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AISD's Plans for Schools Starting August 18

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Samson's Wig said:

Thanks guys.  We've exhausted Dreambox, and Epic to a lesser extent.  We have one 8 yo that is dyslexic and and has numerous visual processing disorders, obviously on a 504 plan, and needs a lot help. 

 

We used SumDog for math. It's a cheap subscription and really engaging for kids.  My oldest is dyslexic and using a Kindle with kindle books paired with the Audible book so that as it's read, the words highlight did wonders for her fluency as she went through her CALT tutoring. (This doesn't work on the iPad Kindle app)

 

Edited by CooterBrown

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I'm the son of a college professor and a HS teacher.  I feel guilty for saying this, but I don't see the point.  Our last AISD kid will be a junior in the fall and I don't think missing a few months of in-class instruction is going to intellectually ruin him.  The last couple of months in the spring certainly didn't.

To complete my hypocrisy, I was totally underwhelmed by the "efforts" teachers put in when on-campus classes shut down.  I know it's a paradigm shift, but you're a professional teacher.  Act like it.  The vast majority of my son and daughter's teachers completely phoned it in.  I was shocked.

I have tried to engage my kids more in discussion as well as in-home assignments ("here, read this, it's about an old dude in a boat", "do some research on this pandemnic, the 1918 flu, and the black plague, and write it up for me").  It's not a perfect substitute, but they are getting used to having their brains challenged 365 days a year.  It's something.

If remote classwork is going to be a thing, teachers need to get a lot better at it.  I don't see another option this fall.  My kid is not going back, barring a miracle.

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Any other recommendations for good online resources for elementary school kids? I recall someone who worked at a charter school mentioned some, but I can’t find it. Thanks.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, shadetree said:

Any other recommendations for good online resources for elementary school kids? I recall someone who worked at a charter school mentioned some, but I can’t find it. Thanks.

If you have a pre-K kid, we've been having our youngest watch this lady every weekday - she's an experienced teacher, and is basically a machine for cranking out solid videos day after day.  She talks about what day of the week it is, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/c/MonicaJSutton/videos

Not sure what it is about her - she seems to have a good teacher's voice that little kids respond to, but our daughter sings all the songs she sings when she's singing, answers questions that she asks (our daughter knows it's a video, but still responds).  Our first-grade/now second-grader will occasionally watch along with her as well.

The videos are only around 20 minutes long, but our kid is just glued to them when we let her watch.

Edited by atomheartbevo

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7 hours ago, Samson's Wig said:

Thanks guys.  We've exhausted Dreambox, and Epic to a lesser extent.  We have one 8 yo that is dyslexic and and has numerous visual processing disorders, obviously on a 504 plan, and needs a lot help.  Epic hasn't registered for her at all.  But she is working with tutors (over zoom) in addition to her eye therapy each week.  Her twin brother just finished up To Kill a Mockingbird and is about wrap up Great Expectations. His advanced reading and comprehension skills are almost harder for us to navigate than his sister's limitations. Epic doesn't offer things that intrigue him, unfortunately.  He digs through my personal library (such as it is) for things to read.  It's been a tough nut to crack with each of them.   

Honestly, if we're 100% online this fall, and I really think that might be the case at this point, I might just pull them and homeschool them until things open back up. At least it would save the insane frustration that was keeping up with the 30-40 different logins for various software and websites that each individual teacher chose because Blend and Canvas are terrible, and the near perpetual failure of said software and websites on a daily basis.  I greatly appreciated the effort that their teachers put in this spring, but I'm not sure there was much educational value at all.  If we see more of the same this fall it might be the smart move to just save the kids the headache of that nonsense and teach them directly utilizing Time4Learning or IXL.   https://www.ixl.com/

 

That was my wife’s take. She said basically if she’s going to be responsible for their education she’d rather do it on her time and schedule and curriculum than try

to keep up with the zooms and assignments and all the other nonsense from the schools. 

I think she’s probably right so I immediately signed off on that plan. 

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3 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

I'm the son of a college professor and a HS teacher.  I feel guilty for saying this, but I don't see the point.  Our last AISD kid will be a junior in the fall and I don't think missing a few months of in-class instruction is going to intellectually ruin him.  The last couple of months in the spring certainly didn't.

To complete my hypocrisy, I was totally underwhelmed by the "efforts" teachers put in when on-campus classes shut down.  I know it's a paradigm shift, but you're a professional teacher.  Act like it.  The vast majority of my son and daughter's teachers completely phoned it in.  I was shocked.

I have tried to engage my kids more in discussion as well as in-home assignments ("here, read this, it's about an old dude in a boat", "do some research on this pandemnic, the 1918 flu, and the black plague, and write it up for me").  It's not a perfect substitute, but they are getting used to having their brains challenged 365 days a year.  It's something.

If remote classwork is going to be a thing, teachers need to get a lot better at it.  I don't see another option this fall.  My kid is not going back, barring a miracle.

This is what I’m doing with the kids. I think it’s better for their education than how they do it at school. We watch America the story of us (45 minute program) and it takes us an hour and a half or two as I constantly pause it and check them for comprehension and we dive deep into what’s talked about. 

Yesterday we went to an Underground Railroad house and I promise you they got more out of that one hour tour and our discussion in the car afterwards that lasted for 30 minutes than they’d have gotten out of a two week unit in school. 

Today we went to see Wilbur Wright’s birthplace and they saw what Main Street in 1900 would have looked like in addition to the plane they flew.  But, more important to them understanding life was the conversation we had for 10 minutes about how mankind is great at dreaming and tinkering, and how ideas get improved by crowd sourcing and people buildings upon the works of others. That’s something they wouldn’t have gotten from a lesson on a history class. 

Kids need basic reading, writing and math skills, but those are relatively easy to squire and hone and work with. Beyond that they just need to know how to read to learn, find information for themselves, and process through how life works. None of that is taught really well in formalized school setting in my opinion. 

I think you are totally doing it right and can’t imagine there being any repercussions from how you are handling shit. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

I'm the son of a college professor and a HS teacher.  I feel guilty for saying this, but I don't see the point.  Our last AISD kid will be a junior in the fall and I don't think missing a few months of in-class instruction is going to intellectually ruin him.  The last couple of months in the spring certainly didn't.

To complete my hypocrisy, I was totally underwhelmed by the "efforts" teachers put in when on-campus classes shut down.  I know it's a paradigm shift, but you're a professional teacher.  Act like it.  The vast majority of my son and daughter's teachers completely phoned it in.  I was shocked.

I have tried to engage my kids more in discussion as well as in-home assignments ("here, read this, it's about an old dude in a boat", "do some research on this pandemnic, the 1918 flu, and the black plague, and write it up for me").  It's not a perfect substitute, but they are getting used to having their brains challenged 365 days a year.  It's something.

If remote classwork is going to be a thing, teachers need to get a lot better at it.  I don't see another option this fall.  My kid is not going back, barring a miracle.

My wife is a counselor and we are close friends with a lot of teachers, including my sons K instructor.  I’ve tried to be gentle because my wife was busting her ass trying to work out a system to connect with at-risk kids (I hear all the horror stories, listen in on CPS calls, admire how she has to stock a snack pantry for starving little ones, etc) but ‘underwhelmed’ is a great way to state my experience with distance learning for elementary school educators.  
 

Put out a ppt deck on Monday, record a 3m video, review and comment on the kiddos submissions each day...for a collective that (in my experience) bitches about how hard it is being an educator...you’d think they’d be ecstatic putting in ~8 hours a week, they’re still complaining.  On the other hand I appreciate what they go through as it is really hard keeping my 6yo entertained without endless Minecraft tablet time.  But still...from spring break onwards you had it easy, especially when I see my wife as a counselor on the phone leaving voicemails pleading with parents to call her back so she can check in with her kids...how hard is it to spend some time thinking outside the box?

Anyways rant over...the thought we are about to do this all over again through the fall because people couldn’t stay home or wear a mask has me very surly tonight.  
 

Addition:  At least 1/4th of the kids simply disappeared.  Never turned in schoolwork, parents never answered the phone, almost half never came by the school to pick up their kids belongings.  Being at a poor school means many may have had to move, have no childcare, etc...so not only is the curriculum simple with no checks/balances/testing but you’re down to a much smaller class too.  Just makes me sad.  

Edited by Homercles

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My wife is a counselor and we are close friends with a lot of teachers, including my sons K instructor.  I’ve tried to be gentle because my wife was busting her ass trying to work out a system to connect with at-risk kids (I hear all the horror stories, listen in on CPS calls, admire how she has to stock a snack pantry for starving little ones, etc) but ‘underwhelmed’ is a great way to state my experience with distance learning for elementary school educators.  
 
Put out a ppt deck on Monday, record a 3m video, review and comment on the kiddos submissions each day...for a collective that (in my experience) bitches about how hard it is being an educator...you’d think they’d be ecstatic putting in ~8 hours a week, they’re still complaining.  On the other hand I appreciate what they go through as it is really hard keeping my 6yo entertained without endless Minecraft tablet time.  But still...from spring break onwards you had it easy, especially when I see my wife as a counselor on the phone leaving voicemails pleading with parents to call her back so she can check in with her kids...how hard is it to spend some time thinking outside the box?
Anyways rant over...the thought we are about to do this all over again through the fall because people couldn’t stay home or wear a mask has me very surly tonight.  
 
Addition:  At least 1/4th of the kids simply disappeared.  Never turned in schoolwork, parents never answered the phone, almost half never came by the school to pick up their kids belongings.  Being at a poor school means many may have had to move, have no childcare, etc...so not only is the curriculum simple with no checks/balances/testing but you’re down to a much smaller class too.  Just makes me sad.  
8 hours a week? That's not even close to being accurate.

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9 hours ago, gsoda3 said:
11 hours ago, Homercles said:
My wife is a counselor and we are close friends with a lot of teachers, including my sons K instructor.  I’ve tried to be gentle because my wife was busting her ass trying to work out a system to connect with at-risk kids (I hear all the horror stories, listen in on CPS calls, admire how she has to stock a snack pantry for starving little ones, etc) but ‘underwhelmed’ is a great way to state my experience with distance learning for elementary school educators.  
 
Put out a ppt deck on Monday, record a 3m video, review and comment on the kiddos submissions each day...for a collective that (in my experience) bitches about how hard it is being an educator...you’d think they’d be ecstatic putting in ~8 hours a week, they’re still complaining.  On the other hand I appreciate what they go through as it is really hard keeping my 6yo entertained without endless Minecraft tablet time.  But still...from spring break onwards you had it easy, especially when I see my wife as a counselor on the phone leaving voicemails pleading with parents to call her back so she can check in with her kids...how hard is it to spend some time thinking outside the box?
Anyways rant over...the thought we are about to do this all over again through the fall because people couldn’t stay home or wear a mask has me very surly tonight.  
 
Addition:  At least 1/4th of the kids simply disappeared.  Never turned in schoolwork, parents never answered the phone, almost half never came by the school to pick up their kids belongings.  Being at a poor school means many may have had to move, have no childcare, etc...so not only is the curriculum simple with no checks/balances/testing but you’re down to a much smaller class too.  Just makes me sad.  

Read more  

8 hours a week? That's not even close to being accurate.

I would be absolutely stunned if ours were putting in 8 hours during the covid break.  1 45 min zoom per week. 1 email per week with a syllabus and tasks.  I’ll give them the benefit it took 5 hours to complete the “grading” of the 15 students actually doing their work.  Seriously, Fort Bend‘s efforts were laughably shit, at least from my kids teachers.   

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Yeah, my wife teaches at a preschool, and she spent about 2 hours every week building a "task menu" for the kids and then shooting a short video.  Admittedly, the demands on pre-K kids aren't exactly high, but it didn't change the fact that she was probably putting in 10% of the time once things shut down.

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And I want to be clear, we were and have been very happy with the work they did previously. I believe they were caught flatfooted like many others, and didn’t have great direction etc.  But yeah the last 8 weeks or whatever it was certainly wasn’t impressive.   I can’t imagine the feeling had we been paying a private tuition - I heard plenty that do with the same gripes.  

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On 6/24/2020 at 3:56 PM, Larry T. Spider said:

Why would there be a flight out of the city due to distance learning when the suburban school districts are doing the same thing? Cool rant though.

Edit: teachers hate online teaching more than parents will ever hate having to make their kids do it. Many with enough years to retire are thinking about calling it quits because they hate it so much. I got an email this week from a teacher that said if we go back 100% online she is done. Don’t think they want this.

Larry, with your experience I am hoping you can provide some perspective.  I have a friend that is looking at enrolling their kids in an online specific homeschool for the next school year vs. staying in her school district online learning.  Their thought is that this established homeschool program has decades of experience and has worked out the kinks to help her kids learn well vs. the local district that is just trying to survive and doesn't have any real experience or skill set in online learning.  What are your thoughts on this?

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I’ve a rising 8th & 5th grader. I just don’t see anyway that they end up in person schooling until spring. Fall sports will be canceled etc. 
 

just fucking sucks

 

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4 minutes ago, Nonbryan said:

Larry, with your experience I am hoping you can provide some perspective.  I have a friend that is looking at enrolling their kids in an online specific homeschool for the next school year vs. staying in her school district online learning.  Their thought is that this established homeschool program has decades of experience and has worked out the kinks to help her kids learn well vs. the local district that is just trying to survive and doesn't have any real experience or skill set in online learning.  What are your thoughts on this?

It’s really hard to say without knowing the family or kid. If I were to generalize, I would say that in person schooling provides a lot of benefits compared to online school. If they really think that there isn’t going to be in person school at all this year, then go for it. But, what if we are back to a full schedule by November? It would suck for that kid to still be at home in April because the parents gambled wrong. 

Depending on how it’s set up, I guess they could go with the online school until regular classes resume. Not sure if they would be out of a lot of money with that route. There could be gaps because the public school will be presenting new content from day 1 until they are back in person. Last year was more review because it was towards the end of the year. Not an option this time.

As I have said many times, every school has done this differently. We aren’t losing kids because we give them a lot of time to see and interact with each other and teacher on zoom. We did zoom lessons and “office hours” via zoom daily. We also provided small group intervention and special education differentiated lessons via zoom as best as we could. It wasn’t required for kids that hated it, but it was there for the 80% that wanted it. TEA is forcing things to go more that direction. So, if the kid is looking for more instruction/interaction it will likely happen with the public school. BUT we are not experts in this at all and most teachers hate the shit out of it. 

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4 minutes ago, BrazilHorn said:

I’ve a rising 8th & 5th grader. I just don’t see anyway that they end up in person schooling until spring. Fall sports will be canceled etc. 
 

just fucking sucks

 

If I was a senior high school football player, I would be on suicide watch right now. I lived my whole life up until that point for that year. 

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I would be absolutely stunned if ours were putting in 8 hours during the covid break.  1 45 min zoom per week. 1 email per week with a syllabus and tasks.  I’ll give them the benefit it took 5 hours to complete the “grading” of the 15 students actually doing their work.  Seriously, Fort Bend‘s efforts were laughably shit, at least from my kids teachers.   
My kid is middle school in Austin. Teacher effort really aligned with the quality of the teacher and varied wildly. A couple of his shitty teachers did basically nothing, and a few did pretty well. Band ELA and history was more intense than in person learning with daily videos and a serious work load.

To be fair I've always noticed that my son's workload usually drops off after the STAR test anyway and by May they are coasting. It was the best two months of the year to distance learn. The teachers already had a connection with the students and had completed most of the curriculum.

This fall is going to suck

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44 minutes ago, Larry T. Spider said:

If I was a senior high school football player, I would be on suicide watch right now. I lived my whole life up until that point for that year. 

Not in Austin, but I have a rising 6th and 9th grader.  9th grader was doing football workouts every morning for the past two weeks.  He was masked up when in close contact as were  a few others.  The coach was pretty good at distancing for the drills.  Told him yesterday that he's done for a while.  Had my finger on the button most of this week.  My guess is we'll get an email saying they're done anyway before Monday.  Thankfully, he adapts well and has been understanding about the realities of all of this and what's expected of him.  But it sucks.  No getting around that.

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2 minutes ago, dcbc said:

Not in Austin, but I have a rising 6th and 9th grader.  9th grader was doing football workouts every morning for the past two weeks.  He was masked up when in close contact as were  a few others.  The coach was pretty good at distancing for the drills.  Told him yesterday that he's done for a while.  Had my finger on the button most of this week.  My guess is we'll get an email saying they're done anyway before Monday.  Thankfully, he adapts well and has been understanding about the realities of all of this and what's expected of him.  But it sucks.  No getting around that.

I think that’s a good call. It’s still June and he can get in shape safely on his own. 

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There is no chance that the beginning of the school year won’t be a total shitshow.

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I dont have any children to claim, but y'all keep yours alive long enough to take care of my old ass. I was banking on robots doing it but ya never know.

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6 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

I would be absolutely stunned if ours were putting in 8 hours during the covid break.  1 45 min zoom per week. 1 email per week with a syllabus and tasks.  I’ll give them the benefit it took 5 hours to complete the “grading” of the 15 students actually doing their work.  Seriously, Fort Bend‘s efforts were laughably shit, at least from my kids teachers.   

Those boxes of wine aren't going to drink themselves. 

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My wife teaches 3rd grade and it was way more than 8 hours per week for her. For every student zoom call, there were at least two teacher-only prep zooms so they would be on the same page for the "live" class. And usually an all-faculty call at least a couple times a week. The brief videos you guys are mentioning can easily take an hour to knock out.

But I would say the majority of her time was researching what was working elsewhere in terms of methods, videos, assignments, everything. She could do that well into the night. For every little graphic, video or song that was part of the class, there are a bunch of others teachers have screened in deciding which to use.

For the record, she fucking hated the whole thing and agrees it is barely helping the kids. Her solace was that things like Katrina have knocked kids off schedule for long periods before, and society eventually recovers.

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23 hours ago, fattyflattie said:

I would be absolutely stunned if ours were putting in 8 hours during the covid break.  1 45 min zoom per week. 1 email per week with a syllabus and tasks.  I’ll give them the benefit it took 5 hours to complete the “grading” of the 15 students actually doing their work.  Seriously, Fort Bend‘s efforts were laughably shit, at least from my kids teachers.   

so here's what goes into that 45 minute video (and i'm assuming the video is presenting content either new to the student or that which has already been taught and is in need of review).

 

staff meetings (45 minutes)

  • weekly meetings with either their grade level teachers and/or with their instructional coach or similar admin. 
  • usually last at least half an hour for the most efficient meetings, most of the time they last 45 to an hour
  • sometimes meetings with grade level teachers are separate from ones with an instructional coach in which case you have two separate meetings

 

lesson planning (for a week's worth of 45 minute presentations, at least 2 hours a week)

  • researching how to teach the subject or how to review in ways that will be clear to the kids
  • consider more than one way to present the material because different kids/different strokes
  • anticipate which kids will need extra help
  • think about how you want the kids to reinforce the subject matter (i.e. what kind of homework)

 

shooting the actual video (double whatever the actual video length)

  • most teachers had never heard of zoom before this
  • you would be surprised how many 45 yr old + teachers don't have even a rudimentary grasp of email
  • troubleshooting
  • preparing materials

 

grading and feedback (2-3 hours a day)

  • grade homework, leave comments online
  • respond to parent emails which come in randomly at all times of day
  • send update emails and reminder emails
  • actually go and pick up homework packets on mondays and then grade them

 

extra COVID related responsibilities (varies)

  • check up on each of their students and families
  • if they are meal dependent on school, communicate with families on meal provisions
  • if they are in need of laptops or an internet connection, figure out the best way to get those to them and keep checking in on them
  • if the kid missed a zoom call, figure out why
  • figure out ways to keep the kids feeling like a classroom community by doing extra fun things

 

hopefully this provides insight to the typical responsibilities during this weird time.  i'm not a teacher, my wife is admin.  i witnessed first hand all of this.  up until a week after school ended she was on conf calls with teachers from 9a up til 11:30p on some nights missing lunch and dinner some days.  they went hard because they had to.  i get that some teachers will naturally not be as motivated as others, but even those teachers are putting in a lot more than 8 hours a week.  there are people keeping them accountable. 

 

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49 minutes ago, gsoda3 said:

so here's what goes into that 45 minute video (and i'm assuming the video is presenting content either new to the student or that which has already been taught and is in need of review).   We had exactly 0 educational videos from our teachers.  Our ZOOM meetings were "classmate interaction" times.   The last few weeks we were sent a video from a teacher in another state they had gotten video access to; it was pre-recorded and likely purchased.  She was pretty damn good, though we only got 4-5 lessons from her.

 

staff meetings (45 minutes)

  • weekly meetings with either their grade level teachers and/or with their instructional coach or similar admin. 
  • usually last at least half an hour for the most efficient meetings, most of the time they last 45 to an hour
  • sometimes meetings with grade level teachers are separate from ones with an instructional coach in which case you have two separate meetings

 

lesson planning (for a week's worth of 45 minute presentations, at least 2 hours a week)

  • researching how to teach the subject or how to review in ways that will be clear to the kids  - "Watch Youtube video on dolphins, and write something you learned" gtfo. 
  • consider more than one way to present the material because different kids/different strokes - May have happened behind the scenes, we got a syllabus. N/A to me.
  • anticipate which kids will need extra help May have happened behind the scenes, we got a syllabus and it was off to the races. N/A to me.
  • think about how you want the kids to reinforce the subject matter (i.e. what kind of homework) Lol homework.

 

shooting the actual video (double whatever the actual video length)

  • most teachers had never heard of zoom before this - Ok, we had one 45 min call once a week so the kids so "interact".  Teacher started it, said hello to each, and then ended it at 45:01.
  • you would be surprised how many 45 yr old + teachers don't have even a rudimentary grasp of email - Before this, I would have been surprised.  Nothing surprises me now.
  • troubleshooting
  • preparing materials - Scanning Youtube for 10 videos to review can't take that long.  Pick 5 animals, find videos.  Find a few civic videos, done.  This is literally what we were gettting, fucking Youtube links.

 

grading and feedback (2-3 hours a day)

  • grade homework, leave comments online - Great Job!!!1!     This was the extent of our comments.  
  • respond to parent emails which come in randomly at all times of day - Ok.
  • send update emails and reminder emails -  We got one email on Sunday nights with the weeks work (except when it came on Tuesday because...reasons)  And 1 zoom interaction meeting invite mid-week for late week interaction.
  • actually go and pick up homework packets on mondays and then grade them - ? we were 100% digital.  

 

extra COVID related responsibilities (varies)

  • check up on each of their students and families - Happened exactly 0 times.
  • if they are meal dependent on school, communicate with families on meal provisions - Ok, not applicable here but I'm sure it was going on.
  • if they are in need of laptops or an internet connection, figure out the best way to get those to them and keep checking in on them - We were sent a survey by the district, and delivered by the district.  
  • if the kid missed a zoom call, figure out why - We stopped after the 4th or 5th one because it was stupid and the kids had plenty of interactions with their friends thru their online dance, softball, and kids in the neighborhood.  Nary a fuck was given when we dropped off, but they shouldn't have, it was a non-curricular exercise.
  • figure out ways to keep the kids feeling like a classroom community by doing extra fun things - This was accomplished with a 1x weekly zoom call as mentioned above. 

 

hopefully this provides insight to the typical responsibilities during this weird time.  i'm not a teacher, my wife is admin.  i witnessed first hand all of this.  up until a week after school ended she was on conf calls with teachers from 9a up til 11:30p on some nights missing lunch and dinner some days.  they went hard because they had to.  i get that some teachers will naturally not be as motivated as others, but even those teachers are putting in a lot more than 8 hours a week.  there are people keeping them accountable.   My BIL is a principal of a 6A school here in Houston.  They handled their shit alot better than ours did, at least he says they did. We had a new principal this year, and I was unimpressed from previous encounters; I have absolutely no doubt it was lack of leadership from top down here.  Our teachers did great before, then just completely dropped the ball.  Several of our neighbors (some in our classroom, some not) mostly reported the same.  It was the most halfassed shitshow I've ever seen, and I would have been truly pissed off if my child was the type that struggled to learn or needed more guidance.  BEFORE the school even had rolled out a plan, my wife had put together a structure that emulated her school schedule, and had gotten resources to study.  We went and bought the 14 series Dork Diaries because she had enjoyed one she read.   After the school rolled out their work load, it was enough to get thru lunch Weds or so, even with the additional reading of 60 pages a day.   So by Wednesday PM, we were on our own lesson plans anyhow.  What I don't understand is many of our neighbors "couldn't find the time" and just bumbled thru it half assed.  

It sounds like your wife put in tons of work.  Kudos to her and her staff.  Ours blew donkeys for nickels.  PM and I'll share the school.

 

You obviously don't want to take my experience at face value, which is fine.   I've further outlined our experience above.  I've got several teachers in the family including admins and hell the MIL was 40 year retired teacher.  All were quick to mention unprecedented times, which is understandable, but thought it was bullshit when they checked in 3 weeks later and nothing had changed.   Again, glad your wife is one of the one that cares, we could use some of that over here.

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31 minutes ago, fattyflattie said:

You obviously don't want to take my experience at face value, which is fine.   I've further outlined our experience above.  I've got several teachers in the family including admins and hell the MIL was 40 year retired teacher.  All were quick to mention unprecedented times, which is understandable, but thought it was bullshit when they checked in 3 weeks later and nothing had changed.   Again, glad your wife is one of the one that cares, we could use some of that over here.

my initial response was to homercles who said teachers were collectively whining about an 8 hour work week and i quoted you since you were the last one to respond along that line of conversation. 

that said, i don't know your situation and i definitely am not in a position to say that didn't happen, but that's gonna be an extreme outlier. 

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All good.  Apparently our school sucks. Like I said, glad your wife is one of the good ones, we could use some of that here. I’m growing more and more concerned for this fall as we barrel towards it.  Both our works are pretty flexible but mine is becoming less by the day.  

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19 hours ago, XYZ said:

There is no chance that the beginning of the school year won’t be a total shitshow.

Why do you say that?  We've only spent the last couple of months teaching our kids to fear other kids.

Oh.

Seriously, we had our kids playing soccer yesterday, and the coaches did a fantastic job of keeping the kids separate, and these are little kids, so no full-on games or anything, just practicing the fundamentals.  Anyways, almost all of the kids seemed to be careful about getting near other kids.

Toss that in with the kids who were already struggling, the ESL kids, the special education kids, etc. - kids who have just been through the "DON'T TOUCH ANOTHER KID, DON'T GO WITHIN 10 FEET OF ANOTHER KID, DON'T TOUCH SURFACES OR DOORKNOBS!" thing.

That's got to fuck with some kids.

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Wife just tossed time for learning overboard and went with power homeschooling or some such. Said it was much better. For what it’s worth for the guys with elementary school age kids looking for curriculum. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 7:54 PM, shadetree said:

Any other recommendations for good online resources for elementary school kids? I recall someone who worked at a charter school mentioned some, but I can’t find it. Thanks.

I've been looking at ABCmouse.com which is online learning for ages 2-8 (and they also have Adventure Academy for 8-13)... might try it out this summer for my 4 year old and see how it does.

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1 hour ago, ZB'Tejas said:

I've been looking at ABCmouse.com which is online learning for ages 2-8 (and they also have Adventure Academy for 8-13)... might try it out this summer for my 4 year old and see how it does.

Have your 4 year old watch the daily Ms. Monica preschool circle time videos I mentioned.  And it's a good idea to have them doing some kind of learning over the summer.  We slacked off in the past, but this summer we went hard on making sure they were where they should be.

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1 hour ago, Johnny Sack said:

We have been reading 30 minutes a day and doing IXL 30 minutes a day now that kids are back from camp.

You liking IXL?  It's on the short list.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/28/2020 at 9:14 AM, gsoda3 said:

so here's what goes into that 45 minute video (and i'm assuming the video is presenting content either new to the student or that which has already been taught and is in need of review).

 

staff meetings (45 minutes)

  • weekly meetings with either their grade level teachers and/or with their instructional coach or similar admin. 
  • usually last at least half an hour for the most efficient meetings, most of the time they last 45 to an hour
  • sometimes meetings with grade level teachers are separate from ones with an instructional coach in which case you have two separate meetings

 

lesson planning (for a week's worth of 45 minute presentations, at least 2 hours a week)

  • researching how to teach the subject or how to review in ways that will be clear to the kids
  • consider more than one way to present the material because different kids/different strokes
  • anticipate which kids will need extra help
  • think about how you want the kids to reinforce the subject matter (i.e. what kind of homework)

 

shooting the actual video (double whatever the actual video length)

  • most teachers had never heard of zoom before this
  • you would be surprised how many 45 yr old + teachers don't have even a rudimentary grasp of email
  • troubleshooting
  • preparing materials

 

grading and feedback (2-3 hours a day)

  • grade homework, leave comments online
  • respond to parent emails which come in randomly at all times of day
  • send update emails and reminder emails
  • actually go and pick up homework packets on mondays and then grade them

 

extra COVID related responsibilities (varies)

  • check up on each of their students and families
  • if they are meal dependent on school, communicate with families on meal provisions
  • if they are in need of laptops or an internet connection, figure out the best way to get those to them and keep checking in on them
  • if the kid missed a zoom call, figure out why
  • figure out ways to keep the kids feeling like a classroom community by doing extra fun things

 

hopefully this provides insight to the typical responsibilities during this weird time.  i'm not a teacher, my wife is admin.  i witnessed first hand all of this.  up until a week after school ended she was on conf calls with teachers from 9a up til 11:30p on some nights missing lunch and dinner some days.  they went hard because they had to.  i get that some teachers will naturally not be as motivated as others, but even those teachers are putting in a lot more than 8 hours a week.  there are people keeping them accountable. 

 

I've worked in instructional design for both classroom and computer based training. I've also created webinar training. I also used to work in TV.

Standing and delivering in the classroom is a very different skill from running an effective online course. I mention my TV experience because I worked on the crew of Austin City Limits a hundred years ago. The difference in energy between the live performance and the broadcast performance was significant. 

The ACL example includes professional performers, professional camera crew and direction, professional sound editing, and a full rehearsal prior to taping. Now take an ordinary person. A good classroom teacher plugs into her class and reads where they are interested, confused, or drifting. She alters her voice and style.

With none of that feedback and being untrained in voice modulation, you're putting this possibly excellent teacher into a situation where she will come across with less energy and responsiveness due simply to the interposition of a medium.

Sure, it seems like they're phoning it in. But I doubt that they are. It's just really hard to adapt styles, and, even when you do, the web is no match for a solid teacher in a classroom.

My two cents. As a writer, I love what teachers or actors can bring to the process.

Edited by RomaVicta

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14 minutes ago, Samson's Wig said:

You liking IXL?  It's on the short list.

Yes.  It does well.  I am not proficient in math, so it is a great tool because my sixth grader is about where my math skills are at this point.  Never took anything higher than Business Calc in school.

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UT's plans - masks for everyone, 40% capacity

https://www.kxan.com/news/education/masks-40-capacity-classrooms-among-changes-for-fall-semester-at-ut/

Quote

Students and faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin can expect to wear a face covering indoors and be in socially-distanced classrooms this fall when it reopens, university officials say.

In a plan called “Protect Texas Together,” the university outlines how it intends to run learning, health and wellness, residence halls, faculty and staff, graduate programs, research and athletics in the upcoming fall semester when campus reopens.

In the plan, students will be able to choose if they want to take classes in-person, online or through a hybrid of the two. Tuition remains the same for all three options, the university says.

Quote

Classrooms will be kept at 40% capacity, and the wearing of cloth masks will be mandatory in university buildings except when alone in a private office, while eating at a campus dining facility and for students in their own dorm rooms.

Wearing masks while outdoors will be encouraged, the university stated.

 

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Pretty good guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Quote

Any school re-entry policies should consider the following key principles:

  • School policies must be flexible and nimble in responding to new information, and administrators must be willing to refine approaches when specific policies are not working.
  • It is critically important to develop strategies that can be revised and adapted depending on the level of viral transmission in the school and throughout the community and done with close communication with state and/or local public health authorities and recognizing the differences between school districts, including urban, suburban, and rural districts.
  • Policies should be practical, feasible, and appropriate for child and adolescent's developmental stage.
  • Special considerations and accommodations to account for the diversity of youth should be made, especially for our vulnerable populations, including those who are medically fragile, live in poverty, have developmental challenges, or have special health care needs or disabilities, with the goal of safe return to school.
  • No child or adolescent should be excluded from school unless required in order to adhere to local public health mandates or because of unique medical needs. Pediatricians, families, and schools should partner together to collaboratively identify and develop accommodations, when needed.
  • School policies should be guided by supporting the overall health and well-being of all children, adolescents, their families, and their communities. These policies should be consistently communicated in languages other than English, if needed, based on the languages spoken in the community, to avoid marginalization of parents/guardians who are of limited English proficiency or do not speak English at all.
     

With the above principles in mind, the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of inperson learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation. This, in turn, places children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality. Beyond the educational impact and social impact of school closures, there has been substantial impact on food security and physical activity for children and families.

Lots more here.

 

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yeah, so we took the survey aisd sent. it required us to put in our kids' student id #s. my sons are rising to 7th and 8th grade.

we answered "no, we are not comfortable sending kids for face to face instruction" and the reason was "we feel that schools are opening too soon."

i mean, asking us about this while cases and hospitalizations are spiraling out of control is madness. had we stayed flat or reduced the curve, i might have had a different opinion, but i simply do not have enough data to ascertain whether it will be safe to send them. i know the school year is coming up, but we need to apply the brakes on this virus somehow, imo.

 

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The wife and I are struggling with what we are going to do.  House 2 doors down just got it and it has gone thru the entire family (5 kids!)  Other parents in our kids school have gotten it.  We just don't know how we can accomplish it, we both work.  Wife only works Mon-Weds but it is still presenting massive challenges.  I really hope we can get over this hump and get something sorted.  Sorry ass '20. Kids are rising 3rd and K (and a pre-K).

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Posted (edited)

I'm starting to contemplate just getting this thing on purpose in August and staying away from my family for two weeks.  We're mid-surge right now and it's gonna continue through July.  After schools goes back, no matter the percentages, there's a huge spike as kids transmit it to adults, and it lasts until cold & flu season.  Hospital levels will make what's happening now look tame by comparison.  I think first 2-3 weeks of August and maybe a brief spell in October are about the only hope we have of decent treatment until we get into vaccine windows.  If I get it in early August, at least I can get an ICU bed.  I dunno...maybe just be smart and distance.

Edited by Lobo

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https://www.austinisd.org/sites/default/files/dept/coronavirus/docs/Reopening-Overview_6.29.20_ENGLISH.pdf

AISD Re-opening Plan Overview was just emailed out.  It's all tentative and subject to change.

Key points:

3 options for families to choose from:  100% in-school, 100% at-home, hybrid.  

Flexibility to move between the 3 options.  6 feet spacing, temperature checks, masks, yada yada yada.  I didn't read the parts about buses and meals but there's basic plans for that too.

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What are the protocols when a kid gets positive? Are they going to quarantine the class for two weeks? What about the bus they rolled in on? Parents need to know the protocols to be able to make their own decisions. 
 

the reality is that our school system is simply not properly equipped to manage F2F education in the context of a pandemic. 
 

my wife tells me that there are all sorts of small group education plans being drawn up by parents organically. Creating some issues when those home school groups try to hunted ace the district for support and materials. 

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1 hour ago, Anastasis said:

What are the protocols when a kid gets positive? Are they going to quarantine the class for two weeks?

Sounds like teachers will have to be quarantined if they are exposed, and teach from home if asymptomatic.  

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I’m not sure quarantine would always be necessary because one kid in the class tested positive, or one kid on the bus.   If the classroom and buses were run exactly as described in the plan (of course they won’t be) it would not meet the CDC definition for close contact.  But if the protocol didn’t happen and close contact occurs, then sure, quarantine anyone that had close contact, but  that wouldn’t  be the whole class. That’s when their plan would revert to the at-home learning for anyone involved.  

I get that most people think this isn’t feasible, or that even if it is feasible that AISD won't be able to pull it off.  That’s a fair opinion.  I also understand that not every teacher wants to be in a classroom in this environment.   I have coworkers that are not willing to come in right now too. Same thing is going on at workplaces all around America right now. Some folks are willing to go in business as usual, some willing to do it but only with the right precautions, some not willing to go in at all.  It’s not unique to just teachers.  

But I’m just glad they’re trying to have options for people willing to send their kids to school.  The spring was a complete waste of time for my kids.   If there are enough teachers to make it happen, and if I decide the school is doing things up to my own personal standard of safety, which very well might be different from the next person’s personal standard, I’m sending them in to school. Same reason I still go to work right now.  Risk management.  My kids’ education is far more important than my job and their education is nonexistent if it’s based on a zoom meetings. 

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Our district has come out with plans yet. My wife was a teacher handful of years ago and got our kids through spring. She said no recess, no school for us (going to 1 & 3). A bunch of other parents have hit us up about group home school. Wife said she’d rather go private. I’m not as keen on that idea, but I also wouldn’t be doing much teaching.

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On 6/26/2020 at 4:54 PM, shadetree said:

Any other recommendations for good online resources for elementary school kids? I recall someone who worked at a charter school mentioned some, but I can’t find it. Thanks.

haven't read the thread. My two favorites are ixl.com and lexia.com.  ixl.com proved to be fantastic for math, and has other subjects as well.  I taught 4th grade at the charter school.  Lexia was written for kids who have dyslexia, but our charter school in Dallas put all kids on it.  To reference success, our charter school was 92% hispanic, mostly bilingual, and the remainder was african american, except for teacher's kids.  Full title one school.  We were #2 in STAAR scores in the zip code in southeast Dallas, we're talking 88% of kids passing the writing STAAR for example, and 93% of fourth graders passing STAAR math 4th grade.  

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We live around the corner from our middle school my daughter will start next year. She wants to go in person, I’m fine with it. .meanwhile my wife and I will work from home.

We do need to discuss how that will /May cut us off from our circle of friends we have been hanging out with.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2020 at 9:36 PM, Anastasis said:

What are the protocols when a kid gets positive? Are they going to quarantine the class for two weeks? What about the bus they rolled in on? Parents need to know the protocols to be able to make their own decisions. 

the reality is that our school system is simply not properly equipped to manage F2F education in the context of a pandemic. 

Teachers and their families need to know, too. 

If they have F2F school in the fall, it's just a matter of time before numerous teachers test positive. I'm pretty sure my wife (no pics) had COVID in late February.

 

Edited by wood

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