Teachers - when should schools reopen?

I’m being honest—I don’t have the answer to solve everybody’s situation. But things happen and plans change. Sometimes maybe parents have to sit down and go over everything and make different decisions.

Our little ward where we live went to 4 day (longer hours) school weeks. At first people freaked out----where would the children go on the 5th weekday, who would take care of them? But we’ve been doing it for years now and it has all worked out.

Like I said I don’t have the answers but I’m sure somebody does.

Y’all seem to be forgetting that children in schools have adults teaching them.

I teach in a Pre-K thru 8 grade school. We have a number of teachers over 60. Our librarian has type 1 diabetes. I have asthma. Three of the teachers in my school are currently pregnant. Our principal – who is only in her mid 30s – will have ongoing cancer treatments through October.

Look, the kids may not get sick, but the adults in the building are in danger of getting sick, and bringing that illness back to their own families. Some of our teachers care for elderly parents, and a couple have elderly relatives in their homes.

This is so much bigger than “children don’t get sick with Covid 19 so open the schools.”

They’re actually to protect others —it’s the equivalent of always having a handkerchief over your face to catch respiration before it’s in the air. It only works if everyone wears one.

Also, I think we need to worry more about the vice-signaling we’ve been seeing lately than any virtue signaling.

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Nice to meet you. :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

I quit at about that age after playing for a couple years, and should have quit sooner. Not a good activity for a totally tune deaf child.

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I have a truly bone-headed question that just came to me last night. It is not the first truly bone-headed question I’ve ever had in my life, and it won’t be the last. Here goes:

Imagine an idealized situation where everyone “socially distances”, wears their mask at all times when venturing anywhere that other people are going to be, keeps such forays to an absolute bare minimum, and otherwise either stays home or goes out into the open air where there are no other people.

It takes about two weeks for the CV virus to incubate and manifest itself (I’m making this assumption, not sure it’s necessarily true). So let’s say that everyone in this idealized situation does what I’ve described above, for good measure, let’s make it a month (four weeks).

In that time, isn’t everybody who has the virus going to go ahead, get sick from it, get better, and — there is no pleasant way to say this — those who have the virus and are of a high-risk group get even sicker, and either convalesce, or (this is the unpleasant part) die of it?

And once this has all run its course, shouldn’t the pandemic — at least within this idealized, hermetic “bubble” environment — burn itself up and nobody else within the “bubble” gets sick from there on out?

Extend this “bubble” to the size of the world itself. Shouldn’t the pandemic run its course and then “fizzle out”? Or is there an alternative scenario of the virus “eating up the whole world” — think Pac-Man eating dots — and basically infecting everyone? And if so, how?

Actually, that’s not just one question, it’s several. Virology is far from my field of expertise.

Any thoughts? (I’m probably overlooking something really basic here. Apologies in advance.)

I teach 11-16 year olds. Even before this pandemic I wiped down desks, door handles, and chairs in my room. I was one of two members from my department who didn’t have to take time off to self-isolate. Students should not be going back until September. Believe me, we can make students catch up. For younger children I think it’s harmful if they go back too soon and under restrictions - they can’t play or create as they used to and they can’t understand why not. To parents out there I’m going to say, don’t worry and use the online resources; if you don’t have access to the internet, just read, read, read. It’s the best education your child can have. You, parents, are the first teachers. Leave it to us to bring your children up to speed when it’s safe to do so.


One difference between Australia and the US is the availability of contact tracing—actively conducted in Australia early on, whereas we still don’t have this up and running adequately in the US.

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I really wish public schools would offer a default district supported homeschooling option through the district for all families—those who can do this (and want to) should be able to, while those who can’t should have the option to go in person (assuming no surge). I’m not excited about a “one size fits all” approach where all students are required to return in person.

Such an option would have the benefit of enhancing social distancing.

This is an outstanding idea!

Not all parents are education-savvy or homeschooling-savvy enough to be able to pick out the best textbooks for their children, assemble a curriculum, and teach it effectively. I would like to see some hybrid of traditional one-on-one home instruction, small online convocations (Zoom et al), and video and dynamic interactive online programs and websites for the publicly homeschooled student. And it should be free. As you well note, this would also help to alleviate the pressure of sheer numbers upon the schools, and make social distancing more feasible. More simply put, you don’t have nearly as many students on campus — the only ones who are there, are the ones whose families cannot feasibly homeschool, or who wish to learn in a traditional social setting.

We have the technology by which, theoretically, a student can get their entire education, from pre-K to Grade 12, without ever having to set foot on a campus. This doesn’t address the social aspect, nor things which by their very nature have to take place in-person (intramural and varsity sports, ROTC, student clubs, etc.), but it does provide a baseline academic experience.

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This is a really good idea.

I work in a hospital, and the huge majority of hospital workers are women. Many of them have children. Working full-time has always worked out for them, especially when the children are in school. Many of these women admit out loud that they are not really comfortable with caring for their children full-time–they claim that they were very bored and had no idea what do do for their children. They also claim that they are not cut out to be “homemakers”–they were bored, they don’t like to cook or clean, and they would rather work outside the home at their profession and pay others to cook, clean, and decorate their home

Judge them if you like, but I think we can all see that some women (and men) are better at homemaking and child-rearing than others.

I can tell you from personal experience over the last few months that these women are having a dreadful time trying to educate their children at home. First, they’re not home–so they have to wait until they are done with their shift and THEN go home and start a second job–teaching their children from the material that the professional teachers have posted online.

Second, many of them are weak in certain subjects; e.g., many of my co-workers in the lab love science and math and HATE English, history, and the other humanities. (I’m kind of the opposite–I like science, but hate math, and I love the humanities!). So they struggle with the subjects that the dislike, and it comes across to their children.

I love the idea of parents who are enjoying homeschooling having the choice of keeping their children at home, while others who are ready to burn books (or computers) because of homeschooling are more than ready to put their children back into a school with real teachers.

GREAT IDEA, PEACEABLE!! :slight_smile:

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that stinks… I pray everything works out for your son.

I think this is how it’s going to go down in my area. Teachers are losing their minds over it though. They are afraid they are going to be required to teach both an in-person class and also manage an online class, which would be incredibly time consuming. I’m actually looking at it as an opportunity though. My children are young and I am very concerned that their schools might be closed while mine isn’t. If I was able to teach my classes from home, that would solve that problem for me. However, I don’t think I’d like that long-term and I don’t want to lose my position in my school either.

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Early elementary education is very tactile and social. Screen-based learning is a poor substitute for actual interpersonal interaction. It is “better than nothing” in the case of a pandemic, but I don’t see it being an viable educational alternative unless the instruction is directed toward the parents as much as the student as in a Parents As Teachers setting.


Some homeschoolers are “real teachers”. I have a bachelor’s and two master’s, none in education, but nonetheless, I am capable of teaching in any school in the land. Public schools have requirements for teacher certification, you have to have had certain curricula, and so on. If they need to have staggered classes, students going to school in shifts, and so on, those extra teachers are going to have to come from somewhere — I have my doubts that teachers presently in place would long tolerate working 12-14 hour days, five or six days a week. They may end up having to relax those credential requirements, at least for the duration. Private schools, at least in my state, have no such requirement.

There is no need to burn the books — sell them to other homeschoolers. After having struggled for two years to make Saxon Math work, we have “voted Saxon off the island” and are replacing it with a more basic text. It is great if you have a motivated student who likes math to begin with. Otherwise, mileage may vary. Ours varies. The Saxon books are not cheap, and selling one for $50 (half price) is better than not selling it at all.

Everybody is just improvising the best they can. I have advocated that everyone just lose a year of school and start back again where they left off when the schools closed, but that would be politically impossible. It would also fall disproportionately hard on the socially, intellectually, and economically disadvantaged, as many disasters do.

This said, many homeschoolers teach at home from day one — their children never see the inside of a day school. It would almost never be “screen learning and nothing but screen learning”. Homeschool programs typically involve a hybrid of parent as teacher, youngsters studying on their own, field trips, video, online resources, outdoor activity, and some people get involved in cooperative activity with other families. The methodology is as varied as each family’s individual circumstances.

I understand that, but that’s kind of my point. Homeschooling isn’t the same as correspondence school. In a homeschooling situation, the parent is the teacher. They have to, you know, do stuff. The distance learning being designed by schools currently is being designed for students to hopefully do independently of their parents, as many of them do not have parents that can help them. This may be great for the over-achieving high schooler, but even the most motivated kindergartener is going to struggle with this on their own. If a public school was going to offer an authentic homeschooling curriculum for early childhood (as opposed to a response to a crisis, which is what we’ve got right now) the instruction would most likely be geared as much to the supervising adult as the actual student. This is not something that mom can just plug in, plop in front of their kid, and then go do a zoom meeting with their own employer. Maybe eventually, if the student has been brought up to work independently for a while, but not in kindergarten or 1st grade.

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My school district has four plans on the table. In the end, we will do what the governor and state health department tell us to do.

One plan that seems the most likely at this point, is to split every class in half. One group of students comes to school on Mondays and Tuesdays, the other group on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday is deep cleaning day for each classroom.

The days students are not in school, they are attending class at specific times via a live stream. They would also be given homework based on the classroom lessons they attended in person.

The current recommendation is to have only 10-15 kids in a class at a time. Our class sizes are 20-30. Every single classroom in the building is being used for our current classes. The only way to meet the current recommendation is to split the school in two.

I teach in an impoverished area, but we do have a Chromebook for each and every student in our district from Kindergarten to grade 12. We also have been using an online tracking and grading system for many years now. We can assign work and quizzes and post it to students through this system, so the online learning system is well in place already, thanks be to God!

Our problem is internet access for our families. A huge number of them don’t have it, and a hot spot doesn’t work well when you have three kids in the family all trying to Zoom or access their classwork online at the same time.

One last thing. When the state went on lock down, so many families in our school district lost their jobs. Our district’s education foundation transitioned from raising money for scholarships to raising money for hot spots, utilities, grocery store gift cards, and whatever immediate needs families have. So many of our staff donate to our foundation on a monthly basis. I am just so blessed to work in this district with these people.


The split classroom has to be the absolute worst “solution” I’ve heard. It doesn’t even work from a infection reduction stand point. Do they think that the kids just disappear for a while when they go home? They’re parents likely have to work and they are going to be taking their kids somewhere. Most likely a childcare center or a in-home childcare locations where they will be exposed to many other children. Then they come back in two days and bring the infection with them. This is not lessening the chance of exposure, its doubling it.

Are there any updates on school reopening? Universities seem to be planning for the fall semester. What about summer sessions for kids as well as college students? Any new announcements?

My district is only doing credit recovery for high school and it’s web-based. No summer school or camp for the younger kids.

This makes sense. Today I heard that public swimming parks are reopening in my area. This is where the kids spend their summers. I am not hearing anything about summer camps.

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