When and how should we open schools?

Prancer

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So here's what I find interesting about this ... In Massachusetts, they are actively trying to teach these exact skills of how to read nonfiction texts, identify main idea/supporting points, and summarize the piece, as early as 3rd grade. My kids have been working on these kinds of exercises, and have had those skills assessed on standardized tests, since they were 8 years old.

And you know what? Despite several years of plugging away at it, it's still a struggle for them. I actually really question why kids need to learn these skills at 8, 9, or 10 years old. I don't remember doing this kind of stuff at that age! And I don't think I would have been ready for it, if I had. I'm good with these types of skills now, as an adult. But at age 8 or 10, I think I would have just been confused.

I really wonder if schools would actually be more successful with inculcating these specific skills if they waited until kids were older, say in 8th or 9th grade. I'd honestly be very curious to hear what teachers on FSU think about this issue.
I know nothing about teaching kids, so I can't help you there, but I know for a stone-cold fact that I started doing main idea exercises in third grade, too. Not only do I remember doing it then and sweating over them under Mrs. Thornton's exacting eye, but when my mom died, I found an enormous box of my school stuff in the attic and there were those main idea exercises. I remember hating them. I think we started doing summaries then, too. Then in fourth grade, we progressed to book reports, which are summaries with main ideas and major supporting points, and so on. I also remember underlining the key sentence in every paragraph at some point, although that's a little less clear. Maybe fifth grade? I think we started doing outlines then, so that's about right.

I'm not sure how helpful such exercises are in teaching skills. If I have a freshman class where the writing skills are below average for a class, I will have them do this quiz before they proceed to their first reading assignment. You don't want to know how many fail. Then I have them do it again and tell them to take their time and READ the sentences. They do a lot better on that quiz then, but I think the only one who benefits is me, because it tells me how hard I'm going to have work to get through the reading assignments.

It's not just "those kids," either. My former dentist was adjunct faculty at a dentistry school and told me that for decades, it had been the job of first-years to read and summarize new journal articles for a school newsletter. They stopped several years ago because the first-years could not summarize accurately; they couldn't identify the theses and main points in journal articles. We're talking about people who were successful and experienced academic students already. Like this:

These are not college freshmen -- it is a grad program.
Yep. I have seen this happen as well. I would have read the chapters because the professor said it, but if he hadn't mentioned it, I would have never opened the book. I really detest reading textbooks.

This is by no means all students, mind you. There are still lots of readers out there. And sometimes I get a student who hates to read and write but does both well anyway, which I find completely incomprehensible.

I am sorry to hear that your kids are getting crappy vocab assignments, @clairecloutier. But you've been in publishing; you know proofreading is expendable.
 

Prancer

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Sorry for the double post, but I just got an email with campus rules for fall. Some "highlights":

  • Only one place will be open for food--the main cafeteria--and it will be open only five hours a day.
  • Drinking fountains are all shut down, but the water bottle refill stations will be open with new! improved! sanitation rules.
  • Vending machines are also shut down; a few will be switched on, but their locations are unspecified at this time.
  • All Starbucks cafes are closed until further notice :wuzrobbed
  • Everyone is expected to take his or her temperature every day before coming to campus.
  • Masks are mandatory--no exceptions. Faculty will be given a small supply of masks to give students for emergencies, but this is not to be counted on, as the supply is very limited. Anyone on campus without a mask will be escorted off campus by campus police.
  • There will be limited rapid-tests available on campus.
  • Anyone who tests positive or is diagnosed with the crud is to report this to campus police ASAP. We will have a state-affiliated in-house contact tracer unit working with the police.
  • Any faculty who is diagnosed with the crud must have a doctor's note to return to work.
  • Everyone is required to take off at least 10 days from time of diagnosis before returning to campus.
All of the classrooms that can be used are already set up for social distancing. The photos look really weird. All of the old desks are gone; they've been replaced with rolling seats with desk arms. Rolling seats? This will not end well.

It's a strange new world.
 

SkateSand

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Today was the first day of school in our county. One of the high schools in the school district my husband works for had a local reporter out there. The photo showed all students wearing masks. The school said 85% of their students were in class - 15% had opted for distance learning due to having vulnerable family members. The cafeteria is closed and students eat their lunches outside. The school representative also advised that once a student or staff member tests positive, the entire school will close for in person classes and they will switch to distance learning for everyone. I think this will be a very short in person classes experiment.
 

concorde

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Today was the first day of school in our county. One of the high schools in the school district my husband works for had a local reporter out there. The photo showed all students wearing masks. The school said 85% of their students were in class - 15% had opted for distance learning due to having vulnerable family members. The cafeteria is closed and students eat their lunches outside. The school representative also advised that once a student or staff member tests positive, the entire school will close for in person classes and they will switch to distance learning for everyone. I think this will be a very short in person classes experiment.
Where are you located?
 

Dobre

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More random thoughts than anyone probably wants;).

I think main ideas are a good lesson at any age from third-grade on up. Sometimes, main ideas are not obvious in every paragraph. Sometimes, they are a judgment call. Sometimes, the main idea is not in the paragraph at all but is implied. What I like to do is allow the kids to 1. underline a main idea if it is there or 2. write their own version of the main idea. Often the ones the students write are even better than the one either I or an answer key might anticipate. Main ideas are taught every year from third grade on up through--well--your thesis sentences in college. So if a kid doesn't get the skill in the third grade, it will be back. I don't think of them as being an undevelopmentally appropriate skill for young kids. Younger kids just need very well scaffolded paragraphs or passages to practice on. (Not every pre-made worksheet has these).

I like to teach non-fiction reading & writing at almost any age. Don't use wikipedia. It is much too difficult for students, even most sixth graders, to digest. Use an age-level appropriate nonfiction book. (Also, World Book Encyclopedias are still very good for kids to find nonfiction information and sadly are now very hard to find in classrooms). A lot of young kids gravitate toward nonfiction books early: dinosaurs, reptiles, bugs, airplanes, trucks--all very popular topics for young readers. However, nonfiction is not organized in the same way as a story. This makes remembering specifics more difficult and often means a child may really benefit from reading the text twice. Also, age-appropriate nonfiction may be mislabeled. In Accelerated Reading programs, students who usually read at level 3.0 for a narrative are appropriate readers for level 2.0 in non-fiction. But there are LOTS of ways to make non-fiction reading & writing a lot of fun. I used to love to have kids select their own topic, do their own research, and then create a project to go with it to teach the class about it. (Rainforest units are a lot of fun at the 3rd grade level. Ancient Egypt is a lot of fun at the 6th grade level. Etc.) In some ways, non-fiction writing is more structured and easier to learn for young kids than narrative writing. Again, it's about how you scaffold the lessons.

Now . . . textbooks are a different thing. There are a lot of very poorly written textbooks out there that are way above students' reading levels. Many of the ones from 10 or 20 years ago are just atrocious about this. I think most textbook writers today at the elementary level are much better about this than they used to be, but of course not all kids in a classroom read at grade level so teachers do a lot of extra support to make these books accessible to a lot of their students. Or have kids partner or group read, which allows them to put their heads together & talk their way through questions, etc. But, especially if a school has an old set of books, the actual reading level of the textbook can still sometimes be above that of even the top readers in the class. Most adults only read at @5th grade level for fun. (Your average bestseller is usually written at about this level). While college textbooks, OTOH, may be written at well above a 12th grade reading level. So it isn't surprising that many kids don't get to that level of reading analysis without a LOT of work.

Finally, reading directions. It's like pulling teeth. Trying to get kids to read the directions. They just want you to tell them how to do it. Or they skip the directions and look at the pictures & go right to the questions without reading the directions. I believe in bold-faced, extra large font with important words underlined for the directions, yet still . . . Only solution I have for this is to have the kids read the directions aloud. Make them do it every time. Sometimes children are lazy. They are taught about capitals, punctuation, & complete sentences every year from at least the third grade on up; but if you don't hold them accountable for it every year, they won't bother. They can be compelled to show their work on paper in math every single day in class and yet, when they take the state test on the computer & the teacher isn't allowed to order them to write down their work, they won't do it. Ahh!
 
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once_upon

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Today was the first day of school in our county. One of the high schools in the school district my husband works for had a local reporter out there. The photo showed all students wearing masks. The school said 85% of their students were in class - 15% had opted for distance learning due to having vulnerable family members. The cafeteria is closed and students eat their lunches outside. The school representative also advised that once a student or staff member tests positive, the entire school will close for in person classes and they will switch to distance learning for everyone. I think this will be a very short in person classes experiment.
See my post above. 3 days before someone tested positive in 2 different schools. In different districts.

I don't know what their plans are that would result in remote learning for all students
 

Dobre

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Indiana school district providing dozens of Wi-Fi buses for students without internet
:cheer2: (It says that Austin, TX did this also in the spring).

Indiana: Delaware County district quarantines 228 students, closes middle and high schools
https://www.wishtv.com/news/local-n...-228-students-closes-middle-and-high-schools/

Update: 13 Houston County schools have now seen at least one *********-19 case


A second high school in Cherokee County, GA has been closed at least until the end of the month, Woodstock High School.

"As of this morning, the number of positive cases at the school had increased to a total of 14 with tests for another 15 students pending; and, as a result of the confirmed cases, 289 students and staff are under quarantine and, should the pending tests prove positive, the total would significantly increase."

The governor of Kentucky has recommended a delay to the start of the school year. Various schools there are refusing to delay.
 

clairecloutier

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@Prancer @Dobre Thanks for the feedback about the writing question with kids (i.e., should they be breaking down main ideas/supporting points from 3rd grade onward). It is interesting, because maybe I did in fact do all this stuff at their age, and I just don’t remember it.

I am interested in learning more about this because, as we get deeper into life without regular school and I am doing bits of teaching with them, I just find myself a bit surprised by, for lack of a better way to describe it, the emphasis on skills teaching in their humanities curriculum and the relative lack of context teaching.

My perception is that they spend a lot of time on deconstructing paragraphs but much less time on really starting to understand their world and why it is the way it is. Then again, they’re only just finishing elementary school, so maybe I’m expecting too much or something.
 

MsZem

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As a kid, I hated to read and being read to. When I was in 8th grade, I was still "reading" picture books. My sophomore year of high school I opted to take Honors English and the summer reading list was horrible: Old Man and the Sea; For Whom the Bell Tolls; As I Lay Dying; and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I called it the summer of death and even my mother (who always read our summer reading books) thought those selections were too much for a high school kid. By Senior years, I opted to go back to regular English.
I don't think I ever had a summer reading list, maybe that's why I like to read :D I feel like at a younger age children should be encouraged to read whatever they like, and even older kids should be given some room to make their own selections. And yes, sometimes they are too young to appreciate the reading material. I know I was when we got Agnon in high school.

Finally, reading directions. It's like pulling teeth. Trying to get kids to read the directions. They just want you to tell them how to do it. Or they skip the directions and look at the pictures & go right to the questions without reading the directions. I believe in bold-faced, extra large font with important words underlined for the directions, yet still . . .
I had the course requirements laid out in the syllabus. I went over them in detail in class twice. I constantly told students to contact me with any questions, I'm happy to help and reply quickly, etc. The last few weeks of the course, I left time at the end of each class for students to check in with me about their projects. I still had people saying the requirements weren't clear and that they didn't know if they could contact me with questions :wall:
 

once_upon

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I don't remember a specific reading list for summer, other than an encouragement to participate in library reading "badges" based on the number of books you read. I loved to read and would have accomplished all goals by the end of 4th of July (we got out of school the first week of June).

I know we must have read classics, but other than reading 1984, Moby Dick, Romeo and Juilet I don't remember much else. And only a little bit about them.

I miss the traditional first day of school pictures
 

Prancer

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My perception is that they spend a lot of time on deconstructing paragraphs but much less time on really starting to understand their world and why it is the way it is.
I would say that was true of most if not all of my K-12 education.

I had the course requirements laid out in the syllabus. I went over them in detail in class twice. I constantly told students to contact me with any questions, I'm happy to help and reply quickly, etc. The last few weeks of the course, I left time at the end of each class for students to check in with me about their projects. I still had people saying the requirements weren't clear and that they didn't know if they could contact me with questions :wall:
Yes.

The local schools (southwest Ohio) here are, as of now, at 65% F2F/35% online. In June, the school district did a parent survey and from this anticipated roughly 90% F2F/10% online, but apparently a lot of parents have changed their minds at the last minute, so the school district is now scrambling to sort out online teaching.

I am really curious about how the high school will handle lunch. There are 2600+ students in the high school; they will be attending half at a time, so 1300+ in the building at any given time. There are four lunch periods, so 325+ kids in each lunch period. How is this going to work? Are they all going to have to pack and eat in a classroom?
 

sk8nlizard

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We still haven’t had an update from our school district. Right now it is still starting F2F Or remote on 8/26. We had to turn in our choices by yesterday. We chose remote at Least for this quarter. My FB page is full of traditional back 2 school pictures. I have 2 friends that live on the opposite side of DFW from me and are in 2 suburbs that way (East of Dallas) both sent kids of all ages back to F2F school. My cousin lives in a suburb of Indianapolis and it’s her son’s first day of 3rd grade, he’s going in person. I also have friend in TN sending their kid all in person, they started yesterday. Most of my friends have elementary age kids, not sure if they make a difference but I have been shocked at how many people are sending their kids so far!
 

Susan1

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I don't remember a specific reading list for summer, other than an encouragement to participate in library reading "badges" based on the number of books you read. I loved to read and would have accomplished all goals by the end of 4th of July (we got out of school the first week of June).

I know we must have read classics, but other than reading 1984, Moby Dick, Romeo and Juilet I don't remember much else. And only a little bit about them.

I miss the traditional first day of school pictures
I never heard of having an assigned summer reading list. We used to do the library summer reading program where they had things hanging on the walls with your name on whatever the theme was and you got stamps for books read. I specifically remember different colors of construction paper teddy bears and the stamps were teddy bears. I think I had four full teddy bears by the end of the summer. We used to take my friend's little red wagon four blocks to the library and pile the books in there. And we'd sit on her covered stone porch and both read all of them some every day - going inside to put a stack of 45s on the record player that was next to the window. I forget what you got as a reward back then. When I did the summer reading program for adults a couple times recently, I got a bookmark and a tote bag after 10 books. I didn't even sign up for whatever the next level was cause I didn't want it or need it, whatever it was.

You know how old stuff sticks in my head. I specifically remember a literature class in high school where we had to choose books out of different categories. I spent a couple weeks reading Grapes of Wrath every night. I didn't get to watch much t.v. I took notes because it was so long and dry. The first question on the test was "What is a man?". Gah.

And over Christmas vacation, I took home a historical romance from that list. I read it the first night and forgot what it was about by the time we went back to school. Who wants to have a test on a book you would read for pleasure? Those discussion questions they have in the back of books for book clubs are ridiculous. (How do you think so-and-so felt when this happened? They are a fictional character. Who cares. Ask the author who wrote it.)

Anyway, that class was during the energy crisis, so if we were supposed to go back on a Wednesday or whatever, we didn't go back till the next Monday so they wouldn't have to use electricity and heat for just a couple days, which made it even longer. I probably read a couple library books during vacation too. I should have read it again the Sunday before we went back. And I remember Babbitt, not what it was about, just the name. I remember having to read 1984 in 7th or 8th grade - Catholic school!

The local schools (southwest Ohio) here are,
Did you see that Centerville parents are protesting because they want their kids to go back to in-school. They keep bringing up special needs kids. Maybe just special needs kids could go to in-class school. There are separate special needs teachers, right? It would be safer for them if they had trouble with masks. I don't know.

On my city's mean page, they are fighting about in-class vs. remote. Telling each other not to make the ones who made the opposite decision feel bad. And "it's my family", etc. (Actually, what you and your kids do affects everyone you come into contact with.) And kids have to be there after school to play sports anyway. I still think having close contact sports kind of defeats the purpose of having remote learning. If one kid gets sick, it quarantines the whole team.
 
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Prancer

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I never heard of having an assigned summer reading list.
That's generally something you see with Honors classes.

Did you see that Centerville parents are protesting because they want their kids to go back to in-school. They keep bringing up special needs kids. Maybe just special needs kids could go to in-class school. There are separate special needs teachers, right? It would be safer for them if they had trouble with masks. I don't know.
That's been suggested, although I don't know if any schools are actually doing it.

I have to say that I am kind of confuzzled that schools are opening and then closing down again as soon as there are positive cases. There are going to be positive cases; if that means shutting down, why open up to begin with?
 

Louis

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I have to say that I am kind of confuzzled that schools are opening and then closing down again as soon as there are positive cases. There are going to be positive cases; if that means shutting down, why open up to begin with?
I'm with you here. If the threshold to shut down school is really one positive case, then keep schools closed. Opening up is just a waste of money and time. I don't think that should be threshold for a variety of reasons, but opinions aside, it's just not achievable.
 

CantALoop

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I have to say that I am kind of confuzzled that schools are opening and then closing down again as soon as there are positive cases. There are going to be positive cases; if that means shutting down, why open up to begin with?
Exactly! I can't imagine how getting students/teachers/parents mentally ready for in-person or hybrid classes and then suddenly yanking the rug on them and pulling them online due to circumstances they can't fully control would be any better or less stressful than an online-only option to begin with.
 

Dobre

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I think a lot of schools & communities are in denial. They didn't/don't think there will be cases in their school, and they hoped that kids wouldn't spread the disease because they are kids/asymptomatic/there were lower numbers of kids getting sick/etc.

Or people thought/hoped it would be like Denmark/Germany where very few schools relative to the number in the country actually experienced cases.

There has been a lot of denial about the fact that kids can spread the disease. A large part of the school decision-making discussion started immediately after reopening. Schools didn't know--when they started surveying community members & created their plans--where communities would be with caseloads, how drastically the ***** would spread, that research would say older kids spread the disease as much as adults. Research on younger kids is still very spotty as the Korean study had so few young kids. The press didn't bother to hone in on Israel's cases in schools or the story about the camp in Georgia, for example, until we came right up close to the school year. (The press still hasn't honed in on the case numbers in daycares).

Now we have schools opening and it is very clear that there are instantly cases in schools if there is active spread within the community. And based on football practices & teacher planning meetings, there are already examples of clusters & spreading among students and school staff.

So denial meets reality & reality wins.

Plus, how long are you going to be able to functionally keep a middle or high school that is trying to function "like normal" open when your teachers are getting quarantined? We have a bit of a catch 22 here, in that schools that were ostensibly prepared to have cases & are/were less inclined to close are likely to be in communities where a large number of people don't want to follow strict safety guidelines. Hence, the cases are likely to get out of control there faster than they would somewhere else.

Anyway, schools function within their political environment. That political environment changes when there is a case in your building.
 
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once_upon

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I think in Nebraska and Iowa there is a lot of magical thinking that C-19 would not happen or that it doesn't affect kids so its not going to be a problem. Plus an enormous amount of political pressure to follow Republican mandates

I think, but am not certain because they don't give statistics on the people infected at the schools, it has been staff. Which puts another level of pressure on the schools - if you don't have staff because they are infected and coworkers are among the additional people quarantined, then you have few choices. Because what I've heard from several sources is there is a serious lack of subs.

I also think that schools are finding the social distancing thing isn't working. Another local district announced its high schools are going to a 50% in class, 50% remote for the next two weeks as they determine how to make distancing easier. And based on what is happening in the county (case wise).

This country had 5 months to do some planning. Instead it chose to believe it would magically disappear like a miracle would be gone.

Case counts don't need to be zero, but there NEEDS TO BE A PLAN. Plan for staffing, plan for implementing mitigation measures, and real thought about effects on kids for both classroom or remote learning.

As far as I can tell, there was little to no thought to what the mental health consequences are to return to classroom settings in this YKW time. They are not returning to a classroom/school experience like before March 16th. If the school has a mask mandate, and there are some who don't, they will be trying to hear speech that is muffled. Lunch breaks are no longer times to be silly and see other kids in the school. There is not enough time for classes to be on the playground for recess or in the gym during winter or rain. Bathroom breaks will take a longer time due to spacing in bathroom. You can't sit by your friends on the school bus.

These too have negative psychological side effects. No one wants to acknowledge the mental health issues that will arise when school is not pre March 16th experience.
 

Susan1

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That's generally something you see with Honors classes.
No wonder I've never heard of it. ha ha

I have to say that I am kind of confuzzled that schools are opening and then closing down again as soon as there are positive cases. There are going to be positive cases; if that means shutting down, why open up to begin with?
There are smart schools who are starting out all remotely for the first nine weeks and seeing how it goes. That would be better than going in-class and then having to switch to remote again. And what, switch back to in-class when cases go back down again? Even one of those questions to Ohio teachers was go back to in-class after the cases have decreased.
 

MacMadame

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That's generally something you see with Honors classes.
And sometimes private schools.

Not that I ever did my summer reading. Now I read all summer. But I read what I wanted.

All the books on the list that started this discussion are books that I read in HS or sometimes in Junior High (on my own, not part of required reading). However, I can think of so many more interesting books which are already classics or are in the process of becoming classics that I would put on such a list instead.

Anyway...

Attended another school board meeting last night. It only went to 1am! One of the items was the MOU (Memo of Understanding?) between the teachers union and the school board. If you remember, at the last meeting, the parents were livid. I expected the same this time but it was the teachers.

It seems they came up with bell schedules that they thought would work well with distance learning and those were not the bell schedules that were sent to the parents. They felt the MOU was violated. The Board said it wasn't. It was all very confusing. But they had wanted 30 minutes of teachers being online giving a class and then give the students time to do work on their own while they did their offline work as well (paperwork and office hours and such). But the bell schedules were almost all changed to 90 minutes. Which is insane, if you ask me!

There were mad parents but hardly any compared to last time. There were two sets. One school still had a bell schedule of 30 minutes of live instruction and the parents were having a cow because other kids were getting 90 and their kids were being shafted!! They kept talking about quality of education but clearly this is an issue of quantity. These are the same parents that insisted their kids weren't getting enough homework in Elementary school thus making my kids have a miserable experience in school because of too much homework.

There were then a tiny minority of parents who were upset with the 90 minutes and said they don't want their kids in Zoom meetings all day. (D'oh)

In the end, the MOU was passed and who knows what will happen with the bell schedules. The Board (well this one guy on it who I have absolutely no respect for) said that the Board doesn't set the bell schedules but they do have to make sure they meet the state minimums. I have no idea how that played into the issues. As I said... it was all very confusing.

If other people are attending School Board meetings in your area, I'd be very interested in what kinds of issues are being brought up and who (parents, teachers, etc) is saying what.
 

Dobre

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(Jersey City) Schools Go 100 Percent Virtual In September

As far as I can tell, there was little to no thought to what the mental health consequences are to return to classroom settings in this YKW time.
To be fair, I think probably a huge percentage of school administrators have been kept up nights all summer long thinking of all kinds of possible consequences on both sides of the spectrum. And I think teachers & school counselors also are worrying over how to help kids with whatever scenario their school district is enacting.

Also, per a couple articles that I read today, over 50% of schools in the U.S. now are set to open entirely online through at least the fall.

*One thing I learned just today is that school counselors here were doing virtual check ins with kids & families this spring.
 

Sarrie

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I'm happy-ish with my kids schools plan. First 9 weeks will be distance learning, classes will be starting a week later than normal. The usual first week of school will be teachers meeting individually with their students and going over how distance learning will work for that class. In November the school will re-evaluate and go from there.

I'm happy because the less germs we are exposed to the better and I do think it's the best option especially with the infection rate in my county. Nervous because not sure how it's going to work for my family. My husband and I both work full time during the day. Oldest daughter is old enough to stay home by herself but not sure that I trust her to do everything she should, youngest daughter goes to my mom's during the day. I can send oldest as well but it gets to be overwhelming for my mom who is in her 70's. It's a lot to ask for her to take both kids, cook them lunch (her choice, I've offered to supply easy lunch items but she's old school and insists on cooking/making lunch herself), teach them, connect with their Zoom calls etc.

We ended up home schooling starting at Spring break last school year because of the craziness but that was made easy because my husband was laid off for two months and I worked reduced hours March-May so we were both home and could help them with their calls and packet work (the last few months were spent doing 2 Zooms a week per girl. Oldest had most of her assignments on-line while youngest got weekly paper packets).

I guess we'll play it by ear and do the best we can. At this point I'm guessing grandma will manage connecting the calls and all school work will be done at the counter while I'm cooking dinner and drinking a cocktail to keep myself sane lol
 

MacMadame

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Everyone is expected to take his or her temperature every day before coming to campus.
Oh I forgot to mention that they had an agenda item on opening up the schools which included the free lunch program and other aspects of it. There was a big debate about temperature checks. Any staff who goes to campus is supposed to fill out an online assessment including a temperature check. This was not good enough for some of the Board but the rest thought temperature checks are a waste anyway and it was fine.
 

Dobre

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Georgia school with photos of packed hallways will curb in-person classes after ******** outbreak

North Paulding High School is moving to a hybrid. (Closed at the moment due to ********* cases last week and then reopening Monday. Two days a week face-to-face & put in groups by last names).


Back to School in Alabama: 121 students quarantined in 1 system; 7 teachers out in Shelby County
 

PrincessLeppard

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So my school has one teacher who tested positive and two students, plus we have 18 kids who were exposed to those people in quarantine. At this time, we are remaining open (I support this call -- all these exposures happened before school started).

Most kids are complying to the best of their abilities. The few jerks are exactly who you expected would be the jerks in this situation. No surprises at all there. One kid kept taking his off in a room where the teacher is in a similar situation to me and she was whining about it and I told her to just kick him out. Geez. This is a veteran teacher. I don't like kicking kids out of my room, either. But this is beyond the kid just being annoying; he could actively endanger you. (Plus, I also know the parents would back the teacher. That isn't true in all cases, but in this one, it is.)
 

Theatregirl1122

Needs a nap
Messages
22,735
I never did my textbook reading in any classes in college or graduate school and I graduated with a 3.8 or higher in every degree I ever got. :shuffle: I have a whole reading triage system used to decide what reading actually needs to be done that I'm happy to describe.

That sounds like a good plan. I think the 2-days a week plan is too disruptive. One whole week of learning lets you settle in, overcome any technical issues (whether in-school safety or at-home technology), and even maybe get some real socializing with your friends. The 2-days play is going to result in kids learning 2 days a week with minimal socialization (unless their parents let them visit friends on remote days, which may not be the best idea) IMO.
I much prefer the two days a week plan to the one week on/one week off plan. I think it is much easier for students to establish a routine if they are always in school on the same days. If the goal of having students in school at least some of the time is to mitigate some of the issues we had with executive dysfunction, focusing issues, time management, and loneliness, I also think two days a week every week is better than having full weeks of distance learning.


My school finally has a plan. It's kind of amazing. You can feel the way it is affecting the whole staff to have a plan. The plan was announced Monday night, and I spent all of Tuesday on the phone with coworkers discussing plans and some of the coworkers I talked to had been meeting with other coworkers as well. Actually knowing what we are doing, kind of regardless of what it is, is clearly so good for us because it means we can actually work instead of being stuck in a holding pattern.

I am definitely concerned about any in person return. But I knew that there was no way that my district would go full remote because that is not a thing in CT right now. My district has gone hybrid and the high school has switched to a semester schedule, which means that instead of taking 8 classes each week on a rotating block schedule, they will have 4 classes per day every day for the entire semester, and then switch to their other four classes for the next semester. This plan has a few downsides, but it feels like a great step on the safety front for me. We can't really cohort in high school, but cutting the number of classes we have at any one time in half is a great move. Also, if we have to switch to distance learning, instead of our kids having to keep track of 8 different teachers giving 8 different assignments and sending 8 different emails, they will only have 4 classes and 4 teachers.

As far as lunch, all students will be staying in their classroom to eat lunch. Lunch will be ordered online and delivered to the classroom.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
36,442
I never did my textbook reading in any classes in college or graduate school and I graduated with a 3.8 or higher in every degree I ever got. :shuffle: I have a whole reading triage system used to decide what reading actually needs to be done that I'm happy to describe.
I had a system too. I did sometimes read the textbooks but only for classes that really used them. I had a list of things to do in order for every class and I would do as many of them as I could.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,789
Remote Learning Is Hard. Losing Family Members Is Worse.
I’m a low-income student in a crowded apartment, and my family is vulnerable to *********-19. The benefits of returning to school are not worth our health.

"Last month, I learned that my uncle died of *********-19. Not long after, his mother passed away from the *****, too. Since my parents are essential workers, I’m starting my senior year of high school worrying whether they’re next.

I live in one of San Diego’s most infected ZIP codes. And I’m a Latino in a county where Hispanics — 43 percent of *********-19 victims yet only 34 percent of the population — bear the brunt of the *********.

When schools went remote earlier this year, low-income students like me, who have limited access to computers and the internet, faced challenges keeping up with schoolwork. Trying to study in cramped quarters and without reliable connectivity was frustrating. But as schools begin this fall, I’d much rather endure the troubles of distance learning than return to campus prematurely and sacrifice my own health or that of my family."
 

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