DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Update

Will DeKalb Schools open on August 3rd as planned and what will learning look like when DeKalb Schools opens?

DeKalb Schools Re-Opening School Task Force built a DeKalb Schools Opening Framework to serve as a transition document to the new Superintendent for final decisions on how to re-open on the first day of school on Aug 3, 2020. I have read every comment and appreciate the lively online conversation.

Marshall Orson is currently the chair of the DeKalb Schools Board of Education. He addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about opening DeKalb Schools in the Fall.

Marshall Orson DeKalb Schools

Marshall Orson
2020 Chair of the DeKalb Schools Board of Education

Not surprising, the number one subject in my inbox is about the reopening of school. We will announce our plans at our next school Board meeting on July 13th. Part of the delay arises from allowing our new Supt. (who started just 4 days ago) a chance to evaluate our situation, and to apply lessons learned as the number 2 person in NYC to our situation in DeKalb and Metro Atlanta.

With that said, here is what I expect and what still remains unclear:

1. The clear trend is Metro Atlanta is to push the first day of school to August 17th (e.g. Cobb and Fulton have done so). I suspect we will do something comparable.

2. I expect we will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction. What that looks like is still a work in progress. I do not think we will have split shifts (morning and afternoon) because, among other things, I do not think our transportation system could support that system-wide.

3. I expect the reentry into our buildings will be gradual so that we can learn what are the obstacles to operating a school that has to change many of its standard procedures.

4. We will need to figure out how to best accommodate our vulnerable populations—students and staff—and to understand that vulnerability takes many forms—health, economics, access.

5. We will all need to be flexible and to understand that we will be in a dynamic and fluid situation. Decisions made one day may not hold a week later if circumstances change dramatically.

6. We will be making these modifications in the midst of tremendous pressure on the budget. We have to make decisions that not only hold now but also a year from now (when financially things could be worse) and for when the crises (health and financial) abate.

We are going to do our best and we will need everyone’s help to get through these challenges. Meanwhile, I hope all are safe and well.

Marshall Orson
Chair of DeKalb Schools Board of Education

249 responses to “DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Update

  1. Just watched Secretary of Education Betsy Devos talk about President Trump’s comment about school’s needing to reopen in the fall on Fox News (I was curious about how they would address the national discussion). She indicated that schools must be fully open and operational this fall however it is becoming an issue of adults more interested in their own issues rather than serving their students. She indicated they could look at holding the federal portion of school funding (about 90% currently comes from state and local funding sources) if districts do not open. She also indicated that adults are fear mongering and making excuse and need to turn their attention to serving students.

    I was insulted by her comments. I don’t know of many teachers that don’t want to be back at schools in front of students. To infer that teachers are fear mongering and not address legitimate health concerns that they may have is disingenuous. Schools should open if we can provide a safe and healthy environment. Given their current state, I question whether any school can provide that now.

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  2. Please email your board member and ask that they force everyone to wear masks. It’s not fair to teachers or to your fellow students if someone skips out on mask wearing. Other counties originally did not mandate masks but they are so important to make this process safe. Even kindergarteners can wear a mask. If as a parent your option is to have your kid wear a mask of keep them home you would make them wear one.

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  3. What will be the impact on children who bring the infection home, infect their parents, and the parent dies? In addition to being orphaned, what will this guilt do the child’s psyche? … It seems inevitable that this will happen to some children, if schools are re-opened in person.

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  4. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^dekalbteacher’s comment “Determined which school buildings can supply the open window ventilation the CDC recommends?”

    I’ll add that it is not possible to secure and/or lockdown a school building when the windows are left open.

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  5. If the schools reopen it is a business decision not because it is safe to do so. Not because they are following the science. Too much loss of revenue is at stake if they keep schools closed.

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  6. Support Personnel

    Whatever the decision will be, everyone is not going to to happy about it.
    I work in the high school and I’m just glad to have a job at this point, I will be going to work with mask, soap etc, and doing anything else I’m asked to do. Doing my best to help keep everyone in my building safe and making sure we are following CDC guidelines, so just like we did when they closed the schools in March “ADJUST ” and do what is best for you and yours. There is noting at this point anyone can do about the virus, so we just have to adjust to what is now the new normal.
    Remember, the survey will more than likely make the decision,Mrs. Harris or the BOE is not to be blamed if it’s not what you wanted it’s the majority that rules.

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  7. Jennifer Hunt

    I want to see DCS survey results. Many counties have posted theirs.

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  8. At this point, teachers and school staff should just refuse to return. What would happen then? The county is already having a hard time filling positions, and nobody wants to become a teacher- for good reason. If they don’t care about our health and our concerns, we have to care about ourselves enough to demand some consideration and respect. This virus is deadly and dangerous and they’re ready to sacrifice us so that we can babysit their kids. We’d probably make more money babysitting, anyway, since DeKalb is about to cut our pay with furlough days.

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  9. In this economy?

    So refreshing to see the comment from Support Personnel about how they will do what they can to make the year successful. Not complaining, not worried only about themselves, yet wanting to be safe and smart.

    Then you have Over It bitching and moaning about their personal problems.

    Here’s an idea – if teachers want out of their contracts in this economy, let them go, no money lost. There will be a ton of teachers available this year because Gwinnett and other locations won’t need the same numbers. Probably would be a huge upgrade given the comments I’m reading.

  10. Yes, my health and the health of my family are personal problems/concerns. No, I do not like my health being sacrificed because taking proper precautions at schools is too expensive. If you’d like to pay to ensure schools can open safely, be my guest. Teachers are “heroes” as long as we take whatever foolishness is thrown our way, but the minute we express dissatisfaction with conditions, we’re the enemy. Support staff shouldn’t have to risk death or long-term health effects either. Have a nice day.

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  11. I’m not ready to have multiple students die. I’m not prepared to have multiple students orphaned. Are we prepared for the number of incredibly sick people? This is a disease that is ravaging across this nation. Other countries imposed strict lockdowns, brought their numbers under control before reopening so that they could resume school—one of the most essential functions. We did not do that and so we do have to have a conversation about how we will move forward.

    There is a false narrative at play: either you’re a team player and willing to do anything to physically reopen or you’re selfish. It’s a concern for EVERYONE’s safety. I care for every student and every family I’ve worked with.

    What if a student tells the teacher they don’t feel well halfway through class, are sent home, and two days later we find out they’re positive because they finally got a test? Does the rest of the class and the teacher get sent home? All the kid’s teachers seen previously that day? The day before? How disruptive is this? This is not effective instruction if we are constantly sending people home.

    Pediatricians assume best practices will be followed but we are currently seeing many people are doing what they want to do when they want to do it regardless of consequence. That carelessness has led us to this difficult decision. Open what is a desperately needed institution (without adequate distancing, proper air filtration) knowing that every community will suffer because we didn’t do what we needed to do first: get disease transmission more under control?

    I don’t want our community to suffer this painful loss. I pray nightly for everyone’s health and safety. I know that we want the kids back in school… I know they’re stressed and worried but the stress and worry won’t be lessened when we are faced with the implication of opening too soon.

    Schools can put plans in place and honestly do their best… but our behavior outside of the school environment is allowing this virus to spread and it, unfortunately, the virus will make its way into the building.

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  12. Perfectly stated, DawgTired!

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  13. The majority should not rule when it comes to making public health and safety decisions. We should be looking to the experts and using a great deal of context and erring on the side of preserving human life.

    I don’t care to see the survey results, knowing that many stakeholders will have changed their opinion since they filled that out nearly a month ago.

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  14. Mr. Jester, where are the stakeholders survey results from June? Many counties have shared theirs, but I haven’t seen DCS results. I’m curious to see the numbers and where teachers and parents stand. Thanks

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  15. Wear a Mask

    @Inthiseconomy, you’re stupid! That is all.

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  16. @In This Economy
    Once Teachers have signed a contract with a school, they can leave only one of two ways: 1.) By mutual agreement—that means by resignation of the employee and the acceptance of such resignation by the employer, or 2.) By dismissal from employment for cause following a hearing. So if Gwinnett county has too many teachers this year, they will have to pay those teachers for this year (they won’t be coming to DeKalb).
    According to today’s AJC, DeKalb had 190 Teacher vacancies in June. Where do you think DeKalb will get the teachers it still needs to hire, let alone replace teachers if they quit? There is currently a teacher shortage. Fewer college graduates are entering the Teaching profession. Instead of saying “let them go” we should be saying “what can we do to make them stay?” (Hint: cutting pay and furloughing them is not the way to make them stay).

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  17. Concerned Teacher

    Well said!

  18. Teacher ABC

    To those on this thread who think that teachers are only concerned for their safety and not that of the community and the children, we always need volunteers in the building, and will perhaps need them more than ever this year, so please come and join us and experience the poor running ventilation, windows that don’t open, the lack of hot water, paper towels, soap, cleaning supplies, which are all issues that we deal with every year, but which will be potentially life threatening to all those in the building if we do go back to school this year. Most people have NO IDEA what the conditions are like in public schools, so please feel free to come and join us this year and experience and observe what some of us have lived with for decades because we DO care about our students and we continue to work DESPITE all of that. And the conditions we generally work in are why we are so concerned about going back to school when there is a deadly pandemic.

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  19. Curious Stakeholder

    I’m concerned by the number of comments that I’ve read from different people who suggest that middle and high school staff and students should stay home for virtual school, while elementary teachers and students are suggested to attend school in person and spread out across all available schools in the district. These suggestions drop the ball in two ways: 1) This suggestion doesn’t account for the safety of elementary teachers, students, or staff at all. Any in-person meetings with large groups puts these people’s health at risk. Is it fair to say that middle and high school workers and students can stay home and work safely, while mandating the elementary staff must be put in jeopardy because their students are younger and need more assistance? Also, I have young children, and I’ve worked in childcare. No one coughs, sneezes, and spread germs more openly than young children. Knowing this, elementary teachers and students are probably the most at risk for contacting the virus and spreading it! 2) This suggestion doesn’t account for the extra staff that would be needed to spread students out among schools for learning. Yes, it would be great to have smaller classes spread over the many schools of the district, but the BOE is already discussing furloughs and no pay steps for teachers, which means hiring additional teachers to spread the students isn’t even an option that can be seriously entertained. Let’s keep everyone safe and stay home! As previously stated, if everyone is held accountable and does their part, virtual learning can be successful. I don’t know that we can say virtual learning was a failure considering parents and students were not held accountable to doing the assignments. My children and I personally had a great experience. Their teachers were helpful and did their best, and I did my part to help my children be successful while also working full-time from home. It may take some compromises, but it can be done. To me, it’s worth it if I can keep my family and others safe.

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  20. Parent of kids

    Can we get some scientists and number crunchers to share transmission rates? What I read is that children have both a low likelihood of catching Covid and also low likelihood of showing symptoms. This can obviously be positive and negative.
    My back of the envelope math (and why we need number crunchers): 946 people out of 100,000 in Georgia have Coronavirus. An old stat from April or May indicated 1.2 % of infections are in the under 18 crowd. That would correspond to 11.4 per 100,000 of the population being made up of infected people under 18. Dekalb has a population of 760,000. This would result in 86.6 people under the age 18 in Dekalb County being Covid positive. However, kids aged 1-4 aren’t part of the school population- meaning we need to multiple 14/18 or 7/9 by 86.6= 67.3 of school eligible kids have Covid in Dekalb County.

    Clearly these numbers need to be updated- but why isn’t there more of this type of thinking and analysis being done? It’s simple math. Stats would sure help out in supporting decisions and measuring risks.
    Thank you

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  21. DeKalb resident, professional epidemiologist

    Our country is sick, and I don’t just mean with COVID.

    I highly suggest that administrators outright ignore requests and demands from parents who clearly believe the misinformation about COVID. You wouldn’t bend over backwards to accommodate a parent angry because you told their child that 2+2=4, so why should any part of county policy be determined by people who think COVID is a hoax, fake news, not deadly, or not getting worse? These people are out of touch with reality, and it is not the responsibility of the DeKalb County school system to accommodate their lunacy.

    This is a deadly disease. It is widespread, difficult to identify, and has long term health impacts even on those who experience mild cases. It is on the rise in GA and DeKalb, precisely because our state and local governments gave in to the demands of people out of touch with reality. If you give in to their demands, it will be at the expense of the lives of school staff, children, and yes, even the parents who are demanding these risks.

    This is a teachable moment. If your choice is ultimately to reopen buildings, forcing already underpaid and now furloughed teachers to return to work that is now far riskier, then please understand that the lesson you’re teaching with those choices is that human life is expendable, that the poor don’t deserve to live, that education is important enough to die for but not important enough to fund, and that school systems exist to relieve parents of their parenting duties. You have the opportunity to teach everyone that this virus is REAL, DEADLY and cannot be negotiated with or propagandized out of existence, and if DeKalb isn’t prepared to teach that crucially important message, you need to understand that you may be sacrificing the last of your credibility among the only parents left who care about fact, science and public health, in order to please people who have gleefully turned a deadly virus into a matter of political opinion.

    Concerned parents, have you considered directing your righteous anger at the government that has done nothing to support you through this unprecedented time? Other countries have figured this out — you have to pay people to stay home, or they won’t, and the virus will proliferate. If you’re worried about how you’re supposed to work with a kid at home, maybe instead of demanding fatal risk from thousands of people who ALREADY sacrifice for the benefit of your children, you might ask your government to support you with some of those taxes you pay every year? Absolutely outrageous to see so many in here complaining “What do my county taxes pay for if schools aren’t open?” while completely failing to ask “What do my federal taxes pay for if I’m being forced to work in a global pandemic because I have no rent or income protection?”

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  22. TeacherABC

    @DeKalb resident, professional epidemiologist

    THANK YOU. We needed someone on here with SCIENTIFIC expertise to weigh in on the reality of this situation. We teachers are terrified about going into the classroom and you have provided the professional FACTS that some people have absolutely no knowledge about or refuse to acknowledge because they do not feel directly affected by the this disease.

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  23. DeKalb resident, professional epidemiologist

    @TeacherABC, the valid fear that you and others are experiencing is quite apparent to most with empathy. I definitely understand that a lot of parents on here are between a rock and a hard place, I just don’t understand why they reserve their rage for the people who teach their children, and not for the people who make the disastrous policy decisions that have made it unsafe to return to school.

    Other countries are reopening schools because they took the necessary action to control spread of the virus. The United States, meanwhile, has the 2nd highest rate of new cases in the world (second only to Brazil) because our leaders don’t value human life. If people really want schools to open ASAP, they need to understand that the only safe way to do that is to restrict travel, maximize social distancing, wear masks in public, make COVID testing widely available, and conduct aggressive contact tracing any time a new case is diagnosed.

    The “open NOW” attitude in here is like yelling at a bus driver for refusing to drive their route on a flat tire, or demanding an airplane take off without refueling, dumping the toilets and bringing on more food. They are unwittingly saying “Put me and everyone else in danger, or I’ll try to get you fired”. Systems require maintenance and planning, things don’t just happen because an angry person yelled loud enough.

    This issue goes beyond parents, students and educators — if schools reopen, they will contribute to the further spread of the virus that already has 8 counties in GA down to less than 10 available ICU beds. When the numbers of infected continue to rise, and we run out of ICU beds, that’s when people start getting left for dead. You want your elderly parents to be able to get treatment if they get infected? Better make sure we still have ICU capacity, because once they run out, emergency triage protocols prioritize the people most likely to make a full recovery — ie. Not the elderly.

    This issue affects everyone living in the county. The infections that will occur if schools reopen will further diminish our already strained capacity to keep up. I don’t want my local hospital to turn me away because it’s full up with infected teachers who were forced to work, and infected students whose parents sent them into a pandemic.

    Where is people’s sense of collective responsibility?

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  24. @dekalbresident epidemiologist. Oh my goodness! Brilliant! Please keep your voice of reason and love for humanity out there. We need you!

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  25. Concerned Teacher

    I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you! If I didn’t care about my students, I had 25 years to get out 0f education. And please don’t tell us that we’re doing this for the money 🙂 This is truly a calling! Thanks again @ Teacher ABC

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  26. Concerned Teacher

    @Dekalb Resident, Professional Epidemiologist: We need to hear your voice not just on this forum, but on local and national media. You obviously have the professional knowledge to discuss this issue based on science, not emotion.

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  27. Thank you for the transparency and updates. I’m concerned with a hybrid option of 2 days in 3 days out or opposite. For those of us who are essential workers, our kids will then need to go to another child care option on the opposite days and will thus expose their classmates and teachers to whomever they were with on the non school days. Furthermore it could be that there are several kids in the same situation and thus the classroom is exposed to several other circles of kids/teachers. A part time in school part time at home options seems to increase the sphere of exposure as some will still need child care on the other days.

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  28. Listen to the Experts

    I am glad DeKalb hasn’t rushed to announce a plan. I truly hope that the members of the board are paying attention to the current numbers.
    A. It feels too risky to send so many kids back to school when (1) Cases are going up in GA; (2) Leaders are meeting via Zoom to decide on a plan rather than meeting in person; (3) the governor of Georgia and the president of our country have given up and do not have a plan for controlling the virus; and (4) if students get infected their entire families are likely to get infected.
    B. Please make sure all teachers receive extensive training for delivering online instruction, and start the semester that way. Perhaps there could be certain days for teachers to meet with students in smaller groups if need. But even if they start in person, things will likely need to be shut down when the numbers get out of control. We all need to be prepared.
    C. If there is a hybrid or kids are to go back to school, the instruction should be recorded and made available for all students. If a student or a family member is sick, students need to be able to stay home from school without being penalized. It needs to be a smooth transition from in person to virtual.
    PLEASE base the reopening on science and listen to the experts and not the politicians!

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  29. The fact that the board meeting is 100% virtual is the writing on the wall for me. Hopefully we can push the start date back to Aug 17 and give the teachers an extra week to prepare.

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  30. @Stan, can you clarify you statement about the board meeting being 100% virtual being the writing on the wall for you? It could be interpreted multiple ways however wanted to hear your meaning of that comment.

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  31. open virtually or stay closed. The risk is too high for students/teachers getting sick to have in person instruction. Especially with the physical limitations of the school buildings. There is no hot water in many school bathrooms. Heating/airVentilation systems barely work on a good day. The list goes on. The buildings need a lot of work.

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  32. Concerned Teacher

    @Rosey I agree. HVAC systems will limit the successful implementation of the CDC guideline for proper ventilation. And they say open windows? Really? In 100 degree temperatures in August??! And that’s if your classroom has windows, which many do not.

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  33. I like the idea of going virtual until October. I heard APS is doing that this fall. Seems like a wise decision.

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  34. Parent of kids

    I’m not sure how my Kindergarten aged kid or 2nd grader will learn anything starting the year remotely and not having any connection to a teacher. There has to be 6-8 weeks getting to know kids. How are all of you teachers who want to work remotely expecting to teach kids you likely know very little?

    When my rising second grader started Kindergarten she had 8 Spanish only speaking kids in her class and 2 Chinese only speaking classmates. Needless to say that was a struggle for her teacher to help teach and we ultimately spent lots of money on tutors to get her caught up and now ahead. I fear both of my young kids (and everyone their age) would suffer significantly without in person schooling for at least the first 6-8
    weeks. It would be like that Kindergarten experience all over again with a lack of structure to learn.
    The other solution is to have teachers loop with their previous year kids and move up with them. That obviously only works for elementary school before rotating classes in middle and high school.
    Thoughts from teachers?

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  35. Parent and Teacher

    Parent of Kids,

    My vision of how I would want my class to work virtually (if that is how we return) is for half group video (Teams, Zoom, or Google) with the lesson, games, calling on students, and students asking questions. The other half would be students using other online platforms to learn and complete work– Flipgrid, EdPuzzle, or practice assignment in VERGE or Google Classroom. Those are only a few platforms of many out there (I’ve been getting ideas and attending presentations/classes given by fellow teachers). I’m still searching for a way for students to make small live groups to work together that I can monitor simultaneously. Also, there should be some time for practice work where I stay in the meeting group to help them while they can ask questions right away, like they would in class.

    My daughter was in Kindergarten this past year. Her teacher had class zooms where they would do story time and other activities, and the students responded by raising hands and speaking to the class. They also had individual meetings so they could practice reading and talk just with the teacher. There still was a lot of independent work. I think with a set schedule for everyone, there would be more time to work on those assignments, with the teacher on screen for immediate feedback or answers, and not have to rely on help from a parent or an email hours after the assignment was turned in. More live meeting time will help a lot with setting up relationships, structure, and support, especially in the beginning. To do this properly, class meeting attendance would have to be mandatory.

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  36. Parent of Kids

    Parent and Teacher- thank you for the note back!
    I was thinking about the tremendous challenge teachers with kids must have.
    My wife and I both work 40-50 hour jobs and could do short term virtual learning last year (that window around Spring Break when we thought it was a bridge). But that killed our work productivity and once it went voluntary we pulled back and did the best we could. Duel working families can’t survive while also managing home learning environments.
    I hope the idea of self selecting (school or remote) is what Dekalb chooses. Perhaps monthly anti-body testing can be offered to teachers. I get the jury is still out on antibodies, but medical history with viruses suggest that should be protection. Could we also look at bringing on teaching assistant interns who want to break into the school system or are maybe college students taking classes remotely and want to eventually be teachers. They could pare up with virtual teachers and offer in-person support for students attending physical school by choice?
    Good luck and stay safe! Thank you teachers!

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  37. cindy brown

    Everyone on the outside looking in , can sit down and shut up. Until you have walked 1/2 a mile in a teachers shoes, nowadays, you cant judge how much they should be paid or how they feel being locked in a class with 30-40 students, no AC, and windows that will not open because it is broken. Even before Covid 19 the restrooms where a nightmare to use, I could go on and on; but to make a long story short the schools are a Petri Dish. Of course kids need to be educated but at what cost, are parents prepared to bury their children, I don’t think so. So I wish the schools, the counties, the world, would just sit back and allow TIME to heal this grime sickness.

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  38. Parent protecting Kids Rights

    Reports on news websites are stating the Covid-19 virus will be around and challenge us for the next 18-24 months. That is 2 school years where our kids will fall deeply behind as it is – especially with virtual only models.
    Every intelligent group who actually plans out the next 3, 6, 12, 18, 24 months and models likelihood’s has most schools across the country already shut down from about November 20 – March 1 as the projected cold and flu season mergers with Corona Virus.
    I implore the school board to recognize you have to have some in person introductions over time (even if once a week for 6-8 weeks- but hopefully more) for there to be any success with virtual learning. Most people recognize virtual learning will be required for a bulk of the year with a vaccine 12+ months out. But to go out of the gate virtually will be a major Charlie Foxtrot where children lose and their future loses.
    Hopefully the board honors the constitutional right to access to an education and offers both students and teachers the option of in person or virtual learning. Nobody should be forced into risks they feel uncomfortable with. But those others who want in person learning should also not be denied access to functioning public education – it is their fundamental right and is greater than the right of teachers who choose the profession. Providing public education to a child will always be above teachers (sorry – one is a right and the other a profession). Virtual learning only when other methods are still generally accepted in society (and nearby school districts) is a violation of constitutional rights.

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  39. @Parent protecting Kids Rights, you said,

    “Hopefully the board honors the constitutional right to access to an education and offers both students and teachers the option of in person or virtual learning. Nobody should be forced into risks they feel uncomfortable with. But those others who want in person learning should also not be denied access to functioning public education – it is their fundamental right and is greater than the right of teachers who choose the profession. ”

    Can you point out where in the constitution it indicates a right to access to an education, specifically face to face?

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  40. Parent's Protecting Kids Rights

    @ John Hope
    ACLU on their website states:

    Q:DO ALL KIDS HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN EQUAL EDUCATION?

    Yes! All kids living in the United States have the right to a free public education. And the Constitution requires that all kids be given equal educational opportunity no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen. Even if you are in this country illegally, you have the right to go to public school. The ACLU is fighting hard to make sure this right isn’t taken away.

    In addition to this constitutional guarantee of an equal education, many federal, state and local laws also protect students against discrimination in education based on sexual orientation or disability, including pregnancy and HIV status.

    In fact, even though some kids may complain about having to go to school, the right to an equal educational opportunity is one of the most valuable rights you have. The Supreme Court said this in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case when it struck down race segregation in the public schools.

    If you believe you or someone you know is being discriminated against in school, speak up! Talk to a teacher, the principal, the head of a community organization or a lawyer so they can investigate the situation and help you take legal action if necessary.

  41. Parent Protecting Kids Rights

    @ John Hope – additional information:
    One Key argument with Supreme Court in 1982:
    While education may not be a “fundamental right” under the Constitution, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment requires that when a state establishes a public school system, no child living in that state may be denied equal access to schooling. (Therefore students are protected under the Constitution)

    U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)
    By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided:

    The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment applies “to anyone, citizen or stranger” residing within a state’s boundaries. The children in this case were within the jurisdiction of the state and were thus protected by the 14th Amendment.

    The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment requires Texas and the Tyler Independent School District to provide free public schooling to the children of undocumented immigrants on an equal basis with the other children in the state and school district.
    Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan concluded: “We cannot ignore the significant social costs borne by our Nation when select groups are denied the means to absorb the values and skills upon which our social order rests.”

    Writing for the four dissenters, Chief Justice Warren Burger stated: “By definition, illegal aliens have no right whatever to be here, and the state may reasonably, and constitutionally, elect not to provide them with governmental services at the expense of those who are lawfully in the state.”

  42. Concerned Teacher

    @Stan Jester – Has the board discussed/decided whether or not teachers will have to report to the school building for pre-planning, or will this be done virtually? Or will this be a school-based decision?

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  43. Stan Jester

    @Concerned Teacher, School Re-opening Plan – https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=4054&AID=1170310&MID=86152

    There is a page in there that discusses phased access to the building.

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  44. Parent of Kids

    Stan – Thank you for sharing the presentation.
    Slide 16 appears a little misleading by stating: 8,144 cases in Dekalb followed by a hi-spread slide leading to the virtual learning decision. The truth is that 8,144 is an accumulation of confirmed cases going all the way back to March (most of those folks no longer test positive).
    New Cases per day have increased to the 175-225+ range recently which is certainly high. If you assign 14 days to those numbers to imply the number of “active” cases it would be 2,500-3,000+.
    Slide 17 should have defined criteria and not a wishy-washy which way is the wind blowing declaration.
    Just my two cents. Right away I noticed a large number of comments in another area on that.
    If you (the Board) are going to present something as data driven, it needs to be better supported on the next presentation.

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  45. Dekalb player of taxes

    How can we help get the rest of the board to vote with you on the budget and ensure teachers get their step??

  46. Stan,

    I watched the board meeting yesterday (which I usually don’t do), and I noted how the budget was rushed through just to get done–and I definitely understand the need to do that and am ok since it was a preliminary budget. Is there any way we can fund ISS positions and not hurt the teachers? I have worked with some excellent ISS persons, and they work very hard and make a real difference. Their duties are many; they are MTSS coordinators in some cases as well as helping teachers with instruction and coming up with innovative teaching ideas. It would be a shame to lose them and ultimately would put more duties/responsibilities on the teachers who already have enough to do. Most of the teachers I work with worked really hard during the spring with virtual learning as well as working with their own children. During this time particularly, good ISS personnel are needed. I know one person did ask if funds could be found elsewhere; if something else could be cut. Furlough days are not good and lack of pay step is not good for morale overall. There are so many dedicated staff who work at Dekalb–from counselors and psychologists to teachers and administrators-who work really hard to serve the students and their families,, and it seems like we are always the ones who, through no fault of our own, get the shaft, not only through salary cuts, but also through lack of funding for programs and supplies. Thank you for all that you do as an active board member.

  47. If you watch the BOE session, near the end when they are discussing the tentative budget, most of the BOE is very up-front about not wanting to lay anyone off.

    They are shameless in stating their support for keeping DCSD as a jobs program even when the workload has changed drastically and the current workforce may not have the right skills for the new jobs.

    While loyalty to employees is commendable, what this really means is that they are putting this above what is best for students, especially when you take a longer term look than just this 2020-21 school year.

    The majority of the BOE chose the Budget Option that kept ISS employees even though it required using $9 MILLION more from reserves than the other option.

    The Interim CFO had just stated that she preferred the other option because she believes that next year’s funding challenges will be even greater and the reserves should be used as little as possible.

    Does it really make sense to spend $9 MILLION to keep the 142 ISS teachers and offer NO STEP to all of the other thousands of teachers?

    What will we do next year, when the reserves are even lower than they are this year?

    Please email BOE members with your concerns. They don’t read this blog (even though they should!) so they won’t know your concerns unless you tell them directly.

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  48. Sent an email last night. The Superintendent is next!

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