• Joey Lai

My reaction to the return to in person Q&A webinar

I want to start by thanking Dr. Campbell and Mark Schiel on their webinar presentation. I know they fielded over a thousand questions and did their best to get a majority of the questions answered in a reasonable time. The webinar may have been 1 hour and 45 minutes, but if you want specific and thoroughly answered questions, it will take time. I think they both did a good job walking through many of the questions.

Some thoughts on the webinar -

  1. Safety Protocols - They were very thorough and I am comfortable with Mark's outlined plan and response to the FAQ. The only concern I have is I would like them to rethink the student temperature checks upon entry to the school. Think of the school as a bubble. The best way to keep the bubble clear is to do our best job at point of entry to not allow an already symptomatic student or staff in the bubble. The best method is the temp check at the door. I know the district will be asking the families to do a self assessment or fill out a questionnaire, but I really think the extra step of temp checks at the door is needed. Other than this, I think the safety equipment and plans if someone is positive are the best you can do.

  2. A/B Schedule and non campus school days (1:19:28 mark of video) - I believe the A/B model will be chosen, with TK/K everyday, but I had major concerns about the non campus days and how that would be taught and organized. It was good to hear on the webinar, that for now, the teachers will focus highly on the in person time, and the non campus days would be highly asynchronous learning. The thought of a teacher having to teach a class in person while also streaming live was going to be a mess for everyone. I realize that non campus days that don't have live instruction and will be reliant on asynchronous learning is going to be a challenge for many, but its the best solution to allow the in person instruction to be effective and give our students an opportunity to return in person. I like to think about it as maximizing the time you do have with in person instruction instead of it being a lackluster experience for all, every day.

  3. Phase approach and Prioritization (1:26 mark of the video). - Glad to hear that phase and prioritization will be considered on determining which group gets back on campus. I had mentioned this on an earlier blog on how we could do this by grade levels, while allowing time for admins and staff to adjust to kids back on campus. In addition to our youngest students and special education students, I really do like the idea of getting Seniors back on campus as well. I understand some of the challenges to get the Seniors back on campus. Even if getting Seniors back on campus wont allow for in person instruction for their specific classes, any on campus socialization for their final year would be beneficial.

  4. Chromebooks - Still disappointed the District is not addressing that a certain population of Chromebooks are deficient. Any model they choose, Monday will be remote learning, so video conferencing is going to be needed. In the event we have to go back to 100% remote learning because of an outbreak, those who are struggling now, will go back to struggling with their Chromebook. And lets not also forget, most likely the students return in phases, so we are going to be doing remote learning for many for at least another 1.5- 2 months before everyone is on their in-person A/B schedule. Maybe I am missing something, but based on personal experience, feedback online, and feedback from SMUSD tech support, there is a real issue with the Chromebooks and utilizing Zoom that have not been clearly addressed.

Have thoughts on the webinar or more questions? Feel free to reply or reach out to me. Thanks!

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