When and how should we open schools?

CantALoop

All this and brains too
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2,716
Maybe they should have traveling teachers to fill in and substitute like they have traveling nurses who help with hospitals who are short-staffed due to staff coming down with crud.

Oh wait, that would mean actually paying teachers a decent salary and competitive wages. We can't have that, can we?
 

Prancer

Professional Spuddler
Staff member
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52,214
Last week, my kids' English teacher was out the whole week with omicron. This week, it's their math teacher. There's been so many substitute teachers, and it just sounds like the kids don't treat them well.
Well, kids generally don't treat subs well. It is the nature of children to test those who have authority over them to see how far they can go. They know subs don't have any real power.

When I was in high school, the teachers went on strike. The first day of the strike, all of us students were herded into the auditorium and told that we had to attend class if our teachers were crossing the picket line or there was a sub but otherwise we should stay home. Once our classes were finished, if we had any, we were to leave the school premises immediately. If we had more than one class, we had to go to the cafeteria for study hall while we waited for our next class.

About half of the students didn't have any classes and most of the rest had one or maybe two. I, of course, had a teacher for my first period and my last, so I was there all day.

Some of the things I read about school now remind me of that time. My high school was selective and quite strict, so we were, as a group, good students and supposedly mature for our ages. Nevertheless, we did not do well. Attendance in the classes I did have to take was terrible, so the teachers didn't give out a lot of work because they knew it would be pointless. No one really bothered doing the busy work we were given because we all knew they wouldn't count it anyway. The cafeteria study halls went okay for maybe a week, but we were bored and we were teenagers, so every week after that week was worse than the week before. I stopped going there after the second week paperwad war and spent the rest of my time in the bandroom playing cards or in the library reading; no one ever knew or cared because kids were always coming and going for reasons legitimate and not, so they gave up trying to keep track of us. Vandalism and fighting became big problems. When the strike eventually ended (it lasted months), we were way behind and we never caught up, but there were no proficiency tests in those days to provide statistical proof.

That was all the fault of the teachers, too, of course, because they went on strike because they had forgotten their calling.

But anyway, I think of that when people argue that kids should be in school no matter what, because I've been a kid who was in school no matter what and I am amazed that some of you seem to think it should work (not directed at @clairecloutier). I'm not sure what images you have in your heads of how this is all supposed to function, but no, you can't just put all the kids in the cafeteria with one teacher and make teaching work. At that point, all teachers can do is stave off total chaos.
 

skatingguy

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,265
Attendance was so bad the year I was in grade 9 they gave up keeping track of my grade for our entire high school careers. My younger brother got phone calls home if he missed a class, but I could skip whenever I wanted to & my parents would never know.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
Messages
27,534
My school is closed tomorrow (as are others in the area), allegedly due to weather, but I'm guessing it was more of "20% of the staff are in isolation as are way too many of the students."
 

Baby Yoda On Skates

Well-Known Member
Messages
681
My kids went back last Tuesday for second semester and in those 8 days, I've received 6 exposure notices. My oldest said kids and teachers are dropping like flies at her high school.

We have a new dark money funded school board. I'm not holding my breath that any sensible decisions will occur. The district had 16% of teachers out sick, but still talks about parent choice when it comes to vaccines and masks.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,750
If this thing hadn't gotten so political, schools would shut down for a week or two once staff and/or students fell below a certain level like they do for flu epidemics.
I think this is what Portland is doing. (They have some formula & when a school drops below a certain threshold, then it goes virtual for a limited time). The question, of course, is whether those schools will be able to function when they try to reopen. Or whether more than a week of two will be required to get them through this surge. Unknown. More of the district's schools have been going virtual throughout this week.

Also Tigard, Clackamas/Gresham, Forest Grove, various schools in Vancouver, WA. Maybe Salem? I think something in Southern Oregon also. Most of those districts just have individual schools going virtual. One or two have full districts. There have been more announcements each day this week. I think a school in Southern Oregon also. It's a situation in flux.

Mostly high schools thus far, I believe.
 

myhoneyhoney

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,776
The school district here will decide tomorrow night if the kids return Tuesday. I don’t know if the week of online classes helped.
 

sk8nlizard

Well-Known Member
Messages
955
My son’s school, along with one other school in our district are closed tomorrow due to “critical staff shortages.” I had to pick my son up early today for a gymnastics meet and was told 50% of the staff and 25% of the students (~230) were out sick today. This is in a district that has no mask mandate, no quarantine, no isolation, nothing. My daughter was telling me that a girl in her class came to school today even though everyone in her house besides her has *********. My son told me at his school, there were subs for subs, teachers were leaving in the middle of class bc they didn’t feel well, principals from other schools were subbing, it’s a mess! Oh and the teachers that are still standing don’t get the day off tomorrow, they have to go sub at other schools that have shortages! Our district, that has approximately 39K students and staff has 2025 active cases. These are self reported and I would imagine the true number is significantly higher (for example, my son’s school had 230 kids out but “only” 95 are reported on our dash board). I can’t even begin to tell you how many emails I get about cases in my kid’s classes, there’s no way I can test my kid’s every time, it would be multiple times a day! I feel for the teachers in this awful situation and I’m just waiting for it to come through our house again!
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
Messages
34,837
I never experienced a long strike in school, but I do remember almost two months of a very bad winter ***** that went through a few cycles before school began to function again.

While our teacher managed not to become ill, and we didn't have any subs, my sixth grade section had 1/3-1/2 of the students in at any given time, and not very many of us were there every day. So there really wasn't a huge amount of teaching after my teacher soon tired of repeating the same lessons. It was more like a malaise after a few weeks, and, because school never closed, they couldn't mandate make-up days. And boy did the school librarian hate the sight of another group of kids let loose to find things to read on their own.

That was a blip, though: it wasn't fraught with the uncertainty of a pan---, with the constantly changing landscape and disruptions, and it also wasn't tied to a fear of a worldwide crisis, ie, nuclear war, the main source of anxiety of kids my age.
 

skategal

Bunny mama
Messages
8,841
Well, kids generally don't treat subs well. It is the nature of children to test those who have authority over them to see how far they can go. They know subs don't have any real power.

When I was in high school, the teachers went on strike. The first day of the strike, all of us students were herded into the auditorium and told that we had to attend class if our teachers were crossing the picket line or there was a sub but otherwise we should stay home. Once our classes were finished, if we had any, we were to leave the school premises immediately. If we had more than one class, we had to go to the cafeteria for study hall while we waited for our next class.

About half of the students didn't have any classes and most of the rest had one or maybe two. I, of course, had a teacher for my first period and my last, so I was there all day.

Some of the things I read about school now remind me of that time. My high school was selective and quite strict, so we were, as a group, good students and supposedly mature for our ages. Nevertheless, we did not do well. Attendance in the classes I did have to take was terrible, so the teachers didn't give out a lot of work because they knew it would be pointless. No one really bothered doing the busy work we were given because we all knew they wouldn't count it anyway. The cafeteria study halls went okay for maybe a week, but we were bored and we were teenagers, so every week after that week was worse than the week before. I stopped going there after the second week paperwad war and spent the rest of my time in the bandroom playing cards or in the library reading; no one ever knew or cared because kids were always coming and going for reasons legitimate and not, so they gave up trying to keep track of us. Vandalism and fighting became big problems. When the strike eventually ended (it lasted months), we were way behind and we never caught up, but there were no proficiency tests in those days to provide statistical proof.

That was all the fault of the teachers, too, of course, because they went on strike because they had forgotten their calling.

But anyway, I think of that when people argue that kids should be in school no matter what, because I've been a kid who was in school no matter what and I am amazed that some of you seem to think it should work (not directed at @clairecloutier). I'm not sure what images you have in your heads of how this is all supposed to function, but no, you can't just put all the kids in the cafeteria with one teacher and make teaching work. At that point, all teachers can do is stave off total chaos.
On this end, the province of Quebec has said that if teachers and substitutes are in short supply, they will be searching for parent volunteers “not to teach” but to “keep an eye on the classes.”

Like for real?!?!?!?

What parent in their right mind would do that? And even if they did get conned into it, they wouldn’t last for more than a day.

And do it for free too. Volunteer.

And this is better than online supposedly. :lol::wall:
 

Lara

It's JJ style!
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18,696
Supposedly they are to supervise in person while the (positive but assumedly not too sick to function) teacher is on-video to the class.

Doesn’t make me feel much better. It’s a joke and much more about freeing up parents to go to work than ensuring proper education.
 

TygerLily

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,239
On this end, the province of Quebec has said that if teachers and substitutes are in short supply, they will be searching for parent volunteers “not to teach” but to “keep an eye on the classes.”

Like for real?!?!?!?

What parent in their right mind would do that? And even if they did get conned into it, they wouldn’t last for more than a day.

And do it for free too. Volunteer.

And this is better than online supposedly. :lol::wall:
And yet they'd fire reassign a teacher from the classroom for wearing a hijab.

(Edited to fix incorrect info. Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/8437111/...ssigned-from-class-over-hijab-due-to-bill-21/ )
 

CantALoop

All this and brains too
Messages
2,716
Doesn’t make me feel much better. It’s a joke and much more about freeing up parents to go to work than ensuring proper education.
That was pretty much the main pressure that ended our state teachers' strike in the early 2000s. Not salary cuts, loss of health insurance, compensation for hours worked, or work conditions, but rather parents were complaining to the governor about having to take days off or find child care.
 

PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
Messages
27,534
Teachers are not allowed to strike in Nebraska. :mitchell: (don't worry, there's ways around it, and yes, they suck, too)

So far this "snow" day has been a bust. At least I think so. Maybe the weather was bad earlier. I didn't get out of bed until 11:15. :shuffle:
 

CassAgain

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,142
Our school is open, but have the students are sick, are in quar, or have parents who want them home for the surge. Almost none of the teachers are sick, but 57 are out at the high school, and they are out. At least half the schools in the district are home right now--have idea what the situation will be when we come back Tuesday after the holiday. I am trying to give the ones at home as much help as I can.
 

ballettmaus

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,979
On this end, the province of Quebec has said that if teachers and substitutes are in short supply, they will be searching for parent volunteers “not to teach” but to “keep an eye on the classes.”

Like for real?!?!?!?

What parent in their right mind would do that? And even if they did get conned into it, they wouldn’t last for more than a day.

And do it for free too. Volunteer.

And this is better than online supposedly. :lol::wall:
How is cramping children into a classroom where they can be exposed so that they can be watched better for children than virtual teaching?
 

skategal

Bunny mama
Messages
8,841
How is cramping children into a classroom where they can be exposed so that they can be watched better for children than virtual teaching?
It’s not.

But according to our government here it is.

Teachers have now been told here in this province that due to staff and student absences they will now have to move classes together (up to 4) or supervise up to 4 classes per teacher.

The students wont learn anything. :shuffle:

We are keeping our son home for at least a week.

His teacher is posting assignments on Google so kids who are absent can keep up.

That is a better option right now.
 

ballettmaus

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,979
First positive case in my mom's preschool. And the only reason that health protocols had to be activated is because the parents put their child in preschool yesterday.

The child was out sick with cold symptoms Monday through Wednesday. Thursday is the mandatory test, so the child went to get tested and the parents dropped them off at the preschool afterwards even though the child still had cold symptoms. For whatever reason, the child didn't get sent to the nurse to be picked up, the child was even there for half an hour today. Then the positive test result was announced and all children who had contact with that child had to be picked up. Everything could have been avoided if the parents had continued to keep their sick child at home.
 

ballettmaus

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,979
Apparently, the nurse who is the school's YKW point person, wanted to shut down the preschool (and have it go virtual, which all teachers are prepared for) for 10 days because it's one cohort. The school's principal (not preschool principal) said no. Make little sense considering that we have a 3 day weekend, so it would be closed for 5 school days only. They could probably ask everyone to show up for the tests next Thursday and then reopen the following Monday after 9 days. But I guess, they rather deal with waves of infections and having parents pick up their children early...

There's also the strange believe that triple-vaccinated teachers are not at any risk. They got the booster three months ago, a number are 55+ years old (at least three are 60 and older), others have preexisting conditions. Sounds like "read the headlines only" is popular with the decision makers.
 

skatingguy

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,265
The Ontario government delayed the reopening of schools for two weeks after the Christmas break, which seems reasonable given that the cases & hospitalizations were really spiking. Now that they've started to come back down, and schools were set to reopen tomorrow we're forecasted to have a major snowstorm and schools will be closed tomorrow. Between 5 am & 10 am tomorrow morning we're supposed to get 5 cm of snow an hour.
 

skategal

Bunny mama
Messages
8,841
The Ontario government delayed the reopening of schools for two weeks after the Christmas break, which seems reasonable given that the cases & hospitalizations were really spiking. Now that they've started to come back down, and schools were set to reopen tomorrow we're forecasted to have a major snowstorm and schools will be closed tomorrow. Between 5 am & 10 am tomorrow morning we're supposed to get 5 cm of snow an hour.
I have a friend in Ottawa.

Her son’s school board said online learning today instead of having a snow day.

So the same online learning that is so detrimental to student’s mental Heath that they all had to go in person in the middle of Omicron was put back in for snow days instead of letting the kids have a mental health break snow day.

Honestly…..I can’t keep up with the reasoning at this point. :lol:
 

Parsley Sage

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,859
I'm in Ontario....some boards in my area are continuing virtual learning for the snow day and some aren't. In some cases the public and Catholic boards are doing different things.
 

once_upon

Vaccinated
Messages
20,609
Last Friday, the different school districts within our city/metro area decided to really confuse everyone with remote learning vs snow day no school. (I think there are 10 or more districts)

Some chose the no school approach. Some chose the remote learning choice. You had to listen very carefully to determine what your child was to do.
 

myhoneyhoney

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,776
The Posh’s high school returns to on campus classes tomorrow.

1st daughter (aka Mermaid) and 1st son’s college classes are all online this semester. They could’ve chosen some on campus classes but did not.

2nd son’s college is online for the first 2 weeks then on campus.

All are boosted, however the Posh was only jabbed last week. I’m still a bit nervous
 

skategal

Bunny mama
Messages
8,841
Update from first day of school in NS:

Buses across the province are now routinely 60-90 minutes late due to lack of bus drivers.

Kids half frozen in schools as schools instructed to keep windows open to assist with ventilation (it was -18C yesterday.)

Schools promised one 3 ply mask for each student. Many schools/classes didn’t get these.

President of the Teachers Union thinks it’s doubtful that schools can stay open more than a week before too many staff are out sick.

Half the sub list won’t sub anymore because they are retired teachers so don’t need to expose themselves to the risk.

In our school:

One of the grade 6 teachers is out with CV

A school bus went in the ditch with kids on it due to a late afternoon winter storm that happened.

Today our bus is 1 hour late. It was on time yesterday.

They are trying to say it is because of weather but it’s fine outside today.

Gong show.
 

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