Parenting & Family

What is back to school "reality" like for your child...

[OP]
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Aug 9, 2020
9 posts
4 upvotes

What is back to school "reality" like for your child...

we're with YCDSB. and usually, our school is really big with about 2.5-3 classes for each grade in previous years of about 24 children per grade (primary). this year, it seems to be that 50% of the kids are online. there's 1.5-2 classes of each grade. one child in grade 4 (20 kids in class-but 3 didn't show up), one child grade 5: 15 kids (gifted program). they each either get am or pm recess only, the other recess is sitting at your desk to do quiet activity. lunch hour is staggered with one group eating then having recess and other at recess and then eating. when eating, there's no supervision but a cartoon is put on the board. apparently there must be no behaviour kids since all the kids sat quietly and didn't move at lunch. both kids have sinks in class. neither went to washroom, but states 2 kids allowed in washroom at a time. kids enter/leave the school at designated doors, it seems like there are 4 different entrances into the school. at recess, each class plays in their "designated" section, no one was wearing mask, very limited (if any) social distancing at recess-i mean these are kids. before recess, kids put their mask in a paper bag on their desk.. although my kids are given "recess" mask ie gaiters. they did go to school with face shields, but quickly stopped using them.

learning got off to a good start, each had an assignment, with either French or music... although it was basically a review of covid protocol.. again.

teachers are veterans of the school, having been there years. but with numbers increasing in York..we may start keeping the kids home. reassessing daily.
12 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
33734 posts
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Ottawa
Similar to your observation, every day there are 1-2 students that don't show up and from what I'm hearing, they are self isolating while waiting for COVID test results, as a result of having 1 symptom such as a runny nose, cough, headache etc... basically normal symptoms that kids have all year round.

I guess the schools are taking a 0 risk approach, which helps keep the overall head count low?
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Jul 5, 2004
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My son is in JK. Masks aren't worn a lot by kids that age. Some of the other teachers are more strict about it, but my son's teacher is pretty relaxed due to their age.

The kids aren't allowed to touch each other. Not sure if that's always the case in school or if it's due to COVID.

There is an emphasis on hand washing. They are spending more time outside than kids did in previous school years. They're outside a lot and go on walks through the village the school is located in.

I was worried school wouldn't be fun for him due to COVID, but to their credit, his teacher has ensured that the kids are still able to be kids. That was a bigger concern to me than COVID.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
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Markham
My son is in grade 5, around 50% students are back to class. He likes it. I guess for him, social interaction is more important
Sr. Member
Jun 12, 2008
972 posts
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Ripley
Today is the first day for my gr8. They had a staggered entry based on the first letter of their last name. Some kids went Monday, some Tuesday, some today and they all go tomorrow. This was so there were smaller groups to introduce and get used to new protocols. They have a 1 hr lunch and can leave the school property if they want. 20 minutes for eating in their classroom and 40 minutes outside with their cohort. There are 22 in her class. Only 8% of students in our school board chose online learning. The big difference for her is that it used to be each teacher taught a different subject and the kids rotated classrooms like highschool students. Gr7&8 is at the high school. This year they have one teacher for all subjects. I know her teacher is really strong in English and history so we will see how math and science go.

I am in a small school board. We were told we could pick online or in-person but we wouldn't be able to change until Christmas and then we would have to wait for approval if we wanted to switch.
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Mar 7, 2007
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Today is the first day back for my children (York Region District School Board).

There was a staggered start, today is the first day that everybody is supposed to show up.

I will tell you the reality of this situation: It is an experiment.

Nobody know exactly what to do to make it successful, or what will happen. Good luck to us.
Member
Aug 3, 2017
486 posts
312 upvotes
We are into week two here in Ottawa, one kid in elementary (gr 2) and two in "high school" (gr 7).

Has been going pretty good so far really. I have one child with autism and he has taken all the change like a total champ and in fact the transition to a new school went better than planned since they now stay in one classroom and the teachers run the stairs instead of the students. All in all, the balance between panic and preparedness seems to be going ok so far aside from the odd parent that seems to be more or less conservative than the norm about things which can bring a little extra stress at times.

Being someone who is in public policy, I think they did a pretty great job overall so far. Principals are not really educated, experienced or resourced to anything different from their norm and they seem to have really stepped up for this year back to school. There are always critics, but I personally don't think a lot more money or anything else would really have made things much better. This is mostly about attitude and people working together in crisis.

We'll see about things after some positive tests and communications/rumour, etc. My partner has a daughter in grade 2 in a different school where they have had one case in a different grade that was communicated, but the 'parents network' is alive and buzzing.

Fun times!
Sr. Member
Dec 12, 2005
509 posts
85 upvotes
Richmond
I’m in BC. In my kid’s Hs school, gr 8&9 starts class at 930 and each grade uses a different door to enter and exit. He is in a different program at school and 1 kid is currently learning from home so there is around 18 kids in class and that is their cohort that they are allowed to interact with. Gr 10-12, starts 915 but they are not in school full day, some classes are further divided into 2 groups for in person.

For my elem son, 13 kids in person and I believe 10 are learning from home. Recess is now 30 mins and is shared with 2 other classes at a time. Eat inside and go out and play, rain or shine. Same setup as well for lunch. Each classes have a designated entry/exit door. All students line up outside by class and teachers bring them inside. For classroom setup, 2-3 kids per desk and are spaced out (not allowed to move the chair) not much moving around inside the class room, no carpet time, we have not been asked to bring inside shoes. Only 2-3 kids without a mask.
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2018
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dolfan1980 wrote: We are into week two here in Ottawa, one kid in elementary (gr 2) and two in "high school" (gr 7).

Has been going pretty good so far really. I have one child with autism and he has taken all the change like a total champ and in fact the transition to a new school went better than planned since they now stay in one classroom and the teachers run the stairs instead of the students. All in all, the balance between panic and preparedness seems to be going ok so far aside from the odd parent that seems to be more or less conservative than the norm about things which can bring a little extra stress at times.

Being someone who is in public policy, I think they did a pretty great job overall so far. Principals are not really educated, experienced or resourced to anything different from their norm and they seem to have really stepped up for this year back to school. There are always critics, but I personally don't think a lot more money or anything else would really have made things much better. This is mostly about attitude and people working together in crisis.

We'll see about things after some positive tests and communications/rumour, etc. My partner has a daughter in grade 2 in a different school where they have had one case in a different grade that was communicated, but the 'parents network' is alive and buzzing.

Fun times!
well there's also a huge difference between schools even within a Board. There are schools (especially older ones) that maybe near/above capacity to begin with and/or have smaller classrooms and etc that changes the experience and precautions a lot due to the physical limitations of the building/rooms
Member
Aug 3, 2017
486 posts
312 upvotes
StatsGuy wrote: well there's also a huge difference between schools even within a Board. There are schools (especially older ones) that maybe near/above capacity to begin with and/or have smaller classrooms and etc that changes the experience and precautions a lot due to the physical limitations of the building/rooms
Absolutely. Of course I'm fairly confident that there will be people who go overboard with expectations and criticisms everywhere too :)
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Jan 2, 2015
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NOT centre of Univer…
My kids are back for their second full week. They are in a K-9 dual program school with 900+ kids. In person class size is between 16-22 kids, that does not include about 20% of the kids on line in a different hub with the board. Some of the safety measure they have in addition to the COVID everyone is doing for everything:
- No parents or anyone not a student or teacher allowed in the school. If you have to get your kid, you call the office from outside and they send them out.
- Each grade gets a door they go in an out
- Must hand sanitize going into the school, and each time they leave and enter a class room
- Recess for the younger kids are at different times, and there is a zoned areas they are supposed to stay in
- Lunches are eaten at their desk, then they get to go outside for bit. It's staggered so there are two lunch time with 4 possible times the kids are outside
- Two bells for end of day so half the kids leave to class 5 minutes earlier
- Kids stay in the class as much as possible and teachers move
- For the options where kids used to mixed with other kids in the class, they now all rotate options in their class, which really sucks because they no longer called options, just 'mandatories' so the options teacher stuck scrambling because they get each group for on week before they see them again in a month or so
- No lockers, water fountains, or anything shared
- Gym - kids are outside when possible, no changing in the locker rooms, so kids either change in the hall or not at all
- Masks are supposed to be worn by all k-9 in common areas such as hallways or when going to washroom. If the classroom allows for distance then it's optional, however, none of the classes my kids are in have any room they are about 2-3 feet away from each other. Ironically, the younger kids are much better at keeping their masks on than the oldest kids. The oldest ones tend to be 'too cool' Some of the boys in grade 9 where trying to use their masks as blindfolds on each other. My kids tell them if a mask that isn't hers touches her, she will mace them with hand sanitizer or worst. The teacher cracks down when he sees it.
- Kindy kids get there own hula hoop they stay in when walking or not at the desks. No harm there, it's probably the sweetest thing to watch them driving their hula hoops telling others to get out of their space or get hit.

Our school is doing the best they can with the resources they have. We definitely considered on line or a private school. Such huge differences between the schools even in the same board which is why a consistent approach is not possible. We have a web site that lists all the schools in the province with a reported case. It can be stressful, but we decided we just need to be flexible and figure things out as they come. I am a lot less worried than in March as there is more information that is known, and remember that it was about flattening the curve so hospitals don't get overwhelmed. It wasn't to get rid of the virus.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
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Jul 5, 2004
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Macx2mommy wrote: and remember that it was about flattening the curve so hospitals don't get overwhelmed. It wasn't to get rid of the virus.
I wish people would remember that. COVID may eventually burn itself out once enough people get it. That appears to be happening in some areas of the US right now. There may eventually be an effective vaccine for COVID. Or perhaps neither of those things will happen and COVID will be around forever, just like the flu is. Perhaps we'll develop some immunity to it like we do with the flu, or perhaps not. We have no idea what will happen at this point, but what we do know, is kids don't catch it as easy as adults, they tend to be asymptomatic and they don't spread it as easy as adults do. What we also know is that life can't pause forever. We can't keep schools shut down indefinitely. We can't give up years of our lives only to then realize that there is no effective vaccine coming.

I do not want to get COVID, because a lot is still unknown about long term damage/symptoms. I'm all for being careful. I wear my mask in stores and I keep my distance. What I will not do is stop living my life indefinitely.

The plan has never been to stay home until COVID goes away.
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Dec 5, 2006
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Markham
Shaner wrote:

I do not want to get COVID, because a lot is still unknown about long term damage/symptoms. I'm all for being careful. I wear my mask in stores and I keep my distance. What I will not do is stop living my life indefinitely.

The plan has never been to stay home until COVID goes away.
Wow, so well said!

Are you philosopher ?

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