On January 21, Biden signed an executive order supporting the reopening and continuing operation of schools and early childhood education providers.
“The United States is committed to ensuring that students and educators are able to resume safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible, with the goal of getting a majority of K-8 schools safely open in 100 days,” states the executive order which instructs various federal agencies to provide guidance on how to safely conduct in-person learning.
CDC researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this week, “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”
As reported by the Washington Post
“A new CDC study, also published Tuesday, looked at 17 rural K-12 schools in Wisconsin and found just seven out of 191 coronavirus cases resulted from in-school transmission. Researchers noted that students and staff in these schools wore masks almost all the time.
The conclusion here is with proper prevention efforts . . . we can keep transmission in schools and educational settings quite low, said Margaret A. Honein, the lead author of the JAMA report. We didn’t know that at the beginning of the year but the data has really accumulated.”
DeKalb Schools administration seems to have decided back in December that students will be coming back for F2F (face to face) instruction. In January, in addition to the leave or accommodations granted to employees under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), further considerations for temporary hardship situations were given to all employees who requested it. I’m not aware of any accommodations or considerations granted to employees starting next week.
Chicago Public Schools
DeKalb Schools isn’t alone with grappling with teachers and employees over how and when to return. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has been widely reported on in the media. CPS Administration announced plans to return to F2F instruction by next week. This Monday, the teacher’s union voted to refuse to teach in person. In response, CPS stated that teachers who do not show up for work will be “deemed absent without leave and will not be eligible for pay”. This week, 18% of CPS employees were no shows. As of this morning, media reports indicate that CPS students are learning remotely again while CPS and CTU return to negotiations.
The research supports students F2F IF proper prevention measures are in place for safety. DCSD can’t/won’t put these measures in place.
We have some teachers with 18-20 students returning. There is no social distancing that number of students in a classroom.
HVAC is an issue
Eating in a small room without masks- how is this safer than a restaurant?
17 RURAL K-12 schools and we are pretending that translates? I know I would have been failed at university if I tried to pass that on one of my essays. Surely we aren’t willing to accept lack of critical thought whether or not it supports what we hope to happen?
There are a lot of mediation Dekalb hasn’t been shown to be taking seriously, saying “to the extent possible” etc, and not empowering strong enforcement of masks. Teachers are supposed to watch hallways where the distancing won’t be possible, and classes in many areas don’t allow adequate distance, either. Plus, teachers are supposed to be in the room with maskless eating students. The virus doesn’t just disappear for that.
This is how our surrounding counties – counties with newer school buildings with better ventilation- have had people dying.
There have been multiple other studies showing transmission among kids and in schools, and with the new UK variant already found here, multiple European schools are shutting down.
I don’t feel safe returning to school at this time
Stan, what you are sharing is totally irrevelant, while teachers all over the world losing their life to COVID.
My son graduated from a DeKalb County HS last year. His HS is an older one in the district, with the main building having persistent HVAC issues. The lack of air conditioning in the warmer months caused faculty, staff and students to go home due to heat illnesses. The lack of heat in the colder months meant that everyone was wearing their full winter gear all day to try and stay warm. I have heard that the district has added filters to the HVAC systems, to make them better. OK fine, but that modification will not improve the HVAC systems enough to make sure good air flow throughout all buildings and classrooms. Until they get the HVAC issues resolved system wide, I do not see how DCSD can go back to school F2F.
I agree with Biden, and read an article about the CDC findings, and I was thrilled to be sending my 4th grade bavk to in person before they changed their mind. I will say that all teachers should have had the opportunity to receive both doses of vaccine 2 weeks before they are expected to return.
Thanks for the information
Dekalb is not rural Wisconsin so the study may not be applicable to our district. Would like to see studies of large urban majority minority school districts. This isn’t a strong enough correlation to risk lives.
I imagine DeKalb Schools is like most districts … lots of schools at various levels of effective prevention measures. I’m also confident all school districts are challenged with mask wearing. DeKalb Schools seems to be one of the last school districts to cross this bridge. Hopefully they are learning from the other school districts.
It will be challenging to estimate how many students are actually going to return. With cohorts, I can’t imagine any classes having 18-20 students. I suspect a higher number of elementary students will return to F2F.
I’m not sure what the difference is between a rural and urban school.
I thought this article was relevant. State and Federal powers that be are pushing for in person learning. Education employees generally speaking don’t seem to feel comfortable coming back to the office.
Hey @Joe, Curiously, how does rural or urban affect the effectiveness of COVID prevention measures?
I think there should be more discussion about the risk profiles for people. It’s misleading to say old people and young people are dying from covid. The question is how many kids and how many old people. It’s too vague to say teachers are at serious risk. We need to ask which teachers are at risk and how large is that risk.
I teach in one of the DeKalb schools and I can say that a significant portion of the staff have been back and are working in the building. Our morale is extremely high; the energy is positive; we are here because we love our jobs and the only thing that we want, as a group, is for the children to be back, too. As a group, we think that maintaining the virtual only program has been a complete disaster for the children and the schools should have been open all this time.
On the other hand, whether in DeKalb or in Chicago, there are some very loud voices on social media from teachers who want to remain virtual forever. Many of these claim health risks and, certainly, some of them have genuine concerns. However, those of us who are here have made several observations.
We have noticed that the age of those in the building versus those demanding virtual forever is significantly higher; you would think that the teachers in their sixties would not all be back yet here they are while those in their twenties are missing. Hmm. We have noticed that teachers with long term chronic health concerns are back. Hmm. We have also noticed that the teachers who are the most student-centered and hardest working are back. Hmm. We have also noticed how some of those who are not back have mentioned being out at restaurants and clubs, going on trips to the beach or being semi-relocated outside the metro area. Hmm.
We, that is those who are working in the buildings, have drawn our own conclusions about those who are the most alarmist and most insistent that the district must stay virtual
I know what I think
@ F2F Now!
So Super Watson-Harris has resorted to getting her cronies to post positive things about teachers reentering schools?
Who are you? Watson-Harris herself?
Or could you be that laughable joke of an “educator” called Thomas Glanton, lately of SWD? You know, the “educator” who just appeared in the YouTube video that DeKalb Schools posted letting everyone know how “safe” DeKalb schools are to reenter.
The signage on the floors isn’t even spaced at 6 feet apart. The arrows on the walls are meaningless! A sign on the bathroom saying “3 at a time”? As if students will follow THAT.
And who will be forced to enforce this shit?
Hey, Tommy (Glanton), we remember the suicides at the school you were principal of in APS those 2 years. We remember how APS d.e.m.o.t.e.d. you. Remember how you miraculously landed the plum job (LOL) at SWD after that.
Just goes to show…shit out, shit in.
There are no easy answers, so we must depend upon experts to objectively weigh the risks and benefits of our children’s education options. The American Academy of Pediatrics, our new President and his panel of experts, and now the CDC have all suggested that most healthy children should return to F2F learning. Combine those recommendations with the fact that many private schools and public school systems in Georgia and other states have successfully returned to some level of F2F instruction and it seems irresponsible that at least some of our children are not in school. Of course, we are all aware of the statistics regarding illnesses and deaths from Covid-19 that are broadcast daily. The scientists recommending F2F instruction know those statistics, too. Who am I to think I know better?
I would like DCSD to open schools for limited F2F instruction. It’s been 10+ months. We have all had plenty of time to figure this situation out. DCSD has received lots of Federal Cares Act funding, too. It’s time to create a new and better normal for our children, because online only school is not working.
oh look, one of those so-called teachers who actually doesn’t give a damn about children’s success!
Wonder if @Humpty Dance is posting from Miami or Puerto Rico?
This is precisely the sort of fake hysteria coming from the malingerers who want to be paid for doing nothing and pretend to be cowards (unless they are really cowards so terrified by the 99.8% survival rate that the education, success, and mental health of the children of DeKalb County is something that they are willing to s**t all over?)
Whatever, this humpty coward/malingerer is the perfect model of the sort of hysteria the teachers who HAVE returned to the building see from our absent colleagues.
All of those debating this should inform themselves about not just the downside of a return but that of keeping our schools virtual
DeKalb is not in USA. You should be aware of this fact by now, sir. DeKalb is a separate sovereign entity, closely aligned to the Congo. Superintendent Green (former) cemented our alignment to The Congo on his helicopter tour.
If you are concerned about mitigation strategies and school readiness, sign this petition!
@ F2F Now!
You’re keeping me rolling this morning, Super Watson-Harris. Or Tommy. Or whichever of the Super Asslickers are posting this shit on behalf of Super Watson-Harris’ callous insistence on making teachers teach VIRTUALLY in the school buildings.
Teachers are STILL teaching kids via virtual learning, but now on faulty, piece-of-shit technology at DeKalb Schools when they could STILL be at home doing the same thing but on better technology and in a safer setting.
It. Makes. No. Sense. Why. Teachers. Are. Being. Required. To. Return. To. The. Schools. To. Teach. Virtually. Just. Like. They. Have. Been. Doing. Since. March. In. What. Is. Known. As. Teleworking.
No one is going to be happy because of this. F2F will NOT be like it was pre-COVID. Forget that.
And this image of happy aged teachers with pre-existing conditions dancing around 6 feet apart in school buildings with extremely poor ventilation, extremely poor custodial upkeep, extremely poor administrative support is ludicrous in its own right. Let those insane teachers who have been holding hands and incanting for the return of (maskless) students post pictures of their covens as proof of their extreme desire to return to “normal.”
Yes, those fools are the real heroes, right? Fuck any teacher who doesn’t want to risk death for F2F instruction, whatever that means!
I got an even better laugh when that parent (oops, fool) harangued the school board and said the garbagemen rolling around on the trucks doing their jobs were more heroic than teachers. Point of fact: Garbage doesn’t exhale in the garbagemen’s faces.
And, no, I’m not in a tropical paradise. I’m shivering here in Hot-lanta. And, no, I’m no longer a teacher, but my wife sadly is still employed by DeKalb County Schools — but only for the rest of this school year. She will NOT be signing a contract to return to this fucked up school system. I believe she will be part of an exodus out of this hell.
Notbiff- I am a teacher, and have never been a fan of county office admin, including Green, but your post needs to be removed and you need to take some time to figure out why you should be ashamed of yourself.
From what I have seen, DCSD only heard “open schools” and is NOT listening to what it takes. Dr. Walensky said this morn that many systems are dependent on the federal monies from the covid relief package that has not yet passed. Where is the PPE, spacing, HVAC makeovers, TESTING?, community spread and adherence (like no indoor dining, open gyms, mask mandates and covid numbers). It is a joke that they think they are even close to being compliant.
Yesterday, Jen Psaki clarified those statements. She acknowledged that the CDC’s study was done on rural schools that had the ability to implement proper safety measures because of smaller populations. She also stated that those same precautions would be harder to implement in urban public schools, and that additional safety measures (consistent testing, updated HVAC systems, vaccinating teachers, etc.) need to be implemented before public schools are safe enough for in-person instruction. This was made very clear at her press briefing YESTERDAY. Today, she stated that the Biden Administration supports vaccinating teachers immediately–something that Brian Kemp refuses to do (based on the statement he released yesterday).
I wonder when we will start seeing a widening gap between those districts that were fastest to go back to face to face and those that were slowest?
Will our leadership when that happens own the fact that they have created and deepened an educational gap?
That the schools that have been slowest to reopen are also those that (throughout the US) have the most non-white students should give us all pause.
Will we blame the fact that the gap betweenDCSD and majority white districts widened on racism or will our political leaders own it?
As a Black man, I feel that the political and educational leadership of our county is doing more to harm the future prospects of our children than any White Supremacist group could even hope to do.
They should be ashamed
Thank you F2F Now for showing up for our kids and preparing for in-person school. It must be hard morale-wise to have some of your colleagues try to take that opportunity away from you. Hang in there and know that you are on the right side of history. Without a doubt, those using DeKalb’s children as human shields in the name of safety will come to regret their position in the not-so-distant future. We will feel the effects of these school closures for a generation and at least some of us will have some small comfort knowing that we never stopped fighting for DeKalb’s kids.
F2FNow! is not a real teacher. No real teacher would denigrate his/her colleagues for not being able to return to the buildings right now. Older teachers prefer to work in the buildings because of technology issues and resources. Many of the older teachers I know want to teach in the buildings because they’ll have access to the resources they’re used to using. Younger teachers are used to using the technology we’re using now. Younger teachers also have young children. DeKalb refuses to allow teachers to bring their children to work–despite the fact that there will be no other children in the buildings. So, just like parents in every other profession, younger teachers have to take FMLA for childcare reasons. I don’t see you making disparaging remarks about any other parent in another profession who’s had to make the difficult choice of going without a paycheck to provide childcare for their children. Your comments are ridiculous and come from a place of EXTREME privilege. Instead of talking crap about your “colleagues” who are suffering from disabilities and health conditions, or “colleagues” who will have to go without a paycheck to care for loved ones or young children, why don’t you stop and thank God that you don’t have those issues? You’re one of the lucky ones, but over 1,500 fellow DeKalb teachers who have chronic health conditions/disabilities aren’t so lucky.
According to F2F Now, I’m a bad teacher. Forget about the webinars I attend and the research I do to make virtual learning work. I spend double digit hours during the weekend on planning and grading, so I can be there during school hours for the full class time, contacting parents, in teacher meetings, and meeting individual with students who need extra support. And I try to help my fellow teachers in navigating virtual learning, You know, instead of judging them and thinking they’re incompetent. I don’t have time to go out to restaurants, even if I did have the inclination. But I don’t want to go anywhere, because I have been trying to keep me and my family safe. I have been teaching for decades, but that shouldn’t matter. My enthusiasm for teaching in person is not going to keep me from dying. I will return, because I need to support my family, but I won’t be seeing them for a while. Once I return to the school building, I will quarantine in my room by myself at home, so my family doesn’t get sick. Because I know what I want (to spend time with and hug my family members) doesn’t matter to a virus.
Interesting viewpoints here.
I guess the folks working at Walmart, Food Depot, and Kroger or as garbage collectors, police, nurses, or any of the others must also have immense privilege.
Weird how these people burdened with childcare were able to somehow take care of children last year.
But what do I know? I’m probably just another one of those wicked privileged people who think that teachers should be as concerned with teaching children as the people at my neighborhood grocery store or the people who collect my trash are concerned with doing their jobs.
Oh wait up, I work for DCSD as a classroom teacher and the points above sound right to me. My school looks the same. The ones concerned with students are champing at the bit to get back in the classroom. The ones who are all fuck the kids, if they’re depressed I hope they off themselves and none of them need to succeed in life cause they are all trash (and yeah, all the YT teachers are the ones pushing virtual at my school. I won’t call them out for being racist but I will think it).
There are teachers with real issues but a hella lot are faking and we all know it.
Now let me go post some grades
Maybe we can all agree that some parents and some teachers want to stay virtual and some parents and some teachers want to return to face to face?
Maybe instead of a one size fits all we can figure out a way where the teachers who want to be back tecah the students who want to be back and the virtual teachers have the virtual kids?
Wouldn’t that be better than the way it is working out where half the staff is going to be pissed off at what they think is the county making decisions that actively cause harm?
Instead of one side calling the other side nasty names and making all sorts of accusations?
People who work at Walmart and other retail stores have a variety of work schedules from which to choose. If they have to stay home with children during the day, they can work at night. Teachers don’t have that option. Many jobs, including those in the medical field, have several shifts throughout day. You’re comparing apples to oranges.
Yes, President Biden agrees that schools should open, but let’s be clear President Biden & Vice President Harris also want States to get the Teachers Vaccinated so that they are protected. Schools opening without teachers being on the priority list for the vaccine does not make since. Don’t take what President Biden said out of context. Get the teachers the vaccine.
Geez…this topic lights people up! Stan, I know you are a staunch supporter of the first amendment (as am I) but I would support deleting Humpty for his inability to use words of greater than 4 letters in length and NotBiff for stunning insensitivity.
As for DeKalb’s preparedness…all things considered I’d rather have a vaccine.
Let’s examine the logic, shall we, in paraphrase …
“I’m a staunch supporter of free speech, but I support silencing someone because they use naughty words.”
Oh, my! Naughty words! So offensive! It’s not like I can opt NOT to read them. Oh, my!
Wear a one-piece at the beach. Part your hair on the side. Eat all your yams.
CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL
It does not compute. It does not compute.
Report this communication. Report this communication. Report. Report.
How about an acronym salad: ESAD, FY, SMD, GTH
It appalls me that you would allow such offensive language on your page. Especially @ Humpty Dance.
Let’s be clear, taking shots at the Principal of Southwest DeKalb is your prerogative, but just know one thing- your words surely don’t affect his coins and who he is. People make mistakes, thats their business.
If you’re not coming on this page to voice opinions and offer support during this time, then you should kindly shut up and find somewhere else to troll. I’m sure some garbage of some sort that you live in is requiring your attention. Right now we are suffering with a severe pandemic , and you’re worried about a Principal and what he’s done. Real funny.
Stan- please be mindful of what you’re allowing on your page. Freedom of speech is fine, but disrespect is not.
On the fear of being repetitious, I will state once again. When f2f begins, the teachers will be teaching both virtual and f2f at the same time. That means that the only things that will change are students will sit in the class on their computers uncomfortable in their masks while the virtual students will be home without masks. Those in the class will NOT be taught separately. As far as students falling behind…..f2f before vaccine will not change your implied worry. I have found that the majority of my students are actually learning more as a direct result of less interruptions.
“ I guess the folks working at Walmart, Food Depot, and Kroger or as garbage collectors, police, nurses, or any of the others must also have immense privilege.”
Hello…these people can’t work from home. Teachers CAN work from the safety of their home. THAT is the difference. If you can do your job from home, you should! That means zero transmission of the virus! You’re welcome, you keep having a problem understanding so I had to spell it out for you.
Good evening Mr. Jester.
1. F2F on the whole offers better instruction. Generally, it is more engaging for students, and I believe better for teachers. If teaching does not have a little bit of theater inherent in it, then I know of no profession that does. And, every actor needs an audience.
2. “Educators” in the most broad sense include, but are not limited to, bus drivers, paras, counselors, teachers, administrators, all staff, etc. are often the first to note and act on a concern noticed in/by a student. It is difficult to do this virtually.
3. School is “bigger” than the classroom – it is a place where sports are offered, aftercare provided, library books borrowed, theater produced, clubs and organizations abound, sometimes medical attention given, etc.
4. School is a place to to socialize – important? – absolutely – we are inherently social creatures.
5. School literally feeds the hungry and clothes pantries are often available in school.
6. For some students, school is the only place where they interact with competent, caring adults.
It is imperative that schools reopen – for the reasons listed above and more. School must open in order for our economy to repair and grow.
But, school – right now – is fraught with potential danger.
Vaccinate school personnel – and, largely, the danger/fear recedes, and mending can occur.
Virtual Learning is no paradise – for teacher or student. It is hard work. Frustrating work. Minds wander, and distractions abound. Technology issues plague us, etc.
Vaccinate us. Let us return to F2F school with hope that we have a good chance of going to and returning from school safely. I fit into the group that faces potential danger at a considerably higher level than most. There are others. Someone in my family – an educator, considerably younger – faces problems too. They work in close proximity with students. Others have health-related issues – hypertension, diabetes, lupus, heart issues, psoriasis, and the list goes on. Some are older…. Some will float from classroom to classroom over the course of the day through hallways potentially crowded, and then will have to clean surfaces in order to work. Eating in an enclosed restaurant has its problems, so does a classroom.
With the increasing activity of the new variants – transmissivity and severity – I am worried.
Vaccines are coming – let’s wait.
It stinks. I know that. What will be the human cost of returning to school? I do not know. However, I do know there has been an immense cost with virtual school. But, which will be the greater cost – return to F2F or continuing virtually? Do we do the experiment, and roll the dice and see? Is this really what we want/should do?
I will be in attendance when we are asked to return. However, I can only believe that F2F will largely resemble what is happening virtually now.
I love school. It has been my life for 40 years. I miss the students, the “vibe”, the games, the plays, the clubs, and everything else about it. So, it is not lack of love, or a desire to be “virtual”. My heart tells me to return, but my mind says – wait until the vaccines come. Unhappily, I accept and I side with my mind.
I can not wait to receive the vaccine. I cannot wait until all “educators” and everyone receives or has the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
mike pastirik; Lakeside High School
A Cherokee bus driver just died yesterday from COVID-19.
I’ve been teaching in DeKalb for a very long time and, knowing this district, am terrified to go back into the buildings. I went in briefly one day and saw the provided PPE…. one one-time use face shield, 2 disposable masks, one pair of disposable gloves (that won’t fit me) and apparently (although I didn’t see it) a bottle of cleaner. None of this gets us anywhere close to ready. I saw one hand sanitizing station on my hall, and that was close to one end of the hall where there are multiple ways in and out of that hall.
As far as retail, I worked retail for a long time in a previous life. First, I rarely was with an individual customer 15 minutes. Second, every retailer that I’ve had to go into has plexiglass separating me from the employees. They are all wearing company issued masks. This is insanity. Gwinnett’s cases per 100k are nearly double ours and their positivity rate is 7% higher. What’s the difference? Alvin Wilbanks showed he didn’t care in August. Cheryl Watson-Harris is just waiting till February to show it.
I shouldn’t engage with you Humpty, but seriously- is this the proper channel for you to exercise your verbal talent for abject rudeness? Geez…get a vocabulary.
“Follow the science” some said. “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” wiser ones responded.
Space tourism is now scientifically safe with private companies like Space-X (Elon Musk) and Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos). Why? Because these companies have the finances, the know-how, and the leadership.
With the knowledge that space travel is scientifically safe, would anyone, now, hitch a space ride with Acme Space Adventure, another company, who seems not to have the finances, the know-how, and the leadership of Space-X and Blue Origin?
Well, some of the astronauts of Acme Space Adventure are telling you that more work on the finances and the know-how at Acme Space Adventure is needed before entrusting your precious “passengers” on this possibly one-way adventure.
Aren’t you all happy you voted for Biden? Not once did Trump mention forcing schools open with a deadline. Sometimes you reap what you sow. 100 days were thrown out there and all Supers caved…this will be a great 4 years.
Hi Stan, I am a fan! Thank you so much for allowing me to post my comment! First and foremost, I want to be the voice of reason. I am an educator with no underlying health conditions and zero child care issues, but I am sincerely “scared to death” to return to the classroom, especially with the recent news of skyrocketing data and the new COVID-19 South African variant. Currently, I teach virtually/remotely and I must admit…some of the students are thriving, but some are seriously struggling. Some students have numerous distractions in the background due to siblings participating in online learning as well simultaneously. Still, I try so hard to make a positive impact and provide rigorous instruction for them, but to no avail. I have the greatest respect for Dr. Morley and Board Chairwoman, Mrs. Turner because they seem to truly empathize with the teachers. I love teaching; it is the most important job on the planet! Some classrooms are paradise, while others are war zones. And, statistically speaking, teachers usually find a way out of the classroom after approximately 5-years. Some become facilitators, principals, academic coaches, counselors, and the list goes on. But, I stayed, and I am a highly-effective teacher with a proven track record of high academic growth. Question: What if just “one teacher” died because we decided to return to face-to-face instruction? What if that “one teacher” was me or you? That would be one teacher too many! Teachers can remediate, but teachers cannot resuscitate. This is literally a matter of life or death. Someone posted about suicide ideation due to isolation related to Covid-19. Sincerely, I do not believe the remedy to that major issue is to return to face-to-face instruction because suicidal thoughts tend to return later in life according to research. Those individuals need professional counseling. Someone posted about comparing teachers to other essential workers like nurses, doctors, grocery store clerks, and others. Those professionals are not able to perform their duties virtually, but many are trying (e.g., doctor e-visits, Kroger online grocery delivery, and etc). The following are my recommendations: Certain schools should be allowed to open in areas that have very low COVID-19 recent data. The teachers who desire to return to face-to-face instruction should be provided a salary increase, plus hazard pay. The teachers who want to remain virtual, for reasons known only to them, should be allowed to do so with no penalty assessed. Let us compromise.
@Stan the cohorts, according to the latest plan, only last 2-3 weeks, then students who choose F2F are all back together. I know several teachers who have 18-20 students returning F2F. They have been told there will be no teacher changes, so one teacher may have 5 F2F and the other may have 18. This will not allow appropriate distancing.
Lunch is a huge problem. Even if all other mitigation is followed, this means 12-20 unmasked people in close quarters for 20-30 minutes. I’ve heard people say classes can eat outside – that won’t work when there’s rain, sleet, or low temperatures. It’ll be months before eating outside could be the norm.
Dekalb School System has a long history of meaningless training, worthless meetings, strategies for failure. They cannot keep the students or employees safe and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why.
I’m a parent, not a teacher. Teachers, my heart is with you and I wish you weren’t in this bind.
As both a parent and teacher in DCSD, I have no problems returning to work. However, I am faced with the emotional well being of my children. It is very unfortunate that teachers with school aged children are not given the option to work from home or bring their children to work. Our only option is FMLA and that is not what is in the best interest of the students I work with every day. Unfortunately, kids will be affected either way.
You know better than most people how ill-equipped this district is to actually implement the safety measures the CDC calls for in order to operate schools with as little risk as proper mitigation may afford.
Yes, mask wearing will be a challenge since district leaders still haven’t learned what that mitigation strategy looks like. Hard to see how the district can force employees back to work and gain the public’s trust when the district won’t enforce its own safety policies. The district claims that face covers are required in all buildings, but like the high school final exam schedules in January, the district leaders seem to have forgotten that safety protocol. Why else would the district promote a video in which multiple administrators are in buildings without their faces covered?
You may be fine with that risk. I’m not. Can’t imagine anyone on the district’s medical advisory board or anyone in Dekalb public health would be either.
Makes you wonder why the district won’t public Covid cases.
So, since it is “safe” to go back into the buildings according to CWH aka our “#1 cheerleader”, I guess this means that the board meeting in February will be face-to-face.
As a teacher, I don’t want a superintendent who is a “cheerleader” – a cheerleader stands on the sidelines, jumps up and down and yells. I want a player! Someone who is in the game with me – a player takes the hits, protects other teammates, blocks kicks, tackles the opposition and scores points.
This pandemic does qualify for HAZARD PAY. Please make yourself known and start an online petition for HAZARD PAY. You sound like the Situational Leader first coined by theorists Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. I’m just saying.
Is that you Leslie? Or maybe you Stacie protecting Tommy Boy. Point is he has never supported his staff. No one in the building respects him, let alone likes him. Tommy lacks strategies when there is NO pandemic. Yes, he is just kissing ass to stay in a position he should NOT have. Let’s be clear, he is there because Stepney wants him there. He’s her personal lap puppy, who has failed to move what was once the jewel of the south. The building is no where near ready for students, let alone staff
I have found that music and poetry help to offend those sycophants who espouse F2F instruction as well as suppression of any speech they find goes against their sensibilities, whether it be content or context. Here’s an adaptation of Peter Hollens’ “Danny Boy.” My apologies to him …
I call this “Tommy’s Lips Tightly Around.”
Oh, Tommy Boy, Super Watson-Harris is calling
From AIC to SWD, she wants you to kiss ass again.
The hardship’s gone, and all the ADA’s are tossed
And FMLA’s, too, but there’s always YouTube – and you!
You’d kiss anyone’s ass to stay empowered, lick it, too,
Wouldn’t you? Pandemic, no pandemic, people dying —
Cover the water fountains, put up those signs, smooch,
Smooch, Super Watson-Harris, Tommy loves you true!
But when teachers come to SWD and start a-dying,
When they die, they are dead, a la Walmart and Gwinnett:
DeKalb Schools is responsible-less, Super says so, “Boo!”
And off Tommy rides over to the Mountain Industrial side
And with Super Watson-Harris he’ll abide all warm
Inside, heated with IT bandwidth and increased visibility,
Sucking her teats for the milk of a Regional appointment.
All while his school-level staff breath in the pixels
Of his caring, COVID safety strategies — and die.
XXOO, y’all …
I am required to report to a building with no windows and poor ventilation. I must sit alone in a classroom for 8 hours in an uncomfortable chair and no windows. I am confined to those four walls. I should only leave the classroom to use a public restroom, which is enclosed and used by many. I will teach my students virtually as I have been doing since August. The only difference is now I am a confined animal!
Every situation, every building is different and should be treated as such! A building with no windows is not healthy mentally, physically or emotionally. This is cruel!
@sad…. members of the Board need to hear exactly that.
This research was completed during the fall semester in schools that couldn’t be further from the DeKalb County Schools I’ve been apart of the last 34 years. The coronavirus numbers in DCSD were in the 90s/100,000 in October. They are currently over 500 /100,000. Besides everyone knows it has been worse this winter than in the fall. They have been predicting a “bad” winter for the past 10.5 months. Now here we are in the middle of “getting much worse before it gets better” and DCSD is going back to f2f, not to mention the loss of a handful of educators in the metro area. Makes absolutely no sense. And don’t even get me started about the two new variants that are here in the US and the one that is predicted to spread like wildfire in the metro area now that it’s been detected in Cobb. This variant is affecting children more and is more contagious. Yes, brilliant idea…let’s go back to face to face instruction so we can put countless lives at risk. Not only in the school system, but in our over crowded hospitals where the over worked, over tired healthcare workers are going to pay for your decision. Posting this article just really shows how tone deaf you are to the county that you did serve considering strict adherence to mitigation guidelines might be done in 1% of the schools in DCSD. If you believe so much that it is safe, the come on in and help out in the schools. I know that DCSD will definitely need help with teachers being out and duties.
“We’re going to see kids fall further and further behind, particularly low-income students of color,” said Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform. “There’s potentially a generational level of harm that students have suffered from being out of school for so long.”
Like some other officials and education advocates, Jeffries said powerful teachers unions are standing in the way of bringing back students. — AP Article
But most of you on this board don’t care.
To everyone who believes teachers don’t care, that is simply not true. Just like in any profession, there are exceptional people and there are people who “phone it in”. Teachers know the students are falling behind, and are doing their best to prevent it. We all know face to face is the way teaching should be done, as Michael Pastrik stated earlier in the conversation. What we are trying to get across to those of you who want face to face, is that IT WON’T BE THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.
First, not all children will come back, so there will be virtual students. The teacher will be responsible for students in the classroom AND at home. Therefore, teachers will still be teaching the way they have been since August. Teachers will not be allowed to stand over a student and watch them answer questions from a reading passage or work problems (6 feet must be maintained). The students in the classroom won’t get the attention they need because the teacher will be on the computer trying to make sure the virtual students don’t feel “left out.”
Second, teachers understand that some children will need significant remediation after this. We know that we will be asked to voluntarily give up time for which we are not paid (after school and weekends) to come in and catch up the students who are behind. Will those students want to do their work AND extra work to learn what they should have already learned? Past experience has demonstrated that some will, but many won’t.
Finally, the main issue is that teachers feel they should not have to risk their lives for this job. In the end, it is just a job. Granted, a very fulfilling and satisfying one, but still just a job. EVERYONE who believes we should be back face to face should email and call the Governor and DEMAND that he vaccinate teachers immediately. While you may still get Covid even after being vaccinated, the risks of dying are almost zero.
We don’t have teachers unions in Georgia, so please stop complaining about them in regards to education in our state. Everyone has the right to complain (teachers and parents), but please stop saying that teachers don’t care. There is only so much people can take until they break, and obviously, some have reached their breaking point.
Please be kind and civil. When this is over, there will probably be fewer teachers in classrooms (not just in DeKalb, but everywhere). Your child may go weeks without a certified teacher in their classroom because of a teacher shortage (that we were already in before the pandemic). Those of you who are not teachers who are complaining and sharing your opinions about what teachers should do should join the profession. We could use all of you. It will take ALL of us to help children recover from this tragedy.
Is it true as someone suggests that CWH has just been personally affected by COVID?
Per the exchange in the article “DCSD Employees May Continue….”
@concerned: “Well the COVID-19 doesn’t care who you are…just ask the super. ” Are you saying subtly that the super has covid? or someone close to her?
Concerned | January 31, 2021 at 1:08 PM |
Anyone have more details?
I used to work in Special Education in Dekalb. I know how things REALLY are. There WON’T be an ample supply of masks, or gloves, soap, sanitizer, wipes, man power to do the actual cleaning. The A/C and the heat will VERY OFTEN not be working. Many will not follow simple directions because frankly they just don’t really understand. Employees, especially Paras and bus drivers will be put at the most risk and for the most often. Sick children will be sent right on to school by parents that know something is wrong but maybe they can get away with it like they have so many times before. ANYBODY want to dispute anything I just stated? Crickets………
^^ and ^^^ @TEACHER123 – “CWH has just been personally affected by COVID?”
I keep hearing that rumor, but I do not know how true it is.
What I do know is this:
(1) During this month (January 2021) CWH personally visited at least one building where employees were exposed to Covid. (However, I do *not* know if CWH and the Covid positive employee were present at the same time.)
(2) CWH did *NOT* quarantine herself during January.
(3) DCSD is the only local school district that is refusing to share its Covid numbers with the AJC:
MY HYPOTHESIS: I think there must be something really embarrassing in DCSD’s covid data.
Perhaps comparing DCSD’s covid data to CWH’s schedule would show that CWH failed to quarantine herself after being exposed…. and/or perhaps CWH was a superspreader whose personal visits to DCSD schools qualifies as a superspreader event?
Here’s an example of covid data being shared by a neighboring district…each week APS releases a list showing how many Staff Cases, Student Cases and Exposures happened at each APS school:
Also the CDC’s Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions page, updated on January 19, 2021, says:
What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19
The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home for 14 days if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Check your local health department’s website for information about options in your area to possibly shorten this quarantine period.
CWH has NOT stayed home for 14 days.
Not surprised to hear COVID is already spreading in DeKalb schools. I wish the teachers would go online and expose it!! I know for sure the fingerprinting office was shut down because of Covid contamination. All I have to say about FORCING teachers to report Wednesday is any deaths from Covid are on you parents, Board Members, the Super and her crew. You can think about those deaths and hospitalizations every night when you try to sleep. You think you won’t care, but there’s no way you will be able to get it out of your head. Any DeKalb teacher deaths will haunt you for the rest of your life. You did this.
What about Kemp punishing a county for giving teachers vaccines that were about to expire? So Kemp wants schools open but gets angry when a county vaccinated teachers instead of throwing those vaccines in the trash? This state is sick.
My friend just reported what is happening in Austria. They are returning to schools next week after a weeks-long lockdown. Students will go on alternating days, because their COVID negative results only last for two days before another test is required. Hairdressers are open, but require a negative test for an appointment. Restaurants and hotels remain closed. People can now meet with up to two households.
If people want to keep talking about how European schools are open, they should be willing to follow their guidelines.
@Safetyconcerns: EXACTLY! I have friends and family in Europe, and we are not AT ALL doing what they are doing to keep schools open.
Why are you not also blaming your fellow teachers for anyone that gets sick in school, or the grocery store you’ve been in, or the neighbor you’ve been around, or the relative you’ve had over for dinner? You cannot pin point where people are catching and passing Covid easily, if we could we wouldn’t be in the situation we’re currently in. There are no other job function complaining nation wide about their lot in life more than teachers, I don’t want to hear your excuse about WHY you’re more apt to catch Covid because of your ______ (fill in the blank). Teachers entitlement has worn thin country wide, I feel sorry for those in the profession that aren’t complaining and are being dragged down by this entitled keyboard warrior group among them.
If you don’t want to teach, quit, go and try to find a job with all of the benefits you enjoy. (actually complain about because you don’t realize how good you have it) I honestly hope the county can sort some of you out and fire you for not showing up this week, we don’t need your brand of attitude influencing our children and community.
@you’re fired- don’t worry yourself. We ARE leaving. And if you think it’s a “few” of us…hahahahahahah! It’s almost all of us who aren’t happy with this. Teaching profession is officially dead. The county will be BEGGING us to stay. You have no idea how bad it is, do you?
You’re mad that teachers feel entitled to work in safe environments and not risk dying/long-term health issues? LOL! You’re a joke. If you’re mad that your job made you go to work in a deadly pandemic, maybe you should “man” up and voice your concerns to your company instead of being mad that teachers actually have the guts to speak out. Don’t be mad at teachers just because you’re weak and let your boss disregard your (and your family’s) health.
I’m just here to try and find out more info about Watson-Harris potentially having Covid…
I did hear that a Campus Security officer from Henderson Middle School died of COVID-19 this morning. The schools are not even open to all employees, and Dekalb county(CWH) has blood on her hands. This should be a wrongful death lawsuit brought on by his family. Please keep the employees and staff virtual until you are able to vaccinate your employees! My heart goes out to the teachers, Administrators, and staff being forced back into unsafe school buildings. May God be a fence around all of you
My heart breaks to hear of the death of a Dekalb County School System Employee this morning. Please pray for this family. Covid is no joke and it is only going to grow worse as the much more potent strain has arrived in Dekalb County. Please do your research concerning this fact. DCSS cannot keep her students or employees safe and it is ludicrous to even entertain a thought otherwise. Face it. The schools are for a large part decrepit. The HVAC systems are a dying breed and obviously need replacing but why bother when the school building is in disrepair as well? DCSS often just chooses the lowest bidder in supply orders. Prime example are the lowest quality paper towels that take appropriately four to dry your hands. The janitorial staffs is always understaffed and with questionable training and decision making skills. Yes. I have actually seen bathroom floors mopped rapidly with plain toilet water to just get the job “done” and move on. I have seen cafeteria tables wiped with just plain cold water and rags by students and staff an entire lunch period day after day. No disinfectant was introduced. Things are NOT going to miraculously change. The reason teachers are so afraid to return is pure fear. They know the truth.
@sad situation- that’s very sad to hear! CWH has blood on her hands, but same goes to parents such as You’re Fired. Good luck sleeping tonight CWH and You’re Fired! This is just the beginning. You will know their names and you will see their faces every night when you close your eyes. God will not let you forget this. People are beginning to die. Shame on you parents, board members and CWH. You could have saved a life! Shame on you!
I am still trying to figure out how media mogul Tyler Perry received BOTH doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations. And, his two shots were administered on television for the whole world to witness.
Which criteria did he meet? Healthcare worker? 65 and older group? First responder? Teachers have been instructed to wait their turn in line to receive the vaccinations (the same way teachers teach their students to wait their turn). I understand. However, wealthy & privileged people have the opportunity to always “skip” the line. To my understanding, those are the people who are pushing the most and hardest for the middle-class teachers to return to the classroom (in-person and in the middle of a pandemic, regardless of science, risks, or data). I have first-hand knowledge. Many wealthy and privileged people have already received their vaccinations (via this faceless bureaucracy); many are stay-at-home mothers as well…trying to return to their normal yoga classes, Pilates workouts, social club meetings, and receive their Botox treatments on time.
DeKalb’s population is different than many other counties. It’s overly populated with many generations often living in the same home. Thurmond or the Governor didn’t do their part LOBG enough to give us a chance at getting control of this virus. Restaurants operating like night clubs are open 7 days a week. And they are packed. It’s like we aren’t responsible enough to sit down and let people LIVE. In general we are a selfish society. Parents don’t give a flip about teachers and some parents won’t sacrifice their social lives for one year to be able to help us all return to some sense of normalcy in 2022. Kemp has no understanding of any of this. DCSD teachers faced a paycut- a substantial paycut- during a pandemic- and yet they still are villanized for wanting to LIVE. And yes to the planted post above saying that some teachers are ready to come back that is true-and with that comes the problem of everyone in the building understanding that they should still be operating with a virtual mindset. Send emails, call each other, but to see staff walking the halls huddled together, as if it’s January 2018 is a big problem. The truth is an employee of DCSD is going to pass from this. Some will care and some will not-but that person was loved by someone and will be missed.
Until that someone is your someone you won’t understand.
Tyler Perry and other trusted prominent African Americans such as politicians, medical doctors, clergy…etc.. have been asked to take the Covid-19 vaccines live and in full view to prove that these vaccines are safe.
Tyler Perry did not secretly pay bribes or obtain the vaccines outside of regular channels. So Tyler Perry and others like him actually taking the vaccines early and publicly to make sure those who are hesitant or suspicious do take the vaccines when offered. He should not be lumped with the line-skippers and connected people who may have scored before frontline school employees.
@stan this site is now doing more harm than good. Are you reading these comments?
You know where else you can go on the internet to anon expunge irrational fears and troll / shitpost?
Another type of online disinhibition is called toxic disinhibition, which represents an increased tendency towards online flaming and inappropriate behaviors. These often contain hostile language, swearing, and even threats. This norm describes the negative side effect of the loss of inhibition on the cyberspace. The antisocial behaviors caused by toxic disinhibition not only occur in multiple online platforms like blogs, hate sites, and comment sections, but also exist in diverse forms which include cyberbullying, social loafing and more.
if you want the benefits of anon you at least need to moderate some of the crap posted on here. Geez.
@paychecks- you realize the irony, right? Because you bully teachers anonymously online.
@yes. I’ll tell you who I am as I’ve been trying to scare people away from here with my comments.
My name is David Walker but I’m not a Dunwoody Proud Boy.
Whats your name?
It is also very easy to manipulate the voting mechanism. This site is hot garbage.
I can only hope we have no mutual friends.
The Palace has not confirmed a remote work extension for DeKalb International Student Center teacher Jasmine Casilla, who has been teaching virtual classes from the intensive care room where her 6-year-old daughter has been hospitalized since November:
A Henderson Middle School campus supervisor who was employed by the DeKalb County School District for three years has died.
Washington Varnum, Jr.’s death was confirmed in a statement by a district spokeswoman on Monday night.
More than 60 DeKalb County School District parents and employees, including some teachers, stood in the cold outside of the district’s headquarters on Monday to protest school reopening plans.
They carried signs with messages such as “no face to face until it’s safe,” and “I can teach from a computer, not from a casket.” None would comment on the record to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for fear of retaliation from the district.
It was the second protest held within three days.
Totally agree – Stan has done a great service having this blog over the years but man, has it gotten toxic. I am fairly certain that at least a few of these anon posters are actually the same person, and this person hates DeKalb leadership and DeKalb’s parents so much that this person wants to take them down in any way possible (I guess the children are just collateral damage in this person’s vendetta). And agreed, this person ‘votes’ over and over again (since they can) to make it seem like everyone is agreeing with them. So hopefully other people who come here for actual information realize that…I wish there was moderation as well to at least keep it somewhat honest.
@Yes – you’ll see me on the WSB Ch2 soon. A bunch of rich liberal northern Dekalb folk is fighting over park improvements for the city. It is a total waste of resources by the generations in charge (Gen X) … no different than DCSB.
After a year of back and forth watch these people harass each other over email and social media, I finally spoke out on the local facebook group and agreed to interview (at the request of the mayor) with WSB. My personal goal and narrative is around finding alignment, moving forward, and shifting our focus to more important things like our children’s education. Most of my neighbors (who I’m going against but outside of certain issues are absolutely wonderful people) are all going to hate me.
The whole interview process was rigged to a certain narrative. I’m not happy with how it went as I know the story that will be told won’t be found in truth or reason. I have my own story ready to circulate but is long form and full of details that most won’t take the time to digest.
I felt slimy and makes me not want to be involved anymore. Makes me want to move away from people and live off the land until my time comes. This is how the chain keeps going, this is how the torch gets passed … https://youtu.be/ruJHXK2XhBU?t=1698 (28:18)
Also, don’t try to heckle me. I’m burnt wood https://youtu.be/ruJHXK2XhBU?t=2392 (39:52)
@DSW2 – was anyone working at the palace yesterday during the protest or were they home due to covid exposure?
Maybe this is why DCSD refuses to publish Covid cases. We have so many more cases than other districts (by percentage as well as total cases).
@stan – do the right thing. Don’t make another post. Make people comment on this post till it dies. You’ll then see what’s left.
There are much better places in cyberspace for these people to discuss their issues. Your term as a board director has past and this site has run its course. Thank you for your service. Let’s achieve this for posterity and continue to progress in other areas of our lives!
@DSW2 I just heard that the people that work at the building by the Alternative School will not go back tomorrow because they can’t social distance. I also heard they are own her about the death yesterday of the Security Guard and that they want her to resign or fire her. But she is making everyone to go back tomorrow so she can make a point. I had someone text me that need to pick out a casket because they are scared to go back.
@scared to go back- I think we all feel the same way. Someone tested positive at my school and I only found out about it through the grapevine. Why not tell us officially through school communication? It could save a life if they publicly let people know so they can get tested if they were in the building at the time the infected teacher was.
I’d be pissed if I wasn’t notified. What happened to schools performing contact tracing? DCSD can’t even properly do this because they don’t know where staff truly are at all times. Dekalb does a piss poor job at enforcing anything and holding people accountable.
Has Dekalb revealed their policy for Covid exposure notification? I haven’t heard anything about the process. Is this left to the principal’s discretion? Does CWH have a plan?
Georgia DPH Covid Data for Dekalb County, February 2, 2021:
Cases (last 2 weeks): 4015
Cases per 100K (last 2 weeks): 506
Cases per 100K (total): 5963
Confirmed Cases (today): 141
7-Day Moving Average: 247.3
% PCR Tests Positive: 10.6
7-Day Moving Average: 10.7
To quote an AJC article:
District officials initially said they would wait until there are fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents prior to reopening. Later, officials said they would reconsider reopening if the two-week positivity rate drops below 10%, which has yet to happen.
Watson-Harrison recently told parents that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that classrooms can reopen if communities embrace safety measures.
Unlike all other metro Atlanta school districts, DeKalb isn’t releasing the number of coronavirus cases among students and staff. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has requested the information, which districts provide to the state.
NONE of the things mentioned in the article have happened:
* We are still above 100 cases per 100,000 residents — 5 times higher!
* The two-week positivity rate has NOT dropped below 10%
* Our communities have NOT embraced safety measures — indoor dining is still allowed, bars are still open, etc.
I do not think anyone staying home tomorrow has any reason to worry about their teaching certificate. I am reminded of this quote:
“If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” – John Paul Getty
If DCSD reports one teacher to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, that teacher has a problem…. but when DCSD has hundreds of teachers not reporting tomorrow, that is DCSD’s problem.
New interview with Dr. Beasley in Clayton County:
Clayton County Superintendent Dr. Morcease Beasley said the choice the district has made to remain virtual since last spring, is what ‘s best for them.
“It’s important that every community makes decisions that’s best for its community.”
“On average we have about 30 to 49 cases a week and that’s with our staff members being out of the building, so just imagine if anyone was in the building at one time.”
I just found out that 2 people in our building have tested positive. And, like you, it was through the grapevine. I know administration can not tell people “who” is sick because of hipaa laws, but they should give people warning that they could possibly be exposed. What’s the point of contact tracing if you’re not going to warn people?
So, I’m currently at my school trying to get settled in and decided to take a walk around the building to see all these mitigation strategies that are in place for safety. So far, all I see are arrows on the floor (that no one will follow), spacers posted on the wall to help students know to stay 6 feet apart (again that no one will adhere to), trash bags on the water fountains with NO water bottle fill stations to replace them, four of the smallest hand sanitizing stations that I’m sure will stay empty as soon as the current supply is gone, and a single bottle of disinfectant that was left in my classroom without any paper towels to go along with it. I’d check the bathrooms for soap and paper towels, but I’m sure there are none in there because there was barely any in there pre-Corona. I supplied that for my students in the past! Just made my way up to the front office to find the door locked and was told by the secretary that only those who work in the front office are allowed to enter at this time, so teachers in my building no longer have access to a copy machine, fax machine, or the shredder. I’m not allowed in the front office, but I am allowed to potentially sit in a classroom breathing the same air as students who may have been exposed to a virus that I could contract. All I can wonder is what teachers did to deserve to be treated this way to have to be forced to work in these conditions…
I definitely feel safe at work (*inserts extreme sarcasm for anyone who thought I was serious*).