The 2020/2021 School Year and Coronavirus

Megs

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Sep 13, 2005
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We were planning to send Millie to PK3 a couple mornings a week this year, but have decided to hold off with COVID cases by us spiking to wait to see what happens the next few months. While our state (Florida) announced schools will be open for the school year, our county that we live in just announced that kids will not have to physically go into the classroom if their families decide against it.

Schools being closed has a MAJOR impact on parents and their work, a completely unfair setup for parents (mainly women) who are expected to work from home, homeschool, clean, cook, etc. So I completely see the need for schools to be open for our kids, and at some point I also think we will have to get back to living (even if it's with this virus, which is scary).

What about you and your kids? What are schools looking like in your area come this school year and what are you hoping for?
 

trigirl

In the Shadows
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Jun 24, 2007
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San Jose, CA
Our HS already decided on virtual school for fall. My daughter will be a senior and prefers online school so it doesn't impact us. It sucks that both of my kids are having their senior years screwed up by Covid (my son just finished HS) but not sure what else could be done. I don't even know what we'd do if we had young kids. I definitely empathize with those who have youngsters. I would go nuts with DH working from home and me homeschooling. I don't think there is a good answer. Having kids in school will spread the virus and more people will die. There is no way around that. But people need to work. And people are depressed (my mom is having major issues). Sigh. The only certainty is that Covid sucks a$$.
 

Tahoe10

Member
Apr 7, 2013
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Thank you for starting this thread! I am a public school teacher (high school) and I can tell you that this is the most stressful summer ever. I have no idea what is coming. I am very interested to read what parents want for their children. I will of course do whatever is expected of me as a teacher...but I honestly don’t know what the right answer is.
 

youngster

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Apr 18, 2007
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One of my relatives is a public school teacher and we've been told that the children in our state are going back to school in some form. They are considering various options including splitting the school day in half, with half the kids attending a morning session and the other half for an afternoon session, focusing on the most important subjects: reading, writing, math. Art and PE and extra tutoring could be done before or after the half day sessions in gyms and cafeterias. They could much more easily enforce social distancing this way as well as good hand washing and hygiene among the kids. They may also split the week instead, having half the kids come in for full days on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and the other half on Tuesday/Thursday, then alternating that schedule the following week.

Personally, I think the kids need to be back in school in some form, with some outlet for their energy and help for working parents, and so that they can continue their education. The risks to children are so minimal from the virus, the question of course, is how to protect older teachers and staff. I can imagine that some staff will take early retirement. especially if you had a pre-existing condition or were over 60. Maybe by the end of the summer too, we'll get a more definitive answer on how much asymptomatic spread there really is.
 

ggirl

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Jan 26, 2008
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Our school is starting up again with plenty of changes to adapt to Covid and minimize risk. Students won’t have lockers, lunches will be eaten outside or in classrooms. Students will stay in classrooms and teachers will rotate to class, minimizing contact. Masks will be worn by students and teachers and temperature checks performed on everyone. Those who have a temp 100.4 or over won’t be allowed on campus.
No outside visitors/parents/grandparents allowed on campus. No school plays, etc.

I’m glad my son is going back to school. We’re 2 working parents and having to home school for almost 3 months while working and keeping up everything else was extremely stressful for our family, but especially our child. Lots of yelling, tantrums and tears. He sees me as “Mom” and not “Teacher”. He’s an only child and didn’t have an outlet with other children- we felt terrible about that and it added more stress to our family.
Unfortunately he’s in a grade that doesn’t teach online classes so I became his Teacher. There was no relief in the piles of assignments, homework and tests given.

We sent him to summer day camp at his school. He was around his friends, doing lots of fun activities- all while socially distancing and wearing masks and practicing good hygiene. It can be done, as long as the school leadership and parents are committed to a safe campus.

Any Covid cases (there were 3) were identified immediately and steps taken to close down that age group for 2 weeks and professionally sanitize immediately. No one else at camp got Covid from those 3 cases-not kids nor staff, since they remained vigilant in keeping the community safe. They’re working with the state, a local large hospital, and following CDC guidelines.

I’m sorry this is such a long post. I just wanted to share my personal experience. Everyone has to do what makes them comfortable. Thanks for letting me share:flowers:
 

bellarusa

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Feb 15, 2013
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My kids (senior and junior) are doing distance learning. My high school's principal at last night's town hall said that of about 1,000 responses, 76% are going back to school (for the 2 days in-person instructions), and 24% are doing distance learning. Class elections are not guaranteed except those that are required for graduation. No clear plan on what happens if a kid gets sick and have been to school. High schoolers are moving from class to class as usual so yes they will be using the hallways, especially the one main hallway in the school.

I don't think I'm changing my choice. My understanding is that if situation improves the school can open up more spaces and more student can go back, but for those that opt for in-person to begin with, they can't go virtual short of serious medical issues.
 

Megs

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I just saw that NYC made an announcement on schools today, saying they will not fully reopen.

I totally understand everyone's feelings on all of this. I do think children, of every age, need the interaction with their peers for mental growth, emotional growth, physical energy exertion, and sanity!. I worry for the families that have kids come home and get a parent sick or family member sick that becomes more ill. And I really worry for the teachers.

I honestly don't think anyone knows the right thing to do with this situation. I think schools will try their best. It's so unfortunate the impact it will have on everyone in so many ways. I do wish, so greatly, that our country would be able to handle this spread better which would have fared better for everyone for the school year.
 

abagslife

Member
Aug 28, 2015
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15
I'm a high school English teacher - and I'm also conflicted. Our district as of now (in IL) has decided to start e-learning at home and then slowly reopen as things continue to improve. The reasoning is that when school was cancelled, it was traumatizing to the kids to have to suddenly stop. They would rather ease in from home rather than start full force and then have to suddenly stop again. I know that this is easier for older kids- I cannot even imagine how to figure things out for elementary age kids. The district has a lot of resources to provide online learning so access to devices/internet is less of a problem. To add to that, our school's faculty skews on the older side and there are many immunocompromised teachers who could be at risk, and that is a scary reality.

I have a toddler and 5 mo at home, and when the school year starts, I will plan on sending my daughter back to daycare (if they open). There is no way I can do any kind of work with her running around, and I just have to be careful. The perks are that our daycare is small and I do know many people there are careful, so I will just have to trust that. The 5 mo is just going to have to stay home with me, and I guess if I have to zoom with my students, they will get a celebrity appearance.

There is no easy answer to any of this...
 

loh

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Jan 4, 2009
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I have 2 in high school, a rising sophomore and senior. We were given two options for school this fall - remote or face to face. No hybrid option was provided even though they asked parents in a survey if we wanted one. We have just learned that the schools will be requiring masks for those students returning in person, which is a huge relief for me.

Both of mine want to go back in person, which I completely understand. They did fine with the remote learning in the spring, but prefer to be back in their routines and with their friends. I'm just so nervous with the unknowns and long term consequences of the virus. Even though younger people seem to have milder cases, the long term effects of the virus are still not known.

We still have time to make our final decision on their return this fall and I suspect that things may still be in a state of flux given the upward trend in cases everywhere. It's such a hard decision for all parents to make and I feel so bad for our kids having to grow up in such stressful times.
 
Jan 12, 2020
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If I had a child in preK and I was able to I would keep them home, at least for the start of the year if possible.

My son's college has announced at best half the school will be on the campus and the other half remote at any given time. My daughter is a rising high school senior and we are still waiting to hear what her school will do in September.

I really feel for the parents of young children who have to go back to work and are now worried about child care on top of everything else.

Honestly just thinking about it makes me so angry...the fact that we have basically wasted all these months and are right where we started or in some areas worse with rising cases and misinformation spreading :cursing:
 

ultravisitor

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Dec 9, 2016
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Honestly just thinking about it makes me so angry...the fact that we have basically wasted all these months and are right where we started or in some areas worse with rising cases and misinformation spreading :cursing:
Well, people want their rights to be ignorant about what's going on and how they're contributing to the pandemic, and teachers are expected to sacrifice their lives in the names of capitalism and free babysitting.
 

HauteMama

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Sep 22, 2006
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This is a pressing issue for our family. My son just graduated, and his university is opening almost as usual, with some differences in class meeting times to allow for social distancing. But he will be permitted to live in the dormitory (with fewer students) and go to food service (but may have to eat in his room), etc. I am nervous, but I'm not willing to have him put off college a year.

My daughter is going into her junior year and I teach in the same district. We have received nothing in terms of information yet, although surveys for families and staff went home. I am in favor of a hybrid approach, so kids alternate weeks of attending school every other day, so one week they go T/R and the next they go M/W/F, with virtual learning on their "off" days. Virtual learning did not work well in our district, and we had a LOT of kids who would have failed had normal grading protocols been in place, but kids and teens cannot socially distance well, either. I think a hybrid approach is the best, as it allows for better distancing, smaller social circles, but it still holds kids accountable in person. Masks and/or face shields should be mandatory. I will be wearing a clear face shield, as I teach in the Title 1 department, so kids need to be able to see my mouth to make sounds.

And while kids may not be as easily sickened by the virus, they can be carriers. If we have one student who is asymptomatic, he or she could infect countless others. With custody arrangements, daycare and sporting events, that would spread it like wildfire. Given the potential death rate, I can't bear to think which people might not be there next year if that happens.

Basically, how do we weigh the risk of social isolation, academic failure, lost work time for parents, etc. against potential sickness and death, especially for older faculty or grandparent caregivers? It's a no win situation.
 

ultravisitor

Member
Dec 9, 2016
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Can you imagine what history is going to say about this period of time...?!?
It will definitely be interesting to see how people spin the story to talk about how great America has become during this period of time. We're currently so great that other countries will not let us visit them because they don't want the disease that's spreading all over our country and killing people because some people cannot be inconvenienced in any way.
 

Tahoe10

Member
Apr 7, 2013
166
336
Wow I am blown away that so many people already know what the plan (at least the tentative plan) is for the fall. Our State has no plan at all yet. It is unsettling and makes it difficult to plan. I do understand though that our governor wants to take his time to review the “numbers” to make the best decision.
 
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