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AISD's Plans for Schools Starting August 18

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Re: "kids are a non factor for COVID"

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/07/31/new-evidence-suggests-young-children-spread-covid-19-more-efficiently-than-adults/#73ff8cb219fd

"The researchers found that although young children had a somewhat lower risk of infection than adults and were less likely to become ill, children age 14 and younger transmit the virus more efficiently to other children and adults than adults themselves. Their risk of transmitting Covid-19 was 22.4 percent—more than twice that of adults aged 30 to 49, whose rate of contagiousness was about 11 percent. “Although childhood contacts were less likely to become cases,” they wrote, “children were more likely to infect household members.”

The Trento study also found that its youngest participants were the most efficient transmitters of the disease, citing respiratory syncytial virus as an example of another infectious disease for which this has been the case. The younger the child, they noted, the higher the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in their nasal passages—an observation consistent with the Chicago study. "

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Re: "kids are a non factor for COVID"

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/07/31/new-evidence-suggests-young-children-spread-covid-19-more-efficiently-than-adults/#73ff8cb219fd

"The researchers found that although young children had a somewhat lower risk of infection than adults and were less likely to become ill, children age 14 and younger transmit the virus more efficiently to other children and adults than adults themselves. Their risk of transmitting Covid-19 was 22.4 percent—more than twice that of adults aged 30 to 49, whose rate of contagiousness was about 11 percent. “Although childhood contacts were less likely to become cases,” they wrote, “children were more likely to infect household members.”

The Trento study also found that its youngest participants were the most efficient transmitters of the disease, citing respiratory syncytial virus as an example of another infectious disease for which this has been the case. The younger the child, they noted, the higher the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in their nasal passages—an observation consistent with the Chicago study. "

I posted this on the medical thread a few days ago...

 

My wife’s 16 year old cousin had to go to ER last night with atrial fibrillation. He was just released and it was determine he had cardiac artery swelling due to a prior undiagnosed COVID-19 infection. Now he has to wear a heart monitor for at least the next 30 days and be a complete shut in to prevent another C19 infection. He was perfectly healthy prior to this.

 

But kids will be fine.

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4 minutes ago, Larry T. Spider said:

Just google all the summer camps shutting down due to kids getting covid. Why would schools be any different?

Looks like SOMEONE thinks he's too good for magical thinking!

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4 minutes ago, Larry T. Spider said:

Just google all the summer camps shutting down due to kids getting covid. Why would schools be any different?

Because some people look at those summer camps and think, "Well yeah, but it'll be better once school starts because the kids will be inside and more closely monitored."  

The shit about schools opening safely because kids can't transmit the virus is just the next step in the long line of bullshit from Hoax, to it'll disappear, to the heat will kill it, it's not that deadly/serious, to we have so many cases because we test so much, and on, and on, and on.  

We get a new one of these about every 2 weeks so hang tight for another week or so and we'll get the next one. 

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone heard anything about a technology shortage in AISD? They're not going to have enough chromebooks for every student, right? I ask, because my 7th grader already has one issued by AISD. My 3rd grader does not, but we ordered one through the district. Now I'm thinking I should just buy chromebooks for each of them and give the 7th grader's back to the district so they can use it for another kid.

Edited by HornOnTheBayou

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The main difference with schools will be the average age of the person working with kids. It’s a range from 23-65 instead of your typical camp counselor that is 18-25. Many more risk factors involved. 

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20 minutes ago, HornOnTheBayou said:

Has anyone heard anything about a technology shortage in AISD? They're not going to have enough chromebooks for every student, right? I ask, because my 7th grader already has one issued by AISD. My 3rd grader does not, but we ordered one through the district. Now I'm thinking I should just buy chromebooks for each of them and give the 7th grader's back to the district so they can use it for another kid.

Everything we bought won’t be delivered for weeks because every district is trying to do the same thing. If you have the ability to do so, I would just buy your own. It also means you won’t have to go through the district to get it updated later.

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22 minutes ago, HornOnTheBayou said:

Has anyone heard anything about a technology shortage in AISD? They're not going to have enough chromebooks for every student, right? I ask, because my 7th grader already has one issued by AISD. My 3rd grader does not, but we ordered one through the district. Now I'm thinking I should just buy chromebooks for each of them and give the 7th grader's back to the district so they can use it for another kid.

AISD sent an email out basically saying as much, and if parents can provide personal devices, that would help with the parents who can't.

We have devices for our kids, but if they are required to bring them to school, I'll request a device from the district.  Not sending a second-grader to school with an iPad that's ours.

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They have a new and supposedly improved system of collecting chromebooks and getting them to kids. Parents can sign up in the parent cloud, check status, ask questions, etc. HOPEFULLY that means they will be delivering what they have very quickly. I think the main reason deliveries stopped last time was that they simply ran out of devices. Even all of our pta purchased devices were collected and distributed. 

Either way, thanks for thinking of kids beyond your own. It does make a big difference when people think that way.

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25 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

Not sending a second-grader to school with an iPad that's ours.

It’s not that hard to clear your browser history if you don’t want the second-graders watching your Asian midget porn.

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1 minute ago, South Austin said:

It’s not that hard to clear your browser history if you don’t want the second-graders watching your Asian midget porn.

That I don't care about.  They'll ignore that on the way to the YouTube app and the latest Minecraft video.  Or the latest video from that little Ryan shit.

I'm worried about cracked displays.  We already have our kid's iPad encased in one of those thick foam cases, and have had to replace a display once every 18 months or so.

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12 minutes ago, Larry T. Spider said:

They have a new and supposedly improved system of collecting chromebooks and getting them to kids. Parents can sign up in the parent cloud, check status, ask questions, etc. HOPEFULLY that means they will be delivering what they have very quickly. I think the main reason deliveries stopped last time was that they simply ran out of devices. Even all of our pta purchased devices were collected and distributed. 

Either way, thanks for thinking of kids beyond your own. It does make a big difference when people think that way.

Thanks for the info. I think we will go ahead and return the 7th grader's chromebook. 

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24 minutes ago, South Austin said:

It’s not that hard to clear your browser history if you don’t want the second-graders watching your Asian midget porn.

I mean, if he doesn’t accidentally let his kid view Asian midget porn then the terrorists win. 

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47 minutes ago, Redpuma said:

 

It's not the schools themselves that want to re-open. I guarantee you that teachers would vote to do remote-learning until this thing is under control. This is politics and nothing more.

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Posted (edited)

Whelp.  My wife and I return to school tomorrow.  Our district is doing distance until Sept. 8th, then some sort of hybrid system thereafter.  I have a roster of 17 with 9 signed up for face-to-face; 8 distance.  I have no idea how this is going to work.  

I'm extremely flexible and understand that things will probably change 20 times over the next few months.  I'm just happy to have a job doing something that I love to do.  I definitely prefer teaching in person over distance learning; however, I didn't have a problem doing so this past spring.  We'll see what happens.

I'll let y'all know if anything new comes up that hasn't already been covered by @Larry T. Spider, among others.

Edited by Knoxtnhorn

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27 minutes ago, smoky said:

Knox, what age group do you teach?

1st.  Not my first, second, or even 10th choice, but let me explain.

When I decided to go back to school and teach 10 years ago, my wife had just finished her Master's and was beginning her first year of school.  I was able to join a 2+2 program via Tennessee Tech.  The catch was, I was stuck with a K-6 degree as another over would have required an extra year of school.  At that point, I wanted to add money to our family budget; not take away with another year in school/loans.  I had always envisioned being a high school or middle school history teacher.  I taught 3rd/4th grade at an extremely poor/urban school for 4 years in TN. 

When I moved back to Texas 3 years ago, I got a job offer to teach 4th grade writing.  I loved it.  Writing was taken out of our district's departmentalized option a year ago, so I was moved to 1st grade.  I absolutely hated it for the first half of the year; however, after getting routines down AND watching the upper grades begin to panic about upcoming STAAR, I realized things could be worse.  So here I am.  

I actually did take my middle school certification test last January, so that's an option going forward.  Things being as they are, I'm not going to rock the boat just yet.

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54 minutes ago, Knoxtnhorn said:

I'm extremely flexible and understand that things will probably change 20 times over the next few months. 

If you have a TEA that's mandating everything, your TEA doesn't have the word "Texas" for the "T", so things won't change 20 times over the next few months.

Now here in Texas, things will change 20 times over the next few months, especially once more polls are released.

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42 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

How is Dell not making Austin ISD a portable computing paradise? 

No kidding.   I'm sure they could have come up with something.

Then again, my wife and most of the teachers/staff we know are using MacBook Airs or Lenovo ThinkPads.  Rarely see a Dell for whatever reason.

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https://www.kxan.com/news/education/austin-teachers-union-demands-no-in-class-school-until-mid-november/

Quote

Education Austin, the labor union representing teachers and other employees in the Austin Independent School District, published a list of demands for AISD leadership before the proposed school year begins Aug. 18. 

The union does not want school to start until Sept. 8, and it does not want any in-person teaching until at least mid-November.

Spoiler

Here’s the complete list of the union’s demands:

  • Reschedule the 2020-2021 school year start date of August 18, 2020 (for online learning) to September 8, 2020 for all AISD schools.
  • Online learning (including an SEL component) will be offered for nine weeks or more after a September 8, 2020 start date.
  • All AISD schools will reopen only when there is a decline in new cases for at least 14 consecutive days, a positive test rate of less than 5%, and a transmission rate of less than 1%.
  • Provide a weekly COVID-19 update to include the most current data, trends, research, models, and recommendations from public health officials.
  • Establish a COVID-19 (reopening and 2020-2021 school year) Task Force prior to August 18, 2020 to include parents, guardians, students, staff, teachers, Education Austin, and other community stakeholders in making further detailed recommendations to AISD.
  • Provide a clear and concise written reopening and safety plan for all campuses and facilities to be shared publicly with minimal worksite discretion.
  • All AISD employees will be guaranteed 100% pay, no layoffs, and no furloughs.
  • “Hero Pay” at the rate of 1.5 times for classified or hourly staff (i.e. custodial, transportation, etc.) that physically report to work.
  • Provide uniform professional development (PD) prior to the September 8, 2020 start date to fully support teachers and staff with technology usage for online learning to include: BLEND Class Set-Up, BLEND Content Upload, How to Upload/Embed Links or Videos, Google Drive and Google Docs, Zoom or other interactive student and teacher platforms, and other COVID-19 related PD.
  • Assign internally or hire externally an individual or team to solely coordinate reopening, navigate the 2020-2021 school year and beyond as part of AISD’s Emergency Management Team specific to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All employees have the right to refuse to return to their worksite if they feel unsafe.
  • Provide ten leave days in addition to the federal CARES ACT allotment of ten days for all employees in case of a need to quarantine a second time.
  • Consult with AISD Equity Office to ensure reopening plans are aligned with racial and economic equity goals.
  • Provide a Special Education Plan to include outreach and contact with all special education families in determining needs to provide Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and instructional support.
  • Increase funding for the Community School model to expand and hire additional staffing as needed.
  • Provide students and parents training options for how to utilize online learning via digital modules and/or physical packets that will count towards required instructional minutes for students.
  • Determine most appropriate and simple technology platforms for teachers, parents, and students in each grade level that account for cyber safety and digital citizenship guidelines in order to reduce risk and liability for both staff and families.
  • There will be no administration of the STAAR, AISD Benchmark Tests, or other STAAR-related assessments.
  • Along with healthcare providers and officials, follow and make public strict protocols for social distancing, handwashing, wearing of a face mask, face-shields, or goggles, testing, contact tracing, and quarantine procedures for students and staff.
  • Purchase and supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to all staff, students, and campus visitors once a return to campuses is announced.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems via an external entity to minimize health risks through HVAC systems and make appropriate changes before the return of any staff to their worksites.
  • COVID related leave accommodations for employees that can work from home should apply to classified employees or others that cannot work from home. Employees that cannot work from home should not be forced to apply for COVID-19 specific or FMLA leave, which limits their pay, time that they are allowed to be home, and forces them to use their own sick and/or personal leave.
  • Coordinate with healthcare providers to eliminate all insurance copayments and deductibles and provide free COVID-19 testing and treatments to all staff.

Before anybody flips out, they cannot strike and don't have much power.

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Posted (edited)

Meanwhile, Abbott is contradicting his own Attorney General and state board of education

Quote

In an interview on KXAN on Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott, saying he believes it’s important for school districts to be able to decide when — and how — they want to start the new school year.

“The bottom line is this: the power of decision-making authorities is exactly where it should be. And that is with the local school board level. The have all the flexibility they need to keep students and teachers safe,” said Abbott.

Quote

When asked about the possibility that many Texas teachers may choose to retire early rather than risk returning to campuses, Abbott explained that the precautions schools are required to take means there are no safety concerns teachers should have about returning.

“There is no concern that teachers should have with regard to the safety setting of the school environment — knowing full-well they have the capability of educating children remotely for months on end before they do have to go into a classrooms,” Abbott said. “What we need now are teachers who are going to step up and make sure that we do not lose a generation of students simply because of the pandemic.”

That's huge for Abbot to say they could do remote learning for months.

I've heard he and the TEA were getting a helluva lot of pushback from smaller/rural districts who were scrambling to get a lot of stuff in place, that they were far less prepared than the larger districts (who aren't exactly prepared).   And a friend said some districts were starting to look at lawsuits and/or making this a campaign issue, which the TEA apparently does not want.  

Edited by atomheartbevo

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The politics and incoherence are  enough to make a parent just want to say fuck it and find options outside of public school.  I know some just need the "free" babysitter, but holy shit this mess will lead to a decent percentage of kids never stepping foot in a public school ever again, which is the financial disaster the overabundant and overpaid administrators have been fearing for years.  Maybe in the end public schools will do what's been needed for a long time and fire about 80% of administrative staff, properly fund teachers and the classrooms, and maybe just maybe provide a half decent education for a few kids.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2020 at 11:10 AM, Larry T. Spider said:

The main difference with schools will be the average age of the person working with kids. It’s a range from 23-65 instead of your typical camp counselor that is 18-25. Many more risk factors involved. 

I'm gonna go ahead and delete my response since this isn't the Cloak Room.

But it was true.

Edited by TexArcher

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9 minutes ago, Samson's Wig said:

The politics and incoherence are  enough to make a parent just want to say fuck it and find options outside of public school. 

Some, but those people had already reached that point long ago and just needed a nudge.

Texas public schools handle 5 million kids a year.   The schools and the kids ain't going away, no matter how bad some may try to force them to.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Samson's Wig said:

The politics and incoherence are  enough to make a parent just want to say fuck it and find options outside of public school.  I know some just need the "free" babysitter, but holy shit this mess will lead to a decent percentage of kids never stepping foot in a public school ever again, which is the financial disaster the overabundant and overpaid administrators have been fearing for years.  Maybe in the end public schools will do what's been needed for a long time and fire about 80% of administrative staff, properly fund teachers and the classrooms, and maybe just maybe provide a half decent education for a few kids.

If you look back on your formative years, none of us remember the teachers or coaches who impacted us as youths, but rather that junior high assistant vice principal or mid-level administrator back at ISD headquarters who truly made a difference in our lives.  It would be a damn shame if their positions were cut just so we could "improve" the educational experience for teachers and students.  

Edited by Lobo

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I worked for a different district that was going through severe budget cuts after the 2011 legislative session and everything was on the table for cuts. We were able to find some stuff at the central office level but it was much harder than we initially expected.

We all wanted less administrative staff that isn’t tied to a campus as it would mean more money for other district functions. But, there is an unfunded mandate with ridiculous reporting requirements for everything under the sun. The regulations are so specific and ever-changing that you need a person that just deals with that area or your district is going to get hammered. Some of it is federal and some is TEA.

There are complicated regulations, reporting requirements, parent support, and staff training provided for special education, section 504, esl/bilingual programs, state assessments (telpas and staar), McKinney-Vento act, advanced academics (GT), and on and on.

The above list doesn’t take into account the people that manage basic functions such as facilities, food service, finances, academic departments, HR, transportation,   technology, textbooks, the warehouse, legal department and a million other things. 

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AISD board will convene Aug 6 to discuss and likely vote on pushing start of school year back to September 8.

The recommendation also calls for 4 weeks of remote learning followed by a 4 week phased approach to in-school learning.

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Long story short, TEA forced our hand. Abbott saw what is happening and tried to walk it back but it’s probably too little too late. I don’t really feel bad for Abbott but he has a lot of clowns to wrangle in the Texas state government.

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Heard through grapevine that AISD is moving start back to Sept 8th. Not sure why they just don't move it to 100% virtual vs this but whatever.

Not sure when this is being announced (and shit could change) but the person I heard this from is very plugged in so we will see.

I think what this is going to lead to is a proliferation of virtual private schools.

We received an email last week from Casis that instruction (virtual) will be 90 minutes/day.  Fortunately we can afford tutors where need be, but this is looking more and more like another lost year. My 8th grader will be in classes 4 hours a day, but I am imagining some of the traditional electives will at best be self paced/taught or just shitcanned.

At Casis eg the PTA funds 100% of electives. Given that many if not all of these will not be viable via virtual teaching (especially if students are only online 90 mins/day) I have no idea wtf is going to happen here. AISD has taken PTA involvement for granted and effectively left budget shortfalls every year that the PTA funds. Given that PTAs will be unable to have carnivals/round-up type events for large scale fundraising I am really curious to see what breaks here.

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Our district is starting on the 18th.  I give it 2 weeks until some kid tests positive for covid and we are back to square 1.

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Based on the info I’m getting this morning, including from trustees, the 8th is looking likely. They don’t want to force schools to physically open on August 18th as tea would require for some students. Many schools would be expecting hundreds of students and teacher resignations are already adding up. Sadly, this is probably the only way around TEA’s bullshit.

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I'm confused. AISD is supposed to start on the 18th, but no one would be allowed in the buildings. So why push that date back if they were already planning to start virtually? Is it because TEA is saying schools can only be virtual for eight weeks and AISD doesn't want to start that clock ticking on the 18th? 

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Just now, HornOnTheBayou said:

I'm confused. AISD is supposed to start on the 18th, but no one would be allowed in the buildings. So why push that date back if they were already planning to start virtually? Is it because TEA is saying schools can only be virtual for eight weeks and AISD doesn't want to start that clock ticking on the 18th? 

that is my guess. they are trying to bypass tea fuckery. it's beyond obvious to me that virtual is the only way for the fall semester and probably the spring as well. things would be manifestly different if state and federal leadership had done more to keep people home longer. but i'll stop there or i'll go off on a rant that isn't appropriate for this board.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Larry T. Spider said:

Long story short, TEA forced our hand. Abbott saw what is happening and tried to walk it back but it’s probably too little too late. I don’t really feel bad for Abbott but he has a lot of clowns to wrangle in the Texas state government.

Watching Abbott's presser right now, and it sounds like he's backing down and is really wanting to increase flexibility.    I had heard that there was a lot of pushback from various districts focused towards Abbott and the TEA.    We maybe focused on AISD and other large districts, but apparently a lot of smaller/rural districts were in one helluva bind that the TEA had created.  

 

Edited by atomheartbevo

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I'm hearing AISD will vote to wait until Labor Day - gives them more time to get technology in and deployed, and like Larry said, it gets around the TEA's bullshit about requiring schools to have in-person from Day 1 for those who don't have technology.

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1 hour ago, HornOnTheBayou said:

I'm confused. AISD is supposed to start on the 18th, but no one would be allowed in the buildings. So why push that date back if they were already planning to start virtually? Is it because TEA is saying schools can only be virtual for eight weeks and AISD doesn't want to start that clock ticking on the 18th? 

Because TEA was forcing us to take kids that claim they don’t have reliable technology starting day 1 as of last Tuesday. Some schools were expecting hundreds to show up on the first day. 

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Just now, Larry T. Spider said:

Because TEA was forcing us to take kids that claim they don’t have reliable technology starting day 1 as of last Tuesday. Some schools were expecting hundreds to show up on the first day. 

Gotcha. That makes sense. If AISD pushes back school to September, do you think neighboring districts will do the same?

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5 minutes ago, HornOnTheBayou said:

Gotcha. That makes sense. If AISD pushes back school to September, do you think neighboring districts will do the same?

Seems likely, but less because AISD is doing it, and more because they weren't planning on having kids on campus Aug. 18th.

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3 minutes ago, JohnLocke said:

Seems likely, but less because AISD is doing it, and more because they weren't planning on having kids on campus Aug. 18th.

Every district in this area was already planning on starting 100% virtual, right? Plus, AISD making the move to starting in September does give cover to other districts to also make the move, especially if it's unpopular in their district.

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2 hours ago, HornOnTheBayou said:

Every district in this area was already planning on starting 100% virtual, right? Plus, AISD making the move to starting in September does give cover to other districts to also make the move, especially if it's unpopular in their district.

Yeah, I think RR is headed that way.

A lot of districts were going to be fucked over funding-wise by TEA.  Today, Abbott backtracked quite a bit:

Quote

 “What may apply to one school district in one region of Texas could be completely different from what may apply to a different school district in different region,” “Hence, there will be the local flexibility — so local school districts will be able to meet the education needs of their students, parents and teachers.”

Don't think it was a coincidence that Abbott backtracked after the TEA clusterfuck of the past two weeks, plus there were some polls that came out over the past few days indicating that Abbott and Co. have a lot riding on keeping folks happy over the next few months.  

Having the TEA withholding funding to districts who were wanting to delay opening or could not get technology into the hands of students before opening was not a good look.

More for another thread about the TEA itself, but it would be great if this woke a lot of people about TEA/state BOE stuff.

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"More for another thread about the TEA itself, but it would be great if this woke a lot of people about TEA/state BOE stuff."

Amen.  I understand that they are a compliance organization, but they don't have to work against us at every turn. There is no rule saying that this can't be a collaborative process. 

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On 8/2/2020 at 10:42 AM, Lobo said:

Because some people look at those summer camps and think, "Well yeah, but it'll be better once school starts because the kids will be inside and more closely monitored."  

The shit about schools opening safely because kids can't transmit the virus is just the next step in the long line of bullshit from Hoax, to it'll disappear, to the heat will kill it, it's not that deadly/serious, to we have so many cases because we test so much, and on, and on, and on.  

We get a new one of these about every 2 weeks so hang tight for another week or so and we'll get the next one. 

Reality Denial has been classed as "Political" dating back to the first attacks on the social safety net less than 10 years after LBJ's Great Society program, and corresponds nicely with the wealth polarization that began in earnest with Nixon's dismantling of Bretton Woods.  Global warming is *STILL* denied by 1%ers here in the year 2020 when we've had above-freezing temps at the north pole during the winter for 10 years running.  We are in a state of Deep Capture.  The idiocracy is just the symptom, not the disease itself.

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4 hours ago, hayden_horn said:

that is my guess. they are trying to bypass tea fuckery. it's beyond obvious to me that virtual is the only way for the fall semester and probably the spring as well. things would be manifestly different if state and federal leadership had done more to keep people home longer. but i'll stop there or i'll go off on a rant that isn't appropriate for this board.

it's totally appropriate, but not moderation-compliant.

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