Opening Schools in Metro Atlanta

Schools across Metro Atlanta will be opening next month. What’s the plan for DeKalb Schools?

DeKalb Schools’ new fearless leader, Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris, and her team will be presenting the School Re-Opening Plan at the July 13 board meeting. At this time, I don’t have any advanced knowledge of what the plan may look like. I am as eager as everyone else to see what is presented on Monday.

DeKalb Schools Opening Day: I expect DeKalb Schools to push back opening day to Aug 17.

Virtual Instruction

Virtual Instruction – Note: There are two types of virtual instruction. DeKalb Flex Academy and Forsyth Virtual Academy are on online schools separate from the brick and mortal schools. These virtual schools have their own course work and teachers.

The other type of virtual learning is where you have the same teacher and course work as the in-person traditional learning, but you are in that class virtually on that day. A teacher shared with me this week that she attended “Virtual Summer Camp” on how to conduct live virtual lessons via Microsoft Teams. She went on to say, “We were given daily Power Points, a schedule, with time for independent learning.”

I wasn’t able to ascertain what type of virtual learning some of the school districts are offering. I’m also not sure how viable it is for teachers to have in-person and virtual classes at the same time. Clayton schools will be on an A/B schedule with half of their students in-person and half of their students virtual Mon – Thur. Not quite sure of the logistics of that.


Here is what the other school districts in the Metro Atlanta are doing.

Atlanta Public Schools (APS) – APS has a new superintendent as well. School is currently scheduled to start on Aug 10, but they have not released any details of how they will open.

Clayton County – Clayton has not pushed their start date back and will open Aug 3. Clayton county will follow the moderate risk plan with half the students going on Mondays and Wednesdays and the other half the students on Tuesday and Thursday.

Cobb County – Cobb has pushed their start date back to Aug 17. Parents will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or remote virtual instruction.

Fayette County – Fayette will open Aug 10. Parents will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or remote virtual instruction. Remote virtual instruction will be scheduled real time lessons combined with asynchronous learning experiences. Attendance and student online engagement will be recorded. Assignments will be graded, and grading practices appropriate for a full-time virtual classroom will be developed.

Forsyth County – Forsyth will open Aug 6. Grades 6 – 12 may attend the Forsyth Virtual Academy. K – 5 parents will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or remote virtual instruction. The K-5 virtual option is still being developed.

Fulton County – It is speculated that Fulton County schools will push back their start date to Aug 17. Fulton parents, however, will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or remote virtual instruction.

Gwinnett Schools – Gwinnett met earlier this week to push back their start date to Aug 12. Parents will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or at home digital learning.

Hall County – Hall County will start Aug 7 with in-person traditional instruction. Parents and students may utilize Hall County Schools’ Virtual Learning Platform (a full-time online experience).

Henry County – Henry will start Aug 3. Parents will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or remote learning classes from home.

Marietta City – Marietta City Schools will start Aug 4. Parents will be able to choose from in-person traditional instruction or remote virtual instruction. 20% of the parents indicated in a survey that they wanted a virtual environment. Marietta City Schools is in the process of building virtual classes and assigning virtual teachers.

Rockdale County – Rockdale will have a soft opening on Aug 24 with all students doing remote virtual instruction. The first official day of school will be Sept 8 with a Hybrid Model of in-person and virtual (Independent) learning to reduce the number of students in the buildings at one time. Details pertaining to the Hybrid Model and Independent Learning will be out in the coming days and weeks.

RELATED POSTS

DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Update
July 5, 2020 – Will DeKalb Schools open on August 3rd as planned and what will learning look like when DeKalb Schools opens? 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.

DeKalb Schools Re-Opening Framework
June 20, 2020 – DeKalb Schools Re-Opening School Task Force built a 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.

CDC’s Considerations For Schools
May 23, 2020 – Spacing recommendations are going to be particularly burdensome for students and teachers in District 1 given the persistent overcrowding in this area. The arithmetic of students, bus seats, and square footage make it difficult to balance the equation.

Virtual Classrooms – The Future of DeKalb Schools
May 16, 2020 – There is still no definitive plan for what school will look like when it opens in August.

However, DeKalb Schools is full speed ahead planning on school in traditional classrooms as well as Virtual Classrooms.

149 responses to “Opening Schools in Metro Atlanta

  1. This is the most recent article from Dr. Fauci:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/09/coronavirus-live-updates-us/

    From the article: ““I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down,” Fauci said Wednesday. “It’s not for me to say, because each state is different.”

    Georgia is currently having a “serious problem.” No? As many teachers have stated above, ideally we all want to go “back to normal” and teach in person. The situation, however, is NOT normal and we don’t know what the new normal looks like yet. As a teacher, I would feel more comfortable going back to school when the numbers aren’t spiking as they currently are and with all of the suggested (should be mandated) precautions in place . We already know that happens when reopening takes place prematurely and with a large segment of the population that does not believe in science, does take this disease seriously, and ignores the safety of others. My impression is that these parents who are pushing the reopening schools as if we weren’t in the middle of a devastating pandemic are the same ones who were/are flouting recommended mask wearing and social distancing. You can’t have it both ways. And teachers cannot be considered both essential AND expendable.

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  2. WE are DEKALB

    @concerned

    Read the order. I linked it in my previous post, for your reference.

    A ‘shelter in place order’ is something completely separate from declaring a ‘Public Health State of Emergency’. I made no suggestion businesses were doing anything illegal by opening. That is governed by the shelter in place order.

    The fact remains: the state of Georgia is currently under a declared Public Health State of Emergency.

    By your own logic, that means that schools need to operate virtually with distance learning.

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  3. Essential Worker

    Stan,
    You asked if teachers are essential workers. They are. However, they are NOT Front-line workers. Please understand this difference. Please understand that this virus is NOVEL (this means that no one has immunity). For the parents who desire face-to-face instruction during a pandemic: Please understand that IF there are PARENTS who have choice, not TEACHERS, the model will most likely be a hybrid due to social distancing mandates. In order to make the classes smaller for distancing NO teachers will be permitted to teach from home. They will be needed at the school. There is NOT enough space to safely teach in our buildings not to mention NO fresh air flow due to windows which cannot open.

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  4. Summer camps are shutting down as Coronavirus spreads to campers:

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/summer-camp-coronavirus-outbreak-covid-kanakuk-missouri?fbclid=IwAR3zRIgXaGGF7rkehs2jusqoBPeLGlxsz38JFIDtgcX1b4d4NgQo1ML7cyI

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/07/08/us/missouri-arkansas-summer-camp-covid-19-trnd/index.html

    Teens and children are fighting for their lives after contracting the virus:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/weartv.com/amp/news/local/milton-teen-fights-for-her-life-against-covid-19-family-pleas-for-people-to-wear-masks

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/health/indiana-teen-dies-of-coronavirus-we-have-lost-a-bright-and-beautiful-shining-light.amp

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/06/19/health/teen-death-coronavirus-wellness-partner/index.html

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.waaytv.com/templates/AMP%3FcontentID%3D571545181

    What is the plan for opening schools safely? These camps took precautions and the virus spread rapidly within days. Those children who are fighting for their lives -or died- were healthy. There are many stories just like these that a quick Google search can produce. If a small summer camp can’t manage to safely stay open, how will a school with 500-700 students?

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  5. Dunwoody Dad

    @DSW2Contributor

    You comment about children being “perfect little pandemic spreaders” is a “perfect” example of paying little attention to what the actual evidence around the spread of Covid has shown us so far, and instead only listening to the fear-mongers who prey on emotions rather than working off of facts. I’ll re-post an article I linked in a comment above from yesterday:

    *****
    “Understanding transmission better could help inform public health policy as schools and childcare centers decide how and whether to reopen or not, says Jennifer Schuster, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. “Initially, there was a lot of thought that this virus could be spread by children in congregate settings, which is common for other respiratory viruses like influenza. What we’re seeing more and more from the data that comes out is that child-to-child or child-to-adult spread is actually not common,” she says.

    Other studies propose biological explanations for the lower levels of disease seen in children. And a modeling study published today in Nature Medicine estimates that people younger than 20 years of age are about half as susceptible to coronavirus infection as people older than 20.

    Article: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/covid-19-is-very-different-in-young-kids-versus-adults-67637
    *****
    Just because there was an initial fear about kids being potential “super-spreaders” and killing off their parents & grandparents doesn’t mean it has actually been happening. Quite the opposite has been true, actually. There’s a lot of literature out there about how difficult it is for young kids (10 & under) to even contract Covid at all, much less spread it to others (even less of an issue). Now, older teens are another story, but among elementary-aged kids, teachers are probably safer than they would be in almost any other setting in which other people were present.

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  6. Stan Jester

    Assuming for a minute that students are the pandemic spreaders and we have to go 100% virtual, would students staying home and teachers going into work be a viable option? –Stan

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  7. DunwoodyTeacher

    Stan,

    If we have to go 100% virtual, I would love to be able to do it from my classroom. I really don’t work well from home. I think it is viable. Teachers could stay in their rooms with the door closed. Wipes around the school to wipe down common areas. If teachers are out in the hallways, they should maintain 6 ft apart. The one concern would be staff such as paraprofessionals and SPED teachers that coteach. There are not enough extra rooms around our school to place them. Where would they work from?

    My dining room table and other areas were littered with materials from school. Also, my husband and kids complained that I was too loud on my Zoom meetings. They all had to scramble to other areas because it was too distracting.

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  8. Stan,
    I would be perfectly happy with going into the building to teach students virtually. I’d have access to all of my classroom resources to ensure that I could effectively do this. Teachers would be able to socially distance in our classrooms and students would be protected at home. If someone gets sick, it would also be much easier to track to stop a significant spread. I think that’s a viable option.

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  9. Stan,

    I see 100% virtual and teachers work from school location as viable.

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  10. Safety concerns

    Stan,

    I agree with the other teachers who have responded for all their stated reasons. Going into the schools to teach virtually would not be a problem for me, as long as there is some outdoor ventilation into the common areas and hallways. I was nervous going in to close my classroom this summer. I know that some teachers might have difficulties with finding care for their own children. However, if we are expecting parents to stay home with their children or to find safe childcare alternatives to do virtual learning in order to keep the community safe, we should also be subject to that. It would help parents know that we are in the same boat. Philosophically, I think employees in any profession that can work from home right now should be able to. I know the ideas seem contradictory. I think that our going into the building will give those who have been calling teachers selfish or lazy some reassurance that we just want everyone to be safe.

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  11. One of many DeKalb teachers

    Stan,
    As a teacher, I would love to work in my classroom if we have to go 100% virtual. Having access to printers, scanners, and materials would make my lessons much better than in the Spring. Maintaining 6 ft would be easy in a high school or middle school with no students.

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  12. Science Teacher

    Concerned, you are right, 100% online learning will not work for a majority of our students.

    Disgusted, you are right, our schools are not designed to allow social distancing. If we go back this fall it will be a health disaster for staff, students, and families.

    If Dekalb moves forward with in-school instruction, we must dramatically decrease class size and attempt some level of social distancing. One approach to this is a flex schedule- 1/2 the students attend school on Mon&Wed, 1/2 on Tues&Thurs. On the days the students are not in class they would have online learning support and instruction at home.
    Teachers could be divided up into 2 groups- online teachers or classroom teachers. Teacher would work in teams by subject/grade, coordinating what they do online and in the classroom. The school day could be shortened a bit to allow time for teachers to plan as teams and check in on students who seem to be struggling. Teachers with health concerns could work from home, while those of us with COVID antibodies could take their place in the classroom. We could constantly test staff and students, and contact trace and quarantine when we get positive tests. I honestly feel a model like this could work, and we could successfully teach our students across most subjects and grade levels.

    Why any alternative like this would never work here… 1) DeKalb is a massive, top heavy school system that has a long history of making bad choices for its teachers, students and parents. 2) school has become so much more than a place to socialize and get an education. It also has to provide daycare, 2 meals a day and social services. 3) not all of our families have consistent access to the internet and technology in their homes. 4)…. not enough COVID tests, not enough staff, not enough money, not enough time…. the list is endless

    DeKalb has taught us all over the years to hope for and work towards the best, but expect the worst… if you have followed this blog at all you know how true this is. As much as I want the fall to go well, I am really, really worried.

    Parents, please don’t equate experience-based concerns that teachers voice with us being evil, lazy or political. We are totally dedicated to our vocation, and we are going to be literally putting our lives on the line for our students when we return to our classrooms in a few weeks.

    And if you want your children to successfully return to school this fall, please, please wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times. Start modeling safe practices now so your children will be prepared when they return to our classrooms.

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  13. Science Teacher

    Dunwoody Dad- you really don’t know what you are talking about. Teachers are always catching viruses from their students- COVID will be no different

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  14. WE are Dekalb

    @stanjester

    I believe that your suggestion is a viable option as long as the following are mandated, enforced, and monitored by the county.

    1. Social distancing still required
    2. Masks are required on school grounds unless isolated in a closed classroom or outside
    3. Teachers and staff are not required to physically gather together for meetings/trainings
    4. Temperature checks still take place before entering the building
    5. In the event that someone becomes sick, DPH guidelines are followed regarding contract tracing, self isolation, and return to work for sick employees.
    6. Development of a system for employees to report if these things are not happening in their buildings

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  15. Dunwoody Dad

    @Science Teacher
    Respectfully, I understand that teachers often catch viruses from their students- viruses that are more easily spread from kids to adults than the science thus far suggests is the case with Covid. I’m sure there could be SOME spread from kids to adults, but it appears much less likely than with the seasonal flu, colds, etc. Again, this isn’t just me making something up- read the article I linked, and many others that are out there. Just because it wasn’t on the evening news doesn’t mean it’s not true. We already know Covid treats adults (especially very old adults) much, much differently than it does kids, and especially young kids. Wouldn’t you agree? So why is it so hard for you to believe that the ability for kids to be infected, and then to spread that infection to others, could be vastly different in kids than adults as well?

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  16. Young teach

    I am a young, healthy high school teacher and I am nervous about going back to school. My safety concerns echo those posted by other teachers. Those who are advocating for in-person have not addressed these concerns and I do not have faith in the district to make sure our return will be safe.

    -Will we be provided with Lysol and cleaning wipes? I have always supplied these in the past and this year the cost will be lot more than and we may be furloughed.
    -My floor holds nearly 300 students at time with one bathroom for each gender (one sink with three faucets). The bathroom only has cold water and is often out of soap and water. How can the students regularly and throughly wash their hands? (From what has been said, most parents want in-person so I don’t expect enrollment to be drastically lower)
    -The AC in my classroom has not worked in two years. There is no regular air flow let alone air filtration.
    -Even in December, my classroom is HOT. I would have a hard time keeping a mask on and I’m sure my students will as well…
    -What happens if students refuse to wear a mask? Or someone thinks it is funny to remove their mask and cough on someone (have you met a 9th grade boy recently? Their humor is lacking) ?
    – Will the district provide masks to students who do not have them or is that my responsibility as well?
    -I teach science, I have tables instead of desks that sit four students comfortably but I often have to cram 5 or 6 students in. It is literally impossible to have students physically distance. To actually be 6 feet apart, I could only sit 2 to a table.
    – What will happen WHEN, not if, a student or staff member tests positive? Summer camps have been closing left and right as campers and staffers contract the virus. We need a firm plan B in place when in-person doesn’t work.

    I know there will be a certain amount of risk going back to school and as a low-risk individual I am ready to go back but ALL of the counties, not just Dekalb, need to adequately mitigate the risk to protect students, teachers, and families. We can’t pretend like everything is normal.

    I actually had pretty good participation during VL until the district decided to not hold students accountable for any of the assignments. I understand why they did this for the spring but it drastically reduced student engagement. As others have said, part of the problem with VL was the initial lack of guidance and then the ever changing schedule and work load for students.

    My ideal model for high school that allows social distancing would be a hybrid model. Half the class M/W, the other half Tu/Th, everyone virtual Friday. I would still be exposed to all 150 students but at least we could be appropriately spread out. For my AP classes I already used a flipped classroom method. Students watch videos/read on the content then we practice the material in class, do labs, extend learning and provide remediation if necessary. This hybrid schedule would be perfect for the flipped model. Is it as good as 100% in person? Absolutely not, but we are not living in normal times right now and can’t expect normalcy. Elementary schools can limit students exposure to one classroom, middle school to one team, but high schoolers could have 30 different students in their class every period.

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  17. @Dunwoody Dad,
    Respectfully, I’m not worried about dying from a stomach virus or flu (thanks to the flu vaccine). I’m concerned about contracting Covid from one of the kids and dying, though. A virus is a virus. Viruses always affect adults more than adults. Teachers witness this every year, which is why we’re concerned. In addition, how is there any evidence to base your claims on when we have no data tracking how the virus spreads in schools in the United States? We shut schools down before the virus really started to spread. We can’t use data from other countries who’ve done a much better job of slowing the spread, and whose schools are far less crowded and have implemented all sorts of protections. We simply do not have the leadership or money to do that here. Therefore, we know very little about how this virus will behave in our schools. However, if the flu, common cold, stomach virus, etc. are our references, it will spread very rapidly in schools.

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  18. Region 1 Teacher

    Stan – If the decision is made to teach 100% online, which I don’t think it will be, I have absolutely no objections with going into the building to teach virtually. This would make online instruction much more effective than what happened in the spring. Lessons would be much more engaging and teachers would have access to more resources. It would also make it easier to supply paper copies and models to students to support lessons. We would also be in a better position to work with families than when were teaching out of our living rooms. This would also make coordinating technology resources with families easier.

    This may be hard for some to accept: Teachers want to work, teachers care about their students, and teachers miss teaching in the classroom. No one is getting rich from teaching in a K-12 public school setting. We do this because we care about kids and the future. We all just want to make sure the kids and adults are safe.

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  19. Science Teacher

    Dunwoody Dad- it’s all about data, and with COVID-19, the key data comes through testing. Kids are not being systematically tested, and until they are, we will have no idea what their exposure rate is is. It’s looking like young people are more likely to be asymptomatic carriers. The lack of children showing up at hospitals does not mean they are less likely to contract and spread the virus. Only testing can show that.
    We can not safely open up the school without significantly ramping up testing, on both staff and students.

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  20. Demographics

    I see Stan is MIA. Can’t blame you when your blog has been taken over by teachers who refuse to consider virtual AND in person- parents choice and instead use the bullet points from GAE.

    https://t.e2ma.net/click/irjspf/qdyk1o/adjwuib

    Where are the parents to speak-up in our district and these teachers comments, many that are absolutely disgusting.

    Teachers, you have a choice- find another career (extreme I know), fmla, sick days, etc etc. Wear a mask, wash hands, take precautions like the rest of us who have jobs do. Take your complaints to your principal.

    Thank you to the teachers fighting to get back in the classroom. We appreciate you! Godspeed

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  21. @Stan I’d prefer to at least have the option to work from school even if we are virtual. Many of us have only been allowed in the school once since March 13.

    Everyone has different circumstances though. People working from a house may be ok working from home, whereas those of us in apartments are more likely to want to work from our rooms.

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  22. If we could turn back time...

    Leadership means having to make tough decisions. The health of EVERY HUMAN should be the driving focus behind decisions that are made even though it may not always be the popular thing to do.

    I know the school board and superintendent agonize over this decision they’ve been forced to make because of failed leadership at the state and national level.

    Other countries are able to better protect the kids in school by bringing infection rates way down and implementing safeguards similar to the CDC guidelines. Unfortunately we are not dealing with these facts here.

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  23. Motherdaughterwife-teacher

    IN THAT ORDER! There is so much back and forth here I couldn’t keep up. So many issues and statements I wanted to chime in on but much of the back and forth falls on deaf ears because we are all rooted in our own beliefs. But I will share these thoughts….
    First @Dadof5 thank you for trying to see things from the other side and speaking up for teachers. I truly appreciate your kindness and understanding.

    For who ever said teachers are essential workers, I disagree. Essential workers are those who provide life saving necessities- food, water, shelter, and medical help. I teach, I provide valuable knowledge and even life skills but with out what I do (education) people can still live. Education is important and necessary but it’s not as important as food, water shelter or medical help. Also the safety measures provided to essential workers is vastly different. Even grocery store and fast food workers -food and water providers are given masks, plexiglass walls, gloves and sanitizer. We have no indication these things will be provided to us, to what extent or even for how long. And for these essential workers there exposure to the public is much different in the way teachers are being asked to be in close proximity in poorly ventilated classrooms with 15-30 CHILDREN for 6 1/2 – 7 hours a day.

    Next for who ever believes teaching is not a teleworking job, well it’s time to shift that thinking. We are in the wake of a pandemic and a “new normal”. And virtual learning will surely be our new normal within a matter of time. We need to face this reality, embrace it and begin to plan, strategize and train for it now so it won’t be as disastrous as it was in the spring. If we open schools to face-to-face instruction without a handle on rising COVID-19 cases we will inevitably be back to virtual learning in no time and if we don’t embrace this reality now we will be scrambling just like we were in spring.

    For who ever brought up the issue of race…thank you! I don’t know what the percentage of African American teachers is in the county, but I know my school is 100% African American and our student population is pretty much the same. And it has been well documented over the last few weeks African Americans are at a disproportionate risk for contracting Coronavirus and when making school opening decisions these facts also need to be considered. Not to mention the number of students in my school who are being raised by black aging grandparents.

    There are so many moving parts to the reopening of schools, there will not be a solution that will satisfy everyone, but the safest route for all stakeholders has to be put into place, the most convenient or perhaps even the most effective, but the SAFEST!

    Finally, I leave you with this article and food for thought.
    https://medium.com/@harley.litzelman/teachers-refuse-to-return-to-campus-b9afa039ef2e

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  24. Demographics

    @ we are dekalb

    Dr. Fauci this week;

    “First of all the statement, which is true, that if you keep children out of school, the unintended negative ripple effect consequences can be profound with regard to what do the parents do that they then stay off of work to be able to take care of their children? What about childcare? What about children who rely on schools for their lunch for maybe the most important nutritional meal that they’ll get? So the broad approach would be obviously, but paying attention to the safety of the children, which is always paramount, but within the context of doing whatever you can to safeguard the health and the welfare of the children, we should try to get the schools open. And that’s one of the things that was brought up at the press conference today that we should try our very best to maintain getting these schools open because of the potential and real negative effects of closing down. But obviously there’s a caveat there. You want to make sure that you do it in a situation where the safety of the children becomes paramount.”

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  25. @Demographics,

    This isn’t 1872; teachers are allowed to have children now. The funny thing is, you aren’t realizing that many of the teachers who are responding ARE parents. We’d be affected by our kids not being in school as well. We’d have to find childcare or figure out how to teach and keep them on track if we work from home. We would have all of the same issues and concerns any parent would have with having children at home doing virtual learning. We’re still advocating for the safety of the students and teachers.

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  26. Self Control

    All of our national attention should be on re-opening the schools ONCE WE HAVE BROUGHT INFECTION RATES DOWN.

    Step 1. Bring infection rates down
    Step 2. Start school

    Unfortunately we haven’t addressed step one. Instead we FLAUNT the directives we are given. Want to eat inside? Go for it. Want to go to the bar? Go for it. Want to pack the pools, beaches, and beltline? Go for it. Don’t like wearing a face covering? Go for it.

    The problem is that we have not curtailed our individual activities to stop the spread. Other countries did. Thus they get to go back to school with precautions.

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  27. Encouraging news for parents! Kayleigh McEnany press conference on OPENING SCHOOLS.

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  28. Encouraging news for parents! Kayleigh McEnany press conference on OPENING SCHOOLS.

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  29. @WE are DEKALB

    Then all schools should be closed if ‘Public Health State of Emergency’ is not lifted. Even if one county opens up, the rest must do the same. And majority of them are opening up. Dekalb mustn’t be an exception. Equal opportunities for all! Very grateful that the President cares about students and is advocating to open schools. Liked the idea of withdrawing federal funds from schools which don’t comply (the funds will go directly to students).

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  30. @Disgusted

    I suspect that your kids will be going to school in another district and you want to screw Deklab students.

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  31. WE are Dekalb

    @demographics

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Fauci. Again, I fail to see where he says that we should open regardless of the reality of the situation on the ground. He says, “we should try to get the schools open.” As I stated, “the expert consensus is that the ‘goal’ is to have students back in school.” He also states that we need to ensure the safety of the children.

    We can do that by getting the spread in the community under control. Otherwise, any attempt to physically reopen would quickly lead to infections, closures, and disruptions to learning. I am not arguing for permanent VL, but I believe that we should be virtual until the virus’ spread no longer falls into the ‘substantial’ category. This view is based on the guidance jointly crafted and released by the Georgia Department of Education and The Department of Public Health.

    I have linked the document below, for your reference.

    Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools

    https://www.georgiainsights.com/recovery.html

    I’m working from facts, science, and the guidance released from experts -not feelings and emotions. At this point you aren’t arguing with me, you’re arguing with the experts.

    You are asking the district to ignore the safety measures and guidance, crafted by the state’s top experts in these fields, in an effort to maintain safety while ensuring that the learning continues. That is counterintuitive. Teachers are allowed to have an opinion and participate in community discourse, as are you. Why would I ‘complain’ to my principal, when I could bring my legitimate concerns to a member of the board? Do not forget that teachers are stakeholders too.

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  32. WE are Dekalb

    @ concerned

    You are asking for the county to barter the well-being of the students on group-think – not reasoning for ourselves and making the best choice for the safety, well-being, and education of our students?

    That is indefensible. That is dangerous. You have negated your own argument. The district has a responsibility to consider the well-being of all, even when the closest people to them are incapable of (or refuse) to do that for themselves.

    Ignoring realities in favor of magical thinking is irresponsible and gets us nowhere.

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  33. Parents, in case Dekalb denies the right of in-person education, here is the link to contact the Governor

    https://www.governorscamp.com/contact/

    Let’s get everybody, who shares the same values of education, on board. Talk to friends, neighbors, etc. Let’s start with contacting the Governor and see what response we’ll get… I’m sure there will be more information from the White House by then as well. It’s not hopeless, the Presidents is in support. In any case it’s worth trying. I don’t remember whose quote it is but it fits our cause: “Every injustice in the world happens with the silent agreement of the crowd” We can’t be silent, we must do everything in our power and fight for the justice in Dekalb County School District: equal opportunities for all students.

    2
  34. @WE are Dekalb

    I’m asking for equal opportunities for all students in every county. Counties with higher levels of transmission are opening up. There is absolutely no reasons that Dekalb can’t. We have lower levels of transmission than those counties.

    3
  35. WE are Dekalb

    What about the 67 000 pediatricians who absolutely stress on the importance of students going back to schools in person, that it’s imperative for them to have an in-person education (please refer to the today’s press conference with Kayleigh McEnany)

    3
  36. @ Stan
    Stan, if you take a moment to reply, are the Board members are going to vote for the proposal of the county on Monday or just obtain the info. Thanks.

    2
  37. We are Dekalb

    @ concerned

    You have chosen to ignore the facts, science, and reality in favor of magical thinking and group-think. That does nothing to change the reality of the situation that we are currently facing. If you can not accept and work from the facts, we have nothing more to discuss. I will still fight for the well-being of your child and all others in Dekalb.

    You can not ignore a problem away.

    9
  38. Demographics

    The only groupthink here is from teachers.

    We can fight for the well-being for our own children here in district 1, we don’t need your help in fighting for our children. You’re not. You refuse to work and do your job if you cannot stay home or enter your classroom with no students.

    You’re hurting the most vulnerable population of children. Still baffled why the school systems with majority white students have given parents a choice, yet predominantly black systems have removed choice. One would think it would be the opposite. We all know DeKalbs dismal school results.

    3
  39. WE are Dekalb

    @demographics

    I implore you to point out any post on this blog in which I have said that I would refuse to work if the district made the decision to return to the brick and mortar. I reject that characterization.

    As I have previously stated, “I’m working from facts, science, and the guidance released from experts -not feelings and emotions. At this point you aren’t arguing with me, you’re arguing with the experts.

    You are asking the district to ignore the safety measures and guidance, crafted by the state’s top experts in these fields, in an effort to maintain safety while ensuring that the learning continues. That is counterintuitive. Teachers are allowed to have an opinion and participate in community discourse, as are you. Why would I ‘complain’ to my principal, when I could bring my legitimate concerns to a member of the board? Do not forget that teachers are stakeholders too.“

    Again, I have linked the ‘Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools’ document, below. This document was jointly crafted and released by the Georgia Department of Education and The Department of Public Health. Please give it a read. If you take issue with their recommendations, please reach out to them with your concerns. Characterizing teachers as lazy, unwilling to work, and not acting in the best interest of the children for encouraging our district to follow the data and the state issued guidance created by the experts, is honestly pretty silly.

    ‘Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools
    https://www.georgiainsights.com/recovery.html

    5
  40. Wear a mask

    @demographics… Dekalb hasn’t always been majority black. I remember being a student in Dekalb County during the M to M days (during the start of “white flight”) and having to follow the will of the majority. And as far as DeKalb’s “dismal” school results… when the bigger issue of equity and cultural responsiveness becomes an on-going part of the conversation and the work in Dekalb as it relates to teaching and learning in the classroom, then perhaps that will change. But for now, let’s focus on getting this curve moving in the right direction by telling everyone we know to wear a face mask so that teachers can get back to doing what they love… going to the School Box during pre-planning and teaching kids face-to-face (which can be anywhere from 25 to 38 students packed in a tiny room with horrible ventilation, no Kleenex, no wipes, no hand sanitizers, no hot water, crowded halls during class change, etc.).

    And, furthermore, blame your Governor for not following the reopening guidelines and allowing people to go bowling and to bars and to clubs and to gyms too soon which, unfortunately, has resulted in a “teachers versus parents” fight over how schools should reopen. We all have enough to worry about. If we had adequate leadership at the state and federal level who actually listened to the experts, then this probably wouldn’t be an issue in July when teachers are slated to report on the 27th.

    Remember…we’re all in this together, but stay away from me (at least until this is somewhat under control).

    8
  41. Those school systems that are starting with virtual learning are using common sense and science to drive their decisions. Their decisions are not driven by political affiliations or the need to feel like they have some power by trying to order teachers around. Kudos to them. A quick look at social media will show that there are teachers all over this country who are planning to strike and refusing to work in these conditions. It’s not unique to DeKalb. Teachers have rights, and I’m glad so many of us are finally speaking up.

    9
  42. @ Wear a mask – you’re absolutely right. When the group that controls the school board and all decisions decides to provide the level of facilities to the northern sections of DeKalb as they do to the south, then maybe we’ll have some equity in the county. I would love for my kids to have the facilities that Arabia Mtn students have.

    3
  43. @concerned

    Respectfully, I must disagree with your thoughts re: doctors not being allowed to wear masks unless treating COVID patients. In my large and very well-known hospital system, we are required to wear masks from the second we step out of the car to the second we get in our car. We are sent frequent reminders on this. No one at this system is wearing trash bags, we have what we need but no more.

    6
  44. @B

    Those are not my thoughts. That was the reality of hospitals in the beginning of the crisis, you can refresh you memory researching the news etc. from that period of time. I personally was volunteering making masks for the hospital workers (one of the moms organized it here) (plain cloth masks! for the hospitals!)

    2
  45. @Equity, just so you know EQUITY isn’t just about a building. But carry on.

    3
  46. Teacher with young kids

    Hello,

    Many of the comments I’ve seen don’t seem to consider factors like dual working household, single parents, teachers with children, etc. A virtual only model may appear great but will have negative income or employment impacts on these type households.

    Virtual only will mean that in each of these cases additional childcare will be required. In challenging economic times like the current additional cost that are as expensive as childcare likely isn’t an option for most. It is no secret that teachers don’t make a lot, so they can’t afford to hire additional childcare. An option of choice, allows those that can afford and desire to stay home to do so, while also allowing an option for those that don’t have the flexibility.

  47. Teacher with young kids

    Forgot to mention the hybrid only model doesn’t work either for teachers with young kids. We would have no childcare for the days we would be required to teach but our children would be at home.

  48. Gwinnett and Cobb county have (for the most part) well functioning school houses. They have hot water , soap , and heating/air ventilation. The Physical state of the buildings in a lot of DCSD are not functioning well enough to be safe during this pandemic. In a couple of schools I have worked in we had to bring in toilet paper for restrooms. The capacity of of the schools to carry out standard infection control measures will be a challenge.

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