LEA protest 1

At Monday’s LEA-organized “Solidarity for Safety” rally at the LCPS administrative building, a protester clad in a protective coverall and mask claims he’s wearing next year’s “new school uniform,” referring to the perceived high-risk work environment for LCPS teachers and staff next year.

With the time leading to the start of Loudoun County Public Schools classes in September rife with questions and concerns from employees, division officials conducted a pair of virtual, town hall-style meetings on July 9 and 13 to address such queries.

The first session focused primarily on questions from LCPS teachers and other instructional employees, while the second provided information for general staffers. Both were hosted by Superintendent Eric Williams.

Three assistant superintendents joined Williams over the course of the two events: Ashley Ellis, Asia Jones, Kevin Lewis and Scott Ziegler, representing the departments of Instruction, Pupil Services, Support Services, and Human Resources and Talent Development, respectively. Director of Facilities Services Edward Treanor also participated in the July 9 session.

Monday’s event occurred on the same day as a “Solidarity for Safety” rally outside the division’s administrative building, which was organized by the Loudoun Education Association and included many LCPS employees petitioning administration to consider their well-being going into next school year.

Before LCPS decided at the end of last month to implement a hybrid learning model in the fall with an option for families to select 100 percent distance learning, a number of staff had made known their preference for an across-the-board distance learning model, largely due to concerns regarding employees’ susceptibility to the coronavirus.

Teachers were asked to indicate whether they preferred to teach in a hybrid or distance learning environment by Wednesday morning, though officials have said such preferences may not necessarily determine each teacher’s ultimate placement.

Before accepting questions on Monday, Williams acknowledged the dicey situation in which employees find themselves, saying senior staffers “know that there will be many questions that we don’t have all the answers to, but we do want to put some additional information on the table.”

“I disagree vehemently with those community members who say to school division staff members, ‘Hey, you just need to get back to work and not worry so much about public health strategies,’” he later added. “I think those folks are off track, clearly.”

Below is an abbreviated collection of questions and answers given. Both town hall meetings are available to view in full at vimeo.com/user92307010.

Is child care for teachers’ children going to be provided?

Williams: The Loudoun County government is considering whether to expand its capacity for providing child care offering. They’re assessing the need and they’re considering whether or not they would prioritize both county employees and LCPS employees in the child care offering. Yesterday, [Loudoun] County and LCPS sent emails to employees regarding child care. Employees were asked whether they would be interested in county-operated child care. Responses to that inquiry will help assess the interest in expanding the county-operated child care.

We realize that employees are needing to make plans and decisions now, and we realize the fact that there’s not a final decision on that offering does not help someone make decisions now, but I did want to share that that work is underway with the intent of having some level of offering, but without a sense of whether, once expanded, it would meet the level of interest that might exist.

How will teachers issue and manage assessments for students who are at home 100 percent, and ensure the integrity of those assessments?

Ellis: We recognize that assessment is top priority for teachers. [Division staff is] in the process of collaborating to create an assessment plan for the 2021 school year. This includes working with the state level regarding the assessment practices that they’ll put in place, as well as with external vendors, to be able to provide a secure platform within Schoology to allow those assessments to take place at home in a secure environment.

We’re also working on providing assessments in order to determine student readiness. We know that’s a concern within families as they begin the new school year, as well as monitoring progress throughout the year.

What will the cleaning schedule be?

Treanor: Our enhanced cleaning schedule that we’ve developed has our daytime custodial team going through and cleaning the common areas in the school, primarily the halls, the common restrooms, the entryways … three times a day. In addition to three times a day, they will also be doing it after the end of the school day, which is when they will also be going into each classroom on a detailed level, doing the deep-cleaning and disinfecting.

Is more staff being hired to accommodate large class sizes that, when split in half, do not meet the maximum class size for social distancing?

Williams: We have not created additional positions. We will be assigning students to particular classes in such a way that allows us to generally adhere to the phase guidance for Virginia schools.

If a staff member is assigned to 100 percent distance learning, is there a chance that they will be reassigned?

Ziegler: At this time, the plan is for most teachers to be scheduled for either the distance-learning model or the hybrid-learning model at the school level. This means that principals, with input from HRTD, will determine those with medical need for distance learning. We’ll schedule teachers based on the needs of the students at a particular school.

In other words, a teacher assigned to [the] distance learning model will have a section of students from the same school, and therefore the teacher’s placement will not change. When we return to school, the teachers assigned to distance learning and the students assigned to distance learning will all hopefully return to the same classroom.

If no distance learning position is available for high-risk teachers, can they be furloughed or forced to take leave?

Ziegler: At this time, there’s no plans to furlough teachers or other staff members. High-risk employees may need to take leave if the division is unable to accommodate their medical needs. However, the word “forced” there is a little bit of a misnomer, because we don’t make those decisions in HRTD without consulting with the employee and consulting with [their] health care provider. So if an employee needs to take leave, it’s a decision that’s made based on input from the employee and the doctor, then we would base that mostly on what the doctor says.

We will do our best to accommodate all requests … for distance learning model teaching assignments, but there may be rare cases when we’re unable to do so, and if your doctor says you can safely come to work in the hybrid model, we would offer that prior to moving someone to a leave status.

Is there any consideration for instituting furloughs on classified staff such as behavioral assistants and teaching assistants?

Williams: The School Board has not considered any proposals for furloughs of any staff members. Also, LCPS … has not developed, or even started to develop, any proposals for furloughs and does not have any plans for doing so. We can’t guarantee that there will never be a furlough, but that is not a focus at all.

If we go past “Phase 3” and schools open fully, will distance learning still be an option for students?

Williams: The short answer is yes, it will. … We do not have clarity in terms of state guidance beyond “Phase 3.” The phase guidance for Virginia schools set forth by [Gov. Ralph Northam] provides specifics through “Phase 3,” but very limited information for the time period they refer to as “Beyond Phase 3.”

In response to questions they’ve received, they’ve said that additional guidance would be given for what the expectations would be for how teaching and learning would be delivered beyond “Phase 3.” … We’re anticipating that students would be able to continue in distance learning for at least [the whole first semester], if not the full year.

What are the provisions for substitute teachers for both distance and hybrid learning?

Ziegler: We have reached out to our entire cadre of substitute teachers, and we’ve heard back from just over 1,500, the majority of whom have responded that they are willing and able to work in both the hybrid environment and the distance-learning environment. We will be assigning subs this year a little bit extra because we anticipate increased needs, so every school will be assigned a sub regardless of teacher call-out at the ratio of one substitute for 25 teachers, and they will be arriving at the buildings each day to help with additional coverage, to help when teachers get ill during the school day and to be placed where needed.

Teachers who are teaching in the hybrid system will need to call out when they are ill, because we will need to make sure we have a substitute assigned to that class. We anticipate the same will be true for distance-learning teachers, but there are some technical things we need to work out in order to place a substitute teacher in the distance-learning classroom environment. Once we have those worked out, we will be able to provide substitutes under both models.

Under what exact circumstances do students or teachers get quarantined?

Jones: Aligned with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], the Loudoun County Health Department wholly recommends a 14-day home quarantine for anyone who has spent at least 15 minutes within six feet of a person thought to be contagious with COVID. ... For example, if there is a staff member who has exposed a number of students from different grade levels or from different houses who are in the cafeteria, then those students would be isolated or quarantined from those particular houses or grade levels.

Some folks have asked what is the difference between self-isolation and self-quarantine. Self-isolation is if the individual is ill and has been determined to have COVID. Quarantine is if the person is not ill but they have been a close contact.

What is the nature of the instructional pause when a student or class gets quarantined?

Jones: We work very closely with the Loudoun County Health Department as required … and if there has been or appears to be a spread within a school, [LCHD] certainly would recommend potential temporary closure. If a student or employee needs to be quarantined … they would be able to participate, during that pause, through distance learning. Once the quarantine or isolation period has ended and we’ve received documentation of such, then the individual would be able to return to in-person instruction.Can an employee get, and submit, a doctor’s letter to allow them to work from home as necessary?

Ziegler: The decision about whether an employee will be able to work from home is a complex one, and one we will need further information for. Moving forward, as students return to school in the hybrid model, the reality is that many of our employees will have to report to a work location in order to support those students and operations at a school.

If you’re an employee that has a medical condition and you need a reasonable accommodation … as soon as possible, contact the leave and disability office for what your next steps are and for information that you would need to submit. Accommodations are determined on an individual need and are made in cooperation with the employee, HRTD staff and the employee’s health care provider.

If I take leave for COVID, will it be deducted from my own leave, or will it be considered workers’ compensation?

Ziegler: Employees may have to take leave for a COVID exposure. It depends where the COVID exposure took place: If it was in the community, then the expectation would be that you take leave; if it’s in the classroom, then I’ve already discussed how we will handle quarantining teachers during a work-related COVID exposure. Those teachers will be switched to the distance-learning model. If their classroom is still in session, we will make arrangements for them to teach from home and have a substitute teacher cover the class in their absence.

Employees who believe that their exposure is work-related should file a workers’ comp claim. Claims are evaluated by a third-party administrator that is contracted by the division to evaluate and decide on payment for health benefits, doctor’s visits, lost time at work. … That administrator will investigate the facts around the exposure and determine whether or not the claim qualifies for workers’ comp.

If we go past “Phase 3” and schools open fully, will distance learning still be an option for students?

Williams: The short answer is yes, it will. … We do not have clarity in terms of state guidance beyond “Phase 3.” The phase guidance for Virginia schools set forth by [Gov. Ralph Northam] provides specifics through “Phase 3,” but very limited information for the time period they refer to as “Beyond Phase 3.”

In response to questions they’ve received, they’ve said that additional details guidance would be given for what the expectations would be for how teaching and learning would be delivered beyond “Phase 3.” … We’re anticipating that students would be able to continue in distance learning for at least [the whole first semester], if not the full year.

(96) comments

mover

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/68-nyc-teachers-and-school-staffers-have-died-due-to-coronavirus/ar-BB13kdZP

mover

https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/healthy-new-jersey-baseball-coach-dies-of-coronavirus/

mover

In response to those who continue to claim how "overpaid" the LCPS teachers are..Lets say, Manassas City BS+15 and Prince William BS+15, Loudoun BS+30.. I also should have included Fairfax and Montgomery County.

LCPS Manassas City Prince William

Step 20 $80,614 $82,978 $82,979

Step 25 $86,614 $96,891 $96,899

Step 28 $90,614 $106,204 $106,285

Step 29 $93,214 $107,304 $109,606

Step 31 $98,190 $108,324 $113,627

Step 32 $99,000 $110,111 $120,180

Yes, the lower, least experienced part of the scales are not included, which is slightly better in Loudoun, but not by a lot. So I guess it must cost more to live in Manassas or Prince William and their taxes are a higher % to pay these teachers such at such exorbitant amounts. Oh yes, on top of it a separate matching retirement on top of VRS contribution. And how dare them go virtual too. There is no lesson prep or stress at all doing virtual teaching. sure, right, just taking it easy making $ at home with no work being done. (sarcasm)..Actually, probably an increase in paperwork and data taken which is much, loading and creating lessons more pertinent to online teaching. (In between eating bon bon's). All of this is much more difficult to do virtual than in person by far hands down. This will be my final point due to the lack of ability to speak reason to those that have clear vendetta's and down deep mental illness to hate all teachers to the extreme that is exhibited. Thanks to the larger majority that have voices of reason and appreciation.

mover

Sure let's go back to school. But first, consider this:

• 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 quarantine and get test? 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 terrified?

• 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. Let's not skirt the issue, 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.

Virginia SGP

You are confused:

1. The CDC doesn't even conduct contact tracing unless the person was within 6 ft of the COVID-positive individual for 15 minutes or more. So in most of the above scenarios, not only would the teacher not quarantine, but he/she would not even be tested. (120 students of the teacher; substitute teachers, fellow students, etc.)

2. No teacher teaches 150 students. First, they don't teach 5 classes in one day. Second the classes average ~23-24 students so we are looking at 120 students for a teacher with 5 blocks spread out over 2 days.

3. LCPS doesn't have anywhere near 30% of its teachers older than 50. That would be like suggesting LCPS teachers earning > $125K should be likened to actual teachers elsewhere who are paid much less (like $40K). Ours are rich. Theirs are often not.

4. Substitute pay is $112/day. Long-term is $156/day. That is 1/2 the salary alone (benefits run over 55% of the salary for teachers) of a Step 1 teacher. LCPS could increase sub pay by 50% up to $220/day and easily fill all those positions ..... while saving money. Imagine that. But none of the SB spouses or relatives appear to be subs so it might be a hard sell to do the right thing.

5. A grand total of ....... 1 person has passed away in Loudoun under 50 years old from COVID. The best estimates put that probability at 0.0092% or less than 1 in 10K. Considering those with underlying conditions are 12x more likely to pass away, the chances that a healthy teacher will die from COVID is very, very rare. LCPS should be clear that teachers should not consider working if they are vulnerable but rather seek a new career. Teachers are on year to year contracts. Just like high school and college graduates, start searching.

6. No significant outbreaks occurred in European schools after they reopened. In contact tracing, even when students were near other students prior to the lockdown (no masks), almost no students become infected from that contact. It is very, very rare.

You seem to distinguish a family death from COVID derived at school from a family death from COVID derived outside of school. Why? There may be rare instances where a person under 50 passes away in Loudoun. But if you are worried about stress from the death of a family member, schools have little involvement in that. It happens all the time. It's called life. Students will have the option for DL. And those who chose in-person understand it is not 100.00000% free of COVID. But they CHOOSE it. And teachers CHOOSE to work in-person jobs (there are a limited number of DL jobs) just like they can choose to work as an at-home telemarketer. Why do you think choice is bad?

SueMe

I want to caution everyone never to challenge Virginia SGP, point out his errors, repost any of his mistakes and lies, or even try to interpret his wild accusations and thought. He recent began a campaign that some are characterizing as an effort to shut down debate and satire through threats of civil lawsuit which could seem to be aimed at bankrupting his opponents with expensive legal fees. So, I would just let him have his space here.

amerigirl

He should be working not commenting here. Maybe he should just be ignored by all no matter what he says, the things he says don't hold much water anyway.

Voltaire

SueMe--Thanks for the cautionary posting. There is nothing wrong with participating in a general discussion on policy matters and providing one's opinion. Everyone is free to do that without fear of retaliation. However, it is wrong for people, on this site or elsewhere, to make statements that imply engaging in criminal conduct without facts to support that allegation. The performance of that activity does provide the proper legal grounds for a civil action. There is a big difference.

DavisB

correct, Voltaire

But for Virginia SGP, repeating and trying to interpret his own writings seems to be grounds for him to file a law suit, which despite being frivolous, could seriously damage his victims financially.

The recent situation seems to stem from his multiple posts offering cash to kids to speak with him. Many around multiple social media platforms questioned this offer and characterized in many ways. He is upset that his words are being used against him. You would have to acknowledge that this offer of cash to children can be construed in many ways and none of them appear to be appropriate; maybe not illegal but also not the best way to argue his point, what ever that is. Approaching children with offers like this online is never a good idea despite the intention.

So, it does appear to many that he found himself caught up in his own posting (which have been removed from this site but not everywhere) and instead of simply clarifying what he meant, he is attacking everyone who questioned his motives and actions in an apparent attempt to win the internet.

Voltaire

DavisB--thank you for the additional information. It was very helpful.

SueMe

Precisely, Davis.

I would also suggest that instead of pointing out his errors and challenging him, maybe simply ignoring his posts might be a better approach. Like a parent would do with their kid that is acting out, withhold attention is a sometimes a better way to stop the bad behavior that giving them attention

mover

I am trying to figure out what teacher only has 5 blocks?? I have many close friends who are teachers in Northern Va. Every teacher I know has 6 blocks and at least 26-30 students in each class. I also have yet to meet a teacher in Loudoun who makes more than $100,000??? Maybe right at that or if they have been teaching 40 years. Maybe the Prince William or Manassas City or Fairfax Scale was being looked at in error. Wait, Prince William and Fairfax couldn't pay that much more than Loudoun and give a matching retirement and VRS..no way!! I am sick and tired of Loudoun being touted as so much higher that surrounding areas and it is just a plain out lie. And no one addresses this when I bring it up on at least 3 of these threads where a few people have all day, day in and day out to dedicate their life to attacking a group of people. And believe me, the benefits are just as attractive in Fairfax and Prince William. Somehow, I do believe in Karma and when we throw continual spears and have vendetta's against a group of people who give their heart and soul to kids what goes around comes around for sure.

amerigirl

SGP, you sound confused. 1) It is not the CDC that does contact tracing it is the individual states health departments, who can use and adapt the resources that the CDC offers. 2) 15% of schools in Virginia still operate on a traditional schedule and can have up to 7 classes a day. Loudoun does have block scheduling so that won’t happen. However, average does not mean that all classes only have that number of students, some have more and some less 3) Techers don’t just need to be older to be at risk. The latest info is that 40% of teachers have a condition that puts them at risk. 4) life and wellness are more important to many subs. 5) A grand total of .......4 people under 60 have died in Loudoun but 162 were serious enough to be hospitalized. The newest mutation of the virus is hitting younger people now and working it’s way up from the south. Those are the people filling the hospitals. ABC news; As data shows more and more younger people are getting infected by the novel coronavirus, health experts are trying to bust a myth that they say has stifled the global health crisis response: that young people can’t get seriously ill from the virus. Seemuller said that younger people's potential susceptibility to severe complications from the virus was there from the start, even if many didn't realize it.

“People have always been admitted to the hospital in that age group, and no one wanted to listen to that,” Seemuller said. “The early message was that young people will be fine but that's just not true.”

6) I have already panted out the outbreak in one country. I suggest you look at the data from the new report put oout by South Korea.

You don’t seem to realize that is not just who lives and dies and that there are serious complications that people of any age can get that will affect the rest of their lives.

mover

Many, many private schools are now working frantically to go virtual. My niece is an administrator at one in Charlottesville and after trying to prepare all summer to follow CDC guidelines that are now going virtual for the first half of the year. Many local public schools are now pushing the start of the school year back 2-3 weeks. Many other private schools are following suit going virtual.

Virginia SGP

Wouldn't it be nice if you shared actual information with readers from Loudoun:

Providence Academy: "we anticipate that Providence Academy will be able to implement all state-mandated health and safety precautions and offer your child uninterrupted, in-person learning with a full curriculum, including music, art, technology, PE, and foreign language."

Foxcroft (residential school): still proceeding to have students on campus and in-person instruction with distancing policies.

Fairfax Christian School: "The Fairfax Christian School will open for on-campus, in-person, five-day-a-week classes for four-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade on August 24, 2020"

Loudoun School for Advanced Studies: "Daily in-person classes for all students ... Our plan for the 2020-2021 school year will increase safety for our teachers and students so we can return to in-person classes on the first day of school."

amerigirl

SGP, so what, you found some schools that didn’t match what he said? He said many, all and said the area. Wouldn’t it be nice if you shared some actual information from Loudoun;

Fusion Academy Loudoun is now offering 100% virtual instruction. All middle and high school classes are taught through Zoom,

Virginia Academy (Leesburg) Download the PDF and learn about our on-site learning environment, our digital learning option for phases

Loudoun Country Day School Robust Distance learning program.

It is not a competition on how many it is a statement of facts. This private school Middleburg Academy closed due to declining enrollment, an increase in financial aid requests, and the impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of its impact this coming fall.

heyyousleaze

Private school teachers are going back to 100% in-person teaching this fall, with the obvious precautions taken including smaller classrooms, masks, faceguards, and frequent cleaning. LCPS can't figure out how to do the same?

amerigirl

Private schools have always had more flexibility, and usually more money. But since you have said they are open please say which private schools are opening?

Loudoun4Trump

Is the person in the picture actually teaching kids in Loudoun County? Holy moly, its worse than I thought....

amerigirl

The virus, yes it probably is worse than you think

Virginia SGP

LCPS claims that it teaches to think critically. So let's do some of that this morning. Let's agree what is not a problem.

a. The fact that somebody catches COVID outside of school is not a problem.

b. The fact that somebody catches COVID outside of school and passes away (like the LCPS case in the spring) is very sad, but does not reflect on the schools in any way as this will happen infrequently and randomly.

c. The fact that somebody who is positive for COVID comes to school but does NOT transmit it to anybody else (e.g. they were asymptomatic) is not a problem.

What the Back-to-School plans should focus on preventing is a series of connected actions:

Steps Required to Have an LCPS COVID Casualty

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. A person catches COVID outside of school (this is a reqt because school is not open now thus the first LCPS case cannot catch it from school)

2. That person comes to school and actually passes it on to other folks while implementing the 6 ft distancing in classrooms and the masks in the hallways.

3. The person who contracts COVID in school then passes away.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

In order to reach step #3, you must first complete steps 1 & 2. It is likely that some folks will catch COVID outside of school and come to school. So let's assume #1 happens. But for #2, this is highly unlikely. The contact tracing in Europe demonstrated that even (before the lockdown) when folks came to school with COVID-positive results and were in CLOSE CONTACT, there were practically no cases of it being spread. That was before all of the testing and symptom screening began. So for #2 to even happen, it will almost certainly be an asymptomatic case and unlikely to spread in school.

Even if #2 occurs, which is unlikely, the chances that somebody passes away from COVID is highly unlikely and shown below based on a Swiss study with a higher overall mortality rate estimate than even the CDC:

5-9 years old: 0.0016% (1 in 60K)

10-19 years old: 0.00032% (1 in 300K)

20-49 years old: 0.0092% (1 in 10K)

50-64: 0.14%

65+: 5.6%

Overall: 0.64%

Note that these rates include those with underlying conditions which, in and of itself, makes someone about 12x more likely to pass away. If LCPS were to simply ask that those with such conditions not sign up to teach in the fall, the chances of mortality from someone catching COVID (already unlikely) is less than 0.00075% (1 in 130K) for adults and 0.000125% (1 in 750K) for kids. And remember that is AFTER it has been spread with the distancing/masks policy in place. That's essentially zero chance of dying from an LCPS COVID case.

That is exactly why the Dutch Health Ministry has recommended kids go back to school without distancing or masks: https://www.facebook.com/virginiasgp/posts/2812947318990656

If SB members and LCPS administrators cannot understand the data and statistics, maybe they should not be in these positions.

Constitution

What Swiss study? Under what conditions were the statistical data compiled? How can that be applied here where we have many more COVID cases? Evidently you don't understand conditional statistics. Besides misapplying questionable statistics, there is much more to this than a mortality rate. If somebody is sick with COVID, they are likely to have lung damage and other organ damage for life. If a child acquires the virus, the child may not become sick or may have a mild illness, but still could spread it to others. Any asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic person, child or adult, can transmit the virus to numerous others. The fact that many people do not become seriously ill does not diminish the seriousness of this epidemic, as we have seen in all parts of this country and in other countries.

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Virginia SGP

Once again, no data or logic from the union activist crowd, DavisB.

1. He ignores the research that occurred BEFORE any lockdowns when COVID was running wild in Europe. That relates to my point #2 above. He wouod get an F.

2. He ignores tge minimal risk even if somebody catches the virus. 1 in 130k for adults under 50. 1 in 750k for kids. This relates to my point #3above. Again he gets an F.

Do you want to try again for make-up credit? I doubt you will improve your score though. I gather he will tell us another irrelevant difference like tea costs less in China.

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amerigirl

estimates? well how reliable. How long did you have to look to get sources whose opinions aligned with yours?

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doverboy

Statistics don't prove or disprove anything. IE: 25% of traffic deaths are caused by drunk drivers. Why aren't we more focused on the 75% who aren't drunk who cause the majority traffic deaths? If 100 people who don't feel well get Corona tested there is a good chance that the majority will test positive. I just don't want to around the guy who feels great but is asymptomatic. It doesn't have to be a death sentence that people are worried about, it is the cost to family, work, and health that getting sick will disrupt. Come out from behind the curtain, little man.

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amerigirl

SGP, do you know why there is no research??? Because the school year hasn't started for most countries. What you have is BS research.

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amerigirl

It took 10 seconds to find that research, it shows. When is the research from? You put a new spin on pompous.

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amerigirl

Wow SGP your pompous ego is unbelievable. What is with you telling people they need to get out more or have no clue? I guess you are so perfect. Wasn’t it you who used the Netherlands as an example? Yes there were significant outbreaks. AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - An elementary school in the Netherlands closed in the city of The Hague on Wednesday after two teachers tested positive for coronavirus and seven students developed gastrointestinal symptoms, an official said.

It was the first to close again after the Netherlands, which has reported more than 46,000 COVID-19 cases and 5,977 deaths, reopened elementary schools on May 11 at reduced capacity as part of a gradual lifting of lockdown measures. The Dutch school’s two locations were closed, with about 500 students going back to online learning to minimize health risks.

Reduced capacity and still had to close.

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amerigirl

SGP I

ll take no data over false data every time

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amerigirl

SGP what an ego. If someone doesn’t want to answer you then you start the name calling, what a man. You think you know what and how everyone thinks because, well you’re you and you know everything. People who respect the virus and want to stop it are “fearful” Shame on you. No wonder so many of your post show up in my mailbox but are removed from the comment section

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SueMe

Have to wonder what Davis wrote that is untrue and that harmed your reputation. Is it the question about your post offering money to kids? Which part of this question is untrue? Since this posts has been removed, there must have been something wrong with it. Don’t you think that could be construed as you offering money to children?

Or is it something else. I don’t see anything Davis or anyone wrote that is more harmful than a snarky comment on your posts. Which one is untrue? If you can identify the untrue comment and specify how it harms your reputation, I will personally apologize for all haters here and donate $100 to the charity of your choice (that was the amount you mentioned, yes?)

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Virginia SGP

I've asked LTM to place a litigation hold on the comments and DavisB's account. The LTM editors are quite familiar with defamation law as they get coerced all the time by government officials to not print stuff.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. A defamatory statement accusing somebody of a felony and of "moral turpitude" is defamation per se that implies reputational harm in an of itself. It is very telling that the accusers have neither retracted their statements nor tried to mitigate any harm but simply acknowledged malice (which triggers punitive damages).

Folks don't seem to understand the difference between a discussion of public policy and when gossiping hordes intentionally libel someone in print. Who would even think of accusing sombody else of a felony without cause? It is the very reason we have defamation laws.

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SueMe

I am confused Virginia SGP. Is this about your offer of $100 to kids to talk with you? I read that and was astonished. I never saw anyone accuse you of anything, o my comment on what you wrote here yourself. Please explain to us what was said that you disagree with. If you refuse to be specific? it might appear to many that you are trying to intimidate others into silence.

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amerigirl

SGP once again, no data is better than very flawed data.

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amerigirl

SGP, Boohoo for you. You can't win an argument and so you sue? sad sad. Are yu really a govt employee? Is all this time you are spending on this site being paid for by the taxpayer?

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amerigirl

You obviously don't live in Brian's Utopian world. The world where it is assumed that all the kids entering the school don't have the virus.

doverboy

Take off your mask, batman

Virginia SGP

Learn to google, robin.

amerigirl

[batman]

BobOhneiserEsq

Read the state statute which establishes the powers and duties of a Virginia School Board 22.1-79 and then ask yourself if they are following the law on this issue. What questions have they demanded be answered related to methods of teaching or schools being conducted with utmost efficiency. Staff doesn't show up to work and still get paid does not seem very efficient but did they even ask any questions related to how efficient this hybrid program is or isn't? How can the school board approve this method of teaching when they know full well a great many families have no support whatsoever for a young child to be home alone supposedly learning. How does the Academy of Science which is already designed with much greater spacing and much lower class sizes provide labs under this scenario? Why can't the academies remain in-person classes? Did they even ask such questions? :-)

DavisB

You are throwing around the idea that the School Board is failing to properly carry out their duties - are you sure you are a lawyer?

Loudounlistener

LCPS go ahead and keep ignoring the science and consensus:

From NPR This fall, public school districts should prioritize full-time, in-person classes for grades K-5 and for students with special needs. That's the top-line recommendation of a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

The report includes an updated review of the evidence from around the world and a set of recommendations on mitigation strategies for the coronavirus in school settings. It adds to a hefty reading list of back-to-school guidance that now includes comprehensive recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Federation of Teachers and every U.S. state except Kansas. There's a growing consensus on a few best practices across most of these reports, such as the importance of masking and social distancing.

Socr8s

You need to know your sources. AAP just walked back that statement 3 days ago. They a said kids should go back to school ONLY if all parties - students, staff and teachers - can do so in a way that is safe for everyone.

Virginia SGP

But they can. If you are vulnerable, then don't go back to school because it may not be safe. For kids, that means they select DL. For teachers, that means they select a different career.

The notion that a vulnerable teacher can demand a specific job and block education for all is akin to a football player who has had concussions demanding the NFL switch to Tag because it is not safe for HIM when hitting/tackling. In what universe does can a few employees tell businesses how they must change to accommodate them?

DavisB

Teachers are not demanding a specific job - they are demanding a safe environment. We must accommodate this requirement

Virginia SGP

So you agree, DavisB, that the only issue is whether there are enough teachers who are willing to teach in-person instruction who feel it's safe enough? Well then, we are in agreement becasue there are plenty of teachers for that. Many teachers may want to teach DL and there will not be enough jobs to go around (just like 5000 applicants every year are desperate to have a lottery-ticket LCPS teacher job but don't get it).

Teachers who feel in-person instruction is safe enough for them get hired for that.

Teachers who feel distance-learning is what they need can put their name in the hat for that (just like any applicant).

Done deal. Great we could agree. Now, let's send all the kids back to school that express that preference and hire some more effective teachers for in-person instruction!

amerigirl

Select a different career? Would you like to select a different career through no fault of your own? You compare teachers to football players who took risk when they were hired to teachers during a pandemic? That is no comparison. Players went for the big bucks knowing they could be injured, teachers aren't getting big bucks to take that type of risk.

Constitution

Answer: When their life or health is at stake. And it's not just a few employees. On a societal level, there is a small probability of transmission of the virus from one person to another, depending on conditions, and a certain probability of the recipient getting sick or dying, depending on a variety factors. Repeat these events millions of times and what happens? An epidemic. The only to resolve this is for society as a whole, meaning every individual, do their best to minimize their probability of transmission and their probability of receiving the virus. Call it science. Call it common sense. It's really not a difficult concept.

amerigirl

SGP, always have to make it look like you won the conversation when you didn’t. Plenty of teachers for that? Doubt it, they have been protesting at the school board building and there are a lot of them. But you think that they should just hire any teacher qualified or not and give up some of the great teachers that we now we already have just so they can be in an unsafe environment. Why are you pushing o hard to get kids into the classrooms?

Virginia SGP

Let's cite facts instead of random opinions of political hacks on here.

1. More than 50% of Fairfax teachers indicate a preference for in-person schooling.

2. LCPS has 5000+ applicants for licensed positions (teachers) every year, enough to replace 2/3 of the entire teaching force in a single year.

3. Studies show that even the best, experienced virtual schools result in MONTHS of lost learning for kids (16 percentile points in math and 11 points in reading). Thus, accepting DL as the option means we "lock in" months of learning loss for all these kids and even more for disadvantaged, minority kids.

4. As indicated above, European studies showed virtually no transmission in schools by COVID-positive students in close contact before the lockdown. After the lockdown, no significant increases have been detected as a result of opening the schools in Europe.

5. As noted above, the danger requires both a person (i) contract COVID from another person in school despite the significant precautions (a rare event) and (ii) die from COVID despite those chances being about 1 in 130K for adults and 1 in 750K for kids. That is effectively zero.

These teachers' union hacks are demanding we lock in months (25%+) of learning loss this year to supposedly prevent any risk whatsoever despite that risk being far, far less than what we face in schools in a normal year. They literally cannot articulate any coherent argument against 100% in-person instruction for all students that want it.

amerigirl

Actually, that was a report from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that was covered by NPR. It has an emphasis on collaboration with public health authorities and focus on not just recommendations for action now, but decision-making strategies for schools under conditions that will continue to change. It also has recommendations to “prioritize" full-time, in-person classes for the youngest children in elementary school, and for special needs children, because these two groups generally struggle the most with online learning and need the most supervision. There are 9 recommendations in all, and none say that all students should go back full time without considering the options and working with a Coalition.

Having the kids in a classroom and social distanced is one thing, but how do you get them there? How do they distance on a bus with 1 door to go in and out, or the hallways getting to and from classes? Now that we know the virus is airborne what about the ventilation systems? Is the air being moved between classes? There are so many questions that still need to be answered.

David Dickinson

The teachers unions have been saying they were coordinating a national effort to shut down schools in Fall on purpose. They are playing politics with your children. This is nothing new, because they have been doing it for decades. Maybe now you will see just how little the public school system actually cares about your children. You have until Aug 15 to submit your intent to home school. Private schools are all filled up by now. Get out and get a real education.

DavisB

none of what you write about teachers is true. And you history of not wanting to pay to educate the public now that you got your education casts a shadow over everything here.

Teachers want to teach and they want to teach in the schools facing their students. They do not want to get sick and die just for your amusement.

Loudounlistener

Dramatic words for nothing but effect. Teachers need to go back to work just like everybody. This is no different than me working in a warehouse in close quarters with 100 of my colleagues. Parents want their kids educated, teachers want more and more time off. You GET 5 MONTHS off a year, get a new career.

DavisB

that is such a silly comparison and a terrible lie about school calendars. A warehouse with 100 adults is not like a school with 2,000 students and staff. Teacher do not get 5 months off. Want to try again with honest comments?

Virginia SGP

You are correct LL. Adults in a warehouse are more likely to spread CIVID. As the Dutch Health Ministry and Orange County School board noted, there is no need to even have kids wear masks or distance in school.

amerigirl

To begin with most warehouses are enforcing social distancing and other safety procedures, and many are just not opening at all. Saying that teachers just want time off is stupid. The pad to get their degrees in education because that is what they wanted to do with their lives.

amerigirl

SGP So 2 groups out of how many thousands made that insane statement?

Virginia SGP

amerigirl, so if I "pay" to get a degree, then I have a right to demand a job in that area? If I "pay" to get a degree in stock trading and it becomes computerized, I can force them to allow me to make manual trades?

If I get trained as a taxi driver, and automated cars become prevalent, then I can demand I keep my job despite folks choosing automated cars?

Your statements make no sense whatsoever. You are literally saying we must allow teachers to control schools simply because they wanted to be a teacher. Say what!!!!! Should be build empty schools and classes to allow teachers who DON'T get jobs with LCPS have a chance to get paid and simulate classes?

And you are questioning a country's health department guidelines used to implement school re-openings in the Netherlands where they HAVEN'T seen outbreaks from school? Do you think about anything you say before you type it?

amerigirl

SGP always take your reply to the extremes. Did you get a job in your field? If you paid for that training and you couldn’t get a job then boohoo for you. But if you already have that job you should not be fired because a pandemic hit. I guess that went over your head. How does the Netherlands have anything to do with the US? Yes, I question the guidelines on reopening, and people who care should. They are guidelines and not guarantees. What are their guidelines on getting the kids to school? How are they going to distance on a bus? How do you know if all the kids don’t already have the virus, are they going to test all of them? Since you have all this data on the Netherlands where did you get it? School years in the Netherlands start in August or September and end in June or July, depending on the region and school. Their school year has not started. So, the big question for you is do you think about anything you say before you type it? Also must you always be so nasty?

BigDaddyVA

Workplaces around the country (around the world) are dealing with similar issues. School is a workplace and teacher/worker concerns are perfectly valid. Your flippant dismissal of them, however, is not.

Loudounlistener

well said...

amerigirl

Sources?

LoudounPulse

What is everybody crying about? If you are worried about Covid, take the Distance Learning Option. If you aren't worried, take the Hybrid Option. Too bad for the kids taking the distance learning option, they will be left behind.

Loudounlistener

Well, LCPS just sided with the NRA, I mean the teacher's union. No live classes in the fall. Way to go Eric Williams!

DavisB

this did not happen - stop with the lies

JustMe

The distance learning students actually receive more instructional time with teachers than those in the hybrid model. The days off, students are on their own, except for check-in time on Monday, which is too short for meaningful instruction.

FCPS educator

LCPS parent - DL does not work well for all levels or classes - as a teacher I despise it. If you want to reference other school systems please look at Europe and the new German study - also please speak to your child's doctor most are recommending kids go back to school - please use logic not emotions when talking about these things.

JustMe

Hybrid has less instructional time, leaving kids on their own to do assignments on the days not in school. I would rather have my student taught vs. figure it out in the current selections.

Countyrez

LEA doing their job, representing the teachers, using fear, uncertainty and doubt, a tried and true method when dealing with bureaucracies. The absence of "data" and "science" by LEA is troubling but doubtful anyone truly seeking answers cares. Europe has plenty of school data supporting opening schools, why aren't we following their lead? Germany released a study showing virtually no transmission rate or outbreaks with both students and staff. Data is out there that points to safely being able to open schools, if the public, the School Board and Williams cares to consume it.

David Dickinson

Because we have an election in November.

Constitution

Europe has a very low daily infection rate. In most of the U.S. we have very a high daily infection rate, and it continues to grow rapidly thanks to inaction from the White House and many Governors, insufficient social distancing, and insufficient use of masks. You can measure the U.S. infection rate in "Wuhans per day", that is, we have more new daily infections than occurred in Wuhan at its peak. This is a very bad situation and a lot of people have, and a lot more will, end up dead or have lung and other organ damage. I, for one, prefer to minimize my exposure. Keep repeating a low probability event (possible transmission to you) and eventually it will be highly likely to happen.

applicant45554

This is not going to be easy. Major credit to LCPS if they can manage all this stuff and still deliver a good product. The good news seems to be that more parents are picking distance than I expected: cedar lane is almost 2 to 1 I think.

Loudounlistener

LCPS can't deliver, spring semester is evidence of that. What a disaster the LCPS school system is. Just more evidence that throwing 1.6 billion dollars into education does not deliver quality, only fat paychecks and 4 months off a year. What a boon for educators. Private schools are SOO much better but my high taxes prevent me from paying for private school.

applicant45554

A lot of districts aren’t even offing any in person. Then we’d really have something to complain about. Credit to them for trying it and bettering many of their peers. Vouchers are good but they just aren’t going to happen. We can’t even agree to end Saturday mail service, so a change that controversial isn’t reasonable

JustMe

You could be right, but lets hope not for the kids. Saying they can't deliver before it starts is a reach. They had to switch directions on the fly in the spring and did not execute very well. I hope they learned something from the spring and will use that knowledge along with better technology solutions and a better plan on how to deliver using the technology. With that all said, I hope school systems around the globe, including LCPS learned that having a solid disaster plan in place is not a nice to have but a must have.

JustMe

100% Distance has more instructional/teaching time vs. the hybrid model which lets students fend for themselves figuring out assignments on the days not in school.

DavisB

no, you are wrong. Students will not be "figuring out" for themselves. Teachers will present instructions, lists of resources, etc. to supplement in person lecturing. Distant learning has been successfully done by schools and companies for over 20 years.

Virginia SGP

Wrong, wrong, wrong. If so, all schools would be online and we would spend half as much on K-12.

Studies of the results of experienced online schools show students achieve MONTHS less of learning. And LCPS is neither experienced nor an expert. Kids will learn about 50-75% of what they would learn from being in-school. Your radical pandering to the lazy teachers' unions simply locks in that learning loss.

Parents know this first hand from the abysmal disaster that was Q4 in LCPS. Have you EVER IN YOUR LIFE posted any data, research or facts? Do your own kids just laugh at you all day saying "even I have to support my arguments in the LCPS classes that give easy As".

Constitution

Maybe, finally, more parents will take an interest in their children's education and find a way to ensure that they are doing their class work. Kids might find that home is more comfortable than a classroom, no commotion, maybe a few fellow students to be with.

You can wager that within a few weeks of in-class schooling that there will be several schools reporting COVID-19. Test results are returned too slowly, so most likely schools will have to go to 100% distance learning. Parents should be prepared for that!!

Virginia SGP

Basically a bunch of teachers want to get paid to not do their jobs. Private schools open with in-person instruction. Private schools do not force anybody to work. They offer positions that are accepted or rejected. Same here. These teachers are free to choose where to work. They need not accept LCPS contract if they have no desire to fulfill the in-person instructional role.

As a reminder, according to a detailed Swiss study (with a higher than average mortality rate overall), here are the mortality rates by age including those who have underlying conditions:

5-9 years old: 0.0016% (1 in 60K)

10-19 years old: 0.00032% (1 in 300K)

20-49 years old: 0.0092% (1 in 10K)

50-64: 0.14%

65+: 5.6%

Overall: 0.64%

Loudoun4Trump

Bingo! And scared beyond belief....mainly due to constant fake news and a disbelief in the science......

DavisB

Good to see that you are taking time out from posting racist remarks on school board member facebook pages to give your 110% guarantee to every parent in Loudoun that none of their children will get. No child will experience long term health issues from COVID. No child will die from the Virus. No teacher will get sick. No teacher will experience life-long health issues. No teacher will die from COVID. We can all rest easily knowing that Brian guarantees this. I, for one, feel so much better

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DavisB

writing in bullet form does not make any of what you write true. It also does not excuse your racist behavior on FaceBook and repeating it here does not make less terrible.

No teacher is demanding that they don't work - that is in your own head

Teacher are demanding that they work in a safe environment.

BTW - what happened to your personal assurance that no one will get sick? You abandoned that notion in record time

BigDaddyVA

Of course, a LCPS teacher already died of Covid if memory serves.

Virginia SGP

LittleDaddy, LCPS teacher contracted COVID outside of LCPS. Also, LCPS teacher was 70+. Those who are vulnerable (over 65) should likely not be teaching.

For some reason, these entitled, white teachers think they have a right to work in LCPS. LCPS doesn't owe them anything. This is not the case of a meatpacking factory where a dangerous situation could apply to all. If the flu, could kill you, don't work in schools. If you are one of the few who COVID could cause significant issues (over 50 with vulnerabilities or under 50 with significant issues), work in a different career.

Imagine a football player telling his NFL team that he owned his job and they needed to play touch football because he could not afford a concussion. That is what these entitled, white teachers are doing and sentencing minority kids to be stuck at home receiving a fraction of the learning they are scheduled to receive. It's the greatest systemic racism we have seen in our lifetimes. And it's completely unacceptable.

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Constitution

It's not racism, It's economic disparity. Racism is just a part of that. It varies by region, of course. And, no, teachers are NOT highly paid. They are underpaid, and they are asked to do a lot more t than teach. Education would be vastly improved if parents were more involved with their children's education and had higher expectations of their children's performance. And that's what it will take during this epidemic.

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amerigirl

So now you make up lies about someone being a racist, it will never stop with you will it. Speaking of defamation.

Constitution

There are presently over 135,000 deaths from COVID-19. By election day there will be well over 200,000 deaths. There will be millions of people infected. A large number of them will suffer from permanent lung or other organ damage. The numbers will continue to grow geometrically, or decline, depending on Government and social response, until there is an effective and safe vaccine, which could be a year out, maybe eight months. Maybe treatments will improve. Maybe. Just maybe.

LCPS Parent

Time to take a step back and ask why are many, many other districts doing 100% DL to start the school year and not LCPS? Those districts clearly value staff and student’s health and safety. Time to pull the plug on hybrid and make DL more engaging, enhanced and practical for everyone.

Fiscalconservative

Just because other districts are doing it does not make it right. Fairfax County system was a mess, like Loudoun County the kids did not learn anything when the districts started this system. Students under sixth grade will not learn well with distance learning. The kids need to be in school or they will seriously fall behind and never catch up. We all know in person learning is the best and we need to find the safest way to make it work. As the said in business school...time to fix the problem not the blame.

DavisB

actually, because so many other districts are doing this does make it right. All across the country, so many experts and professionals look at the same situation and come to similar conclusions - but you think somehow Loudoun is different from everywhere else?

Virginia SGP

Not really. Orange County is back to school without masks. Same in the Netherlands. It is on their Health Ministry website that K-12 kids don't need to distance.

You really should try to read. (I thought about saying "more" but realized it was more accurate without it)

DavisB

Hate to break it to you but the US and Neatherlands are not the same. They had 51,000 cases. The US has 3.6 million cases. They have 6,100 deaths. The US has 140,000 deaths. Your guarantee that no student or staff within LCPS will get seriously sick is looking a bit lame

Loudounlistener

Um, yes it's the MOST WEALTHY and highly paid in the nation, so yes LCPS is DIFFERENT. What's not right is to ignore the data, and cowtow to spoiled and overpaid teachers who get to like Virginia SGP watch their kids at home while "teaching" 1 hour a day.

Loudounlistener

And many many other districts are not...

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