"We Can't Return to Campus This Fall" - Great Article to Share, and Share.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Sarge, May 19, 2020.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 19, 2020

    Please share this article as it really points out what teachers will face, especially in high COVID-19 risk areas. The article is long, but people need to read it.

    The politicians think that social distancing in a school environment is as easy as “telling the kids to stay six feet apart.” Only a teacher knows firsthand how difficult, if not impossible that would be. Here a rather dystopian but true picture of what it would really look like if schools had to reopen in the fall while COVID-19 was still a threat.

    https://medium.com/@harley.litzelman/we-cannot-return-to-campus-this-fall-1ad91b8a65e0
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Thank you so much for this article. Take just 3 of the 100 possible problems to deal with at a school. Changing classes, the lunchroom, and the playground. Unless all 3 are used rarely and sparingly, students will not be socially distanced apart. For Junior high and high schools what is going to be done to change how classes change from period to period successfully? How are they going to be socially distanced for all students coming and going down a hall way? Good luck with that one.
     
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  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I can't even imagine the logistics of opening school. Some of our classes have 35 kids in them. And they're adult-sized, too.

    We already change classes at different times, but each change is within the same hallway, so it is still crowded.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I think the biggest problem is the sheer number of rules and procedures that students will have to remember and follow. And what to do with the ones who don't?

    A good teacher spends the first few weeks of school reinforcing how to pass papers, sharpen your pencil, enter the room etc. We won't have that much time. If lives really are at stake, then students should be following all the social distancing protocols the moment they arrive on campus. But they won't even know what they are at that point. We will have to teach them (that's why they call us teacher) but the amount of time to teach them will be effectively zero.

    And if we do allow some sort of learning curve, then we have acknowledged that all the social distancing protocols were perhaps not too important. When I taught first grade, It would take me a few weeks to teach my students how to walk in line. I was good with that because if one of my kiddos had a hard time learning that particular skill, his grandmother at home wasn't going to catch a life threatening illness.

    Do we suspend students for not wearing masks, not social distancing? If we don't, then I guess it's just not that important. The same for a lot of other behaviors. The hardest rules to enforce are the ones where children have to avoid something they are allowed to do in other environments. Kids can run, just not in the halls. They can yell, even scream, in their own backyard, but not in the classroom. They can walk around the house all they want to, but they can't in the classroom. Now we want to give them a long list of EVEN MORE things that are not "bad behavior" but they will now get in trouble for.
     
  6. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Staggered schedules is your best shot to open schools and even that is a long shot without a vaccine.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I feel like staggered schedules would require twice as many teachers, and many places are already woefully short on those.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    That is one possibility. Another would be to have a class from 8-11:15 and another 11:30-2:45 like they use to do in half day Kindergarten. The teacher remains to teach both classes. At home students would have some distance learning/homework. Unlike what we went through the past 2 months, the students would have to face the teacher if they didn't do the work. Just a rough estimate...and yes, maybe a problem for the parents with work. If not, social distancing will be impossible with the high class sizes and small classrooms that are in most states.
     
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  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I can see this being presented as an option. My question would be am I responsible for teaching both sections of in-person instruction as well as both sections of online instruction? Surely there would be additional prep time necessary for creating assignments, giving feedback, and grading online activities—beyond the prep time necessary for doing all that for in-person classes as well. When would I have time to do all the online stuff if I’m in face-to-face classes all day with nothing more than 15 minutes for lunch?
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    And while I know that school isn’t childcare, I do think it would create a huge hardship for families for schools to continue any form of online, at-home learning during typical school hours. I have a six year old who obviously can’t stay home alone, but both my hoosband and I are teachers. I don’t know what we would do if our kid had to work from home and we couldn’t.
     
  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    That is exactly the dilemma I don't know how to solve. If you have staggered schedules, I agree it would be a burden on parents. If you don't have staggered schedules, the teachers have overcrowded classrooms. What to do?
     
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  12. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I live in GA, one of the earliest states to open up. I honestly feel like we are going to open back up like this didn't happen. I hope I'm wrong but I just don't see parents going to work like normal and not expecting their kids to be at school like normal too. I'm sure things like field trips and other extracurriculars will be limited or canceled but I just don't see how we can have all these pushes to open up but limit schools to lower amounts of time. I hope they do figure something out because my classroom is small and I typically have like 30-35 8th graders sitting right on top of each other with about a 3 ft walkway in the front of the room for me to teach from. If this does spread again, I don't see how it doesn't go through schools like wildfire. All I keep hearing politicians talk about is how kids aren't as effected but what about the teachers, bus drivers, lunch room staff, ect. There are quite a lot of teachers in my school who fall into that vulnerable category or have family living with them who does.
     
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  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Some great points. When this started in March, I remember Italy pleading to the US to not make their same mistakes. The mistake they said they made was letting their children (especially teens) run free. Then, they brought COVID-19 back home infecting family members. The kids getting infected in Italy ended up killing many family members.
     
  14. whizkid

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    And if no staggered schedules, what else is there besides distance learning? If the parents are tired of the kids being home, and you want to safely open schools and have safe operations without overcrowding, then you literally have to pick your poison. Staggered schedules or continued full time distance learning?
     
  15. whizkid

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    So kids get bussed to school, taken home, then the next group gets bussed to school and then taken home on the same day?
     
  16. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Every teacher I've talked to doesn't think school buildings will be opened in the fall.
     
  17. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Our district said social distancing on a bus allows for 13 students. I have no idea how transportation would be able to accommodate that.
     
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  18. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    If you do the half day schedule, you'd have to disinfect everything (including buses) in between. Those logistics would be rough.

    My son goes to a huge high school. Today they dropped off books and picked up any personal belongings. They only allowed 10 students in the entire building at a time. Not sure how we move from that to "regular" school attendance in just a few months.

    And Sarge, you make a great point about needing time to teach them the rules and expectations. I teach K. I know exactly what you mean.
     
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  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My district is creating three plans for August and will decide which to go with when the time is near.

    option 1) continue full time distance learning
    option 2) full time in school learning with social distancing in place
    option 3) hybrid with some at-school learning and some at-home learning

    In the case of option 3, one structure being considered is half of the students all day M/W and the other half all day Tu/Th. Students would do online distance learning on the days that they don't attend school. Teachers would have Friday as a planning day to prepare and grade all of the online learning.
     
  20. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I like this model. I've also seem a similar one where Fridays are available for students with accommodations (Sped, 504, ESL) required by law to have the option to attend to get their minutes. Also in this model, students in self-contained rooms would attend all 5 days.
     
  21. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We had the announcement yesterday that we will not be returning to the building this year; remote learning will continue until the end of June. Part of that same announcement was that parents would know before the end of June what September will look like. I can't see how that can happen, unless the decision is that we won't be returning to the buildings in September.
     
  22. Secondary Teach

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    I believe temperature checks will be apart of the norm as students go back, in addition to social distancing/limiting the number of students allowed in the building. Depending on either how high/low the number of parents willing to send their children back to school, many districts may opt for strictly online learning for the upcoming year to reduce operating/additonal faculty/staff costs and Covid19 liability. Some districts may decide to open using a hybrid model and then switch later during the year to online learning if many parents just aren't sending their children to school. It's just a matter of wait and see. The biggest change I may see happening(from what I'm reading online) is that many of the vulnerable teachers(aged 60+) may or may not be able to teach in-person. Their position may be shifted to instruct remotely.
     
  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    This a great article. I love how it accurately described what a highschool or hogh school class looks lie and how highschoolers act, and a very good view of what it would be ike with the masks and 6 ft. apart.
    People always say that this can't be done in elementary, and I agree. In elementary those young kids will probably just not understand or forget but middle school and high school brings defiance and not caring. There will be many kids who will just want to act cool and push the boundaries, so this is a no at any age school.
    If they are closing colleges and community colleges where adults are attending, and you would think they would abide by the rules, but not close schools with younger population? That makes no sense.
     
  24. CaliforniaRPCV

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    Online classes in the colleges and community colleges are much more effective for the adults attending than they are for younger students below high school. With adults closing on-campus classes has a much higher reward in reduced risk without a big impact on delivery. That is if the instructors can adjust.
     
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  25. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    The thing with HS and MS is that they share everything - bags chips, fries, phones, earbuds ... EARBUDS for cryin' out loud. A lot of kids that age will have a mindset like "I can hug and share with my friends because my friends don't have coronavirus."

    Another good point the article brings up is the social-emotional effect of all these new rules. That kid who has trouble remembering to stay six feet away and keeps losing his mask is going to reach a serious frustration point when he is continually disciplined for things that were perfectly normal for him 6 months ago. I guarantee you that incidents of teachers having to clear the room because of students having chair-throwing meltdowns is going to go way up.
     
  26. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    I agree with this article and personally feel we should be spending this summer building a good online program and getting PD for how to truly build an online curriculum, now that we have more time than we did when schools closed in March. I also think we need to come up with better policies that allow for grading and some accountability for students.

    I said this in another thread, but I just don't see having a "normal" school year until possibly 2021-2022. I don't think it can be until you get a treatment or widespread use of an effective vaccine. Speaking as a HS teacher, I don't see how a staggered model works in a high school because not every kid follows the same schedule. You can't just split them down the alphabet. Maybe my first hour class is smaller, but maybe someone else's has a lot of kids A-M or whatever, so they hardly lose anyone doing it that way. If you take out half of my first hour, that doesn't mean those kids stick together all day, and maybe my colleague across the hall has a super full 2nd hour. You see what I mean? Not to mention for younger kids, it doesn't really solve the very real problem of childcare for working parents. It may be even harder to get childcare for these hours MWF this week and TT next week and then vice versa or whatever.

    There is no good solution. This is an awful situation all the way around. But I just don't see anyway we return to any sort of in-person learning safely, unless you have a very tiny district where an entire graduating class is like 15 people (these districts do exist, as there is one near me). My school has 750 kids, and I know that is small in comparison with many other high schools.
     
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  27. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I will go back to school in the fall, but I do really have questions about what that will look like. I was standing alone in my room the other day and trying to visualize how 30+ students each hour would be able to social distance in that setting. And what about sanitizing between classes. The buses and the lunchroom are even more problematic. I just can't visualize how it will happen, but we are going ahead with setting up schedules for the fall.

    As to students coming back, I can only speak from my family's experience. I have a daughter who is doing graduate work at a well-known school in Pasadena, and they are meeting today as a lab group to start discussing how the return to lab will look; she has been home since the middle of March. My sister has a child in high school who will return to classes in the fall. My other sister has a kindergartner, and I know that they are looking at other options to keep their family safe. I don't think they are atypical.

    I truly feel as though we are trying to plan for something that none of us can visualize.
     
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  28. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My district has announced to staff that, in mid-July, they plan to make an announcement to the community about the return to school in late August. But I have a hard time believing that we can accurately know what late August will look like that far in advance.
     
  29. Tired Teacher

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    That is a good article. "Have you ever met children?" is a good Q to ask some of these people too who think we can keep them 6 ft apart. Elementary teachers just have to think about recess duty. We have so many kids who do not follow a direction like "Walk" as opposed to stop running when it comes to buses or how many times a day we have said, "Keep you hands to yourself!" There is no way we can go back until this pandemic is over.
     
  30. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    There are so many issues.
    If a teacher gets sick, what happens? Hiring a substitute is only good until he/she gets sick. Then that's another person that the kids are exposed to.
    If anyone in the classroom gets sick, will the WHOLE CLASS need to be quarantined at home for 14 days?
    What about the severe needs special education students who can not understand any of this? You CAN NOT deny just them coming to school.
    We are NOT going back in the fall. There's no way it's possible. No way at all. I really wish we were able to do so safely, but--NOPE!
     
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  31. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    I hope you are right!
     
  32. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I have a suspicion that if there is any sort of in person learning at all happening in the fall, special ed will be happening at school, at least in my state. Several rural districts in my state had sped students coming in for 1:1/small group services even during the stay at home order, and our governor has praised this over and over again in news conferences. Any time next school year is discussed (by the governor, by the state department of ed, by the "experts" they parade out to discuss schools reopening, anyone really) it's mentioned that priority number one is figuring out how those most at risk, such as those in sped, can access in person services first and be prioritized as far as being in buildings. I see there being a remote option for parents who aren't comfortable sending their kids to school, but I know at my school if we're open the vast majority of parents are going to want to send their kids.
     
  33. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    The sickness is a huge issue. For the nearly 30 year I have taught, I can not tell you how many teachers (myself included) have come to work sick. Lots of teachers don't have sub plans ready or have some big activity they are going to do with the students etc. I have promised myself that I won't go to work sick this year. I wonder though with the pressure some schools have about sub plans, lack of subs etc., how many might still come to school sick. If it is like a typical year at a school, we are in trouble.
     
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  34. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I agree with you on remote learning being an option. I think some might be nervous at first and don't want to send their children back to school. I don't blame them. I really don't think most of these parents want to keep their children home all year for distance learning. They want to see if after a few weeks or even a month back at school if everything is okay. I think some teachers will feel the same way.
     
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  35. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    yep! We have the same problem here. I have been guilty in the past too.
     
  36. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    School was remote for everyone in my state, but there is a talk of lawsuits for special education students. Lawyers are sending out tons of information to parents. We weren't given the option to teach them in person. I am a special ed teacher, but my students are not severe needs. I have taught this population in the past though, and it's a whole different world with the medical needs and inability to follow social norms. As far as you know, have there been any outbreaks in the classrooms?
     
  37. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Not that I've heard. We have a new self contained program in my building. The teacher wanted to go work with the kids at their houses early during the closure and my P shut that down. I'm in a metro area so schools around here weren't doing any in person services. I definitely see that attitude changing though with most businesses and such opening up- it's not like we're in a full on lock down anymore. Personally I think it would be safer for the kids to come in to school than go to their houses where you have no idea what kind of cleaning has been done. While our self contained population isn't going to socially distance, there's also only 3 of them in the classroom and they're very used to being in that room the vast majority of the time. It may be lower risk for them to come in and just interact with the same few people every day while monitoring for any symptoms, doing temperature checks, etc.

    I have heard a lot of rumblings with lawyers and such too as it relates to sped services. I am in a very low SES school and I don't think any of our parents will get involved in that (hopefully) but I am sure it will be a major challenge in some areas. I'm sure parents will be asking for compensatory services and IDK what that looks like with crippling budget cuts. It's not like anyone has money to pay the teachers to work extra hours. We're not really a union state- we have "associations"- I hope they are strong enough to ward off making those teachers work the extra hours for free.
     
  38. mrsf70

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    At our final staff zoom meeting this week, my P said our district is looking at all or nothing going back in the fall, meaning we either start normally and go from there, or start remotely depending on covid. The district said it's logistically impossible to run a staggered schedule with half of students attending one day, the other half the next. We just can't do it with transportation, available facilities, etc. And social distancing in the building is a whole different issue.
     
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  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Yeah, the whole staggering doesn't make sense. Either do it or don't do it.
     
  40. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    How large is your school, in terms of the number of students? Just curious because I also feel that staggered schedules/hybrid learning is difficult and rather pointless to do, but it is one of the options being considered in my district for all of our schools, the largest of which has probably about 500 students.
     
  41. mrsf70

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    I'm in a junior/senior high school with about 1500 students. There are three other jr/sr highs and multiple elementary and intermediate schools. We are a decent-sized district.
     

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