Children Returning to Schools

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Didn't want to derail any other threads, and this is an important topic for many of us, so I figured I'd start a new thread.

I'm in MA, and am at a complete loss with regards to what I've seen so far for our district's plan for children returning to school in September. The minimum distance between desks is 3' - seat-edge to seat-edge - which, as we all know, goes completely against what has been drilled into our heads from the beginning of the pandemic. They are also pushing for as many bodies in schools as possible, which also goes against what science says is safe...with the caveat that windows should be open to aid in ventilation - even in the winter. I really can't even begin to express how much less faith I now have in our district leaders.
 

seabreezept813

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
It’s super sketchy Pixie. Some of the guidelines coming from the MA commissioner are strangely frightening. Telling schools not to give any information about plans until August and that staff who might be vulnerable take a hike. If any of it goes through, there won’t be enough staff to run the schools. Luckily MTA is negotiating with DESE weekly for a phased opening regardless of whether there is in-person instruction or remote learning. What really bothers me about it all, besides being a MA teacher with kids of my own, is that is seems so against the slow and measured way Baker has been taking during this whole time. Why now are we willing to rush or test the waters when children could be in danger?
 

seabreezept813

Well-Known Member
I think it’s also worth mentioning that with restrictions school can’t be normal. Kids won’t be allowed to socialize and normal education practices can’t take place. My class is discussion and group collaboration based, and it can’t be done in person with restrictions. I could pull it off online if we’re given time to know that’s our current direction and get ready for it.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It’s super sketchy Pixie. Some of the guidelines coming from the MA commissioner are strangely frightening. Telling schools not to give any information about plans until August and that staff who might be vulnerable take a hike. If any of it goes through, there won’t be enough staff to run the schools. Luckily MTA is negotiating with DESE weekly for a phased opening regardless of whether there is in-person instruction or remote learning. What really bothers me about it all, besides being a MA teacher with kids of my own, is that is seems so against the slow and measured way Baker has been taking during this whole time. Why now are we willing to rush or test the waters when children could be in danger?
I'm working on a survey that got sent out - that is NOT anonymous (and don't get me started on how much that ****es me off) - and there's a comment section at the end in which I am blasting all these ridiculous choices that we all know are doing nothing but increasing risk.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
It’s super sketchy Pixie. Some of the guidelines coming from the MA commissioner are strangely frightening. Telling schools not to give any information about plans until August and that staff who might be vulnerable take a hike. If any of it goes through, there won’t be enough staff to run the schools. Luckily MTA is negotiating with DESE weekly for a phased opening regardless of whether there is in-person instruction or remote learning. What really bothers me about it all, besides being a MA teacher with kids of my own, is that is seems so against the slow and measured way Baker has been taking during this whole time. Why now are we willing to rush or test the waters when children could be in danger?
And what's with the AAP pushing the rhetoric that children aren't susceptible to infection?!? That's a blatant LIE!!! Millions of children have been at home since March - that there's no data available for children is specifically because they were basically removed from the pool of people with the potential to be infected!
 

aw14

Well-Known Member
NJ just released, again late in the game, that now its ok to do a total virtual start to the year. This, after all districts have been trying to work out their return plans that Murphy wanted completed. He once again changes course.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
NJ just released, again late in the game, that now its ok to do a total virtual start to the year. This, after all districts have been trying to work out their return plans that Murphy wanted completed. He once again changes course.
I'm glad you have the option for virtual though...it's scary up here the deception and political games that are going on.
 

seabreezept813

Well-Known Member
I'm working on a survey that got sent out - that is NOT anonymous (and don't get me started on how much that ****es me off) - and there's a comment section at the end in which I am blasting all these ridiculous choices that we all know are doing nothing but increasing risk.

But truly be honest. I don’t understand this let’s sacrifice the kids and teachers mentality. One problem is there’s this attitude that teachers are lazy and don’t want to go back because they’re enjoying their extended vacation. What people don’t realize is teaching distantly is more work. And it’s no not easy. And unlike nurses and first responders our jobs can be done from home. It’s definitely an inconvenience to everyone but we’ll have a vaccine this winter so I think it will be temporary. (Yes I know a vaccine is not a definite but I truly believe this..)

Trust me if there was not a safety health concern, I’d be ready to go back to teaching in person tomorrow. I thrive on routine and get stir crazy being home all the time especially with a potty training toddler. I’m just not okay with risking my family or my health and those of my students and their families. If we let this happen, we’re all responsible for the outcome.
 

seabreezept813

Well-Known Member
NJ just released, again late in the game, that now its ok to do a total virtual start to the year. This, after all districts have been trying to work out their return plans that Murphy wanted completed. He once again changes course.

I wonder if they were waiting to watch other states take a stand against D.C. and now have swayed in that direction. While the NE has been in decent shape for now , we’re not immune from the spikes across the nation.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
But truly be honest. I don’t understand this let’s sacrifice the kids and teachers mentality. One problem is there’s this attitude that teachers are lazy and don’t want to go back because they’re enjoying their extended vacation. What people don’t realize is teaching distantly is more work. And it’s no not easy. And unlike nurses and first responders our jobs can be done from home. It’s definitely an inconvenience to everyone but we’ll have a vaccine this winter so I think it will be temporary. (Yes I know a vaccine is not a definite but I truly believe this..)

Trust me if there was not a safety health concern, I’d be ready to go back to teaching in person tomorrow. I thrive on routine and get stir crazy being home all the time especially with a potty training toddler. I’m just not okay with risking my family or my health and those of my students and their families. If we let this happen, we’re all responsible for the outcome.
Oh, I am. And I'm including the bit about psychological damage to kids who unwittingly infect family members, as well as my fear that we're going to undo all the work we just did to get new cases down. I'm going full no-holds-barred on this.
 

aw14

Well-Known Member
I'm glad you have the option for virtual though...it's scary up here the deception and political games that are going on.
We kind of see the same here. We all are starting to realize that we are likely to start virtually, but he is making us jump through hoops to create plans to return, instead of working on making distance learning better.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
But truly be honest. I don’t understand this let’s sacrifice the kids and teachers mentality. One problem is there’s this attitude that teachers are lazy and don’t want to go back because they’re enjoying their extended vacation. What people don’t realize is teaching distantly is more work. And it’s no not easy. And unlike nurses and first responders our jobs can be done from home. It’s definitely an inconvenience to everyone but we’ll have a vaccine this winter so I think it will be temporary. (Yes I know a vaccine is not a definite but I truly believe this..)

Trust me if there was not a safety health concern, I’d be ready to go back to teaching in person tomorrow. I thrive on routine and get stir crazy being home all the time especially with a potty training toddler. I’m just not okay with risking my family or my health and those of my students and their families. If we let this happen, we’re all responsible for the outcome.
It IS more work - that there aren't more resources that are free available is sad, to say the least. I just wanted to take a second to thank you for choosing to be an educator and for working so hard to do right by your students. My boys have been (for the most part) blessed with some of the most amazing teachers I've ever met, and I often say people like them should be Sainted. One would hope (but as things progress, it's getting more and more difficult to) that one of the lessons of this pandemic would be that those who we rely on the most should be shown the gratitude and appreciation they deserve.
 

5thGenTexan

Well-Known Member
Out district is providing an person and virtual option.

It looks like the virtual option is going to be through Odysseyware and will be managed by a certified teacher in Odysseyware on each campus. I am not familiar with Odysseyware and I am not sure I like the part about a separate teacher that is just managing the virtual students. I could be reading it wrong, honestly I don't know. That being said, I have told my 4th grader and 7th grader they are going back to school,and be prepared to wear a mask all day, get over it.

Just for perspective, we have about 1,700 students.... in the entire district.
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Out district is providing an person and virtual option.

It looks like the virtual option is going to be through Odysseyware and will be managed by a certified teacher in Odysseyware on each campus. I am not familiar with Odysseyware and I am not sure I like the part about a separate teacher that is just managing the virtual students. I could be reading it wrong, honestly I don't know. That being said, I have told my 4th grader and 7th grader they are going back to school,and be prepared to wear a mask all day, get over it.

Just for perspective, we have about 1,700 students.... in the entire district.
We've got 1300 in just one high school in just our town...

I do know that the two high schools have had specific classes available virtually even prior to the pandemic...but I've seen zero mention of that particular program anywhere with regards to returning to school in general.
 

Laketravis

Well-Known Member
Our district started with virtual learning being the default for all students for the first half of the school year unless they opted-in for on site instruction, and then on site instruction was limited to 10 students per class and 12 students per bus if transportation was involved. Those who requested on-site but didn't make the first cut would be placed on a waiting list. Teachers were also given the option to teach on-site or via remote connection.

All was going to plan when the Texas Education Agency (TEA) passed down a decision that any student who wanted to be on-site would be given the opportunity to be on-site or the district would lose state funding. This essentially threw our district's carefully crafted plan out the window.

Then, our county passed an order that no school will re-open for a minimum of three weeks into the established school year and that all students must be provided with virtual learning. This edict then forced the TEA to backpedal on it's previous decision and rule that all districts would continue to receive funding if they were solely offering virtual learning due to a closure mandate by the city or county.

Teachers and staff continue to protest against any on-site instruction in the immediate future. Parents are seeking solutions to not being able to stay at home all day with their young kids.

In short, it's FUBAR
 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Our district started with virtual learning being the default for all students for the first half of the school year unless they opted-in for on site instruction, and then on site instruction was limited to 10 students per class and 12 students per bus if transportation was involved. Those who requested on-site but didn't make the first cut would be placed on a waiting list. Teachers were also given the option to teach on-site or via remote connection.

All was going to plan when the Texas Education Agency (TEA) passed down a decision that any student who wanted to be on-site would be given the opportunity to be on-site or the district would lose state funding. This essentially threw our district's carefully crafted plan out the window.

Then, our county passed an order that no school will re-open for a minimum of three weeks into the established school year and that all students must be provided with virtual learning. This edict then forced the TEA to backpedal on it's previous decision and rule that all districts would continue to receive funding if they were solely offering virtual learning due to a closure mandate by the city or county.

Teachers and staff continue to protest against any on-site instruction in the immediate future. Parents are seeking solutions to not being able to stay at home all day with their young kids.

In short, it's FUBAR
It really is. I realize how important education is, but you can't expect things to be normal in the middle of a health crisis in which a virus kills people...ESPECIALLY when it involves asymptomatic transmission. It also highlights how bad of a job we've done at prioritizing balancing life/work/family and cost of living/wages.
 

Laketravis

Well-Known Member
Argument: “I’m not going to live my life in fear.”

“You already live your life in fear. For your health, your family’s health, your job, your retirement, terrorists, extremists, one political party or the other being in power, the new neighbors, an unexpected home repair, the next sunrise. What you meant to say was, ‘I’m not prepared to add ANOTHER fear,’ and I’ve got news for you: That ship has sailed. It’s too late.

“Fear,” Morice continued, “is the reason you wait up when your kids stay out late, it’s the reason you tell your kids not to dive in the shallow water, to look both ways before crossing the road. Fear is the respect for the wide world that we teach our children. Except in this instance, for reasons no one has been able to explain to me yet.”

Every family brings its own needs and risk factors and economic realities and unique situations to this tremendously complicated decision. But I like Morice’s words and wanted to share them because they’re practical without being emotionless, frustrated without being resigned, empowering without being admonishing."


 

ImperfectPixie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
He hit the nail on the head with a lot of what he said. The one thing he left out was the politics.
 
Top Bottom