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July 8, 2020 · OPINION

Teacher organization backs blended instruction plan

By Lauren Brill
Fauquier Education Association

At the last school board work session, members discussed that parents had expressed their desire for Fauquier County Public Schools to reopen under a traditional plan, with all students back in the classroom for four full days per week.

As many of you know, in response to that feedback the school board requested a new survey to parents and staff that would gather specific information to aid them in selecting which reopening plan they would support moving forward at their special work session on July 9.

Superintendent David Jeck and his staff proposed a blended A/B plan that would put students back in the classroom two days a week but would allow for the adherence of social distancing and other safety precautions in response to COVID-19. This model shows the blended AA/BB schedule with a Wednesday planning day as the best opportunity to mitigate health concerns and allow for cleaning of facilities between groups.

The Fauquier Education Association has reviewed guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Education, Gov. Ralph Northam’s “Recover, Redesign and Restart 2020” comprehensive plan for reopening Virginia schools, the recommendations from the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District of the Virginia Department of Health, Superintendent Jeck’s proposed reopening plan and many other materials relating to the process, planning and mitigation measures needed to reopen public schools in Fauquier County.

While no plan is perfect, we believe that the safety of students and staff is no match for any other concern raised at the June 29 work session of the school board. It would be unethical of us as educators to disregard the expertise of medical and education professional in supporting anything more than the blended A/B model proposed by Superintendent Jeck.

At this time, the FEA believes that, due to the current trend in cases from the state and the plans outlined through the presentation from Superintendent Jeck and his staff, that the blended A/B plan will allow for the safest reopening possible for our county. The FEA strongly supports the blended AB plan outlined in Superintendent Jeck’s presentation on June 29.

The FEA is committed to supporting its members so that when they return in-person at their workplaces the plan will follow CDC guidelines and adhere to the safest working conditions possible with appropriate personal protective equipment.

For those who would fall under the high-risk category due to a pre-existing condition or family situation, we will fully support that you be able to telework or receive leave under the Family Medical Leave Act during this critical time. We will also continue to work so that all employees with school-aged students in our school system will have childcare during this time of a blended plan of reopening. We want you to feel that your children will be taken care of as you return to your work in FCPS.

Not only should the advice of medical professionals be heard, but the community must trust and acknowledge your expertise as educators and professionals in students’ learning and school settings in this situation. Your feedback and responses to the surveys distributed by the school division have been invaluable to helping us move forward with a plan to support. We believe your voice must be heard!

We urge you to share this expertise and experience with our school board, members of the community and our school families as the experts within the school facilities and classrooms. These individuals should know the questions, concerns and challenges we know to be true as those on the front lines of this issue, especially if a plan was implemented that was not supported by guidance from health care and school professionals.

Once this vote is cast, we cannot move back; ask yourself if the lives of your peers and students are worth that the risk if a plan is selected that would not follow professional recommendations and guidance.

The FEA urges all its members to reach out to school board members and stress your concerns and questions regarding the survey and options to reopen. We need you to request that they support Superintendent Jeck’s proposal for a blended A/B plan as the best way to reopen public schools in Fauquier County.

While there are still many questions to be answered and details to be worked out, we feel that these are being developed effectively with the help of the FEA through your expert advice. We want all our members to know that your health and safety is valued and that you should not feel they have to suffer for your job.

A Warrenton resident who teaches kindergarten at Margaret M. Pierce Elementary School in Remington, the writer serves as president of the Fauquier Education Association. The FEA posted this letter on its Facebook page July 3.
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jim goodwin · July 10, 2020 at 6:23 am
Dr. Scott Atlas has a very rational and opposite take on the continued lockdowns. I highly recommend watching this interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqGSnVt8c8
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 9:57 pm
Ok DonkeyFarmer and AmericanPatriot here it goes. If i ever see you at the Diner i will make you pay for your stupid comments. You are both uneducated, retarded, knuckle-dragging morons with puss oozing from your eyes. You attack the person making comments with personal insults and nonsense that comes from your backside. You don't debate the comments with fact or currency. Your positions on so many things are wrong, outdated, based on cat vomit from the orange trash bag in the White House. You are hunting and pecking because you got the time either because you are getting Social Security or unemployment. If your better half transvestite companion, who you've grown accustomed to (wink) knew you were feeding lambs instead of grilling burgers they would kick you out the trailer. we all hope you don't catch covid-19 because what a waste of intensive care...have a nice day.
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 9:22 pm
No need to get your point across using words that will get you banned. Lou told me that.
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 9:17 pm
DonkeyFarmer and AmericanPatriot. Are you going? Please do....

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested he’s not certain about attending next month’s Republican National Convention in Florida due to the coronavirus.

“It’s a challenging situation and a number of my colleagues announced that they’re not going to attend, and we’ll have to wait and see how things look in late August to determine whether or not you can safely convene that many people,” McConnell told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday when asked whether he planned to go.
DonkeyFarmer · July 9, 2020 at 8:51 pm
no new taxes you make a good point. Distance learning does not work. How many hours of instruction did your kids get every week in May and June? My kids got 30 minutes a week. 30 minutes! And the connection at the teachers house hardly worked.
DonkeyFarmer · July 9, 2020 at 8:45 pm
Lou where are you!? Haha. FairlyUnbalanced posts dozens of drunken rants on here every night. Makes up stories of fights at diners. Then wants others banned. What a complete loser. Typical leftist. Wants to silence any dissenting views.
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 7:56 pm
Lou!? Where are you?
NewBmore · July 9, 2020 at 6:56 pm
How dense are you nonewtaxes? It's perfectly adequate given the circumstances. Not necessarily ideal.

I'm sure the taxes on your trailer aren't anything to complain about.
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 5:57 pm
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 5:42 pm
none, that's a simplistic proposal given the complexity of modern public education endeavor in a pandemic world. why don't you do some research, spend a week learning about public education in America (i can provide a syllabus, do you know what that is?) and join the conversation again? otherwise you are as useless as breasts on a boar or a trump in the white house.
nonewtaxes · July 9, 2020 at 4:14 pm
newbmore

If virtual learning is perfectly adequate then there is no need for schools.
Simply download some software and sit your kids in front of it.

Let us then defund the schools because they are not needed. Cut our taxes in half.


NewBmore · July 9, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Nonewtaxes = boomer puppet. Why do you think Trump wants schools to reopen? Does he care about their education? Their safety? Or, does he care about mom and dad not having anything holding them back from returning to the factory and cranking out widgets to prop up Q3 earnings reports in time for the election?


Virtual learning is perfectly adequate, particularly for a generation that has grown up with absent boomer parents who shoved an iPad in their hands to keep them entertained. The issue is that, with this nonsensical push to fully reopen schools, teachers will be unprepared and unequipped to provide fully virtual education when schools are forced to close their doors when the outbreaks inevitably come.
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 11:34 am
A veteran Arizona schoolteacher who had been team-teaching online summer school in a classroom with two other instructors died in June of covid-19, devastating the tightknit teaching community in eastern Arizona and intensifying fears over whether schools in the state can realistically reopen and maintain safety for students, staff and families amid a surging infection rate.

Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd died on June 26 after teaching for nearly 40 years in the Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District in eastern Arizona, officials said. District Superintendent Jeff Gregorich said Byrd and her co-teachers were careful to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines about social distancing, hand washing, wearing face masks and more — yet all three contracted the virus.
FairandBalanced · July 9, 2020 at 11:06 am
wow. i hope you volunteer to become a substitute teacher, none. sure will need your help. thank you in advance.
nonewtaxes · July 9, 2020 at 10:55 am
Your input has been heard and disregarded. Parents want their kids back in school under the traditional plan - five day per week.

Expert opinion? For every expert you subscribe too I can find one with a contrary opinion. Re: recent study demonstrating people in gyms 3 feet away wearing a mask no difference in covid infection rate then those people who stayed home.

Virtual "learning" does not work. To do virtual learning on a 1/2 time basis is to provide our children with a 1/2 assed education. Virtual "learning" transfers a lot of responsibility onto to parents that belongs to the education system.

Luckily this issue is easily resolved. Pay teachers by classroom hours taught. You dont show up for work, you dont get paid. Maybe that'll make teachers reconsider what "illness" they have that prevents them from getting into the classroom.

Employees in essential businesses have been showing up for work throughout the kungflu attack. The education system surely must be essential. In fact, the education system is beyond essential - it is compulsory.

Too not reopen schools in a traditional manner is to determine schools not to be essential.

Sounds like a Chicom plot to undermine the ability of the masses to self govern.
FairandBalanced · July 8, 2020 at 10:54 pm
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