Secretary of Education Interview on Opening

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mr.history, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2020



    I've been pretty level headed since schools closed in March. I haven't really been stressed about the virus because I stay home, but now that we are getting closer I'm admittedly getting a bit concerned. I just watched the above video, and whatever your feelings politically are, the current Federal response to opening schools hasn't been very clear. Then I just watched the above video and I'm furious. Every question was responded with "we have to get kids in school". No suggestions, no additional money for increasing safety. When he asked about keeping kids, teachers, and families of students safe, "we have to open schools".

    I live in GA, we are on track to be in real trouble like Florida, AZ, ect soon. What do you guys currently think will happen?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I think in many areas schools will be open and in hot spots they will have to do something different. We know on-line learning was not working.

    What do you suggest? You are furious. So, how do you think children should be educated or should society throw up their hands and just decide no school for a year. Then how do you handle child care for parents who have to work? Will that be the next "we can't have"?

    I know some will see my statements as being a horrible, uncaring person, but the death rate of this virus is very low (every death is tragic for the person and their loved ones). What sacrifices are you willing to have society make so that the death rate for this virus is zero?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I don’t have a problem with schools reopening to an extent, as long as serious efforts are made to ensure that those students/parents who want to learn from home can and that those teachers who want to teach from home also can. Every effort should be made to ensure that student, parents, and staff feel safe, even if some concessions have to be made.
     
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  5. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Companion

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    What is your source for this information? And what do you consider low?

    When we say (full in person) schools must reopen, are we considering other possible solutions? How about paying parents for child care of their own children? How about including parents in classes and teaching them to teach, or drastically increase their share of the education burden? Yes, very expensive options. And many out of the box solutions may not cover needs, like socialization for younger students. Many out of the box solutions may not work period; but, are failing solutions uncommon in education?
     
  6. RainStorm

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    I don't know what your source is, but here is mine. I tend to believe ABC News, John Hopkins University, and Dr. Fauci. I find that all three are quite reliable sources.

    "Florida has now had more confirmed cases than Germany and France, according to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. Germany has 83.02 million residents, which is more than 3.86 times the population of Florida. France has nearly 67 million residents -- more than three times Florida's population.

    On July 3, Florida recorded a single-day record of 11,458 newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases. The report for July 10 is the second-highest number of new cases reported in a day and the second time the new cases were more than 11,000.

    It's been more than two weeks since the state recorded any new daily total below 5,000 new cases. So far in July, the state has yet to report a day where the number of new cases was fewer than 6,000.

    The uptick in cases is making national headlines and recently forced Florida to suspend drinking at bars to combat the spread of the virus.

    And according to Dr. Anthony Fauci 'Here’s a sobering statistic: more than 51 percent of our overall case total in Florida, which is up to 244,151 cases, has come in the last 14 days – and that’s not just because we’re testing more.

    But, before we get into that, to answer a common question: Yes, we are testing a significant amount of people. The number of new test results submitted to the state on Thursday was a record-breaking 895,348.

    Now let's put that into context: According to state data, we’ve tested an average of 63,970 people per day in the last two weeks. That’s up more than 13,000 people, on average, from May.

    However, we got test results for 41,000 people on June 5 and 1,253 people -- or 3 percent -- came back positive. The state received 48,538 lab results on July 6, and 16.27 percent were positive for the virus. Even on July 7, it was 14.15 percent and on July 8, it was 18.39 percent, the highest positivity rate reported yet.

    On July 9, it dipped to 12.75 percent, one of the lowest numbers we've seen in weeks. Still, the rate of infection is higher than it was a month ago.

    Essentially, out of every 100 people tested recently in Florida, about 12 were infected, based on the latest day's test results. That's not insignificant.'

    It was recommended that a state consistently test at a positive rate of 5 percent or lower for a 14-day span to continue reopening. That hasn’t happened in June, and yet the state moved to the next phase of reopening."

    Source: https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/h...eaths/67-4bbd0c35-6742-4f51-a59a-ea1d101f54ea ABC News

    This information is specific to Florida. Yet, Florida's governor has ordered all schools to open full-time and in-person. Our schools are supposed to open, welcoming children, in less than 4 weeks.

    Tell me again how the problem is being over-estimated? Our governor (in support of our President) won't even order that mask be worn, leaving it to each locality to make rules, contrary to his desires. No money has been allocated for our schools to purchase masks, cleaning supplies, plexiglass, or to increase staff to increase cleaning or to reduce already overcrowded class sizes. Indeed, our budgets have been cut. We have a huge substitute crisis here, and we were critically short on subs last year. There have been no steps to fix this, so where are the subs going to come from when the classroom teachers are in quarantine? In 25 short days, our young students will come pouring through the school doors. The plans our county districts made were basically done, and at the last minute, our governor changed everything, without allowing any time for districts to react. And right now, the virus is spiraling out of control.


    upload_2020-7-10_11-41-51.png

    There's a big hole in this ship, and teachers are not only being asked to steer the boat, we are being handed a Dixie cup and told to bail water while we steer! Everyone agrees we need life preservers and life boats, "just in case" but hey, go out into open waters and deep sea -- sorry, we don't have the life preservers yet but they are on order, but make due for a while, maybe you can bring your own? maybe you have enough for the students who don't have one either? and oh yes, by the way, we only have enough life boats for half of the passengers...but hey, if you care about your students, you'll do this!!! You need to be dedicated! Don't listen to your inner (educated) voice that is screaming "THIS IS CRAZY!" If you don't agree to do this, it is obvious you don't care about anyone but yourself! You don't care about your country and its economy. The students won't drowned -- we promise! If you cared enough, you'd see this and agree with us. (end of sarcasm.)
     
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  7. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    And that's the problem. It won't happen but great points though.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Someone posted a “but the death rate is only” posts on FB, and with our school population, it was three kids. The question posed was, “so which three kids are unimportant to you”?
     
  9. Mr.history

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    Jul 12, 2020

    I think if we can spend 6 trillion to bail out airlines, cruise ships, restaurants, ect then we can give a a few billion or more to schools so kids don't get sick.

    I would like kids to have 5 days of school but not in my classroom where they are packed in 35 kids on top of each other. I think kids who can learn at home should. The kids who cant should be put in small groups in classrooms and once those are full they should use gyms, sports arenas, office space, whatever to get kids in school safely. We could do online instruction where a certified teacher makes the online curriculum and college kids who are doing online learning of their own or subs can help kids in the overflow areas.

    I think everyone knows these parents who need "childcare" will have a different view if their kid brings this home and they cant work either or they spread it to someone they know and possibly leads to death.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Well, it won’t happen everywhere, but my district is working on coming close to it. I don’t know how they will make sure every teacher who wants to teach from home can, if more families want to be at school than teachers. But they are offering both options, at least as of now. Any student/parent who wants fully virtual will get it, and as many teachers as possible too. I imagine there will be a process to decide who gets the virtual teaching spots, if they are limited, but I’m keep my fingers crossed that everyone who wants one gets one.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    All are important, but the topic of COVID's impact on society isn't just the death due to COVID. It is also the deaths (sometime not immediate) due to the lockdown. It is the irreparable damage done to people and families. Increased drug addition, deaths, increased mental illness and its impact on the person's family, and domestic violence. Families lively hoods wiped out (we talk about poverty's impact on families and children all of the time on this site, especially when it comes to education.)

    The other question "so which of these deaths and ruined lives are unimportant to you?" should also be a very valid question to ask.

    This isn't a one sided problem. It is complex and there is tragedy on both sides, but few talk about the damage and death being done to those who did not get COVID but lost loved ones or lost everything they had spent their lives building.
     
  12. Secondary Teach

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    I think the cases will just go up in those areas/schools once they reopen. Some of the students and/or faculty/administration won't follow some sanitization/social distancing rules. Children/teens will act as carriers.
    :(
     
  13. readingrules12

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    Well, we sure are trying that approach of sending them back here in Arizona. How is it working? As children lose their parents and grandparents with the Arizona death rate of COVID-19 tripling from 15/day to 45/day, many are speaking out in tears of the incredible pain they are feeling from these losses. The worst mental health pain I have seen with children is the death of their parents or other loved ones. That is so difficult for a child to bounce back from. The mental health damage by this increase of deaths--40% increase in US in the last week from 518/day (June 28-July 4) to 722/day (July 5-July 11) effects families greatly. Many feel incredible guilt by possibly killing a relative by passing COVID-19 to them. That is an emotional pain we need to work to avoid, not increase.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I am not ignoring that there is tragedy for those who have deaths due to COVID. It seems I am the only one mentioning the tragedy that is occurring on a daily basis by those impacted by the restrictions on the population due to COVID. You won't find much in the "fear porn" media about this because COVID brings more clicks.

    I agree, it is tragic. But what about the kids whose parents committed suicide because of the lock down or sunk into a world of addiction and can't come out of it. Or the child whose parent couldn't get their needed "elective" cancer surgery who will now die because they didn't get the surgery they needed early enough.
     
  15. CaliforniaRPCV

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    These are problems that would not be solved by opening up schools. Shutting down the medical industry for everything but covid is not a wise move. But sending kids to school without proper protections, if that is even possible, does not address that problem. And using school to relieve parents of the burden of having children doesn't address the underlying problems that make parenting such a burden. There are all kinds of issues that school is used to mask. School is a cheap bandaid for a lot of problems that need more immediate, more thoughtful, more expensive attention.
     
  16. readingrules12

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    I agree this is a real tragedy. By opening up bars, restaurants, and gyms in Arizona, the hospitals are now so full, your question is going from hypothetical to fact. How many people might die from not getting elective surgeries as more beds are filled up with teachers and staff members from schools with the virus? It is already happening here in Arizona with some summer schools being open. I am afraid of what will happen to elective surgeries as schools open up in the fall.
     
  17. 3Sons

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    Are you aware of what a "low" death rate actually is? A lot of people were saying the rate was "low" when they thought it was 1% -- a 1% rate is actually rather high, especially for a disease that transmits easily. If it transmitted to 2/3rds of the population, for example, that would mean over 2 million people in the US. The death rate could be lower than 1% and *still* represent more deaths than all combat deaths in the wars of the 20th century.
     
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  18. Ima Teacher

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    Yesterday two of my former students, ages 18 & 14, lost both parents to a murder suicide. Awful tragedy, yes, but the fault of the lockdown? No. The family had a long history of the father’s alcoholism and violence. School doesn’t fix societal & familial problems.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It will be hard to get a true accounting of the deaths caused by the "cure", but here is an article that does explain that people seeking treatment for severe health issues is real. That is just one small piece to the "cure" impact. Much of it won't be measured but that doesn't mean it isn't happening.

    https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/...uring-the-pandemic-and-not-just-from-covid-19

    I realized they have not been able to definitively say the death was caused by the "cure", but that will be hard to measure. What we do know is people aren't seeking treatment. What we also will not be able to count is how many people do not seek treatment now and end up dying sooner than they would have. It is happening, we just can't count it as easily as we can count COVID cases.

    Drug abuse impacts during covid:
    https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-07/issue-brief-increases-in-opioid-related-overdose.pdf

    Mental health
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/04/mental-health-coronavirus/

    Domestic Violence
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/...increase-in-domestic-violence-during-covid-19

    Child s abuse
    https://www.npr.org/sections/corona...-reports-are-on-the-rise-amid-lockdown-orders

    Chiild abuse more severe
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...abuse-injuries-during-coronavirus/3116395001/

    So, there is some reporting on this, but the main media reporting is on the rising number of cases. COVID brings the clicks.

    We wouldn't want people to have to think to hard to decide which tragedy is "unimportant", would we? Better to focus on one thing and ignore the rest.
     
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  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Lockdowns make the existing problems worse.

    So, a patient has multiple underlying health issues and is about to die in the next month. Should that death be counted as COVID since they were about to die anyway? Their problem already existed. It just hastened the underlying condition, just like you pointed out in your example. So, should we just be looking at the death of those people who did not have major health issues?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  21. a2z

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    What we do know is that there are a fair number of asymptomatic cases of COVID. Some have been tested, but you can bet that most have not since most people couldn't and still can't get a test without showing symptoms. That means that the mortality rate is lower than what is being measured. This lowers any true death rate numbers. You can bet that the death rate, in the end will be much lower than can currently be calculated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  22. readingrules12

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    Yes, there is some cost with a "cure". We can see Washington that stayed shut down and is ready for schools to more safely reopen. Arizona, Florida, Texas, and Georgia all reopened nearly everything. How did that work out? Suicides sure didn't go down and elective surgeries didn't go up. In fact, unlike places that shut down, Arizona now must decide whether an elective surgery or a person dying from COVID gets the bed. I am sure you agree this is not a good situation. Places like Italy, Germany, France, and Spain had our problem. They brought it down to where their cases combined/day are now smaller than the state of Arizona. Now they can safely go to restaurants, stores, and schools. They were willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

    If we worked hard staying home, shutting down indoor businesses with more than 25 people, and wore face masks for 1 month, probably all schools could safely open up in August/September. (States in good shape would need to shut down for far less time.) Schools safely opening up with COVID counts near 0, would be something all could be happy about.
     
  23. readingrules12

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    Only if someone decided to measure deaths by % which seems strange to me. We don't say "Today a tornado hit ___ town killing 0.01 % of the people in the town." We say it killed 52 people and the town is devastated. Over 136,000 people are dead and that is a high number. More then in most situations of life and death, we get to play a large roll in how high the death toll will get. Do we want the number to stop at 175,000 (possible) or to get to 300,000 (also possible)? It was said that possibly 45,000 lives could be saved by mid-October just if everyone wore a mask compared to the current % who wear masks. Wow! We have such a great opportunity to save lives or to minimize the number. If one elderly person walked in the street in front of a car and someone reached out and saved her life, isn't that a lot? It is in my book.
     
  24. a2z

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    Really? Spain figured it all out and now they are good?

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/worl...ockdown-again-catalonia-segria-covid19-travel

    Seems to me that no level of locking down aside from true quarantine of the entire society is keeping it away for good.
     
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  25. readingrules12

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    True, reaching that 0% won't happen even with lock downs. Somehow your article shows Spain gets it better than us. Spain had 852 cases two days ago, while the United States had 71,787. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
    The fact that Spain gets that they need to take a step back and shut down a bit, so it can take many steps forward later to me demonstrates good long term thinking. It is time to stop being in a tornado and saying "It is only a little wind" or being on the Titanic and saying "it is only a little water." We have a big problem and it must be dealt with and brought under control. The sooner we do it, the better off we will be.
     
  26. a2z

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    I was countering your point that in Spain people can now safely go to restaurants. It seems they are now going back into lockdown.

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing
    This shows in the
    Testing and contact tracing policy section that the US is testing asymptomatic people as well as those with symptoms while Spain is just testing those with symptoms. That means the US count will be higher because we have positive cases with people not showing any symptoms. Since Spain does not test without symptoms, you can't really compare their positive case count with ours because they aren't testing the same groups of people.

    It is hard to compare countries data when their process and reporting is not the same. And we also include "probable" cases in our total counts even when there was no test given.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
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  27. 3Sons

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    Currently it calculates at 5% in some places. I have no doubt the rate will be lower, probably lower than 1% after treatments, resistances (which is temporary, apparently).

    For a comparison, the death rate from the flu is usually between .09 and .13% each year, and results in somewhere between 25k and 65k deaths. Will COVID be that low? I don't know. Even if it is that "low", that sounds kind of bad (yes, there are other things -- COVID and the flu will probably correlate somewhat in who dies from them. Still.)
     
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  28. a2z

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    I have not once said it is NOT bad to die of COVID. I am just pointing out that there is more to this complex issue than those who die of COVID. But it seems everyone is just looking at that dreadful COVID death number and ignoring those who are dying of the "cure".

    People irreparably harmed by the "cure" exist and I know some. I actually know more that were harmed by the cure at this point that were killed by COVID.
     
  29. mathteachertobe

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    Covid results in negative outcomes besides death. We have no idea yet what the full gamut of long-term effects will include, it may be years before we have the whole picture. Also, shutting down has never been considered a cure, it was and still is an attempt to keep our health-care infrastructure from being overwhelmed. The best thing we could do to greatly reduce this epidemic would be 100% mask usage, but unfortunately that is considered by some to be an infringement of individual rights. Despite the posturing from Washington, my district is starting out with distance learning, and the current priority is to make sure all students have the ability to connect and participate.
     
  30. readingrules12

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    Already the death rate in New York City has been over .25% of the entire population. So even if all 100% of NYC has had COVID (highly doubtful) a .13% would be impossible.
     
  31. a2z

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    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
     
  32. a2z

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    That is true for NYC, but that is just one location in a vast country. They also chose to put known covid positive patients in nursing homes filled with sick elderly patients. That one choice increased the death count by a fair amount. It was also at the beginning of the pandemic where they did not know what medical care would help improve the chances of the sick.
     
  33. whizkid

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    Well I know that'll be out of the question here which is sad.
     
  34. whizkid

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  35. whizkid

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    And that's what everyone should be doing imo.
     
  36. bella84

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    We took a staff survey a few weeks ago, and, surprisingly (to me), only a little over half of staff are uncomfortable returning to school (or were at the time... things may be different now that cases continue to rise). I even had a virtual meeting with two colleagues this week, and they both commented that they’d be likely to return if given the option. Personally, I’m not comfortable with going back yet, so I’m holding out hope that enough people feel the way that they do and that I can stay home.
     
  37. readingrules12

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    Yes, and that is why putting a % on how many die with COVID-19 won't completely work. When there is a large percent of elderly that get the virus the death rate is far higher than when there is a large percent of 20 year olds getting the virus. That is why giving a rate of death with people of different ages is an apple vs. oranges comparison. It simply doesn't work well. Therefore if all teachers and staff were 25 and younger going home to families with only those 25 and younger--schools would be really safe. What about older teachers with pre-existing conditions being pressured to return to teaching? It might cost them their life.
     
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  38. a2z

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    What about all of the essential workers who have not been able to stay home while teachers were trying to teach virtually? I didn't hear calls to shut down grocery stores, food processing plants, trucking, amazon, hospitals, police, firefighters, etc. I guess kids don't really need an education. They can go without. Should we shut schools for a year since on-line wasn't working?
     
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  39. minnie

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    Jul 12, 2020

    In my district, we have a lot of kids who will disappear if we were to ever go 100% virtual. Their parents don’t care if they get bad grades. They don’t answer phone calls, texts or emails. They do not make sure their child is logging on and completing work and they don’t care to make sure they participate in zoom meetings. These parents were raised in homes where education was not seen as important and they’re just continuing the cycle. Or they are on drugs. When you go 100% online, it’s basically up to the parents to stay on top of their kids. And unfortunately, these kids are the kids who need as much support as possible. No matter how awesome a district’s online instruction may be, some families just won’t do it which is why I believe that these kids need to be in school. My district is giving parents an option to go online if they’re not ready to send their child. These parents (at least in my district) tend to be the parents that will make sure their kids do their assignments.

    I have a son who is struggling with not having school. He has anxiety issues and his anxiety gets worse when he doesn’t have to routine of going to school. I try to make his day as routine as possible but it will never be what school is. He is also socially immature for his age and thrives on being around his peers. I definitely don’t see school as a babysitting service. It is a vital part of kids’ lives. As a teacher and a parent, I see the challenges on both sides. As a teacher, it is going to be so challenging to teach in the classroom right now. However, I believe learning in a classroom is the best way, especially for elementary and students who don’t have support at home. But I know nothing will resemble normalcy until a vaccine comes out.

    I’m not as eloquent with words as you all are but just wanted to add my two cents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  40. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2020

    Something I'm surprised hasn't gotten more attention is the liability. Schools have no legal liability coverage if even one person gets sick. Doesn't that make all of this a non-starter?
     
    Secondary Teach and whizkid like this.
  41. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Jul 12, 2020

    Closing all the grocery stores wouldn't work. If there was no food, people would die. We did get creative with food though and made sure it was done in a safer way. Restaurants were asked to shut down.

    Schools aren't being asked to shut down completely. They might need to have some of the learning done at home. People aren't going to die from learning online and not being in school. If this was true, we better hurry and get rid of all summer vacations.
     

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