January 19th? - Nope

I don't even tell my children when they are going back to school. What's the point? I feel for teachers, but let's just call the whole thing off and start over in September. 

Losing my mind!


I'm not sure i understand. As far as I know the first hybrid school days start on January 19th. Are you assuming they won't?


mrincredible said:

I'm not sure i understand. As far as I know the first hybrid school days start on January 19th. Are you assuming they won't?

 Nope. Read the local patch articles and last BOE meeting. So not happening!


From the Village Green on 1/8:

UPDATED: Union Asks District to Postpone School Reopening Until Educators Are Vaccinated; Ventilation Work Still to Be Inspected

https://villagegreennj.com/schools-kids/union-asks-district-to-postpone-school-reopening-until-educators-are-vaccinated-ventilation-work-still-to-be-inspected/?source=newsletter


I knew that SOMEA had put in the request to delay reopening until staff could be vaccinated. I also had read that the final inspections weren't yet complete. Do yeah, I'm dubious that the reopening will happen as currently planned.

Unfortunately the pace of the vaccine rollout doesn't make me confident that school staff will be vaccinated for the next couple of months. Teachers are on the 1B tier for vaccination and there are lots of 1A folks left to get stuck. Actual efficacy of the vaccination doesn't peak right away, either, so I don't know when you could consider the school personnel vaccinated, even if they could all line up for their first shot today.

I have a bias toward 100% virtual school right now for personal reasons. What is the general consensus out there about the urgency to return kids to in-person instruction?  I'm not looking for an argument, but I'd like a sense of where other people are coming from.


So teach gets vaccinated. That means s/he won't get the virus. It doesn't mean that the person can't carry the virus home to other family members. 

So we get 25 kids in a classroom.....hacking, wheezing, sneezing, giving wedgies, turning in assignments they just sneezed on, or just walking in the halls between classes (Is Columbia still overcrowded?). 


My kids will almost certainly finish the year 100% virtual, given what I know of the virus and vaccines.  They are doing well enough schooling from home, and don’t see doing the same zoom calls from socially-distanced desks in masks as an improvement.  Others have different needs, obviously, so I won’t try to insist on not moving forward.  However I’m concerned that we may raise disease burden, lose teachers who can afford to quit, and lessen the quality of our current zoom education as teachers add mask, handwashing, symptom and airflow management to their duties (while trying to remember not to move too far from the mic). I’ll be very interested to see how many people send kids in during an infection surge. My Facebook sense is that more than a few parents replied hybrid so that they could push the decision later, and give up their hybrid seat with no consequences.


susan1014 said:

My kids will almost certainly finish the year 100% virtual, given what I know of the virus and vaccines.  They are doing well enough schooling from home, and don’t see doing the same zoom calls from socially-distanced desks in masks as an improvement.  Others have different needs, obviously, so I won’t try to insist on not moving forward.  However I’m concerned that we may raise disease burden, lose teachers who can afford to quit, and lessen the quality of our current zoom education as teachers add mask, handwashing, symptom and airflow management to their duties (while trying to remember not to move too far from the mic). I’ll be very interested to see how many people send kids in during an infection surge. My Facebook sense is that more than a few parents replied hybrid so that they could push the decision later, and give up their hybrid seat with no consequences.

 Would the kids be doing zoom when they are in the school? That is not my understanding as the teachers would be in person.


even with ventilation, there are school outbreaks...do you want your kid to be the one that dies...or your kid that picks up the virus, is asymptomatic, passes it to you...and you die?


tuxedo said:

 Would the kids be doing zoom when they are in the school? That is not my understanding as the teachers would be in person.

 Teachers could be teaching both virtual and in-person students at the same time.  Thus, the potential need to stay near the microphone and camera.


joan_crystal said:

 Teachers could be teaching both virtual and in-person students at the same time.  Thus, the potential need to stay near the microphone and camera.

This is my understanding. The teacher will need to be teaching the virtual students at the same time. The students in class will need to have their Chromebook open. 

The teachers will not be able to come to a students desk to help them. The students will not be allowed to leave their desk. So it won't be much of a difference from virtual learning other than the student will be in classroom at a desk they won't be able to leave until class is over.


A friend teaching second grade (not around here) has 4 in her actual classroom and maybe 15 at home. She said she has to focus totally on the computer screen and really feels the children in the room are paying the price for that, but she said it’s unavoidable. 


Another problem is that parents of children currently participating in the Y program being held in conjunction with the school district are being told they will lose their full day coverage because there is no space available for them given the hybrid instruction plan that reduces the number of children who can be in the building at one time.  This is especially worrisome for households where all working adults are essential employees who can not take days off from their job to care for their children on days when the children are not in school and for IEP children who will not be able to receive the full services to which they are entitled.


Our children will continue with all virtual learning, but I was surprised to hear from our elementary school principal that about two-thirds of the student population has chosen hybrid.  I agree with Susan2014 that we don't see much benefit to going in person, with all the necessary distancing and mask wearing, and think that it will actually be a more arduous learning experience for our children.  However, we know that we are in a situation that fits well with virtual learning, and other people are not.


joan_crystal said:

 Teachers could be teaching both virtual and in-person students at the same time.  Thus, the potential need to stay near the microphone and camera.

This is exactly right.

Under the current plan, the main beneficiaries are parents, who now have two half-days without kids at home.


jimmurphy said:

This is exactly right.

Under the current plan, the main beneficiaries are parents, who now have two half-days without kids at home.

It's a shame for our kids. But, with the teachers wanting vaccines (who can blame them?), the 3rd party ventilation verification for our District buildings (again, who can blame the teachers here either b/c remember what happened just a few months back with ball dropping on ventilation???) and the Essex infection rates rising, why are they even bothering opening now? A group of vocal parents, who want to get their kids back is the reason. I get that too, but getting kids back in this environment will not be warm fuzzy social learning. Masks, social distancing, sterility, 6 feet apart, no school lunch, no fun. It provides time for parents to work and have a life though, which is important.




Our school system is doing in person and zoom, it is up to families to decide which.  Our town had a low number of cases early on, so we chose in person.  In late October that started rising, and when we were getting close to 30 cases in a town of 3,000 I felt it was time to switch to virtual.  My five year old loved school, but switching to zoom has been very hard on him.  He now announces every day that he hates school it it takes a lot of effort to keep him on track.

It is the right thing for safety, but even with social distancing in school, there is still more engagement being there in person, and sitting at the kitchen table staring at a screen is not the same at all.

I’m hoping that by September students will be able to get the vaccine and all my kids can return to in person learning.  I’m okay if they still need to wear masks and distance, just being in the classroom makes it easier on them to engage in learning.


Bumping. For no particular reason.

https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/headlines/2021/01/12/7558/

The thing that really sticks out to me is the verbiage about tracking transmission rates in the population that's returning to in-school virtual learning. It sounds a little cold-hearted.


mrincredible said:

,,,, So it won't be much of a difference from virtual learning other than the student will be in classroom at a desk they won't be able to leave until class is over.

Jesse:  "Mr. White, can I go to the bathroom?"


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

mrincredible said:

,,,, So it won't be much of a difference from virtual learning other than the student will be in classroom at a desk they won't be able to leave until class is over.

Jesse:  "Mr. White, can I go to the bathroom?"

 I don’t know about all teachers, but my son’s kindergarten teacher makes at home kids ask permission to go to the bathroom the same as the in person students.  I’m guessing to keep a sense of order, and also so they don’t get into the habit of just getting up and leaving their iPads whenever they feel like it.


Yeah well, teachers are striking at 12 today for vaccines, etc. Don't hold your breath.

Would you want to go into schools without a vaccine.


A brief walkout planned for noon. Not really the same thing as a strike at all.


Just teach the kids in school - stop whining 


Smokers are on the list of eligible groups to receive the vaccine.  Teachers are not.  I don’t blame the teachers for being pissed. 


spontaneous said:

Smokers are on the list of eligible groups to receive the vaccine.  Teachers are not.  I don’t blame the teachers for being pissed. 

My jaw dropped when I heard this yesterday.

I think I need to fire off a stern letter.


This plan to go back to school is completely idiotic. Kids are going to be even more confused, because now part of their schooling is in-person and another part is still virtual. Also, children that stay virtual (because their family is vulnerable, for example because someone has an autoimmune disease) are now treated differently, which is really bad.

And now they will be in classrooms that are poorly ventilated (while the virus spreads through aerosols). These kids are obviously not going to keep their mask on the whole time, or keep social distance. So it is only a matter of time until children or teaching staff bring the virus to their homes, there will be a crisis, and the schools will have to close again. And why? Just because a bunch of vocal parents want their kids out of their homes? Meanwhile we are putting our whole community at risk?

The teachers should never go for this. It is a moronic plan, and BOE should be voted out at the earliest possible opportunity. Every single one of them.  


If the teachers refuse to go in they can be fired.

What really burns my biscuits about this is that I don't see that there will be any advantage for the students who do return part-time. My understanding is that the teacher in the classroom will have to divide their attention between the students who are there, and the students who are online. I don't see what we are getting for the additional risk, no matter how much mitigation may have been put into place.


I don't think it actually benefits most of the kids. This only benefits a small (but vocal) group of parents that want their kids out of the house, and everyone else (students, teachers, community) pays the price. Even those parents will pay a price once the disease spreads more (because some classes or even complete schools will close) but they don't realize it yet. Why the BOE plays along with this is a mystery to me. When all this is set and done they will have wasted a lot of our taxpayer money on this dangerous nonsense. 


alberth  - amen!


mrincredible said:

If the teachers refuse to go in they can be fired.

What really burns my biscuits about this is that I don't see that there will be any advantage for the students who do return part-time. My understanding is that the teacher in the classroom will have to divide their attention between the students who are there, and the students who are online. I don't see what we are getting for the additional risk, no matter how much mitigation may have been put into place.

 This could not be more correct.



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