Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Reads 15206

By Rosanne Crawford of Santa Barbara

Continuing remote only learning is hurting children and families in our community.

On Tuesday 7/21/2020 the Santa Barbara School District will discuss remaining in virtual learning only operation at this time for the fall. Please encourage them to prepare to possibly shift to a hybrid model split between on campus and virtual learning when our county falls off the monitoring list.

 To participate by Zoom go to https://www.sbunified.org/board/board-meetings/

Select date of meeting 7/21/20 and open agenda. The agenda has a” link” complete this form with cut off at noon Tuesday to register to receive an email for a participation link.

The Governor’s Order

The new mandate states our county has to meet its metrics established by our Public Health Department to get off the “hit list” to open schools. Our County was placed on the State monitoring list based on several factors that include hospitalizations, hospital capacity and the number of new cases. See the data they are monitoring here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/CountyMonitoringDataStep1.aspx. Santa Barbara is currently measuring at 244.1 cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days, above the state threshold of 100 per 100,000 or less. 

The Public Health Department, County and City of Santa Barbara have been doing a great job of outreach promoting physical distancing, face masks, washing hands and discouraging large groups and multiple family gatherings during this pandemic. Cases have dropped down in the last few days. 

We could have a whole different picture as early as mid August if the promising trend continues. People get the message.

The collateral damage of keeping schools closed

·       Stress related increase of mental illness including depression

·       Learning  regression, hardest hit are English learners

·       Low income and working parents struggling with inequity of technology access interrupting learning

·       Student remote fatigue, parent fatigue juggling supervision and providing mid day lunches

·       Deprivation of socialization and emotional learning, hardest hit younger children

·       Economic hardship, parent’s need to go back to work.

·       Families making choices to leave the district for small home school programs having further economic impacts to district in loss of funds

California has no road map for this novel situation with it’s over reaching politics. 

Let’s look to Denmark who was the first country in Europe to shut down. According to Reuters World News, re-opening schools did not worsen outbreaks following a one- month lock down in Denmark. Children between two to 12 years were allowed back in day cares and schools on April 15th. Their data health authorities for the first time say the move did not make the virus proliferate. Finland had similar findings.  A top official there announced similar findings, which nothing so far suggested the corona virus had spread faster since their school opened in mid May. This was backed up by infectious disease specialists in both countries who saw no negative effects from reopening schools.

Back in the school saddle as well is Britain, urged to open when 1500 Pediatricians warned failure to let children back into the classroom will risk “scaring the life chances” of a generation. France moved forward last month calling it a “social emergency” and worried about economic consequences. Germany is already sitting for exams. 

How can we open school safely?

The State has released extensive guidelines for opening schools that meet compliance.  They include criteria for minimizing risk with measures that include teacher’s use of protective face coverings as well as the known top three recommendations that continue to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

Maximize use of outdoor space on campuses

Our schools have an abundance of outdoor space. Athletic fields, playgrounds, auditoriums, gyms and cafeterias can be set up for distancing. Collaboration would be helpful with the Goleta district. They have already done site visits, measurements and assessments of physical spaces in preparing to get back on campus with their resourceful staff.

There is growing evidence that studies seem to suggest children play a less active role in transmission spread however the high cost of these continued restrictions with remote only learning is hurting children and families. The World Health Organization does not currently see clear answers in the data that have been collected to date around transmission by children. Let’s bring teaching outside and keep things safe. 

Let your voice and opinions be heard.  We can do this!

Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at ed@edhat.com. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
forrealnews Jul 20, 2020 01:44 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

The parents who want to open can offer to teach classes themselves and risk their own lives. No teacher who is uncomfortable should be forced to do this. Those who had children chose to have children. No matter what happens in this world they are your responsibility.

dukemunson Jul 21, 2020 03:27 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Using your logic, everything should and must close. Police, Fire, Trader Joes, Tow Trucks, etc... let's all fend for ourselves in anything and everything to spare anyone and everyone from being uncomfortable...you have chosen to live...you are your responsibility...so stop forcing people at COX to work so you can have TV and people at Chipotle to work so you can have burritos and go fend for yourself...

a-1595280063 Jul 20, 2020 02:21 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Science says it is safe for both children and adults to return to school. Backed also by leading pediatric associations who are committed to re-opening schools too. The science is comfortable with this decision. Yes, let's do teach children about science, because too many adults missed those lessons when they were in school. Not sure what "science" you are referring to that claims just the opposite, GC.

macpuzl Jul 20, 2020 02:37 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

If you don't care that some children, and more adults, will die.

a-1595283844 Jul 20, 2020 03:24 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Cite request: Please view the UCSF July 9, 2020 Grand Rounds - Hour and half video presentation on the topic of covid, schools and young people. ...."Compared with adults, children express fewer nasal ACE2 receptors, which serve as the entry point for the virus into cells, according to a May 20 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That may help to explain why children could be less likely to get and transmit COVID-19, Naomi Bardach, an associated professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a UCSF Medical Grand Rounds presentation on July 9....." Joint statement additionally issued by AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics, along with input from the AFT and NEA - found on the AAP website. Re-opening schools is the option now grounded in science.

GeneralTree Jul 20, 2020 05:05 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Science doesn't say it's safe to go back to school. Fox says that and a lot of Betsy Devos boot licker say it. But science does not.

a-1595291350 Jul 20, 2020 05:29 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

RHS - exactly why I made that comment. This "science" that republicans claim says is OK to go to school is inconsistent with all the actual science I've seen come out lately.

sblocal1967 Jul 20, 2020 06:53 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

It is not about science - it is about probability theory. Pre CV every kid going to school has a probability of something bad happening, however, the majority of parents go with the flow - even allowing kids to ride orange school busses with no seat belts driven by some person the parent does not know. Kids are walking germ factories and need interaction to build up an immune system which will carry them through life. The probability of a kid getting CV and dying is a low as countless other aspect of going through life. So, why is there so much hysteria? Well the takers, like GT, want the paranoia to continue in order to keep getting free handouts from the government. The same reason a blind person should not cross a busy intersection with no help - is the same reason a person with poor health should not go to a crowded bar/church with a bunch of mask haters. For the other 99.9% of people life should just go on.

pstarSR Jul 21, 2020 08:02 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

A-1595280063 - false, more than a few articles have come out recently stating that children are at just as much risk, and can spread it just as easily.

a-1595347810 Jul 21, 2020 09:10 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

"Articles" vs. UCSF Grand Rounds? Your call. But don't overelook the teachers unions have a huge investment holding your children hostage to force you to meet their string of demands, of which none have any relationship to covid, education or safety. Be sure to take a good look at what the LA teachers unions are demanding before they claim they will return to the classroom. This list of teacher union demands is echoed across the nation in some sort of organized cabal fashion. Recommend re-watching "Waiting for Superman" to remind yourself teachers unions have never been interested in your children, or even in education. Then decide what in fact is in the best interests of your own children. It is becoming obvious putting children back into teacher union dominated classrooms is not healthy; regardless of any validated covid threat. Keep it up, teachers unions. It is time your agenda got busted wide open for all to see. Pouring billions of dollars every year into a system that rewards us with a #45 ranked state school system in fact is the greater danger. Notice how each teacher union demand requires even less accountability, but requires paying the system more money. On second thought, do keep the schools closed, but send the savings to the parents who can best chose their educational options for their own children.

biguglystick Jul 21, 2020 01:13 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

THANK YOU. It's just not safe yet, especially for kids, who ignore the rules a lot, have short attention spans and undeveloped critical thinking skills, feel immortal when they are teens and do not understand the ramifications of a global pandemic.

biguglystick Jul 21, 2020 01:14 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Thank you. The Republicans are downright filthy liars. Sorry, but they don't have your best interest in mind unless you are a billion dollar corporation or 1%er.

sacjon Jul 21, 2020 01:41 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

3:24 - you missed the point (not surprising). Just because science shows (and I agree) that kids don't get it and spread it as easily as adults, doesn't mean it's safe to go back to school. There are many adults at school (which you should already know) and they may be at risk. In addition, it IS possible, even if not probable, that kids can get it and bring it home. So no, you did NOT provide the "science" proving it is OK to go to school, just that, as well know now, kids aren't as vulnerable as adults.

Simpleton Jul 20, 2020 02:01 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

We recommend that parent's enroll their kids in Olive Grove charter. Also, hire a PT tutor with classmates to share the expense (standard rates are $50 an hour plus $5/hour for each add'l kid). It's going to work well for our family and our kids will not miss a beat in such a hybrid environment. As forreal says, no matter what happens, supporting our children is each parent's responsibility.

a-1595279086 Jul 20, 2020 02:04 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

SIMPLETON - you may or may not be aware, but not all parents can afford charter school and a PT tutor. Nice that it will work for you, but please don't insinuate, as you are, that those who don't pay for this type of schooling are not fulfilling their parental responsibility.

a-1595280633 Jul 20, 2020 02:30 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Thank you for highlighting the Olive Grove charter school option. Many do not know about the options within the current system for alternate education settings. The shared costs among a grouo of parents makes this an affordable option. Additionally, there are many local education foundations that can possibly work with this too, including local scholarship options. This town very much supports education which is why there is so much interest in getting it restarted again for the vast majority of local students. Education is one of the largest local employers- this is a "college town". UCSB, SBCC, Westmont, Fieldings, Antioch, Cottage Hospital, various professional-level training programs, etc all strong higher ed options right in our own local area.

mp805 Jul 20, 2020 02:51 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

SIMPLETON - I've been reading more and more about the doing tutor “pods” -aka microschooling - instead of this shoddily-implemented distance learning situation. A “pod” is several families who hire a tutor or tutors to teach their kids. This is being discussed alot on facebook and online

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 20, 2020 02:58 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

@2:04PM, that's why some people advocate for a school voucher program, to help offset the cost of a private/charter school.

Simpleton Jul 20, 2020 04:47 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Olive Grove is a free charter school. No tuition. And it has always been online, so they are very adept at provide online curriculum. Our kids have generally had a good education locally in public schools. But we all saw more than enough last spring to know that our local K12 public schools are ill prepared for online only education. And yes, a private tutor to augment education (from whatever source, online or in person) costs money. For us, in person education is preferred but hybrid (with a tutor) is way better than online only. We all need to make our own choices and I won't ever apologize for giving my kids the best opportunity I can afford. I hope that you can do the same. This whole situation sucks for all of our kids.

a-1595289311 Jul 20, 2020 04:55 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

SIMPLETON - I never said you need to apologize, just recognize that some parents can't even afford to split a private tutor. I was just making sure you're not insinuating that those who can't are not being responsible.

comment1 Jul 21, 2020 01:32 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Thank you for posting what is a common sense answer. Yes, probably one parent HAS to be home with the children they bore and love. Maybe the parent will learn what it is to REALLY love their own children. It will probably be the best time of their lives all around.

a-1595363919 Jul 21, 2020 01:38 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

COMMENT1 - so you are saying that parents who both have to work and are unable to be stay at home parents do not "REALLY love their own children?"

a-1595280289 Jul 20, 2020 02:24 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

No reason to insert unfounded fears into this discussion. If some teachers can feel safe in the open classroom setting, they need to stop teaching in person and find other forms of employment - online education is a growth field today.. But they cannot shut down classrooms for everyone else.

a-1595280879 Jul 20, 2020 02:34 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

A turning point is taking place. People are now starting to say yes, let's get back to normal as much as we can. And no longer saying no, let's run away and hide in total fear. Stay strong, Santa Barbara. Yes, plan effectively to get students back in school.

mtndriver Jul 20, 2020 03:18 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

My granddaughter in New Mexico will be going back to school two days a week, with half her class. Half the class will meet Monday and Tuesday, the other half will meet Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays, school will be closed for deep cleaning each week. During the at-home days, there will be remote teaching. Not all the teachers are comfortable with the plan, but distancing and masks will be well enforced. Not all the parents are comfortable, either! Who in the world is comfortable right now? I would prefer that schools stay physically shut until there is a reliably good treatment available, if not a vaccine. But I also know that kids need to be with other kids, need the interaction with teachers one-on-one in the classroom. It's a no-win situation, really. This generation of kids will be affected by this all their lives, no doubt. If they are taught well and see good models of adult behavior in response to this very challenging period, it can make them stronger, with more concern and care for others. However they end up being taught, in school or at home, it's up to adults to model what they want the kids to learn. Selfishness or what we used to call "civic virtue"--it's up to adults to choose what they pass on to the children in their orbit--not just the parents, but all adults. We have a responsibility to the future, and kids are the future.

PitMix Jul 21, 2020 07:23 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

No way that system provides as much learning, right? 1/2 the time will be spent catching up on material the kids have missed. But it seems like a good idea if anyone can show that community spread doesn't increase using this approach.

OAITW Jul 20, 2020 03:46 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Anyone who has spent any time around children knows for a fact that children spread every infectious disease known to man. Any parent who claims that their child never brought a cold (another coronavirus) home is lying to themselves. There is no evidence that children can not spread corvid 19.

biguglystick Jul 21, 2020 01:10 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Children can spread it and get it. I know an 18 year old who died from it. NO preexisting conditions. he lived in LA. So heartbreaking for his family and friends. This is real, people, and whether you want to believe in it or not, it will still kill lots of people. I'm taking all precautions NOT to get this thing.

mm1970 Jul 21, 2020 11:05 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

SIMPLETON - Do grocery clerks spend 6 hours a day in a small room with the same 20-30 small children? COVID is spread by - being indoors in enclosed spaces, not wearing masks, being < 6' from people and DURATION.

GeneralTree Jul 20, 2020 04:12 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

The author must have hastily written this article and missed the study that shows that older kids transmit the virus just as much as adults do.
Again - why should anyone take medical advice from a community member writing an opinion piece. Logic dictates if you need to have a ZOOM meeting about whether or not to re-open schools, then you shouldn't re-open schools.

a-1595351607 Jul 21, 2020 10:13 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

It is irresponsible to equate covid automatically with a death sentence. What agenda encourages this level of unfounded mass hysteria?


Please Login or Register to comment on this.