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Running thread of the disaster that is the new school year

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My kids' school district went 100% online until it's safe to go back in person. We had the kids "back-to-school" night with the teachers. It was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Links not working, last minute link changes, no sound, then parents not muting their mics, echoing and teachers not knowing how to mute everyone. 

They asked the kids to either use the Clever app on their iPads, or log into the website to join video classes, but there was a glitch so my son couldn't get to the right spot. There was an email last night at 9PM with a potential work around, but that didn't work. I emailed the teacher on what to do, and got a response back 30 minutes before school started.

I understand it's tough for the school district to doing their best figure this out, and I appreciate all that they're doing. But holy cow, it's gonna be a long school year.

 

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We start on the 18th.  It was optional to do stay at home or go back.  My kids are going back.  I give it 3 weeks before it is all cancelled and we go 100% virtual.

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My kids are going back in-person on Aug 19th. My wife teaches at the school and has been at work all of this week. The COVID protocols are going to annoy the crud out of her but don't seem too overwhelming. The kids will adjust and adapt in days. What will be interesting is to see the response once somebody tests positive. Right now, the school is planning on business as usual while that kid goes home and recovers. We'll see. So far, the parents all seem on board. 97% of the families chose in-person over distance learning, so it's about to be on.

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1 minute ago, jkates said:

 97% of the families chose in-person over distance learning, so it's about to be on.

do you live in georgia, florida, or new zealand?

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2 minutes ago, gsoda3 said:

do you live in georgia, florida, or new zealand?

Close. I'm in Houston.

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6 minutes ago, slorch said:

Regardless of your political views, and this is just part of the damned discussion; if the rules are that fans wear the fucking mask while on school property, then don the damned thing.  Things are already precarious enough.   If you give a fuck about the activities happening, then do it.  Don't air your political grievances at this venue. 

You are asking Americans not to be giant flaming assholes.  An understandable and very reasonable request.

But "giant flaming assholes" is our core national identity.

I see an irreconcilable conflict.

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Started online 8th grade this week. Seems to be going ok, other than they just mute the zoom call and spend the whole class in a Group FaceTime so they can talk.

Supposed to go back to campus sept 8. Like whoever said above, I give that a couple weeks before the shit hits the fan and she’s back at home.

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Started K and 3rd grade this morning. So far ok, but it has just been lots of learning how to use the tools (zoom or whatever) so far. 

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Leander school district. My son has 2 math classes at the same time with different teachers. The first 2 days of classes have been canceled because of technical difficulties.

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Posted (edited)

Virtual learning was to begin today.  School District sent an email last night around 9:15 cancelling the first two days of virtual learning for high school students.  Apparently issues with the web content filtering tools which allows students to connect to the internet from their school laptops.

ETA  - hello neighbor to Bevo.

Edited by Jerry Callo

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So this is also fun.

One, or some, or a few other teachers at my school is/are symptomatic.  I have no idea if we're talking one or many due to HIPAA.  We just got a letter stating that someone was symtomatic; however, I'm seeing multiple teachers not currently present in their rooms.

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We're not back in person but a 7th grader in the neighborhood was just dx'd with it.  Source unknown.

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Kids are back in school as of yesterday. Small class sizes, masks while up, staggered class changes and car pools, etc., so they have done everything they can to be safe. We’ll see if it lasts, but I’m glad they are back in the format they are. Private’s have done a much better job than Public’s with more limited resources from what I have seen.

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Haha the virtual stuff is a joke.  Got the schedule yesterday for online until Sept 8th.

8:00 - 3:30 online?  How?

His mother and both work (at the office).  What we’ve been doing since March is, Mon/Wed/Fri I work until 12:30, then pick him up and then work from home.  It’s the reverse on Tue/Thurs.

We’ll never be able to do this.

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3 minutes ago, Brew said:

Private’s have done a much better job than Public’s with more limited resources from what I have seen.

Shocker.

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Wait, you mean to tell me that private schools with one campus and a small percentage of the kids in a public district are doing a better job at this?? I'm shocked. 

My wife is an SLP at a school in Conroe ISD.  She's been back at work for a week now and it seems to be going smoothly so far.  There are no kids on campus yet. School started yesterday all remote and will be that way for the first 3 weeks and then parents can choose to send their kids back or remain virtual for the first 9 week grading period.  She will have some special needs students come to her classroom starting next week as it is pretty difficult to see them for speech therapy remotely.  She will be wearing a mask and has a plexiglass shield between her and where her students will sit, so she feels fairly safe for now.  We will see how it goes.

Our son started online yesterday and so far it has gone pretty smoothly.  CISD uses an app called Canvas where his assignments are posted with links on how to complete them.  They've been pretty simple assignments so far just to get people used to logging in a finding what their assignments and then how to submit the assignments for grading.  Things will begin to pick up next week as he will be expected to be online for instruction about 4 hours a day.   I work from home anyway, so it hasn't been an inconvenience for us yet.  I have no confidence that kids will be able to return to school without a huge spike in Covid cases, so we are preparing to do the virtual class through at least Christmas Break.

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45 minutes ago, tbone_ said:

Started online 8th grade this week. Seems to be going ok, other than they just mute the zoom call and spend the whole class in a Group FaceTime so they can talk.

Supposed to go back to campus sept 8. Like whoever said above, I give that a couple weeks before the shit hits the fan and she’s back at home.

maybe this kind of a shakeup is just what you need to finally clear that hurdle. good luck buddy :) 

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We are doing home school for our 3rd grader and kindergartner.  I feel bad that we don't have a real first day of kindergarten memory for the young one.  What they rolled out last spring in March was worthless, so we decided to do it ourselves til Jan.

One positive - with one in 1st/2nd and the other going to a preschool, we hardly a week w/o someone (usually more than 1) being sick.  Since the beginning of April, with just me going in to work 50% of the time (and mask usage and distancing at our work) we have had exactly 1 person get sick, and that may have been a stomach thing related to food.  

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I teach high school at a charter and we start on the 24th. We have like a quarter of students doing face to face and the rest are virtual. Should be amazing dealing with both and with other teachers who meltdown anytime we have to use new technology!

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We bailed on public school and are homeschooling with Outschool.com almost exclusively. Just couldn’t take the chance with LTISD.

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5 minutes ago, usmc0331horn said:

I teach high school at a charter and we start on the 24th. We have like a quarter of students doing face to face and the rest are virtual. Should be amazing dealing with both and with other teachers who meltdown anytime we have to use new technology!

thing is, and this is something that is going to come up in business as things return to whatever normalcy will look like, 100% remote works surprisingly well. In person works well, all remote works well, mixed in person and remote works not as well as either.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Hate said:

Wait, you mean to tell me that private schools with one campus and a small percentage of the kids in a public district are doing a better job at this?? I'm shocked. 

I get the overall point, but our private school is larger than a number of the surrounding districts in my area. Size isn’t the only issue, leadership has a lot to do with it along with viewing the families as customers rather than obligations. 

They have been planning and communicating all summer, so everyone knew several weeks ago how exactly school was going to reopen and what it would look like. They have had Q&A sessions, videos, regular meetings, etc so when the kids walked on campus yesterday everyone knew what was going on. When schools went down in March, they had a full online school up and running inside a week. It may all blow up, but the vast majority of families were comfortable with starting even though we are in what’s considered a red area.

Edited by Brew

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My son's kindergarten class went surprisingly well. He sat through 2.5 hours, and interacted with the teachers. Some of the other kids didn't have their cameras on - not sure if it's because they didn't want to turn it on, or was a technology issue. Either way, I'm pleased with how it went.  I'll need to ask my 3rd grader how hers went.

Home schooling is not an option for my wife and I since we both work. Plus we'd probably tiger parent the hell out of them and they'd quit after the 2nd day.

We're looking into hiring some afternoon help 2-3 days a week just to keep the kids occupied - doing homework, playing, biking, swimming, etc. Looking at care.com.  Anyone have experience with hiring through that app?

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Just now, Superhero said:

My son's kindergarten class went surprisingly well. He sat through 2.5 hours, and interacted with the teachers. Some of the other kids didn't have their cameras on - not sure if it's because they didn't want to turn it on, or was a technology issue. Either way, I'm pleased with how it went.  I'll need to ask my 3rd grader how hers went.

Home schooling is not an option for my wife and I since we both work. Plus we'd probably tiger parent the hell out of them and they'd quit after the 2nd day.

We're looking into hiring some afternoon help 2-3 days a week just to keep the kids occupied - doing homework, playing, biking, swimming, etc. Looking at care.com.  Anyone have experience with hiring through that app?

I was looking at using Care, then a friend of a friend (she’s a librarian) offered you watch Alex for the last 3 weeks Tues-Thurs.

It was great, she took him on field trips and everything.  She started back at school this week. Boo.  
 

 

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come on brew, for fuck's sake...

first off, what private school is larger than an entire school district in the same town?  please tell me.

private schools inherently contain a natural segregation and homogeneity of of economic demographic and thus, don't have to concern themselves with an extraordinary set of headaches that come along with the public school mandate of dealing with every type of child with every type of learning disability with every type of economic/home challenge. it is not just size, it is diversity of circumstance.  no fucking kidding they are in a better position to navigate this than public school districts.  they are funded to deal with this stuff...ya know, privately by the participants directly.

they also don't have the headache of tea's political bullshit creating changes on a daily basis.  eanes isd has communicated all throughout the summer regarding their plan(s) and most of the changes have been a consequence of the stupid shit coming from them. 

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does your private school bus kids or do the parents transport them and drop them off?  think about the administrative complexity vis-a-vis this virus on just that single issue.  does it bring kids from all over various parts of the city including trailer parks or blue collar parts of town where CV is substantially more prevalent?  how much federal assisted food administration has to occur in your kids' school?  

look, i do not besmirch your utilization of private school at all.  you and the other parents have sacrificed (often significantly) in order to remove yourself from having to deal with those complexities and challenging aspects of having to cater to all of society i've given mere exemplars of.  i get that.  my kids' school district quite frankly could be compared to a private school in terms of its level of community economic homogeneity.  despite being a single high school district, it is the second largest contributor behind aisd to robin hood.  however, trying to compare the task of a private school's planning and coping with the present situation to any public school district of any size is fucking silly and a bit tone deaf. 

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30 minutes ago, sidis said:

come on brew, for fuck's sake...

first off, what private school is larger than an entire school district in the same town?  please tell me.

private schools inherently contain a natural segregation and homogeneity of of economic demographic and thus, don't have to concern themselves with an extraordinary set of headaches that come along with the public school mandate of dealing with every type of child with every type of learning disability with every type of economic/home challenge. it is not just size, it is diversity of circumstance.  no fucking kidding they are in a better position to navigate this than public school districts.  they are funded to deal with this stuff...ya know, privately by the participants directly.

they also don't have the headache of tea's political bullshit creating changes on a daily basis.  eanes isd has communicated all throughout the summer regarding their plan(s) and most of the changes have been a consequence of the stupid shit coming from them. 

Pretty much this. I was afraid our private school would be inundated and run over by all the folks pulling kids from public but realizing they suck at homeschool because we are a smaller, faith-based private school that doesn't charge $25k/year per kid, but it looks like the price tag is still enough of a barrier to entry to keep class sizes small and things manageable. I've been impressed with their protocols and processes and my kids are at the age where goofing around at home while parents work and they are supposed to learn remotely on zoom or self-learn or take our help to teach them is not only ineffective, but counter-productive to their overall development.

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57 minutes ago, troph said:

We bailed on public school and are homeschooling with Outschool.com almost exclusively. Just couldn’t take the chance with LTISD.

I don't see why more people don't just do this? 

I mean apparently it's easier in Texas than say like California to homeschool, but it just seems like the most logical step for a lot of people already out of work.

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I keep telling myself they'll be in real school soon and this online bullshit will end, but which is kinda what I'm doing psychologically with our football season (happy now because "we're playing in the fall" even though there's a very good chance we won't really be playing in the fall).  

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Just now, workswithseed said:

I don't see why more people don't just do this? 

I mean apparently it's easier in Texas than say like California to homeschool, but it just seems like the most logical step for a lot of people already out of work.

One issue that spooked us is uncertainty about what which courses would "count" once we switched back to regular school.  This is a big issue in high school.  

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Just now, workswithseed said:

I don't see why more people don't just do this? 

I mean apparently it's easier in Texas than say like California to homeschool, but it just seems like the most logical step for a lot of people already out of work.

My kids are involved in band, FFA, drama, etc.  Homeschooling is not an option.  Plus oldest is a senior.  She is dying to go back.

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9th grades and 7th grader.  Frisco, TX.  Went "ok".  School issued Chrome Books.  Both kids upstairs.  A-day and a B-day.  3, 90 minute classes each day.  More of a logistical introduction.  Not much in the way of work.  It's a 3 week intro period before the bifurcated process of all in-person or all virtual starts.  

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2 minutes ago, Moby Ric said:

She is dying to go back.

The social aspect of such detrimental isolation can't be over-stated.  It's hard on these kids.  Harder than many realize.  

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Ok, update - first email from the school, instructing parents to ensure their kids are not on their zoom call "while on the toilet".  So that happened obviously today.  lol

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2 hours ago, Hate said:

Wait, you mean to tell me that private schools with one campus and a small percentage of the kids in a public district are doing a better job at this?? I'm shocked. 

My wife is an SLP at a school in Conroe ISD.  She's been back at work for a week now and it seems to be going smoothly so far.  There are no kids on campus yet. School started yesterday all remote and will be that way for the first 3 weeks and then parents can choose to send their kids back or remain virtual for the first 9 week grading period.  She will have some special needs students come to her classroom starting next week as it is pretty difficult to see them for speech therapy remotely.  She will be wearing a mask and has a plexiglass shield between her and where her students will sit, so she feels fairly safe for now.  We will see how it goes.

Our son started online yesterday and so far it has gone pretty smoothly.  CISD uses an app called Canvas where his assignments are posted with links on how to complete them.  They've been pretty simple assignments so far just to get people used to logging in a finding what their assignments and then how to submit the assignments for grading.  Things will begin to pick up next week as he will be expected to be online for instruction about 4 hours a day.   I work from home anyway, so it hasn't been an inconvenience for us yet.  I have no confidence that kids will be able to return to school without a huge spike in Covid cases, so we are preparing to do the virtual class through at least Christmas Break.

Pretty much exactly what we're doing up here in a Dallas burb.  My class just links through Canvas to SeeSaw to complete the work.  We just practiced this week as well.

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I teach 7th grade at a large DFW suburban district and my first two days online have gone swimmingly. 

I've had nearly everyone attend the calls on time, the tech has worked fairly well with only minor glitches. The kids seem happy to see each other but do wish it was in person.

So far we are mainly just making sure everyone can connect and are practicing the tools with simple get to know you type things. The real content starts Monday.

I have seen way more ceiling fans and nostrils than I would care to.

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My kids are involved in band, FFA, drama, etc.  Homeschooling is not an option.  Plus oldest is a senior.  She is dying to go back.

My 7th grader is super involved. I just explained it’s not a good idea and why. Sucks but sending kids back to school this fall is a supremely bad idea. And I’m not going to give the school another shot at remote. I have no confidence in the administration. I’ll try and make it up with interesting classes, a trip or two to integrate our learning with experiences and do the best we can.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, sidis said:

come on brew, for fuck's sake...

first off, what private school is larger than an entire school district in the same town?  please tell me.

private schools inherently contain a natural segregation and homogeneity of of economic demographic and thus, don't have to concern themselves with an extraordinary set of headaches that come along with the public school mandate of dealing with every type of child with every type of learning disability with every type of economic/home challenge. it is not just size, it is diversity of circumstance.  no fucking kidding they are in a better position to navigate this than public school districts.  they are funded to deal with this stuff...ya know, privately by the participants directly.

they also don't have the headache of tea's political bullshit creating changes on a daily basis.  eanes isd has communicated all throughout the summer regarding their plan(s) and most of the changes have been a consequence of the stupid shit coming from them. 

Edit: I’m deleting everything prior because it doesn’t matter. Our school is larger than several surrounding districts like I said. You can say what you want, but leadership has been key through this as well as decision making and a lot of school leaders are failing their students/families. The difference with private is that if they failed to act and be decisive, they lose their funding which was my original point with customers versus obligations. Most private don’t have the admin teams that districts have either to focus on these things, so while it may not be an apples to apples comparison a lot of public districts have really shit the bed in the 5 months this has been going.

Edited by Brew

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How are tests going to be handled between kids doing online classes vs. kids going back to school?  Are they both taking the same tests?  If so there is a huge advantage for the kids doing online classes.  They can basically cheat on all the tests.

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4 hours ago, slorch said:

Had volleyball Tuesday night.  I am not a volleyball parent, but have a direct connection to faculty.  Good percentage of parents/ fans, 15-20%,  thought they weren't going to wear masks.

First the coaches implored them to mask up.  Then the Superintendent tells em if they don't wear masks during the games, they'll stop playing and remove the fans.

Regardless of your political views, and this is just part of the damned discussion; if the rules are that fans wear the fucking mask while on school property, then don the damned thing.  Things are already precarious enough.   If you give a fuck about the activities happening, then do it.  Don't air your political grievances at this venue. 

when slorch is the voice of sense

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2 minutes ago, Jambon said:

How are tests going to be handled between kids doing online classes vs. kids going back to school?  Are they both taking the same tests?  If so there is a huge advantage for the kids doing online classes.  They can basically cheat on all the tests.

Proctored, is what I heard.  They did that in Grad school all the time.  Surprisingly, with the time constraints, it's hard to cheat, short of sticky-noting formulas, etc on the back wall.  Assuming tests dedicated to a virtual environment that are different that in person.  

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Helped my kindergartener log on to the Google Meet. Meeting is cancelled. Got a text 7 minutes AFTER class is supposed to start, and they changed the meeting invite to another code.

I understand it's only the 2nd day of class, and I should give them a little grace. I'm sending them back to school as soon as they say it's safe enough.

 

BTW, for those of you who are doing remote learning. What kind of devices are you using?

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19 hours ago, BabaYaga said:

Proctored, is what I heard.  They did that in Grad school all the time.  Surprisingly, with the time constraints, it's hard to cheat, short of sticky-noting formulas, etc on the back wall.  Assuming tests dedicated to a virtual environment that are different that in person.  

not for nothing but even if the computer you are using is proctored with a webcam right at you,  there isnt much stopping you from having an ipad just out of visual range of the webcam with a wireless quiet keyboard hidden on your lap.   type with one hand and looking like you are thinking out the test with the other.  

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Close. I'm in Houston.
I think I saw 40% in Katy ISD chose virtual. We're trying it out and will see how it goes.

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How are tests going to be handled between kids doing online classes vs. kids going back to school?  Are they both taking the same tests?  If so there is a huge advantage for the kids doing online classes.  They can basically cheat on all the tests.

My kid’s math teacher says all online tests will be timed to minimize opportunity to cheat. Who knows.

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In our school most teachers are at campus conducting their remote lessons from their empty classrooms.

My biggest issue so far is that our building's AC is set in a way that assumes there are 1000 more bodies walking around than there are, so I'm freezing my butt off.

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