Conditions To Move To Hybrid

On Monday, the DeKalb Schools administration presented the conditions under which the school district would transition to a hybrid learning environment. The Georgia Department of Public Health provides a daily report with numerous data points including the number of COVID-19 cases.

FORMULA
DeKalb Schools will begin the transition to a hybrid learning model if the “Cases per 100K (last 2 weeks)” is below 100 for 14 days straight.

BACK TO SCHOOL SERIES OF EVENTS
It will take 5 weeks of being below 100 cases per 100K people before children see a classroom.

2 Weeks – Every day below 100 cases
1 Week – Teachers will be given 1 weeks notice before they start working from the classroom
2 Weeks – Teachers work from the classroom for 2 weeks without students

DeKalb County COVID Trends
Given the urban environment, it will be extremely challenging to get to 100 cases per 100K for 5 weeks.

VERGE ENGAGEMENT
VERGE is the DCSD-approved and supported virtual learning environment. Teachers are also using environments outside of VERGE. Many teachers use other platforms to deliver content, instruction, and follow-up for students, however students should eventually log into VERGE. Out of 98,093 enrolled students, 75,337 of them have logged into VERGE. This seems to indicate that over 20,000 students may not be engaging online.

Update 9/17/2020 @ 11am – Comment From AJ Turner

“My daughter is a senior at Tucker High. She’s also a dual enrollment students. She has 3 classes virtually for Tucker. None of those teachers use Verge so she has never checked into Verge this school year. Therefore, I’m not sure if Verge is a good source to gauge attendance and or engagement.”

Update 9/17/2020 @ 11am – Comment From Paula Emde

“Using Verge to gauge online engagement is not an accurate tool. My two high school students have each logged on ONCE since August 17, and in chatting with another parent, one of her high school students has logged on once (for 3 minutes) and the other has never logged on at all. But all 4 students are fully engaged and present and participating.”

81 responses to “Conditions To Move To Hybrid

  1. I don’t follow, “Verge is the approved DCSDPlatform”. It is one of the approved platforms, perhaps the majority of the students are logging into one of the other platforms.

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  2. What is the duration column? hours/days/mins? over what period?

  3. VERGE is approved and supported. The district doesn’t block to some extent some of the other platforms. All the students I talk to log into VERGE for one reason or another. It is currently the only data point I have to indicate attendance.

  4. Thanks for the summary. Do you have any idea if the recent parent/ stakeholder survey (deadline to contribute was September 15th) results will be posted?

  5. Elementary teachers take attendance daily during their morning live class. I assume teachers in other grades are also finding ways outside of VERGE to confirm daily attendance.

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  6. I will post the survey results. I’m confident the administration will post the results as well.

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  7. Stan, so glad the board spoke up on the faculty and staff behalf. The virus is not being taken seriously! People are dying & lots of faculty & staff have underlying medical conditions. School should be virtual for the remainder if first semester and possibly see what the cases look like in January. No one is returning to the school buildings if they don’t feel safe.
    The work is not worth the risk!

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  8. Attendance – Last month the administration said that student attendance will be taken, but the school will just be looking for signs of participation. In addition to online participation in virtual classes, the school will be looking for students who login to the system or engage their teachers through email or turning in homework.

    Kindergarten and Pre-K Enrollment – One concern that I haven’t mentioned is K enrollment. Total K enrollment for the district is 4,982. DeKalb Schools forecasted to have 7,484 students in Kindergarten. We have 2,502 fewer kindergarten students than projected.

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  9. Stan, seeing as Kindergarten has the highest return for QBE and enrollment is down, is the District making an attempt to work with the State to ensure QBE doesn’t drop dramatically. Is seems like some forward thinking here might avoid a significant loss of revenue.

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  10. Stan,
    Thank you for your service on the board. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in putting this together.

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  11. Hello @D. I’m guessing sales and QBE revenues will be down across the state. I’m not sure what any of the districts are doing about adjusting for revenues or attendance.

  12. Concerned Citizen

    “Given the urban environment, it will be extremely challenging to get to 100 cases per 100K for 5 weeks.”

    Have you taken a look at NYC’s 7-day rolling average since June 1? They’ve been below 600 cases each day since June 1 and the city’s average is currently at 206, which is about 2.5 cases per 100,000. NYC hit the target for reopening schools back in mid-July according to the SCIENCE and the teachers union said “no way!” and the reopening of schools has been delayed to September 21.

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  13. This all may be a moot point, but I think it warrants being mentioned. Stan, based on your comments during the board meeting, it seems to me you have a little bit of a misunderstanding of the numbers. You commented how Monday numbers are often higher than other days to reflect what wasn’t reported over the weekend, but DPH’s reporting of a 14-day number eliminates this anomaly, as it’s reporting all counts over a 14-day period and dividing this by the population (divided by 100k). It also seems to me you’re misunderstanding the 14-day period as implied in the superintendent’s report. I think the 14-day reference is a description of which data is being used – not that the number stays that way for 14 days. The “14-day cases per 100k” is reported each day. I would imagine once that drops below 100, it would start the 1 week count down for teachers. I agree that if it pops back up again, the clock starts over, but its being a 14-day running number, makes it a smoother line and not one with daily spikes.

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  14. Stan where did the 100 cases metric come from? I consider us a suburban district and get the feeling we are not comparing apples to apples. It also appears there are hotspots in the county that are skewing the numbers. I would appreciate DCSD not taking a one size fit all approach. If limited zip codes are issues those schools could continue or revert back to virtual without restricting the whole system. Another factor that I would like to know is how child services are being accounted for? The teachers are on of the front lines of noticing issues in a students home life. Going to miss your transparency and advocacy!!

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  15. Thanks @Maggie. On Monday I was not clear how the numbers were calculated. The answers they gave me at the time were not accurate. Since then, I sought out clarity and have posted this article so everybody can be on the same page. –Stan

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  16. Stan, thanks for all you do and sharing helpful information. How was the decision reached for 2nd, 6th & 9th graders to return?

  17. @LL, Good question. I don’t know why the administration recommended 2nd, 6th and 9th graders return for a few days before everyone else.

  18. My daughter is a senior at Tucker High. She’s also a dual enrollment students. She has 3 classes virtually for Tucker. None of those teachers use Verge so she has never checked into Verge this school year. Therefore, I’m not sure if Verge is a good source to gauge attendance and or engagement.

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  19. Using Verge to gauge online engagement is not an accurate tool. My two high school students have each logged on ONCE since August 17, and in chatting with another parent, one of her high school students has logged on once (for 3 minutes) and the other has never logged on at all. But all 4 students are fully engaged and present and participating.

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  20. Mr. Jester
    I copied the post below from a parent special education group. How does the DCSD monitor that services are being provided to special education students during these times? How are para educators being used to support special education students? I can see this as being another area where in time DeKalb will have to provide funds and services for students that were not given services or given limited services during the pandemic. I think that this is an area that may be of concerned to many families.
    Copied from parent group site:
    We know virtual learning isn’t working for all families! Students with special needs are suffering the most. We need to urge Governor Kemp to provide relief directly to families and allow them to make the decisions in their child’s education. Over 1,000 families have emailed the Governor on this issue, but we need more voices to speak up. Please take action today and email him via this link: https://p2a.co/aXqs1D8
    https://www.wabe.org/parents-urge-gov-kemp-to-use-coronavirus-relief-money-for-students-with-special-needs/

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  21. @Joy. Meeting FAPE requirements is challenging in this environment. It is purported that a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs generally allege that the nationwide school closures and limitation of education services associated with COVID-19 have denied them a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The case was filed by approximately 104 individuals with disabilities seeking certification to litigate on behalf of every special education student in the country. The suit has been filed against: (1) Bill DeBlasio in his capacity as Mayor of New York; (2) Richard Carranza in his capacity as Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; (3) every School District in the United States ; and (4) every state’s department of education.

  22. Regardless of when or how we return, I would like to see three things in place:
    1. Masks. Everyone, all the time. Maybe even while eating lunch.
    2. HVAC systems cleaned, maintained frequently, with extra filtration in place.
    3. Room purifiers all over the place.

    Except for masks the improved HVAC and room purifiers have always been needed.

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  23. We need to remain home. There is no need to go and risk illness to our children and educators. Check back again for sometime in 2021. Let 2020 remain online. Thanks

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  24. VERGE engagement – Excellent feedback. Thank you. I’m going to update my post to include your comments directly in the post.

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  25. Live at the Dekalb Courthouse

    This morning, Judge Adams signed off on the Gold-Shaye teacher retirement lawsuit. Roy Barnes and Jason Carter get almost $40 Million from it.

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  26. In response to your comment about if people can go to restaurants and the grocery store, kids can go to school. You need to know that so many of us have not been in a restaurant since March and go to the grocery store for less than 30 minutes at most at 7:30 am. I have a daughter-teacher with 3 sons, a single mother. She is NOT expendible and neither are the grandsons. I have no idea what restaurants you go to but I doubt you sit there 8 hours in an enclosed room with inadequate ventilation, similar to what is in most of our schools. I would also say a grocery store is not an all day, every day experience for anyone but those front line workers. I have to agree with the majority of the board who does not see the rush to put everyone back in the classrooms. If this country had modeled itself after many other countries, who had stable, common sense leaders, we would not be in this place. What happens when 12-14 teachers are out for 2 weeks? Where is the rapid testing program that schools need before even considering putting kids and staff back in school? I hope that a January start date ends up being the decision–if that is even feasible. This a world-wide pandemic. It needs to be looked at as the serious, once-in-a-lifetime problem that it is. If it is safe, why not hold your BOE meetings in a typical DCSS classroom? Most governments are still operating in a stay-at-home basis. Spend your time and resources finding solutions for those who do not have the access they need to continue school remotely until it is safe to go back.

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  27. Concerned teacher

    I appreciate that DCSD is looking at the numbers when discussing reopening. The plan seems far more science-based than I have seen from other districts that seem to be relying more upon popular opinion. That said, I wonder whether the numbers DCSD is looking at are taking into account that DeKalb includes other school districts. 

    On the map, the lightest areas, those zip codes with the fewest cases, are primarily in the City of Atlanta. Decatur, while not as low as Atlanta, is lower than significant portions of DeKalb. It would seem that if we are discussing reopening DeKalb County Schools that we should look at the numbers of the zip codes that feed into DCSD. The zip codes for APS & CSD should be exluded. 

    Please tell us what our cases per 100,000 are when the Atlanta & Decatur zip codes are excluded.

    Thank you.

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  28. Concerned teacher

    re: 2nd, 6th, & 9th graders:

    6th & 9th graders have never set foot inside their schools. It makes sense that 6th & 9th graders would report to their schools before the rest of the students in order to allow them to locate their classes before the rest of the students show up. (Of course there will be new students at every grade level but to a much lesser extent.)

    To that end, perhaps 1st grade, instead of 2nd 2nd grade makes more sense at the elementary level.

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  29. Does the School Board have the approve the plan or does the Superintendent have the right to implement a plan without approval?

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  30. Concerned Citizen

    @Edugator, what has been your experience when eating lunch while wearing a mask?

    BTW, I assume DCSD has a plan for testing HVAC systems for legionella bacteria before returning to schools that have been closed for months.

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  31. Our the metro Atlanta districts sharing information? What is working? What is not working? How each is overcoming problems. Especially as we consider re-opening it would be great to learn from other districts that already have students attending in person.

    Yesterday I chatted with a friend whose daughter is at Norcross High School. They have a reduced student population as parents can choose between in person and virtual. Masks are strictly enforced. Hallways are one-way only. He seemed to think things were going pretty well.

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  32. Melissa Schafstall

    Chamblee High is using google classroom. I just confirmed with my son that he hasn’t logged onto verge once since school started.

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  33. Concerned- appreciate your concern. Masks are useful for straining soup.
    Regarding HVAC, never assume that DeKalb will do anything other than react to broken machinery, and slowly at that.
    But I am serious about seeing documented efforts to improve air quality in our buildings before we go back.

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  34. Janet Johnson Perry

    Thanks for keeping us informed. I appreciate it. I have 2 high schoolers who may have logged onto Verge once or twice. But they’re both fully engaged for the entire school day. They’ve no reason to right now.
    On another note, I started a new job that takes me into areas of the county I’ve not been before. I’ve been amazed and awed at parents who’ve had to come up with some clever hacks to keep their students online all day. I think we sometimes forget that there are still pockets of the county without consistent access to the internet.

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  35. HVAC concerns? We SHOULD be concerned. At ANY given time all over Dekalb County there are large, yellow, plastic trash cans collecting dripping water from Dekalb School System HVAC systems. I dare you to investigate it for YOURSELF. During the summer months many classrooms grow mold from the humidity. Add COVID concerns on top of this. Especially notice your late 1950’s through 1990’s schools.

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  36. I saw a picture of a model of what a classroom should look like when we go back. The model indicated that we would have an empty desk between each student with a total of 16 children. Stan did anyone mention that we have 30-35 students in a class and not 16.

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  37. @Misleading – those models were for the Hybrid Days when only half the student body would be at school, the other half would be virtual. Students would be home two days, in school two days – and still have Wednesday as “independent learning” day.

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  38. Also, I expect at least 25% of the parents to keep their students at home and stay 100% virtual.

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  39. As a teacher, I can say over 90% of my students are highly engaged and I can’t remember the last time I logged into VERGE. VERGE is not the best tool for online learning so I will not make it any more difficult for my students than it already is. We use Teams and Google Classroom which is probably what most people are using, We need to discontinue the use of VERGE…it isn’t worth the $480,000 we are spending on it.

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  40. Concerned Citizen

    Breaking news: De Blasio pushes back most in-person school re-openings for more than a week.

    Seems the teachers union didn’t like the “blanks” in his plan. And what sort of “plan” brings in 2,500 more teachers at the last minute? Does NYCDOE exist only to make DCSD look less amateurish?https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-school-in-person-covid-de-blasio-remote-blended-education-20200917-aulvtgblm5dqxoikb4tt4zx2ri-story.html

    Which groups of children are likely to suffer the most from lost learning and access to education? That’s a question the Brookings Institute has been asking and attempting to answer. Has the BoE asked this question regarding DeKalb students? https://www.brookings.edu/blog/education-plus-development/2020/07/21/should-schools-reopen-balancing-covid-19-and-learning-loss-for-young-children/

  41. Gwinnett County School System just wrote to me. They are utilizing Substitutes, and paying them for training on the virtual learning software programs. They have regular work for Substitutes, wbo all hold a Bachelor’s Degree as required in GA.

    Dekalb is NOT training or utilizing well-qualified Substitutes, despite the growing teacher shortage. When in-person school opens in Dekalb, their Substitute Teacher “pool” will not exist, and Subs will have moved on to other jobs. I am one of them, now trying to find other work. The Gwinnett School System is clearly more resourceful, and looks like a good option.

    DE

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  42. Region 1 teacher

    I’m seeing people up in arms about something Dr. Morley said- I must’ve missed it?

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  43. @Misleading – The school that the county used is not a typical elementary sized classroom. It is a lot bigger than classrooms in many of our older schools. Newer schools are built on a bigger square foot plan. 12-16 kids at John Lewis ES, the new Doraville United, Barack Obama is going to look a lot more spacious than 12-16 kids in a classroom at Asford Park, Montgomery, Briarlake..

    I hope that helps.

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  44. I asked in an earlier post if substitutes could be allowed to attend the virtual trainings for teaching virtually. No response. No response from the district level about PD for substitutes. I taught for 32 years and am quite competent with in-person learning and good with technology. I have been asked by at least 5 schools to take a long-term position. I declined. I am not trained to use the programs and online resources. It would take me many hours to learn, and it would be on my time-no help from DCSD. Also, as far as I can tell, the district is paying subs by the hour instead of by the day. Long-term substitutes work a full day even if they’re not on a virtual lesson all day. If you have information about PD for substitutes, I would love to learn about it.
    If the district goes back and air quality is not checked and kept clean, if adequate cleaning is not available or cleaning products available in every classroom, many subs will not go back. Some will not go back no matter how “safe” the district says it is until at least January. Subs really do not make enough money in the best of circumstances. (Neither do the teachers.) When teachers are out due to Covid or other illness, who will monitor their classrooms? They can’t be combined with another group without exceeding all the guidelines.
    Who is going to pay for all the cleaning supplies and extra personnel to keep the students and teachers safe? Please don’t tell me children don’t get as sick with COVID. We all know the ongoing consequences of COVID are unknown. The district is furloughing teachers, but they can buy all the sanitizer, soap, etc? Like many expenses, this will fall on the teachers if they want their students to have it. Yes, the same teachers who are taking a pay cut.
    About Kindergarten… Kindergarten is not mandatory in Georgia. I assume some parents are accessing the virtual learning for DCSD, some may be opting out of K, holding their child back a year, or choosing private. With all the virtual platform options, how can the district know how many students are attending? That seems to be the issue. How is FTE being counted this Fall?
    Stan, I appreciate your efforts to bring information to the community and allow a place for questions and conversation.

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  45. Confused about Verge?

    @Stan. I’m just curious the students have Google Chromebooks, and Google classroom is free and compatible with Google Chromebooks. I’m just curious why would DeKalb pay for Verge when that money could be saved? Also Google Classroom it’s so much easier to use than Verge for my students. Thanks for all your hard work and keeping the public informed.

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  46. Thought for the day:
    “WHAT A MESS!”

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  47. Also, Stan is Awesome!

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  48. Contact tracing

    In addition to the other safeguards that need to be implemented when students return to school, contact tracing with DCSD and the health department working together is tantamount. Schools need to be notified immediately so that students and teachers can be quarantined and so that sick people do not come to school. A person with a positive test came back to school in Gwinnett: https://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/mill-creek-high-school-says-people-sick-with-covid-19-came-to-school-71-individuals/article_2967629a-f874-11ea-ab6a-97bf70942749.html.

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  49. Retired But Still Concerned Tax Payer

    As a retired teacher, I recall DeKalb introducing the Verge platform/software. It seemed like just an additional web browser and served no helpful purpose. Perhaps, we were just not trained well enough to use it. Nonetheless, I am only somewhat tech savvy and it was obvious to me that the software programs adopted by DeKalb were extremely inferior to many other programs on the market. I would have no doubt that the developers of most of the software being purchased for DeKalb Schools were/are possibly “Friends and Family” projects of whomever is choosing to purchase them. There needs to be an oversight committee to make sure that programs implemented by the entire system are the best on the market (and not just a random college kid using outdated, basic programming skills. The programs DeKalb uses for Infinite Campus, Verge, etc.. are EXTREMELY non-user friendly. DeKalb is too big of a system to be paying for bottom of the line attendance, grading, and planning technology.. much less student resources. I do not trust the “software firms”, “hiring firms”, “construction firms”, or “auditing firms”, etc hired by DeKalb Schools. In addition, technology funds need to be used for the BEST resources, not whatever they are attempting to use…”.. Just my opinion.

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  50. Stan
    You may want to post this in some other place. This is the video from the TSA Hearing today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42WZaMfjDFo

    Thank you for all that you do.

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  51. I’m a teacher. A couple of years ago we had mediocre online training on Verge, but there were few reasons to use it and many forgot about it. I started using it in March and am still using it today. Works fine. Might not be as good as the other platforms, but if we had focused training on it and mandated its use in all classes we’d be better off than we are with the myriad platforms in use today.
    And that three days of “training” before school started? Not much help.

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  52. Parents send student to school while knowingly infected with coronavirus. https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/17/us/parents-send-student-school-coronavirus-trnd/index.html

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  53. Lamest county. Horrible superintendent and stupidest board.

    I don’t care less K students enrolled. Sorry schools won’t get their funding.

    Survey is useless. Anyone could fill it out. Anyone.

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  54. High risk educator

    My concerns are:
    #1 Maintenance- in “Good” circumstances my room has a broken HVAC, leaks (causing mold), and there is not soap, hot water, or tp in the bathrooms.
    #2 overcrowding- even on hybrid days, schools such as DHS will have 80-90% of their INTENDED capacity in the building, the very thing we were up in arms about before COVID. There will be no distancing in halls, stairwells, Cafeteria or other common areas.
    #3 enforcement- who does this fall on? The shared SRO? The “security” guards who shirk their previous duties? Or will it fall to teachers?

    Private schools have more money per child and can much more easily expel non compliant Students.

    People may vilify teachers but we are in much closer contact with more individuals for a longer time than many other careers. If I die, they will replace me and move on. If my children or husband die I’ll get sympathy flowers and everyone else will move on. I encourage this interest in public education, mental health, and concern with underprivileged youth to continue once face to face resumes, but I fear it will fade once the most outspoken parents are satisfied.

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  55. DeKalb County Schools have a long history of always going with the cheapest vendor for supplies or services OR going with their cousin, sister, fraternity brother, neighbor, baby’s daddy, or any other unknown, nonsense reasons for making the choices that are made. Please do not think it will be one iota of difference now that we are in a pandemic educational crisis.

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  56. Thank you Joy for sending the TSA meeting link. Very informative! And thank you to Amy and Elaine!

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  57. Thanks for the data, Stan! I’d say the numbers are impressive considering the DeKalb has given Permission to use multiple Virtual platforms for assignments. The others who’ve spoken are correct that many platforms are being used (Google Class, Bitmoji classroom, etc.).

    Those who are claiming the purchase of an inferior product is a family/friend thing are being ridiculous. VERGE is actually “its learning“, a very popular educational tech platform employed by institutions worldwide (see awards it has garnered over the years). I would agree it is not the best for user friendliness…especially for the youngest kids in grades K-2. This is likely the reason for the lower elementary percentage (64%?). For these lower grades, other child friendly programs are likely better for student engagement. Once students reach 2nd/3rd grade it’s quite reasonable to expect kids to use it if they’ve been prepped by teachers prior. The level and depth of the learning tasks are also contingent upon the teacher’s ability to create Engaging tasks.

    What happened ahead of the pandemic was many teachers not truly utilizing the platform even though 2-3 years of training were given by the district…if teachers had assigned virtual tasks on the platform occasionally it could’ve been easily continued. Instead, teachers chose whatever online platform they preferred to use, which often changed yearly. I certainly don’t blame DeKalb or the platform for its inadequacies.

    EdTech Digest: 2019 Best Learning Management System Award
    Tech & Learning: 2017 Award of Excellence
    IMS Global Learning Consortium: Silver Medal, IMS Global Learning Impact Report
    EdTech Digest: Cool Tool Award Finalist 2017
    Tech & Learning: Award of Excellence, 2016 ISTE Best in Show, Upgraded Products
    District Administration: Readers Choice Award Finalist
    Scholastic: 2016 ISTE Best in Show

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  58. They don’t care about us

    For the parents on here who aren’t understanding why teachers are afraid to go back into the building, let me explain. Covid is aerosol. From what I’ve read it takes about 3 hours for an aerosol virus to spread around a room. Teachers will be in a closed in space for about 7 hours a day with the same group of children. If one child is infected in our class, it will only take 3 hours for the entire class to be infected. It can take 14 days for symptoms to show, so temperature checks are not going to work. When the United States found out Covid could be transmitted BEFORE symptoms occur, that’s when we locked down. Imagine being in a tiny room with 20-30 people for 7 hours who you have no control over where they go when they leave the building. They most likely will ride a bus to and from school which is extremely likely to spread the virus. No, children can not be expected to wear a mask for 8 hours. I can barely wear a mask in the grocery store. It’s very hot and uncomfortable. What about teachers who have the younger students? I have children who vomit on the floor and all over themselves. Happens about 5-10 times a year. They’re sitting there and look completely normal and then they just vomit out of nowhere. They’re very young children and they don’t even know what throwing up or nausea is so they cannot communicate to adults how they feel. No fever. No signs of being sick. Sometimes it’s projectile vomit and it goes all over the floor and on other children. Are they going to vomit in their mask??? Isn’t that a safety concern for parents? Guess what happens when we call for a custodian to clean the vomit? They all pretend like they didn’t hear the call. I clean it up myself when I come to terms with the fact no one is coming. Everyone who works in Dekalb schools can tell you about the custodians and how “clean” the schools are. There are so many reasons I could give that being in a building with small children during a pandemic is a safety concern for both adults and children. Online learning has actually gone very well so I’m not sure why parents are still pushing to be in person? Maybe they want the free babysitter? I HOPE parents are not pushing for their child to be in a building for teaching because they are tired of being a parent. That would be a very selfish reason.

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  59. Experienced Educator

    Has anyone counted the number of teachers that will resign or retire if forced back to the classroom during a pandemic. As an experienced teacher who loves her career and is eligible to retire, I have informed my principal that I will retire immediately if I am forced to return. I am in excellent health (but over 60) and I prefer to stay that way so I can enjoy my retirement when the time comes. Do I want to retire? No! However, I’m not willing to risk my health at this point in the game.

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  60. They don’t care about us

    @experienced educator- I’m leaving the profession after this year. I have been furious about the way people in our communities talk about and treat educators. This has been going on for a long time, but Covid was the last straw ( and the furlough days!!!). I’ve had enough and after all the hard work I put into every school year and the precious time from my life I have given to children, I at least deserve respect. So many parents in the present time speak so disrespectfully to and about teachers, I just know it’s time to leave. And good luck filling our spots. Who would work and give so much time and energy to a community who treats you like a second class citizen and like your life doesn’t matter? This job is exhausting and time consuming and the pay is low. I am leaving for a better paying profession with less time commitment and lower stress levels. I’ve worked for the children all these years, but I am leaving because of the adults. Good luck to the rest of you persevering. I kept telling myself “next year will be better,” but it’s always something new. I’m sure a lot of other teachers will be leaving after this year!

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  61. @Experienced Educator, How many teachers are retiring from the other school districts that are going back in person? Those numbers should accurately project what DeKalb Schools retirement rate will be if the school district goes back to in school learning.

  62. Whine with that Cheese?

    They don’t care about us,
    Cry me a river, oh wait you already have. Frankly no other profession, including those on the front lines of exposure have complained and whined as much as teachers have nationwide. Crying about a few furlough days? How about several months to permanent layoffs, that’s what the real world is dealing with. Complaining about putting in effort to do a job? What do you think the rest of us do? You knew what you were signing up for, work is hard if you’re trying to do a good job. Also, your pay is not low, if you take your salary and multiply it out over 12 months it’s very competitive for the average salary in GA. Let’s not even take into consideration how many days off you have compared to the real world through out the school year. Most employees get between 10-15 days off and that includes sick days for most companies.

    Let’s be honest, you’re retiring because you can’t handle the stresses of the real world, something teachers haven’t had to face before. Quitting now is likely the best thing for all future students, we don’t need complainers, we need teachers that want to work hard for our kids and not quit when things don’t go their way.

    5
  63. They don’t care about us

    Lol, I’m leaving because of people like you. Good bye!

    5
  64. Just another day in Dekalb

    @Stan- thank you for continued engagement and efforts as a board member. I appreciate that you give a platform for parents, teachers, and community members to have honest discussions and anonymity. Do you have the last survey results? If so can you share them here or let us know where to access them? Also, teachers are really doing a fantastic job with the little support, funding, and training they’ve been given from Dekalb. Not all teachers are tech savvy and this creates a lot of work for everyone. Sadly, many are learning as they go. With the shortened time frame for teaching along with technical difficulties and other extenuating circumstances, why are they grading as usual when the content is not being delivered as usual? I have a feeling that once the first round of 4.5 week grades come in, many parents will begin to pull their children from Dekalb to homeschool or private school, especially if there is no realistic plan to safely return this year. In addition to the 11000 students that have not attended this year, how will that affect FTE count and state and federal funding? Thanks!

    2
  65. Don't blame teachers for not using VERGE

    @AJ,

    The reason given that teachers who do not use VERGE as being not well versed or trained on it is not entirely true. I am very comfortable with VERGE, using it since I started working in DeKalb and continuing last Spring. I decided to let students choose in the Spring, having all assignments and resources in both VERGE and Google Classroom. However, with experience of using both, I saw that Google Classroom was easier to use for both myself and students and so switched entirely to Google Classroom this semester. Making separate classes, adding people to the class (like other teachers or paraprofessionals), and copying assignments from one section to the next are all much easier in Google Classroom. Uploading assignments and making changes is far easier, since it is based on the Google Drive. If a student tells me that my instructions are vague, I can change the original document, and the students see the changes immediately. In VERGE, I would have to change the instructions, upload it again, and then maybe be told that I can’t even do that. Also, if I want to share with my colleagues, I can just create a class and copy an assignment to the teachers-only class. To do that in VERGE, you have to request a course be made and for teachers to be assigned to it. VERGE is just too time consuming. And I have better things to do with my time, like creating engaging lessons.

    7
  66. Frustrated Teacher

    We’ve been told that even if we’re using google classroom, students should still go to Verge first each day and click on the provided link to google classroom so that administration can measure student engagement for the district. This doesn’t make any sense, students know how to go straight to google classroom, and it’s much more efficient, which is what they’ll continue to do.

    Another thing that doesn’t make sense is that we’re required to do a 15 minute live session for school announcements each morning that ends 35 minutes before first period begins. I haven’t had a single student sign on for announcements since the first 2 weeks of school. The logical thing is to just email the daily announcements to the student body or post them on school website, and more students would probably see them that way.

    Teachers are also being asked to do virtual curriculum night and parent conference nights, but I was under the impression those evening events were part of the furlough days.

    12
  67. Board Members, please know that Fulton County Teachers walked out of their classrooms last week fearing return to classrooms during COVID-19. So if you all want to base the safety of faculty, staff & students by a graph chart, that is ridiculous!!!! Don’t expect for staff to return. The students may have to sit in the classrooms without staff. The results of COVID-19 from Labor Day take up to 5 weeks. So we are worried about what cases will look like after Thanksgiving & Christmas. The board and Superintendent need to think about that and stop rushing!!!

    6
  68. Most faculty & staff said they are planning to just resign or retire right away if forced back in classroom. This is the worse thing to consider going back in classroom at a time like this when people are dying. Just because numbers fall below 100 does not mean its safe to return. This lets us know its all about politics and not about the health of safety of faculty, staff & students. This is aweful

    6
  69. Jaylette, I agree with everything you said. My big question is, how in the world will children learn if we are speaking through a mask? When I watch the news conferences about Covid and the reporters are asking questions while wearing masks, I can’t understand 90% of their questions. Are we going to scream all day so our voices don’t sound muffled? Oh my goodness it’s looking more ridiculous by the minute.

    4
  70. Curious stakeholder

    Does returning to the building require a board vote, or can the Superintendent make that call unilaterally?

    4
  71. And we’ll be glad to see you retire and quit without penalty. Walk-out, do whatever you want. We DON’T want you.

    You whiny teachers wouldn’t be happy with a $10k one time raise and 6 cases per 100k. You’ll find something else to bitch about. BYE. You don’t deserve respect.

    1
  72. Has anyone on this site been stricken with, and survived COVID? Has anyone lost a loved one who died from COVID, on a respirator, and all alone when life support was removed and you then received the devastating call from the ICU doctor? For me, I am so thankful that I can answer “No” to these questions.

    As a 2-time cancer survivor, I couldn’t feel “fear”. Fear clouds judgment, and I had to keep my head together, stay strong, and do the right things. I am still here, and I know why. Fear is at the heart of ALL that came with COVID.

    Please be patient, be kind even if others aren’t (remember, they are likely afraid), do what you know will help you stay safe, and send positive energy “Out There”– wherever that is for you. Most of all, Be The Light. ‍~Alison

    4
  73. @Alison Mercer

    Yes, I can.

    2
  74. Thank you. 🙂

  75. They don’t care about us

    @Demographics, I’m sorry, I do not get paid enough to deal with people like you, lol. I need at least at least $150,000/year to have you in my life for 9 months straight. The summers off do not make up for that drama and attitude. Can Dekalb see why you need to pay us more? We have 3 parents yearly like Demographics. Try dealing with that for nine months straight along with the threats they throw around and see how long you are willing to stay in this profession. My school has to call the police to deal with angry parents every year. Where are the teacher protections?? Parents actually come into classrooms and attack teachers-more reasons to leave and gooooood luck to all of you staying in this profession! It’s only gotten worse every year. Prayers for all the Dekalb teachers because I know what you go through every year and it is abuse.

    6
  76. Trust in DCSD HVAC?

    Updated CDC guidance acknowledges coronavirus can spread through the air https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/20/health/cdc-coronavirus-airborne-transmission/index.html

    If COVID stays in the air, Fulton & Gwinnett schools may be safe but Dekalb sure as heck isn’t.

    7
  77. RegularCitizen

    To: Trust in DCSD HVAC
    CDC Updated Sept. 21, 2020
    “A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted. ”
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html

    And from CNN, updated 9/22/20
    “CDC abruptly removes guidance about airborne coronavirus transmission, says update ‘was posted in error'”
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/21/health/cdc-reverts-airborne-transmission-guidance/index.html

    –Thanks Stan for everything you do 🙂

    1
  78. Trust In DCSD HVAC

    @RegularCitizen thanks for posting that. It’ll be interesting to see the final results of their testing, and what guidance they post. We still have a lot to learn about this virus.

    1

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