my concern about the CDC operational report on reopening schools
new classification of low, moderate, substantial, and high.
Low is 0-9 cases per 100,000 with a test positivity rate of less than 5%.
moderate combined 2 previous levels and includes up to 8% + rates
I get that the thought is younger children are less likely to contract the virus, but at the same time we believe that pregnant ppl are at increased risk of contracting the virus. It is not a leap to believe elementary age children may live with a pregnant parent.
This is actually highly common for the 40% of families with 3 or more children. Yet, in moderate/low areas, there's no recommendation for virtual school for elementary age kids.
This is a concern for anyone that has any health condition making in-person school particularly risky
Let's keep looking at the recommendations for elementary schools in low/moderate transmission areas. Here we have a suggestion of 6 feet distance (to the extent possible) not a requirement, nor a minimum. This makes this suggestion easily ignored.
Let's talk mask. One of the mitigation approaches states everyone possible should wear masks. This provides good understanding of the circumstances where wearing a mask may not be possible, with a state goal of 90-100 correct mask compliance.
I'm shocked that as it described the fabric of mask and the number of layers, it didn't include or link to their mask study. A stronger recommendation would be that schools provide masks to ensure children and staff have high quality masks.
These are the 5 main mitigation masks measures suggested for all schools. Testing and vaccinating were seen as additional layers that could be added.
Ventilation suggested open doors and windows if safe (no disk of children falling out, low/no pollution, low allergy risk). This was a suggestion I found many schools couldn't follow due to recent school shooter laws.
Contact tracing was interesting. I loved that they said if schools reopen there must be resources to contact trace within 48 hours. But a repeated caveat was about school privacy laws.
This reminded me of the NC study about covid spread in schools that found 0 cases of child to adult covid spread (YAY!!!) But couldn't analyze child to child or adult to child spread because or privacy concerns (hmmm, how's that work?)
I liked the recommendation about not eating in lunchrooms, but I didn't see a suggested place for eating to occur.
I liked that it talked about keeping tissue and soap in huge supplies, but my cousin's high school doesn't even have toilet paper so, I have little faith in soap.
I loved the equity sections. All of them. I'm not sure they had recommendations to go with every issue described, but I love that it noted so many of the equity issues.
I'm also impressed that it clearly and repeatedly linked community spread to school spread and reinforced that in order for schools to all reopen, we need to reduce community spread. I just wish they didn't screw with the original definition of low transmission.
Overall, there were a lot of suggestions, very few requirements, not enough accommodations for elementary age kids and their families, no mention of high quality virtual option, no testing of quarantined kids to determine if an outbreak occurred, no guidance on eating,
no guidance on commuting to and from school (outside of staggered school days) no description of a low risk hybrid approach (i prefer no two days back to back, to reduce exposure during most infectious period), great discussion about equity but many aspects left to community
to work out. Privacy restrictions surrounding contact tracing, laws that impact easy ventilation and cost that makes addressing HVAC a
Oh! I liked the recommendation to her rid of truancy rules for students and provide liberal sick leave for teachers.
One thing that wasn't considered at all, was teachers/staff working in a different area than they live. What should be done if they live in the red zone, but yeah in the blue zone?

Okay, that's enough for now...
*live in a red zone but work in a blue zone?
I forgot to add my greatest concern! The # of times "safe" was used in this report. How can we say safe when we know spread will happen even with layers of mitigation. Why not use "reduce spread", "reduce risk", "minimize spread" or maybe even "safer"? Saying SAFE is misleading.
There's many of teachers and parents with this same experience. We have to stop using the word safe to describe an experience that can lead to bad outcomes for some.

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More from @Theresa_Chapple

17 Feb
3rd grade homework assignment was to discuss with the family why we live where we live. I tried to broadly answer, but my daughter kept probing. Qualitative researcher in the making?
The conversation I didn't want to have, that I ended up having, was about the racism we endured.
I tried to focus on us moving from ATL to MD because of my job. But she's old enough to remember that this is not our 1st home in MD.
Why did we move from our 1st MD home, she askes?
Crap, truth or lie? Think quick. Truth won out.
Our neighbors kept calling the police on us.
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I explained, everytime we'd enter the home through the front door instead of the garage, the neighbors would report a burglary in progress.
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7 Feb
#BlackHistoryMonth Yesterday's letter was E for excellence.
I was tired last night & just wanted the children to go to sleep, but they came to me asking, "who's our example of Black Excellence mom?"
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Mrs. Obama, are 44th First Lady is the epitome of Black Excellence, and became this was as a result of hard work, parents love, community support, quest for knowledge.

My children were impressed to learn that her mother, Mrs. Robinson stayed home with the children and taught
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Great article on the 8 different ways to sign up for the vaccine in MoCo, MD. "Montgomery County vaccine registration, confusing, time consuming |"…
Philly people can call this number for the vaccine
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"Philadelphia to open mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics, pharmacies to get doses"…..
New Jersey
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6 Feb
#BlackHistoryMonth Today's letter is D- for drive.
I had an entire plan, but my children wanted to learn about Ruby Bridges.
They said that someone had to DRIVE her to school😆, so, I went with their selection.
Ruby Bridges, born in 1954, the same year as my mother. My children were shocked to hear that when their gma was a child, integrated schools were resisted.

My children learned about how even with laws in place, people made up creative ways to ensure segregated schools.
In New Orleans, Black children had to take an extremely hard placement test in order to get into the White school. 6 kids passed the test at Ruby's school, 2 of the children remained at the Black school, 3 Black girls went to McDonogh school and Ruby went to Frantz on her own.
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5 Feb
#BlackHistoryMonth Today's value- "C" is for creative. This was hard to narrow down, so I selected two people to discuss with my family.
1- Issachah James Savage @SavageTenorJI. I read a quote about him once that said "His name is Savage. His sound is sophisticated."
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It's a voice both refined and deep in its range, in that rare category known as a heldentenor, and he is using it to crush Verdi and Wagner roles here and abroad.

He's won: The Seattle International Wagner Competition in 2014
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4 Feb
#BlackHistoryMonth - today's value is bold.
I talked with my girls about the boldness necessary to be "Unbought and Unbossed", Shirley Chisholm's slogan when she became the first woman and first Black woman to run for nomination of a major party as its candidate for President.
Shirley Chisholm was born in 1924 and died in 2005. She was relentless in breaking political barriers with respect to both race and gender. In 1968, Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, representing New York’s 12th for 7 terms from 1969 to 1983.
As both a New York state legislator and a congresswoman, Chisholm championed the rights of the least of us, fighting for improved education; health and social services, including unemployment benefits for domestic workers;
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