Return To Learn Survey from July 2020

AUGUST 29, 2020: Recently, there have been statements that WCTA has not solicited feedback from members. WCTA has been in constant communication with members. In late July, WCTA distributed a survey that was shared widely. Below are graphs representing what we received as the WCBOE voted to open virtually. The BOE vote was recorded before the WCTA survey closed, but WCTA leadership shared comments, suggestions, and recommendations with WCPS leadership in August.

WCTA July Survey on Reopening Comments (Unedited)

  • A hybrid would be my second choice. I just want us to take it slow and do things methodically with safety in mind. I also wish they would decide sooner rather than later so that both parents and faculty can plan for what is coming.
  • I have been watching the various models that have been released. Montgomery County recently released their plan and thus far this model, in my opinion, seems to be the best, well-thought out plan ensuring safety for all. Also, a concern of mine has been that so much emphasis has been put on reopening but what happens when we reopen? Are schools prepared if a staff member or child does contract Covid-19, procedures and protocol, training? If someone shows symptoms while in school what steps will take place? What if someone goes home, shows symptoms and does not report it? I’m concerned as a teacher and parent.
  • As much as I would love to be back in my classroom, I have huge concerns for the health and safety of my students and colleagues. As a teacher of our youngest learners I also have to question how school would look and feel for these babies. How can I expect a 4 year old to stay at a desk for an entire day? They need to move and be social. How do I keep classmates and staff healthy when these little babies live with their fingers all over the place and in places that are most certainly not sanitary? How do I protect them from the little sneezes and coughs that go uncovered? How do I mandate a 4 year old wear a mask for 6 hours a day? How do we hold their hands to help them learn to write their name? How do I help them with restroom needs? How do I work with them with the hands on learning that Pre-K requires? Will the experience be a positive start for them with so many limitations or will it sour how school should feel for them? How can I interact with them if I need to stay 6 feet away. They require my help especially at the beginning of the year. I suggest we start with virtual learning for the first marking period and then open things up as things become safer. We must put the safety of the lives and health of people before everything else.
  • I’m serving as an in person summer school teacher. Feeling like the test guinea pig to see what happens. I’m nervous, but I also want to get back to normal. Since I don’t have small children at home anymore, I’m not as apprehensive. Praying for it to be all good.
  • I feel this survey is very limited. As a teacher, of course my preference is to return to school but that is not possible at this time. A hybrid model may be beneficial for students but with no information on the logistics, I cannot make that decision. Distance learning seems to be the safest at this point with the given information. I would like the freedom to work from home or from my classroom while teaching remotely. I was very limited on space, internet, and materials while home. I am also very concerned about students who did not engage in distance learning or need more supports to successful. Distance learning may not be best for them, what will be done for more support? Finally, I think more accountability for students is needed in distance learning. Being limited to one zoom a day is challenging. I think to be effective, more face time (zoom) is needed through small group, conferences, and whole group. These times should be throughout the day to offer breaks for students and teachers. Attendance was very low but zooms when zooms were not mandatory. I think students should have a minimum number of zooms they must attend each week (flexible times if needed). A school wide requirement should also be implemented. Each teacher and grade level using different programs and having different expectations was confusing for parents and ultimately hurt the students.
  • I still would like access to my classroom and to be able to teach virtually from home and school.
  • Sick leave is a concern- what if we are exposed? The quarantine alone could use my entire sick leave. I have stayed home since March- avoiding crowds- for what? To go into a room without proper climate control (and don’t get me started on ventilation!!) wearing a mask and hoping 7 year olds can as well? People send their students to school SO Ill I cannot believe it before this- how are we protected from this? It isn’t safe. There is no way to argue it is: I cannot even believe we are entertaining that it is for summer school. It really has consumed my summer worrying about it. My entire household is high risk. All four of us. Asthma, diabetes, cardiac issues.... I do not want to bring this home. Schools are germ infested and bathe clean work environments pre- covid.
  • I like the plan FCPS and CCPS came up with.
  • I feel like it is easier to teach students in person at school. However I don’t think it is safe to have 25+ in a class and I’m not confident in students using PPE. I don’t want the hybrid model to be double the work as a teacher.
  • I’m 61 years old teacher. How Will I be kept safe if we have to go back to the Classroom?
  • If we do go back partly, will we be responsible for both distance and in person? How will we keep younger kids 3-10 socially distance and masks on? What are the expectations from county? How am I going to manage my own kids schedule with mine if hybrid or distance? Kids and staff have been on vacation and various places over the summer- how do we know staff and kids are not carries? So many questions and concerns personally and as a teacher.
  • I am currently working as an ESY teacher doing in school instruction with children not able to wear masks or remain 6 feet apart from staff in order to complete any tasks in the classroom. It is a challenge and a concern to me to see what Special Education teachers and students will be expected to do in the midst of the pandemic.
  • PPE needs to be provided to all staff not just special education staff and extra custodial staff will need to be hired to properly disinfect areas throughout the day.
  • I would personally much rather meet and teach my students face-to-face and feel that is the MOST impactful way to build relationships and to inspire students to learn and achieve. However, I am just concerned that we are not ready to reopen - even a partial opening. I fear the spike of the virus coming back and harming people in a variety of means - continued spread of virus, keeping students safe and establishing the accountability level for safety measures, doctors expenses-visits/testing/medication - all people with weakened immune systems, and possibly even fatal consequences.
  •  My concern is for the itinerant teachers who have multiple schools. Also for the encore teachers who see the whole school with many students.
  • After hearing the results of the BOE meeting today, PLEASE PLEASE consider allowing staff to complete some or all of their duties at home in order to accommodate family needs. In unprecedented times, I feel that the wcps should be willing to allow staff to work from home as so many other companies are allowing their employees to do. I was fully able to complete all of my job responsibilities from home in the spring. My family will be trying to juggle schedules for two working parents and we want to provide our children the best education through distance learning. Some (not all) of my job responsibilities may be completed late at night or early in the morning in order to give my own children the attention they need to get a good and thorough education via distance learning. My children were ignored for many many hours in the spring and I hope the county will be more flexible with our schedule to accommodate the needs of many teachers who also have families. I was happy to give my all to my school kids in the spring but my own children suffered and my son cried multiple times because mom wasn’t available to give him attention and dad was at work. Please don’t let the educators children suffer because flexible schedules are not considered. We all know that educators always go above and beyond. Please trust us to complete the necessary job duties without having to be in the school building.
  • If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid? • If that teacher has 5 classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days? • Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids' families need to get tested? Who pays for that? • What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid? • Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay? • Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with COVID-19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that? • What if a student in your kid's class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when? Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long? • What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out? • How will it affect students and faculty when the first teacher in their school dies from this? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first kid? • How many more people are going to die, that otherwise would not have if we had stayed home longer? 30% of the teachers in the US are over 50. About 16% of the total deaths in the US are people between the ages of 45-65. We are choosing to put our teachers in danger. We're not paying them more. We aren't spending anywhere near the right amount to protect them. And in turn, we are putting ourselves and our kids in danger. We must not succumb to short-sighted pressure to provide cheap daycare. The staff and students are not expendable pawns in this economic game.
  • New cases are higher now than when they were when we shut down in the spring. Large gatherings are not really safe until there is a proven vaccine.
  • Safety first for everyone please.
  • I LOVE my job. However, I will not risk the health of my elderly father who I take care of. I’m afraid to say this will be my last year with WCPS If we go back in person. I pray for those who have to make this difficult decision.
  • Schools are not prepared to open safely
  • I think it needs to be all or nothing. If you do hybrid many of employees as well as parents in general will be created with hardships of having to find someone to watch their child while they go to work. Hybrid model create many challenges and obstacles to juggle and overcome by all stakeholders. Consistency is key and I don’t see consistency in the hybrid model for if student is absent, quarantined etc it will be hard to get caught up and may only see a teacher once a week or not at all. Big question/concern is what happens if a student or teacher tests positive or was in contact with someone that test posture? Another major concern is that I have high risk family members that I need to be careful around. Going to hybrid model and having to find daycare for my kid when he’s not on school exposes him to another group of people that he wouldn’t be if either all at school or all online/distance learning.
  • Until a valid vaccine to prevent spread of COVID 19 can be made available, I feel like we are unnecessarily risking the health of our students and staff! We are too engrossed in the midst of rising numbers of infected people to ignore the risk!
  • Liability of teacher - will we be safe from parents who accuse us of not following safety procedures if their child contracts Covid? Sick days - will there be some kind of fund for teachers who are told to quarantine or will we be forced to use our own sick days? Enforcement of safety rules - will school adhere to and enforce the CDC guidelines?
  • Too many kids don’t have access to the internet and packets aren’t the answer. I am concerned about the mental health and safety of students.
  • While I understand that in some cases in person learning is what might be in the best interest of the student for physical, mental, or learning potential/experience reason the same also holds true distance learning. So offering both to accommodate both best fit scenarios would seem to be the most appropriate. It should be about the students and NOT the parents. Thank you for your time in reading my input.
  • I would hope that CES would give us more than 1 week to prepare whatever scenario we end up doing. Even if we do go back to school, that’s going to look very different with different procedures and protocols. I HATED always feeling so unprepared this past spring! 
  • I am fearful of students and staff returning. I know how hard it is to keep the kids (all ages) to keep a distance from each other as well as staff. I worry about those with a compromised immune system. I worry I will spend more time monitoring and controlling preventive measures than actually teaching. What will happen when (it will happen eventually) contracts the virus? Will the teacher and the entire class be tested and required to quarantine? I worry for my family as I come home each day after being exposed to 500+ students and staff members. We managed with distance learning in the spring and I think it is safest for everyone to begin with distance learning in the fall. There will be too many flaws in hybrid learning and returning as normal. It’s impossible to prevent students from sharing and keep them apart. They share everything, including germs.
  • If numbers increase and we become a hotspot I believe it needs to be DL. Until then we need to follow CDC guidelines. If we cannot successfully do that – DL
  • I miss my students. I miss being able to support them (in person) academically, behavioral, socially, and emotionally. Some students excelled in distance learning, a lot of my students did not ... HOWEVER, I feel that if I decision is made soon and procedures/policies/expectations do not continuously change as they did in the Spring during “emergency teaching,” we as teachers and other staff members can plan better - not perfectly, but better. I feel that no matter what the decision, we need more than one week to prepare for the new school year. If all online is determined as our starting point in the fall, what will teachers be expected to do - in our classrooms/offices, at home, a choice? Will we actually be able to use para professionals in a supportive role if we are online? What will the “PD week” look like when we go back? I do not feel comfortable, at this point, to participate in in-person PD in rooms with hundreds of other people. How can we (CES) make the PD we will receive that week actually worth our time? Meaning, not including certain groups/contents/departments in mass PDs just to be able to say they are participating, but actually providing learning, collaboration, and opportunities for certain “outlier” groups to prepare. What PPE will staff be provided? I’ve seen other teachers post that they received a mask when they cleaned up but I did not and others I spoke to from my school did not either. Will we receive multiple PPE to address contamination? We have medically fragile students - will parents be able to not send their children to school but those students continue distance learning? What about our medically fragile staff? Will they be forced to resign or take medical leave? How will we know that an individual is truly isolating if they test positive, especially with confidentiality and HIPPA? Will educators and students have equitable access to testing kits (I know that’s more of a government issues, but something that needs considered)?
  • If we have to go back What is going to be done to ENSURE we are not getting infected students and staff in our building? If there IS a reported case, who will quarantine, and will it be taken from my sick leave if I have to? How will we get subs? What about specials? Will class sizes shrink? I think students with the HIGHEST needs should go back with the teachers that are willing to be with them. It’s not fair to ask anyone to put their life on the line and that’s what going back would be doing.
  • I am concerned with what happens if a student or staff member tests positive. Do we all have to quarantine? Does our family have to quarantine? How will that affect our sick days or my son’s attendance at his school (we live in a different state)? What happens if a parent refuses to send their child in a mask? Will they be allowed in the building? Or if a parent refuses to pick up their child if they have COVID symptoms? I want to go back but I am also nervous. I’m a single parent with an immunocompromised child. My mother lives with us and she is near 70. These are all factors to think about when I think of safety and returning.
  • As a teacher, I would be wrong to say I wasn’t worried about the health and well-being of my students, my fellow staff members, and myself. There are so many unknowns about the current pandemic. No one wants to start the year online, but the logistics all point to otherwise. Thank you for your considerations.
  • The safety of teachers and their families has to be part of the considerations as well. If there is going to be a potential “option” for student to go 100% virtual if parents don’t feel safe, then there also needs to be one for teachers who don’t feel safe (specifically if there is a medical concern for the employee and/or employees family)
  • I want students and teachers to get back to school! But...I feel like we need some more time to make sure things are done in a safe way for both students and their families and teachers and their families. There needs to be a clear plan in place with safety protocols that would allow for a slow roll out of opening so that, if cases spike, we can easily go back to distance learning. ALL students need to be given a device to use and there MUST be some sort of responsibility required of parents to participate.
  • It’s important that we are safe and that our school system has time to genuinely assess how to re-open safely and slowly.
  • As an expectant mother who is due October 8th I am very concerned about the health and well-being of my baby. I am part of the at risk population and am very anxious about being exposed to the virus if we return to school.
  • I do not trust members of our community. Many parents proclaim their children will not wear masks. I do not want to come into contact with 100+ students who are not made to wear masks for my protection.
  • I do not think being in school will be helpful, but harmful. I teach in primary and do not think quality learning will take place in an environment where 6 and 7 year olds are scared the first day of school meeting a new person wearing all of the recommended PPE. Besides that, how are we suppose to read with them one-on-one? In my opinion, that is some of the best teaching of reading for my students. Plus, what about when these students a need a break? Inside recess for the entire year? Because as we know, children run wild outside and recess and just want to be near their buddies. I’m all for returning and being with my new group of littles, but not under the conditions of it being okay if 0.5% of students die, and possibly even more staff. I love teaching and love my students and want to keep them safe, and I believe the best option as of now is to be distance learning fully to begin the year.
  • I am most concerned with myself being immunocompromised and becoming sick. As well as how sick days with be affected.
  • I am concerned about the inequity issues with distance learning, but do realize it is the safest option.
  • I’m concerned about the number of unanswered questions regarding how school will function. As a early primary teacher, I fear that the regulations set are too high of expectations to set for early primary students especially in the beginning of the year when they need that constant adult interaction, soothing, and support. School is a very new concept and I am worried it will be catastrophic for young learners who are just transitioning to school.
  • At first I wanted hybrid but watching the news I have changed my mind. Open full online with a reeval in term 2
  • My concern with Covid as a whole is that it will NEVER go away. It is here, vaccination or not, it will be out there always. We were to close down to slow the curve and let hospitals catch up. It is now 4 months, when school starts almost 6 months. I’m concerned about some of our Where are they getting meals? Are they being abused? School is a safe haven for so many
  • I understand health safety concerns but would not want children wearing masks all day and would be weary of cleaning solutions being used all day as well as harsh chemicals on their hands. I would love to have hand washing be included in frequent daily routines, as well as other solutions such as smaller class sizes to help contain sicknesses.
  • If encore teachers or other staff are going to be reassigned to serve as general elementary education teachers to address class size, we need to know this as early as possible as this will be a dramatic change many of us are not prepared (and in many cases not certified) to undertake.
  • Children do not understand things they cannot see and social interaction is a main part of what school teaches our children. So tell them that making friends and interaction with ours can make them sick is not what we should want to teach them. For years teacher have said parents need to take a more active role in there children’s schooling as well. And to be honest I feel like parents have used school as a free daycare .....distance learning does work but the parents have to do it . Zoom is not tv or video games and maybe a video of the zoom would help parents do things in there more in there off time.
  • While I actually think face-to-face learning is the best for students, there is no way for that to be possible at full capacity with the size of our buildings and transportation. I am concerned, however, with student's ability to socially distance and to wear a mask at all times (particularly primary students). So, while I think a hybrid is possibly a good compromise, I am concerned about student's health and safety, as well as my own with any sort of in person learning. However, having experienced the lack of participation of distance learning, I am VERY concerned about students, particularly our low income students, with distance learning as they are already at least a year behind their more affluent counterparts, and falling farther behind with each passing day of distance learning. There should be some sort of allowance made to provide internet access for students who do not have internet access so there is no barrier to connect them to distance learning. Then a stipulation should be set that students who do not participate in school will not advance to the next grade level. At some point, we have to stop passing students along to the next grade when they cannot read or write.
  • At this time, there are too many unknowns to open school as usual. However, children are suffering from the lack of socialization and many are academically at risk. What the answer is to that dilemma remains beyond me. We are in a situation that requires new approaches yet to be discovered. I know our teachers are creative and inventive while discovering ways to reach their students. I expect no less from them now. As a community member, I expect the same from the parents. Parents, working with the teachers, as a team, our children will thrive. My only suggestion is stronger two way communication. It seems to be the biggest complaint from parents. Hopefully, parents will work harder to do their part. That said, please know you are all appreciated by the majority of us. You've been given an ungodly task and have done your best and it shows. I know you will continue to do so. Better days are coming!
  • Coronavirus is not as bad as the media wants us to believe. Especially in Washington County. Numbers are very low and continue to drop.
  • If the entire country was shut down for this pandemic a few short weeks ago, how can we feel safe and comfortable with putting our children back in the school system? I do not feel the reopening of schools with the safety measures thar need to be in place in order to do so would be conducive to learning. Kids will be kids. I do not see how face masks, social distancing,sanitizing, washing hands constantly, etc will be better for our children. They need more focus on education and academics rather than focusing their attention on stopping the spread of the virus. Full grown adults do not follow the face mask, social distancing rules, so how can we expect our children to follow the guidelines? I do not feel that reopening of schools, especially in the start of fall is a safe decision and I will be very hesitant to send my child back
  • I am concerned about the health of students and staff.
  • The numbers are already back up to where they were in April. Deaths are lower, but that will naturally lag behind cases by a couple weeks at least. Please see the MSEA's position statement for why schools should open virtually in the spring.
  • I think starting school online is a better choice than A/B days. You're still risking students and staff with smaller groups of students. Think about one student with 3 siblings at home and parents. Who else in the household is being exposed? Then, that child comes in to your classroom. It's a sad choice to make but if everyone follows the guidelines and stays safe, and opening for in person may come sooner than we think.
  • I am highly concerned about my own child’s/family’s health. Although I would love to be back in the classroom, I don’t feel that it is safe at this point. I am also concerned about being able to provide educational support to my child as well as finding childcare if we do distance learning or some sort of hybrid as I will be expected to teach my own students and my husband works outside of the home, it will be a struggle to meet everyone’s needs effectively.
  • Primary students return middle and high distance
  • I teach instrumental music. With the current research available from the very recently released studies from Colorado, I feel that I will not be able to safely teach instrumental music in person in my classroom. Research recommends a 6x6 foot square for each instrumental student and a 6x9 foot rectangle for trombone players. This is for minimal spurts of playing, not sustained group playing. Sustained group playing indoors is not recommended, as the aerosol does build up, increasing risk the longer you play. With the size of my room, I can "safely" fit about 6 kids. I am in a portable, so will not be able to prop doors open, and ventilation is a big issue. Part of my job entails teaching beginners. They need lots of redirection and really need to see closeup what to do to put the instrument together properly and form proper hand and mouth shapes for playing. I will not be able to do either in person. (They also cannot control their air and spit a lot). However, I can do most of these things through a zoom small group meeting. Will it be perfect? Nope. But I can teach technique, and I can see them close up and assess their technique, and they can see me close up for modelling of technique. They will not be able to play as a group, as there is not a solution that exists anywhere that allows for musicians to play together online. In case you were not aware, all of the virtual concerts and performances you see online are individuallly submitted solo videos and hours of video and audio editing to put together. There does, however, exist a variety of online music reading and practicing software available for me to use. In closing, as much as I hate not seeing my kids and not being able to create music together, I feel like the only safe and logical solution at this time is to begin the year virtually, with the idea to reevaluate later in the school year.
  • I'm very concerned with this virus and how dangerous it is to everyone! Not just those whom are in the school building but those of us at home with health issues now. We have seen it before, parents send kids to school while they are I'll as it is. It spreds like wildfire. I'm concerned for teachers and the well being of all staff and students. Kids can carry and pass covid without any symptoms what so ever. Imagine your child coming home from school on a Friday, by Sunday hes running a fever, he test positive for covid. Now Friday evening great grandmother came to visit and was showered with hugs and kisses. Now shes I'll with covid. Her body is to weak to fight it. How in the hell would you feel? I have a 95 year old at home, if my child brings home covid....it will end in a tragedy.
  • If done safely and with precautions in place a hybrid approach would be beneficial to the kids. Online learning was necessary - but not ideal. New material was not instructed or learned. If teachers, kids, parents, etc - go into stores they can go into classrooms
  • First of all I think teachers are absolute heroes! I have early elementary (2nd and K) students and I fully believe they are better served in their education by being in front of teachers. We are a working family. We would never put any student/teacher in harms way which is why we stay at home and wear masks if going out in public is necessary. Teachers are essential workers just like my husband and I and we practice all health department precautions so that we can provide for our families. There is a way to allow the students who will not be able to complete distance learning to be safely in class. If we have to commit to continued stay at home orders and mask wearing to be allowed to have our children attend in the classroom we absolutely would. Please help us get the kids who need face to face learning back to their teachers. Thank you!
  • I do not believe teachers should be "required" to be in the physical classroom. I am currently taking the "Online Teaching in Maryland" course and can do all the cool things I have learned from home.
  • Students have no accountability while DL and we are told to pass students who have never showed up or completed any work.
  • I want to return to school to be with my students, but I just think it not safe to do so. We will spend more time being afraid than learning.
  • I am concerned about the safety of students and faculty with uncertainty of coronavirus transmission. I tend to err on the side of caution rather than being at work each day concerned about my health.
  • I would recommend 100% distant learning. Would could make schools open/available for student without internet and allow staff members that would like to return in-person to monitor a couple of students in their classroom. Instruction would still take place online just students would be working at the school online versus at home.
  • I honestly feel at this point distance learning is safest at least thru module 1. I really hope that we find out whatever is happening sooner rather than later so we can prepare both as a teacher and a parent.
  • The children's mental health is not being taken into consideration
  • I am a substitute teacher for WCPS, and a recent college grad with a degree in early childhood education. While I and many others--students included--would benefit from going back to in-person learning and services, this option is not considering the long-term consequences. Some permanent solution to the covid-19 situation needs to arise before in-person learning can resume. I support a hybrid model that begins the school year with virtual, distance learning and eventually transitions back into the classroom as the year progresses, given that cases in the US begin to fall again.
  • With proper preparation and accountability for students, distance learning can be more effective than the spring.
  • They need to be in school period!!! I am not a teacher and me and my husband work full time and distancing learning made our children worse.
  • Now that the boe has made the decision to have teachers teach virtually from their classrooms, I am very concerned about my school-age children. Assuming they will not allow us to bring our own children with us. I no longer get to be active in my own children's education. I no longer get to protect them from the virus. I don't feel it is safe for all wcps employees to put our children in daycare. Daycares can't possibly be effective with social distancing. They also can't possibly monitor and help kids in their learning the way their own teacher parents can especially if they are crowded with so many school age children. In fact I feel wcps has deprioritized quality education to employees' children by making this decision. And now we may all end up with many unforeseen daycare costs. Can we add temporary daycares within our own buildings? Can we bring our children to school to stay in our own classrooms? We were yet again not given any input as teachers. I can understand perhaps being asked to teach in-house once per week, periodically or even regularly as able, but for me I happen to feel I was just as effective at home as I could be online from school; in fact, I have technology available at home that I don't at school. Neither even comes close to in-person instruction by the way, and putting us back in our buildings can't necessarily improve that situation.
  • Please allow working from home. I have 3 children and they will be in PA for school. If we cannot work from home, I will be taking a leave of absence.
  • Open the schools
  • Daycares are open. People are shopping, eating inside restaurants, and vacationing. Our schools should have a choice to both parents and teachers. Im certain they would sign a waiver.
  • There is no guarantee that we will all be safe
  • Wcps needs to offer choices to parents. Teachers can be used in all of those choices to meet the needs. Some teachers can teach onsite for those who’d like that, others could teach 100 percent remotely, but offer time choices. Some teachers do the morning and afternoon shift. Others may start mid morning and go til 5 or 6. This is a temporary situation we HOPE. But wcps needs to think SMART. Rigid choices will lose customers! These loses will devastate wcps and then who will get the blame??? This can’t be a one size fits all situation. Some ESP should be furloughed now to save $$$ in fact they should have been told this immediately so they could file for unemployment with the understanding that once open they will be welcome back. This could also have given them time to seek other employment. How can we justify on our system paying folks for 7 months without any actual work to perform? I don’t want to sound cold hearted... just we have to think in the long term...
  • I’m not 100% sure kids need to be back in school yet but being a substitute teacher I know that there are kids out there who don’t have the necessary tools at home to do distance learning so with keeping those students in mind I think the hybrid learning option would be the best
  • It’s not safe for students or staff to fully reopen schools at this time. Masks are miserable to wear for long periods of time and those with special needs won’t be able to handle this requirement. Social distancing sounds great but isn’t practical with enclosed areas and high attendance as it is.
  • I think a hybrid system would be nice to try but there are so many unknowns and moving pieces that I just don't think it is feasible.
  • Since we are still in the what if parts of our conversations, I don't think it is safe for schools to reopen. Current questions include what happens if a student or employee tests positive, who quarantines? What happens if a staff member's family member undergoes testing, does that staff member stay home until the results are provided? How can we hold parents accountable to be honest with their son/daughter's symptoms, since many in the past medicate their child and send them to school masking the fever? How will prekindergarten students keep masks on and social distance when one of the core priorities for prekindergarten is socialization? I suggest that the decision be made prior to August 1st so that teachers can deliver quality distance learning starting August 31st. That would allow curriculum writers to draft an outline of plans prior to teacher planning days. Have decision makers considered restructuring prekindergarten so that prekindergarten teachers could support kindergarten and first grade students with instruction to prevent further instructional loss? Prekindergarten teachers could still start a weekly 1-1 structure of distance learning for prekindergarten age children to prepare them for an in person experience. That experience could include get to know you routines, read alouds, counting games, scavenger hunts, shared readings.
  • Concerned that Encore/Fine and Performing Arts will be put on hold so face time or scheduled time online is given to core classes-how much discretion does the building level principal have to reassign teachers to support other subjects, or to teach a new subject I.e- all 4 music teachers just teach General music so kids can be assigned to related arts class based on core subjects?; if an all virtual or hybrid schedule is put in place what will an itinerate teacher’s schedule look like?; what do teachers who pull students from class- instrumental music and GATE- do to see their student’s ina hybrid Or virtual model? “Just figure something out” last year didnt happen with different elementary virtual FaceTime schedules between schools ; What happens if we use a hybrid model and a teacher has their own children only going to school 2 days a week in their district, Chambersburg, and spouse works full time? “Daycare” isn’t readily available for kids older than preschool, no family in the area and my children are too young to be home alone at 5+7yrs? What if I am immunocompromised and don’t feel safe? Getting flu, cold , sinus infection leaves me much more susceptible to COVID. In person what if students or colleagues aren’t following safety measures? How can admin force them? as with other less critical rules- no cell phones, no fighting, no cursing, no vaping - they weren’t able to enforce those?
  • My personal concerns are somewhat selfish. As a special education paraprofessional I am concerned as to what will happen with ESP employees??? If schools open with 100% distance learning, what will the future be for ESP staff. Will paras be included in distance learning? Will we lose our jobs? If ESP positions are cut would we lose our pension? I am sick at the thought of losing a pension after 20 years of dedication to WCPS. My second concern is the special education students. Yesterday was the first day of ESY, which I am working, (grateful for the income). However some of the heavy duty students require me to be in a gown, mask, gloves and face shield, due to the behaviors if the particular students. Some examples of behaviors are spitting, hand in theirs mouths, then wiping their hands on you, the list could go on. I feel that those behaviors are going to spread many germs, especially covid 19.
  • While I know some parents work, and some children do not have "good" parents... my choice for the safety of my family is distance learning as I'm currently watching a family member fight for his life due to covid( hes been on a ventilator for 4 weeks, now needs dialysis, and his heart has stopped twice when trying to remove the ventilator, hes a normally healthy 52 yr old man) so I am happy with the decision!
  • If a student or staff member or even family member contracts COVID, who will be required to quarantine? Will we be paid to quarantine or have to use sick time?
  • I think it is going to be very difficult to roll out any kind of hybrid model in the fall as we are already struggling with how to safely bring 33 kids into my school for summer school. So I can’t imaging be thought of close to 300 in a hybrid model or close to 600 in a fully open scenario. I’m scared and colleagues around me are scared. I do wish though that if we open in a distance model that we as teachers could be in the buildings and teach remotely from there. Our tools are readily available and often the WiFi is better at my school. Maybe then teachers that are struggling with daycare could also bring their own children along to be contained in their own classrooms. It’s a big decision, but I’m praying we will do what’s best for everyone’s health and not just for parents that need to work.
  • I have serious questions about how I can do my job if my kids are in school on a different schedule. I think that the safety requirements will prevent developmental appropriate teaching and play. I am worried about being thrust back into work to deliver sped services with children who cannot independently maintain any hygiene or safety on their own. I feel like I may be pushed into a leave of absence to keep my family safe, which will make more work for the other sped staff.
  • My son needs the social interaction to grow and help him. How can these students go to esy but now distance learning in the fall? I'm sorry this is a horrible decision especially for children who need therapies and the social things that school helps them with. Also my a,b student since elementary school failed last semester of online learning. If this continues I will look into alternative schooling for all 3 of my kids!
  • Though it will be difficult and will require everyone to be diligent about health safety guidelines, I believe that more students are being harmed by not attending school.
  • My child struggled so hard with his virtual learning.
  • I am concerned about the safety of teachers if they are required to return to schools/classrooms as that would still put a large number of people in the school along with the necessary sanitation needed to ensure that halls/bathrooms/main office and other common areas are sanitized, as needed, to prevent teachers from becoming sick.
  • Listen to the Science, not Politicians
  • The virus is not coming anywhere send them back!
  • I have 3 children in the school system and I am terrified about schools rushing back to re-open. I'd rather them have 2020 begin with Distance Learning and in safety. Would you rather say "my child's education was impacted from 2020-2021 and we had to work hard to make up for lost time" or "I lost my child in 2020-21?" I know that's a dramatic way to look at things but the statistics are not something to doubt. We don't have many certain things we know about how this will affect younger children when pushed back into "normal school settings" even with whatever county precautions are supposedly being taken. I know how low staffed the custodial sector is in our county. I know how much teachers have to purchase on their own. I know that not all safety measures even IF followed through on properly won't protect children. I know that teachers shouldn't be put in the position to enforce if and how children are keeping masks on, keeping distance, and wasting their time sanitizing my children's rooms, materials, and taking away from learning time. I understand that many people are struggling with day care, stress of having kids at home, and have differing beliefs on how serious the virus is. Tough decisions are a part of parenting and the school system is not a daycare or a dumping ground for students if MD is not in a position to put people back into buildings. Please consider Distance Learning until we are well in the safety zone.
  • As a mom and teacher my kids learned best in school and the same with my own teaching. I know there are risks, but maybe there can be some teachers be distance learning for the county and others in classrooms and parents pick which they want for their children.
  • If the BOE insists on in-person teaching, then student populations should be split in half, with half of the students attending Monday and Tuesday and the other half attending Thursday and Friday. I am concerned about REAL cleaning. Our custodians have never done an especially good job in the classrooms, but now it's a matter of life and death. Hmmm. Also, what happens if one of my students tests positive? With contact tracing, all of his or her classmates AND his or her teachers, as well as bus drivers, should quarantine. We've struggled getting subs under the BEST of circumstances. I can't imagine that a bunch of retired teachers will be beating down our doors to get paid a ridiculous daily rate to teach. Honestly, while I know that there are mental health and general education reasons for returning to the building, I believe the most important thing is safety. Why make front-line "heroes" out of teachers and students?
  • I have a middle school child with special needs including medical concerns and a high school senior in the vo tech program (fire academy) . I am greatly concerned about the safety of my child with special needs returning to school & would distance learn if that were an option. My senior vo tech student requires in-class instruction to get the skills & certifications he needs to graduate so I want him in class. He struggled immensely intellectually & emotionally the last term of 2019-2020 because he was not motivated or engaged in classes. I struggled to get him to even get out of bed, much less do assignments. He said it was "pointless." I was shocked that on the WCPS survey it doesn't appear they intend to send seniors back to school this fall. I've heard they intend to prioritize sending the Elementary schoolers back. I feel this is unfair. Elementary schoolers have years to make this learning time up. This is my sons last year of school. This will have devastating consequences. High schoolers are far more likely to properly wear mask, wash hands & understand social distancing than small children. They also need the socialization more for mental health. I am extremely concerned for my older son this fall. He feels like his plans are slipping away. He had depression & anxiety before & this situation isn't helping. There had been no support or outreach from his school. Please don't prioritize one group of children over the others.
  • We have several diabetic and older staff, and some who have elderly parents or immunocompromised children at home. I am very concerned that if we return, they will quit, or become seriously ill. There will be no subs to cover these classes. Teachers will become super spreaders. I love our kids, and this will not be a good learning environment.
  • I hope you keep schools closed or at most only hold classes for students with IEP/504s.
  • While not convenient, distance learning is the SAFEST path forward right now. This country does not have control of this virus by any measure. Summer is generally the time when viral infections are lower. I shudder to think where we'll be come winter. I know there is no perfect solution to opening school buildings for students and staff. I feel that schools should be open ONLY when it is safe. I teach in a classroom with no windows and no doors to the outside (although we could not open those anyway with threats of active shooters) and a poor ventilation system. I'm in my mid-50's and as such, I do not feel comfortable returning to the classroom until infection rates drop dramatically. If people cannot eat inside in a restaurant it is very irresponsible and downright cruel to force educators to be in classrooms that I consider "germ factories" in normal years. We have no idea what long term health issues will arise from this virus. I've also heard that anyone who's tested positive or have tested positive for antibodies will not be allowed to serve in the military. This will affect the plans of numerous high school students who were planning a career in the military. I suggest we begin the year with distance learning for the first semester. See where infection rates are this winter and if near 0, have a phased opening beginning with elementary students and gradually work up to finally high school students. For students who do not have adequate access to internet at home and have no way to get to a hotspot, perhaps they could report to their school (parent would have to drop them off and pick them up daily as no buses would be running). They could be placed in the cafeteria, gym, or auditorium so that social distancing can be maintained. They all will have to wear masks as well - mandatory with no exceptions. They would then complete distance learning instruction from school, thus eliminating the need for paper packets that most of my students did not do. Students could be monitored by any faculty/staff member who wanted/felt comfortable reporting to the school building. Finally, distance learning is not ideal, but it is learning. If we fully open schools, it means we're willing to sacrifice some educators. How much learning will occur with no teacher to teach them - distance or in person? Let's face it, people are not beating down the door to become teachers. We need to keep everyone we have safe. While I desperately miss my students and classroom, distance learning is the only safe avenue we have at the moment. Kids are resilient. Learning gaps can be filled in later, but a life cannot be replaced.