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For Parents Anyone gone back to school in person yet?

Muddlethru

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My youngest has been in school since Sept. 8. They offer virtual classes to those who choose to stay at home. Every morning we have to fill out a Covid assessment. The students are instructed to walk outside to get from one classroom to the next. The caferia has individual desks. There was one incident of covid infection bur it was contained immediately. So far everything is going well.

My college gymnast has been in school but all her classes but one is online. Ugh. We got her a studio so we are paying rent regardless. They just started practicing secretly but only an hour a day and the team is divided into three groups.There was also one incident when a group of athletes got together for a party and 14 students were infected. Since then the numbers are back to 0 infections daily so far.
 
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Freddy's Fred

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My youngest has been in school since Sept. 8. They offer virtual classes to those who choose to stay at home. Every morning we have to fill out a Covid assessment. The students are instructed to walk outside to get from one classroom to the next. The caferia has individual desks. There was one incident of covid infection bur it was contained immediately. So far everything is going well.

My college gymnast has been in school but all her classes but one is online. Ugh. We got her a studio so we are paying rent regardless. They just started practicing secretly but only an hour a day and the team is divided into three groups.There was also one incident when a group of athletes got together for a party and 14 students were infected. Since then the numbers are back to 0 infections daily so far.

Practicing secretly sounds like a really bad idea.
 

Muddlethru

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Practicing secretly sounds like a really bad idea.

i don’t see how it is a bad idea particularly when you don’t know the details of the practices. First of all, many teams are practicing. Additionally, their practices are not in the gym but outdoors with proper distancing and masks. The college does not allow them to practice in the gym but has said nothing about conditioning outdoors. It is also technically conditioning.
 

Freddy's Fred

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i don’t see how it is a bad idea particularly when you don’t know the details of the practices. First of all, many teams are practicing. Additionally, their practices are not in the gym but outdoors with proper distancing and masks. The college does not allow them to practice in the gym but has said nothing about conditioning outdoors. It is also technically conditioning.

Then that's not secret. It just seems dangerous for a team to go against university regulations because athletes could face expulsion. I didn't mean that is was COVID dangerous.
 

Muddlethru

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Then that's not secret. It just seems dangerous for a team to go against university regulations because athletes could face expulsion. I didn't mean that is was COVID dangerous.

It really isn’t. The kids like to think they are involved in some covert operation and they use the word “secret” which I in turn used. The truth is the school’s regulation clearly states gatherings of 10 or fewer with social distancing and masks are allowed.
 

Freddy's Fred

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Any communities getting torn apart over schools reopening? We are set to go back at the beginning of November, but teachers are fearful. We have no teachers union. About half of families are ready to go back, but almost all are worried about the safety of teachers. There's no hybrid option because only 50% of students are returning. Teachers will teach concurrently to students in the class and at home. Families who want to send their kids back to school are being chastised as teacher murderers. It's complicated. Teachers do not have the option of remaining virtual.
 

mommyof1

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Any communities getting torn apart over schools reopening? We are set to go back at the beginning of November, but teachers are fearful. We have no teachers union. About half of families are ready to go back, but almost all are worried about the safety of teachers. There's no hybrid option because only 50% of students are returning. Teachers will teach concurrently to students in the class and at home. Families who want to send their kids back to school are being chastised as teacher murderers. It's complicated. Teachers do not have the option of remaining virtual.

Our community is definitely at odds about school reopening. Ours is the largest district in the state offering a full-time in-person option. Parents were supposed to commit to in-person (limited bus service, no physicial distancing, classroom windows and doors required to remain shut, mask requirement not likely to be enforced) or on-line (an entirely separate school that was set up in a hurry and is understaffed) for the entire semester. Apparently some families are being permitted to switch after deciding they didn't like the option they chose, and others are not. Many kids in the in-person program are sitting in classrooms while receiving on-line instruction or doing canned asynchronous courses purchased from the state. The IB and AP programs have been gutted (the district doesn't like offering advanced options and was already itching for an excuse to cut them). One school had to delay opening because a third of the faculty was exposed in a meeting. Kids exposed in individual classrooms have been given conflicting instructions regarding quarantine. The in-person program has not been able to provide on-line instruction when kids or teachers are quarantined, despite the district's assurances that there would be continuity of instruction. Staffing cuts and unfilled vacancies mean that kids are bunched up in lunch lines for 20 minutes and then have 5 minutes to eat, unmasked, less than 3 feet apart. Parents and teachers are pointing fingers at each other for their "choices" instead of at district leadership for making a total hash of the whole thing for everyone.

My daughter has repeatedly asked if we can move to another school district. It's not a bad idea--the damage from this half-baked, poorly executed reopening scheme will have a lasting impact on the quality of the county schools for at least the next few years. Many well-liked teachers have resigned, it's not clear that a full slate of IB and AP coursework will ever be offered again, and the district's reputation has taken such a hit that it will be difficult or impossible to recruit new teachers.

We're in a right-to-work state, so the teachers' union is useless.
 

Freddy's Fred

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Our community is definitely at odds about school reopening. Ours is the largest district in the state offering a full-time in-person option. Parents were supposed to commit to in-person (limited bus service, no physicial distancing, classroom windows and doors required to remain shut, mask requirement not likely to be enforced) or on-line (an entirely separate school that was set up in a hurry and is understaffed) for the entire semester. Apparently some families are being permitted to switch after deciding they didn't like the option they chose, and others are not. Many kids in the in-person program are sitting in classrooms while receiving on-line instruction or doing canned asynchronous courses purchased from the state. The IB and AP programs have been gutted (the district doesn't like offering advanced options and was already itching for an excuse to cut them). One school had to delay opening because a third of the faculty was exposed in a meeting. Kids exposed in individual classrooms have been given conflicting instructions regarding quarantine. The in-person program has not been able to provide on-line instruction when kids or teachers are quarantined, despite the district's assurances that there would be continuity of instruction. Staffing cuts and unfilled vacancies mean that kids are bunched up in lunch lines for 20 minutes and then have 5 minutes to eat, unmasked, less than 3 feet apart. Parents and teachers are pointing fingers at each other for their "choices" instead of at district leadership for making a total hash of the whole thing for everyone.

My daughter has repeatedly asked if we can move to another school district. It's not a bad idea--the damage from this half-baked, poorly executed reopening scheme will have a lasting impact on the quality of the county schools for at least the next few years. Many well-liked teachers have resigned, it's not clear that a full slate of IB and AP coursework will ever be offered again, and the district's reputation has taken such a hit that it will be difficult or impossible to recruit new teachers.

We're in a right-to-work state, so the teachers' union is useless.

Oh that sounds terrible. We are in a super progressive community at an IB school so everyone was pretty surprised by this plan. I am confident that there will be masking and social distancing and doors and windows open. Community is compliant and there are tons of students whose parents work in healthcare. In fact many of the healthcare workers are the ones who need their kids to go back because parents are essential workers. But it's true...especially for kids in late middle school or high school who can be independent, there's no point in going back if what you are getting is worse than what's on offer from home.
 

mommyof1

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Oh that sounds terrible. We are in a super progressive community at an IB school so everyone was pretty surprised by this plan. I am confident that there will be masking and social distancing and doors and windows open. Community is compliant and there are tons of students whose parents work in healthcare. In fact many of the healthcare workers are the ones who need their kids to go back because parents are essential workers. But it's true...especially for kids in late middle school or high school who can be independent, there's no point in going back if what you are getting is worse than what's on offer from home.

The concurrent on-line/in-person teaching issue is complicated. From the student perspective it makes the most sense, and this is what I originally hoped our district would do. Parents can choose whether they are comfortable sending their kids back, kids remain connected to their home schools and special programs, and it's relatively seamless for kids to move back and forth between classroom and at-home learning as conditions and individual concerns (e.g., quarantine due to exposure outside of school) warrant. From the teacher perspective it sounds terribly difficult, though, and it doesn't seem right to force all the teachers back into the classroom. I would want teachers to have the option to teach remotely with an aide in the classroom to supervise.
 

Eleven sol

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Our school district may go to hybrid learning in a couple weeks. As a school employee I feel pretty confident that it can be done safely. I am glad though that my coworkers with preexisting conditions as well as families had another solid option. I am also glad we all got better at online learning in case we need to switch back again at some point.

The concurrent on-line/in-person teaching issue is complicated. From the student perspective it makes the most sense, and this is what I originally hoped our district would do. Parents can choose whether they are comfortable sending their kids back, kids remain connected to their home schools and special programs, and it's relatively seamless for kids to move back and forth between classroom and at-home learning as conditions and individual concerns (e.g., quarantine due to exposure outside of school) warrant. From the teacher perspective it sounds terribly difficult, though, and it doesn't seem right to force all the teachers back into the classroom. I would want teachers to have the option to teach remotely with an aide in the classroom to supervise.
 
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Freddy's Fred

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Our school district may go to hybrid learning in a couple weeks. As a school employee I feel pretty confident that it can be done safely. I am glad though that my coworkers with preexisting conditions as well as families had another solid option. I am also glad we all got better at online learning in case we need to switch back again at some point.

I also feel like it can be done safely. I work at a University, and I go in person every day. We have drastically reduced capacity and require masks at all times. I think a lot of people are very fearful and it is hard to accept that have a pretty good understanding of how the virus is transmitted.
 

Eleven sol

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Admittedly I was one of those fearful people, but at this point the data around masks and the community spread has changed my mind.

I also feel like it can be done safely. I work at a University, and I go in person every day. We have drastically reduced capacity and require masks at all times. I think a lot of people are very fearful and it is hard to accept that have a pretty good understanding of how the virus is transmitted.
 

CuriousCate

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After reading so many of these posts, I feel really fortunate with what we have. I'm sorry to think about how hard this year is for so many kids. While I know so many students who thrive in a virtual classroom, I know if my kids only had a virtual option, it would have been a bust. Year wasted.

We are just over one month in with half the kids in person and half fully virtual. 10 kids per classroom, eat lunch in room, masks on for everything except eating (even recess which is a bit nuts)...

The teachers are doing a combo of virtual teaching live streamed into the classroom with the in-person kids. But my kids are at a small parochial school. They have literally created classrooms in the cafeteria, the gym, tented courtyard, etc just to spread the kids out in a limited amount of space.
 
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pt coach

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We are supposed to move from remote to hybrid next week. The general plan is that the students are divided in half alphabetically and will attend school on alternating days. There is no clear explanation on what they do on the off day - will they attend the class virtually or will they work asynchronously? No one knows. Parents had the option of choosing to stay virtual for the first trimester but it is also unclear how that will work for middle school and high school as there are no teachers assigned to the virtual students specifically and teachers are not given time during the day to work specifically with the virtual students. It may be that the classes will be live streamed or the teachers may figure out what works for their class. The district does not have a cohesive plan and has left the details to the teachers. My DD is going back as it is her Senior year and she wants something sort of normal. So we will see. Masks will be required and strictly enforced. Social distancing in place and possible with hybrid model. DD doesn't mind masks and likes social distancing as she hates having anyone in her personal space.
 

Mrs. Puma

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There is no clear explanation on what they do on the off day - will they attend the class virtually or will they work asynchronously? No one knows.
This is exactly the issue in our district. And our grades 8-12 are home 4 of 5 days. It’s a mess. Puma teaches in the district, so I know the teachers are stressed too. They have received very little guidance. He says it’s like building the plane while its already flying. Parents are losing their you-know-what..... I share a lot of their concerns and frustration, but I also see the other side and know it’s a logistic nightmare. Like Puma usually has five sections-two APUSH and three sociology. But since kids are only there one day a week each, it’s like he has twenty sections. With all virtual kids mixed into that... I’m trying to stay positive and patient but it’s definitely wearing on everyone. :(
 

mommyof1

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This is exactly the issue in our district. And our grades 8-12 are home 4 of 5 days. It’s a mess. Puma teaches in the district, so I know the teachers are stressed too. They have received very little guidance. He says it’s like building the plane while its already flying. Parents are losing their you-know-what..... I share a lot of their concerns and frustration, but I also see the other side and know it’s a logistic nightmare. Like Puma usually has five sections-two APUSH and three sociology. But since kids are only there one day a week each, it’s like he has twenty sections. With all virtual kids mixed into that... I’m trying to stay positive and patient but it’s definitely wearing on everyone. :(

What benefit is there to having the kids attend in person only one day per week, especially if different kids in the class are there on different days? It sounds as if that would be too disruptive to be worthwhile.
 

pt coach

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This is exactly the issue in our district. And our grades 8-12 are home 4 of 5 days. It’s a mess. Puma teaches in the district, so I know the teachers are stressed too. They have received very little guidance. He says it’s like building the plane while its already flying. Parents are losing their you-know-what..... I share a lot of their concerns and frustration, but I also see the other side and know it’s a logistic nightmare. Like Puma usually has five sections-two APUSH and three sociology. But since kids are only there one day a week each, it’s like he has twenty sections. With all virtual kids mixed into that... I’m trying to stay positive and patient but it’s definitely wearing on everyone. :(
My spouse is a teacher in the district as well, and it really has been super stressful for teachers. There has been minimal direction from administration and they are supposed to start in a few days. At first they planned on having the in person day end early for hybrid kids so that the teachers could have Zoom office hours for the virtual kids, but recently that plan was dropped. Building the plan while it is already flying is a great analogy!

I am trying to find the bright side...my DD has some great teachers and really despite all the craziness has had a good start to the year. She "gets" to take the SAT this week which had been hanging over her head.
 

Mrs. Puma

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What benefit is there to having the kids attend in person only one day per week, especially if different kids in the class are there on different days? It sounds as if that would be too disruptive to be worthwhile.
Great question. Especially when you consider that the teachers are exposed five days a week (the district is making them go in on Wednesdays too, even though no kids are there and they could teach from home, but that’s another story...) for each kid to be there just one. It kind of doesn’t feel like the benefit outweighs the risk. BUT...I will say that both my kids and Puma’s students say it is worth it to them and they are glad to be there? It’s some type of normalcy/connection and least? We’ll see. Our numbers are very low here, but we are starting to see a few spikes with both local collages and surrounding school districts. Our district is big, 700ish kids per grade, so it’s only a matter of time before we have cases.
 

mommyof1

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I also feel like it can be done safely. I work at a University, and I go in person every day. We have drastically reduced capacity and require masks at all times. I think a lot of people are very fearful and it is hard to accept that have a pretty good understanding of how the virus is transmitted.

I don't think people's fear comes from their own lack of understanding of how the virus is transmitted. It comes from a lack of trust that other people, and especially institutions such as schools, will take the proper precautions. Our school district, for example, has repeatedly demonstrated that it is unwilling to take the most basic of common-sense precautions. Yesterday the local news reported that there were confirmed student cases, but only the two kids who sat closest to each positive kid on the bus were quarantined. No classmates or teachers were quarantined, nor were the rest of the kids on the bus. This leads parents to assume that if a kid who doesn't ride the bus (and most don't) tests positive, that case won't even be reported. No wonder people are fearful.