That didn't last long - SOMSD teachers not returning for in-person instruction

I agree with them! And the frosting on my opinion is the lack of evacuation of Clinton when there was a gas leak!!! .... something that put students, faculty and the building at serious risk. 

I've read many posts complaining about how the administration is at fault for not bringing the buildings up to compliance with ventilation, etc. What about putting the blame on where the buck stops: the BOE. During all the updates,have they been physically in the buildings checking the work, progress on compliance, etc? It seems to me that they've been relying on third party reports. As we progress to further implementing our planned facilities upgrades the BOE members need to step up the oversight. 


Our BOE is pathetic, it has been for years.  They sit back and watch instead of actually overseeing the administrators/Superintendent. Superintendent Taylor has been totally ineffective in his role.

Here is the letter from the union to the BOE:
https://www.someanj.org/news/



Let's also share some blame here with ourselves.  For how long have we complained about any  taxes for education in this town?  It's always " for the taxes we pay", as if that should pay for every desired thing at all times.  We trained successive boards and administrations to shirk on maintenance in order to keep other standards up.  Now we pushed them to reopen when we knew it was unsafe.  They didn't do well, and we want everything.


^^^this^^^  

We and prior generations have failed here.  While much of the blame can be traced back to Gov. Whitman's income tax cuts which directly resulted in reductions in, among other things, school aid and support, we always seem to elect those who say they'll reduce our taxes.  Only way to reduce taxes at this point is to cut services/maintenance.


We've been cutting services, maintenance, and personnel every year since I moved to this area which is over two decades.  It got worse under the Christie administration but it's alwasy been there.

Our taxes will never go down.  I'm looking for competent oversight and, unfortunately, a long line of BOE candidates have come and gone and for the most part failed.


No official word from the district what I should do with my kid tomorrow. 


SOMS is closed until 2/1 due to two COVID-19 cases. Some students who were identified as close contacts have to quarantine at home for longer.


mrincredible said:

No official word from the district what I should do with my kid tomorrow. 

 I think they are still negotiating or reviewing things for the district.  This can't be easy.


I believe it is a principle of labor law that employees cannot be forced to work in unhealthy or unsafe conditions.

We can be certain that NJEA - Uniserve advised SOMEA before embarking on the decision, not to enter classrooms.


All virtual day tomorrow. 


And here is what is going on in the rest of the country for all those who think our school district is unique in it's handling of this challenge...…. The Chicago Teachers Union told its members not to return to classrooms as required by the school district on Wednesday, setting the stage for a strike Thursday over safety conditions during the pandemic. Unless a last-minute deal is reached, union members, including preschool and special education teachers who had already returned to classrooms, will teach remotely Wednesday. If the district retaliates, members will stop working Thursday and “set up picket lines at their schools,” according to an internal union memo. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said during a press conference late Tuesday that she was “deeply disappointed.”


Virtual tomorrow and Friday. Back to the hybrid/virtual plan on Monday.

Not sure what can be remediated by Monday?


Well, the letter said that they would address each room that has issues, moving to different rooms if needed and having staff to help with connection issues.  It could be a reasonable compromise.


And today, the district Business Manager, Paul Roth, announced his retirement.  Anyone believe in coincidences?


Paul Roth holds an enormous amount of historical knowledge. Across his roles in the district, he seemed to try to make things work, and fix issues, the best he could with the strongest duct-tape and gum available. I hope the district has the competence, and/or the finances, to hold things together/fix things once he retires. 


The teachers are certainly making a good case for us not giving them raises down the line.  Also, they are making a good case for more charter schools, private schools, homeschooling and other alternatives to public schools.  They are also making a good case for not limiting our public funding to just the public schools for those who cannot afford other alternatives on their own.  


A good case for homeschooling, you say?


notupset said:

The teachers are certainly making a good case for us not giving them raises down the line.  Also, they are making a good case for more charter schools, private schools, homeschooling and other alternatives to public schools.  They are also making a good case for not limiting our public funding to just the public schools for those who cannot afford other alternatives on their own.  

 Or they are showing us that their health matters, and that we should be ashamed of our selfish behavior by forcing them back into poorly maintained facilities.  Our teachers are on the whole excellent.  You should be embarrassed by your post.


notupset said:

The teachers are certainly making a good case for us not giving them raises down the line.  Also, they are making a good case for more charter schools, private schools, homeschooling and other alternatives to public schools.  They are also making a good case for not limiting our public funding to just the public schools for those who cannot afford other alternatives on their own.  

 Can dead teachers still teach kids? Oh, and kids have been known to die of C-19. Can dead kids learn?


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

 Can dead teachers still teach kids? Oh, and kids have been known to die of C-19. Can dead kids learn?

 Stop.   Teachers and kids have as much chance of dying in car accidents as they do dying from Covid they catch in school.  Yet most of these folks probably still get in cars and go.  Life is risky.  However, there is no science that suggests teachers and kids are at more risk of bad outcomes in schools than they are everywhere else.  And there IS evidence that non-privileged kids are MUCH worse off not having in person school.  Charters and private school teachers have been much more likely to do the right thing and go back to work, whenever the government allowed them to.   


That argument is moronic.  You simply can't compare a public school to a private school.  And you can choose not to drive if you deem the risk too high.    But you want to force someone into a potentially life threatening situation when it is not necessary.  Virtual school is not perfect, but it is working and we are almost to a point where we can get teachers vaccinated. All we need is a couple more months.  


notupset said:

 Stop.   Teachers and kids have as much chance of dying in car accidents as they do dying from Covid they catch in school.  

 Let's riddle this.  U.S. death from auto accidents, 2019: 38,000 (Wikipedia).  


notupset said:

 Stop.   Teachers and kids have as much chance of dying in car accidents as they do dying from Covid they catch in school.  Yet most of these folks probably still get in cars and go.  Life is risky.  However, there is no science that suggests teachers and kids are at more risk of bad outcomes in schools than they are everywhere else.  And there IS evidence that non-privileged kids are MUCH worse off not having in person school.  Charters and private school teachers have been much more likely to do the right thing and go back to work, whenever the government allowed them to.   

 Charter schools?  Success Academy in NYC already announced that it will be fully remote for the remainder of the year. 


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

 Let's riddle this.  U.S. death from auto accidents, 2019: 38,000 (Wikipedia).  

How many deaths of teachers who contracted the virus in schools - particularly from children (presumably once adults know the risks they can distance from each other in the school buildings and take other precautions)?  


FilmCarp said:

That argument is moronic.  You simply can't compare a public school to a private school.  And you can choose not to drive if you deem the risk too high.    But you want to force someone into a potentially life threatening situation when it is not necessary.  Virtual school is not perfect, but it is working and we are almost to a point where we can get teachers vaccinated. All we need is a couple more months.  

Virtual school is a failure to huge numbers of folks not as privileged as you.  Is there any evidence that public school teachers are getting sick from contact with students at a higher rate than private school teachers?  No one is suggesting "forcing" teachers to go back in school if they are too afraid.  No one talked about "forcing" healthcare workers, police, fire fighters and so many others to do the right thing and do the essential jobs that needed to be done.  But most of them did the right thing.   Many teachers are not making that right choice. Teacher support in communities will be way down going forward in towns where they fought going back in the classrooms.   


notupset said:

FilmCarp said:

That argument is moronic.  You simply can't compare a public school to a private school.  And you can choose not to drive if you deem the risk too high.    But you want to force someone into a potentially life threatening situation when it is not necessary.  Virtual school is not perfect, but it is working and we are almost to a point where we can get teachers vaccinated. All we need is a couple more months.  

Virtual school is a failure to huge numbers of folks not as privileged as you.  Is there any evidence that public school teachers are getting sick from contact with students at a higher rate than private school teachers?  No one is suggesting "forcing" teachers to go back in school if they are too afraid.  No one talked about "forcing" healthcare workers, police, fire fighters and so many others to do the right thing and do the essential jobs that needed to be done.  But most of them did the right thing.   Many teachers are not making that right choice. Teacher support in communities will be way down going forward in towns where they fought going back in the classrooms.   

 So, no one is forcing teachers back.  But they will lose their jobs if they don't go back.  The education is the same, virtual or hybrid, but the risk is different.  As for privilege, you are correct that I remind my son that we have stayed healthy while many have not.  We were also able to monitor his work, as we have had essentially no work from march until three weeks ago.  


notupset said:

How many deaths of teachers who contracted the virus in schools 

 I guess you're right. S'aul good, man.

On the other side of the teacher argument, do you know of any teachers that think Zoom teaching is easier and more productive than in person? The two teachers I have contact with, hate it. They would much rather be in the classroom.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

 I guess you're right. S'aul good, man.

On the other side of the teacher argument, do you know of any teachers that think Zoom teaching is easier and more productive than in person? The two teachers I have contact with, hate it. They would much rather be in the classroom.

 This point is well taken, but what's happening with hybrid is not the same as traditional classroom learning. Half the class is participating via Google meets from home. The other half are on devices in the classroom. The teacher can't ignore the kids at home, so it's pretty much just remote learning with half the class sitting in the classroom looking at a Chromebook. 



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