Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

#AlachuaTogether…Our PreciousChildren…

So very proud and inspired by the voices of our children from my former district in Alachua County, Florida; advocating for their own health and safety ;trying not to get Covid…

This message from them should inspire all of us to wear that mask…and get vaccinated for our children…

#DemandBetterFL

Please listen to their message advocating for themselves… Their lives…

#maskup #vaccinate

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Our Children’s Safety…DeSantis’ school mask mandate ban is unlawful, Florida judge rules…

This ruling giving our local school districts a better opportunity to protect our children, teachers, and staff…

Our children younger than 12, who can not get vaccinated, especially need that added protection from the highly contagious delta variant.

Our Governor DeSantis is definitely, only looking out for his political future… not the children and people of Florida…

This lawsuit’s ruling was fair…and extremely impactful…

With all the children now sick…we now have an opportunity to control this virus…

By David K. Li

DeSantis’ school mask mandate ban is unlawful, Florida judge rules…

Local school boards have the right to set their own policies as long as they’re “narrowly tailored,” the judge said Friday…

Our Children’s Safety…must be a priority!!!

Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper’s decision followed a four-day trial, which was held online as the state struggles to contain the spread of Covid-19…

School districts have the right to set policies, like mask mandates, as long as they have “compelling state interest” and have a “narrowly tailored” plan of action, according to Cooper…

The judge made clear that he was not ruling against Gov. Ron DeSantis, but taking action to bar state agencies from enforcing the governor’s blanket order against local mask mandates, which tramples on Florida’s separation of powers statutes…

The actions of the defendants (DeSantis) do not pass constitutional muster,” Cooper said… “They seek to deprive the school boards in advance.”

Still, Friday’s ruling was a blow to the Republican governor and his education commissioner, who have threatened to withhold funding from school districts that went against the ban…

Jared Ochs, director of communications for the state’s Department of Education, said the administration is “immensely disappointed” by Cooper’s ruling.

“This decision conflicts with basic and established rights of parents to make private health care and education decisions for children,” he said in a statement.

Ochs added: “We will continue to fight to make sure every child has access to education. We are committed to the fundamental rights of parents and will push forward on appeal to ensure that this foundation of democracy is upheld.”

In July, DeSantis barred local school districts from requiring students to wear masks even as the nation, and especially the state of Florida, fights a resurgence of coronavirus.

Opponents have said DeSantis’ actions endanger children by not letting local officials follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that children be masked at school.

CDC recommends all students wear masks when return to school
The governor’s team argued that parents should have the final say on masks and that there’s no clear evidence masks prevent Covid-19 spread.

In his ruling against the sweeping state policy, Cooper said public schools regularly enforce mandates much more intrusive than just face masks.

The judge recalled how he couldn’t immediately enter Florida State University in 1968 because he hadn’t yet been vaccinated against small pox.

He even remembered the name of the doctor who administered the shot and where the inoculation happened, which allowed him to attend college.

“Schools can adopt policy dealing with health and education,” Cooper said. “And to the extent they may affect a parent’s right to control their children’s education or health, then it’s incumbent on the school board, if challenged in that policy, to demonstrate its reasonableness.”

The judge asked both sides to craft a proposed order by Monday, based on his findings, that he’d use to issue a final ruling…

We now have Hope for our Children and Schools….

Let’s now move forward…
Continue…

#goodtrouble
#DemandBetterFL
#DeSantisDestroysFL!!!

May Hope Prevail!!!
For our precious children…💕🙏🏼🌈🇺🇸🍎

Posted in Thoughts About Children

Will A Distance of Three Feet be Safe for Our Children?

I do have my concerns with this newest change in lowering the distance among children to three feet…

In order for children, teachers and essential staff to be able to adhere, and rely on all levels of safety protocols… the extra funding from President Biden’s Covid Relief Bill, and vaccination will definitely help…

However, now allowing a three feet distance among our children… How safe will the classroom be? Is this a change do to the fact, it would be easier to implement in a smaller, older classrooms, which many older schools still have?

From my own experience in that small, older classroom….Children do get ill…And teachers do too!!!

We were so close…Germs everywhere..It was extremely difficult to separate, and sanitize…Our custodial staff…on call…and understaffed…

Now with a pandemic!

And in fact, presently it is reported because children have been isolated for so long, there is an uptick of colds among children when they have returned to social situations, and they can carry the coronavirus and other viruses as well…

The data reflects

Children and COVID-19:
State Data Report

A joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association
Summary of publicly reported data from 49 states, NYC, DC, PR, and GU… Version: 3/11/21

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MYF8uxFho-u3cPisOKGau08F8HwZUrI2/view?usp=drivesdk

As of March 11, over 3.28 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Nearly 53,000 new child COVID-19 cases were reported last week. This marks the 8th consecutive week with a decline in new cases.

The age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases was provided on the health department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Children represented 13.2% of total cumulated cases in states reporting cases by age.

A smaller subset of states reported on hospitalizations and mortality by age; the available data indicated that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children.

At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.

Schools can allow social distancing of three feet, rather than six currently, between students in classrooms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday in what is expected to be a boost to reopening of schools nationwide…

The CDC’s long-awaited guidance on how schools can safely reopen comes after lawmakers and parents have become increasingly concerned about returning to in-person education to help with children’s learning and social development after some students have had virtual classes for a year or more…

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that the agency is committed to leading with science and updating guidance as new evidence emerges.

“Safe in-person instruction gives our kids access to critical social and mental health services that prepare them for the future, in addition to the education they need to succeed,” Walensky said. “These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based road map to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction…

Elementary school children can be at least three feet apart in classrooms, the CDC said. The same guidance applies to middle and high school students unless they’re in areas of high community transmission. Levels of community transmission are defined as the total new Covid cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days — low being up to nine, and high being 100 cases or more. Schools are encouraged to adjust classroom layouts to maximize distance between students, and desks should face the same direction when possible.

However, the CDC continues to recommend at least six feet of distance for other situations. For example, children must keep six feet apart in circumstances when wearing a mask is not possible, such as when eating. Activities that involve increased exhalation, such as singing, band, or sports should also adhere to the six-foot rule, and take place outdoors when possible.

Teachers and staff are expected to maintain six feet between one other and between students, as research shows that adult-to-adult transmission is most common in schools than transmission between students or between students and teachers… The recommendations on testing allow for safe participation in sports. Schools may consider testing student-athletes, coaches, parents, or other adults who support extracurricular activities.

During a press briefing Friday Walensky responded to a question on why the CDC’s new research on schools did not address underfunded urban schools.

There is growing evidence from many different school settings that did not control for ventilation to demonstrate that it’s safe in classrooms where masks are worn and students are at least three feet apart, Walensky said. “We are following the science and we’ve done the science, and we’ve seen the science to ensure that this is safe for those schools,” she said.

Teacher unions across the country have opposed reopening schools out of safety concerns. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told the New York Times this week she was concerned about the possibility of new guidelines, and suggested the CDC might have been pressured to shift its guidance.

In response to a question, Walensky said she had spoken to representatives of the unions.

“They know that we need to follow the science and to make our guidance based on that science, and they were very respectful of that,” Walensky said.

The Biden administration Wednesday said it would provide states billion of dollars for Covid-19 testing to help reopen schools safely. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $10 billion to help schools screen teachers, staff and students.

Another $2.25 billion will support scaled-up testing in underserved populations and the development of new guidance on screening in schools, workplaces and congregate settings.Three studies, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday, said evidence shows that physical distancing of at least three feet between students can safely be adopted in classroom settings.

I do hope these changes do not affect a positive outcome…

Our children, teachers and essential staff, deserve to be safe…

Posted in Mission, Thoughts About Children

Help is on the Way…For Our Children

This is a significant amount of money’: COVID-19 relief bill would send nearly $170 billion to schools..Jillian Berman

The Covid Relief Bill passed, and will now be enacted!!!

This is historic!!!
Our children will be able to get back to their routine of going to school, and being able to socialize with their friends…

They will be able to finally have the opportunity to receive an education they so deserve!!!

Our schools will have the necessary funding to provide the safety protocols, along with the ability to vaccinate all essential staff…And there will be the necessary funding to hire more teachers and staff!!!

What a dream coming true!!!

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and First Lady Jill Biden visit a school as part of the administration’s push to reopen schools.
MandelNgan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
As part of the COVID-19 relief bill passed by the Senate Saturday, schools from kindergarten on up will receive billions of dollars in funding…
The money comes as K-12 public school systems and higher education institutions grapple with how best to cope with the fallout of the pandemic on both their students and budgets. Public schools at all levels rely on state and local government money for funding, resources that could be squeezed by the pandemic inducted downturn…
At the same time, schools are wrestling with how to return to some semblance of normalcy as more widespread vaccination brings hope of emerging from the pandemic in the next several months…
If the bill is approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Biden, the roughly $170 billion lawmakers are sending to educational institutions could help with these efforts. It comes on top of the $82 billion they received in COVID-related relief Congress passed in December and the roughly $31 billion they received as part of the CARES Act passed in March…

Here’s what’s in the bill for schools: Kg-12 schools:
Lawmakers voted to send $128 billion to state and local education agencies, which mirrors President Joe Biden’s request for $130 billion for K-12 schools in the relief package he laid out in January.

“This is a significant amount of money,” said Terra Wallin, associate director for P-12 accountability and special projects at Ed Trust, an organization that focuses on education equity.“We think that it gets much closer to addressing the needs of schools than the previous relief packages have.”
Schools will likely use some of that money to work towards safe, in-person reopening…
School reopenings have become a flashpoint over the past several weeks as questions about whether Biden will meet a goal of reopening schools in his first 100 days and what exactly that means have surfaced…
The Centers for Disease Control issued guidelines last month on the safe reopening of schools, which outlined a tiered approach to in-person learning tied to COVID-19 transmission in the communityIn addition to the guidelines, the Biden administration has taken steps to push schools towards in-person instruction including launching a vaccination program for teachers in March and using the bully pulpit. On his second day on the job, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona joined First Lady Jill Biden on a tour of schools offering in-person instruction…

Though the Biden administration doesn’t have the power to reopen schools on their own — those decisions are made at the state and district level — the funding will certainly help. To re-open safely,schools may need to hire more teachers to offer smaller class sizes, redesign classrooms for social distancing, retrofit ventilation systems and more… But the funding provided is aimed at addressing more than just the immediate challenge of getting students learning in person…
Local education agencies have to use at least 20% of the funds, respectively, to deal with learning loss resulting from the pandemic…Schools could use this money on things like intensive tutoring, extending the school year through the summer, hiring more teachers, and more to address the learning loss students have suffered during this period, said Victoria Jackson, senior policy analyst on the state fiscal team at the the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank focused on the impact of budget and tax issues on inequality and poverty…
The bill also provides guard rails to ensure that the funding for students who likely have been hardest by the challenges of remote school — those from underserved communities, including low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities and others — is protected, Wallin said…

The proposal lawmakers passed Saturday is the first COVID relief package to include a maintenance of equity provision… The requirement means that if states and school districts have to make cuts, they can’t cut any more from their highest poverty districts and schools than the per-pupil average…“The idea here is that it requires that states protect the highest need or highest poverty district and that districts in turn protect their highest need schools,”Wallin said…

Higher education:
Congress will be sending nearly $40 billion to colleges and universities as part of the relief package. Though it’s less than the $97 billion, the AmericanCouncil on Education, a higher education lobbying group, estimated schools and students would need, they praised it as the “largest federal effort so far to assist students and families struggling to cope with lost jobs or reduced wages and colleges and universities facing precipitous declines in revenues and soaring new expenses.”Indeed, many colleges’ major sources of revenue — tuition, room and board, conferences, camps, parking and more — have been dinged as a result of the pandemic.

During the Great Recession, public colleges in particular struggled with cuts to state funding, “but colleges just didn’t lose revenue to the same extent,” as over the past several months, said Robert Kelchen, an associate professor of higher education at Seton Hall University.“The big challenge for colleges is they’re not replacing the revenue they got from not having students on campus,” he said...Colleges across the country have made cuts in staff and Programs to cope with the lost revenue, Kelchen noted. At the same time, they’ve spent money on COVID tests, technology and other infrastructure necessary to try and make campuses safe. If the bill becomes law, a lot of the money colleges receive from Congress “will be used to backfill what they’ve already spent,” Kelchen said.At least 50% of the funds colleges receive will have to go directly to students for emergency financial aid...The pandemic and accompanying down turn has put up obstacles in the way of attending and completing college, particularly for the most vulnerable students.

The relief package requires that colleges spend some of the money they receive on outreach to students to let them know they can get more financial aid if their circumstances have changed… The bill also allocates $91 million to the Department of Education to reach out to students and borrowers about financial aid and other benefits for which they may be eligible.

JillianBerman covers student debt and millennial finance. You can follow her on Twitter @JillianBerman.

Posted in Thoughts About Children

2019…When will our Children be that Priority?

When will educating all our children be a priority?

At the beginning of my teaching career in the early seventies… schools were finally integrated and and the funding of federal programs such as Head Start…were in place to provide the necessary resources to help with educating all children that were in need ….

I was so inspired and hopeful to be a part of this moment…We were giving our children opportunities they never had before….

However, progress slowed down in the nineties due to the enactment of “No Child Left Behind”… by then Florida Governor Jeb Bush…

This policy would continue through the millennium and into the present….

Even with the Obama administration, who too, was a proponent of privatization and the charter school movement…Monies that had once been allocated to our public schools were now being funneled back into private schools with our tax dollars;
Affecting many of the necessary resources and programs that had been in place, providing our children… a chance for that strong, public education….

We in turn began utilizing into the curriculum, thanks to Bill Gates and his Foundation… Core Curriculum, a developmentally inappropriate curriculum; which included the use of a sophisticated battery of standard testing…

Trying to bridge this learning gap associated to those children who struggle …

Now resulting in an inappropriate program with more objectives and standards for children to master…With fewer resources to meet those standards!

Then, just before President Obama left office, finally realizing our children in public schools deserved more opportunities to achieve success, he signed:

The Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015 that governs the United States K–12 public education policy. This new law was to replace , the No Child Left Behind Act, …This was to be that wonderful opportunity for all children…

Continue reading “2019…When will our Children be that Priority?”

Posted in Mission, Reflections

First Week…Back to School…

image
I have always enjoyed the Friday before the beginning of the school year to meet my new students and their parents…I rely on just that brief meeting to begin making an assessment, when parent and child come in to meet me…
One important piece of pertinent information gained from this meeting is that I can begin to assess those children that may be outgoing or those that may be quite reserved….

The first week of school is the crucial time when I focus on establishing… “Our Relationship”, one that lets my children know I will love them unconditionally; providing a classroom for structure to inspire learning, and moreover, feel safe to accept and appreciate our differences…No matter what is presented…The foundation for a successful year ahead…