrid classes - whether to do it at all or whether to wait until kids could return full time. What tough decisions they face. Some of the Board members were in tears. I know we are lucky - so many kids are getting left behind right now.

Title: Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
Post by: StarBright on October 18, 2020, 10:43:11 AM
Our kids just finished their first quarter of in-person school. No cases so far. They wear masks outside and in the hallways but not all day in their classrooms. The public schools are all still online-only and my niece at a state university is coming home as they just shut down the minimal in-person classes they had. No reason to pay for a dorm room and live hours away if it's all online.

We just finished our first quarter too. We seem to have several to a few dozen positive or presumed positive cases a week in a relatively medium sized school system (5k kids). Last week we had 5 positive tests and 27 presumed positive and we generally have 50-300 people quarantining any given week. The cases all seem to be caught at home and are not spreading at school.

Parents in our community gave a really hard push to open up the schools and the schools gave in but also said they would be incredibly strict when it came to quarantining. They have kept their word on the quarantining and mask enforcement and I am thankful.

My kids' elementary school has only had one teacher who needed to quarantine because they split time at another school and no cases so far.  We don't expect this to last forever, but our fingers are crossed that our kids' school makes it until Thanksgiving break.