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Author: TriSec    Date: 08/04/2020 09:58:12

Good Morning.

Something to consider, as we move deeper into August - it's nearly back to school time!

Civilian school districts around the United States are still in a state of flux. Nobody seems to know what is happening, how "back to school" will look in many parts of the country, or even if any of them will even open their doors.

It's a problem that extends to military bases around the world as well. US military personnel in far-flung places have homes and families in places we often don't think about. The military school system may be only slightly better organized than civilian schools, but they too face the same challenges, albeit on a far smaller scale.

In the midst of uncertain pandemic times, parents of about 13 percent of students in Department of Defense Education Activity schools have chosen to enroll their children in the virtual option, school officials said.

About 9,000 students out of the projected 69,000 student enrollment will attend virtual school in the fall, said Will Griffin, a spokesman for DoDEA. Students enrolled in the virtual option commit to at least one semester, but can transition to attending classes in person at the beginning of the second semester if their installation is in Health Protection Condition A or B, Griffin said.

Those estimated 69,000 students attend 160 schools in 11 countries. There are DoDEA schools at 13 bases in seven states in the continental U.S.. An estimated 8,700 educators work throughout DoDEA.

Officials are still working on further analysis of the data, but there are increased virtual enrollments in some communities that are still in HPCON C, with substantial sustained community transmission of COVID-19, Griffin said. Any DoDEA schools that are located on installations under HPCON C will start the school year using remote learning with their brick-and-mortar classroom teacher for all students.

Union leaders, citing health and safety concerns, had urged DoDEA parents to choose the virtual school option if DoDEA didn’t decide to do remote-only openings at all its schools.

Parents of DoDEA students had until July 28 to sign up for the virtual school option for their child, then DoDEA officials extended that deadline to July 30. Officials needed a cutoff date to allow enough time to ensure there’s enough staffing and resources for the virtual school, and those resources are in place before the start of classes on Aug. 24, Griffin said.

Parents weren’t asked to provide any justification for their selection of a virtual school option, so officials don’t know if students had an underlying health condition, he said.

In an announcement last month about the reopening plans, DoDEA Director Tom Brady said the preferred option is for students to learn in the physical setting, but schools “will remain flexible and prepared for any contingency.” Officials also provided parents the option to enroll in virtual school.

Looking at a civilian location, the City of Waltham has extensive online resources about COVID-19, and what to do, but the preliminary back-to-school report and plan was published on the city website back on July 15, and there have been no further updates since then. The situation remains fluid, but our normal school opening would be on Tuesday, September 1 - four weeks from today.

All of this indicates that the virus still remains a clear and present danger. During the initial wave, much ado was made about deployment of National Guard troops, field hospitals, and even hospital ships to potential hotspots. As that wave receded, these high-visibility resources were withdrawn. There's no indication that any of them are coming back to other parts of the country now affected - but governors have requested that the National Guard deployment be extended beyond the current cutoff date of August 21.

The National Governors Association on Monday asked President Donald Trump to extend deployment authorities for thousands of National Guard troops still working on coronavirus relief missions, saying the support will likely be needed “until a vaccine is available.”

About 30,000 guardsmen are currently deployed in support of state missions. Many of those operations started in March, just weeks after the start of the ongoing pandemic. In May, Trump extended the federal authorizations for the work until Aug. 21.

In a message to the White House, the governors association said the assistance will be needed for longer than that, and plans need to be finalized soon.

“While we appreciate the administration’s support over the past few months, short-term extensions and last-minute authorizations are adversely impacting and disrupting state plans and operations,” the group stated.

“Though the current extension is authorized until Aug. 21, duty status cannot be changed on a dime. Over the weekend, states and territories were already forced to start the transition process for guard members to ensure compliance with required quarantine policy.”

The group did specify a new end date, but said the ongoing help remains “critically needed” in local communities.

And capping things off - I've just heard on the news behind me that some civic leaders in this Commonwealth are concerned enough that they're asking the Governor to reconsider rolling us back to Phase 2, which would torpedo any chance of me making money for the rest of the year. Massachusetts statistics found here.


7 comments (Latest Comment: 08/04/2020 20:22:20 by BobR)
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Comment by Raine on 08/04/2020 13:38:18
Damn, the garbage person appears to be stupider than 'normal' in that axios interview.

Good Morning...

Comment by wickedpam on 08/04/2020 14:24:44

Comment by Will in Chicago on 08/04/2020 14:42:25
Good morning, bloggers!!!

I spent last night watching my school district's board meeting online. We are going with nine weeks of elearning. Starting next Tuesday, I start prepping for the school year in my classroom.

This is how bad things are in the town I will be teaching in this fall.

Comment by livingonli on 08/04/2020 15:15:45
Donnie is going to pig fuck us to an early grave.

Comment by livingonli on 08/04/2020 17:05:23
77 degrees with rain and wind here.

Comment by BobR on 08/04/2020 20:22:20
With all the storm excitement this morning and non-stop meetings, I completely forgot about Bloggy.

Happy Tuesday...