Reports I heard on the first day of in person classes for secondary schools included huge class sizes for remote classes, dirty buildings, few live students, severe shortages of teachers, no nurse in one school, kids moving around without masks in another, some high schools all remote, and, inspite of it all, teachers still happy to greet students.
For my daughter, having students in the middle school building she attends meant very little live interactions for the all remote students, just long diagnostic tests. Kids all got new programs too.
This account from a District 75 Chapter Leader Quinn Zannoni from the comments on yesterday's ICEBLOG post explains why nobody can let up on watching everything closely.
I had a student in my class test positive today. We're are all quarantined for 14 days now. The majority of my students have medically fragile guardians at home -- all of my students have severe disabilities -- and those care takers are the bedrock of their lives.
If you're just returning now (I'm D75 and I've been back two weeks) and are feeling hopeful that things work out, consider when you get caught off guard and find out a student had been in your class for multiple days with asymptomatic infection. Try to avoid the rosy thinking -- it's really not safe and we're placing our students' at incredible risk.
For more on opening day for in-person secondary schools, this is part of a Chalkbeat article:
New Design, like many other high schools across the city, solved their staffing problem by having all their students learn online, even those who show up to the building, as teachers instruct students learning from their homes or from classrooms. One 10th grader decided in the middle of the school day that he no longer wanted to be in the building and was released early after the school called one of his parents, she said. She’s unsure why, but wondered if a rash of technical problems with school-based laptops in the morning was a factor.
In contrast, one of Dorcemus’ more vocal students excitedly told her he was in the building and offered to show her his classroom of five or six others — all while donning a mask.
“I just think it’s not for everybody, and people respond very differently,” Dorcemus said about returning to school.
Students at Stuyvesant High School, which enrolls more than 3,300 students, will also learn online even when they’re inside of the building.
Meril Mousoom, a 16-year-old senior at Stuyvesant who participated in the student rally, preferred to learn from home but chose the blended option so she could receive a MetroCard, which allows students three swipes a day to get to and from school and related activities. She wants to use the MetroCard to travel to multiple paid internships that she hopes will allow her to save up for college.
If you are so inclined, demand remote learning for your entire school based on equitable and fair treatment which you are contractually entitled to.
Finally, I plead with all of you not to agree to any School Based Option that raises class sizes. 34 is too high already for high schools.