Georgia’s Largest School District Shows Challenges in Opening Schools.


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw

    I don’t have kids so I suppose I don’t have a bone in this fight but it seems to me that there is no good solution here and the best thing to do from a public health standpoint is remote learning for the fall at least. Possibly much longer. A normal and functional Presidential admin would help schools figure out all the logistical issues but we have President Syphilis who likes to punish blue states along with his 40 percent troll-asshole army so….

    That being said, distance learning runs into these issues:

    1. Employers seem incapable of understanding that it is essentially impossible to be a parent and work at full capacity at the same time but refuse to budge on their expectations because “why can’t everyone else get a nanny like me?” I know some people with nannies and even they have to do negotiation if both of them have jobs that people expect to end at 7 or 8 and the nanny leaves at 5:30.

    2. Not all kids have reliable computing or internet access.

    3. Remote learning seems less than ideal for many subjects and younger kids.


    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw

      I have three elementary aged kids. There are no good choices. There are better bad choices, but many districts and jurisdictions are not taking those.

      Schools provide a variety of social and economic services besides education and childcare. All those services can and probably should continue to be delivered. People should get paid to deliver them. Special needs kids, for instance, will be hard hit by virtual learning. Kids who eat free breakfast and lunch will be hard hit. kids who escape abuse during school will – literally – be hard hit.

      We can mitigate many of these issues. But we lack leadership at all levels, especially in Republican led states. MIssissippi has the nation’s fastest growing case counts, has its ICU’s at 98% occupancy, and yet our governor – just today – issued an order delaying only 7th-12 grade school in hotspot counties; mandating masks statewide for teachers and students; and reimposing a mask mandate on public gatherings state wide. He’s not delaying school otherwise, not mandating virtual learning, and not doing anything to free up resources for poorer districts to get virtual resources in place.

      People are going to die who don’t need to die.

      On the economic front – we have spent decades creating an economy that require a certain percentage of people to spend money in a consumer way, and a certain number of employees to be in “service” industries – who can’t serve people if there ar eno customers. Many of those jobs are probably now permanently gone.Report

  2. Avatar JS

    One of our local school districts doesn’t start school for three weeks, doesn’t start in-person schooling for eight.

    Someone has already tested positive for COVID-19 with the most likely source traced to a school event. (Distribution of material to incoming students. Done ‘drive-through’ style with every school employee social distanced and masked. Parents driving up to get the material were ‘encouraged’ to wear masks, but many did not).Report

  3. Avatar fillyjonk

    The UK did a thing for a while where the children of “essential workers” (doctors and nurses being the ones mentioned) or special-needs or otherwise in precarious positions were advised to attend school; other kids, if they could at all be schooled from home, were.

    I’d suggest we try that here but given that people printed up fake cards claiming that they were exempt from masks because of a “disability” the store asking them to mask up wasn’t allowed to ask about, and that they could sue the store if kept out – well, I don’t think it would go well here. (To paraphrase Mencken, no one ever went broke underestimating the community spirit of a modern American)

    I dunno. If I had a kid, and could teach them at home? I’d already be doing it.

    I’m also kind of dreading what happens with universities, given that I teach at one. I am trying to do my small classes (masked) face to (masked) face, but I feel like even that will be a bit of a gamble. We’ve been warned to be prepared to “pivot to online” with three days notice….less than we had in the spring (we had 2 weeks then)

    If I had enough seniority to retire and have something like a tolerable pension, I would, but I don’t, so I won’t.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to fillyjonk

      There are great examples of how to do this,both domestically and abroad. We have spent our national summer sticking our heads in the sand on that, and many if not most district reopening plans are uninformed by that data.Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy

    Well, obviously these people didn’t get sick AT school. They got sick elsewhere. Are we going to close all the other elsewheres where they got sick? Or just schools? Why?Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw

    Speaking of Georgia schools. Did anyone predict this would happen? Wait, almost everyone predicted this would happen:

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