Teachers and Students Are Coming Back To School

Community spread appears to no longer be a factor in the schedule for opening schools in DeKalb. DeKalb schools administration is moving forward with getting teachers and students back into school.

Message From DeKalb Schools Administration

Although the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing, DCSD’s leadership, with guidance from the COVID-19 Task Force, CDC, and DeKalb County Board of Health, agrees that we must be vigilant and focus on the mitigation strategies to reduce transmission and prepare for re-opening schools in January 2021. The District will proceed with high quality instruction in a concurrent learning environment. The concurrent learning environment will support students based on their families’ choice to either attend school in-person or continue with distance/remote learning.

Key Dates

Cohorts
Your school is organizing classes into two cohorts based on last name to adhere to social/physical distancing requirements and safety guidance. Your school will provide your child’s cohort assignment if you have chosen for your child to return for in person learning. If you did not complete the Intent to Return form, your child is being programmed as an in-person learner. However, parents may contact the local school by January 8, 2021 if you want to change your preference. School leaders will collaborate with families to align the schedules of siblings. In the hybrid learning model, Wednesdays will be reserved for small group instruction, tutoring, appointments for student conferencing, parent conferencing, services, professional learning, and instructional planning.

Re-Opening Schedule – January and February


614 responses to “Teachers and Students Are Coming Back To School

  1. Done with DeKalb

    Teachers, I hope that you will only be using your district-issued devices when you return to the classroom. Do not under any circumstances bring your personal devices–that’s bad for your personal security and besides, it’s the district’s job to provide appropriate materials. I worry that DeKalb hasn’t made the necessary technology upgrades and infrastructure changes to support a hybrid environment, but they’ve had 9 months to plan for this so let’s just see how it goes! CWH will be cheering for you and that’s enough, right?

    22
  2. I'm just saying.

    3808 American lives were lost to Covid-19 yesterday. This is the deadliest day of the pandemic. The Covid-19 death total has passed half of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic killed 675,000 Americans. This makes it the deadliest pandemic in US history. Covid-19 has killed over half of that total, which makes Covid-19 the 2nd deadliest pandemic in US history. I’m just saying.

    10
  3. “ US has the DEADLIEST day of the pandemic: Record 3,903 die and over 125,000 are admitted to hospitals as CDC warns the post-Christmas COVID surge could kill another 82,000 Americans in the next 24 days”

    As the cowards hide in their homes and keep silent, they send the women to the front lines. I lost respect for all of you responsible for this. I will forever remember you as the cowards you are.

    10
  4. @Yes: very good point that you are making, as the majority of teachers are women (76% nationally). By pointing this out you have touched on the reason as to why teachers never get any respect, do not get paid correctly for what they do, are expected to be martyrs for society. Women as a whole are still treated as second class citizens, so it is only natural that their lives would not be a priority when there is a crisis at hand.

    And let’s not forget that we are being sent to the frontlines with inadequate resources. It really changes your perspective on things when you realize that people are willingly sending you into a situation that is obviously dangerous and could make you sick or cause you to die. I will never look at my job the same again, and am counting the days until I can leave it forever and not look back.

    But then again, when you look at the United States and its treatment of more vulnerable populations, I guess this should come as no surprise.

    20
  5. DSW2Contributor

    Yet another example of Covid spreading at a school, this one from New Jersey:
    ——————————————————————–
    “At least 83 students or staff members caught COVID-19 at one Essex County school in what appears to be the largest outbreak reported in a single New Jersey school building, according to new state data.

    State health officials did not release the name of the school, the municipality or any other information about the outbreak, citing the need to protect the privacy of students or teachers who tested positive. It is unclear if the outbreak was in a public or private school.”
    ——————————————————————–
    https://www.nj.com/education/2020/12/83-kids-or-teachers-caught-covid-19-in-njs-largest-reported-school-outbreak-state-says.html

    9
  6. DSW2Contributor

    “Nearly 100 New Jersey schools have had COVID-19 outbreaks, new stats say. Here’s what that means.”
    https://www.nj.com/education/2020/12/nearly-100-nj-schools-have-had-covid-19-outbreaks-new-stats-say-heres-what-that-means.html

    5
  7. I just found out our Superintendent sent out a letter to all parents on December 20. https://decaturish.com/2020/12/when-pressed-dekalb-county-schools-declines-to-cite-metric-in-reopening-decision/

    4
  8. You know what, on Facebook in the Dekalb site about returning f2f, there was a Dunwoody mom on there posting things like: “Do any of you even know of a teacher who died from catching Covid at school?” Literally made me sick when I read that. She was screaming about wanting her child to get their f2f instruction. I wonder how she’s feeling now that one of our Cobb teachers did pass away from Covid? And several others are in the ICU? Obviously Cobb was not ready to open and there’s a strong strain going around their schools. How is she sleeping at night after her comments? How will she feel when it happens to one of us? Or is she so selfish our lives will not matter to her?

    13
  9. DCSD Family Town Hall Meeting
    DCSD FAMILY ENGAGEMENT WAS LIVE
    Family Town Hall December 14

    On Facebook: search that and read the 1.3k comments. There’s some real nasty comments from the mothers about teachers. Now after reading, decide if you still want to be a teacher after knowing what the families we are giving our lives for really think about us.

    12
  10. Safety concerns

    @Yes,

    In September, Decaturish interviewed two face to face proponents. The level of COVID denial and dismissiveness was astounding. One even air quotes “cases” when talking about the COVID numbers. It seems that their lack of empathy has become contagious.
    https://youtu.be/5QWKgVdfDho

    6
  11. @ DSW2 Contributor and @ Yes,

    I have been recalling all these poems about death that I read when I was in school. Here is a poor imitation of a famous one by Emily Dickinson. I call this “I Cannot Teach from the Grave.”

    Though I did not want to stop for Death –
    Super Watson-Harris made Him stop for me –
    His carriage held not just me
    But also her superintendency.

    We slowly drove – He knew no haste
    I had been put away
    By my labor in the school
    Because of Watson-Harris’ incivility.

    We passed a school, in North DeKalb,
    Where children strove at their parents’ behest
    Regardless of the cost to me
    Or my eternal recess.

    I wore a tie, a wreath of lilies,
    I was dressed in my finest suit,
    My eyes were shut, I could not see
    Super Watson-Harris mocking me.

    We paused before the AIC
    Where 300+ were assembled round
    Ghostlike in the chilled air
    Holding tombstones for all to see

    But me. I was no more.
    Super Watson-Harris had ordained
    My meeting with Eternity,
    Death’s COVID reality.

    9
  12. “ US braces for Super-COVID tsunami: Fauci warns the 70% more contagious strain – which has brought UK to its knees – will now rip through America as two cases are confirmed in California and Colorado”

    Hello-are the board members reading the news at all? Your sending us into a public place Monday. Please tell me you have spent your “break” educating yourself about the dangers of sending teachers into the building.

    14
  13. DSW2Contributor

    Bibb County Schools moves all students to remote learning throughout Jan. 2021 – All students, including those enrolled in face-to-face instruction, will now be remote:
    https://www.13wmaz.com/article/news/local/bibb-county-schools-moves-all-students-to-remote-learning-in-january-2021/93-b19e6ca5-d985-4553-acc4-58ea932de5d0

    14
  14. Nope, no attention to the news or reality

    No one is reading the news. The superintendent posted a Washington Post article in her parent letter that says urban districts are returning to school. The letter was from October, and many, possibly most of those districts ended up scrapping the plans. Baltimore, California,Chicago etc. So while the headline may sound like it supports her decision the article actually doesn’t. No, they are not reading the news, or quite frankly the guidance from the CDC. They have adopted partial mitigation measures, ignoring key practices like screening and ventilation at a time when community spread guarantees Covid is coming in. You can not compare to places like NYC which have mandatory random testing in place. If you are so committed to the students that need face to face, get creative. Open special Ed in buildings with adequate ventilation. Set up testing sites like Fulton. Or post articles that make you feel good and hope the details don’t matter.

    14
  15. SomewhereElseWherePeopleCareAbouEachOther

    Thanks for the update. For some reason I didn’t realize until now Feb 8 is when everyone goes back to F2F. We will withdraw our kid.

    7
  16. @somewhere: Not everyone will go back F2F, but the two A and B F2F cohorts will be combined and come back 4 days a week on 2/8. Your student, like mine, can still stay at home on the VL platform. As long as the spread is this substantial, they cannot make parents send their kids back to school. As you can see, I am a parent and a teacher, and I am not sending my kid back because I do not trust them vis a vis safety and mitigation. As for leaving the county, if you have young children or years left until HS graduation, I would seriously consider it. This is not going to get better.

    20
  17. “ UK declares record-high 55,892 cases and another 964 deaths as SAGE warns even a brutal lockdown with schools shut for almost ALL children might not be enough to contain ‘mutant’ Covid amid fears restrictions will last into summer”

    Hello, Board Members. This is today’s UK headline. The mutant virus that is currently going around the UK is here. What is being done to protect your employees? Hello? It’s time to communicate with us. We open Monday. We need clear communication that you know the mutant virus is invading the US and we are being protected. How are you protecting us?

    15
  18. DCSD commitment to the mental and physical health of employees and students.

    8
  19. I'm Just Saying

    Teachers are going to go back, they’re going to whine because they actually have to leave their glass houses… shame. I’m just saying. 3 days and counting. Praise to Watson Harris!

    2
  20. And we are documenting here that there’s no communication about our safety. We will keep documenting it too.

    15
  21. Educated Educator

    Seriously? Have you been listening to the news or reading the papers? This virus is real! So real, that I’ve attended four graveside services for loved ones who died senselessly from this virus. Have you thought about the teachers who have already left the profession. What are you and the #1 cheerleader going to do when all the teachers of Dekalb decide to walk off in unison?

    17
  22. SomewhereInMyHouse

    Teacher123: thank you for the clarification. In this trying time I hope the community will come together and work hard for the shared goal. The virus is penetrating left and right if we don’t think and act collectively. Hope for a better year. We will see.

    5
  23. “ On New Year’s, Georgia hospitals are running out of beds, and, most crucially, staff, for all patients. Hospital officials in Georgia issued a statement begging people to wear masks and distance, openly warning that health care will have to be rationed.”

    AJC headline today. But opening the school is ok?

    21
  24. Irresponsible of the board to be silent on the subject too. I get it, Harris is in hiding, but why is the board hiding? Someone at the top has to step up and stop the opening of the schools on Monday. You can’t all hide and pretend like this problem will go away.

    21
  25. DSW2Contributor

    ^ @Yes – the board does *NOT* have a say about F2F/reopening the buildings.

    3
  26. But as leaders, wouldn’t they want to be involved? It’s like we have no leadership right now. Ok, I accept it. We officially have no leadership in DeKalb. Good luck next week.

    14
  27. This sounds like NYC last spring. Looks like we are headed in that direction if someone does not do the right thing in DeKalb and the metro.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-12-31/l-a-county-hospital-hit-breaking-point-no-one-would-believe-this-is-in-the-united-states

    7
  28. Right, things are about to get really bad and I don’t want to be in the middle of it.

    9
  29. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^ @YES, the decision about whether to be virtual or F2F is a decision about the day-to-day running of schools. The school board is prohibited from being involved in the day-to-day running of schools.

    5
  30. Ok, thx DSW. It would just be really nice if *anyone* made a public announcement acknowledging that they know things are looking bad and they are monitoring the situation. That’s the least they could do to give us some peace of mind before next week.

    15
  31. waitingforgodot

    DSW2 Contributor,

    The board does have to hold the superintendent accountable AND the board does have to work with the superintendent to ensure there are adequate facilities.

    Right now the school isn’t communicating anything to anyone, so in that case, doesn’t the board have the responsibility to make sure the school district does communicate its plan?

    Michael Thurmond is doing another code red alert for Dekalb. Maybe someone can get that former superintendent to talk to this one.

    30
  32. Check out this information:
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=208380400933638&id=100052850382852&sfnsn=mo

    Interesting how we follow data in EVERY aspect of education, except when it comes to deciding whether it’s safe to teach/learn F2F.

    15
  33. “ Georgia ICU bed space usage is highest its ever been during the pandemic
    Currently, more than 2,600 ICU beds are being used up in Georgia. That’s nearly 89% of all ICU beds in the state.”

    “Year closes out with Georgia seeing largest single-day spike in reported COVID-19 cases”

    More of today’s headlines. Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s headlines.

    6
  34. It is so inconceivable people are ignoring COVID 19 pandemic/ germwarfare. Physicians are already beginning to ration care in California. Received an Dekalb alert this afternoon. So ironic that CWH and the BOE are not even communicating. CWH is doing her military strategy which is calling on the troops (principals, teachers and support staff etc.) to enter the school building with out any equipment other than masks and 2 months of cleaning supplies to satisfied the Quality Basic Education Act funding. No daily operation guidelines and decision trees regarding COVID 19 is hazardous. Governor Kemp should make an exception for Dekalb, yet Dekalb needs to make up the time lost by having school over the summer.
    Any military general armed with “data” will not risk losing his/ her troops when he/she can wait next month or two for the vaccines for his men/women in uniform. Also, the general will demand updated facilities especially HVAC for protect his/her troops from any threats of bioweapons. The enemy here is COVID 19.

    13
  35. The Hawk… Why have school in summer? Virtual has been happening since August. And to the person that said teachers need to come out of their glass houses…. I’m just saying… These houses have small children in them, older parents, people with health issues, grandparents, great gparents. Nasty comment! Wow!

    15
  36. waitingforgodot

    Did the district really send something at 9pm on New Year’s Eve that is just as ambiguous as all communications regarding in-person work and in-person teaching?

    Read this newest communication to know how much you are supported.

    Why is it a hardship request and not a common sense request?

    Anyone want to explain how a hardship request to work remotely can last for thirty days if in-person instruction is supposed to begin on January 19?

    30
  37. @waitingforgodot
    Just read that foolish Newsflash. And what constitutes a hardship? Hell, let’s all fill it out and see what happens.

    34
  38. I think the admin team is looking to see how many teachers apply for ada, fmla, and this latest hardship request. This will determine how many will be approved. Gwinnett changed the requirements for ada approval for 2nd semester because too many were approved and it placed an extra burden on f2f teachers. So now teachers who were approved for ada 1st semester have been denied for 2nd semester, now that more students are returning. 30 days gives the admin team time to see if there are enough teachers to cover f2f and how many students will stay virtual. If enough stay virtual, I’m sure more applications will be approved. If more return, more applications will be denied.

    11
  39. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^ @waitingforgodot — Consensus within my circle is that F2F will NOT resume on January 19 but that teachers will still be required to report to school and do their virtual learning presentations from their classrooms.

    Tonight’s newsflash with the hardship request to work remotely seems to confirm this.

    6
  40. Spectacular. 9:17 PM on New Year’s Eve. Here are some highlights:

    Teachers and staff, who are ready to return, may do so on January 4th.

    Teachers and staff, who have submitted the required documentation to request an ADA accommodation and have been approved, may continue to work remotely.

    Teachers and staff, who have submitted the required documentation to request an ADA accommodation and have not been approved, may continue to work remotely until the Division of Human Resources determines eligibility.

    Teachers and staff experiencing hardships may notify their immediate supervisors, complete the Hardship Request Application, and continue to work remotely for 30 days. At the end of the 30-day window, the hardship application will be reviewed. (Note: The Hardship Request Application must be submitted no later than Friday, January 8, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. through the following link: https://survey.sogosurvey.com/r/8UPcR4)

    Really? Teachers MAY return on Jan. 4? Such decisive language!

    11
  41. So, I just checked my work email for the Newsflash and the following were my takeaways after reading the message:

    1) Why is it that we as employees always get communication from the district during late night hours and not during business hours when we can contact someone in the central office to ask questions? I have literally received messages similar to this at midnight in the past. This seems so unprofessional and would be frowned upon if we as teachers were to do this to parents.

    2) Why is the district trying to make it seem as though the teachers and school staff are choosing individually whether or not they will return to working from the buildings?! “Teachers and staff, who are ready to return, may do so on January 4th.” Excuse me, what?! The email literally states that staff can return to the building IF they are ready to do so, but in reality, we don’t have a choice and are out of a job if we don’t return in person on January 4th. This email is basically a facade to give the appearance of options, when there are no true options for staff members who don’t need accommodations! So again, everyone gets a choice but us! I basically interpreted this email from the district as, “Yes, we will still be opening our buildings for in person work starting Monday regardless of how reckless the decision is. Show up or else!”

    15
  42. DSW2Contributor

    ^^ @Edugator, you comment makes me think you missed how the newsflash used the word “may.”

    If you are not ready to return then just submit a hardship request application and also notify your supervisor. Do that over this weekend and then you can continue to work from home on Monday (Jan 4) and the following 29 days.

    Happy New Year.

    6
  43. DSW2Contributor

    ^^@Nikki – ” The email literally states that staff can return to the building IF they are ready to do so, but in reality, we don’t have a choice and are out of a job if we don’t return in person on January 4th. ”
    ———————————————————————————
    Nikki, your interpretation is wrong.

    Submit a hardship request, notify your supervisor and then you can continue to work remotely on Monday (Jan 4.)

    Just do it and don’t wait to ask questions of the Palace.

    6
  44. If you click on the link for the Hardship Request Application, here is what is stated at the top of the application:

    “Hardship Request Application
    Required Information

    Section A – To be completed by the employee (or bookkeeper in the absence of the employee)

    Please note that all paperwork must be submitted and approved prior to modifying your current work schedule. Failure to submit the proper paperwork may result in Leave Without Pay. ”

    Sounds like it has to be approved before you take the 30 days of hardship.

    4
  45. DSW2Contributor

    GA DPH data as of 12/31/2020, 2:50:10 PM:

    Dekalb County, % Positive Last Two Weeks: 11.8%.

    Dekalb County, % PCR Tests Positive: 15.7
    Dekalb County, 7-Day Moving Average: 13.6

    Statewide, % PCR Tests Positive: 20.5
    Statewide, 7-Day Moving Average: 17.9

    3
  46. Smoke and Mirrors?

    “Nikki, your interpretation is wrong.“
    We should not need to parse emails from the Superintendent. We have metrics, but we don’t use them. We have hardship leave apply and it’s yours, but only if we approve it. My first reaction to this email was gratitude that the district was trying to do the right thing in the face of a surge the size of which we still don’t know. But listening to the confusion, and seeing the contradictions already, I’m beginning to fear this is more smoke and mirrors.

    17
  47. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^ @Teacher, read the hardship application again more carefully. Realize that you are not changing your “current work schedule!”
    ————————————————————–
    ^ Smoke & Mirrors, the newsflash says this:

    If you are willing to go back to your building, great, show up in person on Monday.

    If you are not able to go back, then submit a hardship request, tell your immediate supervisors and you can continue to work the same schedule you’ve been working for the next 30 days.
    ————————————————————–
    Everyone, please stop arguing with me. Use your energy to get your hardship application forms in and to notify your immediate supervisors.

    15
  48. The section of the application that concerns me …
    I agree to accept the alternative work assignment assigned by my immediate supervisor and that such assignment is not an adverse employment action under Georgia or federal law.

    8
  49. Henri P de Vastey

    Let us wish Happy New Year to each other!

    Let us hope that 2021 brings us health, peace, wisdom, and courage!

    Let us remember that we are all Americans by birth, by choice, or by aspiration!

    Let us remember that our nation’s students have survived 2 world wars and will surely survive this pandemic!

    Let us remember that natural disasters (such as Covid-19) are hardships!

    Let us thank Providence for surviving 2020 for too many did not!

    Let us expect and demand the best from our local and national leaders!

    Let us enjoy the first day of 2021!

    16
  50. I'm just saying.

    3460 Americans lives were lost to Covid-19 yesterday. I’m just saying.

    2
  51. I think it is stupid to go back this lady cares nothing about teachers or staff. I know just recently that a Dekalb high basketball team just shut down because of Covid and another Dekalb county team shut down earlier in the season. So this supertident thinks that she can play with people lives
    Teacher have power if we start taking off 5 or 10 teachers at a time and they can’t get subs let’s see what will happen then. When I go back I will be outside working because I don’t trust some adult because they don’t take Covid seriously look at the leader of Dekalb she definitely doesn’t take Covid seriously. We just to all have to stick together as a teacher and staff.

    21
  52. Chaos and confusion

    Why is everything this district does haphazard and not thoroughly thought out. So now teachers and staff can take a 30 day hardship but kids are still returning to the building. It is unfair to place this burden on school leadership. No one has offered ANY solutions about how to replace 10-20 staff members who choose to stay home. We didn’t have subs pre pandemic and we are definitely not going to have subs during a raging pandemic. I need parents to ask the District about how on earth their students are going to be protected with inadequate supervision. Parents, please don’t rush and send your kids to chaos. Dekalb has a lot of work to do and they are not ready. Demand real answers and not the fluff you’ve been given.

    29
  53. Chaos and confusion
    The hardship application only lasts until students return. It’s written on the final page. You apply for 30 days but it’s only good up until students return.
    I’m thinking students won’t be returning as quickly as DCSD has planned.

    12
  54. Dekalb Must Do Better

    The bottom line… Dekalb is playing everybody for a fool. They are once again pitting its stakeholders against each other by creating unnecessary chaos and confusion. Parents are being played by thinking they will f2f option which is being contradicted by the 30-day “hardship” option and teachers/employees are also being played thinking that they will actually be approved when applying for any of these options. They are trying to play both sides of the fence by not being forthcoming, forthright, and transparent about reopening school buildings and work places. None of this makes any sense and in the end the students that everyone claim are at the forefront of these decisions are the ones who will be most negatively impacted by all of these shenanigans created by silly adults. Dekalb must do better.

    35
  55. Examples, please

    Happy New Year! Can someone provide examples of hardships? I’m trying to see something.

    7
  56. Educated Educator

    According to the application, you may have young preschool children in need of daycare or young school aged children that will continue working remotely from home and you do not have anyone to care for them, or caring for sick child or older adult…. after that, you must check off five statements swearing that you are providing facts/truth.

    10
  57. Every Sane Teacher Will Apply for Hardship

    Guarantees at least 3o days to avoid the death trap. Dekalb deserves empty schools on Monday.

    23
  58. waitingforgodot

    Examples, please:

    Can understand why you’re asking. The district tells employees to check the resources, but salary schedules and benefits are all I see.

    Federal employees can request hardships for anything from caring for sick parents to lack of medical facilities.

    You could link the AJC article on December 30 “Deluged Hospitals Warn of Rationing Care, Beg Revelers to Stay Home” and the CEO’s New Year’s Eve Emergency Alert.

    Could also look at the CDC’s Resuming Business Toolkit. Dekalb has not announced the in-person or virtual health checks of employees entering a facility that the CDC recommends. Unlike other places requiring F2F work, Dekalb isn’t testing or screening employees returning to in-person work or asking employees to sign an affidavit. Go through that toolkit and list each thing the district hasn’t done.

    Could just include the lack of any information. Have employees ever received anything explaining what they can and can’t do while working in the buildings, which spaces are off limits, contract tracing? Our local restaurant has more information about how its managing take out.

    19
  59. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^^^ @Dekalb Must Do Better – “The bottom line… Dekalb is playing everybody for a fool”
    ————————————————————-
    The Palace has *again* completely fucked over its Principals.

    On December 14, Watson-Harris held a Town Hall in which she promised to follow public health guidelines. The very next day some Principals began hearing that we were going back to F2F. The day after that, December 16 –just two days after the Town Hall– the Palace blindsided Principals by calling an All-Principal meeting on really short notice. They were commanded to be ready for F2F on January 4. I posted about that meeting under Stan’s “DeKalb Schools Reopening Plan” topic; go read my comments about it there. It was bat-shit crazy – the Palace actually stopped the online meeting and would not continue until the recording functionality had been disabled.

    Our Principals did what they were told to do and spent the last two weeks working their asses off — THROUGH THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY BREAK — to be ready for F2F on Monday.

    Then, at the last possible moment — 9:17 PM on New Years Eve — the Palace put out a directive saying any employee who fills out a form can continue to be virtual for the next 30 days. So now the Principals have to spend the next two weeks figuring out how to staff for the F2F return because the fucking cowards in the Palace are too spineless to announce that F2F is not going to happen.

    Teachers and Staff, please realize that your Principals no longer have the energy to fight for you and to ensure your safety. They are completely spent.

    Protect yourself by submitting a hardship request. Nobody is going to protect you. You have to look out for yourself.

    46
  60. Alison Mercer

    https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/
    Just under her photo, click the Contact Mrs. Watson-Harris prompt to directly send her an email.

    3
  61. Principals getting f*cked

    My principal has been fielding frantic calls all day and can’t get any answers from the Palace to clarify.

    13
  62. Disgusted with DeKalb

    Dekalb changes course again! Parents beware! Superintendent Cheryl Watson Harris sent an email to school leaders late on New Year’s Eve stating that “The week of January 4, 2021 will be an asynchronous week for our scholars. Please ensure that students are provided high quality work to be completed independently with the assistance of a caring adult.  This will afford you the opportunity to collaborate with your staff to review, check, and modify plans in preparation for our students to return to the building”.  This last minute change is another example of how the district continuously abuses their students, parents and employees by communicating last minute changes that interfere with their personal time and lack planning and forethought. Who makes a decision to cancel virtual school on New Year’s Eve and doesn’t send an official notification to the parents?  Students CANNOT afford a week of asynchronous learning! Our students are already so far behind! This imposes on parents because we are the ones who will have to facilitate the support needed to get a week’s worth of schoolwork completed. Initially, parents received communication that Jan.4-5 will be asynchronous learning days. Now, the entire week is devoted to asynchronous instruction? Where is the communication DeKalb? How do you expect kids to thrive when you keep making unnecessary changes? 

    15
  63. Disappointed

    @Diagusted with Dekalb:

    You hit the nail on the head with this one! It’s not teachers vs parents here…the district is keeping ALL us in the dark here with their lack of communication. The poor principals now have to spend next week fielding what must be a ton of emails from teachers requesting virtual learning support with no guidance from the district.

    Our principal isn’t even sending his own children back to Dekalb schools. He has withdrawn them and will be enrolling them in pods. That shows even administration has little faith in the district. It’s an upsetting time to be associated with this county, as a parent or a teacher.

    24
  64. @Disgusted With DeKalb,
    What about all of the kids who have final exams beginning January 7?

    How can DCSD throw these kids under the bus by having asynchronous learning right before and during exams?

    This is so irresponsible that I can’t even find the words.

    Yet unless parents and kids raise holy you-know-what, this is what will happen.

    I have tried to be positive about the new Superintendent but this is the last straw. Who cares about the kids????

    19
  65. Keep school virtual as it has been until Tuesday, January 19th.
    Bring the teachers back to the buildings that day for two weeks.
    Then bring students in at the beginning of February.
    That gives all of us time to process this and plan accordingly.
    First semester will end, exams can be given as teachers had planned.
    I wonder how many more times this schedule will change before Monday morning?

    13
  66. DSW2Contributor

    Happy New Year.

    GA DPH data as of 01/01/2021, 2:50:10 PM:

    Dekalb County, % Positive Last Two Weeks: 12.5%.

    Dekalb County, % PCR Tests Positive: 13.2
    Dekalb County, 7-Day Moving Average: 14.2

    Statewide, % PCR Tests Positive: 17.7
    Statewide, 7-Day Moving Average: 18.6

    11
  67. Wanting better for my students

    From an article in June. If it wasn’t so sad, I’d laugh.

    During a June 11 virtual town hall, Watson-Harris said her first orders of business are to create a detailed return plan after COVID-19 school closures and fill vacant positions in district leadership.

    I’m sure reopening schools is an important incredibly challenging task. It would probably be significantly easier if the central office cared at all about the whether their directives are at all appropriate or implementable. The pandemic may have dealt a particularly difficult set of cards, but many, many districts have done far better than this.

    6
  68. “The pandemic may have dealt a particularly difficult set of cards, but many, many districts have done far better than this.” Yep.

    DCSD leadership has had 9.5 months to prepare a detailed return plan. This is enough time to prepare lots of plans with lots of contingencies. If I didn’t have a plan that made sense after 9.5 months, I’d be fired.

    14
  69. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^ @Teach1 – “Bring the teachers back to the buildings [on Tuesday, January 19th] for two weeks.”
    ——————————————-
    DCSD can no longer bring back all the teachers on Jan 19 now that DCSD is allowing teachers & staff to spend 30-days working offsite/virtually for hardship reasons.

    16
  70. So if we fill the 30 day hardship out are we supposed to show up Monday?

    6
  71. The hardship application clearly states that the hardship is only valid until students return to buildings. This is stated on the final page with the assurances of truth prior to submission.

    Additionally, the email states only those comfortable returning to work must do so on the 4th, so??????

    6
  72. I have not been notified next week is asynchronous. Was anyone else told this? Is this reliable information? Wouldn’t teachers have been told by now?

    5
  73. @Yes,
    No, teachers would not have been told by now because Dekalb sucks.

    9
  74. @Teacher
    Just more confusion by Dekalb. They say its for 30 days. Then says that its until students return. Which group of students are they referring to? Not everyone teaches kindergarten, or 6th graders or 9th graders. Just more BS to filter through. It says a lot about an employer when you have employees spending New Years day trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Unacceptable!

    22
  75. John Bernina

    Interesting article of a study showing that children in schools are in fact substantial spreaders of the COVID virus
    https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/213/10/covid-19-children-and-schools-overlooked-and-risk
    Unfortunately, I’m not hopefully that the Superintendent or the Board of Education will listen and act based on facts and reason. In late October the superintendent stated that schools won’t reopen if the number of infections for the past 14-days is over 100 per 100k inhabitants. That measure is now 6 times higher at 604. In mid-December she stated that nobody will go back into school buildings if the infection rate is over 10%. That rate is now 25% higher at 12.5%. We are sending our children to school to learn fact-based decision making. It’s data that leads to conclusions and decisions not the other way around. What kind of credibility has the DeKalb County School System to educate our children when its own leadership ignores facts and data if they don’t fit their pre-determined outcome?

    19
  76. DSW2Contributor

    ^^^^^ @Teacher – ” the email states only those comfortable returning to work must do so on the 4th, so??????”
    ——————————————————————-
    If you have a hardship *and* you submit the hardship form *and* you notify your immediate supervisors, then you can continue to work from home for 30 days, starting Monday.

    [Obviously, the Palace and/or Watson-Harris have not thought thru the repercussions of their 9:17 PM New Years Eve email. That is not your problem. If you have a hardship stay home. Save yourself.]

    14
  77. Educated Educator

    Yes. The full week is asynchronous so teachers can prepare their rooms.

    4
  78. @John Bernina,
    your link to MJA, Medical Journal of Australia, is great. In particular, the article includes this:

    Schools must not remain open for face‐to‐face teaching in the setting of substantial community transmission. In regions where community transmission is low, risk reduction strategies should be implemented in schools as a matter of urgency.

    DeKalb clearly is “in the setting of substantial community transmission” yet DCSD will offer face-to-face teaching.

    Wow.

    9
  79. Dekalb Teacher Too

    How/when was it communicated that the whole week next week is asynchronous? I don’t see that anywhere.

    19
  80. Talktoatherapist

    I just read through all of these comments. The same handful (small sample size) of people posting over and over. Which is on par for internet forums and social media. I feel sorry for people who spend so much time bantering and getting likes with randos on the internet. My personal experience is that is usually the people lacking IQ, EQ, NQ, etc who do so frequently. They need that dopamine rush and posting on the internet is the easiest way.

    2020 has sucked for most everyone. Get over yourselves. You are not special. None of us are. There are 7B in the world. Go study some philosophy or lean into your religion. Get comfortable with your morality.

    Covid is not the black death, not even close. Even if it were – maybe it will lead to an Enlightenment 2.0.

    My favorite – All of the teachers are going to quit! And do what exactly? The meadian personal income in the US is $31K. I hope y’all are taking coding camps. Ha.

    Everything will be ok. Don’t let fear and greed rule your life.

    10
  81. @ Talktoatherapist,

    I believe the word you wanted was “mortality.” Perhaps your incorrect word choice was your subconscious telling YOU something.

    Don’t sit down and suffocate, baby, HUA syndrome, you know.

    Peace, out!

    12
  82. Talktoatherapist

    @Humpty Dance

    You are correct – I meant “mortality”

    Is that all you have? A missed “t”? Case in point to my statement. Bless your heart.

    4
  83. I'm just saying.

    1917 American lives were lost to Covid-19 yesterday. I’m just saying.

    2
  84. Find a hobby

    @talktoatherapist
    Take your own advice. Who wakes up and reads 585 comments on a post? Perhaps your “Q’s” are low considering the amount of time you’ve spent reading these comments. Find a hobby… perhaps playing in the street.

    6
  85. Talktoatherapist

    @find a hobby.

    ‘Who wakes up and reads 585 comments on a post?” umm, check the time stamp of my orginal post. Again, another case in point.

    I have plenty of hobbies, thank you. One of them is ethical social media and internet forum hacking.

    2
  86. High-minded discourse...

    @Talktoatherapist

    You’re making fun of people for not responding to the your argument…which was…*checks notes*… people who post on the internet have low IQs and teachers should ‘get over it’ because other people have it rough.

    Also, you used a word incorrectly while calling people who post on the internet stupid IN A POST ON THE INTERNET.

    Irony is dead and you killed it and you didn’t even apologize.

    What argument/statement are people supposed to respond to?
    ‘You can’t get another job, sucks for you.’
    Response: Most people can get another job.

    ‘Life sucks so don’t complain.’
    Response: Thanks for the advice, I’ll continue to advocate for myself even if you don’t like it.

    ‘Everyone dies, embrace the darkness or get Jesus or something.’
    Response: Maybe you should see a therapist…

    Also, you misspelled ‘median.’

    11
  87. Talktoatherapist

    @High-minded discourse

    Reading comprehension FTW. Maybe you should check your notes again as you seemed to miss the mark on almost everything I stated.

    The only thing you correctly pointed out is a spelling error. Congrats!

    FYI I wasn’t asking anyone to argue/comment on anything. Of course, your seemingly fragile ego couldn’t help itself.

    4
  88. waitingforgodot

    Dekalb Teacher Too,

    Like every communication in this district, it’s by drip and rumor.

    Some people have received notice that the district might be announcing this. It would seem that the person or people who create the calendars and organize virtual learning for all schools don’t reference their own materials nor understand that the district has elementary, middle and high schools.

    I guess when you’re not accountable for anything, you can do whatever you want and punt to principals who know little to no more than teachers.

    5
  89. High-minded discourse...

    @talktoatherapist

    Aww…somebody’s feelings are hurt. You didn’t make an argument. You’re trolling and now you’re getting mad because you’re getting called on it/trolled back.

    Hilariously thin-skinned. Dish it out, but can’t take it, etc.

    Seek professional help immediately. I’m concerned for your mental well-being.

    Just for fun, what arguments/statements were you making, oh champion of rhetoric?

    3
  90. High-minded discourse...

    @High-minded discourse…

    Thanks for providing another data point supporting my orginal statements.

    Time for me to move on. Have a great weekend.

    3
  91. Be Kind Please

    Can we just be respectful please? I honestly don’t know that there is a right answer to this. Students are at risk academically, emotionally and in some cases physically. The numbers are high so going back to school has real risks. There is no perfect solution and the administration is in a no win situation. There’s lots of opportunities for improvement but attacking one another should not be the solution. State your opinion but please it’s a new year let’s start it with kindness and compassion. There’s so much hate let’s be better examples for our children. Happy New Year.

    10
  92. Educated Educator

    I couldn’t have worded it better. Thank you. People are entitled to their opinions, but should be respectful about it.

    1
  93. High-minded discourse...

    @BeKindPlease @Educated Educator

    There’s no right answer, but there are definitely wrong answers…

    ‘Get over yourselves. You are not special.’

    ‘Get comfortable with your mortality’

    That’s not an argument, it is trolling. Treating people who are trolling like they are making an argument and hoping they don’t influence the discourse is a, sadly, fatal mistake we’ve been making repeatedly for way too long.

    Nobody would say those things to another person’s face. It is the anonymity of the internet that emboldens these people.

    10
  94. Bad for finals

    Asynchronous the entire week heading into final exams for high school students!!!! Students are coming off the winter break, have a week of learning without the teacher and then are expected to take final exams. NOT a good plan!!!!! It’s not too late to change – DCSD county administration- come up with a better plan. Please!

    7
  95. Just sayin....

    Something to think about….
    The numbers are WAY too high for the teachers to come into the classroom SAFELY.
    Some vocal parents want their students F2F.
    How can we save the “palace”?????
    Say we are going back, give the teachers options to Not return and….
    TURN PARENTS AND TEACHERS AGAINST EACH OTHER….

    12
  96. @ Just sayin, I thought I was being paranoid when I suggested the same thing to my husband this morning. Offer a f2f option and timeline, allow employees to submit hardship applications, then tell parents there are not enough employees to support f2f. This will shift the blame/burden to employees.

    I don’t think DCSD admin is savvy enough to have come up with this but who knows.

    9
  97. The hardship application ends on the day students return to the building, if that comes before the 30 day period ends.

    2
  98. DSW2Contributor

    @Talktoatherapist – “My favorite – All of the teachers are going to quit! And do what exactly”
    ————————————————————–
    Talktoatherapist, it sounds like you are not familiar with Georgia’s teacher retirement system (TRS). TRS provides a *full* retirement benefit once a teacher puts 30 years in. Teachers who were education majors in college start their teaching careers at age 21 or 22, so they’re eligible for a full retirement by age 51 or 52. TRS also allows teachers to buy up to 3 years or service, so a young 48-year old teacher with 27 years of service can retire with a full benefit assuming she can afford to buy those three years. You can confirm what I’m saying is true by reading this page on the TRS website:
    https://www.trsga.com/employer/eligibility-for-retirement/

    You should also realize that many of our teachers are married women who, being teachers, earn considerably less than their male husbands. We have teachers whose husbands are professionals that are working remotely because their employers want to minimize the risk of their high-value employees becoming infected. It would be idiotic for these teacher-wives to risk infecting their households by continuing to teach when DCSD forces everyone to go F2F.

    I do NOT believe that most teachers are going to quit or retire over F2F, but I think we’re likely to lose 5% (1 per school) of our teachers and that would be devastating. There are no subs available to take over classes and teachers are just *not* interchangeable — you do not want your child taking Precalculus from the French teacher assigned to cover math because the math teacher retired. The same thing goes for our elementary schools — a PreK teacher, a 2nd grade teacher, and a 5th grade teacher all hold different certificates!

    9

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