Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

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Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

Responding to citizen concerns and inquiries, the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury (The Jury) launched a full investigation and review of the impact of remote learning on academic performance and social-emotional well-being with specific focus on students in grades K-8.   

Collectively, the educational system in Santa Barbara County, both public and private, has never been faced with having to create entirely new teaching methods, managing the absence of social and emotional interaction & growth of the students and the far-reaching impact on educators and parents alike.   

In general, The Jury has found that all districts, in concert with guidance from the Santa Barbara County Education Office, did a noteworthy job to make remote learning as effective as possible.   

Overall, however, remote learning, specifically in math and English language arts (ELA) was not as effective as in-person instruction and resulted in learning as well as social emotional deficits for many students. Academically, the most severely affected students were those already underperforming prior to the pandemic.  

The K-8 period, while a critical period for foundational academic learning, is even more crucial to social – emotional growth. Academic performance is measurable on a comparable basis between historical norms and the 2020-2021 school year. But the social-emotional effects of remote schooling will require continuing, careful and diligent investigation.  

For some students, an even greater toll resulted when problems within the home went undetected due to teachers not seeing students in person. With these issues in mind, the districts have outlined programs they will implement to mitigate the learning and social-emotional losses, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. An immediate goal for all districts at the start of this school year is to focus on the emotional status of students, schools will be using counselors, psychologists, and special programs to address issues that may present themselves.  

Regarding learning loss, the Jury notes that it will be a few years before academic performance can be fully evaluated. One standard county-wide assessment is needed at the end of the 2021-2022 school year to give a solid benchmark upon which to measure yearly performance. All students, but especially those who are underperforming, require county-wide initiatives such as smaller class sizes, more one-on-one instruction, and targeted testing to improve results in math and ELA. From a historical County financial perspective all these initiatives have  unanticipated costs associated with them, which will need to be included in future budgets, once COVID relief funds have ended.    

The complete report with agency responses are posted on the Grand Jury’s website: www.sbcgj.org.

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SBLetsGetAlong Nov 16, 2021 10:33 AM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Thank you SBUSD fir sitting on your hands and taking zero action while private schools did the hard work to open & have effective zoom school

SBUSD never even started an application fir a waiver to open. Never lifted a finger to open up.
Yet they received over $35,000,000 in Covid funds per EdSource.
Despite receiving $35 million they still say they don’t have enough $ to have counselors on site and Officers on site.
So who got the $35,000,000?

mm1970 Nov 16, 2021 06:28 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

A fair bit of that money went to the schools to prepare for reopening - additional cleaning, better ventilation, additional staff (for smaller class sizes), IT issues (iPads and hot spots). You could check the district budget.

GeneralTree Nov 16, 2021 11:33 AM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

"Academically, the most severely affected students were those already underperforming prior to the pandemic. " Some of these parents weren't so concerned about their students learning before the pandemic. It gave many the opportunity to have one more thing to be angry about.

bosco Nov 16, 2021 11:40 AM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

The failure of the SBUSD was substantial and now we are seeing real effects. I wish I could say they have learned from their mistake but I don't believe they have. While classes are open this year, our school continues to implement stupid COVID rules about limiting parent participation, no field trips, no onsite meetings, etc. We are vaccinated, it's time to move on and if you're not.. well that's on you. The COVID paranoia in our school system needs to be addressed because it continues and is continuing to affect our children.

SBLetsGetAlong Nov 16, 2021 01:33 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Watch the interview from CNN yourself and read the numerous reports about what I stated.

CDC Director on CNN stating Vaccines do not prevent transmission.
https://youtu.be/swlUv2SbmT8

CDC needs to start tracking all Covid breakthrough infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't have enough resources to properly track Covid-19 "breakthrough cases," Dr. Scott Gottlieb

The CDC stopped tracking most COVID-19 cases in vaccinated people. That makes it hard to know how dangerous Delta really is.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2021/07/28/cdc-needs-to-start-tracking-all-covid-breakthrough-infections-gottlieb-says.html

CDC: No Record of Naturally Immune Transmitting COVID-19
https://link.theepochtimes.com/mkt_app/cdc-no-record-of-naturally-immune-transmitting-covid-19_4102046.html

a-1637103029 Nov 16, 2021 02:50 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

MediaBiasFactCheck:
"Overall, we rate The Epoch Times Right Biased and Questionable based on the publication of pseudoscience and the promotion of propaganda and conspiracy theories, as well as numerous failed fact checks."

Stop spreading BS.

Voice of Reason Nov 16, 2021 03:47 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Ignore the website and opinions and go right to the source document, the FIOA request and response by the CDC. To quote the CDC's response to the FIOS request:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) received your September 02, 2021, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on September 02, 2021, seeking:

“Documents reflecting any documented case of an individual who: (1) never received a COVID-19 vaccine; (2) was infected with COVID-19 once, recovered, and then later became infected again; and (3) transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to another person when reinfected.”

A search of our records failed to reveal any documents pertaining to your request. The CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) conveyed that this information is not collected.

Voice of Reason Nov 16, 2021 03:52 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

So @2:50, regardless of what your preferred fact checkers said, the CDC having no record of someone who caught covid, recovered, caught it a second time, and transmitted it to someone else is true by the CDC's own admission. Last week someone commented, with no source whatsoever, that the vaccines provide 10x the protection of naturally immunity, somehow the post was left up and not taken down as misinformation.

That's certainly not saying you should catch covid instead of getting the vaccine, but ignoring the resilience of natural immunity, particularly in the discussion of mandates, would be ignoring science and a hundred years of epidemiological knowledge.

Voice of Reason Nov 16, 2021 04:33 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

@3:54, you really should expect more from our governmental agencies, particularly the CDC, especially in the middle of the pandemic. That is extremely important information especially when pushing a vaccine mandate. Instead we continue to fly by the seat of our pants. Example A) from Fauci Friday (i.e Mr. no mask, one mask, two mask, no mask if vaccinated, yes mask if vaccinated, one shot, two shot, better get a booster shot).

"They are seeing a waning of immunity not only against infection but against hospitalization and to some extent death, which is starting to now involve all age groups. It isn't just the elderly," Fauci said. "It's waning to the point that you're seeing more and more people getting breakthrough infections, and more and more of those people who are getting breakthrough infections are winding up in the hospital. If one looks back at this, one can say, do you know, it isn't as if a booster is a bonus, but a booster might actually be an essential part of the primary regimen that people should have." - flying by the seat of their pants. Maybe the 4th jab will do the trick?

Voice of Reason Nov 16, 2021 05:43 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

@4:49 that is even more reason to have the data we're talking about. To excuse this lack of data away as too hard to collect is a cop out (and not true). They have near limitless resources for this type of study and data collection.

Chip of SB Nov 16, 2021 02:02 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Many parents with the means to do so moved their children to private schools or homeschooling. Unfortunately, most parents do not have the financial resources to make these choices. However, it looks like we might have a chance to change that in the 2022 election. There is a lot of progress being made towards getting an initiative on the ballot to empower parents to choose what is best for their kids. The initiative would allow parents to take the money the state spends on their child for public school and spend it at a private school of their choice or on homeschooling expenses. This would provide lower income families with the financial means to decide what is best for their kids, a privilege that is currently reserved for wealthier families. It would also bring some financial accountability to the public school system by allowing parents to take their funding elsewhere if they are not satisfied with their assigned public school.

Transparent Nov 16, 2021 02:48 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Agreed. Lots of left leaning folks (including me) want to see more money spend on education. Want to see a massive, grass-roots movement in that direction? If so, let parents control the $$ we are spending on their kids. They'll spend it smarter, and make sure we aren't short changing the investment in the future.

... either that, or you can go with the "PC" version, that the only way to improve education is to keep pouring massive funds into our current dysfunctional bureaucracies... and keep the parents well-managed and in their place with only the "professionals" telling them what's best for their kids.

Ahchooo Nov 16, 2021 03:03 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

If we allow parents to take public monies to private schools, a greater percent of kids with less motivated, less engaged parents will be left in the public system (and those kids were already at a disadvantage). Also, private schools can pick and choose whom they accept, so all the troublesome kids will be left in the public schools. This might work out well for the kids who go to private schools. But it puts the public schools (and their students) at a disadvantage. And don’t private schools cost more than public? So if I take my chunk of public money, I still have to come up with even more, to be able to afford the private school. They might offer scholarships, but not enough for everybody. How can you address these issues?

Chip of SB Nov 16, 2021 03:03 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

I agree 100% transparent. And I would add there is bipartisan support for this initiative. Folks on both sides of the aisle want the best for their children and believe parents should be empowered to choose the best educational options for their kids. I truly hope we can all work together to make this initiative happen in the 2022 election.

Transparent Nov 16, 2021 03:14 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Ahchooo. Simple. Guarantee a diversity of independently operated public schools that require no additional parental funds. We already have positive motion in that direction.

Charters, as they exist, are notoriously controversial. I think that's because the issue is so darned complicated. But whatever your views, I would implore you to talk to the low-income parents with kids in those charter schools. They love them, by and large. Do you want to tell them (imagine doing it to their face) that you want to eliminate that choice that is helping their kids, or accuse them of anything akin to privilege or hurting anyone else? The "charters hurt poor kids" is a well-rehearsed talking point, but in my experience the low-income parents tend to disagree. I prefer the low-income parents having their opinion represented in policy.

Transparent Nov 16, 2021 03:20 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

@ Achoo. Second reply to your question. I get that you'll likely disagree with my response. But consider this (you may agree here).

If we empower parents, we would see an OUTPOURING of bipartisan political support to invest more in kids.

Right now (amazingly) parents aren't so politically motivated to increase education funding. Could it be because they know it won't materially help their kids to add, say 15% to our spending? On the other hand, empower parents and boy o boy would you see folks demanding what our kids deserve.

Either way, I'm trying to find common ground with you on the idea that our kids deserve more. But more of the same? Heck no, imho.

Voice of Reason Nov 16, 2021 03:40 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

100%. It isn't that people don't want to allocate more of our tax revenue towards public education, it's that the funds aren't being effectively or efficiently used in a system that doesn't prioritize the students and isn't tied to any performance metrics.

Ahchooo Nov 16, 2021 05:30 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Transparent, I appreciate your comments. I don’t actually follow this topic much. I have no school-age kids, and when I went to school, the California public schools were still good (at least in my neighborhood). It bothers me that “kids these days” don’t seem to have the quality of education that I did. But I do not want to give up on public education, as that is an essential component of a democratic republic.

Ahchooo Nov 16, 2021 06:09 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

I do not want my tax dollars going for unregulated private schools. For example, I would strongly disapprove of my tax dollars going to a religious-based curriculum. I understand that public schools need improvement, but giving tax money to private schools seems fraught with problems.

dukemunson Nov 16, 2021 08:56 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Our local schools are fraught with problems… options and choices would be a win. For example a 7 hour school day for 6-10 year olds is unnecessarily long. Science says let the kids sleep… let’s have a 5 hour school option. Kids and situations are different… this one size fits all model is archaic and has been proven to not be beneficial to the kids.

Voice of Reason Nov 16, 2021 10:09 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Private schools aren’t unregulated, they are accredited. Most importantly, it’s not giving money to private schools, it’s giving the money to the parents to decide how to best educate their child.

Voice of Reason Nov 17, 2021 11:02 AM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Ahchoo, Pell grants, GI Bill funds, and many other taxpayer funded grants and scholarship programs already can go to religious based schools. The Supreme Court ruled denying these funds to religious / parochial schools is religious discrimination. It's amazing how discrimination is accepted and tolerated on this board if you identity with the "acceptable" political ideology.

Bird Nov 17, 2021 11:52 AM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

We have a good opportunity, Transparent, to compare the schools in Santa Barbara: side-by-side are Adelante (charter) and Franklin (SBUSD), serving the same elementary school demographic. It would be interesting to know what the test scores are - although test scores are not everything, of course, but they do give an idea of grasp of academics and how the student may do in high school-> college.

Chip of SB Nov 17, 2021 02:01 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

11:49, they are talking about between $10,000 and $15,000 per student per year. This would help a lot with the cost of existing private schools, and would also facilitate the development of new private schools and smaller school pods that can work within the $10-15k per student budget. I expect this proposed initiative would lead to tremendous innovation in education and a corresponding improvement in academic performance.

Voice of Reason Nov 17, 2021 03:15 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Vouchers wouldn't equal the full amount the state provides public schools per student. Even $5,000 - $7,500 per student would open up considerable opportunities for families. There are private schools in our area where tuition is less than $7K per year. Accommodation would need to be made for special/unique needs children, either via additional funding to public schools and/or additional voucher amounts. A lot of the commentators here need to pull their heads out of the bubble that is Santa Barbara. We're fortunate in many ways here in SB, one of which is we have a rather strong public schools system, this isn't the case throughout most of our state.

a-1637217529 Nov 17, 2021 10:38 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

This sounds just like pet shelters. The difference tries to be made up by donations.
I support better public schools. Still not sure how to get there. I know by experience how much is up to parents. If a kid, and their family, don't read, that's a huge red flag.
Teachers can't do it all!

ger8t Nov 18, 2021 12:35 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

"Vouchers are just a right-wing racist white-flight ploy"

Where is your evidence?

In a 2020 USA Today article, 2 surveys were quoted (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/02/24/voters-strongly-support-school-choice-educators-should-listen-column/4831964002/)

1. "According to a survey of likely 2020 voters, Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) found that 81% of voters — including 81% of Democratic primary voters and 89% of black Democratic primary voters — support expanding “access to more choices and options within the public school system, including magnet schools, career academies and public charter schools.”

2. A recent EdChoice public opinion survey found that 78% of Democrats agreed with 78% of Republicans and 77% of independents in favoring education savings accounts, which let families access money usually funneled to school districts to spend on education-related expenses for their child. Current school parents were 85% in favor of ESAs, as were 78% of African Americans and 79% of Hispanic respondents.

This study shows that people of all races are interested in other options for their children including school vouchers/education savings accounts.

FWIW, it is time to challenge accusations made on this nutty forum that have no evidence to support the claim such as Santa Barbara is homophobic and vouchers are right wing racist white flight. There are more examples but not worth the time to locate them. I have no problem changing my mind when evidence suggests that I am wrong. I assume most people feel the same way.

a-1637301764 Nov 18, 2021 10:02 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Do any Pell Grants or GI Bill monies go to students who are not legally considered adults; students who are below the age of consent? Don't recipients of these grants make their own decisions? I support public education, including community colleges. I do not want to support public schooling that is inflected with or participates in religion.

a-1637302381 Nov 18, 2021 10:13 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

Pell grants are for college students. I thought this thread was about public school choice, meaning grades 1-12.

"The Pell Grant is a federal program designed to provide financial assistance to those who need it to attend post-secondary educational institutions."

But here's an example of Pell Grants for dually-enrolled students, under a Fast Track Program. Sadly, I still haven't found a date for this site and information. The quote above comes from this site:

"The US Department of Education’s offering of Pell Grant funds to dually enrolled high school students is a pilot program and Cowley College is one of forty-four schools nationally selected for this opportunity."

sacjon Nov 16, 2021 02:29 PM
Grand Jury Reviews Effects of Remote Learning During COVID-19

GUSD could have opened 6 months earlier than it did, but chose to ignore expert advice over that of the unions. My kids could have had a semi-normal school year. "Should'a would'a could'a" though. Nothing we can do now but be angry. I feel much worse for those kids who lost their senior year, especially the athletes, and those kids who were struggling to begin with.

Not in anyway downplaying the seriousness of COVID, but the kids should have been in school last year - masked, spaced, etc - but IN school.

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