Biden’s Executive Order Supports Reopening of Schools

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 Research

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

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.

459 responses to “Biden’s Executive Order Supports Reopening of Schools

  1. Tired of the BS

    @Region 1 Teacher

    I was reading on Anna Hill’s FB page there were teachers from region 1 recently reassigned to other schools in Dekalb due to noncompliance with the State Comparability Policy. Can you imagine being one of those teachers having to change schools at this point in the year? Being a student having to finish the year with a completely new teacher? Being the teacher that receives additional kids right before reopening because of Dekalb messing up yet again?

    8
  2. What is the state comparability policy? How did they screw up again?

  3. Clayton County

    Dr. Beasley announced that Clayton County students will return face to face after Spring Break. Why is this significant? Because these students are returning only a few weeks after DeKalb students, but Dr. Beasley waited for the announcement that teachers will begin getting vaccinated. Teachers and school staff will be fully vaccinated before they step foot into a school in Clayton County. He stuck to his convictions and never capitulated to the foot-stompers and whiners who want teachers to get sick and die so they can get their babysitters back. He’s shown true leadership throughout this entire ordeal. All teachers have been asking for is to be safe. All we asked for was to wait for the vaccine or to have adequate safety measures in place to keep us safe. Dr. Beasley did that for his staff. As a result, he as the trust of his staff and the larger community. Oh, and Clayton teachers are also getting bonuses. It looks like DeKalb is the only district who decided not to honor the contracts teachers signed last year. Did anyone else’s “professional learning” stipend match the income they lost through the furlough days that were put in place to force teachers to pay for the lawsuit that DeKalb County lost? Mine didn’t. If getting to Clayton County didn’t mean spending over an hour in traffic, I’d happily work for Dr. Beasley.

    26
  4. Comparability

    @Inquiry,

    I’m not sure about the details but this is what I found online. https://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/title-i/Documents/Title%20I,%20Part%20A/FY16%20Conference/Comparability.pdf

    It may be that certain schools in Region 1 have more personnel than comparable Title I schools. If they knew the situation and didn’t move the positions in the summer, I am assuming they are remedying it now so that they do not lose the funding. Imagine being the teacher that gets hired at one school (because I assume they’d move the newest teachers) and have to change your job and commute to a school an additional 30 minutes away. And the children who have to get a new teacher now.

    6
  5. My FMLA was approved recently. Shortly afterwords, I received this letter, hand delivered by my principal. He told me that he had recommended me for contract renewal, and that he didn’t know what the letter meant:

    Please accept this letter as official notification that your contract offer of employment for the 21-22 school year ha been delayed due to the following reasons:
    Delayed by Human Resources_FMLA
    By may 15th, 2021, you will be notified regarding the renewal or nonrenewal of your contract for the 2021-2022 school year.
    Respectfully,
    Dr. Michelle Jones

    8
  6. Recall Harris

    What is the legal recourse the county citizens have to recall the Watson-Harris nomination and job offer? If we have the ability to recall governors there must be some kind of process to “fire” someone who has not earned a day of her $300K + salary.

    8
  7. @mind games, this is exactly what I was talking about in my previous posts about the FMLA department threatening teachers. I believe that is a direct threat to if if you take FMLA. The FMLA department is bullying teachers and needs to be investigated ASAP. Parents, board members-is this how you want teachers treated? If so, by all means look the other way. You’ve already been doing a great job of that for years.

    11
  8. Just Curious

    I just saw on the news where Gwinnett County is vaccinating their teachers beginning MONDAY. Meanwhile, DeKalb county hasn’t said a word about when they will begin vaccinating teachers. Has anyone heard anything? It looks really bad for DeKalb when systems like Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, APS, Hall, Henry, and Coweta have made their plans public and all we hear from DeKalb is crickets.

    14
  9. @recall Harris. When you get information on recalling/firing the cheerleader count me in to help. I am retiring in June because my idea of teaching and leadership does not comport with hers. My idea of diversity does not comport with hers. Finally anyone who has any bias or prejudice against a minority group has any business in a position of authority in an organization that includes said group. She has got to go!!!

    8
  10. Stop screwing with teachers

    @mind games-get a lawyer and file a suit against the county. I am not a lawyer so I am not sure how to describe the illegal activity, but a lawyer should. You might want to file a complaint with EEOC and a grievance too. I believe you could be sure of keeping your job and tossing the palace personnel out of theirs if they don’t make this right. She may think she’s the queen but the feds are the ultimate law.

    9
  11. Ken Thompson

    You can find the full FMLA at https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title29_chapterV_part825

    Employee/Employer rights and obligations are at: https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title29_chapterV_part825_subpartC

    Effect of and on other employer policies and other laws are at: https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title29_chapterV_part825_subpartG

    Special rules for school employees can be found at: https://www.govregs.com/regulations/expand/title29_chapterV_part825_subpartF_section825.600

    There is nothing obvious to suggest that a leave, even partial or intermittent, that continues through the end of a contract places any additional requirements on the employer with regards to offering a follow-on contract. Perhaps there are some district rules or state requirements regarding deadlines for offering a contract for the upcoming school year and they are required give a notice of delay while they mull things over. Maybe the Jesters could offer some insights into the contracting process within the district.

    1
  12. DSW2Contributor

    In the AJC:
    —————————————————————————————
    DeKalb school custodian’s death COVID-19 related, family says

    A DeKalb County School District employee’s recent death was due to complications from the coronavirus, his family said this week.

    Benny Lee Doe, 70, was a custodian at Columbia Middle School for nearly five years, according to a statement from the district. The statement did not include a cause of death.

    But Doe’s family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Feb. 8 and died Feb. 22.

    “He was an awesome provider and an all-around great man. He will truly be missed,” said Ashley Terrell, Doe’s daughter.

    Terrell said her father continued to work because he was focused on supporting his wife, Regina.

    According to his obituary, Doe lived in Covington and was a Burton, South Carolina native.

    “The DeKalb County School District sends its condolences to the family of Benny Lee Doe,” the district’s statement said. “He represented the role in an exemplary manner. His family is in the thoughts and prayers of DCSD.”

    Doe’s family said they believe he was infected at work.

    DeKalb schools, which has more than 93,000 students, has reported 862 cases of the coronavirus among students and employees July 1 to Feb. 18. Of that number, Columbia Middle Schools reported 10 known cases among staff.

    Classes in the DeKalb school classes have been virtual-only since last March, but the district plans to begin reopening classrooms to some students next week.

    Doe is the second known DeKalb schools employee who recently died due to COVID-19, according to their families. Washington Varnum Jr., 54, was a campus supervisor at Henderson Middle School for the last three years, according to the district. Varnum died on Feb. 1, according to his obituary.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/dekalb-school-custodians-death-covid-19-related-family-says/OV4RORF6JREVZHIAZDTKZWE7KE/

  13. DSW2Contributor

    @ mind games? – “Please accept this letter as official notification that your contract offer of employment for the 21-22 school year ha been delayed due to the following reasons: Delayed by Human Resources_FMLA
    —————————————————————————————-
    Over the years I’ve seen contract offers be *delayed* like that for a few different reasons. I think there were even old discussions about renewals being delayed either here on Stan’s blog or the old school watch blog. You should not lose any sleep over this since your Principal said he/she had recommended you for renewal.

    Hanlon’s razor states “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. That’s a good rule to remember when dealing with HR. Perhaps they are delaying your renewal because they just do not know how to process a renewal for someone not currently on the payroll?

    4
  14. Dunwoody teach

    All these parents complaining about reassignments is laughable. You lost 225+ kids and only 4 teachers? Dunwoody only lost 3 for a 200 student loss? Those numbers should be way higher. If the Title 1 schools got this many extra teachers + Title 1 money there’d be a riot.

    As for those saying “hire more teachers for the Title 1 schools”- that would be an astronomical number of teachers. Where are you going to find them, where are you going to build them classrooms, how will you pay them?

    7
  15. So all the issues related to FMLA and ADA should be attributed to stupidity not malice? Nice concept but very simplistic. Suddenly the HR employees who have been functioning satisfactorily all this time are now stupid. I am not saying that they have become malicious on their own, but they are following orders. And what’s new in the district? Why our clearly malicious cheerleader!! Nuff said.

    5
  16. Ken Thompson

    Scanning the FMLA (https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title29_chapterV_part825), particularly the Special Rules for Schools (https://www.govregs.com/regulations/title29_chapterV_part825_subpartF) there doesn’t appear to be much suggesting that FMLA to the end of a contract term affects negotiations for any contract renewal or forces a contract extension. There is an interesting site (https://www.nctq.org/contracts/19.pdf) that specifically covers DCSD procedures around FMLA as well as contract abandonment but does not cover the intersection of FMLA leave and end of contract. FMLA recognizes planned and unplanned leave and DCSD has processes to review leave requests for FMLA compliance, as it the employer’s responsibility to ensure compliance. When a leave is due to employee health there is a legitimate concern around return-to-work and medical release to work is required by DCSD policy as the employer may be required to provide an equivalent job that is compatible with any issues resulting from the employee medical condition. Given the circumstances, completing a proper review for FMLA compliance prior to contract negotiations doesn’t seem particularly worrisome.

  17. DSW2Contributor

    AJC:
    —————————————————————————————
    DeKalb schools: Learning loss from online classes lower than expected

    Student achievement in DeKalb County Public Schools dipped after classes switched to virtual-only learning due to the pandemic, according to the superintendent.

    But the decline wasn’t as steep as feared, she said.

    Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris recently said the district’s 93,000 students experienced an average one to three months of reductions in achievement growth, or learning loss after classes switched to online-only learning.

    “It appears that the learning losses … were considerable,” Watson-Harris said at a district event. But, she added, they were not as large as initially expected.

    DeKalb classes have been virtual-only for nearly a year. But next week, some students will begin returning to school buildings for in-person learning.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained learning loss estimates for grades four through eight. It shows eighth graders fell behind by slightly over three months in math and reading. Grades fifth through sixth also experienced at least a month’s worth of learning loss in math, reading, science and language usage.

    Watson-Harris called the math learning losses in grades four through nine “relatively modest,” and she said there was some positive learning growth among 10th graders.

    A district spokeswoman told The AJC that the district assessed student learning loss using “multiple years” of data from the MAP test — a national exam that measures students’ progress — in mathematics, reading, science and language usage.

    The spokeswoman said the learning loss was calculated by looking at fall 2020 test scores minus projected fall 2020 test scores. The projected test score was based on characteristics and two prior scores plus pre-pandemic trends. There was a comparison of current students to prior students with similar test score histories and demographics, she said.

    School officials hope the return to in-person learning will help students. On Tuesday, students in prekindergarten through second grade, as well as sixth and ninth grades, can return to in-person learning in school buildings. Students in the remaining grades can return March 15.

    Families can keep their children in online-only learning.

    Watson-Harris said the district is extending the support time allotted to students on Wednesdays for tutoring and intervention. The district is also planning to offer summer learning programs that will be discussed in more detail during the March 15 school board meeting, she said.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/dekalb-schools-learning-loss-from-online-classes-lower-than-expected/MVNZYQGKYFDFDPRCARPYSA4RHI/

    2
  18. Map testing - a joke

    @dsw2

    So DeKalb students fell back one to three months but didn’t fall off a cliff as the admin feared. On MAP testing. A test that the vast majority of students could ace blindfolded. If you take into consideration how ridiculously easy MAP testing is, you’ll see how far the students have really fallen. It’s like not training a runner for a year, then saying Hey, they did well in a speed walking contest.

    But then they’re just the students – who cares, right? Not most people posting on here…

    3
  19. I used FMLA for surgery

    I received this letter, hand delivered by my principal.

    Please accept this letter as official notification that your contract offer of employment for the 21-22 school year ha been delayed due to the following reasons:
    Delayed by Human Resources_FMLA
    By may 15th, 2021, you will be notified regarding the renewal or nonrenewal of your contract for the 2021-2022 school year.
    Respectfully,
    Dr. Michelle Jones

    They are showing me the door for taking FMLA!

    This feels very wrong.

    7
  20. Chaos is in DCSD

    I am watching the student town hall now and I am about to barf. The sugar slopping is disgusting. They thanked the board. The sign said thank you next to the names of the board. Silly me. I thought the board was thanking teachers. The only group not mentioned is the teachers. Watching the chat is informative as well. It’s frightening.
    @enough: get a lawyer.

    A question just asked was why aren’t students in the loop? I want to know why teachers are not in the loop. Also the cheerleader claims all the buildings are ready for the “scholars”. Those of you who are in the building clearly do not know what you are talking about (sarcasm). It it was not so important I would laugh. All I can do is cry.

    6
  21. Don't Make Sense

    Watching this tall hall meeting that are principal forced us to watch because teachers in the faculty meeting on yesterday that they did not care to watch it. This town hall is a joke Cheryl and her peasants continue to lie these buildings are still nasty.

    2
  22. @DON’T MAKE SENSE:
    If you are a teacher, your command of the English language is scary.

    5
  23. @MAP testing,

    The MAP test is adaptive. Students get questions based on how they answered previous questions. If you’re seeing “easy” questions, it’s an indication of how the child is performing on the test. Some kids get “easy” questions, and some get really complicated stuff, based on the level at which they’re performing on the test. It’s not a test you can “ace” or pass/fail.

    12
  24. @MAP test – so when DCSD says there has been less learning loss than thought, are they comparing each student to his/her previous scores (or the same grade level’s score last spring to that same group of students who are now in the next grade level?). In other words, are they comparing the same sets of students to themselves or are they comparing this year’s 4th grade for example to last year’s fourth grade which are comprised of different students?

    To be accurate, one would need to compare last year’s fall student cohort in pick a grade – let’s say 4th – to that same cohort in the fall of this year in the next grade level – 5th grade.

    5
  25. closed window command

    So more good news, just got this email from my principal:

    “We have been asked to inform the staff not to open the windows in our buildings. This is a matter of safety and security. I am sorry if this is an inconvenience, but I am thanking you for your understanding.”

    Safety first, really?

    5
  26. waitingforgodot

    Who is writing the superintendent’s newsletters?

    The grammar is awful and the content is nonsensical.

    Does anyone else understand how “building ventilation” is an enforceable mitigation strategy?

    1
  27. Par For the Corse (Use of grammer) Pun is intended

    Waiting for Godot
    The grammar is awful and the content is nonsensical.
    This is typical of Dekalb schools. Have you ever listened to the double negatives that abound from Dekalb County teachers? Example “I don’t have none of those”. I don’t have no pencils. No wonder the double negatives also abound in the classrooms as well.

    8
  28. Par for the Corse,

    Since you are concerned about grammar, this is for your edification:

    1. When connecting two independent clauses, one should use a comma. “The grammar is awful, and the content is nonsensical.”
    2. After starting a thought with “Example,” one may want to use a semicolon, or at least a comma to prevent the reader from thinking this is the subject of the sentence. It would be better to use “For example,” or the “e.g.” abbreviation.
    3. When finishing a quotation, the punctuation should appear within the quotation marks. “I don’t have none of those.” “I don’t have no pencils.” I added the quotation marks that you forgot in your second example.
    4. While “no wonder” can be used informally, like the examples you gave of bad grammar, it would be grammatically proper to phrase it “It is no wonder (or, There is no wonder) that the double negatives also abound in the classroom as well.” There was no need to use “also” and “as well,” but that may be your preference in emphasizing, just as some use double negatives for emphasis.

    We should have high standards for our teachers, but we should also have them for ourselves.

    13
  29. Grammar matters, but...

    @Grammar,

    There is a big difference between teaching or sending a newsletter to an entire county of stakeholders and posting on a blog. I always told my students that no one’s grammar is perfect all the time but the key is to get it right when it matters (a job interview a presentation, a college paper that will be graded, etc.).

    A person who makes over $300,00 as a superintendent should not be sending out newsletters without having them proofread/edited first. There are two ELA coordinators who could do it with no problem. And if CWH IS having them proofread, then THAT person needs to stop immediately. I literally cringed when I read the phrase “upmost importance.”

    And every time I read the word “scholars” in her communications, I throw up in my mouth a little. All I can think of is the old phrase “putting lipstick on a pig.” It’s just too much…and now some of the board members have started using it as well. Yuck.

    12
  30. NOTEVENSURPRISEDANYMORE

    I think one of my favorite communications from The Palace was some years back a memo was sent out saying that men needed to wear “collard shirts”. I especially appreciated how many of my coworkers saw nothing wrong!!!!

    14
  31. As children return to buildings tomorrow I just want to mention that it is utterly despicable that they are making teachers who are currently fighting illnesses like cancer come into the buildings and teach children face to face. I know that this year has been very hard for students and families, but that is not the fault of teachers. The blame is for the lack of leadership and planning for a worse case scenario when all this started last March. I do not understand why anyone thinks it is ok for another human being to have to come into an unsafe environment when it is known that they are actively battling a potentially terminal illness. The lack of concern for others throughout this whole pandemic is an utter disgrace. Shame on DeKalb. Shame on GA. Shame on America.

    41
  32. Every district seems to have a plan except DeKalb. The CDC and Emory are in DeKalb….wouldn’t you think DCSD could have done some collaborating with some entity to secure vaccines and a plan. 31 nurses trained…all nurses are trained to give shots – that shouldn’t have been any special exercise. Trained nurses doesn’t mean we have supplies needed to administer the vaccine (syringes, gloves, bandaids, alcohol wipes, etc) or the refrigeration needed to store it. Good grief. And at 15, 000 employees….31 nurses will each have to vaccinate almost 500 people! That takes a lot of time.

    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/happening-today-georgia-teachers-educators-will-be-able-receive-covid-19-vaccine/KQHCTYUXUNAYLC4Y2CZY3Q2NSI/

    Good luck tomorrow everyone.

    9
  33. DSW2Contributor

    ^ You do *NOT* have to wait for DCSD to vaccinate you– Administrators sure aren’t waiting!

    Sign up for an appointment at either Dekalb County run vaccination site, or at the state-run site out at the Airport, or at a drug store. See this page:
    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/quick-links/XIS2GWKLKVHRPCFVNCQEVJ52MY/

    4
  34. As we enter the hybrid process several pieces of information are revealed. Allegedly the cheerleader has changed the maximum number of students allowed in class at one time. I’m guessing infinity is the current limit. Also since there appear to be no meaningful subs available when a teacher must be out students are to be sent to the other teachers on the team. So now the maximum number is infinity plus whomever can be squeezed into a room. Yep the palace has made sure that everyone will be safe. Actually I need to amend that statement: nobody is safe except for our two faced simpering cheerleader and her besties. And still there are people waiting to get their first shot. This is criminal and should be dealt with as such. This plan endangers everyone who couldn’t qualify for the vaccine and the palace does not care. I am still waiting for a response to my ADA application.

    13
  35. @OMG
    What is a “Meaningful Sub”, since Dekalb has refused to train any Subs on the virtual learning software?

    1
  36. Not expecting anything but..

    Well, after teaching in Dekalb for way too many years I have no expectations of them to actually getting a vaccination plan in order. I made, as have most of my colleagues, my own arrangements. I wouldn’t mind my thousand dollars from the state though….although Dekalb is probably saving that to pay off future lawsuits.

    6
  37. DSW2Contributor

    Teachers have been eligible to be vaccinated in Georgia for three days now and there is still no plan from DCSD. ASSUME THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A PLAN FROM DCSD
    Administrators sure aren’t waiting for DCSD to vaccinate them!

    Every teacher, para and other school employee needs to sign themselves up for an appointment at either Dekalb County run vaccination site, at the state-run site out at the Airport, or at a drug store.
    See this page:
    https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/quick-links/XIS2GWKLKVHRPCFVNCQEVJ52MY/

    5
  38. Re: vaccinations
    One more idea. Call places that give vaccinations around 3-4 pm to see if they have any leftover vaccines. Sometimes people don’t show up and hospitals and pharmacies don’t want to throw them away. You’d be surprised to learn how productive that can be.

    3
  39. @30084
    Meaningful sub-not a parent

    2
  40. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^ Vaccine UPDATE: The Dekalb County Health Department’s website currently says this: “All COVID-19 vaccine appointments have been filled. We will reopen the form once more appointments are available.”

    The Fulton County Health Department still has shots available, but if you try to register as a teacher FC’s website will NOT accept you. Instead FC’s website will tell you that teachers will be vaccinated at the Fulton County Schools event.

    That leaves the state-run vaccine sites and drug stores. I STRONGLY recommend that teachers register to be vaccinated at one of the state-run sites:
    https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/
    Submit your information and you will be emailed when appointments are available.

    The DC Health Department apparently being out of shots probably explains why they have not announced a DCSD vaccine event.

    2
  41. ShameOnDekalb

    I am a teacher. The students at my middle school in Dunwoody (Region 1) have little to no drinking water. The water fountains are off limits and covered with trash bags. There is NO bottled water for students who have returned to the school building, so to get a drink that leaves the hand washing stations in the lavatories if students did not fill water bottles from home. Shame on Dekalb!

    10
  42. Anyone hear or read about the event for Dunwoody Seniors that will take place May 17th at 7pm at the Ameris Amphitheater? This was funded by the community through a GOFUNDME campaign to the tune of 33,000 dollars. Communities are allowed to do what they want to do, but wow, great optics for the haves and the havenots. This will certainly help to promote unity within the school district.

    2
  43. Unity...yea, right

    Right @Teacher123, things that make you go ummm… here is an article and the GoFundMe link for the Dunwoody “Graduation Celebration”

    https://www.appenmedia.com/dunwoody/parents-plan-special-ceremony-for-dunwoody-graduates/article_d5233bc6-802e-11eb-a9f2-03dd17a01861.html

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/gradcats-2021

    2
  44. Dunwoody mom

    Teacher123 and Unity…yea, right. You can find a lot of things to complain about but Dunwoody’s event for its seniors should not be one of them. The entire class of 500 kids is invited and there are several corporate sponsors helping pay for it. The amphitheater is hosting Fulton County high school graduations too, and any other school (even in DeKalb) can host a similar event. Anyone paying attention knows DeKalb’s entire classes of 2020 and 2021 got screwed, and THEY ALL DESERVE BETTER. Most people are willing to do what they can to help and support these kids. All you have to do is ask. So instead of casting a shadow over Dunwoody, your energy would be better used by offering to help another school do the same. And if you know anything at all about Dunwoody, the folks there would gladly help any other school replicate what they are doing. (But of course DeKalb already has the money to do something similar for every senior in every school, so the haves and have nots argument is a moot point.)

    18
  45. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^^ In the AJC:
    ————————————————————————————————————
    DeKalb schools waiting on water bottle filling stations due to demand

    The DeKalb County School district is providing bottled water to students opting for in-person learning because traditional water fountains are closed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

    The bottled water is a stopgap measure while the school district waits on shipments of water bottle filling stations to arrive, according to Noel Maloof, the district’s deputy chief operations officer.

    School board members voted to purchase an initial 561 stations for about $455,000 in November while students were still learning remotely. Maloof said this week the shipment was delayed due to the widespread demand for them.

    “We are at the mercy of the supply chain,” he told board members. “These are difficult to get and we’ve been working really diligently to make sure this is happening.”

    Students began returning to classrooms last week for the first time since school buildings were closed a year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic. Remote learning continues to those who prefer that option.

    Board member Joyce Morley said the public was led to believe that district schools were being retrofitted with the devices before classrooms reopened this month.

    “It’s very disappointing to hear that the schools … don’t have them,” she said.

    The school board voted this week to purchase an additional 1,000 water bottle stations from Mark’s Plumbing Parts & Commercial Supply Product for $856,880.

    Water bottle filling stations were installed at six schools as part of larger construction projects before the pandemic, according to a district spokeswoman. Those schools are: Arabia Mountain, Dunwoody and Redan high schools, Austin and Laurel Ridge elementary schools and McNair Discovery Learning Academy.

    “Ideally, we would have wanted these before the children came back,” Board Chair Vickie Turner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/dekalb-schools-waiting-on-water-bottle-filling-stations-due-to-demand/E7AKRCA3Y5C6FIDBPTZSE37DGE/

    2
  46. @Dunwoody Mom: As the parent of a graduating Senior I know all too well about how hard this has been for the class of 2021. Like I said, communities are allowed to do whatever they want. If this could have been an opportunity for everyone, then why didn’t Dunwoody advertise it to other DeKalb schools? And as a longtime taxpayer in DeKalb, I also know that the county could do more for the classes of 2021 and frankly for every student in DeKalb. However, in the year of a pandemic with students losing family members, losing their homes, their parents losing their jobs, this just does not seem to be the moment to be doing an event that just highlights that not everyone gets the same opportunities within the same PUBLIC school district. It’s private money, I get it, but all it does is reinforce the same negative stereotypes about the North of the district. Just like the billboards.

    5
  47. Don’tBeSoQuickToAssume

    I vividly recall a county wide parent workshop some years back. A mother raised her hand and proceeded to complain and rant how a particular elementary school had so much more than the school her children attended and she felt it was “racially motivated “. I was relieved when a parent from the “elite” elementary raised her hand to tell all the various fund raisers the parents had participated in to raise those extra funds.

    13
  48. As a Sub, there doesn’t seem to be any need for me. There are no Sub assignments posted on Aesop. Is it because Dekalb chose not to provide any training to Subs on the virtual learning software, or because class coverage is going well?

    3
  49. It’s Dekalb

    Dear need work
    I am desperate for a sub. In my school when teachers are out kids are split up into other classes to increase the class size. Another lie from above (class size is limited). We have been told there are no subs available. This is so unbelievable. Just more crap from premier dekalb.

    8
  50. I have tried SO hard to be needed as a Sub, but have run into roadblocks with HR after numerous inquiries. DCSD refused to train Subs on the virtual learning software. Administrators won’t allow Subs to be used because we can’t connect with the virtual students. The Subs were completely ignored from March 2020, until just a couple of weeks ago, when HR reached out to the “old” Sub pool to see who was still around. We were asked to commit to 2 schools, the Principals would be told who their “assigned” Subs are, and they would be the ones to call for help. Nobody is calling. I guess we aren’t deemed as needed or useful. I loved my Sub job and held out “hope”, which turned out to be a dumb strategy. I’m so sorry that Subs aren’t being allowed to help.

    6
  51. Humpty Dance

    Having witnessed first-hand the clusterfuck that was Saturday’s vaccination event at the AIC, I created this limerick for the occasion. There was less concern for people waiting forever in their cars and for people being turned away than there was for getting Super Watson-Harris in front of any news camera that appeared. If it hadn’t been so pathetic, it would have been Super-funny. (Yes, yes, hold the applause for the clever turn-of-phrase.) I call this “Apologies to the Hermit Named Dave.”

    There once was a super named Watson-Harris
    Who gave not two shits about us –
    When the cameras arrived
    That’s when she thrived –
    A photo op for our dear precious!

    And now for a response from those clinically unable to handle any sort of humor (or “bad” word) …

    7
  52. Dekalb Leads In No Bonus Policy and In Reducing Salaries

    Dekalb was only metro school that did not give teachers bonuses for pandemic work and also the only county to have calendar reduction days to take money away from teachers. They should learn something from APS who is currently contemplating increasing salaries by 2%. No wonder Dekalb teachers are trying to get in that system.

    11
  53. Schools will combine their cohorts on Monday, March 29, with many classes moving well above 16 kids. Yes, the CDC changed guidelines, but we’re a week from spring break and maybe 3-4 weeks from all teachers being vaccinated. Why the rush? We’re spiking the ball on the 5 yard line!
    Geez…
    And yes Humpty, your method of expressing yourself detracts from whatever point you endeavor to make.

    5
  54. Humpty Dance

    @ Edugator,

    You show up whenever I post. Does that make you a virtual jock sniffer?

    AHHH, a troll fan club!

    I LOVE IT.

    1
  55. Just trying to save the world, one lame Humpty Dancer at a time.

    4
  56. Humpty Dance

    @ Edugator,

    With delusions of grandeur, too.

    Bless your heart!

  57. Ignoring the static from the digital underground, what do you all think about the current plan to return more students for face to face beginning next week? Some things won’t change- buildings will remain poorly ventilated, communication about active cases will remain sketchy, and students will be eating lunch in classrooms spaced more closely than most restaurants. Are there any good ideas/solutions or do teachers/students/parents just have to hope for the best?
    Three more weeks on our current schedule would mitigate many of these concerns as those who want to be vaccinated likely will be.

    7
  58. No Contact Tracing-No Big Deal

    At my friend’s school, there has been a second Covid case since reopening . There has been no apparent effort at contact tracing being done by Dekalb. I wonder if the students’ parents have been notified.

    4
  59. @No Contact Tracing: We should all know by now that the county is just pretending. They are not doing anything viable to stop the spread of COVID. People can only take care of themselves and their loved ones.

    7

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