Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

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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!

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Show Comments
FernaldPoint93108 Jul 21, 2020 07:06 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

I wish the district would stop calling it "Distance Learning." It is really just home schooling with the parents taking the bulk of the teaching duties. The Zoom stuff is comically ineffective.

mm1970 Jul 21, 2020 11:02 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

That may depend on your school or student, but it was absolutely not true for us. My junior high kid was still getting educated by his teachers, with multiple "live" zoom classes or pre-recorded lessons per week. We had nothing to do with his school work. The younger child (2nd grade) was, of course, not nearly as independent. HOWEVER, his teacher was still teaching - 3+ hours live per week, assigning homework, reviewing homework in "class". Yes, unfortunately we had to sit with him for hours every day to get him to work on his assignments, but that's developmentally appropriate.

Lorax Jul 20, 2020 06:59 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

For the pseudo science people. No medical opinions given in this article, only facts and where to find information that has been stated by professionals in their fields.
The link shows the health department numbers in case people want facts and numbers. encouraging they are trending down.
Nothing is without risk , do people think about getting into a accident or death every time they get in their car?

Always_Running Jul 20, 2020 06:09 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Do you really think that a $50 tutor will be “germ free?” You”ll either need to hire them for extended hours to make it worth their time & money. At $50 dollars, a tutor may need to work 8 to 10 jobs with 4-10 kids. A tutor may see 35 to 100 kids in a week, probably no mask or COVID protocols in place. Washington Post has an article on pods. A parent should expect to pay $800-$1,300 per month in tutor fees and memberships to online tools the tutor may need, new hands on educational material weekly, cleaning supplies, and “safe” field trips. Would you have a back up tutor on standby if a your main tutor got COVID, or would you allow them to teach online? Would you allowed to re-register for school if they reopen for in-person learning mid year? What happens if a pod family drop out?

NativeofSB Jul 20, 2020 05:45 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

This morning I visited the S.B Zoo with my daughter and Granddaughter. We all wore our masks and social distanced as required. I was so surprised to see Summer Camp groups at the Zoo. Most children and their leaders were in fact wearing masks, but the social distancing was out the window. I totally get these children needing some normalcy in their lives (we all do), but I don’t get the double standard. If these children can attend camp (which by the way is not inexpensive), why aren’t the schools able to open for the education they deserve?
I would love an answer from Governor Newsom, and our County Public health department. Hello?? If children can attend summer camp, they can go to school.

dukemunson Jul 21, 2020 12:14 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Honestly I'd say it's an incentive thing...teachers have no incentive to go back to school. They will be paid no matter what...Zoom's and home make a lot of sense if those are the options.

PitMix Jul 21, 2020 07:20 AM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

If I was a teacher in a high risk group, I would be cautious too. They have more experience than anyone about how fast a virus can spread through a classroom. Unless you are one of them, and will suffer the consequences, then your anti-union opinion is not helpful.

a-1595294500 Jul 20, 2020 06:21 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Zoo Camp is probably not unionized. Schools are. That is your difference. Teachers unions have dug in and demand no schools are to re-open until we pour vast sums of more money into them, and meet their long string of often totally unrelated demands. Doubt is Zoo Camp was as highly organized and resistant. Teachers unions in the state are a highly organized and well funded force of nature.. What they want, Governor Newsom delivers. And they do not want to go back into the classrooms.

a-1595293072 Jul 20, 2020 05:57 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

NATIVEOFSB - yes EXACTLY! There are soccer camps going on too. Anything short of one person drills for that sport would violate distancing guidelines so I'm assuming they are limited. Nevertheless, if summer camps and contact sports are permitted, why can't they go to school with masks, distancing, and other modifications?

OAITW Jul 20, 2020 05:37 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

Here’s a bulletin point for you:


Dead people filling morgues and refrigerator trucks.

biguglystick Jul 21, 2020 01:08 PM
Let’s Plan for a Hybrid Model in Schools

It's NOT "mass hysteria" to be aware and have a healthy fear of this disease that actually does kill healthy people with no preexisting conditions. I don't want it, even if I survive it. Do YOU???

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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-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?"

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-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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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