DeKalb Schools Is Returning to Face to Face Learning

DeKalb Schools sent out a 2-Week return to hybrid working environment notification to staff yesterday.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report, COVID-19 cases are trending down and Cases Per 100K (Last 2 Weeks) in DeKalb have been below 100 for the last 4 days. Using the Formula To Calculate Moving To Hybrid, the DeKalb Schools Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris sent out a return to hybrid working environment notification.

Columbus Day – Also, DeKalb Schools has off Monday Oct 12, 2020. Happy Columbus Day.


Return to Work Staff Notification (October 6, 2020 )

DeKalb Schools Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris

From: Cheryl Watson-Harris
DeKalb Schools – Superintendent

Thank you for your dedication and hard work during these uncertain times and being true champions for our scholars. Your safety and well-being remain our top priority. Our conservative approach to return to school has been gradual and is based on COVID-19 data and guidance from health agencies and medical experts.

During the Board meeting on September 14, 2020, the District disclosed and discussed the phase-in plan. Under my leadership, the COVID-19 Re-Opening Task Force monitors the data trends daily and acknowledges that there has been a significant decline in the 14-day average per 100,000 DeKalb County residents from 122 on September 12, 2020 to 93 on October 6, 2020. Since the 14-day average per 100,000 DeKalb County residents is less than 100, the District is engaging in the following activities to prepare our staff, students, and families for the transition to the next phases:

Begin Phase II
October 19, 2020 Hybrid Working Environment 2 Days Per Week (10, 11, and 12-month Staff)
October 9-23, 2020 Distribute the Parent/Guardian Intent to Return Notification Electronically
Begin Phase III
November 2, and 4-6, 2020 Traditional Working Environment 5 Days Per Week (10, 11, and 12-month Staff)
November 3, 2020 Digital Learning Half Day
November 5-6, 2020 Begin One-Day Hybrid Learning Environment for Beta Group
November 9, 2020 Begin One-Day Hybrid Learning Environment for All Students Who Opt-In and Continue Distance/Remote Learning for Students Who Do Not

Please note that the tentative timeline is subject to change based on COVID-19 data and current health guidance from medical experts and health agencies.

In an effort to prepare for the re-opening of schools, all staff members will receive the Return to Work survey. Please review the attached documents in anticipation of completing the survey. Thank you in advance for submitting the survey by Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Your time and commitment are appreciated.


Supporting Documents

FAQs for ADA due to COVID-19
FAQs for Leave due to COVID-19
Emergency Paid Sick/Expanded Family and Medical Request For COVID-19 Related Leave

237 responses to “DeKalb Schools Is Returning to Face to Face Learning

  1. Newsflash: Many teachers are mothers who decided to teach so we could be our children’s childcare option. I know it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around but teachers go into the profession for reasons outside of just wanting to help other people’s children. Many teachers have their young children at school with them and don’t have to consider childcare because WE are the childcare for our children. That’s the only good thing about the terrible pay and unsafe working conditions.

    11
  2. dekalbteacher

    I have answers.

    To help those of us paying attention to all the facts say “yes” to in-person schooling, we’d have to know that we could trust the district to know what it’s doing and actually do what is needed and what it claims to have done. That’s a hard sell.

    Have you visited a school recently? Hard to see how the district has done anything other than purchase boxes of supplies.

    Have you seen a plan of what any iteration of face-to-face looks like at your child’s or children’s schools? Do you know how many people will be in a room with your child?

    I’m not comfortable going back to school, but I would do it if I had some indication that the district has done what’s needed. If I knew that my school’s water and hvac systems have been running and tested so that we aren’t returning to even more risks with mold, rodents, and other diseases because the building has been largely empty for seven months, if I knew that the school’s ventilation is not just recycling old air, if I knew that the school was putting those of us with increased risk or justified concern in a classroom with increased circulation from a window that opens to the outside, if I knew that the district has already purchased masks and has a plan to distribute them to any student who is choosing face-to-face learning.

    Those are all reasonable actions for which the school district has had months. Then we can talk about the other day-to-day plans dealing with symptomatic people or just people with colds or the flu entering the school or people incapable of wearing masks properly or the outside area where such people would remain until they could leave or be picked up. I haven’t even mentioned the details of teaching because that’s a whole other area or concern when you know that a number of teachers won’t return, or won’t be able to come to school on any given day because of a cold or the flu or a child’s strep throat or a child’s stomach bug or any other garden variety illness or exposure to Covid or actual Covid. All of this face-to-face school assumes that administrators and front office staff and school building nurses, when available, are immune to Covid and not required to quarantine when exposed to Covid.

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  3. People have posted that the numbers went back up to 101. So, I’m guessing the clock starts over now? Stan, isn’t this what the superintendent stated? We first have to wait to be under 100 again, then the 14 day count begins. Am I wrong?

    6
  4. My understanding is that the school district will not go back to school unless the cases per 100K have been under 100 for two weeks.

    7
  5. @fedup…. Clayton and Rockdale both have better numbers than DeKalb and they aren’t returning any time soon. You know we aren’t prepared for a safe return, and not to bring too much politics into this, the House passed a bill in May that would have helped get us back to normal, but Mitch McConnell has sat on it because all that matters to him is confirming judges.

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  6. I am returning to the classroom only because financially I have no other choice; however, my child will remain at home. Virtual learning has been very challenging, but I do feel that the students are learning because I have been able to implement and adhere to the curriculum. On the other hand, once I return to a building that I know for certain, due to my 20 years in DCSD, is not CDC standard safe, then my number one priority will become keeping myself as safe as possible for my family. My teaching will inevitably suffer because in the back of my mind I will be worried about what is floating in the air in my sealed room with poor ventilation where I will not have the option to open a window. Our building is not healthy under normal circumstances because facilities are not maintained in the county. It is perfectly normal for staff to be extremely concerned about their health and the health of the students because we know how the buildings are when there is not a pandemic. We joke about the things that stay broken for months, or the lack of toilet paper, soap, Kleenex (that at times we buy with our own money and bring to school), or the various creatures that circulate on a regular basis everywhere. I have seen people on here say if it is so bad, then why do you ever go into the building? Well, you choose your battles. Personally I just came to accept these things and focus on the good, that is my students, but I draw the line when you ask me, my family, and my students to become a public health experiment. People may not die, but they could have long term health consequences if they do catch the virus. My neighbor’s 20 year old friend has a heart monitor now due to her bout with COVID. SCIENCE is telling us that this virus is a public health crisis. School staff and students should not pay the price for the NATIONAL FAILURE to address this pandemic correctly and implement a safe back to school plan for all involved.

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  7. I have answers

    dekalbteacher. I don’t trust DCSD either, but it’s hard to believe the only thing they have done is purchase supplies. Every month there is a back to school report that includes what operations is doing. The systems run all year around in the buildings. Maybe not the trailers. I thought the legionella comment was a valid concern.

    The community is frustrated because so many of are going back to work. We weren’t given detailed reports on how it was going to work or what the building maintenance has been doing since March. The owners definitely weren’t on TV every month giving an operations report. These child care problems that teachers are facing, the community has been facing for months.

    We are concerned about the health and well being over everybody including teachers. But we are back to work and we need our children educated.

    @witsend. If all McConnel was interested in was judges, we wouldn’t have the CARES Act.

    2
  8. Dr. Anthony Fauci

    In March, Fauci said the death toll could be as high as 2.2 million. The scientists said in March that the best case scenario is 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths.

    Every death is tragic. If we have more than zero covid deaths, it’s not a “NATIONAL FAILURE”.

    2
  9. @“Dr. Fauci” I beg to differ. We are 4% of the world’s population, yet we account for 22% of COVID deaths worldwide. In my book that is a National Failure for a country that purports to be doing so well with the pandemic.

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  10. Dr. Anthony Fauci

    @teacher123, Assume for a minute that the US response was average and that your data is accurate. What are some reasons that the United States is “4% of the world’s population, yet we account for 22% of COVID deaths worldwide.” You’re the teacher. This is a good exercise. What do you think about the accuracy of the data coming out of China, North Korea, Russia and so on? Using simple math, you can get the death rate for a country. If we compare countries, United States isn’t the best but it’s far from the worst.

    2
  11. @“Dr. Fauci” I am not a math teacher, and I am not going to get into a discussion about the interpretation of numbers. We obviously view this pandemic differently, and when you compare numbers and strategies with countries that are our “peers”, that is Canada and European countries, not dictatorships and Communist countries, then our numbers are still worse than theirs. It is easy to say that “it isn’t the best but not the worst”. It is just an excuse for inaction.

    5
  12. Deaths per 100,00 in population is not the best for the United States. Thank you New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts for really driving those numbers up. Some states shouldn’t be left to govern themselves.

  13. My understanding is that because I responded to the survey as no, Friday, October 16 will be my last day of work. I know I’ve made the right choice for me given my age and health, but golly I surely do hate to leave before my replacement is hired.

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  14. Hello Lindy. Thank you for your service to the district and our children. Can you show me the documentation that says October 16 is your last day?

    1
  15. Taking Covid Seriously

    IF YOU THINK IT IS SAFE TO SEND TEACHERS AND KIDS BACK AND WILL ANNOUNCE IT AT THE NEXT BOE MEETING, THEN THERE IS NO REASON THAT THE 8 OF YOU MEET IN PERSON. PLAN YOUR MEETING IN ONE OF THE CLASSROOMS–WHERE WINDOWS DON’T OPEN–BRING IN 25 RANDOM PEOPLE TO WATCH–AND HAVE YOUR MEETING. BE SURE TO STAY IN THE ROOM FOR 8 HOURS.

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  16. Safety Concerns

    If it really will be safe for teachers to return to the buildings, they should get amended contracts where quarantines are covered without having to use personal sick leave, COVID hospitalization deductibles will covered by the school district, and COVID related deaths will have double the amount in coverage already selected and paid for by the teacher in district offered life insurance. This will make teachers feel that the district is truly invested in keeping them safe.

    Also, at the last Gwinnett school board meeting, there were complaints that teachers were having requests for ADA accommodations denied, including teachers undergoing chemotherapy. I hope the same thing will not happen in DeKalb. I’m sure everyone has had enough of lawsuits here.

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  17. Alison Mercer

    1) “The Numbers” differ, depending on the entity being relied upon for accuracy. “Experts” still aren’t in agreement.

    2) “Cases” for some means reported positive test results so far. False negatives and false positives will occurr. “Cases” for others means hospitalizations for COVID-related symptoms/test results. MANY have NOT been tested. I haven’t been. I have also been in self-imposed isolation due to Type 1 Diabetes, which would likely prevent my survival from COVID. Walmart once a week for me. That’s it since March. I miss the World.

    3) The school system would best be served, and be better able to reopen, with INDEPENDENT school inspections, including water testing (AFTER water has been left running for an hour—Legionaires is serious, and builds in stagnant water and air vents);
    HVAC testing (current bacterial parts per million throughout each school building); full-length air duct cleaning and chemical disinfecting; individual classroom air circulation checks…. in other words, A LOT OF INDEPENDENT COMPANY INSPECTIONS. Homes get inspected after an offer, and independent home inspectors are legally liable for discovering mold, rodent infestations, plumbing leaks, etc. Perhaps everyone would feel more comfortable knowing the school buildings have passed inspection, just like restaurants, and passed reinspection for initial issues were found, documented, and corrected.

    4) Multi-person households cannot “socially distance”. Some family members venture out into the world, then come home to their families, bringing their “exposures” inside the house. There is NO certain way to prevent some spread. COVID is primarily airborne, with no more than 72 hours of “surface life”. You can breathe in particles, and/or touch particles. Just like the flu.

    What is it that everybody wants? A perfectly safe and sterilized world has never, and will never, exist. Nobody’s health safety can be guaranteed without sealed CDC Hazmat suits and hosedowns for All. Everyone brings massive numbers of “germs” home on shoes, clothing, purses…. If people could see all of the moving microorganisms on them, and around them in their home and workplace, they would freak out. Truly. And the produce, cans, and bags that everyone brings home from the grocery store have been touched by other human hands, but you still bring it all home. What are your options?

    Fear is healthy. Fear keeps us “cautious”. We drive carefully, observing Stop signs and traffic lights. We don’t stand under trees in a thunderstorm. We don’t buy expired food.

    Fear now includes masks, hand washing, not touching our face, drying our hands out with alcohol-based sanitizer, and (sort of) keeping socially distant. Fear is not intended to be immobilizing, for at the point immobilization occurs, a diagnosis of Phobia is accurate. We have always shared this World with a zillion varieties of bacteria and microorganisms, yet we are still here. COVID, Flu, Cancer…. all are out there. Some acquire any of these. Many survive. I have survived serious cancer twice– once when I was only 25. A different cancer at age 45. Why me?? Why not? I will be 59 on October 31st, and I’m still here. All I can do is be cautious, but living this long, for Me, is a Gift.

    I have a BA Degree, but not in Education, so the school system won’t let me be a Teacher. I am just a Substitute, and I miss the beautiful children who have enriched my life beyond measure. If schools open, and my help is needed, I will be there.

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  18. @alison

    Yes you can be a teacher. Utilize the alternative certification route. Many dekalb teachers do not have an education degree.

    https://w.taskstream.com/ts/manager98/DeKalbCountyTAPP

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  19. Alison Mercer

    @DEMOGRAPHICS, Thank you. I was informed in writing from the Teacher Professional Standards Commission that I would be required to go back to college for 2 years for the “Education” focus to supplement my existing BA degree. I am too old to have to return to college, and I surely don’t have the money, since I am now unemployed as a Sub. I need to find another job now. I will miss the children So much.

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  20. Alison Mercer

    Interestingly, I clicked the link to apply for TAPP, and applicants are not being accepted. I can’t even take the GACE Exam because the testing facilities are not open, and you can’t take it from home.

    1
  21. Email Michelle_O_Thompson@dekalbschoolsga.org

    Apps are accepted in February. There are other steps before the GACE. You’re getting ahead of yourself. You would be exempt from the first part of the gace based on SAT scores. You would take content exams later.

    1
  22. Provisional Teaching Certification info at https://www.gapsc.com/Rules/Current/Certification/505-2-.08.pdf . 3 year path to full certification. Human Capital department should be able to guide you.

  23. I’m an educator in DeKalb, and this year of teaching has been so eye opening for me. I’ve decided to leave this ABUSIVE career, and no it’s not because I’m bad at it. It’s the total opposite. I’m so good at it, that I’m constantly being given more and more responsibilities, while also not being appreciated or respected by the community, students, parents, administrators, and district officials. I’d try being a teacher in other districts, but I have friends in neighboring districts, and we all have the same complaints. Therefore, I’ve concluded that it’s not just one district, but the system of public education as a whole. No matter how hard you work in this field, it’s never enough. You’re only told to do better next time, and I’m sick of it! When good things happen, the credit goes to administrators or county officials far removed from the classroom, but when something bad happens, the teacher is the FIRST to get blamed! Just as “Done” shared, teaching professionals are the the only group of workers in the world who are expected to work tirelessly for little in return because it’s “for the kids.” Most days you are expected to be a teacher and a parent at work, and that’s not what I signed up for! I’m tired of parenting parents too! We’re expected to do it all while being treated like crap, yet still expected to be happy and tolerant of the constant disrespect. I am currently and happily in search of another career, and I hope to NEVER have to be in a position where I need to return to teaching for a check. I dream of my future career where I’ll be able to make MORE money, only work during my actual work schedule, and enjoy my evenings and weekends off doing what I want with my family and friends WITHOUT always hurrying back home to prepare for the work week because a teacher’s job is never done. I also look forward to being a RESPECTED professional in my new career. It’s so horrible that I’ve even told my children that I won’t pay for them to go to college to be a teacher in the future, and to be honest, my children have expressed that they don’t even want to be teachers because they see how stressed and tired I am from working constantly. NO ONE cares about teachers, and I do mean no one. We are constantly looked down on, micromanaged to death, and have no voice in a field that we are EXPERTS in! I wouldn’t wish this job on my WORSE enemy! Had I known I’ve have to deal with all that we deal with, I gladly would have gone to college to do something else! No questions asked! Good luck to my fellow educators who plan to continue in this career path because I’m sure you’ll need it, but I’m looking forward to being a selfish individual that only cares about my household in the future like the families we serve. I’ve decided that I deserve better than this in life, and I will get what I deserve. I too am DONE with this awful career!

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  24. More than anything, I want to plan for my family. Is the timeline changing because numbers went up on Friday or will my return still be on Oct 19? I think having answers is the best thing the district can do for all stakeholders.

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  25. Taking Covid Seriously

    @Alison Mercer. Check into University of the Grand Canyon. We have a friend who is getting his masters in education and there are programs that help pay. Good luck. (TAPP is brutal).

  26. Tongue in cheek

    What the f…. Chanel 46 is reporting that Dekalb is starting on 10/19 3days virtual and 2 day in person. Then in first week of November 5 days in person. Are they insane? Guess 14 days was an illusory diversion.

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  27. Another DeKalb Teacher

    @ Tongue in cheek

    Channel 46 is correct. According to the email we received from the Superintendent Wednesday, beginning 10/19, teachers are supposed to return to the building for 2 days a week (3 days virtual). Beginning 11/2, teachers are to report to school for 5 days a week (except Election day, which is a virtual learning day). Students don’t return to the building until 11/9, when they will return for 1 day a week. (The Beta group of 2nd, 6th, and 9th graders will return on 11/5 and 11/6). However, all of this is subject to change based on COVID numbers.

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  28. Education Needs to Follow the Science

    @Stan Jester, Respectfully,
    It is deeply concerning that you stated, “It’s not exactly a tragedy when somebody gets covid and is then fine. Obviously that person should isolate and wear a mask, etc … But that person who caught it and is fine is now no longer a vehicle for transmission.”
    This is Seriously misinformed judgment. There are many cases of Covid which are considered either mild or asymptomatic that we are later learning of serious, life-threatening or permanently life-altering conditions after the contagious period has ended for that patient.

    Doctors and scientists have had less than a year to study these conditions and they have already discovered conditions such as (but definitely not limited to the following examples): Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, the formation of unusual blood clots that lead to internal bleeding and/or organ failure; Also common is a condition similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which causes chronic pain, trouble thinking, and dizziness. There are more, and I urge the board to speak directly with a qualified MD or epidemiologist.

    Cases have been steadily rising among 5-17 year-olds in Atlanta over the past 10 days. This most likely means parents are taking their sick children to the doctor. What about all of the asymptomatic carriers? Or the sick children whose parents do not take them to the doctor? We all know that’s an issue here.
    You’re just going to allow a massive science experiment in our children’s schools?

    DCSD is an educational institution, involve some highly educated scientists in your “re-opening” plans!

    Require that parents present negative Covid test results if they are so eager to throw their kids back in the “typhoid” classrooms. Children are required to have current vaccinations; this is no different! It’s arguably more serious than some of the required vaccinations at this point in time.

    Lastly, I would like to express my disdain for the fact that your board, ~a dozen people, do not feel safe enough to meet in-person for the Oct. 19th *virtual* board meeting in a room larger than my children’s school cafeteria designed for over a thousand students, while at the same time you all are expecting all district teachers and employees to return to schools and buildings in-person on that same day.
    The hypocrisy is outrageous. I hope that we do not lose any of the great teachers and administrators that make DCSD a wonderful place for my kids. You all need to take care of them first, because they put our kids first.

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  29. If that person obtained life altering conditions due to COVID, then I would not characterize them as fine now.

    FYI. The board chair decides when and where to meet.

    2
  30. Tongue in cheek

    Leave it to Dekalb to call us back just when cases start spiking again. Just in time for the beginning of the
    Flovid (my word) season.
    Also, the article today in AJC was not clear. They said”two days in person, 3 days Virtual”. That’s confusing to me.

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  31. Teacher Teacher

    Lemme tell y’all, private schools in The ATL ARE having outbreaks! They are just not sharing the info. Check Lovett. Check Marist.

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  32. Don't sweep it under the rug

    When will we know if the count is reset? On Friday the count was 101, and the supper’s plan says that the average needs to stay under 100 consistently for 2 weeks.

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  33. DSW2Contributor

    ^Sorry, but the count is NOT resetting because Dekalb County did *NOT* have 101 new cases yesterday.

    The DPH’s website currently shows that there were 87 new cases on Friday, October 8 (yesterday) — check for yourself at:
    https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report
    Use a computer to hover the mouse pointer over the October 9 line on the bar graph for Dekalb County — it shows 87 new cases yesterday.

    Also of interest to us is that Fulton County’s 7-day moving average just doubled over a 9-day period: it went from 67 on Wednesday, September 30 to 127.4 on Friday, October 9.

    1
  34. Thanks to those who have provided information to me on becoming a teacher. I have a B.A. Degree already, and no matter the alternatives to being allowed to actually teach, it’s at least another two years of college, lots of testing, and money I don’t have. It looks like I will need to return to the corporate world, which I am already well-qualified to do.

    Schools are not going to reopen. I just don’t believe it now. Seemingly too much risk, too many teachers leaving and no replacements are lining up, flu season is coming, holidays, families gathering, and increased COVID spread….. The Superintendent has to make the announcement that “this” just isn’t working…. fear and risk have overshadowed any well-intended “Plan”, and it is better to keep virtual teachers than to have no teachers at all. The litigation risk is high. Dekalb, and other counties’ school leaders don’t want the legal battles. No teachers, other school staff, parents, or guardians would sign a “hold harmless” agreement for their school district.

    Such a tragedy. Thanks China.

    3
  35. @DSW2Contributor it seems that you are reading the number of confirmed cases, not the number of cases per 100,000.

    3
  36. Lindy,
    I haven’t received any correspondence about my survey stating I will not be returning. I’ll be sending in my FMLA paperwork this week, though. DeKalb still has not clarified anything regarding what will happen to our certifications if we resign. If I can still keep my certification and resign, then I’ll go that route. I need a serious break from this profession, but I’ve spent too much time and money for those certifications to let them be snatched away simply because I don’t want to risk my life or the lives of my children. Morcease Beasly is doing a great job as Clayton County’s superintendent, so I might look there. He seems like he actually cares about teachers and he’s not letting rich parents pressure him into putting teachers at risk.

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  37. Vanessa Thompson

    Vaccinations?
    Parents can opt out.
    Uniforms?
    Parents can opt out.
    Standardized testing?
    Parents can opt out….

    5
  38. What did you expect from the new DeKalb super? I’m sure your certifications will be fine @done and Beasley would be happy to have a DeKalb teacher considering his past with DeKalb. His district isn’t teaching all the state standards because it “doesn’t have time to communicate all material in online lessons.” Word on the street is he likes to micromanage. I’m not sure there are many “rich parents to pressure him into putting teachers at risk” in Clayton.

    https://nypost.com/2020/10/10/doe-exec-who-ditched-nyc-schools-for-georgia-recruits-staffer/

    Not surprised- super wanted her kids in white schools

    https://nypost.com/2019/07/06/top-carranza-executives-ditched-their-residential-zones-for-whiter-schools/

    2
  39. I Don’t Love DCSD

    More friends and family…qualifications not needed in DCSD. The district is known for hiring people based on who they know. It makes perfect sense to me to hire Melissa Harris. She never worked in the classroom but let’s put her in a position to make decisions for the masses on the front lines. It makes perfect sense to me.
    https://nypost.com/2020/10/10/doe-exec-who-ditched-nyc-schools-for-georgia-recruits-staffer/

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  40. Demographics,
    The GAPSC will take our certifications if we resign, but I believe that only happens if the county pushes for it. That’s why I’m waiting for clarification on what will happen. Unless you work for the PSC or the HR Department, you have no clue what you’re talking about.

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  41. @done

    Seems you’re worried. Yes DeKalb has reported a few teachers for abandoning their students. Do you have a clue? I’m all for teachers being allowed to abandon their students during the pandemic. We sure don’t want you here if you don’t want to be here. Enjoy your break. Clayton and Rockdale are awaiting your application.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/when-teachers-walk-away-school-districts-don-have-tell/dMOnHjex96GYW4fcj2CPNI/

    1
  42. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^^^^^@Teach1. yes, you are correct — I was looking at the wrong thing. (I should have gone to bed instead of posting.)

    The Dept. of Health’s weekly County Indicator Reports come out tomorrow — that will have a 15-day confirmed case rate (per 100K) in it.

    1
  43. Demographics,

    If you haven’t read my earlier posts, let me enlighten you. I’m not one of those teachers you can guilt into risking my life to teach your kids. I respect healthcare workers so I make sure I wear a mask, don’t go into crowded places, or go to large gatherings. I respect them enough to protect myself so I won’t have to go to the hospital and force them to risk their lives saving me. I respect grocery store clerks, so I order my groceries online, pick them up, and wait in my car so that I don’t risk getting them sick in the off-chance I’ve contracted the virus somewhere. I respect retail workers, so I order things from the store online or do curbside pickup. How many parents in your circle can say they’ve taken such precautions to protect teachers when they’re forced to go back into the buildings? If you want teachers to be enthusiastic about risking their lives, you’ve got to show them enough respect for them to trust that you’ve taken every precaution to protect them. From your comments, Stan’s comments, and others on this board, It doesn’t seem you have enough respect for teachers to do that. Why would we want to work where we’re not respected?

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  44. Everyone I know is following guidelines. I’ll enlighten you, you’re not special. No guilt here, like I said Clayton and Rockdale are awaiting your application. Maybe you’ll feel more respected. Good luck.

    1
  45. Demographics,
    Thanks!

  46. @teacher teacher….very true…..add Pius to the list too.

    3
  47. Trust in Dekalb...

    Dacosta held a Instagram live session where he talked about the need for trust in Superintendent Watson-Harris’ leadership, and that we need to give her a chance. I agree, however, if she changes her reopening plan to ignore the day we hit 100 cases/100,000 pop./14 days, I don’t see how we can have any trust in her leadership. That’s even ignoring the misleading statements about HVAC that are circulating.

    20
  48. Trust,

    I agree with him. The superintendent has walked into an impossible situation and she hasn’t had an opportunity to develop a relationship with the teachers and parents for us to completely trust everything that’s happening. Unfortunately, she’s being held responsible for the reputations of her predecessors, which were riddled with trust and transparency issues. I genuinely believe that she’s trying to take everyone’s situation into account. That being said, she’s walked into a district where there is little cohesiveness between parents and teachers. That’s where I think Morcease Beasley has an advantage because I don’t see this much friction between parents and teachers in Clayton County. Even though I’ll be looking for jobs in other counties, my children will still be DeKalb students. She seems like she wants the best for the kids, and I believe she understands that doing what’s best for teachers ultimately has a positive impact on the students. As a parent, I’m excited to see the positive changes she’ll make for our students.

    5
  49. Alison Mercer

    @Demographics,
    Maybe everyone that YOU know is “following guidelines”, but many are Not. I saw this again with my own eyes at Kroger and Walmart yesterday. I saw people with masks under their nose, people touching all of the produce to find the “right one”, a guy spitting on the pavement before entering the store (and why the hell do men spit so much?? Just swallow it for God’s sake). Now stores have a black and white sign posted at the entrance, telling shoppers that they enter at their own risk, could contract COVID, and the store/company cannot be held responsible for illness or death. I saw the signs myself. Schools will adopt this same position, and post these standardized signs, and/or require all who enter a school building to sign a “hold harmless” agreement. They have to. No entity wants to be sued, and signage or forms offer some protection to the company, store…. Except in the case of provable negligence.

    With the alarming news today about ND, SD, and MI, and the huge increase in COVID hospitalizations, ICU’s over capacity, and deaths, COVID is clearly not subsiding. ND and SD were relatively unaffected for months, but suddenly their numbers are terrible. Business people and others are flying, sharing recirculating air, and carrying the virus to their destination, and/or bringing it back from their travels. Some are dining out again, which screams “contact” and spread. There is no way to stop this train.

    Schools open, then soon shut down. SOMETHING needs to be stable in this disease chaos. Virtual School is stable. I wanted schools to reopen. I wanted to Substitute teach again because it brought me joy. That was selfish of me. It is more important to save lives, and have some stability at this time. Kids, parents, teachers, and all school personnel cannot be bouncing around like ping-pong balls, starting F2Face, while juggling Virtual students, then shutting down again due to an outbreak and going Back to all virtual. That is not fair or manageable for most. It is chaos. We have had enough chaos since China assaulted the World early this year.

    A big reason why I have changed my mind is the contributions of everyone on this site. I value others’ perspectives, concerns, and yes…..their justified fears. Nobody is being irrational, and nobody deserves criticism. We are all in a place we have never been, and never expected. Caution is NOT “Panic”. Caution is Smart. Caution is a great “Teacher”. We Are All Learning …… No more criticism or sarcasm that reads like personal attacks on anyone’s character. I have seen too much of that on this site, and it’s just crappy. So there.

    9
  50. Alison Mercer

    Stan, do any of the other Board members look at your site and read the comments? Do any of them have such an excellent communication tool for the public?

    2
  51. The current count per 100,00 for the past 2 weeks is 105 cases as of October 11.

    17
  52. Tongue in cheek

    105 and rising… based on the trend that is going on nationally, I expect this number to be in the 110-115 soon.

    14
  53. Scared teacher

    Cases and Deaths are up a n Georgia and Dekalb County

    10
  54. 99/100k yesterday 10/10 (down from 101)
    105/100k 10/11

    1
  55. DSW2Contributor

    ^There were only 24 new confirmed cases back on September 27th, which was an unusually low day — it was the second lowest daily number of new cases in Dekalb since May 31. Sept 27th is now 15 days ago, so the low number on that day is no longer included in the 14 day average, and that’s why the 14-day average went up today.

    I’m worried by the 72 new cases today, a Sunday. That is bad news because the number of new cases usually drop on weekends, apparently because testing centers are not open and/or they do not report their results to the state on weekends.

    4
  56. Dunwoody Diva

    The lack of communication from the county is unacceptable.
    They should be sending out at least weekly updates, to keep staff, parents and taxpayers apprised of their reopening plan.
    If the plan is not changing, then let people know that , if there is date shift, let people know that.
    It is unnerving as an employee not to be able to plan for next week.
    Are we returning? if so, which two days should I show up. Are we not returning? Let me know that as well since I have to plan childcare, transportation and coordinate with my spouse’s schedule.
    How about those not returning? What is their official last day if they resign or go on FMLA? Again unnerving.
    Every family need to make the decision that fits their situation.
    Neither plan, virtual or f2f is ideal for everyone.
    Please comminicate the most up to date plan!!!

    27
  57. Dear Superintendent:
    The life you save, may be mine!! And many others.

    9
  58. @Dunwoody Diva, I completely agree! The lack of communication is horrible. And what is sad, admin says the same thing. No one is communicating with them. No guidance has been given so now everyone is doing their own thing. At my old school, the teachers are deciding how to do virtual and f2f since the district has provided no guidance. We’re going to do something completely different at my school. I’m pretty sure every school will do something different and some models will look better than others. I think at my school, I can pick which 2 days to show up lol!

    11
  59. Dacosta posted something on his fb story and confirmed through messenger that if numbers go back over 100, the timeline resets. However, we haven’t heard from leadership is the numbers are back up to 105 and what is happening next.
    I truly have already accepted that I’m going back into the building. I just want to be able to make plans for my family.

    9
  60. Stan: when can we expect an announcement from the superintendent about if the clock is resetting on us going back? Many of us need to know this at least a week in advance, and right now, it’s less time than that to change plans if we don’t need to go back. I appreciate your transparency and the opportunity to interact on this platform, but the Superintendent (who, so far, I’m a huge fan of) should be communicating more regularly with employees.

    When can we expect to hear something?

    21
  61. DunwoodyTeacher

    The county needs to make some hard decisions about going back to school face to face. Being wishy washy about the return is making it worse for everyone. By the county declaring that everything gets reset if the numbers go over 100, it just causes more turmoil. No one knows what is going on because of lack of communication. I hope the super is talking to supers of other counties that have gone back and gaining information about how to make this work.Give us a date and stick to it. I am a teacher and I need an answer. I’m willing to go back but this back and forth is causing me more stress/anxiety on top of the stress/anxiety of teaching virtually from my home.

    19
  62. Alison Mercer

    Stan, thank you for posting the “official” COVID sign at the end of my post above. Governor Kemp signed the order for public businesses and schools to post this. The sign is already up at Fulton County schools at entrances. All schools are supposed to put these signs up. Again, they offer legal “protection” for the establishment, unless gross negligence can be proven. It only has to be in English, but there are approved language translations.

  63. What is going on

    104 today…still no communication from the district. Could we at least get something like “we are aware of the numbers and we will communicate soon”? Or are we just ignoring the plan and going back regardless of cases now? When is the teacher town hall scheduled for and how do we submit questions prior to? If we are still starting the week of the 19th…what day exactly am I supposed to report to my school? Do I just show up on two days of my choosing? And last question- when and how will we receive training on how to effectively teach both in person and online? If someone from the DCSD covid task force who helped create the hybrid schedule could model that for us that would be great. Thanks.

    24
  64. Stan:

    So, what now! The per capita number for Dekalb has been above 100 for the last two days! Is the plan for the staff to return going to come to a complete halt? If not, we need answers. If the return is based upon that per capita number being under 100…well as of yesterday, that ship has sailed!?!

    8
  65. @What is going on

    My sister is a teacher in Dekalb and this is what she received…

    Subject: FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT: Teacher Town Hall Information—Please distribute to all teachers at your school

    Good Evening!

    Thank you again for your feedback at the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory meeting this week. As promised, we will host an all teacher town hall meeting on Wednesday, October 14th at 2:30 pm.

    Please solicit feedback from ALL teachers in your building. Once the feedback is received, please submit one comprehensive list of questions to teacher_talk@dekalbschoolsga.org. All submissions must be submitted no later than noon on Tuesday, October 13th.

    2
  66. It’s kind of odd that DeKalb has chosen that specific metric as the supposed be-all, end-all benchmark for returning to F2F learning. Here is where other metro counties stand as far as that same metric as of today (10/12):

    Douglas- 170
    Cherokee- 156
    Walton- 138
    Fulton- 131
    Gwinnett- 127
    Henry- 120
    Clayton- 117
    Cobb- 112
    Newton- 104
    Rockdale- 90
    Paulding- 81
    Fayette- 79
    Forsyth- 76

    Taking a look at all the surrounding counties, DeKalb doesn’t appear to be doing that bad by comparison. And right now, I think most, if not all, of those counties are offering some type of F2F option. So what has the experience in those counties been like? Have they seen higher numbers of deaths and hospitalizations- specifically of students, teachers, & school staff- since they started back F2F? If so, I don’t remember reading or hearing about any/many of those stories, even though you would think they would be pretty newsworthy. If not, doesn’t that tell us that DeKalb is also unlikely to have major surges in hospitalizations & deaths? Or are those counties somehow so different that we can’t use them for any comparative purposes? Maybe we should start using logic, data, & experience in our decision-making process, rather than strictly relying on fear, emotion, & anecdotal stories.

    2
  67. Link to join teacher town hall meeting

    http://bit.ly/DCSDteachertownhall

    Wednesday, October 14th at 2:30 pm.

    4
  68. No news is good news?

    @Dunwoody Dad,
    Schools and districts aren’t required to report their numbers. So, I guess you wouldn’t know.

    5
  69. @No news is good news?

    Right, I’ve seen that mentioned on here, but let’s be realistic- this is 2020. If a student or teacher died of Covid- or was even hospitalized- you don’t think that news is getting out far & wide? Whether through social media, tips to outlets like the AJC or local news stations, etc. Even though they aren’t “required” to report, we have all seen stories of “outbreaks” at a few schools over the past few months (some people have defined an “outbreak” as a single case, so that’s why I use quotes). Enough people are against returning to F2F learning that they are searching far & wide for any stories that help that agenda, so trust me, if they were out there, you would hear about them. Let’s not be naïve here. The fact that those stories aren’t being reported most likely means there’s nothing to report.

    3
  70. You don’t have to be hospitalized or dead to suffer long term or disabling consequences from COVID 19.
    I’m retiring in a few years and I’d like to enjoy that lifelong dream with my mental acuity and good health intact.

    23
  71. Stan, please clarify what the plan is at this point.
    Cases in DeKalb were over 100 on Oct. 9. The clock starts over according to the published timeline. Is that correct? Has the timeline been adjusted?

    Averaging the case numbers for 14 days is not the same as >100 for a 14 day period which is what the plan states.

    7
  72. Where’d you get that link?!

    4
  73. Who sent that link?! I didn’t receive it, nor did any of my coworkers…

    4
  74. I’ve seen people talk about survival rates for COVID, and some mention of what survivors go through. Children may have better survival rates, but there can be a lot of lingering effects. We keep learning more and more about COVID. Some are good, like therapeutics, but some are bad, like emerging long term effects. The following article are about the children.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/12/health/children-coronavirus-long-haulers-wellness/index.html?utm_content=2020-10-12T17%3A01%3A37&utm_medium=social&utm_term=link&utm_source=fbCNN&fbclid=IwAR1JZ83ouiXC71Hx_yEDLxy3D-9sg_rMtBnvMV_ynGo7k-KnPbtDwMPfxIo

    8
  75. DSW2Contributor

    @Dunwoody Dad — most of your arguments are of the form “I haven’t looked for evidence of (fill-in-blank), therefore (fill in the blank) has not happened and/or will not happen.”

    Expecting others to do your homework for you is not going to fly here, a forum filled with teachers.

    11
  76. I’m trying to get a hard confirm on the plan moving forward. –Stan

    10
  77. Hi Stan,
    I have 2 questions. Since the data has increased to exceed 100 do we start the 14 consecutive day count over? Also, why are teachers scheduled to come back to the buildings on the same day as the board meeting? Please clarify.
    Thanks

    9
  78. My understanding is that teachers will not come back to school to work with over 100 cases per 100K. I’m working on getting a hard confirmation from the administration. There is no correlation between the day teachers are scheduled to come back and the board of education meeting. The irony is not lost on me that the board meeting is virtual.

    19
  79. Concerned Citizen

    https://gbdeclaration.org/
    The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

    Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

    Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

    Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.

    As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.

    5
  80. All that Glitters isn't gold

    I have not seen any overall guidelines for all schools in Dekalb to follow. Instead, it looks like each individual school will be responsible for developing their own guidelines. What happens when parents knowingly put their children on the bus every day although they are only supposed to be there on certain days? What happens to the kids when they come to school sick and the parents refuse to pick them up or refuse to quarantine? Some schools are looking at face to face lunch in the cafeteria for kids and staff that are on duty and some are even looking at children changing classes without proper sanitizing the desks, rooms, etc. I see DSCD as an upcoming Covid Hot Spot because we don’t have any district wide guidelines and consequences that we are communicating DISTRICT WIDE to our parents. Our parents are transitional and basic guidelines such as consequences for when students show up on days that are not their day for face to face learning, parents not picking up sick children, kids eating in the cafeteria, etc. should be communicated to all.

    15
  81. @Concerned citizen

    The Great Barrington Declaration is not at all credible. It’s full of fake signatories such as “Dr Johnny Bananas” and “Professor Cominic Dummings”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/09/herd-immunity-letter-signed-fake-experts-dr-johnny-bananas-covid

    5
  82. I note that cases stayed under 100 for only a couple days and, as of the morning of 10/13, they stand at 104 /100,000 for the previous two weeks. For those who aren’t already aware, the source of these data are the Georgia Department of Health’s COVID dashboard, https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report. Give the page a few seconds to load, then scroll down to the map and click on Dekalb County, and you can see the numbers for yourself.

    I have not seen an update from the District putting the reopen calendar on hold … is this going to happen?

    10
  83. Concerned Citizen

    If you read The Guardian story, you would realize that anyone can add their name to the Great Barrington Declaration’s list of signatories, including you, SMH, if you can stop shaking your head long enough.
    Among the authors and co-signers are Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations; and Dr. Michael Levitt, biophysicist and professor of structural biology, Stanford University,, and recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
    If “Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush” wants to sign the Great Barrington Declaration in an attempt to make it look ridiculous for certain gleeful media outlets, he can but Hugo’s snarkiness doesn’t change the important message authored by respected epidemiologists who have a certain set of skills.

    2
  84. Seeing as we can’t seem to get anything out of administration, we’re sort of all looking to you here, Stan. Please give us an update. It’s starting to look more and more like they’re trying to sweep this under the rug, and go back on their word.

    14
  85. @concerned citizen-
    How many deaths are estimated to occur if we resort to herd immunity? Who are the most vulnerable to the disease?

    What’s a good number for you? A million more deaths? Two million? Would those souls be worth the sacrifice for the “greater good” of herd immunity? https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-scott-atlas-herd-immunity/2020/08/30/925e68fe-e93b-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html

    Also, do you know who has bankrolled the Great Barrington Declaration? The Koch family. They are anti-science.

    Continuing to SMH

    3
  86. DCSD teacher&parent

    DCSD admin gave employees less than 2 weeks’ notice about our return to school, a disrespectful move. The local admin at the school where I work has yet to give us our return schedule or return protocols for next week. (What days? Will we stagger? etc.) It sounds like I’m not alone, and many local admins are waiting for guidance from the county. I’m also a DCSD parent and my kids’ MAP testing schedules are the weeks of October 19 and October 26. The testing window extends through November 11, so some schools will be testing until that date. Seems like the MAP testing window might not have been the best time to schedule our return to school… Why are we not waiting until January to do this?

    18
  87. Is it possible that answers to questions, concerns, and fears are being held until the October 19th Board Meeting? If so, could someone in an official capacity just step up and declare this today? Everyone is bickering back and forth, but unless these posts are actually read by other Board members, what’s the point? Send emails to the Board as well.

    4
  88. Concerned Citizen

    @SMH, “anti-Science” is an apt description of those who see only one side of an equation and ignore the excess mortality caused by their tunnel vision. If you want the answer to who are the most vulnerable, the answer is people who are aged 65 years and older and the median age of decedents is 78 years. How many seniors are attending elementary school? Junior high? High school?

    From a recent CDC study published in July: Data on 52,166 deaths from 47 jurisdictions among persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were reported individually to CDC via case-based surveillance during February 12–May 18, 2020. Among the 52,166 decedents, 55.4% were male, 79.6% were aged ≥65 years, 13.8% were Hispanic/Latino (Hispanic), 21.0% were black, 40.3% were white, 3.9% were Asian, 0.3% were American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN), 0.1% were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NHPI), 2.6% were multiracial or other race, and race/ethnicity was unknown for 18.0%.

    And a good number for me is 8675309.

    3
  89. publish.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps/home/public/about/content/covid-19

  90. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^^ @DCSD teacher&parent –

    Mrs. Watson-Harris make the mistake of entering into a sisterhood alliance with Dr. Herring, the APS Superintendent. Watson-Harris and Herring both agreed to follow the public health guidance and do the right thing….. but then white Buckhead parents bought a billboard and Dr. Herring instantly capitulated to them.

    Anyone who had been around in DCSD could have seen this coming. When Herring was a DCSD employee, she was unable to pass the entry-level Georgia teacher certification exam. She ended up becoming a school counselor, then finagled her way into a Palace “Coordinator” job, then she left DCSD and eventually district-hopped her way into becoming a Superintendent. Obviously her skill is knowing how to say “Yes sir, we will do exactly that” to the powers that be.

    Mrs. Watson-Harris is now in a really tough spot. Watson-Harris publicly assured Stan and the rest of the DCSD board that the return to in-person classes would be done safely — like how she promised that the clock would reset if Dekalb went over a 2 week average of 100 cases per 100k population. Meanwhile, the school district next door (APS) is rushing to reopen. For months, APS had been saying they would reopen gradually, with only the K thru 2 children going back for 2 days a week; then the Buckhead billboard popped up and APS instantly changed to all students coming back at once and for a full week schedule.

    So much for sisterhood.

    6
  91. @concerned citizen

    My students are poor, most don’t have health insurance and therefore don’t seek medical help until it’s an emergency. They are twice as likely to test positive and if they do, they likely won’t have access to the same health care that more affluent people have. If we resort to herd immunity without a vaccine, they WILL be the ones who suffer most. Forgive me for wanting to protect them.

    My question wasn’t a facetious one. How many deaths are you ok with? How many children are you ok with contracting the disease and then potentially suffering long term effects because we just don’t have enough information?

    6
  92. @Alison Mercer We are “supposed” to report October 19. So, waiting until that day to discuss any of this doesn’t really help us. It’s already extremely unprofessional that we don’t even know what two days we are reporting the week of the 19th, but furthermore ANYTHING AT ALL with regards to what is being done to protect us as staff (and eventually students). Our principal has literally said “things are going to be OK”. That’s IT! And, I don’t think that’s any fault of hers. I don’t think SHE KNOWS! The last time we were in our building (time-staggered, in small groups approved by admin, to pick up things for virtual learning) our HVAC wasn’t even working! It was 85 degrees in the building. And come to find out, it had been like that for weeks. I’m supposed to be comfortable with returning knowing this is the type of stuff that happens in our county buildings? Give me a break.

    We were specifically told by Ms. Watson-Harris — in writing, no less — that the cases per 100k in DeKalb County had to be under 100 for 14 days in a row before anyone would report back in-person (Stan Jester even confirmed this in the comments of his post on September 22nd at 12:04pm stating: “Formula Confirmed – I exchanged a couple messages with Cheryl Watson-Harris. She said the plan is currently to begin the transition to the hybrid learning model once the “CASES PER 100K (LAST 2 WEEKS)” number is below 100 for 14 days in a row. –Stan.” It’s reckless and absolutely unprofessional that we haven’t heard one single thing about this now that the cases have jumped back above 100 per 100k.

    Many of you simply want to come on here and complain that teachers don’t want to return (for whatever reason that may be). However, most of us just want ANSWERS! And, promises kept. Period.

    16
  93. It is unconscionable that teachers must report to school buildings next week but know very few details about that.

    By now, many have created a good video set-up in their home. Are they supposed to bring that equipment to their school building and have it all set up before virtual school begins early Monday morning? I don’t see how that’s possible.

    Will they remain in the building on Tuesday, or will they have to take their equipment back home for Tuesday, and possibly bring it back into the building on Thursday or Friday?

    What about the overcrowded schools like Dunwoody High School, where some teachers do not have their own classrooms and must “float” between classrooms? Where will they set up their equipment to teach virtually and face-to-face? Surely they won’t be required to “float” with their virtual equipment!

    This is basic stuff. It is ridiculous and unprofessional to keep teachers in the dark and just assume that teachers will come in early and “make it work,” like they always do. This is unacceptable in normal conditions, and even worse given the stress that we all feel from months of pandemic conditions.

    And don’t forget that the Board of Education meeting on Monday will be virtual. Too dangerous for adults to meet together in a large room at the “Palace,” but perfectly safe for teachers to be in small rooms in old buildings with rotating groups of children.

    23
  94. Alison Mercer

    @DekalbTeacher, I think the communication from “The Top” has been very poor. Most of my work experience has been in a large Corporation environment in a professional HR capacity. In a crisis, whether long or short-term, it is imperative that all employees receive frequent communication, even if it is similar to the day before. It’s the “silence” that is maddening. All employees need to know that they matter; that they are important. I am just a Substitute, and Subs have received NO communication at all since schools closed. Nothing. Subs clearly don’t matter. If it weren’t for Stan, and those on this site who share tidbits of actual communication that they’ve had with anyone in leadership, everyone would be waiting 4 weeks until the next public Board Meeting to learn anything of substance, and that is inexcusable.

    Leaders must Lead, be Visible, Transparent, Communicate Often, and Be Brave. It would be my privelege to Sub for any teacher. YOU are worth it, and I respect Teachers so much. Make phone calls and send emails to the entire Board and the Superintendent. Be clear, concise, and respectful. My very best wishes to all Teachers and Support Staff. I miss working with you.

    7
  95. Common Sense Isn't

    @DSW2Contributor
    “but then white Buckhead parents bought a billboard and Dr. Herring instantly capitulated to them.”
    I see you and Dr. Morley went to the same school of thought. Noted.

    @SMH and @ConcernedCitzien
    “They are twice as likely to test positive and if they do, they likely won’t have access to the same health care that more affluent people have.”

    There isn’t any real treatment available for children, rich or poor, aside from addressing the symptoms. They don’t give Remdesivir/Antibody cocktails etc. to kids at the “rich” doctor’s offices. Those treatments are available in the case of hospitalizations, of which EXTREMELY few children (and very few adults) are rarely subject to.

    Currently there are 227 Covid-19 patients in Region D (Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinett, Rockdale, Fayette, Clayton, Newton) comprising 6.2% of the all patients in the Region hospitalized.

    I have two daughters currently attending a local daycare which they’ve been at since mid-June. The teachers and staff wear masks and the Kindergartners have the option to do so, but its not required. In the 4 months they’ve been attending, there has been 1 positive case among staff and students. All of which occurred during the epidemic wave that washed over the state and area in June/July/August. The school now offers private Kindergarten and they’ve been at full capacity since DCSD decided to go virtual.

    I don’t think it should be taken lightly when Stan mentioned Kindergarten enrollment is down almost 1/3 versus projections. From what I can tell, those un-enrollments aren’t merely out of caution, I’d reckon its primarily out of choice.

    2
  96. Don't make sense

    As of yesterday the numbers were 104. Does this supertindent not care that a lot of teachers will not be able to go around their parents or older people because they are vulnerable or if anyone has a spouse or children that are vulnerable
    It brakes my heart that this is how we have to live. Also and othat we have to make a choice of make a living or just living period. Someone mention to me the other day what happens when you are eat lunch and everyone has their mask off you are all breathing each other air. She is not sticking to her word and if the school board can make a decision for her what is the purpose of the school board. Also some needs to take a look at the newsletter that she posted on the district website and the newsletter that was sent to teachers she the 14 day average as two different numbers.

    3
  97. DeKalb Schools is holding a teacher town hall Wednesday, October 14th @ 2:00pm. Seems like a lot of questions will be answered there.

  98. We don't have enough info

    One thing people aren’t saying enough is that WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION. Teachers and school staff are not the essential workers of retail, grocery, or healthcare industries to name a few. If you’ve been to a doctor’s office in the past 6 months, you know they have asked you if you have been in contact with…, don’t bring extra people, wait in car until called…, wear a mask, and your temp. might be taken when you enter the facility. Also, most high traffic public places have plexiglass shields/partitions. And I bet, employees are given hazard pay, or that a COVID or pandemic clause may have also been put in place along with added cleaning measures (people hosing down carts–nightly sanitation, etc.). Probably because there was no choice–do this or be without a job.

    Go to your local school and I bet you will see no differences other than some partitions in the main office(s). That’s the only change in mine. Oh, and we’ve been promised hand sanitizer, masks, and Lysol (even though there may or may not be soap in the bathrooms, and there is no hot water, if every sink has running water).

    Teachers aren’t pushing back because we don’t want to work or whatever people think, it’s because parents and students have gotten a choice and we haven’t, even though NO significant measures have been taken to keep us safe other than “your safety is a priority). And, putting us (and the children!) at risk is an “oh well, come to work and risk getting sick because you will be in an unventilated room with more people than you should and will have to clean up after them throughout the day and cover for your colleagues who won’t show up because there are no subs) or take leave and 66% of your pay.
    I still have effects of COVID from March when it came through my household and it doesn’t matter to anyone but my loved ones. Fortunately we are all still here. But again, we no nothing more about COVID now scientifically than we did in March. Am I immune? More prone? Who knows. A Fulton Co teacher died. Several other ELEMENTARY school teachers have died from COVID–but schools aren’t even reporting cases. And we should trust that to get back to work? Those parents who need to go back to work likely have safety measures in place, which is why they might not have a say, but for school employees, the risks far outweigh the benefits.

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  99. DeKalbTeacher

    @Stan Jester why do we not know anything about this town hall? I haven’t received an email. None of my colleagues from my school or elsewhere at other DCSD schools have. This is getting ridiculous. It’s embarrassing, quite honestly. What answers can YOU, as a member of the board, give? You were personally told by the superintendent that if the cases per 100k rose above 100 that the 14-day clock would reset. Well, here we are. And even with the latest numbers that came out TODAY (October 13), we are STILL above 100. That’s five days in a row of 100+ numbers.

    Since clearly the superintendent won’t say anything, we’re looking at YOU for answers, Stan.

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  100. Concerned Citizen

    @smh, I’m sure the only answer you find acceptable is the fatuous “one death is too many.”

    Pretending to protect your poor students from coronavirus while you leave them exposed to a lifetime of suffering imposed by fearmongering adults seems unforgivable to me, but I’m sure you can rationalize your behavior. How many teen suicides are acceptable to you? How many missed vaccinations leading to outbreaks of mumps and measles are acceptable to you? How many missed cancer diagnoses are acceptable to you?

    You have the information regarding fatality rates among children who contract COVID-19, yet you refuse to acknowledge those rates, rates that indicate the seasonal flu is more deadly to children. I must have missed all those times you advocated closing your classroom so that your poor students didn’t contract the flu because you know that one death is too many.

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