Saturday, July 18, 2020

The School Bell

If anyone truly believes that school will be starting next month or in September I think they need to take a remedial reading class.

Covid is here until a vaccine is created and even then it will only affect those who follow the protocol and are continually self checking and regulating to ensure that it is affective and proactive in reducing the spread.  There will be many who won't. See the mask resisters to give you an idea about how they will refuse to vaccinate and in turn get sick, spread Covid and in turn lead to further lockdowns or some type of restrictive behavior.

The reality is that we have no clue if Children simply are carriers of the virus and asymptomatic and in turn have varying other ailments that mask Covid and are not tested. But yyes, children do have Covid.  We just have not moved to that scale and as I walked by two playfields yesterday I saw unmasked Coaches and Minders with equally unmasked children playing soccer, games, etc.  Good luck with that.

To open the schools it will be a massive reinvention of how we teach and administer schools. The first is screen guards. We use them in testing situations only in this case they will need to be transparent and affixed to the desk to literally shield children in an additional way that masks and personal hygiene do not.  Then the rooms will have to be ventilated, well.  Windows open, doors open and no hall passes, no class exchanges at same times, but in a staggered schedule and arrival, lunch and departures the same.   I would not want kids eating in a classroom as the cleaning and problems with that alone in the best of times is horrific and add this means nightmare.  The need to go to the bathroom with escorts to monitor numbers and of course hand washing would be necessary.   ALL students, their respective families/guardians, and staff must be tested every two weeks, the minute a positive is affirmed, the entire class shut down, quarantined and the family members and others must also be quarantined and tested.

Screening, such as temps on a daily basis is fine; however again the disease as a dormant period where you are asymptomatic and therefore not exhibiting the disease but you are still contagious.  So all of this is a simple measure but again there is going to have to be a very stringent policy and procedure in place to ensure health and safety of all.  NOT.GOING.TO.HAPPEN.

Why? Have you been in a public school? They are underfunded, under staffed, lack clean facilities and updated buildings that would help in eliminating a spread of a virus that comes from contact.  Look to the varying Measles and Whooping Cough epidemics of the last decade thanks to the crazy anti-vaxxers who have allowed sick children to come to school and wreak havoc in ways that any asshole kid could never compare.  Then we can talk about nutrition both in school and at home as many public school children are underfed and no more now that prior to the pandemonium.  Kids come to school underfed, under rested, under cared for with basic medical needs from vision to dental  and the most unpleasant of facts - poor hygiene.  Many families do not have access to washing machines and bathing facilities to allow for frequent showers or baths.  Folks this is America, a third world nation.

Seattle is a very wealthy city, largely white and very liberal. Their public schools run the gamut from amazing facilities to utter shitholes.  The poverty level of the students across the board are well into 85% or more dependent upon the schools location. I can think of South Shore K-8 (dump); Rainier Beach HS (dump times 10), Aki Kurose MS (horror), Columbia City K-8 (a sloppy mess). There are elementary schools that align that same corridor and they are struggling other than a few. Again the ones with the local white residents and Asian students are more stable but as those who have a large American Samoan, Black and Brown faces you find the problems that are across the country when it comes to systemic racism.  Don't tell this to any Seattle parent or teacher as they are sure that they are doing all the right, good and liberal things to make equity versus equality, as they do get the difference, they just don't actually do either.  This was the city and district in the shadow of tech that admitted they had no ability to maintain distance learning let alone implement it.  WHOOPS!  I.Me.Mine is the mantra of America and Seattle is no exception.  This was the SPS press release during the pandemic. Priorities people:
Seattle School Board president Zachary DeWolf is mad at media for missing this story: He should be! But there's a lot going on and we're understaffed, Zachary! Invest in local journalism! Here's what's up, per DeWolf's Facebook call-out:
✅ All school construction projects must include one multi-stall gender-neutral restroom
✅ An audit of our 104 schools to identify space available for gender-neutral restroom conversion
✅ All curriculum adoptions (history, English language arts, etc) must explicitly incorporate LGBTQIA+ history, contributions, significant events and figures
✅ One school will be identified to change their school name to that of an LGBTQI+ local or national hero
✅ Exploration and pilot of an LGBTQIA+ studies high school course
✊🏽🏳️‍🌈 Happy #Pride to all of our students, their families, our staff and educators, and community
No local media has covered this—even during #Pride month—but we passed my transformational and historic resolution “No. 2019/20-28 - Inclusion for Our LGBTQIA+ Students, Staff, and Community,” which commits the District to the following (policy changes in process):

We have believed that charter schools will somehow resolve that and no they don't they actually contribute to making it worse and there are numerous bloggers that go into detail about that issue, so dig around, from Peter Greene to Dad Gone Wild in Nashville, they are there for the reading. Oh that reading again!

Here is the tentative idea behind opening schools in the Northwest, ground zero for Covid.  I suspect this will be the prototype for nation as well there is nothing else. Irony that we are told to open schools regardless of science.  Yes that makes sense given that science is a subject taught in school, its clear someone did not take those courses.

New report warns: School reopening could depend on behavior outside of classrooms

By Becca Savransky, SeattlePI, Wednesday, July 15, 2020

If schools open in the fall across King County without appropriate precautions in place, the region could see a drastic surge in the number of cases of the coronavirus, a new report found. (Photo by Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images)

If schools open in the fall across King County without appropriate precautions in place, the region could see a drastic surge in the number of cases of the coronavirus, a new report found.

But, according to the report, community activity outside of schools matters just as much when looking at whether school buildings can safely open their doors.

“Reopening schools cannot be considered in isolation – what happens outside of schools is as important as what happens inside of schools,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, DOH’s deputy secretary of health for the COVID-19 response. “The most important step we can take to reopen schools this fall is to come together to reduce spread of the virus in our communities and statewide.”

The report, from the Institute for Disease Modeling, used data from King County to model possible scenarios of how the opening of schools could impact the coronavirus pandemic. The analysis included data only through mid-June, meaning some of the recent growth in the number of coronavirus cases across the county was not reflected in the report.

The report found taking precautions in schools, such as having students and staff wear masks, socially distance and maintain good hygiene, in addition to screening and testing people, would help to reduce the spread of the virus — but it wouldn't be enough.

Fehrenbach said during a press briefing Wednesday the state wants to reopen schools at some level in the fall, but is concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases Washington has been seeing over the past several weeks.

"We're particularly concerned right now about what we're seeing in terms of gatherings. The more people and groups we mix with in our daily lives, the higher our risk is in spreading COVID-19," she said. "In order for our kids to return to school as safely as possible, everyone in Washington needs to limit the number of people they're gathering with."

Jeff Duchin of Public Health – Seattle & King County called the report "sobering."

"It is telling us that at this time, there is too much COVID-19 transmission in our community to support school reopening and I find that conclusion very problematic," he said during the briefing. "It reflects the intense interdependence that we have on one another in this community in order to move forward safely in the era of COVID-19."

According to the report, reopening schools without taking any countermeasures could result in a "doubling of the COVID attack rate" in the first three months of the academic year. The report modeled several different scenarios which determine how the virus might spread if schools reopen, taking into account the amount of activity outside of schools and the specific precautions in place inside school buildings, such as the amount of testing and contact tracing among students and teachers.

"These results suggest that reopening community, workplace and schools represents a symbiotic relationship, meaning that if community activity rises above a 70% mobility threshold from activity levels in mid-June, no amount of school intervention will prevent the epidemic from growing," the report said.

"That said, the results also suggest that if community activity levels remain at or below 70% of pre-COVID baseline, there may be some room to reopen schools, if we implement mask usage, physical distancing and safe hygiene measures, classroom cohorting, screening and some follow-up diagnostic testing and contact tracing."

However, the report also points to the most recent data not included in the analysis, which it says shows disease activity is "too high to support reopening at this time."

"Thus community-wide mitigation efforts must improve significantly such that the effective reproductive number is below 1 at the end of August for schools to reopen in September without triggering exponential growth in COVID-19 burden," the report said.

Officials across the country in recent months have been weighing how to safely restart school in the fall. Across Washington, schools have been closed since March.

Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal said last month school districts across Washington should prepare for students to come back to school for in-person learning in the fall. The state released guidelines for schools to reopen safely, including requiring students and staff to wear masks and keeping students six feet apart in the classroom.

But Reykdal later said it was "very unlikely" and "almost impossible" that every student across the state would be going back to in-person learning at the beginning of the next school year.

The Seattle Public Schools Board earlier this month looked at several possible scenarios for what it could look like when students return to school in the fall. Possible setups included staggered schedules, a combination of in-person and remote learning, health screenings, social distancing, mask wearing and enhanced cleaning protocols for all students in grades K-12. Schools could operate on an A/B schedule, with groups of students going in two days a week on alternating schedules.

Officials in Seattle had previously said the way SPS would reopen would depend on what phase King County was in. But since then, Gov. Jay Inslee has put into place a pause on counties moving forward beyond the current phase they are in. Inslee has also warned he could put more restrictions back into place if the virus continues to spread in the region.

"People should not be surprised if more gets rolled back depending on the course of this pandemic," Inslee said during a news conference Tuesday. "And that's going to be influenced by how many people wear masks and how many people decide to socially distance."

Even if children do not show symptoms of the virus, they could be spreading it to others who are more vulnerable. Public health officials have been urging people in recent weeks to continue wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

As of Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Health reported more than 42,000 confirmed cases of the virus across the state, including 1,404 deaths.

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