96 thoughts on “Politics Open Thread, Feb 14-20

  1. Houston +1. I’m looking for utterly uneventful, drama-free days, steady progression on vaccine rollout, school and business reopenings, returning to pre-Covid employment levels, help for 2020 college grads and general face-to-face interaction.

  2. So NY is now offering vaccines to people with pre existing conditions. I have one of them. My primary care physician is part of a big group practice with many locations and heavy use of electronic medical records. They had already sent email to everyone telling us that they would scan our health records and would send notification with the official verification letter to everyone who qualifies. I just now got my letter, which I can take to get vaccination. Of course, that is if I could find an appointment somewhere!!

  3. Carryover from last weeks thread. DH got his first shot. Yay! I spoke with NoVa DD who wants to drive up for a couple of weeks for Passover in early April but wants at least DH and Grandpa to be vaccinated. So I wrote to my ex to inquire about Grandpa. Ever since SIL told me that she planned to cut the line I have been upset, so bit the bullet and got in touch with him, not her. All three of them have appts Wed. Neither of the children are eligible, but they have NOT cancelled and plan to plead with the site workers since they have care of him. This is a local site with a waiting list, not one of the stadia with lots of appointment times where one accompanying person is allowed to get a shot in order to make it easier for the over 75s to be transported. I replied pleasantly giving some less public details of Massachusetts distribution issues to small sites, plus coolly mentioning that I understood their desires since I LIVE with a high risk individual who requires in home care.

  4. I just checked on the signup link I was sent, and there are no vaccines available before April 15 unless I go to Syracuse.

  5. Syracuse has March 26. Is it worth it?

    Would you have to go back to Syracuse to get your second shot?

  6. MooshiMooshi – consider that you might have to do the second shot at the same place, so it might be two trips to Syracuse if you go that route. For my parents, who are high risk and retired with a lot of time and probably wouldn’t actually mind a field trip like that, I would say get in your car, please do it. I wouldn’t request that DH do the same thing.

  7. Mooshi – you have expressed concern that you would be asked to go back to in person teaching without being vaccinated. With that, it seems worthwhile to register for the Syracuse vaccine and continue to search for closer locations in the meantime. With demand being so high, if you were to find a closer location and forfeit the Syracuse location, someone will likely take the vaccine being offered in Syracuse. .

  8. “it seems worthwhile to register for the Syracuse vaccine and continue to search for closer locations in the meantime.”

    That’s about a 8-9 hour round trip. It’s not something I would do but it could be worth it for MM. It’s getting even more crazy around here trying to secure appointments. Many are employing various strategies to try to get the leftover doses, ready to drive at the last minute or wait at the locations for hours.

  9. Many are employing various strategies to try to get the leftover doses, ready to drive at the last minute or wait at the locations for hours.

    My favorite pharmacy tech wasn’t at the window yesterday when I stopped by and watched the child-care worker get turned away. But I’m going to stop by today and see if he’s there, and then ask him if there’s a last-minute call list I can get on. I won’t lie to jump the queue, but if I can get on a list and get over there in minutes, I’m willing to do that.

  10. SBCPHD said that when leftover vaccines occur they generally only have 30 minutes to use them. So they are more likely to vaccinate someone who is on the spot, then to wait for someone on a waiting list to get there. I’m curious if your pharmacy contact says something similar.

  11. Me too, SBJ! I did ask the unfamiliar pharmacy tech if I could hang around at closing for the vax, and he said “No.” Then he said “We do have a short list.” I don’t know what he meant, and he clearly didn’t want to talk about it, so Imma wait for Guillermo and ask him. He’ll tell me. We’re buds.

  12. I just got an ad for a new continuing-education class about vaccination mandates. I’m not going to take it, as it’s not my area of the law, but it does sound interesting. The agenda for the class, printed below, indicates that this issue could get messy. There will be a lot of work for employment lawyers and school/university lawyers over the next year or so, I think.

    Agenda
    • Can Employers Ask Their Employees to Be Vaccinated as a Condition of Continued Employment?
    • Are Employers Required to Mandate Vaccination?
    • Are There Any Circumstances Where an Employee May Refuse to Be Vaccinated without Risking Their Job?
    • Who Has the Power to Require COVID-19 Vaccination as a Condition of School Attendance?
    • What Exemptions to Mandatory COVID-19 School Vaccination Could Parents Invoke?
    • What Impact Do State and Federal Laws, Such as Those Protecting People with Disabilities, Privacy, or Religious Accommodation, Have on Mandatory Vaccination?
    • “Ask the Experts” Q&A Session

  13. Last month I attended a CEBS (insurance) session on the topic of mandatory vaccination. The takeaway from it was, if you are going to make it mandatory, then you better be prepared to follow through with it and apply it to all employees. Basically, the attorneys were saying that you can do it, and you must try to accommodate employees that can’t take it. If you let Suzie come into work without it because she is an A+ employee, and you let go Julie because she didn’t get it and you don’t like her you are going to get burned. And then after an hour of that discussion, they concluded with a general warning that this topic is evolving and difficult, and work with your attorney if you are considering such a mandate. It did provide some good food for thought.

  14. It seems most companies are going the incentivize/encourage route, rather than requiring vaccination, at least for now, probably because of the hair balls mentioned above. I’ve read about paid time off for the appointments, which seems helpful because you can’t necessarily be picky when you get a time, and even bonus payments. I think I read that Kroger is paying employees $100 if they get vaccinated. The only company I’ve seen talking about requiring it is an airline, perhaps American, I can’t recall for certain.

  15. I don’t see how companies can require vaccines for employees who can’t get vaccines.

  16. I don’t see how companies can require vaccines for employees who can’t get vaccines.

    I just hollered at DH to ask him this. He says “Sure, they can fire you for not being vaccinated even if the vaccine is unavailable to you. Your only acceptable defenses are disability which prevents you from getting vaccinated or religious objections.” Me: “But what if I can’t GET the vaccine? I’m not qualified and there’s no supply?” DH: “Sucks to be you. They can fire you.”

    It would be a really stupid policy, but it’s not illegal.

  17. MM, I agree. The conversations right now about whether or not to require it is largely about the stance to take once the vaccinations are widely available.

  18. Right. It’s implied that the debate is around whether employers can fire people who choose not to get the vaccine. I can’t imagine that there are employers who are going to fire people who are unable to get a shot. Although there are plenty of crappy employers around so I could be wrong.

  19. I love the image of RMS’s husband shouting answers to random employment law questions to her in the middle of his work day. No need to phrase the response in a composed, professional manner, just “sucks to be you!” Wish I could do that with some of the questions I get.

    DH got his first vaccine shot yesterday. Pfizer (since people always want to know that). Sore arm but otherwise no side effects. He’s an “essential worker” so high priority in my state.

  20. DH was clearly affected by the Moderna shot. He slept poorly, ran a tiny fever, had headaches. Of course not a word to me or request for help for 36 hrs until he started to parade his lethargy in front of me so I would notice. Tylenol helped, of course, when I handed him the bottle. My main struggle today is my deep resentment of my sister in law and eye roll at my holier than thou ex’s acquiescence in her attempt to cut the line for the two of them later today. It is not good for my mental health to wish them ill, and I would prefer not to experience satisfaction if they are turned away or anger if they get away with it. Fat chance.

  21. Meme, I try to rationalize that the sooner people get vaccinated, the sooner this ends. Even though my eligible essential worker husband, my immune compromised son, and my employee whose son has cancer all cannot get vaccinated.

  22. ” I try to rationalize that the sooner people get vaccinated, the sooner this ends. ”

    Yes this is what I tell myself too – and better than wasting any shots.

    My employer has come out already saying that they are not mandating the vaccination – but are highly encouraging. They will not be running their own clinic (like they do for the flu shot) as they don’t want to have to open the office to do so. And therefore, the office isn’t scheduled to open until September. (You can work there now if you need to, but it is 10% capacity, there are Covid rules, and only a handful of people go in on any given day – like 5 out of 2000.) I wonder if they will change their mind about the clinic thing this summer, but we’ll see. I would like to think I’ll be able to get vaccinated before then, but who knows.

  23. This does all get back to Rhett’s point – which is that it is generally pretty easy to fire people (outside of some outlier states). It’s corporate risk analysis & depends on the risk aversion of the company in question and the individual state laws and standards.

  24. Florida has had a very clear “seniors first” policy – we were happy for our parents getting the vaccine in such a timely manner- But we were concerned about my BIL who is a cancer survivor, has one kidney and a bunch of other risk factor. Last week he received an email from the VA (he is a veteran) and it said that he could come in a and get the vaccine and he was able to do it very quickly and easily. We are now feeling pretty fancy free since all our vulnerable family members are protected.

  25. “It is not good for my mental health to wish them ill,…”

    I’m doing it for you, Meme, so you are relieved of responsibility. Just let us know if we can switch from righteous indignation to schadenfreude later if they get turned away.

  26. Massachusetts just announced that starting tomorrow, those who are 65+ and those with 2+ comorbidities can sign up for appointments. Officials are saying that they will probably have to schedule this group for at least the next month. So Teacher DH and Supermarket DS, who are in the next eligibility cohort, probably won’t have a shot at a shot until at least mid-late March.

  27. I’m doing it for you, Meme, so you are relieved of responsibility. Just let us know if we can switch from righteous indignation to schadenfreude later if they get turned away.

    Right there with you, HfN.

  28. I just read that Rush Limbaugh died. He had lung cancer so it wasn’t unexpected. Funny thing, I was just wondering yesterday about him. He was definitely a herald of our current political situation

  29. No schadenfreude. The hospital didn’t even look closely at them. But I will give it a go tomorrow. I can always drive to Gillette.

  30. Kerri, I enjoyed that RMS/lawyer husband exchange as well. Those things sometimes happen in the Swim house on different topics, and are kind of fun in a geeky way.

    Meme, my running friend and I have had to remind each other throughout the past few months, “We will not judge or hold permanent grudges against those we otherwise love for being stupid, selfish or both in these times of great stress. We will wait until this is all over to make final determinations of who we will still speak to. In the meantime, we will hold our tongues as not all is always as it appears at first glance…” When I say that we have had to remind each other, I mean at least once a week, if not more often. You are not alone in being frustrated at the behavior of friends/family.

    We got together for a run last night. Friend is a member of our local school board. On her “remind me again, Swim, of our agreement not to judge etc etc” list last night was a teacher who traveled to an area with higher case rates than ours to see parents, then went back to school along with their two children who are also in our school system while awaiting test results, a big no-no Test results were received during the school day, all three were positive, resulting in the need for emergency coverage for that classroom as the teacher had to leave immediately, and two students put in isolation until teacher could pick them up (all three are at different schools). Contact tracing resulted in about 50 new quarantine cases between the three of them. Our school system has been VERY clear of the protocol around waiting for test results after travel or for any reason where a test is needed for suspicion of exposure.

    Equally guilty of such jackassery are the parents who have lied to our school administrations during contact tracing. There have been a few of those. I would like to not speak to those people, regardless of any agreement with my friend.

    Now, if my state put teachers in the front of the line where they belong, this could have been avoided.

  31. There have been a drip, drip of cases at kids middle school. This results in some of the class being quarantined. What I am hearing is that there has been a more than usual increase in travel by the students. It has now become possible for families to do remote school on Fridays instead of being marked absent and missing work. I can’t tell if the travel is resulting in more cases.
    This doesn’t seem to be the case at the high school where attendance requirements are stricter.

  32. NoB, I wish Mass would prioritize teachers and grocery workers since they are at risk everyday. All of my friends that are teachers were vaccinated right after the healthcare workers. If parents are screaming that they want schools open, then they should allow teachers into the group with the 65+.It is almost impossible to expect kids aged 2- 8 to fully comply with masks or social distancing so this group needs to be protected. I am really concerned about the fall because there is already some noise around here that it might still be a hybrid model. I really hope this is not the case for so many reasons.

    I met my father and stepmom yesterday for a follow up visit at my dad’s ENT. I took him for surgery a few weeks ago and this was a follow up. We stood outside for a while after the appointment and I asked them if they feel different now that they have received two doses. My dad joked now that he can go back to worrying about the other five things that might kill him on any given day.

  33. My mom’s best friend’s husband passed away about 2 weeks ago with COVID and other comorbidities. Her friend – fighting cancer and COVID – has passed as well. Their daughter, her husband and son now all have COVID.

  34. Kerri, I hope the younger ones w/Covid recover. A 82 yo cousin with high risk factors died of Covid as well as a 53 yo cousin who was perfectly healthy and thin. His wife and kids survived the illness.

  35. Apparently the MA vaccination sign-up website crashed this morning, as it couldn’t handle all the traffic from the people who are newly eligible (as of today) to get shots. Meme, I hope you have some luck with it later on!

  36. I was just on the website for the place where I do most of my continuing-education classes, and they have an announcement that they are not going to do any in-person classes at all in 2021; they hope to be back in person beginning in January 2022. I hope this is not a harbinger for what might happen with regular schools.

  37. lauren, when you say that teacher friends have all been vaccinated, are you speaking of NY? I can’t remember where everyone lives, and if you don’t want to be more specific, then certainly don’t comment back. I ask out of envy because I wish that our teachers in CT were all vaccinated.

    In my town, our youngest grades (K-6) have been primarily in person and they are doing a great job staying in person – that of course is dependent on community spread but credit must also be given to our teachers who are doing a great job enforcing masking and the kids who are earning an A+ for complying. We have had no complaints from teachers, bus drivers or others regarding kids complying with the rules. If I’m out at lunchtime and pass a school, I see kids keeping their masks on while on the playground. When a school bus goes by, all the little faces are masked. (BTW – that sight breaks my heart a little, if I never see a school bus full of masked littles again, it won’t be soon enough! But today it’s a reminder of how to keep a school open.)

    Like other areas, our middle and high school is hybrid. The older grades present different challenges in trying to cohort/subs are prioritized for younger grades. I think this is a fairly common approach. DD is not doing well under the hybrid model, but understands that it’s more important for the younger grades to be in person.

  38. I bookmarked the direct access to Fenway booking, but the Comminwealth didnt release any of the mass vac site appts for the next 7 days when the gateway site went down. Will report back later

  39. “I hope this is not a harbinger for what might happen with regular schools.”

    With the vaccine roll out, I have a hard time believing that there will be any justification for Fall 2021 not to be “back to normal” for almost every K-12 school and university unless something drastic happens to change the trajectory. (like one of the variants being vaccine-resistant)

    Continuing Ed/Corporate Training is another matter though. I can see that my company will probably decide webinars are “good enough” for much more than in the past.

  40. Ivy, our town is already planning for block scheduling next year at the high school. Block scheduling was only implemented this year to help with cohorting/distancing. No one who spoke at the last school board meeting was in favor of block scheduling – it’s tough on both teachers and students. The administration was adamant that hybrid next year is a possibility and they are scheduling accordingly.

    And this is in a town with a superintendent of schools who strongly believes in in-person teaching, and a town where our younger grades are making in-person work.

  41. The point when there will be enough vaccine for everyone is receding further and further into the future. According to Fauci, it won’t be until the summer.

  42. One of DH’s relatives is a teacher in CT. She has to teach hybrid classes (high school). She has been petrified because her husband is diabetic wit health conditions and she is so scared she might bring COVID home, yet she can’t live apart because they have 3 kids (one a foster kid with many needs). She really wants to get the vaccine but can’t.

  43. Swim, yes…NY. Several of my girlfriends are teachers and administrators in preschools. DD knows when her teachers get the vaccine if they share because they take time off, and a couple needed more time off if they were sick after the second dose. Teachers, school staff, grocery workers, public transit and childcare workers were all in 1b in NY state. They followed the front line health care workers and 75+ crowd. The 1b group stayed opened for a while until it was opened to 65+ and then the latest group that included my DH because of certain pre existing conditions.

    It wasn’t easy for the teachers to find, but they were fortunate that the state gave them that small window before it was opened to the 65+ crew. The county executive also worked with the superintendents of all of the public schools to try to get slots for the staff. It hasn’t been perfect, but I don’t know a single person that works in a school around here that hasn’t been able to find an appointment.

  44. “With the vaccine roll out, I have a hard time believing that there will be any justification for Fall 2021 not to be “back to normal” for almost every K-12 school and university unless something drastic happens to change the trajectory.”

    I agree with you, however many months ago someone (Milo?) talked about how the goalposts keeps moving, and he is absolutely right. Vaccines are being rolled out, CDC has been adjusting guidelines, evidence based science is being used, Millions of students in schools across the world (including badly hit Europe) have been in person, everyday, since September. But we still have teachers saying they aren’t going back. The other day on the news they interviewed a teacher who was vaccinated and she still will not teach in person. She was saying that there are too many unknowns and she has concerns about her own children’s health. And the union supports her. And it is extremely fraustring to see we are failing children and not listening to science.

    Last night DD2 spent all of dinner talking about what she learned about Ancient Egypt when she was AT school. Guess what she didn’t do from March – January? She never once shared what she was learning via distance learning…because she wasn’t learning, and hated every M-F day between 8-2:30.

  45. “The point when there will be enough vaccine for everyone is receding further and further into the future. According to Fauci, it won’t be until the summer.”

    Right – that’s still well before September, teachers and vulnerable populations are ahead of gen pop, and we don’t need 100% of people vaccinated to resume something much closer to normal. It’s February right now and my state already has more than 10% of the population with at least one dose. All the measures are already falling (in a good way). I don’t think it’s crazy to think that 6 months from now, cases/hospitalizations/deaths and % of vaccinated population wouldn’t align to opening schools “like normal” or something close to it.

    @Lemon – I have been somewhat conservative about school. To this point – I have been on the side of NOT reopening schools in my district. I don’t think they had a good plan in place, and we were weeks away from teachers being able to be vaccinated. I thought they should delay until there was more time to get teachers vaccinated, and, in fact, I am not sending DS back in the first wave on March 11 – we’ll wait until the 2nd chance in mid-April. But when schools start throwing out that it will still be “too dangerous” in September (based on current projections) or “too dangerous” to teach in person after they themselves are vaccinated…you lose me. You really lose me.

  46. “With the vaccine roll out, I have a hard time believing that there will be any justification for Fall 2021 not to be “back to normal” for almost every K-12 school and university unless something drastic happens to change the trajectory.”

    Chico State has already said that only 20 – 30 percent of classes will be in person in the fall.

  47. And what is Chico State’s justification? That they are sure that 6 months from now there is no way it will be “safe”? That’s ridiculous.

  48. My local medical practice, walking distance from home. Moderna. Easy peasy sign up after a note via the portal. My appt is Sunday morning. And bonus, my ex who also goes there gave me the heads up. Still pissed at SIL, but I even called him to thank him.

  49. We just finished scheduling fall classes – times, assigned profs, classrooms. We are being told to assume a normal fall, which means we still have some online classes because we always have them due to classroom space issues. The interesting question is going to be which classes the students will head to. This semester they tried to have about 40% be on campus, but the online sections filled and had waitlists, and students avoided the sections on campus. Students said they didn’t want to take transit to get to campus when there were still so many cases. I wonder what they will think in the fall.

  50. Great Meme!

    I’ve been with Ivy with wanting to be conservative about reopening schools and ensuring safety, yadda yadda. But teachers who refuse to go back to in-person after being vaccinated should be fired, period.

  51. in the rush to get back to F2F classes and ‘back to normal,’ I hope we don’t lose sight of the fact that that old normal was, in many cases, not all that great, and that remote school has overall been better for some kids, and for many more, some aspects of it have been better than the old normal.

    It would be a shame to waste such a crisis.

  52. Local chatter is hoping that public schools will be back to mostly F2F after spring break.

    At this point, about half of public school teachers have received at least one shot (very few have received two), so the hope is that by the end of spring break, most of those teachers will have the maximum immunity conferred by the vaccination, and most of the rest will have had at least some immunity from a first shot.

  53. @Finn – I agree with you in the sense that I think it is good to have more options and to take advantage of some of the things we’ve learned this year in the future – using technology in better ways, for example. My kid has enjoyed being home, would not mind staying remote for the rest of the year, and has done fine academically and mostly socially. We have enjoyed aspects of it as a family too – for sure. But it would be a real stretch to say that it has been better overall, school-wise. It has most definitely not been better overall. It has been okay, but in a treading water kind of way. It’s fine to get by in a pandemic, but I cannot see this working for 5 more years of K-12 school even for him. He’s not “falling behind” whatever that means in these weird times, but he’s certainly not progressing the way he would in Normal Times.

    Great news Meme!

  54. I agree with Ivy’s comments. There is good that has come from the pandemic which is the use of technology to teach. It has also forced teachers to post assignments online in cases where there wasn’t the widespread use of available teaching platforms already in place. It has also exposed parents to the pros and cons of keeping their particular child in a particular educational setting.
    Also in before times, winter was awful with the flu/cold spreading through the school. Now, with the Covid precautions in place and ability to do your work from home, no infections.
    However, many homes are not Totebag homes with parents able and wiling to help with school work. Not all kids have an easy time keeping themselves on track without teachers interacting with them in person.
    What I don’t want to hear is “learning gap” without the powers that be taking active steps like offering summer school, starting early in the school year and in general taking active steps to address that gap.

  55. My big fear is that as soon as we go back to face to face, the teachers in our district will revert to their old bad habits, scrawling assignments on the whiteboard, not communicating with parents, and everything paper based again. This year has been so much better for my kid simply because most of the teachers were putting everything on the computer. So much easier to stay organized.

    My middle kid was telling me that back when he was in French class, he used to miss assignments because the teacher would have written them on the board before everyone came in. He had a long walk from his preceding class so he would always slide in at the last minute, wouldn’t notice the assignment as he sat down, and then suddenly the teacher would cover the board with the projection screen and he would not ever realize something had been written there. That kind of thing is ridiculous in this day and age

  56. Meme, great news about your appointment for the vaccine.

    Many districts adopted Google classroom or similar for assignments so hopefully your district will continue to use it. It has been mandatory in DD’s classes since 2014. Hopefully the teachers in your district will realize that it is better to have every assignment in Google classroom vs. a notebook. The other reason that I don’t think that remote learning is going away in the fall is that some kids can not go to school. Our district superintendent acknowledged that there are at least 50 kids in our district that may not be able to attend school in the fall because it still isn’t safe until there is herd immunity or a vaccine for the youngest kids.

  57. @MM – I hope that happens for you too. DS’s school used Google classroom extensively pre-pandemic. I think that is part of the reason he had such an easy transition to middle school/public school. He said it was much easier to keep track of assignments than it was in Montessori where he was responsible for keeping track of his his weekly “workplan” on paper.

    I think there will be much less incentive in the fall for each school in the district to have its own remote/hybrid plan like they are doing now. We already had virtual schools/charters – their enrollment may increase. Will be interesting to see. I’m also curious how many kids come back at the next “opt in” point (mid-April). Right now our school is 85% opt out to remote, but I could see that going WAY down for the 4th quarter. We’ll see.

  58. Several larger districts around here are working on offering a full-remote k-12 school for the fall. With open enrollment I can see this being a great feature. There was already a k-12 public online school that I think the state was in charge of, but bringing that model down to a district level has a lot of benefits.

    Right now our district has only 20% opt out to remote (the opposite of Ivy), so there isn’t enough interest to divert funding to creating a full-time option.

  59. Colorado had on-line schooling options prior to the pandemic. I think everyone wants to the local districts to get back to full in-person.

  60. @LT – I think the inversion says a lot about how confident people were in our large district’s plan (or lack there of) and confidence in our horrific Mayor. (I can say that here – it’s the Politics page. She’s awful, and I can’t wait to get rid of her.)

    @DD – I agree. Expand the remote options, but as a separate option vs. some hybrid thing. We don’t start until after Labor Day. There is plenty of time to make that work given the current projections.

  61. “Right now our district has only 20% opt out to remote (the opposite of Ivy), so there isn’t enough interest to divert funding to creating a full-time option.”

    I’d think 20% indicates a pretty significant interest. How big is your district? Perhaps for a small district, 20% is too few kids to justify a FT option, but IMO not for larger districts.

  62. “I think everyone wants to the local districts to get back to full in-person.”

    I’d be surprised if that’s the case. My guess is that there are some people who’ve found the remote option to be better, and thus want to keep that option.

    Thus my fear that the ‘back to normal’ rush forgets that the old normal wasn’t that great, especially for some, and the good parts of remote school get tossed out with the bad.

  63. The district is about 8000 students. The 20% is spread over all grades. The secondary has the most still enrolled in remote learning…but that is because they are still hybrid, and so many kids would prefer 100% remote over trying to navigate hybrid.

  64. “My guess is that there are some people who’ve found the remote option to be better, and thus want to keep that option.”

    I agree with you, but it is not practical or ideal for there to be that option at EACH individual school. And I do think it is good to expand the public options – not just private ones.

    Minnesota has open enrollment, so even students in small districts could have an option to join a separate virtual school without every single district including the smaller ones having their own separate virtual option.

    With a huge district like ours, it could be an expansion of the already-available virtual school options which can be chosen already instead of the neighborhood school.

  65. My kids school has a virtual only option. They pull students and teachers from across their network, so several different states, including in different time zones. We did not choose that option.

  66. 20% of 8000 students is 1600. If spread evenly over 13 grades, that’s 123 students per grade. That would seem to me to be enough kids to make a full remote option worth supporting.

    Perhaps the distribution is not even, and there is much less demand for a remote option for the very young, but that would mean even more demand at the higher grades.

    I think the social/behavioral issues that might make remote work better for some kids would be more pronounced at higher grades.

  67. I don;t know the overall numbers of kids that went full remote here, but it went up as the year progressed and the HS is now around 40% remote. I think the numbers are much lower for elementary though

  68. My DD is full remote and would do it forever if she could… She gets. her social interaction with her fencing team, and lots of discord chats

  69. My kids would like Fridays to be a remote school day. This is however, due to the pandemic. Non pandemic school used to involve fun things on Fridays plus so much activity around home football games plus a bunch of other things. It’s easier to want Fridays at home when there is nothing happening at school.

  70. “20% of 8000 students is 1600. If spread evenly over 13 grades, that’s 123 students per grade. That would seem to me to be enough kids to make a full remote option worth supporting.”

    Finn — But the option right now for those kids is (1) remote or (2) in school just a couple of days a week with masks and distancing and no fun activities (and maybe even being tethered to your Chromebook even on the days you’re physically at school). If the option were (1) remote or (2) full-time school as it was in the Before Times, I bet that 20% figure would go down a lot.

    I agree that there should be remote public options, but like others I think they should be broadly based, not school-by-school-based (or even district-by-district based in smaller districts).

  71. Also, I know from DH’s experience that there are kids who want to be in school, but their parents are keeping them out because the parents are concerned about Covid transmission. Absent Covid concerns, those kids would be in school.

  72. NoB is exactly right. In normal times, the percentage who would choose remote/on-line is much, much lower.

  73. @DD – I agree. Expand the remote options, but as a separate option vs. some hybrid thing. We don’t start until after Labor Day. There is plenty of time to make that work given the current projections.

    It’s statewide charter schools that are online. It’s unreasonable IMO to ask local districts/schools to provide online/remote options when we get back to normalcy.

  74. I agree with DD. There are statewide online options. It’s way to big an ask to expect teachers to teach in person AND remote at the same time.

  75. “In normal times, the percentage who would choose remote/on-line is much, much lower.”

    Normal times as in pre-pandemic?

    My guess is that the percentage who would choose remote post-pandemic is higher than would’ve chosen it pre-pandemic.

  76. I mean once the pandemic is over, fewer families would choose online than are choosing it during the pandemic.

  77. https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/02/17/texas-freeze-allows-jerry-jones-natural-gas-company-to-hit-jackpot/

    An 11 year old boy froze to death in his home. Jerry Jones is already wealthy beyond his ability to spend it in his remaining years. He will die with these profits in the bank. I may devote the rest of my life to trying to make him a social pariah. I want him to die alone on an ice floe, with all his faculties, so he can feel all the physical and emotional pain he deserves.

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