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Demosthenes's avatar

Are schools reopening in your area?

Asked by Demosthenes (11609points) 1 month ago

The pressure to reopen schools is growing where I live, with more parents pressuring school boards to reopen schools and more school board members resigning in shame for being unable to come up with a reopening plan. The percentage of people who think the damage to children from not being in school is a greater threat than spreading COVID in schools is also increasing. Should note that here in the Bay Area we are seeing COVID cases continue to decline and some area school districts have restarted in-person learning.

What’s the situation like where you are? For those of you who have school-age children, do you think your kids’ schools should be open (if they are not already)? Do you think teachers should be vaccinated before in-person schooling resumes?

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18 Answers

hello321's avatar

Nope. My 6th grader and 9th grader only have 2 days of school per week.

@Demosthenes: “For those of you who have school-age children, do you think your kids’ schools should be open (if they are not already)? ”

Absolutely.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They never really closed.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yes. Statewide – - – Positivity rate” is 5.7% down from 22% (I think that was it).

Optional to have virtual classes continue.

JLeslie's avatar

They’ve been open. Lots of parents chose online public school in their county, but kids have been in school all over my state since August/September. Some schools were delayed in the beginning of the year because those counties had higher caseload of covid and more time was taken to evaluate the situation.

Here is the covid K-12 monitor if you are curious about school cases.

I think schools should be open and parents have the option to do online learning. When some parents opt to school at home the schools have lower attendance in person so easier to distance for kids who do attend in person.

I really like the hybrid idea too, I wonder if parents doing that think it is effective. I would have loved that as a student.

I think teachers should be on the list to get shots ASAP, but don’t require the shot for employment.

I will be curious to see how the children test at the end of this school year.

Yellowdog's avatar

The private schools in my area have been opened at least all this year; I’m not sure about last Spring. Online options are available.

The public schools have been closed since March—there is the option of online learning but most cannot or do not access it.

jca2's avatar

Some schools are, and there is growing pressure. The problem is there are no vaccines available for teachers.

My daughter does a hybrid, two days in, two days home, one day asynchronous, which means home but not actually having instruction, but just kind of like a bullshit study hall day, catch up on your homework day. When they first started calling it asynchronous, “Asynchronous Wednesdays” I had to google it. I knew what asynchronous meant, but didn’t understand how the definition related to schooling. I wished they’d just have called it something else, like “home study Wednesday” or “study hall Wednesday” or “catch up Wednesday.”

My daughter loves the days at home because she doesn’t have to get up and out in the freezing cold weather.

One of the families in my school is in Utah right now, skiing for three months (Jan-March). That’s the life, if you have thousands of dollars to spare and the mom doesn’t work and the dad is not working in an office. Remote school in the morning, ski slopes in the afternoon. That’s the way to do it if you can afford it, because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Something different and a way for the family to do fun stuff together.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yellowdog Did the Memphis schools go ahead with having temporary teachers in the schools? I heard the $1 million was approved to pay for the teachers. Basically subs or some people called them babysitters, but still the school would have students and I guess their real teachers would be remote?

jca2's avatar

Today, 62,000 NYC middle schoolers return to the buildings for the first time since November. They are doing a hybrid system and of course have the choice to remain all remote.

gondwanalon's avatar

As of today (2–25-2021) Washington State is ranked 48th in the U.S.A. with the fewest kids bad in school. Only 20% of Washington kids receive in class teaching. Why because of the powerful teacher’s union. Yesterday the teachers staged a “sick out” protest. Parents are revolting and kids are suffering and struggling.

Cupcake's avatar

I’m in the same state as @JLeslie – our schools have been open since August. Not because of any science or data but because our governor threatened to take funding away if schools didn’t open. Our teachers are also not vaccinated, as our vaccine rollout is highly politicized, we didn’t get deliveries of vaccines as expected, and did not put K-12 teachers in our highest priority level (and college professors have no priority at all).

Parents have gotten a choice twice a year (before August and during December) to decide whether the kids go to school in-person. In August, there was no plan. And in December, FL was leading the country in the new COVID variants. Neither period seemed “safe” to me, so my kids have been learning at home for over 11 months.

We regularly receive notification that a class is quarantining at home due to positive COVID exposure at school.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Will the kids be tested like usual this year? Are kids tested every year? I don’t even know. When I was young it was every other year and then at the end of 8th grade and the end of high school.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I thought you meant COVID testing at first. Academic testing is continuing as usual. Our superintendent (and probably others) have argued we should not be rewarding perfect attendance and should minimize or eliminate standardized testing this year, but none of those are happening. I heard that some (9th graders?) just this week had to take a standardized algebra test that had to be cancelled last year because everyone was home. I don’t know what that will possibly show… it’s been ¾ of a year since they took that class.

So, yes, not only are all regular testing taking place, there are even make-up tests from last year. There may be more opting out from parents, I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake I didn’t even think about covid testing, I should have thought of that and been more clear at the beginning of my question.

I think they should test the kids as usual, don’t you? We need some sort of gauge to know where the kids are in their learning. A friend of mine who has always homeschooled her kids has them take standardized tests. I don’t remember if her state requires it for home schooled children or if she just uses it herself as a barometer. Her oldest went to public school starting in 8th grade I think, the other two seem to have no interest in going to in-person school. She has always let them decide.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Ours have stayed open with online learning as an option.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie Honestly, no. There should just be teacher-written assessments this year. There is enough stress and anxiety. And these common core assessments are written in terms of what they should know at the end of the year. So they take them at the beginning and get a terrible score (because they literally don’t know the information). Maybe take again mid-year and still “fail”. And take them again at the end. It’s way too much, it’s deficits-oriented. And the world is upside-down. With the exception of graduating seniors and maybe juniors, we will catch up next year.

And, let me be clear, it’s not about the grade. It’s about the lack of confidence you have when you take an assessment and know less than half the answers. It’s overwhelming with defeat.

My kids went to a “Barbeque” at school to celebrate honor roll. They didn’t know anyone. We thought they would get a bit of normalcy and be able to be around kids for awhile. They just stood in masks and talked to each other until they could leave. Nothing about this year is normal. Mental, physical, and social health are tremendously impacted.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Hold on now, they are usually tested 3 times a year? I had no idea. When I was in school it was emphasized that the tests were not graded we just should do our best. I know it is different now. I also agree with you that not knowing the answers on more than half of a test is frustrating and will overall be a negative experience for children. At the same time, even the teacher will need to know where the children are at when they go back to school. Eventually the children will be evaluated somehow. I assume they are taking tests as they do their classwork throughout the year anyway. Are kids going at their own pace in each subject?

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie It’s all changed so much since we were in school. The teachers can be much more nimble and direct with their assessments, making them shorter and more productive. Again, I’m not arguing for no assessment at all. But the formalized statewide (or whatever they are) assessments are WAY TOO MUCH, especially during COVID. But, honestly, too much during a good year.

I don’t have the effort to put into figuring out what are national standards and what are state decisions. But, yes, my kids have taken these assessments in math and reading twice now (and both got “failing” grades both times). It’s a multi-day process each time (not the whole day, but hours out of the day). And doing it on Zoom adds layers and layers of complexity. So they have to be in small groups so that the teacher can monitor what is on each of their screens, listen for extraneous noise in the background (such as parents helping, etc), and on and on. I just know that these assessments are outside of the control of the teachers.

There is still an emphasis that they are not “graded”, but parents get emailed a “grade”, which is “failing”.

They have the school counselor come into class beforehand to help them learn coping strategies. Does that give you an idea of how stressful they are? We get emails to have our kids get a good night of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast. It all takes SO much time and effort… for everyone.

I believe high schoolers have to go in-person for these assessments, even if they are remote learning. Again, this might be a district or state thing, I don’t know.

Cupcake's avatar

And there probably aren’t quizzes or exams like you are thinking of, at least at the elementary level. They are using apps with interactive questions that take the place of quizzes/exams.

My 1st grader still has “spelling quizzes”, which an adult has to perform with the kid. If they “pass”, they have to record themselves on video showing their “quiz” results and reading each word (in 2 seconds or something) with no hesitation and no mistakes. This is repeated daily and they progress to the next list when they get them all right and successfully record themselves.

This is just reading. Don’t get me started on science experiments and writing essays.

School looks very little like what you and I experienced.

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