The Globe reports BPS is looking at a "hybrid" learning model for this fall, in which students would spend two days a week in school and do remote learning the other three days.
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I can't read the article. Why is going to school a couple of days a week safer?
Does it say?
I strongly suggest subscribing to quality newspapers. The Boston Globe is a quality newspaper.
But to answer your question, reduced density is safer. If you can't spread the students out more, because buildings are only so large and often used at their "normal" capacity, the other option that allows for *some* in-person learning is to have a smaller number of students present each day. That will allow you better distancing, fewer close contacts, etc.
The lede from the Globe story: Students in Boston will likely attend school in-person a couple of days a week this fall on a rotating basis. On the days they didn’t attend brick-and-mortar classes, they would learn from home, said Tammy Pust, a senior adviser to Boston’s superintendent of schools.
There is not enough room in the schools to put all the students six feet apart from one another all day. The normal density of students at most schools is far too high to comply with pandemic social distancing.
We can't build twice as many schools all of a sudden. We can't requisition extra space. And we can't hire twice as many teachers.
The only possible solutions will be ones which involve only part of the student body being in the school at one time, i.e. students in shifts. What are the configurations?
1: Week on / week off;
2: Mornings and afternoons;
3. Split the week in half.
Now figure in regular deep cleanings. Those can't happen between morning and afternoon shifts, so that's out. Which choice between the week on / week off option and the split the week option would be least disruptive to parents, teachers, and students? I've heard parents say it will be easier to plan for the split the week option. It's possible that option will also maintain student engagement better (I know that when I was a kid I would have been rather jubilant every other Friday).
Splitting the week in half seems like a logical choice, given the constraints. I expect most school districts will choose it. Can you think of a better solution?
But I do wonder if BPS/the city looked at using community space where feasible or if the red tape was too complicated. For example, could the Sumner use space at the Rosi CC, or could space be made available at the various convention centers, etc...
The bottom line is that I think this is fine and preferable for my particular exam school kid, less ok but alright for my middle school kid and is going to be a lost year for so, so many other kids who don't have parents who can work from home, don't have enough space in their home for undisturbed learning, etc... The achievement gap is going to be ludicrous and terrible. I honestly don't know what the best option is though.
There was a photo in the paper last week of guys doing a deep cleaning of a Boston School and they were pouring literal buckets of cleaner on the floor. I applaud using the current events to give the buildings a good cleaning. I'm sure most could really use a good scrubbing. With that said, this is really all just good public theater as far as COVID goes. If no kids have been in those classrooms for months, there is not one speck of infectious virus left on any surface. COVID lives for minutes to hours on surfaces. Almost 100% of COVID transmissions are via the air. With reasonable use of a few wipes and Purell, the schools will be fine as far as surfaces go. And if there is universal masking and social distancing, I think things will be OK.
In the middle of (expletive) January in Burlington, VT when I was a kid?
More to the point, is there any damn way this reform would have ever happened if the 'rona didn't exist?
Reforms are permanent. This is a temporary measure.
That was before the internet, son.
Apart from that, why would you have needed it?
With the winter wind coming in off Lake Champlain, and you'll have answered your own question.
Remote learning is a poor substitute for in person learning.
An interesting development with this is communities deciding that distance learning will be taking the place of snow days going forward. I am certain, though, that Burlington Public Schools didn’t have “too much of a wuss to handle the cold” days.
Please tell that to my boss in Sweden who has 3 teenage boys and this has been their model for years.
Remote Learning can work, its takes more effort on the kids parts (and the parents too)
But ya know Americans suck. In Sweden, most kids see value in education. In the US, most kids see education as a nuisance and a chore.
My wife is Swedish--we go there a lot--obviously, she went to school there and we have no idea what you're talking about. Where in Sweden?
Plus--let's pretend this has been a model for "years"--there is no model here. There's very little training, both ways. And I believe BPS said about 20% of students didn't participate at all on the spring. It's a terrible substitute that has nothing to do with your assertion that American suck.
It might work for motivated high schoolers, but I don’t see it as a viable model for my rising second grader, his classmates, and their working parents.
The Globe has been running stories about the shortcoming of online schooling. Perhaps I’ll just mention technical issues and leave it at that.
a combination of inperson and remote learning is a good start.
How can a single mother juggle work and leaving her young kids home every other day to learn at home? Schools today provide breakfast and lunch to thousands of kids are they going to be fed every other day? Thousands of schoolkids rely on the MBTA to get to and from school every day and the trains and buses are packed. Under the new policy a bus driver or trolley driver can drive right past a group of kids waiting for a bus or trolley if the bus or trolley is half full.
So, how will this work?
(a) teachers expected to stream/zoom the classroom presentation so the half of the class that's at home is expected to follow real-time?
(b) teachers expected to present same material twice a week to separate groups in-class, and load up the at-home group with homework? (meaning that in-classroom days will be heavy on presentation)
(c) teachers expected to monitor in-classroom and at-home groups at the same time?
"Teachers would be expected to teach the students in front of them and the ones logging in remotely."
Support local news.
...answer the question. Lots of ambiguity.
Seems to clearly state that the material taught on any day will be both received by students in the class and students watching from home via remote learning. Material isn't being double taught. So if you are at home on Monday, you have remote access to the lesson of the day and if you are at school on Thursday, your friend on the alternate 'shift' will be learning the same material remotely on that day. Etc.
The more interesting thing about this is that in the spring kids were getting 'taught' from 9:30- 12:30 or something with afternoons open for individual learning and projects. This new set up would seem to imply that school will be normal hours or that kids will be going in for 1/2 days. That is not clear from the article.
This idea is going to drive teaching staff out of their minds, quite literally. Can you imagine having to monitor both 10-15 students in person and 10-15 others on a screen who will all be asking questions at the same time? Or what if the wifi goes down mid-lesson - do you keep teaching the kids physically in front of you and just say, "Oh well, they'll have to catch up some other way" for the ones who are learning from home? How do you do a science experiment at any grade level when only half the students can really see/participate in the lesson and the other half are stuck watching from whatever angle the teacher's laptop is pointed at? What does a class discussion look like if half the students have to wait to be unmuted on Zoom to have a chance to say anything?
I'm a non-teaching staff member in BPS so I have lots of other concerns about the impact of this decision on my ability to do my particular role within the school, but I particularly feel for my teaching colleagues who are trying to make sense of this decision. They're essentially being asked to do two jobs simultaneously, because the last three months of this past school year really illustrated that teaching in person and teaching online are two totally different beasts.
I think the default result will be kids will get decent instruction in class and iffy at home unless they already well suited to learn. I.e. if a kid isn't focused and self-motivated learning at home, they are at deep risk of learning more slowly. Teachers will try their best but the IRL students will get more focus and time, of course.
My guess is kids at BLS are more or less fine and kids at elsewhere in BPS are fucked. The achievement gap is going to widen, so, so much. Elementary school should be written off for six months and maybe it'll be like the MCU after the Snap where some kids are just in different grades when things get back to normal(ish)
From a teacher friend in Maryland, she was shocked over our Commonwealth's plan to reopen schools. She reviewed the school's reopening guidelines and thought it was produced by folks who never taught or worked in a public school. Her school will not be reopening until after January possibly. Our public schools are underfunded and poorly maintained.
Society probably doesn't have a choice at this point but anyone who thinks students will get a comprehensive, quality education doesn't know any teachers or parents.
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