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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Let's talk about social distancing in DCPS

 Social distancing is part of the holy trinity of protecting oneself and others from the coronavirus. It's also a lie that it is happening in our schools. I know it, you know it, and Greene and the board know it too, the difference is where we might be outraged and horrified the board and super are shrugging their shoulders. 

Have you ever heard the phrase bread and circuses? It's how the Roman emperors kept people content. The idea wasn't to fix their problems but to distract them from their problems. It's also the ancient version of telling parents we will protect your children by having them social distancing.

Let me tell you about my room. My room has nine students and three adults, and social distancing is impossible. Now imagine a class of 15, 20, or 30 children?  Well, it's a nightmare because most classes are that size or bigger, a byproduct of Greene and the board cajoling families to send students back to our schools. 

From the Tampa Times, 

Medical experts stress that masks and social distancing are key to mitigating the illness, noted Joanne McCall, the union’s executive director.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with. 

District negotiators said they empathized. But they suggested that, from a practical standpoint, keeping children a set distance apart from one another could be problematic. 

“How do we govern the space when kids are in class, and school is taking place?” asked Gibbs High principal Barry Brown, a member of the district team. “How do I ensure this truly takes place?”

You know district negotiators (in Pinellas County) empathized, but hey, they can't do anything about it. At least they are getting empathy. In DCPS, we can't even get that.

There were solutions, like opting every one out and then having people opt-in, or just opening up schools to small groups of ese students or those the district was concerned might fall behind, but DCPS passed on them and chose a pack em, and stack em strategy that they knew would make social distancing difficult if not impossible. 

In a lot of blogs, I try and give a solution, I tried to give the district solutions last summer, but short of sending kids home or hiring a bunch of new teachers at 45k a pop, I don't have one, but that's what I think the district wanted. They wanted to get to the point where nothing could be done.

This is the thing we shouldn't pretend there is social distancing and let families know that. Pretending doesn't do anybody any good, but it is one of the things DCPS is good at.  


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