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Thoughts on the 2020-2021 school year

  1. Littlebit7

    nectarine / 2243 posts

    I’ve already paid in full for Private kinder next year (one can imagine what that might cost given where I live). Sooooo....yeah. I’ve set my expectations really low for school starting up in September. But I also know I’m a crap homeschooler. So I’m just holding my breath and hoping things get better for everyone.

  2. JennyPenny

    nectarine / 2454 posts

    I’m starting to wonder if I’ll need to look into DS skipping a grade next year and also wondering how many other parents feel similarly. We’ve been working on material beyond his grade level while he’s been out and I know there are a ton of kids who are not accessing the distance learning our district put in place and will basically be an extra quarter of a year behind when (if) they start back in the fall. It seems like the potential gaps in knowledge between kids is going to be even greater than is typical and I wonder how the district will handle this...

  3. bhbee

    cantaloupe / 6066 posts

    @JennyPenny: I agree it’s going to be a big issue. We’ve been doing the same working above grade level - I think it’s been a big plus of staying home. Our district is trying a clustering model next year so she’ll be with other kids who tested similarly this year and I hope that helps. Otherwise I would have emailed the principal and asked about teacher placement, because I think the real key to challenge is getting an experienced teacher who is good at classroom management and differentiating. I don’t know how many teachers you have per grade or when you find out placement but could be worth investigating. We aren’t told we can have input but the people I know who have asked (for specific teachers; or a teacher like xyz) have gotten what they asked for.

  4. Becky

    persimmon / 1390 posts

    @JennyPenny: I know where we are the schoolwork provided is only review, and it is definitely not a reflection of what they’re doing in the classroom, and it is focused on math and ELA (probably because that’s easiest for parents and requires no extra materials—which I am grateful for). At home they are also missing out on things like STEM/STEAM, computer literacy, art (to the level they do at school), history, and more advanced application of math concepts. You could definitely talk to your school, but keep in mind that all the students will be returning having gone through similar experiences.

  5. JennyPenny

    nectarine / 2454 posts

    @Becky: yea, our district is the same in what they’re asking students to do and that’s what has me concerned. We’ve got DS working on material beyond what school is asking because if I’m going to have us spend time on school I’d rather it be useful. I suspect there’s a good amount of families like us working ahead, then there’s families doing the review work, then there are families who aren’t even doing that. So I think there is going to be a huge disparity in experience when they all go back.

    @bhbee: that’s a really good point. I would prefer to keep him with his same age peers if he can still get instruction to challenge him. Hopefully the school understands and can help support us. I’m sure we’re not the only family that will be concerned

  6. mrs.kiwi

    kiwi / 634 posts

    Now that school has started or is starting soon for us I am reviving this thread from 4 months ago when the lockdowns started...

    We are in California and my local homeschool public charter has been inundated with enrollment requests to the point that they are not accepting any more applications. A handful of friends have gone from private/public school to homeschool.

    Did you imagine yourself here four months ago!?! Ugh

  7. bhbee

    cantaloupe / 6066 posts

    @mrs.kiwi: just read my old posts and no I did not! Ugh ...

    Our district in TX started 100% virtual, supposedly the kids who opted for in-person night go after Labor Day but rumor is we’ll all be out until the end of the grading period in early October. The district has so many problems with making this work well, I feel awful for administrators. The state has made hybrid nearly impossible and all or nothing in a state where positivity is high just seems like a bad plan. My kids are both doing virtual since my son and I both have asthma.

    My K boy is doing ok with part virtual / part homeschool so far. My 2 year old is just home, thankful she’s not 3-4 where she’d need a bit of homeschool also. The Kinder teacher is doing an amazing job, virtual is still tricky for that age though.

    3rd for my oldest has been a wreck and she’s so disengaged (and she’s a kid who loves school). May still homeschool her.

    Religious schools are allowed to do whatever they want here so some of them started in person already. We’re going to have cases in schools because we don’t have a handle on community spread so ... no-win situation.

  8. JennyPenny

    nectarine / 2454 posts

    @mrs.kiwi: wow, I’m laughing so hard at the naivety of myself 4 months ago. We definitely started out strong in the early weeks of lockdown and virtual school in the spring but it did not last... Were a week into a fully virtual school year and things are going well so far. Now I just have to cross everything that the burnout that happened last time doesn’t kick in again 😬

  9. Mama Bird

    pomegranate / 3127 posts

    It's not good here in NYC. Schools are supposedly reopening, but how... our school is only having kids come in person 1-2 days a week. DS transferred to another school for unrelated reasons, but it's the same thing over there. I know one school that's offering 2-3 days, and two that are trying (against DOE requirements) to go fully virtual. And this is all in theory, because there are rumors that schools won't be ready and/or that the teacher's union will strike unless some completely impossible demands are met.

    This would all make sense somewhere in the South where coronavirus is a real problem. But for the last three months, I've watched crowds of people do all kinds of unsafe things that would 100% have caused a second wave, if a second wave was at all possible. And in the last couple of weeks I've had to take public transit a lot, and hang out in quite a few indoor offices. There were even some people with no masks on the trains and buses and in the offices. The case numbers keep dropping anyway. I've got to believe my own eyes - reopening schools is most likely safe here. Keeping them semi closed, on the other hand... that's all kinds of unsafe.

    I don't understand how anyone with a job can handle 3-4 days a week of remote learning. I know kids that couldn't do it in the spring. I can't imagine they'll do better in the fall. Lots of people are having to choose between their job and warehousing their kids somewhere while they work (with a relative, home alone, in a day care with little kids if there's room...) Half of DS's class has either left the city, or left for private school. Incidentally, the public school refuses to give the remaining kids more days in class because "what if the others feel like coming back eventually?"

    I don't know what to do. I'd make exactly zero to put two kids in private school, and DH is a city worker and so may be laid off come October. Maybe I'll use up my retirement savings on private school, because if we have to do online learning + work again, I won't live to see next year, never mind retirement.

  10. graceandjoy

    pear / 1565 posts

    @Mama Bird: It is just pure chaos. I'm in LI and so far our school is opening full time for elementary; BUT one district recently changed from that to hybrid and parents were/are outraged. I STILL have so much childcare issues even with schools opened fully; I seriously just consider quitting my job everyday (even though I really can't)

  11. MrsSCB

    pomelo / 5257 posts

    @Mama Bird: it is so hard to know the right thing to do based on the facts when everything has become so politicized! Which is ridiculous. And I heard on an episode of NY Times’ the daily podcast that some teachers unions are saying they don’t want to go back to in person until there have been no new cases in the community for two weeks...that may literally never happen again. It’s all such a mess and so frustrating!

    ETA: also, our district is fully remote. But they are offering the option of a limited number of spots in school, where kids will be watched by caregivers who help administer the virtual learning. And parents have to pay for that. It’s a sliding scale, but the highest end is more than we pay for daycare! And this is in public schools. I think that’s absurd—ideally the limited spaces would be free, for kids whose parents can’t afford childcare and have to work outside the home. Surely there must be some tax savings somewhere from schools being “closed” to help pay for that but IDK.

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