LCSB meeting 3-10-20 / Jones

Loudoun County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services Asia Jones, right, addresses coronavirus concerns and preventive strategies at the March 10 Loudoun County School Board meeting.

During its Monday meeting — which ran an unprecedented nine-plus hours and leaked well into Tuesday morning — the Loudoun County School Board passed a resolution supporting a hybrid learning model for Loudoun County Public Schools’ coming fall semester, should the third phase of the “Forward Virginia” reopening plan still be in place.

The staggered scheduling solution, which will have most students attending school in-person two days a week, provides an opportunity for parents uncomfortable sending their children to school buildings to opt out in favor of 100 percent distance learning.

Prior to the board’s vote, LCPS Superintendent Eric Williams and other members of senior staff presented extensive details regarding next year’s return to school should the draft resolution ultimately go through.

Timeline for planning

According to Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Ashley Ellis, families will be required to decide between either the hybrid or distance-learning option by July 10, and staff will be asked to identify their preference between one and the other on this date.

Each family and employee will receive a phone call and email notifying them of the deadline, as well as literature to inform their decision. While a family’s choice between hybrid and distance learning is binding, staffers’ stated preferences will not necessarily determine whether they ultimately teach in-person, long-distance or both.

Division officials will spend the weeks after July 10 identifying initial staff assignments and building school schedules, mapping transportation routes and allowing for professional development and planning time for teachers.

Board documents say the first day of the 2020-2021 school year will be Sept. 8, nearly two weeks later than the originally planned Aug. 27 start date. Teacher orientation will begin Aug. 18.

Physical distancing requirements and public health precautions

According to Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services Asia Jones, physical distancing is the greatest component in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Board documents say parents who select the hybrid option will commit to their students wearing face coverings at school when six feet of physical distancing is not practical, as well as on the bus, barring medical complications.

Williams reviewed plans for physical distancing practices in the classroom and on school buses, which had been delineated at prior meetings. Per staff-provided diagrams, only 10 students and one teacher will fit into the average elementary school classroom with six-foot person-to-person separation in place, while the average secondary school classroom will hold 11 students and one teacher.

State officials’ guidance to schools regarding physical distancing would also mean a greatly reduced bus capacity, in which one child would sit on each seat in every other row, thus limiting the capacity of a 77-passenger bus to 13 students. Williams said this number would increase if children living together, such as siblings, were to ride the bus together, in which case those children could share a seat.

However, state guidance allows LCPS to make “limited deviations” from recommended distancing practices, which division officials have taken into consideration. For example, LCPS may reduce the space between seats in classrooms to allow 17 students to fit in the average elementary-school classroom. In addition, buses may allow one passenger in every row — not every other row — which would increase a 77-passenger bus’ capacity from 13 to 26.

Further, LCPS may implement limited public health mitigation strategies beyond state guidance. This activity may include limited groups of students and staff participating in touchless temperature checks, as well as requiring staff members to take their temperatures at home before showing up to work.

Barring the introduction of a vaccine, Jones said physical distancing measures will likely remain in place at least through the coming winter, though they could change as school officials learn more about the virus’ transmission over the next few months.

Plan for potential COVID-19 exposure in schools

Board members and public commenters alike have raised concerns over the last few weeks regarding the division’s process for when a student or staff member contracts COVID-19. This matter was particularly pressing Monday evening, as news of a spike in cases among younger Loudoun residents broke several hours prior.

Jones said the Loudoun County Health Department will contact LCPS Student Health Services once it becomes aware of a potential in-school exposure to the virus. From there, the agency will help identify close contacts of the infected person or persons, though Jones acknowledged up to three days’ lag time may exist between a positive test and a determined risk to others in the school.

Once close contacts are identified, Jones said the LCHD would work with the school in question and SHS to determine which other students and staff members should self-quarantine at home. However, should an ongoing transmission of COVID-19 occur within a school, the Health Department may recommend a temporary school closure.

Distance learning details

Earlier in the meeting, Ellis presented the results of an LCPS parent and staff survey that was distributed June 19. The results indicate one-third of responding parents would likely choose 100 percent distance learning for their children.

Though Williams said this metric would reduce the number of classrooms needed to provide in-person learning, it would not offer enough space for 100 percent in-person learning for those who do not opt out, given the space-limiting nature of physical distancing measures.

However, the superintendent said the reduced number of classrooms needed for in-person learning would allow LCPS to create satellite classrooms based on grade level in elementary schools and content area in secondary schools, thus increasing adherence to physical distancing practices.

Within these satellite classrooms, teachers would be able to arrange a series of small-group instruction sessions similar to practices used before the indefinite school closure period. Williams said teacher assistants, as well as special-education, gifted-education or reading teachers, would collaborate with classroom teachers to facilitate learning in satellite classrooms.

Per Ellis, students in the 100 percent distance-learning program will be placed in virtual classes by grade level and school, though exceptions may include distance-learning classes at smaller schools, middle- and high-school electives, and Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses.

Kindergarten distance-learning classes will include no more than 29 students, board documents say. Classes in grades 1-3 will not exceed 30 students, while grades 4-6 will not surpass a class size of 35. Further, secondary English classes will include no more than 24 students, though staff did not specify limits for other middle- and high-school subjects.

Child care planning

Though no solid plans are currently in place for LCPS-provided child care services, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Kevin Lewis said division officials are planning a multi-step collaboration with both LCPS and Loudoun County staffers to identify the extent of the issue. Via a joint survey, Lewis said LCPS plans to determine the number and age demographics of children for whom LCPS would provide care, as well as needs regarding staffing and special-needs services.

LCPS will hold an electronic town hall for families July 8 from 5:30 to 7 p.m, and another for staff members on a date to be announced. Williams said the family town hall will take place via Cisco WebEx — just as School Board meetings have during the COVID-19 closure period — and LCPS will announce further registration details later this week.

The board ultimately voted 5-3-1 in favor of the aforementioned resolution, with Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling District), Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian District), Beth Barts (Leesburg District), Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge District) and Leslee King (Broad Run District) voting yes.

Monday’s Loudoun County School Board meeting is available to view in full at vimeo.com/432888169.

(220) comments

Mountain Girl

The SB voted on a resolution for OPENING schools for the FIRST SEMESTER. It is not FOREVER. (See SB quote below.)This is all subject to change as the status of the virus changes. Keep in mind—This is a pandemic. Nothing is "normal". ALL of us are inconvenienced in some way. The SB did what they thought was best. We should honor that and make the best of it. Take a deep breath, decide what your family needs, and move on.

“one of two options for the way students will participate in school for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year”

Virginia SGP

This is a gross misinterpretation of what happened.

1. The SB set no quantitiative goals for COVID safety. For example, they did not say "LCPS aims to lower the risk by 90%. If they had, it would be easily discernible that they disregarded easy protocols (face shields or goggles + 5 ft of distancing -> provides ~35% less risk than what they approved) that greatly exceeded what they actually impleemented (6 ft of distancing).

2. The SB refused to even include guidance from medical professionasl (Amer Academy of Pediatrics) that noted the virtually non-existent transmission of COVID in schools by students and the loss of socialization/mental health.

3. Much research has shown that even the BEST online schools result in far inferior results. Kids drop 16 percentile points in math and 11 percentile points in reading. LCPS has no experience in online schools and will see even greater drops. This literally will lower future earnings of these students by $Bs. $Bs!!!!

The SB doesn't have a clue. If we told Muslim and black kids they could only go to school 2 days a week previously, folks would rightly be incensed. That is EXACTLY what they did (and told every other student the same thing) without articulating how a 100% in-person plan could not be implemented. In fact, LCPS has so much extra room, they plan to only have about 10 kids per classroom/teacher each day (vs 18-20 students that could fit within a classroom 6 ft of distancing) AND HAVE EXTRA classrooms and extra teachers for "breakout" sessions at the same time!

Don't be an LCPS apologist. You need to justify your opinions. If you have no clue what the issues/sticking points were, then maybe you shouldn't offer up an unsubstantiated opinion. Would you really tell black/Muslim kids barred from school 3 days each week to just "take a deep breath and move on"?!

Mountain Girl

No one is being barred from schools. It’s a pandemic. Anyone with common sense can see that cases are surging! The public health emergency has not gone away! The SB chose a plan that will allow schools to easily move forward in phase 4 or ease back into 100% distance learning should schools close again. There are many guidelines to consider. Other school districts across the US are making similar difficult decisions. Some are choosing not to open schools at all. Thankfully these are short term decisions that will, over time, improve.

Virginia SGP

Is the flu a pandemic? If a disease that only affected folks over 50 came to pass, in what universe should K-12 education be reduced to 2 days/week? A small minority of teachers are over 50. LCPS can accommodate classrooms with 6 ft of spacing.

Trying to tell kids whose education is being taken from them by force (of gov't) to calm down and just take it is no different than what other minorities were told over the years.

amerigirl

SGP, are you really in denial? With the flu, most of us are carrying some level of antibody protection from a previous year’s exposure or from a vaccine.This is a novel virus and we have no antibody protection. The flu has a shelf life, it looks like this virus may not. They are already doing trials for a vaccine what is the problem with waiting and not opening up just to be closed again like what is happening in other states that opened too early?

Virginia SGP

Can LCPS update the article where Williams lies about the space available to provide 100% in-person instruction. The article states:

"Though Williams said this metric would reduce the number of classrooms needed to provide in-person learning, it would not offer enough space for 100 percent in-person learning for those who do not opt out, given the space-limiting nature of physical distancing measures."

This is simply not true. Classrooms with 6 ft distancing provide 19-20 desks. With 1/3 opting for distance learning, that is more than enough to accommodate (after reducing by 1/3 for DL) the average classroom sizes of 20 for ES, 22 for MS and 23 for HS. Plus, the sentence technically only qualfieis the first part as a statement from Williams and proffers the clause "not offer enough space for 100 percent in-person" as an independent fact. That is simply false.

DavisB

Could LTM remove all brian's lies and hate-filled remarks

pooge30

I second DavisB.

Virginia SGP

There is no dispute that DavisB and pooge agree with Phyllis Randall, Hornberger, Morse, Rose, and LCPS that the just love censoring criticism. Corruption loves to suppress. Thank goodness for the First Amendment and independent newspapers that prefer truth and sunshine directed at corruption and incompetence.

amerigirl

Third

amerigirl

Try actually going into a classroom and putting desks 6ft apart and see how that works. Try it on paper, that doesn't work either.

pooge30

VA SGP, are you are teacher or a board member? I will actually listen to people who have been in a classroom on what can and cant be done with the 6ft requirement.

Virginia SGP

So pooge30 (or shall we call you Barts or Serotkin or Reaser?), I show on my Virginia SGP social media page how classrooms can easily accommodate 18-20 students while implementing social distancing of 6 ft. Why would you believe Supt Williams? Simply because he is a liar? It's simple arithmetic, not rocket science.

Remember your answer above.

Then, go look at the drawings of Fairfax County Public Schools plan. With SMALLER rooms, they fit 17 desks inside each classroom! Your first defense of Williams shows you are an apologist who refuses to believe facts over propaganda. Your excuse to this part of the response shows you have no ethics just like the SB who refuses to include science they don't like in the resolution.

amerigirl

NO "WE" shall NOT. You think because you can make a classroom big enough to fit the kids in that you theory works. How many classrooms are that big in the Schools? That is your form of propaganda. And you of all people have no footing when it comes to ethics.

TEACHER42

As a teacher in the County, I try to avoid reading these comments as they can be very disheartening. It does hurt to see how we are viewed by the County. I know these views are not reflected by everyone, but it hurts nonetheless.

I do know though, that if called upon, I will return to work and do my job to the best of my abilities. However, my fear is what happens to my family if I contract the virus and die. When people think most teachers do not want to go back because they are lazy and just want to stay home, they are being very nearsighted.

Virginia SGP

If you are vulnerable, you should really think about another job. I am not saying that flippantly. But in the spring, offering "bonuses" to get folks to come in to work when it might have exposed them was just crazy. Vulnerable folks shouldn't be doing risky work (they wouldn't be working in the emergency room for example).

People switch careers all the time. Factories close. Movers get too old. Clerks jobs are outsourced or automated. There is nothing wrong with switching careers or retiring.

Now, of course, it will be challenging as Step 30 teachers earn over $125K/year for working about 180 days. No childcare in the summertime as teachers are off. But that's life. It is not worth risking your life when there are literally 5000 applicants ready to take that spot and teacher resignations fell off a cliff by dropping 34% this past year.

DavisB

you are absolutely being flippant - you are constantly condoning teachers for doing their jobs

TEACHER42

You are way off on 125,000. However, anybody who puts 30 years into a job that requires a degree and continual maintenance of that degree, should make 100,000/year.

Loudounlistener

While working 50% less time per year than the average worker...

DavisB

not 50% less - you are way off base here (brian, is this you?)

amerigirl

Agree! Both of my kids were making over $80,000 by the second year out of college. That is only 1 year of experience and teachers have much more tried and true experience.

amerigirl

There is no way they work less than 50%. Class planning takes time, collecting supplies take time, grading takes time. meeting with parents, staff meeting etc.

Loudounlistener

Well said...

amerigirl

How would you feel if someone told you to get another job? That is what that teacher paid to be educated in that profession because they wanted that profession. Who would have ever thought that being a teacher was a risky job? Who could have predicted the coronavirus? Your comparison is horrid. I hve many people in my family that work in hospitals and their ailments were never a problem before, but they also can't quit. Who would take care of all the idiots that wouldn't put masks on? People switch careers all the time?? Not if that is the career they worked to get to and they like it. Those who decide they want a different work are not happy with what they are doing. Would you switch careers because someone thought you were at risk? There is something wrong with being told you should quit a job because it conveniences others. You have no right to ask someone to change their life's work.

Virginia SGP

So you are very clear. Teachers who want to work in that profession have PRIORITY over kids. If limiting kids to 2 days/week in school means they will only learn half as much when hiring teachers willing to teach 5 days/week would allow kids to learn 100%, you choose the teachers, right?

This is what is comes down to. You believe schools exist to give teachers high-paying jobs. I believe schools exist to educate kids. If we need to replace EVERYONE tomorrow to give kids that education, that is the purpose of schools. It should be done. You believe teachers' "right" to keep their jobs in the manner they want to teach trumps all. Most believe that is evil btw. Apparently not you.

amerigirl

SGP, how badly can you twist the situation. Not to mention where do you think you would find all the teachers to replace the ones that opted out? It doesn’t have to be a choice, stop trying to make it seem like it would. Teachers can still do online classes, there is no picking one over the other. What it comes down to in reality is that you don’t know jack bout what I want and don’t pretend you do. You don’t need the actual building during a pandemic to educate kids, the county has already given them all laptops for that purpose. I think the way you try to manipulate my words to make it seem there is a preference is that most evil ting here. You are the one that says teachers don’t care, pure dishonesty. Yes, you cannot replace the teachers because there is a pandemic, they can still teach and the students can still learn. It is not one or the other like you seem to think it is.

amerigirl

SGP, now you are resorting to making things up about me? Work on your reading comprehension. Saying there is a way to keep students, their families and teachers safe is pure evil? You also need to learn the meaning of that word. You seem to think the only effective form of teaching is in class, you are wrong. It has nothing to do with just TEACHERS' interests but with everyone’s interest. That seems to be beyond you capacity to understand. There is 10% unemployment and you think there is a big pool of teachers in that pool? They didn’t lose their jobs so are we just going to get anyone to do the job?

Just admit it, you lie You will tell any lie to make your point and that includes lying about what is written right in front of you in black and white.

pooge30

Teacher42, I think most parents appreciate the work most teachers do. I know I do.

DavisB

most do but if you read FB postings, there are quite a lot of very vocal parents who do not understand that teacher will do the best job they can given whatever rules they are given. Folks like Brian Davidson make it tough the be a teacher with a positive attitude with his lies and hatred toward all teachers

Loudounlistener

We all have these fears in our workplaces, grocery stores, hospitals, retail stores etc. Being a teacher has not difference in this context. If it settles your concerns, statistically, children are 75% less likely than adults to contract COVID.

DavisB

have you seen the numbers here in the country, especially from teens going to beach week? You cannot group 6 year olds and 18 year olds in the same thought

Reality

Will LCPS decisions hold any water? After a month of be passed off at these idiots, I figured it out that they could not commit back in March to a plan because the plan had to align across the US. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to boil down to equality here. One option can be used against another with respect to "oh my kid did not get a fair assesment compared to the orher".

This all just sux and watching it play out on our dime really makes it worse

John M

I want the results of the survey LCPS sent out to be made public. It is inherently clear that Supt. Williams had no intention of giving people a choice other than the ones he wanted. Literally hours after the survey was sent out we heard that this was the decision the Supt. was leaning toward and that he didn't care one bit about what the LCPS families wanted. I've heard this from a bunch of teachers who wanted to return to school. Make the results public!

Virginia SGP

Actually, they did in last night's board documents. If you combine 100% in-person and 100% DL (both can be options), it was a majority.

They also released information on retention. Teacher resignations fell a whopping 34% from recent years as teachers are desperate to have a job in the global recession (not to mention that $7,000/year pay raise they got last year). And despite the myths about not having enough teachers, LCPS has a LOWER number of vacant positions (already the lowest in the state) than in previous years. And that is with more employees as enrollment grew slightly.

So even though LCPS (1) can accommodate 100% in-person with 6 ft distancing and (2) they are flooded with teachers desperate for jobs, they refuse to offer that option to kids. Studies have shown kids will lose months of learning costing them $Bs in future lost career earnings. That pretty much sums up this corrupt SB.

DavisB

Both cannot be an option - under phase 3, schools must limit the number of students in classrooms - this is mandate by the state and the schools are simply following the rules

Virginia SGP

You are simply always wrong. Always. From Northam's chief of staff:

"Each district has flexibility to come up with its own plan that they will submit to the Department of Education. What the state has put out is guidance based on CDC guidelines,” said Mercer. “Some districts may want more distance learning, many will want less — we would expect many districts to be at REGULAR CAPACITY when the school year begins."

DavisB

no - you are wrong - it is not until after phase 3 that schools can go back to "normal" - in phase 3, there a may restrictions - please stop

Loudounlistener

The question is mandated as to what limit? A more than 50% reduction in live learning to 2 days a week is not a reduction, it's a depletion.

Countyrez

The survey results are here on the School Board website. You will see the majority want 100% in person, and the majority of school employee do not want to be back in school.

Parent survey results

https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/loudoun/Board.nsf/files/BR2SM56AFF53/$file/Report%20for%20LCPS%20Return%20to%20School%20Survey%20-%20Parents.docx%20(1).pdf

Staff survey results

https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/loudoun/Board.nsf/files/BR2SM26AFDA6/$file/Report%20for%20LCPS%20Return%20to%20School%20Survey%20-%20School-Based%20Staff.docx.pdf

Loudounlistener

I concur, I filled out the survey for my 3 kids and nothing in the decision making adds up to what I I voted on. I'm sure I'm not alone in my opinion.

DavisB

the survey was flawed and not valid

David Dickinson

When will you people wake up and realize LCPS doesn't care about you or your kids? The Democrat-run school district is giving all teachers an extra day off every week so they can mobilize for the Democrat hordes for the November election. Your kids' education is meaningless to them. Political power is what they crave.

amerigirl

Democrat-run school district, Democrat hordes, really? It sounds like you not having the political power is the problem you have, Sore loser.

william g gruff

You get what you elect.

David Dickinson

The losers are the kids who aren't going to get an education in 2020. Teachers organizations are now mobilizing to not show up in Fall 2020. Again, an election year stunt by Democrats. This time at the expense of the children they claim to care about.

DavisB

go back to protesting again paying for public education at all times as you are know to do - your voice here is nothing new - you have long rallied against paying for other's education now that you and your children are educated

amerigirl

I know you like to blame everything on Dems. but why do you think teachers are democrats? Have you taken a survey? I spend lots of time volunteering in schools and can tell you for a fact that is not true.

Virginia SGP

David, all of these techers already had $100Ks spent on their education 1-2 decades ago. They don't care if these kids lose out. The teachers and SB members just want to get their $$$$ as employees now. They honestly don't believe schools are built to educate kids. Rather they believe they are a vehicle to transfer taxpayer $$$ to them and their friends.

amerigirl

SGP, if teachers spent that much money to get the job they wanted, teaching, what makes you think they had some big change of heart and aren’t doing it because that is what they want to do? It sounds like you may not be happy in your job and you are just reflecting. You have no idea, even with you psychic abilities, how teachers feel. You just group them together like you do with all your enemies and declare how they think, feel and what they want. I have worked with many, many teachers that have been in the system for a long time and the care so much about their kids, and it doesn’t end with them moving to the next grade. You are blatantly wrong.

Virginia SGP

amerigirl, all that "caring" is fake. As soon as it comes down to whether a teacher gets a big raise or whether an ineffective teacher should be removed or whether even a teacher who molests kids in his classroom must get removed, they side with the teacher. Even if some do side with kids, they don't speak out and the SB only hears from the anti-student teachers. It's all show, all the time with teachers.

amerigirl

SGP most of the world in not as cynical as you and your just inhuman if you don’t know that it is real. You are sick with your comparisons. Every teacher I have know with 1 exception has cared and done everything possible for their kids to progress. Example; going to homes of kids with health issues after school to keep them up. Using their money to give kids things the kids can’t afford, even clothing. When was the last time you went to a SB meeting? The teachers that go are their to represent their students, you have the most skewed look on the system I have ever seen.

pooge30

Wow. Every trach my kid has had cares about them my daughter, a JR at JMU has made the Dean's or president list EVERY semister. If LCPS dis not care about their students, then she should not be doing so well.

Countyrez

The majority of the tax paying parents want 100% in person learning, meanwhile the majority of LCPS staff want 100% distance learning? Those results are clearly at odds. What does this tell other than the push back they are messaging to the School Board and Admin about NOT going to back to 100% in person learning? Parents and students desires to return to a relatively normal year be damned. So much for putting students first.

RandomName2019

Really? The majority? Have you polled all of them? I think what you meant to say is that the majority you talk to want it, which isn't surprising given how people of specific ideologies clump together.

Countyrez

Yes Random, you will find that educating yourself on the issue has nothing to do with ideologies or biases you may have. The majority cited are figures from LCPS's survey that went out to parents and staff and shared with the School Board. Always a challenge when emotion gets in the way of facts.

Loudoun4Trump

The majority of constituents know that school is important and should be open....the 5 ignorant school board members voted for the LEA, not their constituents....and I now see Barts saying she is going to have the police prosecute anyone who disagrees with her terrible decision...laughable....

amerigirl

How can you call them ignorant and state that you know what the majority of constituents want? Did you look at the survey? That is NOT what the majority said.

DavisB

all teacher want 100% in person classes as long as it is safe - the state determines what schools can do this, not the county - if we are in phase 3, we cannot

Virginia SGP

You are simply always wrong. Always. From Northam's chief of staff: "Each district has flexibility to come up with its own plan that they will submit to the Department of Education. What the state has put out is guidance based on CDC guidelines,” said Mercer. “Some districts may want more distance learning, many will want less — we would expect many districts to be at REGULAR CAPACITY when the school year begins."

DavisB

no - you are wrong - it is not until after phase 3 that schools can go back to "normal" - in phase 3, there a may restrictions - please stop

Loudounlistener

Wrong, during the March-June school year, my daughter had 45 minutes PER WEEK of zoom classes. Teachers like this option...

DavisB

teachers do not like the idea of distant learning in place of 100% in-person - if it was safe, teacher prefer to be in front of their students

Also, you cannot use what happened this last quarter as representing what should/could happen next year - the situations are completely different

Finally, teachers were not happy with the last quarter

Loudounlistener

It's time to begin a Kids Lives Matter protest here at LCPS.

DavisB

this is a woefully ignorant comment - you detract from BLM and diminish the cause of racial equality with this

Virginia 5GP

The Board is doing the best they can in a very unique situation. Does it work for everyone, no. That is impossible to do. Families are going to have to adjust and do the best they can. However, with school 10 weeks away, the situation will change, so I would not get too upset with the plan now.

Virginia SGP

It's funny how so many feel it necessary to create fake/satirical accounts. I guess I should take it as a form of flattery that my messages are effective. Speaking of which:

1. The SB is making decisions based on false information posted by Williams such as 8 ft circles. Nobody has ever suggested they are needed. Williams simply made them up to head off the obvious question: why are we not putting kids in school every day. We can fit 19 kids in each class with 6 ft separation. Williams also lied about not being able to accommodate the 2/3 who want in-person education. He appears to have used an extreme case of overcrowded high schools to suggest classrooms can fit. But elementary schools have ~20 kids per classroom which will drop to ~14-16 after DL students are removed. If elementary kids can all fit in a class with 6 ft of space, there is no reason whatsoever to force a hybrid model on them.

2. The second lie is that LCPS will provide effective DL in the fall "if they just have planning time". But that refutes all research. For years, both brick-and-mortar and online charter schools have recruited kids from traditional public schools. In brick-and-mortar schools, no dropoff in scores resulted. However, in online charters, scores have plummeted and remained low for kids that switched. And those online charters have experience teaching kids online. They are simply not as effective. Kids will lose months of learning which results in $100K+ loss in career earnings. (1/3 stad deviation in scores per year was the result).

3. The hybrid model is based on the assumption that there could be massive spread of the virus in schools. This is simply not true. Schools from Europe to Australia have reopened and no big increases were seen. But more importantly, those countries are performing contact tracing so they know who is spreading it to whom. In none of the cases did school children spread it to adults. In fact, it was almost always spread within families and in some rare cases, from adult to adult within schools. It is useful to keep adults separated at schools (lounges, etc.). But there is simply no evidence to support the irrational fear that teachers are going to be infected by kids. Those were assumptions made by teachers that cannot be supported with any data or science.

Regardless of the financial hardships, kids are going to lose learning. That has long term consequences on their careers. There are no downsides to in-person learning when 33% will opt for DL. Decisions should be based on facts not the lies of Williams. And decisions should be based on data an science which do not support this hybrid model in any way.

pooge30

Its funny how you think people actually read your posts in full or at all. We get it. You hate the SB. Move on. No need to comment on everyone that does not have your same view or opinion.

DavisB

you are wrong as ever - the state determines openings, not the country - you are wrong as you always are

Virginia SGP

You are simply always wrong. Always. From Northam's chief of staff: "Each district has flexibility to come up with its own plan that they will submit to the Department of Education. What the state has put out is guidance based on CDC guidelines,” said Mercer. “Some districts may want more distance learning, many will want less — we would expect many districts to be at REGULAR CAPACITY when the school year begins."

DavisB

no - schools are limited by the phase we are in

Loudounlistener

Very well summarized. on your point #2...I don't know how the board can even conceive of a 3rd grader gaining any advantage in learning by putting them in front of a computer 6 hours a day 2-3 days a week. Unbelievable incompetents.

amerigirl

After reading the opening line with you patting yourself on the back, i decided to skip the rest.

Loudounlistener

Are you even reading this thread? The Survey points to a majority of parents voting for 100% live classes, while a majority of the teachers voted for limited live classes. Where in here is the evidence the Board is doing their best?

pooge30

The School board is doing a good job. Its a tough decision to try to figure out what is best for 10s of thousands of families and students. If you don't like their decision, vote them out in 2023. Until then, just deal with it.

Virginia SGP

So do I take it that you think the protests in the street to influence political decisions prior to the election are a waste of time too? Or are you just trying to reduce the heat on the SB now (might you be a friend)?

pooge30

VA SGP. Let me guess, might you be an enemy? Just a wild guess here....

Virginia SGP

So was I an "enemy" when they announced Schoolgy? Was I an enemy when they announced the grading policy last fall that deprioritized homework and in-process grades (formative) for actual demonstrated knowledge?

Funny how some comments back SB regardless of facts whereas others of us support/oppose based on the facts of the decision.

Concerned

I am happy to read what Virginia SGP posts. It adds to the dialogue. I don't know if you need to attack him? Let him post all he wants.

amerigirl

Concerned, read away then sometimes they are so long and boring and willed with self importance that they aren't worth the time. He can post all he wants. we can choose to read what we want.

amerigirl

Definitely not a friend

DavisB

yes, Brain - you have made the schools your enemy - this is all your doing - own it

DavisB

A piece of advice for you, Brian. No one, especially a white guy, should compare the oppression they feel in online comments to BLM - simply sad and totally racist

Voltaire

Virginia SGP--your premise is flawed. You state "...and and they may hate bad policies of the police (chokeholds)". You cannot definitely say that the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers is "bad policy" as the use of that approach is controlled by the individual law enforcement agency and the applicable city/county/state laws. Furthermore, if properly applied, the use of a chokehold is an effective means of subduing a suspect who is resisting arrest. However, as police academy instructors have noted that if the individual officer/deputy is going to use a chokehold, then they need proper training and need to know if it is permitted by policy. Proper training includes recognizing unconsciousness, so that chokes are not applied any longer than necessary, especially the air choke. Further, the police academy instructor noted that it is vital that officers understand that certain members of the population are at higher risk of incurring injury or death as a result of a chokehold. Such individuals include those with cardiac disorders and younger people whose central nervous systems have not completely developed. Continuing training is necessary in order to ensure that officers are up-to-date with the latest knowledge about chokeholds, and to help them maintain their familiarity with performing them. Also, you mentioned the concept of "intrusive policing". There is no such thing in law enforcement. There are things called "intrusive stops" which is part of proactive policing. Nothing wrong with either of these approaches.

Virginia SGP

Voltaire, point taken. I understand I am not conversant with law enforcement techniques and was using an analogy which admittedly may be flawed.

I don't know why my post was taken down as it was not offensive in any way. What is clear is that advocating for reform in a school system that has so many flaws does NOT equate to hate. When kids are getting sexually molested and reported for publishing that information, LCPS is rotten to the core. When LCPS violates federal laws with impunity, LCPS is rotten to the core. When LCPS makes decisions while intentionally ignoring science that undermines its policy preferences, LCPS is rotten to te core.

When LCPS does manage to come up with a decent policy, I give them credit. But advocating for reform can never be considered "hate".

Loudounlistener

Just like Trump? oh just wait patiently until 2023 when your kid has fallen behind 3 grades

scottva

Looks like LTM is being selective again.

amerigirl

About what?

BobOhneiserEsq

Teachers actually report only 72 days per school year minus 2 week vacation 10 snow days (potentially) and sick days?

Parents who both work are expected to both supply resources and support to their children without any credit from LCPS for the significant lack of support out of the apparently unchanged $1.4 billion budget?

School sports are canceled unless they can maintain 6 foot spacing at all times?

Remote learning has apparently been thoroughly vetted and meets LCPS demand for excellence but who will work with children whose parents are unable to provide adequate support in their homes?

How will in school days be made up if a school has a virus event and has to be closed for a quarantine period or longer?

Has anyone considered how unreasonable this plan is for handicapped children and the poorest citizens of Loudoun who have no place at home or any support for any student to get anything done 3 days per week?

Is this really a plan that is intended to work or just an effort to distract parents while the Superintendent prays for a closure dictated by the Governor? :-)

DavisB

Bob - 196 days for teachers, not 72 - please stop embarrassing Loudoun

amerigirl

How many? I don't think so, I think they had more than that even ith shutting early for the virus.

hey! as a hs student of lcps, i just wanted to share a couple of thoughts. i’ve read a lot of comments on this post where parents are like super mad and talking abt liberal this liberal that. um well first of all, politics has nothing to do with education of students. everyone should be unbiased and should only think abt the children who are trying to receive a good education. i’m super happy that i am able to receive such good education bc there are children out their who do not receive the same resources as me. yes, the proposal that the school board came up with is not ideal whatsoever, but the we, the students, will work around it. it’ll be a fun story to tell our kids in the future :). online learning does suck, like i literally had no motivation to do any work last quarter, however it is a safe option. i’ll miss goofing off with my friends at school, but there’s still ft ig. i saw a comment where the parent was upset over not being able to be there for the kids while they’re at work, however i doubt that the offices will open up. and this is a temporary proposal. there’s no guarantee it’ll be permanent. there could be adjustments. i’m just happy i don’t have to do online school full time.

scottva

@xue hua piao piao bei feng xiao xiao - I think as a student you share the sentiment of many. However, one thing that would be worth your time looking into is your comment: "um well, first of all, politics has nothing to do with the education of students." Unfortunately, politics is a major contributor to education, not just in LCPS but all around the country, from both a Liberal perspective and a Republican perspective. Much of it quite often has to do with money. If you go back to the Obama era, one of his primary initiatives was implementing something called Common Core" nationwide. An example of how politics played a role here is the Obama administration openly stated that they would withhold federal grant money from states that did not adopt Common Core. Politics at it's finest.

Many years ago there was a law called Jim Crow. Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. These laws were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Democrats. Clearly Jim Crow was based on the color of someone's skin, black people. In 1965, the majority of the Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act and only a small number of Democrats did. My point is this, Jim Crow was a despicable law that judged black people simply because of the color of their skin. Fast forward to 2020, while Jim Crow no longer exists it is being replayed, however, it's being replayed with the narrative that white people are the problem for every minority problem. This is being instilled using phrases like "implicit bias" and "white fragility" which is being actively pushed by LCPS. To your point, everyone should be unbiased, I agree 100%. However, how are kids supposed to be on board with that concept when they are being told that one race, white people, are all racist? This is politics at its finest in 2020. I don't know you and you don't know me so I'd encourage you not to take my word for it but look up some of what I've mentioned and come to your own conclusion. I'd also encourage you to NOT take at face value anything others post, consider it but verify.

BigDaddyVA

Common Core wasn’t an Obama initiative. Stop with the fiction.

Virginia SGP

Elevating standards, of which Common Core was one, was absolutely an Obama initiative. And a correct one.

In Virginia, its SOLs were woefully insufficient to meet the standards. Had Virginia not upgraded its SOLs to essentially match Common Core in all but name only, Virginia would have lost out on $10Ms - $100Ms of funds. You can go on the Dept of Education website to see the Virginia applications and the verification of upgraded standards to comply with the requirements for federal funding.

As noted in my "SGP" handle, Obama's administration also required all districts to calculate student growth based on validated standards (see prereq above), share that growth with teachers and begin to use it in part to evaluate teachers. VDOE created SGPs to comply but then lied to the feds that districts were using the SGP data. Other states (Washington, Oklahoma) had their waivers rescinded requiring them to spend a good chunk of federal funding on remedial tutoring or busing of kids to competent schools.

Common Core was absolutely the right call. Obama, Sec Duncan, the Gates Foundation and the rest should be commended for raising the standards. If a child is not scoring "advanced pass" on the SOL tests, they are not on track for college (without remedial classes).

BigDaddyVA

Again, the Common Core initiative began in 2007, when Obama was a Senator. It was a project of the National Governors Association and was nonpartisan in origin. More of you being usually wrong but rarely in doubt.

Virginia SGP

You really should read my Qui Tam lawsuit against 7 counties for knowingly violating their obligations under NCLB waviers. It walks you through how LCPS committed fraud (Williams, Hornberger) - not disputed by the Asst US Attorney in the meeting - in their associated NCLB waiver document.

The prior program (passed as part of stimulus funding in 2009) was Race to the Top. Virginia received over $200M as part of the overall $4.3B package. There were several requirements including (i) adopting Developing and adopting common standards (E.g. either adopting Common Core outright was sufficient or upgrading standards like Virginia did with SOLs to make them consistent with Common Core); (ii) Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments (E.g. SOL tests based on the standards); and (iii) Developing and implementing common, high-quality assessments (E.g. thus the drop in SOL scores circa 2012 when implemented)

As to the Common Core Standards, they were one set of standards adopted by states to comply with Race to the Top and were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and others.

Despite David Coleman's leading role in creating Common Core, he could not entice states to raise their standards without some strings from the feds. Enter Obama and stimulus funding (Race to the Top). Coleman would later move to the College Board to align the SAT test with ..... wait for it....... Common Core!!!!! In fact, many states give the Common Core-aligned SAT as their end-of-year standardized test now for 10th - 12th graders. In earlier grades, there are a couple of options including the PARC test.

LittleDaddyVa, have you ever been right in your life? Do all of you go to aggressive ignorance school together? Basically, our LCPS "professionals" have no idea what they are talking about on any educational policy issue.

amerigirl

Only because the right wants it to be about politics because trumpster told them so. It isn't about politics for most it is about safety. Don't listen to his droll stories they are biased.

amerigirl

Politics? Do you really think that i what parents care about when it comes to their kids education? The country is more than politics it has just been so more vivid with the hate and division since trumpster came in. Common Core standards, which lay out what students should know and be able to do by each grade, have been in the works since at least 2008. It all started with former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who was the 2006-07 chair of the National Governors Association and now leads the University of California system. It keeps school from falling behind creating a better teaching equality.

Loudounlistener

I have minimal worries for my middle schooler, however I have 2 elementary grade kids who can't "work it out."

Concerned1

Let’s not forget about the health and safety of our teachers. I know most parents just think of school as free daycare for their kids, therefore the wellbeing of teachers isn’t a primary concern. What happens when a teacher gets sick or has to quarantine for 2 weeks? Do you really think substitutes will be interested in stepping in? We already have a sub shortage in the county! How many students getting sick is an acceptable number? How many teachers? What if one dies? 10? How many is too many? Maybe instead of wasting time arguing about whether or not schools should reopen we should spend this time creating a robust and rigorous virtual curriculum!

william g gruff

Not all teachers are worried. I know a handful of teachers and subs, certainly not the entire population of educators, who want to go. Feel it is best for them. Fell that it is best for the students.

amerigirl

a handful of teachers can't teach a county full of students.

Virginia SGP

LCPS had a DROPOFF of resignations of 34%. They have a LOWER number of vacancies than in prior years (when they were the lowest in the state) despite rising enrollment.

Your comments are contrary to all facts.

Virginia SGP

This may be the dumbest comment ever on this chat board.

1. Teachers will be in classrooms. Contact tracing in Europe showed no significant spread of COVID from schools after they reopened. If a teacher is truly vulnerable, they should not work in contact with others. Time for them to search for other careers. Same goes for healthcare workers who contract diseases which make them vulnerable.

2. The number of resignations of teachers this past year fell off a cliff by a whopping 34%. Teachers are literally begging for jobs especially after LCPS gave a $7,000 raise last year. With an increase in sub pay, we will also be flooded with subs.

3. Are you really suggesting we close every flu season? The CDC says COVID is LESS RISKY for kids than the flu.

4. Kids who switched to experienced virtual schools saw their test scores drop by an average of 16 points in math an 11 points in reading. In contrast, kids who switched to brick-and-mortar (vs online) charter schools saw no dropoff. So even if LCPS teachers were experts in teaching online, there are drastic effects on learning. Imagine if we told all Muslim or black students they would have to take an online class or take it for 3 days/week. That would be the most egregious form of racism or regligious bias in 50 years. Yet that is EXACTLY what we have done to those 2 groups (and to every other kid). The effects of this SB disaster will be devastating and permanent. To say that such a reduction in effecitiveness is justifiable blows the mind.

5. LCPS could mandate teachers stay 8 ft away from everybody while kids stay 6 ft. For SpEd, we must be honest. Some dedicated (likely young) souls are going to have to help many of those kids up close just like healthcare workers. But it appears there are sufficient numbers.

This nonsense about it's no big deal is the biggest lie ever. It is completely unjustifiable. The only reason this decision was made is because of (1) irrational teachers who don't understand science and (2) a useless Supt who appears to have made promises to fellow school districts to "stick to the plan regardless of public outrage". Disgraceful.

DavisB

Not sure where you saw test scores drop - which tests?

Virginia SGP

A peer-reviewed research article published in Educational Researcher was discussed in a Brookings article on my SGP dated June 29, 2020. They used standardized tests (similear to SOLs) to compare children who switched from in-person traditional public schools to both in-person charters and online charters (virtual). The kids who moved to in-person schools saw no drop. The kids who moved to online charters (who operate those for years) saw kids drop by 16 percentile points in math and 11 in English. The virtuals have a huge incentive to keep scores up because they can only recruit/stay certified if they are successful.

But nobody in LCPS ever looks at data/research or even attempts to find it.

DavisB

hey brian - virginia students did not take SOL tests this year - stop extrapolating to LCPS -

Virginia SGP

Newsflash: tests are a backwards looking indicator. We are ...... "predicting" ..... the effect of online school for a year in LCPS. How do we do that?

Did you ever take any STEM courses? Ever heard of ..... "peer-reviewed research"?

Evaluating how kids who switched from in-person schools to online schools over a large population is how one conducts that research. Now if you are Ian Serotkin, we understand that he wouldn't want to include any research that conflicts with his end policy goals. Sounds pretty much like LCPS if you just ignore all research altogether. But the rest of the county, including high tech companies whose mantra is data/data/data like Google, Amazon or Facebook, believe in scientific research and data.

Nice to know you do not. Put down the shovel boy. You cannot even see the brim of the hole anymore.

DavisB

Brian - you wrote in your post that students scores dropped - very sad when you forget what you write - your hatred for schools continues to corrupt your thinking

Loudounlistener

Any adults working in any profession have these same concerns, why should teachers be any different?

DavisB

one difference is that students are not responsible as you would expect in other workplaces and cannot be expected to wash hands, wear mask, social distance or quarantine when they are sick - we already have seen parent promoting infected kids mingling in public

DrDoctor

Loudoun school kids will suffer with this miserable decision by the school board. Thanks to the few SB members that fought for our kids.

1.What are two working parent households supposed to do with the three stay at home days? Same question with single parent households.

2. How long is this ridiculous plan going to last? A few months? Entire semester? How are parents supposed to even try and set up a work schedule as well as day care?

3.Why not offer an early out retirement package to teachers that do not want to return to the classroom?

4.How did Serotkin get elected? He is actually on the record and stated that the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines should not be considered. He, in essence, admits to suppressing science and data because it does not support his radical views. Wow.

The Loudoun County Anti-Education Plan-2020 will certainly increase private education options including Home Schooling.

P.S. Eric Williams, please resign. Your lack of leadership is stunning.

Virginia SGP

Ditto.

DavisB

what alternative do you want - the state mandates that schools cant open 100% yet - when they do, schools will

Virginia SGP

Wrong. Both Gov Norhtan and Supt Lane noted the decision is up to the SB.

The Governor's chief of staff even noted that many district will be at full capacity in the fall.

You are always wrong.

DavisB

no - that is simply not true - the state says schools can decide how they operate but mandate numbers in schools based on phases

Virginia SGP

You are simply always wrong. Always. From Northam's chief of staff: "Each district has flexibility to come up with its own plan that they will submit to the Department of Education. What the state has put out is guidance based on CDC guidelines,” said Mercer. “Some districts may want more distance learning, many will want less — we would expect many districts to be at REGULAR CAPACITY when the school year begins."

Loudounlistener

There's a big difference between not opening 100% and a kid going to school twice a week only.

DavisB

true - and this hybrid plan is full of errors and unanswered questions - it definitely could/should be better - but 100% in school is not an option

Virginia SGP

Wrong again. Each class can seat 18-20 students WITH 6 ft of distancing. Given 1/3 of the students want distance learning and ES/MS/HS classrooms average 20/22/23 students, we have MORE than enough room for 100% in-person learning.

amerigirl

In what school can you fit 18-20 kids that 6 ft apart in a classroom?

Virginia SGP

In LCPS classrooms that are 31 ft by 28 ft. 5 desks in a row spaced 6 ft apart = 24 ft. Add in 18" on either side for the width of desks to total 27 ft and you are done. Four rows can fit into ~22 ft (3 * 6 ft + 2 ft on either end). That's 20 desks. There is still 9 ft in the front of the room for the display and teacher desk. Trash all the other useless furniture.

amerigirl

SGP, that would be some roomy classrooms, you won't find that in every school in Loudoun. Still what do you do with the students that are left over? The 2 extra/class in Elem, 4 extra/class in both middle and high? How do the kids in middle and high change classes without filling the halls? How would they have a lunch period and still distance? You can't just move the teachers because the students take different subjects.

Virginia SGP

amerigirl, are you even following along? ~1/3 of students are opting for all distance learning because they have vulnerable family members or are being indoctrinated as chicken littles. That leaves the following class sizes: ES - 13/14; MS: 15-16; HS: 16. There is more than enough room to fit students into the classrooms. And there are more than enough teachers. The classes will be even smaller (ridiculous when Asian nations greatly outperform us with 35 students/class and a single teacher) so there is no need for 2 teachers in a classroom (yes, many LCPS rooms have that). The extra 20-40% of teachers can teach online classes of 20-25/class.

amerigirl

SGP, your opinion just shows that you are out of touch with reality if you think that the virus is something menial. Maybe you should start being a little afraid. Not all classrooms are the same size, no matter which county you are in. When my son wanted to take AP calc, there were so few that they used a smaller classroom. Small enough that they put a table for the 7 of them in and no desks and it pretty much filled the room. Regardless of how they fit, how do you get them there? Won’t they all be on buses? Feed them? How many cafeterias have enough space for distancing? And change classrooms with everyone emptying into the hall? Don’t try to be such a bully with the stupid questions. I know what you’re saying but you are not even considering what I am saying. Yes, in an ideal world where that many actually opt out and no new students come, if all classrooms were the same size, they would fit. But that isn’t the reality and it still doesn’t explain how they will get there, change classes and so on.

Loudoun Observer

This is what the county liberals voted for and want. I would not be surprised if they voted to raise taxes on the back of this. Maybe we can get an autonomous zone in Sterling next year.

amerigirl

Not a very good understanding of the situation. It really has nothing to do with a politica party it has to do with safety. Why do you think everything is political and anything you don't agree with is the fault of Liberals? I think you will find that many people regardless of political affiliation or even lack of are worried about their children and their education. Going to extremes with the blame it on liberals and than associate them with the autonomous zone.

Loudounlistener

Not according to the survey, a MAJORITY of parents voted for 100% in class participation. Why even send a survey if you are going to make decisions based on what the teachers want?

DavisB

this decision was not based on teachers - where in the world did you ever get that idea

BrynLMiller

In my nonpartisan estimation, the LCPS staff are going through futile efforts to rearrange all moving parts to accommodate an untried and uber chaotic "hybrid" model that will likely be moved to all distance learning when the virus rears its ugly head again in wave 2. All this energy would be better spent on effective distance learning that students didn't have at the end of the school year.

Virginia SGP

Would it change your mind to know that, through contact tracing, Europe discovered kids did not spread the virus in school even when a kid was positive and in school?

Would it change your mind to know that even experienced virtual schools have significantly lower test scores immediately after a kid transfers into them that does not rise over time? The kids who transfer to brick-and-mortar schools do not face such a fall-off.

Virtual learning is far inferior. There is evidence that kids simply do not pass COVID in schools and certainly not to adults likes teachers. Should such research play any part in these decisions?

DavisB

we are not Europe - take a look at our numbers and our behaviors - also remember, kids have not been schools for months - not the same thing here

Loudounlistener

Exactly how are we not like Europe?

DavisB

how are we not like Europe? And they say there are no dumb questions!!??!!

amerigirl

Where did you get the info on kids not spreading it? The info I found said if 1 kid tested positive the entire class and teacher were sent home to quarantine but I could find nothing else.

Do you even have kids in public schools? I think that for any data you could give on virtual learning there is going to be counter data.

LoudounPulse

Only 2 Days a week in school or 100% distance learning. This arrangement by LCPS is terrible. Students won't learn anything and tests will see across the board failures. Especially for difficult subject matter that requires IN CLASSROOM instruction.

The policy should be normal school schedule w/the option for distance learning to those too scared to attend.

DavisB

the plan is limited by the virus - you should take your argument to COVID 19

Virginia SGP

According to Denmark, Sweden and Norway, schools should have been reopened very quickly because "the number of Covid-19 deaths prevented by school closings has been vanishingly small. The same can’t be said about the closings’ educational effects, which have been devastating."

Ditto from the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics.

But the Know-Nothing, irrational LCPS teachers and their spouses keep denying actual science. At least this time many rational teachers spoke out in favor of reopening in-person schools. Unfortunately, their crazy irrational peers won over the incompetent admins and SB members.

amerigirl

How would they even know n Sweden? It may have been low among the school kids but what about the teachers and the parents they took it home to? How many of them died? Maybe those crazy irrational peers are older and more at risk.

Virginia SGP

Why don't you think really hard about that? If you cannot figure it out, then admit you don't understand the scientific method, research or logic and stop commenting altogether on these posts. Deal?

DavisB

how big are those countries? Sweden has around 10 million people - our country is a bit larger

Virginia SGP

DavisB, using irrelevant arguments again? Let's go slow.

1. When the virus first appears, nobody knows how deadly it is or how it spreads exactly. Kind of like taking out an insurance policy against worst case scenarios, leaders and health professionals give estimates and advise erring on side of caution. Fine.

2. As research and data become available, the uncertainty falls. We know that the mortality rate is not 7%, not 3%, not 1%, but only 0.26% overall from the CDC's data. For folks under 50 years old, it is 0.03% (1 in 3000). For folks under 50 without underlying health conditions it is 1 in 40K. Policies must adjust to new conclusions.

3. Similarly, there was concern schools might spread the virus like the cold or flu. First, data that is correlated (but doesn't actually prove what happens) is analyzed to see if schools are a problem. In areas where schools reopened, no big jumps were seen. Thus, it is rational to believe schools do not seriously spread COVID. But then the kicker comes in. Contact tracing. Following each infected person to find out who contracted it from whom. When they did that with kids/adults in schools, they found that NO (read nada, none, zilch) kids contracted COVID while in school even though COVID-positive kids had been in close contact with their peers for days. Adults also did not acquire COVID from kids in school. That is what is known as "causal" or strong evidence that schools are not going to spread COVID.

We have about 800-2000 folks in these schools. Same as Scandanavia and Europe. We have 330K in Loudoun or less than 3% of those countries. Your point is completely off base and irrelevant. COVID is not spreading in schools that have reopened.

Voltaire

Virginia SGP--you state that "..COVID-19 is not spreading in schools that have reopened". Granted, the COVID-19 situation within Europe is better than here in the US. But, how do you explain the COVID-19 situation erupting in the schools in Israel? According to National Public Radio, "Two weeks after Israel fully reopened schools, a COVID-19 outbreak sweeping through classrooms — including at least 130 cases at a single school — has led officials to close dozens of schools where students and staff were infected. A new policy orders any school where a virus case emerges to close. The government decision, announced Wednesday evening, comes after more than 200 cases have been confirmed among students and staff at various schools. At least 244 students and school employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Education. At least 42 kindergartens and schools have been shuttered indefinitely. More than 6,800 students and teachers are in home quarantine by government order."

Virginia SGP

Here is a quote from news stories about Israel. It may require more contact tracing to know for sure whether schools are the source of infection but it appears they are not distancing much at all.

"Another useful thing to look at is what’s happening in schools that have already reopened. Israel has been facing outbreaks of COVID in schools, but their schools opened up with little or no physical distancing measures in place due to capacity issues. Israel also has poor adherence to mask laws, so what is happening may just be reflecting what is happening in the community more broadly, rather than something specific to school itself. Unless we have data demonstrating that children are getting COVID at school and transmitting it to vulnerable adults, the school outbreaks in Israel still should not lead us to close schools here."

amerigirl

SGP, must you always be such a bully, you start almost all of your comments putting somebody down. "Regardless of the motivation for using aggressive behavior, bullies likely choose aggression as a means of interpersonal negotiation because of exposure to such behavior" Does this run in your family?

RandomName2019

Too scared to attend? Talk about showing your hand... How about "too smart to be lumped in with the mouth-breathing children of people who deny science"? Colleges successfully teach a large majority of course work online and students are capable of learning the subject matter and applying it.

amerigirl

Should be, but there are mitigating circumstances. School starts right ahead of flu season and the virus might not be close to finishing by then. Kids may get through the virus just fine but combine the 2 and who knows.

Matthew

If you don’t have a child in LCPS, NO ONE cares about your opinion! Keep your rancid politics out of this.

amerigirl

What politics? You don't have to have a child in school to not care about your neighbors. This is an opinion section and guess what it is not just for people who agree with you. maybe NO ONE cares about your opinion! If you don't care then keep you mouth shut.

Loudounlistener

well said. if you don't have a kid, you can't relate.

Voltaire

Matthew--that premise is flawed. As a TAXPAYER, I care about how my tax dollars are being spent in LCPS and can voice my opinion on it. Whether I have a kid in LCPS is immaterial to that right.

GoodLuckAndHaveANiceDay

I suppose Texas, Arizona, and Florida should be commended for all their brave citizens. So brave. Bravo. It appears that even with the advantage of in-person schooling, many grown-ups didn't learn how exponential growth works.

WisdomGuidedByExperience

If you look at the data for Arizona, as their positive tests go up, their mortality rate keeps dropping, from over 4% at the beginning of June to 2.1% at the end of June.

I find it curious how some are laser-focused on the number of cases, but ignore the rapidly declining accompanying mortality rate and, even worse, don't seem to understand the relationship between those two statistics and what it means: the virus is getting milder in order to find new hosts.

amerigirl

And yet they are down to 11% hospital beds left. When it was at 40%. Having lower count of deaths for 4 days is not real impressive. Looking at their dashboard they have done that at least 4 times already and gone back up. You are ignoring the over all view. Don’t be laser focused on 1 time period when you could take the highs, they had in between those times and make it look so much worse. They have never even plateaued in Arizona to make a true comparison. I hope it is getting milder, just worry abut these younger hosts spreading it.

LIfetimeLoudouner

Look at the parent survey they sent out. One question tells it all: asking what is the most important issue had many topics like equity, food, child workspace but they missed just one thing. EDUCATION. That was not even an option - it had to be written in later if you wanted them to consider that.

applicant45554

Outrageous in so many ways. I’m tired of being subject to government disfunction. I know there are disadvantages, but we need vouchers now.

amerigirl

How would vouchers help? Almost all school go by how the county runs. Can you explain, what am I missing?

KK153

are you nuts? private schools do not go by how the county runs...thus the word "private"

Virginia SGP

Are you not aware that nearly EVERY private school is opening in the fall for in-person instruction?

All of those who want distance learning could purchase it with a voucher. And those who want in-person instruction could obtain that as well.

There is literally no downside for vouchers. It only removes evil.

amerigirl

No I am not, my kids graduated College years ago and have not had a reason to know that. How do you think it would run? would the classroom be aired for kids at home or would they have different teachers? Trying to get a perspective.

Loudounlistener

Well said.

amerigirl

really KK I asked a question and you have to be nasty? Most of the private school will close on snow days once the county closes,

RandomName2019

Vouchers? No thanks. I don't pay taxes so that you can spend my money at "schools" that teach children that the world is 6,000 years old...

David Dickinson

The Supreme Court ruled today that you will.

RandomName2019

Everyone's for vouchers until they find out that they can also be used at schools with Muslim based learning curriculum. There are at least 150 Gulen schools in the US. How many do you want in Loudoun?

Virginia SGP

Any of them that meet the VDOE guidelines. Parental choice.

amerigirl

That doesn't mean they will be used in Loudoun.

applicant45554

Do you really think that’s what private education will look like for most students? You’d end up with more value delivered for “your” tax dollars

LIfetimeLoudouner

They took everything into consideration except two things. Children and education. What a farce. They did such a great job last semester non-teaching and non-grading so let’s do it again. Everyone wins except the children and the taxpayers.

BigDaddyVA

Need to end block scheduling for secondary schools and revert to traditional 8-period bell schedule to ensure students see each teacher twice a week instead of just once. I know AOS might make that hard but maybe we should suspend AOS for a year — it may not be a luxury we can afford. Also, what about extracurriculars?

RandomName2019

Agreed. The block schedule has always been a failure. Go back to the old schedule.

i personally like the block schedule bc it allows more time to do my hw and gives more time for the teacher to teach in class

Virginia SGP

Did you pass math class?

2 * 45 minutes (daily) = 90 minutes (block)

This comment above proves we have an absolute CRISIS in LCPS education.

JustMe

With the block schedule there is only one welcome, one collection of homework, one return of graded papers and one close out, so there is more time teaching.

Virginia SGP

Possibly. But one might say just assign homework every other class and you get the same result. I would think some kids zone out after 1 hour of class.

But hey, is there data on this? If it supports it, then so be it. Wouldn't you agree we should look for data to inform our decisions?

JustMe

Yes data on class length by age/grade level would be welcome when designing schedules. Loudoun County is not the only one doing block schedules, so I am sure the data exists.

amerigirl

My GOD, stop being such a bully. There is a free period that home work is done in. If the student has a problem they can make arrangements for help. A teacher can go further in depth with the block schedule, even if it is every other day. They don't get 90 minutes straight in regular scheduling and some thing are covered better without interruption.

Virginia SGP

Amerigirl, you have no basis for justifying your opinions. None.

amerigirl

SGP, They are teens, they won't zone out, if anything it takes longer to get them interested. Good luck on your data hunt.

BigDaddyVA

Under normal circumstances I think that is a valid argument in favor of block scheduling but I think it would be more beneficial for students to receive live instruction in their subjects twice a week instead of just once. You have three empty days now to do assignments you might have completed in block scheduling.

william g gruff

What a joke. A solution based upon fear not facts. May as well let the SR class move on into college. Was a lost spring and will now lose next year. Keep voting these jack rabbits into office and this the results you are going to get. Is agree with Loudoun4Trump we are heading down the path towards DC schools or worse. My kids will be done, with this now joke of a school district In a couple of years. Ripped off by the board on their final part of prep education. I really feel bad for the parents and students who will be attending lcps for the coming years. Either vote people onto the board who can separate the facts from fear or allow the current and future students to wallow in a substandard framework.

Loudoun4Trump

You get what you vote for.....keep voting democrat and the school system will be just like DCs very soon.....very expensive that provides zero education....

Virginia SGP

The most representative part of the discussion was when radical, hardcore Leftist Ian Serotkin said he opposed putting in science/guidelines from the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics because he was "afraid of where it would lead". I seem to recall these same charlatan SB members complaining on social media of Trump supposedly doing the same thing. Serotkin literally admitted suppressing science because it didn't meet his end goal.

And to think this guy is judging student science contests. Holy mackeral what a fake *#$&*#$& Yankee liberal.

Waterfordresident

Laughing at the people complaining and when I scan their FB posts, they are the ones voting in these liberal wack jobs. So happy our kids are out of the system of warped learning and indoctrination of students. Too bad the liberals stopped letting teacher actually be educators.

DavisB

what choice was there - the status of the virus determines most of what we can do as well as federal and state guidelines - you are way off base here

Virginia SGP

You mean the WHO guidance that suggests 1 meter of distacing allowing 35-40 desks per classroom?

Or the American Academy of Pediatrics which recommends considering mental health and the near complete absence of any COVID spread in schools to suggest 5 ft distancing would be preferable to remote learning?

Those guidelines?

DavisB

35-40 desks in a classroom??? Maybe if you got up from your computer and visited a classroom, you would realize how ridiculous your sound. Most high school classroom are overflowing when they have 30 students - you are simply lost in this conversation

Virginia SGP

DavisB, let's go slowly for the LCPS apologist.

Countreis in East Asia typically have 35 students in a classroom and blow the socks off LCPS and most American schools in terms of knowledge and skills imparted to their students. It'w why when those student immigrate here after having started school (say 5th-8th grade), they must be placed in courses 2-3 years ahead of their biological peers.

No LCPS classroom has 35 desks in it although it ABSOLUTELY could accommodate such desks. (6 x 6 arrangement takes at most 24 ft by 24 ft in normal situations) That's because teachers whine incessantly about having to teach more than 25 students (many whine about teaching more than 20)

The point is that based on the WHO guidance for social distancing, we could place even MORE desks in our current classrooms because they are so underfilled already. I'm sorry I did not break it down in small, simple steps for you.

DavisB

35 desks - are you stacking them 2 high?

Virginia SGP

DavisB, I forgot that you are subpar at math.

Rooms are 28 ft by 28 ft. Desks are about 20-24" wide and no more than 3 ft front to back. Spacing the center of each desk 4 feet apart yields a 6x6 array of desks. That provides 2 feet of walk space in between each column of desks (28" for the 20 inch desks). Desks can be placed directly behind/in front of each other needing only about 20 ft of space.

Time to resubmit your 4th grade math homework DavisB to recover at least some credit.

DavisB

so it shows you have never been in a classroom - but beside the issue of not enough space for 35-40 students, why would you want classes that large?

Virginia SGP

DavisB, are your comments just to get people to ignore what you say?

Nobody is saying classes should be 35 in LCPS (unless you put good teachers in them to generate the great results of Asian nations who have 35 per class). But the point is that Williams said we couldn't fit 17 in classrooms. We can easily fit 25-30 with distancing of 5 ft. We don't need to do more than 18 but we could if needed.

DavisB

first, you are saying here you want to put 35 students in a classroom -

second, what difference would it make to have more students in a particular classroom - the only way this works is to reduce the number of students in the building at anyone time - and that means splitting students in to two groups - you are arguing against yourself again

Virginia SGP

Say what? Nobody has suggested the limiting factor is number of persons in building but rather number of kids in potentially close contact within a classroom.

amerigirl

They must have huge classrooms in Asia. In the Loudoun if you go by your 5 ft distancing they could fit maybe 10 desks max in a room.

amerigirl

Have you been in a classroom? One of the schools(elem) I was volunteering at had 29 kids and they had to leave coats and backpacks in the hall. They had to butt desks 2 wide o they could create aisles. Not all classroom are equal.

Loudoun4Trump

science, guidelines, and healthcare community say schools should be in session...5 school board members are science deniers I suppose.....Democrats fail your kids...again.....

amerigirl

Do you have any idea what political party most of them are with? Doubt it. But always blame the dems, that's life.

amerigirl

In your mind

Loudounlistener

you have too much time on your hands.

Virginia SGP

This was a highway robbery of parents and taxpayers.

Supt Williams intentionally expanded the social distancing to 8 ft instead of 6 ft used by all health agencies and surrounding districts to sabotage 5-day in-person instruction. (WHO and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend just 3 ft to serve whole child) Williams then claimed 17 students in a classroom (they can seat 19-20 with 6 ft separation) still wouldn't accommodate 5-day instruction despite 33% of students indicating full distance learning option and our class sizes topping out around 23.5 for HS. The remaining 16 students in a class could easily be accommodated in school and elementary students (class size of 20 and larger rooms) could accommodate with room to spare.

In a month or two, Williams will provide taxpauer-funded daycare to all teachers but nothing to working parents including single low-income families.

All of the hardcore teacher union activists took parents and taxpayers to the woodshed. The Dems, led by ringleader Ian Serotkin, wouldn't even let some SB members reference science guidelines supporting mental health in the background info if resolution because it did't fit his radical agenda. Politicizing science without being able to even articulate a given risk reduction - that is our school board and incompetent staff for you. No wonder we cannot get anybody competent to join the LCPS administration.

DavisB

not at all

Virginia SGP

We are completely blown away by the complete lack of any data, science or logic in your post DavisB. A typical response for you.

DavisB

your posts don't deserve any arguments - you are wrong in this case as you are with so much regarding schools - and your neighbors know this - I am only one who calls you out for your hatred of anything related to the schools

Virginia SGP

Once again, we are completely blown away by the complete lack of any data, science or logic in your post DavisB. A typical response for you.

See above (my post) for an example of using data, science and logic (cannot even articulate a given risk reduction sought).

DavisB

Brian - you have not posted anything logical in years - this is no exception

What were the choices here? With the state deciding on openings, the schools only have the two options - they are not allowed to offer 100% in person until the state allows it - when that happens, the schools will open fully - so only choice was to offer the hybrid model or not - nothing else

Virginia SGP

DavisB, both the governor himself and state supt stated in press conferences that school boards make the decision. The governor noted that "many school districts" are expected to open with 100% in-person. LCPS simply chose not to do so.

Even clocks are correct twice per day. Why can't you get anything right?

BigDaddyVA

It must be frustrating for Virginia SGP to realize he holds fringe political views that are wildly out of step with Loudoun values, but getting belligerent in forums and with name calling and partisan attacks against school board members suggests he is particularly triggered and in need of a safe space. Unfortunately, this isn’t it.

RandomName2019

This is the same guy who keeps suing the school board. He thinks he's an expert on all things LCPS and education related, as you can tell from his numerous posts. I swear he must spend all day either on this site or on Facebook harassing elected officials.

JeffD

I believe he lost one of his $800,000 cases. Hahaha.

Virginia SGP

Once again, we are completely blown away by the complete lack of any data, science or logic in your post "BigDaddyVA". A typical response for you.

See above (my post) for an example of using data, science and logic (cannot even articulate a given risk reduction sought). I know it must be hard to hear the public speakers (who I don't even know) say "I repeat what Brian Davison said earlier" during their comments. And for 90% of the commenters on this board to all agree LCPS is a disaster. So tell us, which teacher or LCPS admin are you related to? Or are you one of them in disguise on these chat boards?

BigDaddyVA

A “typical response for me?” I created my handle yesterday and have posted maybe four times on two stories. You seem to be frequently wrong but rarely in doubt. I have no relationship to LCPS other than being a parent of two high schoolers. No one likes the situation we are in but the way you prattle on with your histrionics and bizarre partisanship is insane. Just telling you how someone new to the boards has reacted to you.

amerigirl

Who is we? Don't include me in your overbearing sadistic despotic rants. The people who com[lain here would complain and those who don't have a problem with it wouldn't complain. Why do you try to say people are someone they are not? get a grip and just hold a conversation without all the pomp and belittling.

Virginia SGP

Not a soul on this board who thinks you are new to these boards or that you are not related/associated in some way to LCPS.

amerigirl

SGP full of conspiracy theories. goes great with ur arrogance and ego problem that way if you can't prove something you can make it up.

amerigirl

Bigdaddy, this guy has so many people he likes to think of as inferior that he can't keep them straight.

amerigirl

He also doesn't get that those areas that are expected to open with 100% in-person are in areas that didn't get much of the virus like Highland with it's 3 cases or Norton with 4, there are counties that are averaging less than 5-10 cases a month like Craig, Surry, Lexington, Appomattox,and Wythe, Sure we just chose not to open.

Voltaire

AG--most of those countie/cities identified are rural/not densely packed as Loudoun and thus their COVID-19 count should be lower as you state.

amerigirl

Volt, that is exactly what I am saying. When Northam said some counties would open at 100% he meant those type of counties. SGP said that we just opted not to open, which is not true. I believe that has been taken down because of his nastiness to someone else.

amerigirl

This I would have to see, what happens when the bell rings and the halls fill?

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