Author Topic: Return to School: Online or In Person?  (Read 5471 times)

mm1970

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #100 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.

charis

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #101 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #102 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #103 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! 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #104 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #105 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.

waltworks

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #106 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

Jon Bon

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #107 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.

mm1970

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #108 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?

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #109 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #110 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).   

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #111 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.

GuitarStv

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #112 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).

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #113 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #114 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #115 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #116 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

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #117 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 :)

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #118 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #119 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #120 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

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #121 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

Kmp2

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #122 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.

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #123 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. 



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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #124 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).

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Re: Return to School: Online or In Person?
« Reply #125 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.