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Covid and School This Fall


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1 hour ago, desert rose said:

My classroom windows do not open....AT ALL.  I've contemplated what to throw through the windows in case of an active shooter because there is only the one exit.

Get a glass spike tool.  People keep them in cars if they end up in a water or fire situation.  $15 on Amazon.  

 

ETA: not for covid. 

Edited by culdeus
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On 8/12/2020 at 8:35 AM, Ignoratio Elenchi said:

So now here in NJ, the governor is expected to announce today that schools will be allowed to start the year all-virtual (up until now, there was a state requirement that all schools offer some form of in-person instruction when the year starts).  So the weird hybrid plans we just spent weeks hashing out are now likely to get tossed in a lot of districts.  In my town we literally just had a meeting last night to discuss the rollout of the hybrid schedule and I wouldn't be surprised to find out we just go all-online to start the year now that it's allowed.  Shame so much time was wasted.  

...and we’re all-remote to start the year now. Announced last night. Some Facebook moms are losing their minds but it was clearly the right call imo. 

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This is great news if it leads to more available and economical testing

 

@ASlavitt: BREAKING: Great news.

SalivaDirect received approval this morning from the @US_FDA.

This could be one the first major game changers in fighting the pandemic. Rarely am I this enthusiastic. Here’s why.

Follow if interested.

 

https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1294654256763609090

 

Edited by JaxBill
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2 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I saw a teacher tweet yesterday that they were in a training for how to maintain social distance during a school shooting evacuation. I hope it was a joke but who knows anymore. 

wife and I mentioned a month ago that this was the longest we've gone without a school shooting in recent memory.

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2 hours ago, trader jake said:

Committed to what is the question.

Committed to hygine theater, that indoor masking helps, but lunch, glll peas.  

Also doing that Devos/Trump 15 min of 6ft contact thing that is beyond stupid and will lead to a :tfp:

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This op/ed piece in the Washington Post from a school nurse is discouraging.

A sample:

Quote

Our schools do have a plan if a teacher spots a potential covid-19 case in their classroom. We nurses would split our clinics into a “well” side and a “sick” side. The student would be sent to the “sick” side, and, if their symptoms were confirmed and a fever detected, they would be isolated in a separate room until their parent could pick them up. Though my clinic space is fairly large — others in the district are closet-size — this isn’t workable. The policy appears to be modeled on the way pediatricians divide their practices, assigning medical staff to “well” and “sick” rotations to avoid cross-contamination. But at my school, serving over 1,300 students and staff members, there’s only me. I’d be passing back and forth among “sick” and “well” and “isolation” constantly, and I wouldn’t have time for following elaborate hygiene routines or putting on and removing protective equipment. (That is, if we even have the budget for gowns, gloves and masks; the district said it would provide us each with only a plastic face shield.)

 

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21 hours ago, Ignoratio Elenchi said:

...and we’re all-remote to start the year now. Announced last night. Some Facebook moms are losing their minds but it was clearly the right call imo. 

I don’t understand how this is happening in NJ but Long Island NY is full in person?

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Wife is a teacher at a school scheduled to open it's doors next week to students.  Two options on the table, in person and remote learning.  About 75% of families have opted for in person, the other 25% for remote learning.  Teachers have been going through Covid Training for their classrooms over the last two weeks in preparation for the upcoming in person school year.  With all the prep the school district is doing, I'm very surprised that having the teachers tested prior to school starting isn't one of the considerations.  It seems like common sense to me to have the teachers tested/cleared prior to putting them back into the classroom.  This is the only complaint I've had in regards to how our school district is handling this pandemic.  My wife and I talked, and she is going to get tested on her own.  She's showing no symptoms, but better safe then sorry I guess.

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26 minutes ago, Peak said:

Wife is a teacher at a school scheduled to open it's doors next week to students.  Two options on the table, in person and remote learning.  About 75% of families have opted for in person, the other 25% for remote learning.  Teachers have been going through Covid Training for their classrooms over the last two weeks in preparation for the upcoming in person school year.  With all the prep the school district is doing, I'm very surprised that having the teachers tested prior to school starting isn't one of the considerations.  It seems like common sense to me to have the teachers tested/cleared prior to putting them back into the classroom.  This is the only complaint I've had in regards to how our school district is handling this pandemic.  My wife and I talked, and she is going to get tested on her own.  She's showing no symptoms, but better safe then sorry I guess.

Could be a union contract thing. Perhaps there is a clause that if you require something not bargained for then the district has to pay for it. I could see that being a huge mess since I think it still runs through insurance. 

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19 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

Could be a union contract thing. Perhaps there is a clause that if you require something not bargained for then the district has to pay for it. I could see that being a huge mess since I think it still runs through insurance. 

I guess.  But I can't see someone not wanting to do it in order to ensure school safety for kids and other teachers/administrators.  It just seems/feels like the common sense thing to do for a responsible adult.  :shrug:

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I am cautiously optimistic that our on-line learning will be effective.  We had a generally good experience in the spring, but there will be changes (not the least of which is our younger daughter will be in High School now)

We don't start until next Wednesday, and will be remote though at least the end of September.  But our younger daughter will have a pretty normal schedule.  Mondays and Thursdays will be "A" days, and Tuesday and Fridays will be "B" days.  Classes will be on-line (not clear if on Zoom or some other video format).  Classes will follow the normal daily schedule, and attendance will be taken, and teachers will be delivering live content during the assigned class period.  A portion of the kids' grade will be based on attendance/participation.  In a "normal" setting A/B days rotate all year long - the consistency of days will help everyone keep track from home.  Wednesdays, are catch-up days.  The students all have a 1-hour session they attend - which covers a lot of different topics - colleges/careers etc.  But, teachers are available all day on Wednesday for questions/feedback.  Wednesdays will also be the day students can re-assess on graded assignments.

 

Our older daughter goes to a different high school, and they are less organized (3rd principal in 3 years - this one started July 1, and came from out of the district).  But, I think they will follow a similar schedule.  :fingerscrossed:

 

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49 minutes ago, Peak said:

I guess.  But I can't see someone not wanting to do it in order to ensure school safety for kids and other teachers/administrators.  It just seems/feels like the common sense thing to do for a responsible adult.  :shrug:

Our school isn't requiring tests. We just have to fill out the form everyday about how we feel and if we have been in contact with anyone who. They are looking into doing daily temperature checks but not sure if that is for sure happening. I think the thought process is what is the point of testing before day 1 as opposed to before day 5 or 10 or 20. A person can catch COVID at any time so test negative a week before school starts is no guarantee that the person will be COVID free for the the first day of school. The only way testing can really help is doing it regularly with super quick turnaround times. Heck I saw an article that said 40% of tests come back so late that they are no longer useful. I think the average turnaround time is 7+ days and for some it is taking over 2 weeks. That makes the test pretty useless for the purposes of protecting schools IMO. This is where the federal government has really let us down IMO.

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Testing costs money. Consider what @Ilov80s wrote and effective testing costs a lot of money. Effective testing must be done continuously - and must come with quick turnaround times. School budgets have been slashed. The decision not to test is going to lead to more than a few localized outbreaks, but in order to fund testing then lots of other functions must go. Or they must be financed externally.

Daily temperature checks are ineffective, but it makes people feel good and that's what ultimately matters; feelings - not facts. Well, that and CYA. And temperature checks do just that. They may not work, as this study concludes most people who have COVID-19 are highly contagious for one to two days, and it is usually before they are showing symptoms. But it's a low cost method of shielding yourselves from liability. And I don't blame schools for that; I blame those that put them in this position.

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22 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

We just have to fill out the form everyday about how we feel and if we have been in contact with anyone who. They are looking into doing daily temperature checks but not sure if that is for sure happening.

This is what our schools have been doing for fall sports.  I can see them carrying it over to when school starts, but nothing has been stated as of yet.  I believe the teachers have their temps read when they enter.  I haven't heard of students needing to do this yet - outside of sports, that is.

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21 minutes ago, Peak said:

This is what our schools have been doing for fall sports.  I can see them carrying it over to when school starts, but nothing has been stated as of yet.  I believe the teachers have their temps read when they enter.  I haven't heard of students needing to do this yet - outside of sports, that is.

I get why we wouldn't temp the kids- it's a logistics and time problem (we aren't even in person in September anyway) and it's much easier to temp the teachers. How many teens who contract the disease have a fever? I am not sure it's very high anyway. Though the counter argument is, if we only temp staff and they represent maybe 5-7% of the people in the building, is that really doing anything meaningful?

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On 8/15/2020 at 11:11 PM, Mrs. Rannous said:

This op/ed piece in the Washington Post from a school nurse is discouraging.

A sample:

 

The thing is they aren't sick.  Kids are not going to show up to school and then suddenly need to go on a vent.  You find some bench outside to sit them on so they can get picked up by their parents and move on.  We are supposed to be ready to drop everything and be moving to school in 30 min.  There's no care that needs to be applied by a nurse whatsoever, just isolation.

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For our school the biggest problem is subs.  Subs in the area know they are worth their weight and gold, and I'm hearing they are demanding wages in excess of FTE, and asking for catastrophic insurance coverage at a minimum.  Our school so far has secured zero (0) subs that will agree to come in for any reason whatsoever.  

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23 minutes ago, Ocram said:

Asst. Principal called this morning - my senior was exposed to someone who tested positive and now has to quarantine for 2 weeks.  I'm happy they are doing contact tracing at least.

This is why I am pretty happy we are starting at home.

I think the bigger disruption to students would be the going to school -> staying home -going to school -> staying home cycle. 

I'd much rather a sub-optimal setting that is consistent rather than constant turmoil.  When you are reasonably sure its safe to go back to school - I am all for it.  But, when it done simply to prove you aren't "scared" of a virus - then I think it will do more harm in the long-run.

Fix the virus, then focus on re-building.

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3 minutes ago, The Gator said:

This is why I am pretty happy we are starting at home.

I think the bigger disruption to students would be the going to school -> staying home -going to school -> staying home cycle. 

I'd much rather a sub-optimal setting that is consistent rather than constant turmoil.  When you are reasonably sure its safe to go back to school - I am all for it.  But, when it done simply to prove you aren't "scared" of a virus - then I think it will do more harm in the long-run.

Fix the virus, then focus on re-building.

Agree but that's what we decided locally.  I am curious if we will start back up - they seem to be taking the baseball approach, go as long as you can until you think you need to shut it down and then start back once things have calmed down.  Or at least that's what they have said so far - We will see at the end of the month.

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Our son is slated to go away to college next week at our state university. They are planning on having 35,000 people tested twice a week using the self-test nasal swabs (the one with the high false positive rate . . . up to 20%). I don't see things ending well. 

I already am not thrilled in that their stated plan was X, and as soon as they collected everyone's money they did a 180% pivot to Plan Y. The current plan is one class per week in a classroom (and the other days online). However, EVERYTHING ELSE on campus is cancelled. No sports, no social programs or events, no parties, etc. Everyone has to stay in their own dorm. They are trying to implement a stay on campus except for emergencies, which seems odd given they also have students that commute to campus.

Our son got assigned the smallest dorm, which at the time seemed like a good thing. All his friends are in other dorms, so he won't be allowed to see them. They also touted having multiple food options in terms of cafeterias, restaurants, food court, and specialty places with all different menus. Now they consolidated the menu and made it the same at all eateries.

I am guessing they will first try to force kids to stay only in their rooms and attend Zoom classes online (to be able to merit charging for room and board). But I doubt they last 2 weeks before they send everyone home (or the professors refuse to teach in person).

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5 hours ago, The Gator said:

Our older daughter goes to a different high school, and they are less organized (3rd principal in 3 years - this one started July 1, and came from out of the district).  But, I think they will follow a similar schedule.  :fingerscrossed:

Ugh...I spoke too soon.

At her school they are following the same basic schedule - but they are only meeting with their teachers once per week.  ☹️

 

 

Younger daughter (9th grade) = all day with a class schedule

Older daughter (11th grade) = 1/2 day with a class schedule, the rest "Independent Work time"

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5 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

:lmao: Good one.  

Better stated, you can party in your own dorm, but you can't party in someone else's dorm. Whether they carry through who knows, but allegedly they will have RA's or other staff at the dorms checking ID's. If it's not your dorm, they won't let you in. And one would guess that after a certain time of day they won't let you out. No one from off campus allowed in. You get one mulligan about not wearing a face covering. Second time they are threatening to send kids home. They also are trying to minimize people coming and going off of the campus. Whether they even get a chance to enforce any of that , who knows. I would guess the kids will be sent home within a few weeks.

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3 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

In shocking news that nobody could have seen coming, UNC Chapel Hill has become a hot spot and is giving up on face-to-face instruction after one whole week.  

 

It was an absolute pipe dream to expect college students to do what was necessary to prevent this.  It really does seem like schools are just going to "give it the ol' college try" so that they can collect some additional $$.

It must really suck to be in college or have a kid in college right now..

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My wife's a professor at Stetson University and since this began in March she's been looking at ways to teach A&P online...including the labs.  To her credit, she found an awesome way to teach the labs, raised the funds and is good to go.  So she's here with me, safe, which is a good thing.  Our kids are also home for virtual learning that starts 8/31.  What's puzzling is the approach that Stetson is taking.  It's essentially the honor system via an app.  The most crazy part of the whole thing is there is ZERO broadcasting of pop up issues.  Students have been on campus for a week and since they are taking what seems to be the "if we don't say it's name out loud we don't have to acknowledge it exists" approach rumors are running rampant all over campus about dorms having to shut, kids in quarantine etc.  There's NO WAY for my wife to verify any of it though.  The faculty and staff are being told NOTHING.  I can't imagine being a professor on campus in an environment like that.  It's unbelievable.  

They sorta, kinda tried to do the "distancing" thing by putting students one to a dorm room.  Those who they didn't have space for are in hotels/motels near campus.  And like I said, they have this app that they have to enter their temps into each day.  That's about all they've done from what we can see anyway.  Don't be surprised if this school ends up on the news as a major issue in the not to distant future.

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16 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

Our son is slated to go away to college next week at our state university. They are planning on having 35,000 people tested twice a week using the self-test nasal swabs (the one with the high false positive rate . . . up to 20%). I don't see things ending well. 

I already am not thrilled in that their stated plan was X, and as soon as they collected everyone's money they did a 180% pivot to Plan Y. The current plan is one class per week in a classroom (and the other days online). However, EVERYTHING ELSE on campus is cancelled. No sports, no social programs or events, no parties, etc. Everyone has to stay in their own dorm. They are trying to implement a stay on campus except for emergencies, which seems odd given they also have students that commute to campus.

Our son got assigned the smallest dorm, which at the time seemed like a good thing. All his friends are in other dorms, so he won't be allowed to see them. They also touted having multiple food options in terms of cafeterias, restaurants, food court, and specialty places with all different menus. Now they consolidated the menu and made it the same at all eateries.

I am guessing they will first try to force kids to stay only in their rooms and attend Zoom classes online (to be able to merit charging for room and board). But I doubt they last 2 weeks before they send everyone home (or the professors refuse to teach in person).

Yeah that’s just a straight money grab. Ridiculous.

And I’ve been really disappointed at how few schools seem to be addressing ventilation. It’s arguably one of the most important pieces of indoor gathering and most schools seem to be ignoring it and concentrating on cleaning and handwashing.

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15 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

In shocking news that nobody could have seen coming, UNC Chapel Hill has become a hot spot and is giving up on face-to-face instruction after one whole week.  

Posted that in the football thread (which I think my post was then deleted as I see it no longer)...well posted the earlier reports of the 4th cluster of cases.  Its why I think the other conferences will join the Big and Pac and not play this fall.  I don't think that will be unique to UNC and wonder how many other schools will have outbreaks before they decide to shut it down.

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2 minutes ago, GroveDiesel said:

And I’ve been really disappointed at how few schools seem to be addressing ventilation.

This is almost certainly a money issue.  I'm far from an expert on ventilation systems, so I can't really say that for sure.  But my campus has a little over 100 buildings, some of which are relatively new, and some of which were probably constructed by the WPA.  Many of them have what is euphemistically referred to as "deferred maintenance."  I really doubt that it would have been feasible to upgrade the HVAC systems across campus on anything close to our facilities budget.

(Not saying that makes it right, of course.  Just that this isn't even a live option for most schools without a major increase in state funding).

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16 hours ago, Anarchy99 said:

Our son is slated to go away to college next week at our state university. They are planning on having 35,000 people tested twice a week using the self-test nasal swabs (the one with the high false positive rate . . . up to 20%). I don't see things ending well. 

I already am not thrilled in that their stated plan was X, and as soon as they collected everyone's money they did a 180% pivot to Plan Y. The current plan is one class per week in a classroom (and the other days online). However, EVERYTHING ELSE on campus is cancelled. No sports, no social programs or events, no parties, etc. Everyone has to stay in their own dorm. They are trying to implement a stay on campus except for emergencies, which seems odd given they also have students that commute to campus.

Our son got assigned the smallest dorm, which at the time seemed like a good thing. All his friends are in other dorms, so he won't be allowed to see them. They also touted having multiple food options in terms of cafeterias, restaurants, food court, and specialty places with all different menus. Now they consolidated the menu and made it the same at all eateries.

I am guessing they will first try to force kids to stay only in their rooms and attend Zoom classes online (to be able to merit charging for room and board). But I doubt they last 2 weeks before they send everyone home (or the professors refuse to teach in person).

Going to college this year is just a waste of money.  Better off staying at home and going to community college.

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

This is almost certainly a money issue.  I'm far from an expert on ventilation systems, so I can't really say that for sure.  But my campus has a little over 100 buildings, some of which are relatively new, and some of which were probably constructed by the WPA.  Many of them have what is euphemistically referred to as "deferred maintenance."  I really doubt that it would have been feasible to upgrade the HVAC systems across campus on anything close to our facilities budget.

(Not saying that makes it right, of course.  Just that this isn't even a live option for most schools without a major increase in state funding).

Yes - again, school budgets have been cut. Those with revenue streams are going to see less this year vs prior. New expenses must be added to re-open. Which ones? well, if revenue is down, expenses up, and gov't support is down then the cheapest option wins. And schools are focusing their resources towards cleaning because that is exactly that, the cheapest option. Improved ventilation is not. You get what you pay for. Before considering whether we have the resources available to pursue it a ventilation initiative is something that would have to be funded by government - make a grant available to fund this endeavor and schools will do it. Don't and you get these half measures that probably won't work. 

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4 hours ago, GroveDiesel said:

And I’ve been really disappointed at how few schools seem to be addressing ventilation. It’s arguably one of the most important pieces of indoor gathering and most schools seem to be ignoring it and concentrating on cleaning and handwashing.

Quoted for truth.

Not schools ... but I see a lot of commercials for various types of businesses re-opening that feature cleaning of handrails, wiping down counters, etc. A notable recent commercial is for the indoor water park chain Great Wolf Lodge (the link is basically a long version of the commercial). They make a big show of temperature-checking patrons and wiping down stuff, knowing that the general public doesn't understand that those actions are about 1/4 of the battle.

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4 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

This is almost certainly a money issue.  I'm far from an expert on ventilation systems, so I can't really say that for sure.  But my campus has a little over 100 buildings, some of which are relatively new, and some of which were probably constructed by the WPA.  Many of them have what is euphemistically referred to as "deferred maintenance."  I really doubt that it would have been feasible to upgrade the HVAC systems across campus on anything close to our facilities budget.

(Not saying that makes it right, of course.  Just that this isn't even a live option for most schools without a major increase in state funding).

It's possible to improve ventilation (really, air exchange rate) without upgrading HVAC systems. It's also possible to considerably upgrade filtering in an existing HVAC system (admittedly, it's not free but it is cheaper than updated HVAC equipment).

Going forward, just about any new institutional construction (schools, offices, gov't buildings, retail, etc.) will have to have enhanced HVAC standards assumed in the local Codes & Standards ordinances. This will also affect major repair work -- if a school's HVAC fails to the point where major components have to be replaced, replacing with like 'pre-COVID' components may be off the table.

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On 8/15/2020 at 10:29 AM, Ignoratio Elenchi said:

Union County

I'm in Union county too. Only 2 schools have gone full remote so far. I expect the other large ones to do it too, but the smaller schools are being stubborn. My kids aren't school aged yet, but my district is still in the hybrid model. I just don't see the point. Call it now and give the teachers more time to prepare to do it right. 

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hybrid model in NJ - my wife and I both have flexible  jobs so we are home - didnt see the point of sending them with any risk for 4 half days per week.....decided to go all virtual for the 1st 2 months.....will revisit after the and if things are going smooth I'd consider sending them then......they still can play soccer on their school teams which gives enough social interaction...at least its outside........daughter is furious and hates us right now and son is completely fine with it.....

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On 8/17/2020 at 3:23 PM, IvanKaramazov said:

In shocking news that nobody could have seen coming, UNC Chapel Hill has become a hot spot and is giving up on face-to-face instruction after one whole week.  

It's shocking to some.  Just read through this thread and you'll see a few overly optimistic expectations some have.  We've largely mismanaged this for almost five months, but now we expect school districts, teachers, and kids to come through this relatively unscathed?  The reality of "going back to school in-person" seems problematic, much more than some seem willing to acknowledge.

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