RBO Virtual learning with the kids

  • DC1 got into all hir classes because hir programming teacher is in the age range in which covid is super dangerous, so zie is teaching from home.  I am glad that our district is following ADA guidelines and allowing this for teachers.  And that DC1 doesn’t have to take AP physics on top of pre-AP chemistry and AP US History.
  • Two of DC1’s classes are being taught synchronously (programming and history) and the rest asynchronously.
  • From the video streams of DC1’s history class, it looks like social distancing and masking guidelines are being followed at least in that class.  There are only 12 kids in it in person and like another 12 online.
  • DC2’s virtual teacher is AMAZING.  Simply amazing.  Fourth grade is such a formative year and I think maybe it’s lucky we lucked into her for virtual learning because we wouldn’t have had her otherwise.  She’s from another elementary school and taught third grade last year.  She’s smart and cheerful and organized and understanding and it’s no wonder when she asked kids on their first day what they were looking forward to most, all the kids who had her last year said having her as a teacher again.
  • The video DC2’s teachers sent out for in-person learners showed lots of skits with not social distancing going on among the teachers.  Another reason to be glad we kept hir at home.  At least the high school video had all teachers appropriately masked and social distanced (though the principal’s mask slipped down below her nose a couple of times during the video).
  • At schedule pick-up (where DC1 did not actually get hir schedule– someone made a mistake) zie got a really nice quality mask from the high school.  Waaaay better than the mask that our university sent us over the summer along with a very tiny thing of wipes and sanitizer.
  • I have been teaching in person.  (I assume we’ll get shut down at some point, but haven’t yet.)  We are expected to bring our own wipes to class to wipe off keyboards and markers.
  • DC2’s class has some small synchronous components.  We’re still ironing out the kinks in those.
  • DC2’s Spanish weeks have been taking more of my time because zie isn’t as comfortable with Spanish and because DH doesn’t know Spanish.
  • I had hoped that me not being in my office would stem a lot of the “just one quick question”s (that are never one and never quick) about the homework, but they send emails asking for zoom meetings outside of office hours with vague “walk me through what I’m doing wrong” on the homework.  If you have a specific question, ask it on the course website.  If you don’t have a specific question, come to office hours.  If you can’t come to office hours… then figure out a specific question to ask on the course website.  Or get a private tutor.   There’s a reason I have office hours instead of being available by appointment for all my students.
  • DC2’s frenemy whose little sister got a positive test for covid ended up doing the in-person schooling in the end. So two of DC2’s friends are in person and one is virtual.
  • So far DC1 has been getting to sleep earlier than last year.  Zie says zie doesn’t waste as much time in class doing nothing.
  • Even though (according to DC1) English still sucks, DC1 is glad that zie is using video-editing and powerpoint skills instead of coloring skills.  Zie thinks they may also be taught grammar and sentence diagramming instead of not being taught those things.
  • I think we’ll send a $1K giftcard to DC2’s virtual teacher.  Not quite sure how to get it to her.  I guess one of us will have to actually go into her school?  It’s a different elementary school so we will need to email that school principal to see what to do.

For those of you with school-age kids, any schooling updates?

17 Responses to “RBO Virtual learning with the kids”

  1. gwinne Says:

    That’s a lot….. sounds like it’s going moderately well. I’m glad. Tiny Boy’s teacher seems similarly great. the high school teachers…..not so much. LG said their orchestra teacher was looking into a plan that required approval still, which I’m guessing means orchestra in the school field or something. Zoom orchestra doesn’t work so great…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      DC1 has basically been doing individual recordings and more theory than usual. Not really any actual playing with other people. It works well since zie has a private teacher to supplement. There has been a lot of focus on the music for the next orchestra competition, which has individual auditions. (DC1 tried out and got into the “bad” orchestra last year with a pretty high chair number and wants to try out for the better orchestra this year.)

      It’s a lot more work for the school’s orchestra teacher, but I suspect she doesn’t actually listen to all the 20 min recordings she requests.

  2. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    We are pretty sure online K is going to be a disaster. Pickup of stuff was today and they already messed something up for one of my two elementary schoolers.

    The 6th grader dropped band because he was not here for zoom band (understandably!)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      What gets me is in-person choir. How is that supposed to happen?!?

      • accm Says:

        My adult choir is on zoom again for the fall. Nothing else is safe. But: 7 pm rehearsals, with two kids either running around being wild or else getting hyped up on screens right before bedtime. Not the best environment for focusing! Still, I’ve paid the fees and will attend, because it adds a bit of normalcy (also Beethoven!). I am hoping the kids’ piano lessons are back in-person (masked) in October, because those worked even less well by zoom.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        DC1’s high school has in-person choir in addition to virtual choir. I have to wonder what they do in class each day for in-person.

        Today’s new cases are more than 2x the number that marks the line between red zone and orange zone. So… presumably we will be shutting everything down sometime this month.

      • Jenny F. Scientist Says:

        We had three cases in our whole county last week. THREE. And yet school is closed!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’d be happy to trade!

      • Leah Says:

        One of my good friends is a choir teacher. Everyone will be masked, and she can have up to 12 singers based on the size of her room.

        I’m hoping she can go outside when the weather is nice . . .

  3. Leah Says:

    School here doesn’t start for another week. We are doing in-person because there’s a mask mandate and smaller class sizes. I’m not 100% sure of exact size but my kids’ class will be 15 or less. And, with the reworking, we got the teacher we wanted!

    We will see how it goes.

    My husband’s school . . . oof. There have been a few cases. They are doing rigorous quarantine and contact tracing. There are some kids who will be getting in trouble soon because they are not in the correct “cohort” for hanging out but did hang out and thus might have been exposed to someone who just tested positive. I’m having more anxiety about him than my kid going to school. Thankfully, he’s been wearing his mask, and I make him wash his hands and face the second he comes home before he can touch me.

  4. Cloud Says:

    We’re in the first week of school. Our entire district is online, and this first week is really low key, with just one hour daily Zoom call and some assignments mostly geared towards making sure all the kids know how to use all the tools before “real” instruction starts. We also picked up our materials today. Next week, the kids have mornings of synchronous instruction, plus 1 hour of office hours/small group work after lunch, and then 2 hours for independent work in the afternoon. My 5th grader will have online music class – it will be using recorders. I may need to break out the noise canceling headphones for that! But she is excited about it so I am trying to stay positive.

    So far, both kids report that online school seems to be going OK. Next week will be the real test, though.

    Our county has received state clearance for schools to open for in person instruction, but our district is going really slow on that. Mid-September they’re starting small group in person instruction, pre-K through 5 only and only for kids who are struggling academically or have an IEP. Group sizes are limited to 5 or 8 depending on age, and it is opt in for both students and teachers. I expect they’ll expand out slowly from that if our case rates don’t go back up. But the big state school here is having a spike in cases and we’re also cleared to reopen indoor gyms, salons, and restaurants (at 25% occupancy). So I won’t be surprised if the case rate to goes back up and in person schooling gets shut back down again.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      They’re doing best practices there which is so refreshing. It is so nice when they think the policy through instead of making it all or nothing.

      • Cloud Says:

        I’ve been pretty impressed with my district’s response to this from the beginning, to be honest. What I’ve seen so far of the online school plans also impresses me – for instance, they’ve moved middle school (and I think high school) to a quarter system and split the usual 6 classes into 3 per quarter. Some of this is good district leadership. Some of it is also a strong teachers’ union fighting for arrangements that keep their members safe and not overloaded We’ll see how it goes, but I am cautiously optimistic.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Ugh… yesterday we had a big spike so today the health department stopped reporting new daily cases. They’re reporting totals but you have to know yesterday’s numbers and subtract.

    In any case, a second day of totals being more than 2x the number to put us in the red zone.

  6. First Gen American Says:

    We don’t start til September 14th as the teachers needed/wanted more time for training.

    I guess we will be using canvas which one teacher told me is what colleges use.

    Current plan is all online and move to hybrid Oct 5th provided the teachers union agrees it’s safe enough. Our school system is pretty well funded so hopefully that will help with streamlining how things are done moving forward. The spring was a hodgepodge of rolls and it was tough to keep track of where assignments were posted and/or how they needed to be handed in.


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