DeKalb Schools Reopening Plan

DeKalb Schools has announced they will begin its re-opening process on a staggered schedule Jan. 4, 2021 with staff returning to school buildings. Selected grade levels will begin in-person learning on Jan. 19, 2021. Phase three will begin Jan. 25, 2021.

deKalb Schools reopening plan

Students may return to face-to-face instruction or continue in the virtual learning space. Schools will organize all classes into two cohorts based on alpha order to adhere to social/physical distancing requirements and safety guidance. Local schools will collaborate with families to align the schedules of siblings. Wednesdays will be reserved for small group instruction, tutoring, appointments for student conferencing, parent conferencing, services, professional learning, collaborative planning and instructional planning.

Concurrent Learning – According to a presentation yesterday, Concurrent Learning will be engaged when the level of spread is between 8% and 10%.
• 2 Days of face to face instruction per week
• 2 Days of distance/remote learning per week
• Wednesdays will be reserved for small group instruction, tutoring, appointments for student conferencing, parent conferencing, services, professional learning, collaborative planning and instructional planning.

Employee Options – Telework may possibly be provided as an option for employees who qualify for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If an employee believes he/she has a medical condition that qualifies for an ADA accommodation, he/she must complete an ADA application and provide supporting medical certification to begin the process. Employees may request ADA documentation from Employee Relations or bookkeepers. ADA documentation can also be accessed through the following link: https://dcsd.sharepoint.com/hr/Pages/Forms.aspx Employees may use the email to make requests: ADArequests@dekalbschoolsga.org

Charter Schools – While charter schools enjoy substantial autonomy, Georgia’s Charter Schools Act does not provide flexibility to charter schools regarding federal, state, or local rules, regulations, court orders, and statutes related to the protection of the physical health and safety of students, employees, and visitors. DCSD charter schools do not have the authority to implement a less restrictive learning model than the District.

Keep In Mind – DeKalb Schools administration would like you to keep the following in mind:

• In surveying our DCSD families on intent to return to school, over 40% of families indicated their desire to send their children back to school.
• Even with rising rates, leading health experts have advised school leaders to identify opportunities for students to return to school buildings.
• Neighboring districts have successfully returned with few incidents. DCSD Leadership is in contact with neighboring districts to discuss what has worked well and some of the areas of concern so that our district can proactively prepare for re-entry.
• Most importantly, our youngest learners and our most vulnerable students must have the structure of learning within the school building to receive targeted support from educators needed to achieve academic success.

Outbreaks – If a school-based staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, there will be a targeted impact on the school and/or classroom which could include a transition to distance/remote learning and working environments for a period of time.

Symptoms – If a staff member or student is exhibiting symptoms, the staff member or student will be immediately isolated. The District will follow the guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health, DeKalb Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

278 responses to “DeKalb Schools Reopening Plan

  1. @Mad Teacher, You bring up a good point. There is no doubt some teachers will resign. The question for those that resign, what are you looking for in another job?

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  2. Resignation Questions

    Stan,
    I’m looking to resign from DeKalb. I don’t mind teaching, but I don’t want to come back into the building until I’ve been vaccinated. If DeKalb doesn’t give us options in terms of being able to continue teaching virtually, I will resign from DeKalb and move to another district next year.

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  3. Are you arguing that schools would improve reading rates if they had less funding?

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  4. abcdefg, You were complaining about the lack of choices and I was just trying to make you feel better. Metro Atlanta teachers don’t have a choice of whether or not they can go back to work … like many people. Metro Altanta parents don’t have a choice of whether or not to pay taxes. You can decide whether or not to work for DeKalb Schools and I can decide whether or not to send my children to DeKalb Schools. No need to be hostile.

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  5. Hello @Resignation Questions, Thank you for taking care of our babies as well as participating on this blog. I guess my ultimate point is that DeKalb Schools has waited longer than just about all the other school districts to bring the teachers back to school. Are you saying you would resign and go to a school district that has had their teachers back at school for the last few months? If that’s the case, do you figure there are teachers across Metro Atlanta waiting for the vaccine to come out and get a new job at different school districts?

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  6. VeryDissapointedParent

    I’m sorry, is it so hard to wait until teachers have access to vaccines which is a couple months away?
    Do you not love your teachers?
    We can do better than this.

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  7. And it’s beyond rude to ruin our CHRISTMAS BREAK with this news. Disgusting DeKalb. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU TOO!!!!!!!!

    @anon, ur not the one who has to be inside a poorly ventilated, unclean building with 100s of children who aren’t practicing proper hygiene. There’s a reason I’m upset.

    For me, it’s the issue of the low pay/might die. Too much, last straw.

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  8. Resignation Questions

    Hi Stan,

    I’d only go to a new district because I’m assuming that DeKalb won’t rehire teachers who resign right now. If they’re willing to rehire us, I’d absolutely return to DeKalb. I do appreciate that DeKalb has waited this long, but I am concerned about going back when numbers are so high. I’d return immediately if we were able to get a vaccine right now, but I can’t risk contracting the virus and bringing it home to my family because some of my family are high-risk. I do think most teachers would be willing to return if we had a vaccine now because that’s what I’m hearing from my colleagues. I know that the main concern is that many of us have health issues, or live with people who have health issues.

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  9. Hey abcdefg. I’m glad you’re bringing this perspective to our discussion. I’m confident many others feel like you do. I’ve had a number of government jobs in my tenure, and it’s a completely different beast than the rest of the world.

    $200K/year ? Wow, that’s a lot. What job pays that to somebody coming out of teaching? DeKalb Schools could pay %25 – %50 more if there was no pension. 10 month employees also have more days off obviously. Teaching, you get to work with kids if that’s something you like. I found the private sector to be less B.S. … sooo … there are pros and cons.

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  10. DisappointedParent

    Why can’t we wait until teachers have access to vaccine which is a couple of months away?
    Once we lose teachers, the students are the one suffering the most.
    Do you not love your teachers?
    Good job getting the options that make no sense in the peak of the pandemic.

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  11. @DisappointedParent, Given the recent trajectory of the new COVID transmission rates, it might be a few months before anybody goes back to the classroom. The current schedule doesn’t start bringing kids back to the classroom for another month.

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  12. @anon I bet we pay some part of your salary too you selfish selfish person

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  13. I’m getting a new degree @ Stan, in the health profession. A doctorate. It will take years but at least I will be paid what I’m worth. I deleted the post because I decided it’s not anyone’s business. I chose teaching originally for the children but the treatment of teachers is abusive and the pay is not livable. I feel so sorry for all the teachers staying. I will keep u all in my prayers!

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  14. Nancy, Doubt it – smout it. How can you make an assumption like that?

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  15. Concerned Teacher

    Glad I’m not the only feeling like the meeting was misleading. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. Based on an email from my principal this afternoon, she felt the same way.

    I was unable to attend the meeting on December 7th so I relied on the information board member Diijon DaCosta put on his Facebook page. I went back to review the screenshots I took from all of his posts and nothing indicated that the metric would be changed and that we’d be returning after winter break.

    Your blog post was sent to me by another colleague of mine and it shocked me to see all of this prior to any communication being sent out by DCSD. I do appreciate you relaying this information as it obviously wasn’t on the forefront of the superintendent’s mind.

    I am concerned we are rushing into all of this. I know DCSD has been planning for this for a while, but we haven’t even had any conversations at a local school level. Staff members need to be informed on how the school day is going to look, what the procedures are for COVID, and just the general day-to-day operations. I don’t feel confident in the district’s ability and nor my schools ability in providing enough information, guidance, and training in such a little turn around when teachers are still having class virtually as soon as we return.

    Personally, I’m live almost the entire day due to being the resource teacher for my school and don’t have time to set up my classroom. I refuse to work beyond my contracted time to set up a classroom. If I’m forced to “find time”, I will be notating it on my instructional communication log (the log SPED teachers are required to fill out and submit weekly) and the district can explain to parents why their child didn’t get as much service time that week.

    The district chose a hell of a year to implement calendar reduction days. A lot of us were already pissed going into this school year and stuff like this doesn’t help. I may or may not be one of them (I haven’t quite decided), but a mass exodus is coming whether it be 2nd semester or for next school year. There’s only so much people are willing to put up with.

    Dates should have never been released. Let me remind everyone we did this dance once before in October and never even made it to the next phase. Why are we putting staff, students, and their families through this all over again? What should’ve happened is the district saying it was a possibility and a decision would be made/more information would be released after winter break.

    Thanks again Stan for your transparency. The district could learn a lot from you on what that truly looks like!

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  16. @abcdefg, health profession … that makes sense. Going from one noble profession to another. What type of health professional do you want to be?

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  17. Your child having face 2 face learning or my child growing up without her mother. I’m confused.

    50 American lives lost every 30 minutes or your child having social interactions with their friends. I’m confused.

    2500 people dying everyday or you’re child reading on grade level. I’m confused.

    I don’t understand how your child being behind academically is worth risking my life I’m confused.

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  18. @Stan, Great question! You have an opening? haha I really would like to find a job that allows more remote working. I have a few friends working in real estate, and they have offered to take me on as a protégé. I might begin part time with them after the start of the new year and see how it goes.
    I prefer some flexibility in my workday, and for many years teaching somewhat catered to that by granting freedom in the way I manage my classes. By giving me the opportunity to plan my lessons, layout the year, and even setup my room. Gradually, many of those freedoms have been reclaimed in an attempt to cater to “best practices.” From mandates on how my lesson must be structured, to what needs to be on my walls, to concrete benchmark dates that are unrealistic when you, the teacher, know what is best for your students in regards to pacing the standards. Even the amount of testing, mainly MAP, which has NOTHING to do with Social Studies (ironically by its namesake), has eroded my freedom to best prepare my students for the next step in their educational paths. The heart cry of most good teachers is “just let us teach!” Education has become much less about teaching and more about test-proctoring, data collecting, and meeting attending. “Best practices” should be to hire highly qualified individuals who actually like children and then trust them to do what you hired them for, teach! Many of my colleagues are extremely talented, and it is a shame to watch them sit in meetings to learn “how to teach” when by all means they should be leading those meetings, if we should be required to attend them at all. I do not want to “toot my own horn”, but I am good at what I do. I engage my students, inspire my students, and in the end, educate my students. Through the years I keep up with many of them and thoroughly enjoy seeing where life takes them. The connections with students and their families will be the part I will miss the most. This current situation is likely the straw that broke…. It has been building for quite some time. I have dedicated the last 18 years of my life to the people of Dekalb, and I had truly hoped to remain until it was time to retire; I don’t think I will make it.
    We’ll see….

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  19. @I’m Confused, You bring up an excellent question. The DeKalb Schools says, “Neighboring districts have successfully returned with few incidents.” What are the various rates these days for teachers? Somebody mentioned earlier that while the infection rate is extremely high, the death rate is extremely low. I’d like to see those numbers.

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  20. So then these date are not firm Stan? Just the same as last last time they released “dates” then took them back? Why even post dates? Why make teachers scramble for childcare like this? Absurd.

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  21. Hello @ConcernedToo.
    Do real estate jobs work remotely? Real estate is definitely flexible and not as much crapola to deal with.

    What about the money? If you’ve been working 18 years, then you’re making $60K – $70K. DeKalb Schools is paying around $100K for your salary and pension alone. You get a couple months off during the Summer, etc …

    This has been the quandary, obviously, in the public and private sector since COVID began.

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  22. Concernedparent

    Stan, Thank you for the clarification. I have read through all the posts and still have questions. The original model said the return was hybrid at 1 day per week, then 2 as cases dropped. But the new power point is very confusing. It states 2 days hybrid then 4 days hybrid in the same column. As another parent posted, the district may want to reissue the intent to return because I assume many people in that 40% were intending to return 1 or 2 days per week initially and not 4 days per week. I suspect the return numbers will go down. I saw your post about the model of the two groups based on alpha order, but not how many days per week each group would go. ALso have you received the answer to the question about the 10% rate before the return date or is that a hard and fast date? The district is not responding to emails so you info is helpful. Thank you.

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  23. @DeKalbMom, I think the dates are firm given the current metrics. Granted, I’m not sure I completely understand the metrics. I was quite certain that the old metrics weren’t going to hold and there was no way we were every going back to school until a new formula came out. This could also be a ploy to give lip service to the 50% of parents who want to go back to school. I currently don’t get that vibe.

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  24. Hey @ConcernedParent. I have the same questions and no answers just yet. I have a request in for quite a bit of info. I’ll release the data as soon as I get it. –Stan

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  25. my daughter not going 1st kids not going to keep there masks on me and my husband have medical condition sending kids to scholl is a bad idea Virtual learning working well

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  26. All of this is just sad! Parents rushing to send kids back to school, numbers spiking, no real answers. Question to parents rushing reopening.. so teachers and students go back to school. Teacher gets covid guess where your child will be???? Back home! Or teach gets covid, student becomes very attached to the teacher and unfortunately that teacher dies from Covid complications. What do you tell your child then? How do you help their mental state in situations like this?
    I’m just confused as to why lives have to be at risk? Many counties are opening but many aren’t reporting real facts and numbers. This is sad! I love being a teacher and I really miss my students but I have a family and I live with my elderly grandmother. I should not have to risk myself or family because parents are tired and frustrated!

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  27. @Resignation Questions

    He doesn’t just serve you. This isn’t a forum solely for teachers to whine. Contact your school leadership. His role is to hold this system accountable, answer to parents, and his main focus is on the education of our children.

    We will not let you continually whine and moan about your job. DCSD virtual learning is not even accredited. And for you to sit up here and say I should spend time with my children, shouldn’t you get to work beginning to prepare instead of you and your colleagues constant threats to quit, etc. But want the easy way, ask Stan. Why don’t you ask the system you work for.

    Youre so blind to the facts and science. I get it, but it’s time to man up and figure it out. Most of you are so detached from the real world.

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  28. Think outside the box

    @abcdefg

    Based on all your comments and your qualifications maybe this situation is opening a door for a great opportunity for you to pursue another passion that you will be happier with and better compensated for. If you can make a $200k salary then what is stopping you? It’s great you have that choice. Many of the parents of students you teach are first responders, healthcare workers, retail workers, restaurant workers, etc. who have been working throughout the pandemic risking exposure because they don’t have a choice in order to pay bills. And add to their full time jobs the roll of teaching their kids what they are not getting from being on a screen all day and not covering in a 4 day week with shorter instruction time. DCSD should give teachers a choice of virtual or full time f2f . Teacher health matters, but there needs to be a balance somehow when many students are falling behind educationally and even struggling emotionally from virtual school for 9 months.

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  29. There are No Substitute Teachers left to help! Subs have been 100% IGNORED since schools shut down in March! Zero communication. No incentive to remain in the Sub pool. So most have left for other income. There is no teacher “back-up”.

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  30. Done with DeKalb

    Stan, can you please cite your source when you say that 50% of parents want to go back?

    I’m looking at the PDF for the 12/7 presentation and I see that 42% were *potentially* interested in hybrid based on the most recent survey. I don’t doubt that number would be smaller if parents were surveyed today, given the current surge that sees an American dying every 30 seconds and many school districts both locally and across the country returning to a virtual environment.

    My already-tenuous trust in DeKalb County Schools is completely eroded. It’s super shady to change the metric and call teachers back immediately. It doesn’t even make sense–if we’re above 10% now, why would we be calling teachers back? I certainly don’t have faith that DeKalb will accurately execute safety precautions and contact tracing in a hybrid environment.

    Every single person who moved this decision forward should be deeply ashamed.

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  31. I know this will be read by those who are able to balance two ideas at once and ignored by those who have decided that the health and lives of teachers are not their problem. I am a parent and a teacher. My husband was in the hospital with Covid recently. It’s not as simple as going to the hospital for treatment. He was fortunate; nurses told him if he had arrived a day before, he would have been turned away. Hospitals are maxed. Even if you have health insurance, there is no guarantee you will get the treatment you need when you need it. But by all means, let’s ignore the county Covid numbers to send our kids back. Those of you who are so eager to get your children back in f2f learning are incredibly naive to assume learning will be “normal.” Teachers will do what we’ve always done and put our students’ safety, and yes, our own, first. We will continue working from laptops to limit contact, we will turn away students who do not follow mask and social distancing regulations. NOTHING will look “normal,” and we have those who would rush us back to thank.

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  32. Stan, can you please find out and tell us more about what conditions qualify as a disability? I think that conditions that make one more susceptible to severe outcomes from covid but that don’t interfere with normal daily functioning (e.g. pregnancy, diabetes, etc) will NOT qualify. Unless the rules are being changed just wrt the pandemic. Please let us know. Thanks for the information you provide. (If only DCSD were as forthcoming as you!)

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  33. So…working at an office is an option and we are so mature we elect not to, even though it has been proven the poorest most disenfranchised kids are at the worst advantage in this new environment. Go Communism go. We protect no one…#watch your teachers at the grocery market messing with their masks and not washing their hands but refusing to go back to school for any reason…and watch alcoholism, suicides, drug addiction sky rocket while we hole ourselves up in a tower of white. There is a special place for all of you. Remind yourselves of that daily if you have no actual reason for not showing up for kids

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  34. Although it may not seem like it from all of the comments, there are some teachers that are happy to return. I am one of them.

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  35. Concerned Teacher

    @Iteach

    I don’t care either way, but I want to be smart and safe about it.

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  36. Daphne Buchanan

    I’m disappointed, but not surprised to read this. Dekalb is coming under a lot of pressure to reopen. Dekalb didn’t really announce the survey as much as the previous ones. Today for my daughter’s High School they were required to come on campus for a 42 question test or have an “I” in the class… Ridiculous. I believe the safety of the teachers and students should be considered more. I oppose the return

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  37. Resignation Questions

    Demographics,

    I hope you find some happiness and peace in your life. Have a great holiday.

    Jessica,
    It seems like you’re speaking out of frustration, and that’s understandable. But, just like you are concerned about your children, teachers are concerned about ours. We have just as much of a right to make decisions that best fit our households like everyone else. If a teacher chooses not to return, that is a personal decision that was not made lightly. I’m choosing not to return because I have high-risk family at home. Teachers don’t owe anyone an explanation for making a personal decision that’s best for ourselves or our families.

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  38. Embarrassed Educator

    As an educator I am appalled and beyond disappointed with my peers. We always talk about being treated as professionals, well, lots of professionals had to go back to work and some even have to travel. Many people have lost wages and even their jobs because of a bad economy or having to stay home to implement virtual school. NO: Teachers are not babysitters. However, we are part of a system that offers a safe educational environment for a specific time of day during a specific period of the year. While many have lost businesses , went months without salaries or are stretched thin because they need to pay for extensive child care because they were called back to work; DeKalb teachers continued to collect their regular paychecks. I thought we were the profession that would do anything for the kids? Some even said they would take a bullet if need be … I’m not seeing it. Let’s not fool ourselves. I’ve watched teachers travel on vacations, some all the way to California or attend weddings and huge family gatherings. Some have even attended their own child’s indoor sport activities. I’ve seen the pictures. Can’t have it both ways. The real problem, teachers (some) have become complacent. Sitting at home doing minimal work because worthless Principals and DeKalb Administrators don’t hold them accountable. It’s time for everyone to do what is happening across the country : “Put on your big girl/boy underwear and get back to work! Our country is stronger than this. We don’t hide, we push on because it is what’s necessary. FACT: Schools are NOT super-Spreaders! And if you are that terrified, then quit! That’s how the real world works. My kids have been in school, PUBLIC, since August and it’s working.! Even better, the are getting all kinds of respect because they don’t complain, they do their job!!

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  39. DSW2Contributor

    The scuttlebutt I’m hearing is that some long-time palace administrators decided to hold in-person holiday parties and receiving a party invitation (or being tipped off about the parties) is what triggered Mrs. Watson-Harris to reopen our buildings.

    Whatever justifications Mrs. Watson-Harris had for continuing virtual learning went out the window when our palace royalty decided it was safe enough to party in person.

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  40. I support the change in the plan and am grateful for the F2F option. I realize this won’t be a good fit for many, but it is the best one for my family. My children are willing to do what they need to do to get back in a school house – masks, social distancing, separation from others during lunch, etc.

    Thank you DCSD for finally trusting that students/families will do what it takes to keep teachers safe. Headed out in the morning to load up on Clorox wipes….hopefully everyone that is planning to send their kids in person will do the same.

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  41. What about after school programs?

  42. @ abcdefg Yes, students have a choice but staff don’t have a choice. How is it safe to go back when the numbers are high. Lots staff members leaving

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  43. 5th grade parent

    My child’s teacher is pregnant, I’m not sending my child into a situation that will contribute to her teacher being uncomfortable/unsafe. She has been putting forth great effort in facilitating virtual learning and should be allowed to remain 100% virtual.

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  44. You're not the only taxpayer

    anon, if it makes YOU feel better… MY taxes pay my salary too! See how that works?

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  45. Shaking my head

    We all agree that kids learn better face to face but when you fail to plan then plan to fail. The outline is pretty but it’s not very practical. I’m not sure that the people at the top realize how deplorable our schools are. Schools in Gwinnett have far more custodians per school than we do! One middle school in Gwinnett has 10 or more custodians to help sanitize their buildings. Many of their schools are new or at least far newer than the old schools that we have in Dekalb which may make their buildings have cleaner air and buildings. How practical is it for teachers to return to a classroom to begin teaching on Monday, January 4 when their classroom has been packed up and vacant since March? When are teachers supposed to be able to take their school supplies and teaching materials back to school and get ready to teach “as usual” on the first day after Christmas break when they are teaching all this week? What sense does that make? At least Monday, January 4 should have been used as a Teacher’s work day so that teachers can unpack their classrooms, transport their teaching materials and supplies from home back to the school and prepare to begin teaching on Tuesday! When are they supposed to have time to set up their classrooms for teaching? Does anyone ever seek input from the teachers and staff who actually work in the buildings instead of always getting input from people who don’t work every day in a building with kids, parents and staff! Who is supposed to staff the isolation room? What happens when parents don’t pick up their sick kids because they don’t have transportation or they won’t pick up the phone? What happens when they continue to send their sick kids to school knowing that they are ill? Where are the District Wide, Across the Board rules, consistent rules? Other districts have guidelines for handling these kinds of concerns that are consisten throught the district, why doesn’t Dekalb? Just backwards thinking and I can’t stop shaking my head!

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  46. Overwhelmed is an understatement

    As an employee who genuinely appreciated the boards pleas for transparency and protection over the last 8 months, I have to admit I feel betrayed. To tell us that we would have two weeks to prepare to return to work and then turn around and use our holiday break as part of the two weeks is manipulation. We should not be expected to do anything over the break besides rest and get refreshed for second semester. Offices and classrroms are in disaray because when we left wr just grabbed what we needed. We’ve not been allowed in our buildings all semester. Yet somehow on Jan. 4th everyone is expected to pack up their home supplies, get to school, get set up, and be ready to go at 8 a.m. No time to even see what classrooms look like. The town hall spoke about employee mental health concerns and drops this on us right before a break. So now many of us will have ro battle added anxiety about the first day back during a time we should be resting.

    Not to mention people will likley travel for the holidays, come back on Jan. 2-3,and report back to the building with hundreds of other people. Why not wait 2 weeks to allow time for those traveling to isolate until they can get tested? This just doesn’t make sense and goes against everything we’ve been told since October. Like so many others, I just don’t know how much I can take. This yo-yo of returning is not healthy for anyone. We’ve waited all this time, why not just push it back two more weeks? Teachers have to find daycare during a break when many facilities may be closed or on a reduced schedule. It’s not right. I don’t mind working but can we work smarter and do things that make sense please.

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  47. What about the Cafeteria Workers

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  48. Authoimmue Parents

    TWO AUTOIMMUNE PARENTS:
    Unfortunately going back f2f is not an option for my family. We are both autoimmune.
    I am concerned now for the quality of education with teachers doing both virtual and f2f. I proposed the question during a meeting: so if 40 percent wants to return there should be a constructive system to dedicate some teachers to virtual only! My daughters teacher is very professional, patient, well organized and structured! She has been wonderful throughout this and I feel my daughter has really been able to learn. Yet she has children the same age as her students (but her time is class has been strictly dedicated to the students). I know its not a pick and choose or favoritism, but in instances where not all students will be returning, it would seem logical that some of the teachers could remain virtual.

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  49. Looks to me like the Dekalb County School District is trying to hush up the protesters in the more wealthier neighborhoods of Dekalb County who want their kids to return to school. I’m sorry but the health of our students and teachers are way more important than a glass of wine and brunch with your country club members. I get up faithfully with my daughter every day for virtual learning and sit with her through the entire school day after working all night to make ends meet . Why can’t they? All i keep seeing is a bunch of brats whining about why the Dekalb County School District hasn’t followed in the footsteps of other counties who have now had to convert back to VR learning because their students and teachers were testing positive. This is not well thought out at all. People will still travel over the holidays and then come back to put their kids in school. That vaccine was not tested on children under 16. And my 9 year old has an auto immune disease. How the hell can i be sure that my child will not be in danger of losing her life because of this negligent plan to put kids back in the classroom right after the holiday break? I can’t be sure and no one on the school board can convince me otherwise. Stop subjecting our students and teachers to BS to please those who oppose the decision to keep them safe.

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  50. DSW2Contributor

    Everyone calm down and read Decaturish’s summary of the AJC article:

    ———————————————————————————-
    DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb County School District has announced that face-to-face instruction may resume as early as Jan. 19, but there’s an important caveat.

    To reopen, the school district is changing its metric from cases per 100,000 residents to the COVID-19 positivity rate, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Previously, the school district said it would reopen when cases reached 100 per 100,000 people or less for 14-days. As COVID-19 cases spiked – cases now stand at 496 per 100,000 people in DeKalb County, it became clear that it would be a long time before cases fell to 100 per 100,000 people.

    Now, the district tells the AJC, the new metric for resuming face-to-face learning is the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate. The superintendent hinted at this possibility during a recent School Board meeting. The positivity rate will have to fall below 10 percent over a two week period for in-person learning to resume on Jan. 19. Currently, the county’s positivity rate is 10.1 percent.
    ———————————————————————————-
    https://decaturish.com/2020/12/dekalb-schools-may-resume-in-person-learning-on-jan-19/

    Dekalb’s positivity rate has been over 10 percent since December 9. In order for us to open on January 19, the rate has to drop below 10% by January 4 and stay under 10%. That’s not going to happen.

    January 4 is only 19 days away from today. Dekalb’s positivity rate went above 10% back on June 30 and did not drop below 10% until July 24, 24 days later. Now the public health experts are saying that next few months are going to be worse than the summer peak; honest governors in other states are saying the next few months are going to be hell.

    Do your best to stay safe and don’t panic about schools opening on January 19 — it’s not going to happen.

    32
  51. DSW2Contributor

    Also see this December 8 AP article “Biden vows to reopen most schools after 1st 100 days on job”:
    https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-health-coronavirus-pandemic-80275870d7fca89bd38992a611b26616

    January 20 plus 100 days is April 29.

    4
  52. A few questions/unsolicited comments I have about all of this.

    1. The timing of this is really frustrating. As a teacher am I expected to return to school at 7:30 am on Jan 4th and be ready to teach a live virtual lesson at 8am from my computer that I have not turned on since march? At least last time we had a return date the “two week warning” included working days where I could find time to go up to the school and prepare. This time the district is asking me to somehow prepare over the holiday.
    2. You shared a picture of the new decision tree several comments back. I am in full support of updating our metrics and decision tree based on the scientific data and CDC guidelines. However, it seems that the decision tree was not shared in the email that came out informing us of start dates and I am concerned they may have tossed that aside. From my check today Dekalb county’s positivity rate on 12/15 was 10.6% with a 7 day moving average of 10.7%. Unfortunately I do not see us dropping with the upcoming travel and holiday gatherings. Do you know if there are plans to amend or adjust the return dates based on the numbers?

    Finally, I am so sad to see you (and this platform?) go at the end of the year. Thank you for your service, candor, and fight

    13
  53. Hello @Teach. The timing and getting ready … that would be a question for your principal. Hopefully they’ll have a detailed answer about logistics. One thought is to bring in the laptop you’ve been using since March. Getting your home laptop on the network at school might be easier than getting your school laptop ready for classes.

    I believe those dates will be adjusted if the positivity rate stays above 10% … in accordance with that new decision tree that was shared during the Teacher Townhall recently, but I can’t seem to get my hands on.

    Thanks for the kind words. I plan on keeping this platform going.

    21
  54. Concerned Teacher

    @DSW2Contributor

    You do realize changing the metric to this brings us closer to the goal post right? There are other school districts that are doing either f2f or a hybrid model that have a higher positivity rate than we do. How can I be confident that Dekalb is going to stick to their word this time when they just did a bait and switch? School districts can pretty much do what they want right now in regards to whatever reopening model they choose so just because we’re over 10% doesn’t mean it still can’t happen.

    And if the district knows we’re not returning and did/said all of this to shut people up then they are either heartless or down right stupid to do it before winter break. I’m going out of town to see my mom and brother whom I haven’t seen in a year. I didn’t go over the summer to see them over the summer lined I planned because Covid was still somewhat new and I wanted to keep myself and my family safe. I now not only have the stress/anxiety over returning back to work and need to plan for such things, but also have to reconsider how long I will be out of town for and decide if I need to cut my trip short or even go at all now. The district hasn’t given guidance on if we need to self-quarantine, report any out of state travel to them, or any other procedure needed to take in order to safely re-enter the school building/workplace.

    8
  55. Here’s how concurrent teaching is working in Gwinnett. Teacher sits at desk talking to Zoom. Students in classroom watching teacher on Zoom on their computers while virtual students do the same from home. What is the point? This isn’t changing anything except where a fraction of the students are.

    25
  56. DSW2Contributor—I don’t understand. Why would long-time administrators having parties influence the superintendent’s decision?

    1
  57. @TuckerMom, I don’t understand either how employee gatherings changed the superintendent’s mind overnight as the rumors going around suggest.

    1
  58. I'm just saying.

    3019 covid related deaths reported yesterday. Deadliest day of the pandemic. I’m just saying.

    11
  59. StakeholderForTransparency

    @Stan Jester, or anyone else that may know,

    Can you please make it abundantly clear where we can find the % positivity rate that the county will be using to determine if we are over or under the 10% threshold that has been set for return to the classroom? I can see one on the Daily Status Report that the CDC puts out each day (% positive is currently at 10.2% for DeKalb County). However, there is one that DeKalb puts out that is a number different from that (not sure where they get their data). It’s this lack of transparency that has many teachers, students, and stakeholders concerned. I feel that the conditions for return this time are simply going to be ignored if (and when) % positivity of cases is over 10%. It appears that DCSD are just try trying to pull the wool over our eyes and hopes nobody will check them on the new metric they’ve set for return. If I’m wrong here, please tell me why you disagree. Also, please tell me where to find this metric that the county will be using as they didn’t make it clear. There needs to be more transparency here, no matter on which side of the debate you stand.

    6
  60. As of Dec 14, the 7 Day moving average for DeKalb was 10.5%. The administration has not given me the presentation with the new metrics, but assuming I’m using the right number and assuming those metrics are static … I don’t see teachers or students coming back to school in person.

    9
  61. Concerned Teacher

    @StakeholderForTransparency

    I’m assuming they are still using the Georgia Department of Health website. There’s a section if you scroll down that has positivity reports:

    https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report

  62. StakeholderForTransparency

    Thanks @Stan Jester. However, I am more wanting to know where everyone can access these metrics so that we are on the same page? On a quick look, on three different posts, including my original, I’ve seen three different numbers of % positivity rates. This could all be cleared up if admin would simple share the source they are using so that we all may stay informed together. Transparency.

    5
  63. Email from District

    “The District’s decision tree has evolved based on updated guidance from the CDC. The decision tree was shared with the Medical Advisory Group, principals, staff and parents during recent meetings and town halls is a continuum aligned with the CDC’s guidance. The District will consider additional indicators identified by the CDC that include the percentage of RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 14 days (positivity rate) and ability of the schools to implement the five key mitigation strategies and additional strategies to lower the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in schools.”

    Sounds to me like the positivity rate is just a guideline, not an actual hard and fast number that has to be met.

    3
  64. OneAnswerNeeded

    So it seems like the question EVERYONE would like to know is are the published dates contingent on the positivity rate or not? Why can’t DCSD provide that answer so that teachers AND parents can plan accordingly as to whether Jan. 4 and 19th are firm or whether they are fluid depending on the metrics. I don’t understand why it’s so complicated to provide that simple answer to staff and stakeholders.

    26
  65. There were a TON of questions in the teacher town hall that were not answered (teachers were screenshotting them). I asked about where they would retrieve the positivity rate. Crickets.

    5
  66. It may be wise to open the schools after winter sometime in March. Typically people get sick in winter and currently the cases in Dekalb are the highest it has ever been (way above the metric the county was using). I expect they will continue to rise during the holiday season. Perhaps by March there will also be wider accessibility to the vaccine and warmer weather will allow for more time spent outdoors which lowers the chance of transmission.

    11
  67. @Resignation Questions,

    I noticed this quote in the AJC: “Watson-Harris said DeKalb will work with teachers to find the “best possible situation.” She said teachers won’t be “penalized” if they don’t want to return, adding that “we’re fully committed to compassion over compliance.”
    Teachers won’t be “penalized”, I wonder how that would play out in future years if you wish to return to the district? If they are not planning to penalize you for resigning, then that should include not disqualifying you from returning to work at a later time.
    Hmm…

    4
  68. Hey @ConcernedToo, Do you have a link to that AJC article? Thanks.

  69. @witsend,
    Thank you for saying that. I think a lot of people have a false idea of what is happening in a class that is both F2F and virtual. I will add, it’s made even worse because the instructor now has to wear a mask on Zoom/Teams/Google Meets because of the students in the classroom. AWFUL! One of the benefits of holding classes virtually is seeing a whole face, smiling! When is the last time you had the chance to actually see people smiling in public? At least online we can laugh together and enjoys each other’s smile.

    20
  70. Asynchronous it is

    They actually don’t care what the metric is. They are saying it is safe to go back as long as we follow enough of the CDC’s mitigation strategies such as masks and hand washing. We (teachers) just got another DCSD newsflash email with the same timeline for reopening. So they are obviously ignoring the fact that we are over 10%. I’ll be posting asynchronous assignments for my students on January 4th so they have something to do while I move everything from my home “classroom” to my actual classroom and get it all set up. DeKalb has made it obvious time and time again that providing quality education or effective teaching is not what motivates their decisions. If it was, they would have planned for teachers to start back AFTER our “professional development”/teacher workdays in January that could have been used for moving back into the building. They do not think about ANYTHING from a teacher’s perspective, which is unfortunate because this ultimately impacts the students the most.

    16
  71. Hello @Asynchronous, I don’t think we can make the assumption (just yet) that the administration isn’t going to follow guidelines stated in the graphic they created. Let’s give it a couple of days to let the dust settle before jumping to conclusions.

    8
  72. Stan,
    I think this is the link that you wanted from the AJC.Com

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/dekalb-school-district-proposes-dates-for-face-to-face-learning/KQPKN2DDIJC4JFJABUAB574GIA/

    Watson-Harris said DeKalb will work with teachers to find the “best possible situation.” She said teachers won’t be “penalized” if they don’t want to return, adding that “we’re fully committed to compassion over compliance.”

    3
  73. Interesting and I’m sure just a strange coincidence that CARES Act expires at the end of year to make sure that teachers won’t get two weeks pay now if they get COVID at work. Perhaps this gets extended with legislative action but not definite. Nice touch to the reopening announcement for teachers concerned about face to face return before they can take a vaccine!

    So coupling that reality with ambiguous plans including contradictory elements to them with regards to what was said in town halls (as I write this our old metric that kept us out is showing on the GA Dept Health website that there are 496 cases per 100K in Dekalb as well as a 13.2 percent PCR rate over the last 7 days) may have had the unintended consequence of making some teachers feel like their safety doesn’t matter as much as the children that they service. In a teacher town hall (Stan also put the picture graphic on here too earlier that shows a plan for how teachers remain virtual if greater than 10% PCR rates occur over a 14 day period it says) it was stated that teachers remain virtual and teach from home as long as PCR rates are above 10% but this information is definitely missing from that stated plan in the most Recent NewsFlash of teachers returning to buildings January 4. Are they still going to abide by that even if PCR rates are more like the 13.2 % or higher possibly that we are seeing now or delay the stages then?

    I get the argument that some Counties have interpreted returning safely with different variables (the County explaining how their “decision tree” basically has evolved using PCR rates instead of number infected per 100K) but we are also seeing places nearby at current like Forsyth and Cobb that have been open adjust to virtual due to their current reality with face to face. Should we still decide to reopen in January after the numbers possibly spike upwards more in our area after gatherings of holiday celebrations on top of what we are seeing with complications nearby?

    Parents have choice to keep their kids home or return.

    School Board Meetings are remaining virtual according to the County Website still.

    Now teachers are being asked to decide between basically keeping their job and putting themselves at risks that people that make decisions for us don’t have to.

    A friend has a family member that has worked on the vaccine and they think it may be available to teachers as part of that second group of “essential workers” by February. If that is true then why not stick out the virtual that plan that so much time and effort went into (and that the majority of parents surveyed what was it 71% are happy with/wasn’t it roughly 40% that represent the side wanting to reopen) just a little longer?

    Once the vaccine is available hopefully the County supports the administration of it through school to their employees as a means to perpetuate efficacy and further safe reopening.

    22
  74. https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/1DeKalb-County-Schools-Announces-Reopening-_2.16.20.pdf

    The way this reads is that the positivity rate will be a “consideration” not a “requirement”

    9
  75. Concern of the Day

    Stan,

    How will this work with special education students who receive services from providers who typically move between different schools, let alone different teams within a school (e.g. Deaf/Hard of Hearing teachers, SLPs, OTs, etc). We know that the kids with special needs require additional support, but they are also the kids who have disproportionately adverse outcomes if they get COVID. How can the schools protect our kids with special needs?

    Please don’t say that this comes down to the different schools and principals. 1) it always sounds like you’re dodging the question, and 2) These professionals typically work at the county level!

    5
  76. Walton County schools have been open for a few months. None have shut back down due to COVID. I have a friend with 2 kids in Walton. They ride the bus. They wear masks. They eat regular cafeteria lunch.

    2
  77. You’re In a City

    Allison, Walton County doesn’t even have 100,000 residents. It’s comparing apples to oranges

    20
  78. Hi Stan.

    What is the plan for any Substitutes (All with 4-yr degrees; a few with Certified Teacher degrees/ credentials)?? The Sub Coordinators e-mailed a survey yesterday to the list of Subs they had back in March, wanting to know who is willing to return to the school building. In May, they asked Subs to sign a Letter of Intent to return. Not one person from the school system has communicated Anything to Subs this whole closure time, and many had to find other work and won’t be coming back. NOW they want to talk to us?? They refused to train Subs on the virtual learning software so that we could be helpful all this time. Those who still remain couldn’t come back now because of this. We wouldn’t even be able to take attendance for students who remain Virtual.

    With SO many teacher openings Now/Today, and no doubt more to come, it’s time to approach the Standards Commission for an Emergency “Waiver” of the additional 2 years of “Teaching” college (since ALL subs must have a 4-yr degree in something in order to be a Sub). Offer Subs a provisional Teacher role NOW, with good pay, benefits, and 18 months to take and pass the GACE exam. The County pays for the Exam. Be progressive, assertive, and change old rules in this rapidly growing Teacher shortage. The great teachers Dekalb has now, can’t handle the future workload burden, and they shouldn’t have to.

    Also interesting:
    https://patch.com/georgia/alpharetta/substitute-pay-incentive-approved-fulton-schools

    3
  79. Stan, based on our school communications, this is happening. We’re to report to school the week of 1/19 for my 1st grader, although we’re waiting on our cohort assignment. Our 4th grader is to report the week of 1/25.

    We saw our teachers today for a little drive through holiday treat (which was amazing – these teachers standing outside in the freezing rain just to see our faces and say hi!). They told me they got into their classrooms today to start setting up.

    So, while the positivity metric is what it is, it appears that we are moving full steam ahead. Thank goodness.

    2
  80. @You’re In A City:
    NOT “apples and oranges”! Adults and kids in Walton County do ALL of the “big city” things, like: Gather for Thanksgiving, Go Shopping, Venture Outside their County, Get Together With Friends….. Walton has COVID deaths, and testing/cases/hospitalizations are occurring. Their County population may be lower, but COVID doesn’t care. Their kids have been back to face-to-face, masked school full-time and have not needed to close any school building.

    1
  81. @StanJester I know there has been a lot of complaints about virtual teaching, but I think it’s been an unfair judgement. You see the curriculum is set up for face-to-face instruction, not online instruction.

    If we had an online curriculum specifically for online teaching, I believe there would be a different result in learning. I believe it would be easier to replace the curriculum verses putting everyone in a dangerous situation, because we can’t replace a life being lost.

    9
  82. Alison Mercer

    Didn’t you just get rid of the final 2016 hacks who couldn’t get certified or pass a GACE?

    Now you want them back?

    You say “great teachers Dekalb has now..” Why would great teachers want to work with pretend teachers?

    Will parents have a choice of instructors?

    1
  83. Alison Mercer, Why don’t you send an email to the Interim Chief Human Resources Officer, Dr. Michelle Jones, at Michelle_Jones@dekalbschoolsga.org?

    Dr. Jones should jump at the chance to communicate all of the wonderful plans DCSD HR has for its Substitute Teachers.

    And then when she sends a prompt and complete reply, you can post it here!

    4
  84. No transparency

    Our principal just told us staff will be in the building 5 days/ week. Not the 3 days a week the decision matrix that was shared stated.

    When will the district make this clear to staff & stakeholders?

    7
  85. Concerned parent and teacher

    I’m finding it hard to believe that we will be going back when other districts are reverting to virtual – Cobb and Fulton!!! I teach elementary art and unless I can be virtual from my classroom, I’ll have to take a leave of absence. My 5-year-old has special needs and her pediatrician recommends that we keep her from being exposed. I refuse to put my daughter at risk. I should not have to quit my job either… as some parents seem to believe I should do by reading some of these posts. Shameful. A colleague in Cobb is fighting for his life after contracting the virus in school. Many of my colleagues in other counties are telling me it’s not safe… there’s no transparency… no one is posting how many teachers and students are positive. It’s difficult to research how many classrooms, schools are having to quarantine – which is disruptive in itself. Why can’t we figure out a better way to keep ALL of us safe! There aren’t many places of work where you have to remain in the same small room with up to 20 people for 7 to 8 hours a day, walking them in neat and tidy lines to go to the bathroom (many of which are always lacking in supplies, sometimes doors), to recess, or to the bus – so spare me the “pick up your bootstraps and go to work” rhetoric! Elementary specials teachers see upwards of 400 students in a week’s time on a normal schedule. And not to mention middle and high school teachers who teach 4-6 classes in a day. Of course, it sucks being home all day, every day, and having to worry about what is lacking in my child’s education. Even so, with her disabilities, she’s resilient and will make up what she may or may not have lost – socially, physically, and cognitively. What we need more of now is a community of caring and more resources for reaching out to those families who may be struggling – without putting our teachers, their children, and families at risk. I realize that this has now become political and not about the science, but I have said my peace. I will miss my students if I do have to take leave and I’ll see ya after I’ve gotten my vaccine.

    36
  86. My family will pay my daughter’s bills if she is forced to teach in person. She is pregnant with some complications. I have asked her to consider another profession or at least a private school with fewer students and a cleaner environment. I am so disappointed with the district’s plan and timing. I have a family member who will be removed from life support Saturday. She had Covid 19 a few months ago, recovered, and recently had a heart attack. Until it hits some of these entitled people’s families, they will continue to be heartless. I cannot take the chance of my daughter or grandchild dying.

    29
  87. @abcdefg
    No, Thankfully I am not a teacher. I am a grandmother raising my young grandchild in DCSD. Please know that I am, however, from the OLD SCHOOL, where we respected our teachers, principals, and staff. I am a product of DCSD as well. I feel so bad for ALL the teachers and staff. Once again DCSD has CAVED to money, pressure, politics, etc. and as usual the students and staff are the ones to pay the price!
    What was the purpose of sticking with the original plan? I thought that the new Superintendent was going to CHANGE THINGS for us, and I know that she tried. I was so proud of Dcsd for being leaders instead of followers.

    And BAM! just like that DCSD proves once again that greed, money, corruption, and politics has again taken the lead.

    29
  88. @My Two Cents, I’ve been thinking the same for a long time. Why there have not been any modifications to the curriculum to accommodate virtual learning reality? I totally understand it took all of us off guard in March, but this school year is totally different. District leaders should have been able by now to provide better guidance/training related to the realities of teaching virtually and modifications to curriculum. There’s a lot of people at the district level that should have been working on that for a long time now. And no, the “PDs” offered in August don’t count at all. Those were a joke.

    18
  89. The Entitlement is STRONG

    I see entitled teachers…crying and whining.. who saw this coming? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? I fully expect these teachers to start their quarantine so they don’t get each other sick, because you know science shows it’s not the young kids passing this virus along and they’ll only have themselves and each other to blame if they get sick.

    3
  90. Georgia is BLUE

    Oh and for the Democrat supporting teachers, guess what…. your Dem leadership is the one sending you into this fire storm…. you reap what you sow.

    4
  91. Dear Stan,
    Thank you for providing this blog.
    I have relatives in Cobb, Gwinnet and Henry. They all have children in school. In these school systems, students are taught Face to Face and virtually at the same time by one teacher. There are not enough teachers to have F2F students taught in one class and virtual instruction given in another class. If this is going to be the model in DeKalb, hopefully training will be provided for teachers and administrators. This is a new instructional delivery for some educators.
    How are teachers suppose to have their classrooms ready for instruction on January 4, 2021? Teachers were not informed of the change until late yesterday. Will there be extra staff to asssit with technical issues that may occur on the 4th? Was there any consideration given to having January 4 as a work day?
    Is it possible that information related to ADA be emailed to all staff members. The Clayton County Schools emailed to all faculty and staff about 10 pages of information about ADA request in July. The handouts were very helpful. In some cases a person can be granted leave but their salary ‘could be impacted.” This is important information that everyone needs.
    There are also personal arrangments that people may need to make in terms of childcare or transportation. Over the holidays may be a difficult time to do this.
    All questions and concerns cannot be left up to the school principal. Some of them are not sure of the answers. This is not to be critical of them. Things seem to be happening very quickly.

    9
  92. Tee Jay,
    How will you prove that your wife caught Covid at school and not from you or from the store?

    2
  93. @ Kind.educator and My Two Cents

    its called google, Estonia distance learning.

    or perhaps:
    https://schools.forhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2020/06/Harvard-Healthy-Buildings-Program-Schools-For-Health-Reopening-Covid19-June2020.pdf

    Don’t change the curriculum , change the process.

    with all the virtual academies and charter schools where is the guidance? So quiet.

    Deep clean? name one recorded instance of transmission from a surface; not airborne.

    Our biggest cheerleader, soon to be another Dekalb, Dr. dubious credentialed, let me read the power point to you… and smile…

    an EVOLVED plan, new color, orange, from the brain trust that brought Black Lives Matter Week; Last Week of Action…

    1
  94. waitingforgodot

    Concerned parent and teacher,

    Thank you for bringing up numbers. That detail has been conveniently overlooked by district information and most bloggers supporting a return to school.

    If middle and high school teachers work with multiple classes of students studying with different students in other classes, what number of exposures did the district’s Dekalb Public Health collaborator give as an acceptable number of exposures each day and each week?

    I’m glad the school district has committed to contact tracing, and I look forward to seeing how that logistical feat works. If the school finds out on Tuesday morning that Covid student in class A exposed teacher and students in class A as well as the teachers and other students in classes B and C on Monday, what happens? Do the teachers and all the students in those classes quarantine immediately? If those teachers also work with classes D and E on Tuesday with students who weren’t exposed, the school will have five substitutes on hand for that day and then the following quarantine days? What does that look like if that high school student reports that they were at a friend’s house over the weekend and now there are a few more Covid-positive or Covid-exposed students in the school who sat in classes with other students and teachers?

    10
  95. waitingforgodot

    The entitlement,

    Thank you for pointing out young kids. Research does support a return to school of small groups of elementary school students but not a slapdash arrangement of groups of teenagers more likely to be infected and spread the disease moving about a building from class to class.

    There’s a reason we teach elementary school students differently. That same “best practice” should be reflected in Dekalb’s return to school model and explanations.

    Recognizing these facts isn’t whining. It’s thinking. Can’t imagine wanting a teacher for my child who isn’t thinking about these things.

    5
  96. @sterling I don’t get your reply. I have seen the curriculum and I have taught from it. They asked you to do things with your students as if you’re in the classroom. You say don’t change the curriculum change the process? That doesn’t make any sense. Because by changing the curriculum you change the process of how it is being taught to online virtual students. I know you want to push your narrative about getting students into the schools, but I don’t want to be part of a classroom, school or county that loses lives because people want something now. If we are patient, the vaccine is coming and we can feel more comfortable about going into the buildings.

    6
  97. Region 2 teacher

    A few points that were made by admin in today’s HS faculty meeting:
    1. If you opt out of coming in is considered job abandonment and steps will be taken to report it to GaPSC.
    2. If you refuse to cover other classes during your planning period you will be written up officially for insubordination.
    3. You are required to be in your classrooms at 7:30 for students who arrive early, because it’s not safe for students to congregate in larger groups.
    4. Students will be allowed to eat breakfast and lunch in your classrooms. Note: you can’t eat with a mask on.
    5. There is no specific plan for decent PD before we go back in Jan to prepare you for teaching live and online.
    6. There is no plan to mitigate the extra work load with the hybrid (but this isn’t what hybrid teaching actually is) teaching.
    7. Even if you do not have a planning period due to the fact that you are covering another class, the same standard of teaching the required content and posting lesson plans and grading papers and providing meaningful feedback to your students and contacting parents regularly and checking and responding to all emails within 48 (or have they changed it to 24) hours and posting attendance and grades daily still applies.
    8. Yes, the district understands that teachers are stressed and anxious and fearful, but you don’t matter enough to be included in the conversation, either via an invite to the Task Force or a true Teacher’s Town hall format.
    I’ve been in this game for 15 years. I love it and I’m really, really good at it. I’m on the Leadership Team and I have helped build morale and opportunities for teachers and students alike at the school that I have called my second home for 12 years. I can teach any social studies class you can throw at me. My reputation runs deep in the community and parents and kids love me. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m part of the top 10% of educators with my experience and hard work. But none of that matters outside of my classroom because teachers are not included in the decision making. I can threaten to quit tomorrow and the only folks asking me why and what can be done to get me to stay would be my fellow teachers. There is not enough effort being made to keep us in the classroom and to keep the amazing educators in education. If I could., I’d quit. Today. But I can’t. What I can do is start looking for another career.

    41
  98. @Stan We’re now being told we will be in the building 5days/ week instead of 3. When will the district clarify?

    5
  99. @Clear As Mud,
    All I have is those two graphics and the administration thus far hasn’t reached out to me to go over them. The teachers and principals are more in the know than I am right now.

    3

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