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Jinjer 53: Telework, Teleschool, or Telenothing?

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mpheels

Playgrounds in Boston have been open for weeks with no apparent increase in cases, but the city/state waited until prevalence of new cases was very low for several weeks before opening them, plus we have a functional system for contact tracing and testing. Southern California is not there yet.

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neuroticcat
10 hours ago, allthegoodnamesrgone said:

. Very few places are closing anything again and most people here have flat out said they will NOT put up with schools closing again, and or things going back to closed, these assholes would rather die than be bored.  

Agree. I’m so frustrated with the school response. It’s like COVID revealed yet another failing system and instead of getting to work and thinking creativity, education departments said: welp! No good solutions. Back to school it is! 
 

 

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justoneoftwo

I'm not entirely sure return to school is entirely because the systems are failing. My school is opening because distance learning doesn't work well for pre school and elementary school kids. Also the social element is very important especially at those ages. They are trying to fix those systems to make it safer but part of the concern that the mental health of children is important as well. I torn on if that's the right call

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JanasTattooParlor

I’m a teacher and I know for my state several districts across the state, especially in counties with a high number of cases, have created virtual academies for the year where the students have to decide by the end of July if they will be attending them through at least the first nine week grading period. Our initial surveys from my district say that 54% of parents don’t feel comfortable sending their kids back to school so we are expecting a good number of parents to take the virtual route. My school promised to provide Chromebooks to all of our students that want to go virtual. They are still trying to find a way to do in person classes because honestly, that’s the way us teachers teach best and the students learn best, but right now we’re under guidelines where we can’t have more than 17 kids to a room and there’s a lot of restrictions we’d have to abide by. I promise that the reopening of schools isn’t being decided lightly and most states are still waiting to see what will happen through July before making any decisions because they want to make the best decision for kids’ education and safety as well as their staff’s sanity and safety.  

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allthegoodnamesrgone

The school district I live in & my kids attended along with the school district that my nephew & nieces live in were supposed to have their school year plans to the Dept of Ed on July 1, but essentially both sent them we have a plan to have a plan.  🙄 My siblings and I live in the suburbs and the metro school district we are around put their plan in place and basically the students will be put in two groups, group 1 will go to school M & T and do E learning the other 3 days a week, group 2 will do e learning M - W and be in school Th & F. Teachers and staff will be working fulltime. The buildings will be closed on Wednesdays for cleaning. Not sure how that will work for parents who have to work & can't do it from home. Our state is run by an idiot trumper and we were one of the 8 states that refused to do a formal shut down meaning it was up to businesses if people worked from home or not.  I'm not sure what the right answer is, all I know our schools are so underfunded & over crowded that we can't deal with this properly. 

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Bobology
Posted (edited)

I, too, have conflicting thoughts and emotions about the schools staying open vs 'closing' for virtual ed. In households where the parent(s) must work, they need some form of daycare. Isn't kids being in daycare with daycare staff much the same as kids being in school with faculty and staff? What is gained by closing the school buildings? Will there be some kind of stipend offered to parent(s) to have their children attend daycare-type programs instead of free public education? The bulk of the families cannot afford full-day childcare during weeks or months on end while school buildings remain closed.

And there are the students with special needs, whether identified through a federal program or not, who absolutely need the structure of a regular school day in order to have educational growth. Some of those same kids can run roughshod over their parents and families without the regular support of a school day with trained and experienced faculty and staff. If schools closed, will those families be given extra support?

On the other hand... contact and exposure!

Edited by Bobology
omit a paragraph for lessened length of post

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OHFL2009
23 minutes ago, allthegoodnamesrgone said:

My siblings and I live in the suburbs and the metro school district we are around put their plan in place and basically the students will be put in two groups, group 1 will go to school M & T and do E learning the other 3 days a week, group 2 will do e learning M - W and be in school Th & F. Teachers and staff will be working fulltime. The buildings will be closed on Wednesdays for cleaning. Not sure how that will work for parents who have to work & can't do it from home. 

Our school district is talking about this too and I'm also curious how it will work for the online portion. How are the "Monday-Wednesday online" kids learning on Monday and Tuesday if the teacher is teaching the "Monday-Tuesday classroom" kids? Are they going to learn from videos? Or is the teacher going to have to try and teach both online and in the classroom at the same time? Some of the older kids might be ok doing some independent learning from home, but younger kids generally need interaction and hands-on instruction. 

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JanasTattooParlor
Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Bobology said:

Isn't kids being in daycare with daycare staff much the same as kids being in school with faculty and staff? What is gained by closing the school buildings?

Maybe for little kids it is not much different because the kids stay in the same room all day and could have their lunches brought to them instead of eating in the cafeteria, but for upper elementary through high school, kids are changing classes throughout the day, which clogs hallways and can lead to a large amount of exposure as kids come in contact with different groups of students all day. The same goes for the teachers. I teach roughly 70 high schoolers a semester and that’s a lot of exposure for the teachers, not to mention the ones that are older or have high risk health issues. I agree that students with special needs need structure but the thing in their favor is that special education classes are typically small to begin with compared to a general education class and could still most likely be held at the school. There’s no good solution for childcare and I doubt that any funding is available or will be given to help offset childcare costs for elementary school aged kids. 
 

@OHFL2009 that is a question I wonder too. Our state superintendent said that teachers would not be required to teach virtual and in person classes simultaneously everyday because frankly, that’s just an insane expectation for the teacher. So for us, we won’t have to do anything like that, but that’s why a lot of our districts are making virtual academies where they can hire teachers that are experienced in virtual learning to only teach virtual classes. 

Edited by JanasTattooParlor
More to say.

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SassyPants

My daughter lives and works internationally. She is a secondary school principal. Her school is starting virtually in the fall at the edict of the host country’s government. My GD will NOT be attending virtual school. My daughter has decided to homeschool rather than try to keep pace with virtual/distant learning. It just isn’t possible for parents to work and dance to someone else’s tune by distance educating. My daughter has spent much of the Summer devising and implementing her daughter ‘s school plan. My daughter has joined a homeschool group near my home in CA that has helped her stay within legal schooling guidelines.

 

God bless all parents. Distance learning will be a nightmare for so many families.

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mpheels

The US response to reopening schools vs. opening other businesses is just so telling... For the next year or so, we have to choose which activities are necessary and which can wait. Some things are higher risk, like schools, but of such great societal value that the risk is worthwhile. Other things are less important, like low density retail and personal service, but can resume with very little infection risk (assuming some modifications, like universal masking). Then there are things that are very high risk and also not especially important to societal function, like night clubs... why are we prioritizing those above schools?

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livinginthelight

I'm in SoCal and our district is offering a bunch of options, from distance learning to an option where kids come in two shifts, morning and afternoon, staying within their own cohort. All kids will wear masks.

The problem with this plan is, they are spraying the classrooms between each shift. I shudder to imagine the effect of the aerosols from the spray on the lungs of the children, not to mention the poor teachers.

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SassyPants
5 minutes ago, livinginthelight said:

I'm in SoCal and our district is offering a bunch of options, from distance learning to an option where kids come in two shifts, morning and afternoon, staying within their own cohort. All kids will wear masks.

The problem with this plan is, they are spraying the classrooms between each shift. I shudder to imagine the effect of the aerosols from the spray on the lungs of the children, not to mention the poor teachers.

So what happens the rest of the day? Virtual school? If so, where? If parents are working, how will the kids get from home to school or VV, during the middle of the day? This is a horrible plan...if the kids only go half time, Will summer be cancelled next year?

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livinginthelight
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SassyPants said:

So what happens the rest of the day? Virtual school? If so, where? If parents are working, how will the kids get from home to school or VV, during the middle of the day? This is a horrible plan...if the kids only go half time, Will summer be cancelled next year?

Child care is a huge issue which hasn't been decided. How to do child care safely? What about the parents who need it who can't afford it? There are truly no good answers.

The district is saying (and I do agree with this) that a consistent half day is better than scattershot full days. The bulk of the learning will be during that half day, with supplemental (like PE) being done remotely.

A few of the smaller private schools in the area are meeting in person full-time, with masks. Those schools are at capacity now. There are a number of homeschool groups that are getting a lot of new applications.

Edited by livinginthelight

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libgirl2
2 minutes ago, livinginthelight said:

Child care is a huge issue which hasn't been decided. How to do child care safely? What about the parents who need it who can't afford it? There are truly no good answers.

The district is saying (and I do agree with this) that a consistent half day is better than random full days. The bulk of the learning will be during that half day, with supplemental (like PE) being done remotely.

A few of the smaller private schools in the area are meeting in person full-time, with masks. Those schools are at capacity now. There are a number of homeschool groups that are getting a lot of new applications.

I'm so glad my son is past those days. He is planning on going back to school for computer networking but the community college in our area is doing almost all online learning. 

I have a friend who has two little ones. She is a science teacher who has taken a few years off to be at home with the kids. They are really lucky as she has some wonderful lesson plans for them. The oldest will be entering first grade and I believe she is looking at structured  online learning for him. 

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xenobia

Schools for kids under 16 and daycare centers have been open here in Sweden during all this time. No child under 19 has died. Two teachers died in April (separate cases, not related). Even if that's tragic, we don't know how they got infected. That could have happened anywhere, not just at work. And in the age group 20-39 (presumably the parents to these kids) there are very few fatalities. 24 to be more precise, in a population of more than 10 million people. We know that several of them didn't have children, so kids were not involved in those cases. Statistically more teachers, children and parents would have died if it was high risk to keep schools and daycare centers open. But I also want to add that this of course includes that you were not allowed in school (goes for both teachers and kids) if you're sick. You have to stay home even for the smallest hint of a cold. That is easier when you get paid sick leave for up to three weeks without as much as a doctors certificate. I'm very grateful that we have that safety net here. 

I do understand that there are big differences between different countries. What's right in one place isn't necessarily right in another. My point is that it's very likely that younger children don't seem to get sick even if they catch the virus and - perhaps more importantly - they don't seem to transmit the virus that easily to other kids, teachers or parents.

I'm fully aware that there are cases where kids have been really sick and even died from C-19. Each of those cases is of course a horrible tragedy. But unfortunately those things happen, even before C-19. The question is where we draw the line, when closing schools is overall a better thing than keeping them open. It's also dangerous to keep schools closed. I'm thinking of kids who live with domestic abuse or other bad situations at home. For some kids, school is their only safe place.

There is a lot of research going on on this topic, and today the first bigger comparative study of schools and evidence of transmission in Sweden and Finland was published. Finland had much fewer cases, and their schools were closed. Sweden has had a very high infection/death rate, and kept schools open. So the comparison is interesting. If someone is interested you can download the report here. Don't worry, It's in English :) (hint: their conclusion is that it was better to keep schools open)

https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/publicerat-material/publikationsarkiv/c/covid-19-in-schoolchildren/

 

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haroldtheyrefundies

I'm transferring to a small state school and they put out their fall semester plans recently. Required masks for everyone, and they will be providing masks and hand sanitizer for everyone. Classes will be on campus but the on campus classes will be hybrid and one of my classes is going to be fully online anyways. Social distancing in classrooms and dining areas. Temp checks for on campus students. Online ordering and to go options for dining areas. Masks and social distancing for large events, as well as livestreaming and having one event be at multiple locations throughout campus. Semester will end at Thanksgiving break.  My sister is frustrated because she is in graduate school and her school, a much larger state school,  is keeping graduate students in the dark about their fall semester plans. The other large state school has announced their plans for the fall, but i haven't heard anything about what my sister's school is planning on doing. I'm in Mississippi. 

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livinginthelight
Posted (edited)

@xenobia I'm very interested in Sweden's response to the pandemic. Do you think most Swedes are happy with the country's approach, even given the high death rate among the elderly?

Also, you mention the generous three week paid sick leave policy. What do people do who are self employed? Do they receive some type of government benefits when they need a day off? Or do they just lose the income?

I do wish we had a better safety net in the US.

Edited by livinginthelight

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sndral
3 hours ago, livinginthelight said:

I'm in SoCal and our district is offering a bunch of options, from distance learning to an option where kids come in two shifts, morning and afternoon, staying within their own cohort. All kids will wear masks.

The problem with this plan is, they are spraying the classrooms between each shift. I shudder to imagine the effect of the aerosols from the spray on the lungs of the children, not to mention the poor teachers.

 

3 hours ago, SassyPants said:

So what happens the rest of the day? Virtual school? If so, where? If parents are working, how will the kids get from home to school or VV, during the middle of the day? This is a horrible plan...if the kids only go half time, Will summer be cancelled next year?

These posts reminded me of my own experience in elementary school. I was part of the baby boom and they literally could not build schools fast enough to fit in all the students, so for the first several years there were split sessions, half went mornings, half afternoons. Even high school had half time for freshman and sophomores until they built the new high school. In fact although we didn’t move I had been in 3 different schools by 4th grade - going to each new school as it was built & opened closer to my house. My mom worked full time too, so I got morning sessions and then I bused to day care for the afternoon until she got off work.

It was different, I suppose, but - I’ve never felt I was negatively effected by it. So I suppose my take on it all is that while it is far from ideal, children will survive and thrive despite these challenging times, at least that’s my hope.

I found this link comparing the current challenges in education to past challenges to be interesting https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340166373_Crises_in_American_Education_WWII_Baby_Booms_and_CORVID-19

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xenobia
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, livinginthelight said:

@xenobia I'm very interested in Sweden's response to the pandemic. Do you think most Swedes are happy with the country's approach, even given the high death rate among the elderly?

Also, you mention the generous three week paid sick leave policy. What do people do who are self employed? Do they receive some type of government benefits when they need a day off? Or do they just lose the income?

I do wish we had a better safety net in the US.

It's hard to do a fair summary, but I'll give it a try. 

I would say that most swedes agree with the approach taken (schools for younger kids open, no formal lockdown, but social distancing, working from home, travel ban and other measures to stop the spread). There is of course people who think that we should have taken stricter measures, and those who think that it's been too harsh, but I would say that the majority approves. 

There is generally a high trust in both institutions and science here. Just to give one example: over 98% of all kids here are vaccinated, even though it's not mandatory. That's a very high number. When the pandemic hit us, the government along with all political groups in the parlament, agreed on two things: Our CDC would be in charge of fighting the virus, and the politicians would take care of the economical consequences. And the measures taken would be science based. What we did (or didn't do) had to have real science behind it. 

We've done both really well and really bad. I think that almost everyone here would agree on that. The health care system stepped up, and they've done a remarkable job. Teachers and daycare staff, along with other essential workers, really kept the basics going in our society. What didn't work out well was basically two things. The first one is well known: protecting the elderly. In Sweden, people who live in care facilities are usually much older than in most other countries. Most people stay in their homes (with assistance) until they are really old and frail. The homes are usually very big. That means that when the virus hit one of them, it hit really hard. There was also a lack of PPE which made an already bad situation worse. These things happened in almost all countries, but more so over here. I think the Swedish strategy, with a mix of legislation and volontary measures, would have been more successful if we had managed to protect the care facilities better. 

There's also another things that needs to be mentioned here. Swedes travel. A lot. I mean really, really a lot. It's estimated that in the three weeks before everything was shut down here in Europe (mid March), almost one million people had traveled abroad and returned. With a population of 10 million people, that means that 1 in 10 was abroad. Those that came back from China, Iran or the italian alps (the biggest percent) were tracked and traced. But no one knew that people that came back from places like New York, London and Paris also brought the virus into the country. I could have been one of them, since I was in Mexico the two last weeks in February. Who knows? I was sick in March, and I'm getting my antibody test tomorrow, so we'll see.

In other words: the virus was brought into almost all of the country - especially the Stockholm region - under the radar, and in large numbers. We would have been hit hard no matter what we had done. I think that most people here agree that the problem wasn't the strategy - it was what happened before the restrictions were implemented. We really didn't have a fair chance. 

About the paid sick leave: If I understand things correctly, those who are self employed also got this, but it was just 14 days. After that you had to have some kind of paperwork from your doctor/health care central. I can also add that usually there's one day that you don't get paid until the sick leave compensation kicks in. That day was removed very quickly, so that people wouldn't go to work if they felt sick. 

I don't know if everyone would agree with this description. I personally agree with most of what the authorities have done. I'm not medically trained, so I'm one of those who trust those who are, including our CDC. They got some things right, other things wrong. But it's always easy to be smart in hindsight. One thing that stands out is that people here are generally not scared, agitated or anxious. (Yes, there are exceptions). And the daily life of the kids here haven't been severely affected, since their routine of going to school or daycare remained the same. That is also worth something in my book. 

 

Edited by xenobia
crappy english spelling

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BookwormExtraordinaire

Fellow Swede here chiming in. I agree with the points in xenobia's post, but I’d like to add that another thing that really hasn’t worked well here is the testing. For a very long time, hospitals and clinics were extremely restrictive about testing patients for Covid-19, and once the public health agency changed their minds about that and it was announced that 100,000 people would be tested each week it still took ages to get things going. Without mass testing it’s hard to know how widely spread the virus really is, and the fact that extensive testing didn’t get started until June is without a doubt a failure.

Personally, I’m a bit torn when it comes to the Swedish strategy. I think some aspects of it (like not closing schools for younger kids) were 100 % the right call, while others (like refusing to test people for the virus for such a long time) are very strange. 

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xenobia

...and I agree with @BookwormExtraordinaire about the testing - that has really been too little and too late. I forgot to include that, so thanks for chiming in! We've probably had a very high number of cases, especially in March and April. Some of them will be visible now when the antibody tests are becoming widely available, so those results will be interesting.  

I think one of the problems with the testing was that no one was really owning the question, and you all know what happens when no one think it's their responsibility. Nothing happens. The public health agency was asked by the government to come up with a formal list of who should be tested first, and they did. But they were not responsible for the actual testing. I think this illustrates another problem here: we're good at doing things by the book, but bad at improvising in new and unchartered territory. 

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Ever

After watching last nights episode I began to wonder how long Jinger could pretend to be someone she’s not....or if she’s turning into that fake person she’s portraying. It’s sad to see her take on the soft voice and loud ego.

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GuineaPigCourtship

@Ever she could have always been that person with some creative editing from TLC.  Remember her defining characteristic was "follower" before the wedding.  I tend to think she's got a tad more personality than she's showing at the moment (the physics comment to Jeremy when her coffee spilled comes to mind) but that she's never been much of a rebel.

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allthegoodnamesrgone

I always got the impression she just had an overly expressive face. I always felt the most rebellious of the older group were Josiah & Joy Anna, which is why both were married off so quickly.  While Joy is now neck deep I still think Josiah would bolt if given the chance. 

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Bobology

The 'physics' comment by Jinger about her coffee spilling in the car seemed like a set-up to me, either by the film crew or Jeremy -- an attempt to make it obvious Jinger had some science education and could school Jeremy. I never bought it. Likewise, I believe Jinger's vapidness is controlled by her desire to mold into whatever she thinks Jeremy is wanting from her at the moment. It's hard to tell because we see only a blink of their lives, that happens while they know they are being recorded, and in situations often set up by the film crew or even themselves. Jinger's life could be exhausting, always trying to predict what Jeremy wants and approves from her all the time (if this is even true... just my guess.) 

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