Reopen Schools?

howeda7

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Go on....
There have been plenty of analysis on who would have won in '92 if Perot didn't run. There's a pretty broad consensus that Clinton would have won anyway. Perot may have pulled slightly more voters from Bush but not by much.
 

Panthadad2

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That press conference today was - to quote "Blazing Saddles,"

A genuine display of authentic Frontier Gibberish!

They spent over an hour going on and on and on without really getting into details. Some details came out in the Q&A with reporters.

As I understand it:

it begins with the County average case rate for the last 14 days. That sets the general parameters.

Then, the individual school districts will look at the data and what it suggests, and decide if they want to follow the recommendations. Districts are free to adopt a more conservative approach - i.e. the hybrid plan instead of all kids back in school.

One complication - as the case rate changes, the recommendation can change. So a school could start the year with all students in class, but if the case rate goes up, they might have to change to the hybrid plan.

and the real kicker - there is a 21 page set of detailed - and I do mean detailed - instructions and steps that schools have to follow under each option - including specific policies for bussing, food service, day care, etc.

So, the case rate may say that a school could have all kids back in class, but if that district cannot meet all the other requirements (not enough room to social distance) then they might wind up with the hybrid plan.

It does give individual districts some control over the final decision, but they have to jump through a butt-load of hoops to make it happen.
Thank for this. I don't envy superintendents and boards who need to navigate through this whole mess. At least it's not a one-size-fits-all plan like I've heard some states are considering.
 

Spoofin

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There have been plenty of analysis on who would have won in '92 if Perot didn't run. There's a pretty broad consensus that Clinton would have won anyway. Perot may have pulled slightly more voters from Bush but not by much.
Well, I wouldn't have known the answer to this question if not for GH bringing it up today as I have never looked into it. However, a quick Google search shows that your statement is far from a fact and that this is still a highly debated topic with no clear "what would have happened" answer. Like most things, it depends on what sources you choose to believe and which you choose to discard.
 

bga1

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The fact that Walz didn’t allow schools to fully open is another abject failure of leadership on his part. Distance learning was pathetic and failed every child and family in Minnesota. Teachers, parents and kids universally agree on this. So now we’re going to allow schools to implement distance learning for an entire school year!?! This generation of kids are being robbed of their educations. It will also further the divide between rich and poor, households with strong families and those with broken families. Kids that have a solid family structure and access to good technology are at an even greater advantage compared to those who don’t. You failed Minnesota yet again Gov Walz.
I find it interesting that Walz has been consistently "one size fits all" with his solutions....until this one. With this one he bowed to local teacher's unions, and decided to claim that each district should decide for themselves. OK. Where was this during the rest of the covid pandemic?? Why have small towns been under the same edict as big cities? He is a weak man.
 

TruthSeeker

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Well, I wouldn't have known the answer to this question if not for GH bringing it up today as I have never looked into it. However, a quick Google search shows that your statement is far from a fact and that this is still a highly debated topic with no clear "what would have happened" answer. Like most things, it depends on what sources you choose to believe and which you choose to discard.
So you're too dumb to analyze information and think critically. We all suspected that was the case. Thanks for confirming.
 

cjbfbp

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Like most things, it depends on what sources you choose to believe and which you choose to discard.
That's an incredibly cynical and depressing outlook. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people out there who care about the objective truthfulness of facts. Now, when it comes to the interpretation of "why" certain facts came about, that's more of an art and opinion and bias certainly can play a strong role there.
 

Spoofin

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So you're too dumb to analyze information and think critically. We all suspected that was the case. Thanks for confirming.
Actually - I did analyze and commented on my conclusion. Like usual, Howie's declaration was a load.
 

John Galt

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So you're too dumb to analyze information and think critically. We all suspected that was the case. Thanks for confirming.
People in Grand Marais and Hibbing are required to wear masks if they go into a gas station for 2 minutes, but kids can fully participate in school for 6 hours a day.

Our state is being led by an incompetent imbecile.
 

GoodasGold

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People in Grand Marais and Hibbing are required to wear masks if they go into a gas station for 2 minutes, but kids can fully participate in school for 6 hours a day.

Our state is being led by an incompetent imbecile.
Kids r immune from Covid. IMPOTUS said so!
 

OldBob53

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In person classroom attendance is very important for children, else they might not be properly socialized, i.e., brainwashed.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Quick update - still learning some of this stuff.

So, the so-called "hybrid" plan is a little more flexible than I thought.

What the hybrid plan really means is that schools are limited to 50% of capacity in classrooms with social distancing, and other guidelines for meals, bussing, etc.

If a school does not have enough physical space to spread out its students and meet the 50% requirement, then they have to go half in school, half distance learning.

But - if a district can spread out the kids over the available space and meet the 50% requirement, then they can be in the "hybrid" category and still have all kids in school.

the 50% capacity also goes for school busses, so busses can run at half-full - but that still will be a challenge for rural districts that bus a higher % of students.

Again, all of this hinges on the two-week case average for the local county - which can change as the year goes on. so a school could start the year in the hybrid category, but if there is an outbreak and the case rate goes up high enough, they might be required to go to distance learning.

Also - the standards are different for elementary and high schools. with elementary students, it's easier to meet the requirements for all kids to be in class. High school has different standards, so it's harder to meet the requirements for all kids in class.
 

John Galt

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Who cares? A kid testing positive for Covid is about as serious as testing positive for the flu. It’s not news.
I went to my neighbor’s grad party last night and their entire family has tested positive for Covid this week. What’s the catch and why did they host a party with 100+ people with zero social distancing the same week they tested positive? It’s because they had it back in March, just like a lot of the people who are testing “positive.”
 

golf

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Quick update - still learning some of this stuff.

So, the so-called "hybrid" plan is a little more flexible than I thought.

What the hybrid plan really means is that schools are limited to 50% of capacity in classrooms with social distancing, and other guidelines for meals, bussing, etc.

If a school does not have enough physical space to spread out its students and meet the 50% requirement, then they have to go half in school, half distance learning.

But - if a district can spread out the kids over the available space and meet the 50% requirement, then they can be in the "hybrid" category and still have all kids in school.

the 50% capacity also goes for school busses, so busses can run at half-full - but that still will be a challenge for rural districts that bus a higher % of students.

Again, all of this hinges on the two-week case average for the local county - which can change as the year goes on. so a school could start the year in the hybrid category, but if there is an outbreak and the case rate goes up high enough, they might be required to go to distance learning.

Also - the standards are different for elementary and high schools. with elementary students, it's easier to meet the requirements for all kids to be in class. High school has different standards, so it's harder to meet the requirements for all kids in class.
Two words - private school
 

TruthSeeker

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Who cares? A kid testing positive for Covid is about as serious as testing positive for the flu. It’s not news.
I went to my neighbor’s grad party last night and their entire family has tested positive for Covid this week. What’s the catch and why did they host a party with 100+ people with zero social distancing the same week they tested positive? It’s because they had it back in March, just like a lot of the people who are testing “positive.”
A 30-year-old attended a COVID party because he thought it was no big deal and wanted to become immune. He wound up in the hospital in the ICU and told the nurse he made a mistake.

He died a few days later.
 

John Galt

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A 30-year-old attended a COVID party because he thought it was no big deal and wanted to become immune. He wound up in the hospital in the ICU and told the nurse he made a mistake.

He died a few days later.
Yep - in a country of 300 million, unfortunately this will occasionally happen. Should we also recap flu deaths?
 

Spoofin

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A 30-year-old attended a COVID party because he thought it was no big deal and wanted to become immune. He wound up in the hospital in the ICU and told the nurse he made a mistake.

He died a few days later.
You are a sap. That was a “Twitter Story” and was debunked.
 

forever a gopher

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How does this make the news? Of course there are going to be positive tests by both students and teachers after opening. The question is are they testing positive at rates higher or lower than the general public? How about you post more “super spreader” Israel school fear porn? Nevermind they were testing positive at rates lower than the general public.
 

howeda7

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This is my choice, but I’m starting to wish that it wasn’t. I don’t feel qualified. I’ve been a superintendent for 20 years, so I guess I should be used to making decisions, but I keep getting lost in my head. I’ll be in my office looking at a blank computer screen, and then all of the sudden I realize a whole hour’s gone by. I’m worried. I’m worried about everything. Each possibility I come up with is a bad one.

The governor has told us we have to open our schools to students on August 17th, or else we miss out on five percent of our funding. I run a high-needs district in middle-of-nowhere Arizona. We’re 90 percent Hispanic and more than 90 percent free-and-reduced lunch. These kids need every dollar we can get. But covid is spreading all over this area and hitting my staff, and now it feels like there’s a gun to my head. I already lost one teacher to this virus. Do I risk opening back up even if it’s going to cost us more lives? Or do we run school remotely and end up depriving these kids?

This is your classic one-horse town. Picture John Wayne riding through cactuses and all that. I’m superintendent, high school principal and sometimes the basketball referee during recess. This is a skeleton staff, and we pay an average salary of about 40,000 a year. I’ve got nothing to cut. We’re buying new programs for virtual learning and trying to get hotspots and iPads for all our kids. Five percent of our budget is hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where’s that going to come from? I might lose teaching positions or basic curriculum unless we somehow get up and running.

I’ve been in the building every day, sanitizing doors and measuring out space in classrooms. We still haven’t received our order of Plexiglas barriers, so we’re cutting up shower curtains and trying to make do with that. It’s one obstacle after the next. Just last week I found out we had another staff member who tested positive, so I went through the guidance from OSHA and the CDC and tried to figure out the protocols. I’m not an expert at any of this, but I did my best with the contact tracing. I called 10 people on staff and told them they’d had a possible exposure. I arranged separate cars and got us all to the testing site. Some of my staff members were crying. They’ve seen what can happen, and they’re coming to me with questions I can’t always answer. “Does my whole family need to get tested?” “How long do I have to quarantine?” “What if this virus hits me like it did Mrs. Byrd?”

We got back two of those tests already — both positive. We’re still waiting on eight more. That makes 11 percent of my staff that’s gotten covid, and we haven’t had a single student in our buildings since March. Part of our facility is closed down for decontamination, but we don’t have anyone left to decontaminate it unless I want to put on my hazmat suit and go in there. We’ve seen the impacts of this virus on our maintenance department, on transportation, on food service, on faculty. It’s like this district is shutting down case by case. I don’t understand how anyone could expect us to reopen the building this month in a way that feels safe. It’s like they’re telling us: “Okay. Summer’s over. It’s been long enough. Time to get back to normal.” But since when has this virus operated on our schedule?

I dream about going back to normal. I’d love to be open. These kids are hurting right now. I don’t need a politician to tell me that. We only have 300 students in this district, and they’re like family. My wife is a teacher here, and we had four kids go through these schools. I know whose parents are laid off from the copper mine and who doesn’t have enough to eat. We delivered breakfast and lunches this summer, and we gave out more meals each day than we have students. I get phone calls from families dealing with poverty issues, depression, loneliness, boredom. Some of these kids are out in the wilderness right now, and school is the best place for them. We all agree on that. But every time I start to play out what that looks like on August 17th, I get sick to my stomach. More than a quarter of our students live with grandparents. These kids could very easily catch this virus, spread it and bring it back home. It’s not safe. There’s no way it can be safe.

If you think anything else, I’m sorry, but it’s a fantasy. Kids will get sick, or worse. Family members will die. Teachers will die.

Mrs. Byrd did everything right. She followed all the protocols. If there’s such a thing as a safe, controlled environment inside a classroom during a pandemic, that was it. We had three teachers sharing a room so they could teach a virtual summer school. They were so careful. This was back in June, when cases here were starting to spike. The kids were at home, but the teachers wanted to be together in the classroom so they could team up on the new technology. I thought that was a good idea. It’s a big room. They could watch and learn from each other. Mrs. Byrd was a master teacher. She’d been here since 1982, and she was always coming up with creative ideas. They delivered care packages to the elementary students so they could sprout beans for something hands-on at home, and then the teachers all took turns in front of the camera. All three of them wore masks. They checked their temperatures. They taught on their own devices and didn’t share anything, not even a pencil.

At first she thought it was a sinus infection. That’s what the doctor told her, but it kept getting worse. I got a call that she’d been rushed to the hospital. Her oxygen was low, and they put her on a ventilator pretty much right away. The other two teachers started feeling sick the same weekend, so they went to get tested. They both had it bad for the next month. Mrs. Byrd’s husband got it and was hospitalized. Her brother got it and passed away. Mrs. Byrd fought for a few weeks until she couldn’t anymore.

I’ve gone over it in my head a thousand times. What precautions did we miss? What more could I have done? I don’t have an answer. These were three responsible adults in an otherwise empty classroom, and they worked hard to protect each other. We still couldn’t control it. That’s what scares me.


 
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It’s going to be pretty interesting to see what happens with Twin Cities school districts. The county infection rate is the baseline, but then District’s can use their City’s rates to be more precise. So does Edina have kids back in classrooms if their City rates are lower while Minneapolis has already stated they’ll start with distance learning? Does a district like Hopkins that extends to portions of like four other cities (Minnetonka, Golden Valley, Eden Prairie, SLP) attempt to track rates in those communities and justify getting kids in classrooms or do they throw up their hands and go distance? If rates are borderline in a community which way does MDH/MDE lean as far as which model they’ll allow?
I’ll be really interested to watch this play out and see the different District’s models...
 

Spoofin

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I was expecting CNN to break out how many have tested positive and how many were 'exposed'.
I was expecting CNN to better define "exposed". All at school? All at one time?
I was disappointed in both cases.
I did learn that this school district had already (before this) decided to do on-line only.
 
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