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What do YOU think should happen in the fall?
Old 05-30-2020, 04:54 PM
 
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This is a follow-up question to my previous post asking if schools reopen would you go?

I appreciate and respect everyone’s response.

I want to now just ask what do YOU think should happen next fall?

It seems there are three scenarios:

1. School’s reopen (masks, social distancing guidelines) if outbreak occurs, remote again ...?

2. Hybrid (1/2 in person 1/2 remote)
Again..outbreak occurs.. full remote again?

3. Continue remote in the fall

Are there other options?

If schools reopen, I would go in.

I don’t believe hybrid would work at all.

My opinion, all in (masks) then eventually an outbreak will occur and it will be remote again.. unfortunately.

I don’t know... I go back and forth..that’s why I’m posting this question.

Thank you PT friends.


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Normal
Old 05-30-2020, 05:25 PM
 
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I think that if the next two summer months demonstrate that this plague is neither as deadly or as transmissible as originally thought, then we need to go back to school as normal. Extra hand washing and attention to germ spreading never hurts, but the idea that we need to massively disrupt education once again on the chance that there will be a second wave is ludicrous to me. The hysteria about this just didn’t match the reality in a lot of places.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:17 PM
 
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I feel like it has to be all or nothing. Either:
-we go back to school with some more diligent precautions (extra hand washing, less sharing of supplies) but NO masks, plastic barriers, kids stuck in desks in one room all day, etc. That is too prohibitive to learning.
OR
-remote learning with more rigorous lessons in place (our virtual learning was a packet each week )

The summer months will tell which way we should go. But anything in between is just too restrictive for kids to learn effectively. We canít do real social distancing at school. It just isnít practical. And going half time seems like a pain in the butt for everyone involved.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:53 PM
 
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I agree with Katieviolet. The crazy strict measures (masks all day, sit in your desk all day, stay with same teacher/students all day, play with a bucket of toys by yourself at recess, etc.) are too prohibitive for learning. I also feel those measures would have long term social/emotional impacts. We as adults may understand that none of this is "normal," but kids who are in their formative developmental years may not. Kids also need that "normal" social interaction in order to develop social emotional skills.

If I had my way, we'd go back with more "normal" precautions taken. Extra hand washing, tons of hand sanitizer available, increased cleaning, increased education about coughing/sneezing appropriately, zero tolerance for sick kids staying at school. Even temperature checks/symptom checks would be fine with me. Have a few teachers teach remote only and allow families to sign up for that option if they wish. Have a remote option ready to go for possible 2 week closures if there is an outbreak specifically within the school.

I'm seeing people start to get more and more relaxed with the guidelines- they just can't do this forever- and I think it's possible that come 2 months from now, people will be feeling more like this is just another virus that is unfortunately part of our lives. Especially if numbers continue declining with more opening up or even stay the same.

If that's not possible, I also agree that we're going to have make remote learning more rigorous. We provided a ton of stuff, but most of it was asynchronous. If we do a full year of remote learning, I suspect it's going to be more like teachers leading a live reading lesson over zoom, a live math lesson, etc. and also doing small groups. I feel that long term, there will be less sympathy for parent/student/teacher schedules. Before when people felt this was temporary, there was a lot of "just do what you can" attitude and I don't think we'll be seeing that anymore.

The thing that really scares me about this option is that if we're not back at school, parents aren't working. There is no hope the economy can recover. Our state funding was decimated from basically 2 months of doing that. If this carries on next school year, even for just half the year (I've seen some very optimistic predictions of a vaccine by January), I truly don't think we'll have public schools to go back to. I realize other states have different funding situations and may not be experiencing the same things we are. I know in my home state, education funding was only cut by 3% and others stayed the same. We took at 15% cut and 21-22 is predicted to be much worse. And we were extremely underfunded to begin with- one of the worst in the country.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:56 PM
 
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I think that different parts of the nation, and even different parts of states will see different guidelines. If you go to the CDC website, they are recommending exactly this.

So, if you are in an area where the virus is relatively contained, then I think school will open somewhat normally ó maybe with masks, temp checks, and increased hygiene.

If you are in an area where the virus is not contained, then I think school will be online.

If you are in an area that is in between the two extremes, then perhaps there will be a hybrid sort of day.


I foresee that all three scenarios could be happening in the same state at the same time, depending on the outbreak situation in your particular school district.


Our headmaster told us that we would be having ďvirtual schoolĒ drills when school starts back in August. Just like we do fire drills, tornado drills, and lockdown drills, we will start ďvirtual school drills.Ē I love this idea. I think it shows a lot of foresight.

I think that we need to be prepared, at the drop of a pin, to go virtual regardless of how we begin the year.


It also states in our contract for next year that our work dates could change. I anticipate that our admin is thinking that holidays will be moved, based on outbreaks.


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Old 05-30-2020, 07:59 PM
 
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I agree with Englishish and Katieviolet in that it has to be as normal as possible. I believe schools will reopen with their own plans, government edicts be damned. (Because they donít work for primary grades.).

I believe schools will open is Fall because parents have to go to work but that they will close again in late October or first of November to prevent spreading any virus. Given that, they might reopen in April.

I also can see a hybrid being attempted, and eventually failing.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:08 PM
 
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I think it will be normal.

I would like to see temperchecks for all kids before they can come into the school. I'm not sure masks will help with little ones.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:25 PM
 
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I've said this in other threads before but it's important here too. I think at some point schools will have to decide if our main role next year is as educators or community servants. I think we can meet the basic needs of our students and community (childcare, food, technology access, equity) OR we can try to teach the same high-quality content we do in a normal year. I don't think we have the time, resources, or money to do both.

I do not believe we will be safe to go back at full capacity. I don't think the data supports that. We may be forced into that situation because of pressure from politicians and the community, but I think if we go back full-steam, we will very quickly all be sitting at home again when cases are discovered.

If our goal is to provide a high-quality education, then a hybrid schedule is probably the best answer.

However, right now schools are responsible for a huge portion of a community's social services net. We feed, clothe, and take care of kids so parents can work - none of which is explicitly in our job description. We can argue about whether or not schools should be responsible for that, but it is true. To me, it would be unethical of us to ignore those responsibilities to focus on high-quality education next year. I am happy to be a community helper next year and get back to 'real' teaching in 2022.
_______________________________ _______________________________ ___

With that in mind, here would be my ideal plan. Note: this is not how I WANT to teach. There are parts of it that pain me to write. But it is what I feel is MOST EQUITABLE and BEST FOR KIDS without overburdening teachers:

1. All instruction is remote. Teachers put in a ton of time and energy this summer (yes, that part sucks) to make sure there is a viable, high-quality, consistent, easy-to-understand curriculum available for every subject k-12. (NOTE: This work needs to be remote; it does NOT have to be online. A district purchasing a phonics workbook like Explode the Code for each kindergartner to go along with video lessons made by the teacher totally counts here).

2. Starting in late July/early August, teachers report to school. Over the course of 3 weeks, all students attend a 2-day 'boot camp' orientation in small groups (like 5 kids per teacher). Day 1: meet the teacher, start to form a relationship, do the traditional 'back to school' activities, pass out technology, teach them how to use it. That night, kid takes it home (with a hot spot if needed), makes sure they can log in successfully. Day 2: continue teaching them the tech and routine for each subject. Give out any physical supplies (books, manipulatives, textbooks/workbooks). Do any preliminary testing needed. Sometime during day 2, parents also join and have their own orientation session: what's the routine for my kid? how do I help my kid use this tech? how do I keep my kid accountable? how do I help them be a good school-at-home student?

In my mind, for these 3 weeks, a group of 5 kids would come on M/T; Wed the classroom would be deep-cleaned, teacher has a planning day; Th/F the next 5 kids come.

3. After those three weeks, once all the kids have cycled through their small-group orientations, school launches "for real" online and continues remotely as long as needed. Kids who can work from home, work from home.

4. HOWEVER: kids in need of childcare, kids without internet at home, kids for who remote learning just doesn't work (some EC/ESL, kids with serious home life issues) are provided a place on campus to go. Due to staffing numbers, this may or may not be their actual teacher. You might have a group of 3 siblings join 3 or 4 other kids in a classroom, watched by the elementary art teacher. Their instruction and work is being provided remotely; the classroom and teacher are there as the surrogate homeschool parent - helping them manage their work, stay on task, remember when their Zoom call with their teacher is, and answering questions.

5. Certain programs (pre-k and kindy, high school vo-tech classes, severe EC) may need to operate differently, and extra staff/space may need to be allocated to them.

6. The community outreach activities schools are doing now (delivering lunches, providing internet out in the community) would need to continue.

7. All staff would be doing one of three things: teaching remotely full time, manning a childcare/tutoring room full time, or helping full time with community needs (lunch routes, delivering materials to families, calling to check in on kids). If districts are smart about it, hopefully we can avoid teachers having to do double-duty (watch a group of kids all day AND be responsible for teaching/monitoring online students)
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It needs to be safe first
Old 05-30-2020, 10:15 PM
 
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LA and SD unified made a joint statement yesterday basically stating we donít have the funds to go back yet. That safety comes first and itís not just about masks and six feet apart..that the governors proposed cut funding isnít going to help school reopen. They put teachers/staff/students safety as priority as they should. I work in one of those districts and Iím glad they said that. Everything I read and see is all about students - but what about the staff and teachers? No one talks about them and itís not just about the students. Itís about teaching them safely. So sick of hearing people say if youíre scared, stay home. Ignorance at its finest. Itís about more than that. Sorry but health of all is priority. No schools to teach in if people continue to get sick. It will come back in fall. We may get a reprieve in summer or we may not. But I have zero desire to ďnormally teachĒ until thereís a vaccine and itís safe to reopen EVERYTHING. If they have to do hybrid learning - what does that say? It isnít safe to be in schools all the way.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:18 AM
 
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If there weren’t thousands of other highly important factors at play my choice would be a hybrid option. However, I know that the least feasible mostly due to childcare issues and coordination.
The hybrid option discussed here has been 9/10 kids M/T, the others on Th/F. Wednesday, work from home grading and schools would be cleaned. As great at this sounds... I also am not sure how people don’t understand they it’s double the work as a teacher. I would be responsible for both in person and online work every day.

I think we will be back in school like “normal” here.
My district is currently throwing around every option under the sun. However, they have also said that if the state requires them to strictly follow the current CDC guidelines that we absolutely can not afford it. They said elementary school classrooms could only hold 11 students at a time (based on average square footage) and buses could only carry 12 students at a time (the bus I load every afternoon has 35-45 students on it each day) based on those guidelines. They just wouldn’t be able to afford to make that work or even coordinate it. The bus routes alone would take 4+ hours daily, each way, per school level.

Being at a Title I school in a district that does not have elementary students 1:1 with devices has brought about so many other issues with distance learning. The gap between the middle class and lower class families at my school has just widened even further during this time.
My school is a food site and they have been giving food out to over 750 children each day.

Southernfried, I’ve seen your posts previously and they all have been very well thought out. It seems like your pushing for an entire overhaul of the school systems which I’m not saying is wrong... but, with everything I wonder where the money for that would could from. Changes cost money.

Quote:
7. All staff would be doing one of three things: teaching remotely full time, manning a childcare/tutoring room full time, or helping full time with community needs (lunch routes, delivering materials to families, calling to check in on kids). If districts are smart about it, hopefully we can avoid teachers having to do double-duty (watch a group of kids all day AND be responsible for teaching/monitoring online students)
My problem with this is... yes, that would make is equitable for students, in a way. But, how is this equitable for teachers? And since when are teachers childcare providers?


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Not sure what I think
Old 05-31-2020, 05:42 AM
 
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I'm not sure what I think should happen. I think a lot depends on the next few months, and I think it's too early to tell.

However, if we go back to distance learning in the fall, if I had my way and it was possible, I'd say we all just keep the same kids we had and continue distant learning with them, reviewing old curriculum and moving on to the new grade level curriculum. However, I know with teachers retiring/leaving, new kindergarteners starting, and certification issues with those going on to high school or even middle school depending on your state certification, I realize this isn't possible. However, if it was possible, I'd say that's the way to go. I think it would be too hard to establish relationships and expectations online when you haven't really spent time with your kids face-to-face. While virtual learning did have its flaws and ups and downs, I think one of the reasons it was possible was because we knew our students.
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Data determines dates...
Old 05-31-2020, 06:57 AM
 
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This is what my governor says all the time. I think schools in my state need to prepare for all three scenarios: a full re-opening with the possibility of modifications, a hybrid, or a full distance learning. Our cases are down, but we are still losing over 100 people a day. Camps and day cares are starting up soon. It will be important to follow the numbers and see if they drop, hold steady, or grow. If we are prepared for all three scenarios, if a second outbreak does occur later on, we will be ready.

I am retired and older. If we re-opened and I was not near retirement age and/or would take a significant financial hit, I would go back if they re-opened. I feel fortunate not to have to make that decision.

I do not envy our leaders. They are caught between public health safety in unknown territory and the need /demand for economic recovery.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:20 AM
 
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I think if we go back, we have to go back as near to "normal" as possible.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:33 AM
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choice
Old 05-31-2020, 07:40 AM
 
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I would like to see teachers and families both have a choice. Each district would survey both groups, and if the stars aligned, there would be enough teachers who preferred in person to match with the families who wanted to send their kids, and enough teachers who preferred on-line to match with the families who preferred that. (Obviously, that's a long shot, but you asked what we'd really want.)
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:16 AM
 
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Reading all this and praying even harder for an early retirement incentive! I'd be the first to grab it. It would make my decision a no brainer.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:06 AM
 
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If schools reopen, choice will be key. Familiies who are not comfortable sending their children should have an at-home option for a while.

And if they open we need to be prepared to shift seamlessly into distance learning again if there are cases affecting our school community.

I teach in a large city with the most cases in our state. I don't see us opening as usual and I don't see us managing the logistics of a hybrid situation so I think we will remain closed. We'll get a lot of backlash.

I sure don't know the right choice, which is yet another reason I'm glad I'm not in charge.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:34 AM
 
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Southernfried, I really agree with your points.

Personally, my opinion is, to be safe, plan on a remote start for the first few weeks, depending on data, transition slowly into a hybrid model, then again based on data, ease back into school as normal.

I don't think we can really predict the exact timeline now. I do believe that is the safest model. And of course, depending on the state, the timelines should look different.

We really don't know what things will be like in just a month or too. I read a NYT article about the reopening of the beaches in MD and how less than 10% of the visitors are wearing masks. One lifeguard said straight out, he fully expects a spike in cases in the state.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:03 AM
 
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Thank you for posting this. I am fascinated (obsessed) with this topic.

Southernfried, I liked your ideas a lot, especially the classroom for kids who need to be at school.

I saw on this thread, and elsewhere, the belief that hybrid would be twice as much work. I don't think it would be, at least for high school. It would require reworking my lessons, of course, but I just see it as assigning double or triple amounts of homework. Math is an easy example: usually they do a version of lesson 1 and hw 1 on Monday. Lesson 2 and hw 2 on Tuesday, etc. So with hybrid it would be teaching lessons1-5 on Mon and Tues, and then hw 1-5 on Wed-Fri. I know that's not effective and I know that's not how kids learn best. But I don't see how that's double the work. I am genuinely curious.

My district has yet to survey parents and I think they are wrong not to. For example, even if I sent my kids back, they would no longer ride the bus and we'd drive them. I am sure many parents would do the same. So the district is presumably running numbers about social distancing and bus costs, which would be a major cost consideration because so many of our students ride the buses. But their numbers aren't based on how many kids would actually be bus riders next year.

Personally, I think my high school should do a hybrid.

Edit: wanted to add that if we are hybrid or distance, it is imperative that my state let us grade kids. The way we did it this year was that kids' grades couldn't be lowered, and once that came out our participation plummeted.
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I think
Old 05-31-2020, 10:03 AM
 
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that we should have a hybrid model for the coming year.

A)We could have an am/pm rotation to keep class numbers to 10.
B)We could employ all specialists as classroom teachers for a year to keep class numbers to 10.
C) We could have an A/B rotation.

I would not be comfortable going back (at this point, with the information I currently have) unless everyone was masked and there are no sharing of supplies.

No it is not normal. But this has not been a normal year and we are not going to be able to return to the way things were for quite some time. I know that this could be different for different communities.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:55 AM
 
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Where are the devices coming for all the remote learning? Many districts are not 1:1.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:00 PM
 
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If I had half my class at a time I'd still have 14 kindergartners.
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It's hard to say
Old 05-31-2020, 12:56 PM
 
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The best case scenario would be that they would come up with a trustworthy vaccine, but that's probably not going to happen.
I've seen some plans where we will have green days, yellow days, and red days. On green days, everyone goes to school as normal. On yellow days, we go to every other day or morning,afternoon classes to lower class size, and restrict lunchroom and recess. On red days, the kids stay home and log in for remote learning. Colors will be decided according to how many cases are showing up in our area. Parents will check to see what color we're working in. In our school, every kid has a chromebook. So far, they have not allowed the kids under third grade to take theirs home. That's going to have to change.
However we do it, I think the first few weeks need to be spent teaching all kids how to use the online curriculum on their computers so that if we have to go back to online teaching, they will know exactly what to do.
We have over 900 kids in our school, so it would be very hard to practice social distancing, and nothing will insure that primary grade kids will wear masks and keep their hands to themselves.
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Old 05-31-2020, 02:17 PM
 
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If it were up to me, I would do the back as normal, but hunker down model. Basically each classroom becomes their own little world. No mixing of classes, no going to other rooms for specials, etc. So kids are exposed to 20ish kids, but only those 20ish kids. And then if there is a case in that room, that class goes on a 2 week quarantine but the whole school doesn't shut down.


I think strict social distancing and protocols are not feasible in the younger grades.


Kids need to be in school and parents need to work. Whatever happens, I can't see us going to distance learning full time.
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not just devices
Old 05-31-2020, 02:22 PM
 
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I live in a rural area. My choices for an internet provider are: satellite (very expensive and limited data) or hot spot on my phone. For most of my students, the only internet available was a parent's cell phone. There were no Zoom meetings or online instruction.
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Fall
Old 05-31-2020, 04:26 PM
 
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I know that so many districts are working on plans for school starting in the fall. I believe it should just start like normal. When flu season starts, I always disinfect everything in my room. I make sure students are washing their hands and I even give them a squirt of hand sanitizer too. I know this is worse than flu but it's only because it is new. I'm not really sure if we are hearing the truth about it from the media. I'm praying that our kids get to return to school, that God bring an end to this virus and things can get back to normal.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:06 PM
 
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I think it will be a mess with any combination they try for hybrid/ in person learning. Despite what you think is safe or not personally, schools are going to need masks, hand sanitizer and wipes. All of these things add up really quickly. Buying wipes and sanitizer could cost a school district millions of dollars for the year depending on the size. Where are they going to get it and where is it going to come from? Stock is supposed to be back up to normal in June for wipes, but who knows if that will even happen.

No way to clean the bathroom every time one kid uses it. No way to take temps or hire medical staff to do that. It will be online learning for the foreseeable future, unless you have a very low rate of cases and people willing to contract trace their movement for you.
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Old 06-01-2020, 02:47 PM
 
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Hybrid would be fine if it could be half-day so every student goes to school everyday during their assigned block. For K-8, I just don't think alternating days is appropriate if we want them to receive a quality education; most just aren't developmentally ready to do that for an extended period of time.

True online learning would require a great tech platform and materials made expressly for digital formats. So, unless that happens, I do not think total remote learning should be done.

As someone said above, to do a hybrid model, we may just have to forgo specials and have those teachers take classrooms for the year.

Personally, I am okay with going back to a normal schedule but I understand why many are not.
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In school
Old 06-03-2020, 05:53 PM
 
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School is working pretty well here in Aus, at least where I am. We use temperature guns to check temps each morning. We wash hands (whole class) 5-6 times a day. (it doesn't take as long as I initially thought- it's just become routine)

We sanitise desks daily, and each of my kinders now has their own little pencil case for keeping supplies instead of sharing. Kids get a squirt of hand sanitiser before and after taking themselves to the bathroom.

Classes don't mix any more- we keep to ourselves.

No masks though, thank goodness.

I am glad to be back, and so are the kids.
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back to normal
Old 06-03-2020, 08:24 PM
 
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In my part of the country going back to normal will not be a problem in my opinion. structure and normalcy have a higher value to society than most people realize. The news and now the riots are affecting kids in ways that we will likely be dealing with for a decade. The infection rate is all the media talks about, but the death rate among the population is the real indicator, and in most of the country, its in the .003 rate. 60+% of deaths were in nursing homes, and the vast majority of infected people had few if any symptoms. sheltering in place would have horrified the people who lived through the 1918 pandemic, going outside and getting fresh air was the consensus. yet we have been doing the opposite. as people in most states have gone back to normal, and summer temps go up, herd immunity will negate much of the risk, and improved treatments and hygiene will further diminish the risk. I know some high density cities and places that rely heavily on mass transit will still have some risk, but for the most part, its just another flu season with a scarier name. Some older teachers may need to weigh the risk, and take precautions or retire earlier, but I feel the bigger risk to students, is the uncertainty, and panicked adults that they rely on for stability. they need the stable and predictable school life they knew before, with an added appreciation for washing their hands. quarantine the sick, protect the vulnerable and let everyone else get back to teaching the next generation how to get on with life.
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ultraviolet
Old 06-03-2020, 08:28 PM
 
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I would not mind at all if we added a lot of UV light bars into the HVAC ducting, and in common areas, with fans directing air into the UV light along the ceiling, I think that may be the upside, as it would decrease the colds and flus that we get in every school year anyway. I'm told that adding UV also has a calming effect on restless students, and I'd like to test that theory myself.

also repealing the part of the energy star regulations that prohibit fresh air venting in HVAC units. prior to those regulations, it was common for HVAC units to blend inside air with a little fresh outside air, but to save energy, those units were phased out, and now units only recirculate inside stale air.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:12 PM
 
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whd, you have brought up many great points.

I think better ventilation and UV light bars are creative solutions. I'm retired now, but I would go back, especially if each classroom became its own unit without contact with other classes and increased use of hand sanitizer and hand washing, temperature check at the beginning of the day, and desk arrangements that allow for better spacing.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:30 AM
 
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Daaaang! This is absolutely the sanest thing i've seen anywhere. I do worry that parents may take advantage of the loopholes, thereby crowding schools beyond the point where distancing can really happen, but still id be very much reassured if something like this were to happen.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:34 AM
 
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Thank you. My god, around here, we're not even part of the conversation. My question, though, is how delaying the school year affects contracts and pay. Do teachers go on unemployment until school starts up again?
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:44 AM
 
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God, I want that so much! Whenever they ask for teacher input--which is rarely-- I float it out there.
Thing is, they're afraid of not having us in case they need us. Our district contracts this year included no pay, hours, or dates, but DID include the provisions that we can be let go without cause, notice, or recourse, and that if we decide to leave they can go after our licenses. So.... yeah... im so damned sick of this.
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Not such a problem
Old 06-26-2020, 06:52 AM
 
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Im a high school teacher in one of the poorest and most remote areas in the continental us, and while your mileage may vary, 95% of my students have smart phones. They don't all have reception at home, but communication companies are willing to work with schools to put in the infrastructure for that, presumably so that they can then charge for continued services when this is done. All im saying is that for the big kids at least, this is really a nonissue.
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