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Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus, kids and school closings: A public health expert answers 4 questions – Raw Story

Coronavirus, kids and school closings: A public health expert answers 4 questions – Raw Story

Coronavirus, kids and school closings: A public health expert answers 4 questions

Editor’s note: The World Health Organization has declared a coronoavirus pandemic, and more cases have been announced in several states. School closings, such as the statewide closure of schools in Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, New Mexico and Michigan announced March 12, are often one of the actions that officials consider. Public health scholar Aubree Gordon explains why.

1. Can children get COVID-19?

Children can catch the virus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, the disease that has infected more than 121,000 and caused more than 4,000 deaths. However, for reasons that we public health officials and physicians do not understand, most children do not seem to get very sick from the infection. In fact, some children may not display any symptoms at all.

In China, where the best clinical data are available, fewer infections were documented in children and teenagers than in older people. This same pattern was seen during the 2002-2003 outbreaks of SARS coronavirus, a virus that is closely related to SARS-CoV-2.
It is not clear whether children may be less susceptible to the virus, meaning that they are less likely to catch it, or if they just have milder symptoms than adults on average, and thus are less likely to be detected as cases. It’s also important to note that there have been no reports of fatal cases of COVID-19 in children under the age of 10. In older children and teenagers, there has only been a single documented death to my knowledge. So, kids are much less likely to get COVID-19 than adults and if they do catch it, they typically have mild illness.

2. What role do schools play?

Respiratory viral diseases are spread when people come into contact with one another. This means that any place where people gather in close proximity can lead to viral transmission.
One of the best ways that we have to help control epidemics or pandemics of viruses like influenza is to close schools. This is because children tend to be very susceptible to common human CONTINUE READING: Coronavirus, kids and school closings: A public health expert answers 4 questions – Raw Story

Schools are ‘deep cleaning’ to fight coronavirus. Why some experts say it’s likely a waste of time. - The Washington Post

Schools are ‘deep cleaning’ to fight coronavirus. Why some experts say it’s likely a waste of time. - The Washington Post

Schools are ‘deep cleaning’ to fight coronavirus. Why some experts say it’s probably a waste of time.

Delaware’s Laurel School District closed its campuses Thursday and Friday to “deep clean” its schools after it was learned that a staff member had recently had contact with a traveler from a country with a viral outbreak. Neither the staff member nor the traveler had symptoms, and the Delaware Division of Public Health advised the district that closing schools was an “unnecessary precaution.”

Laurel is just one of a growing number of districts across the country in which schools are deep cleaning their buildings in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the pandemic illness covid-19 — though some experts on infectious diseases say it could well be a waste of time.
Deep cleaning involves floor-to-ceiling cleaning and disinfecting in a school building that sets the stage for regular, less comprehensive cleaning of heavily traveled areas and surfaces. Some schools are closing down briefly for deep cleaning and hiring third-party companies to do the job, while others are doing it on the weekend and with their own custodial staff.
Marcus Plescia is the chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents state public health departments. He said deep cleaning may be a waste of time and money.
“There is this ongoing debate about how long the coronavirus can live on hard surfaces, and most of us think not very long,” he said. “It thrives on people’s bodies, not out in the open on a hard service. It’s not clear, so the uncertainty may be what is moving to have schools deep clean.
“It makes people feel better that there is this thorough cleaning done, but how effective it is, we don’t know,” he said.
He said that deep cleaning may be an attempt for some schools to find a balance between keeping schools open and closing them, when it is not clear closing them will help stem the virus, either. CONTINUE READING: Schools are ‘deep cleaning’ to fight coronavirus. Why some experts say it’s likely a waste of time. - The Washington Post

Why the mayor of New York City is determined to keep schools open - The Washington Post -
Standardized tests — including the SAT — are being canceled or delayed amid coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus school closings: LAUSD closed over outbreak - Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus school closings: LAUSD closed over outbreak - Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles school district to close all schools

Los Angeles school officials on Friday voted to shut down the nation’s second-largest school system effective Monday, citing concerns over the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The district has about 900 campuses serving more than 670,000 children and adult students.
The San Diego Unified School District will also shut down effective Monday.
District officials said that they will continue meal programs and offer televised and online lessons in an attempt to help families.
The move came amid mounting pressure for the L.A. Unified School District to take more aggressive action, which officials had resisted because county health officials have identified no confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to a Los Angeles campus.
But the calls to close schools have been growing in number and intensity, including the teachers union late Thursday. An emergency board meeting called for 1 p.m. Friday was moved up to give schools more time to prepare, school board President Richard Vladovic said.
“We are united in feeling that children and staff deserve extraordinary care,” Vladovic said before the vote.
While health officials had supported the district’s decision to keep schools operating, an increasing number of school districts throughout California and the nation have announced closures, including San Francisco Unified and several districts in Ventura County including Simi Valley, Moorpark and Oak Park. Also, governors in four states — Ohio, Maryland, New Mexico and Michigan — ordered the closing of all public schools.
Elk Grove Unified, a large district in Northern California, was the first in the state to shut down. On Wednesday, the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco shuttered all 90 of its schools in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. They are scheduled CONTINUE READING: Coronavirus school closings: LAUSD closed over outbreak - Los Angeles Times

8 Things Parents Should Know About The Coronavirus: Life Kit : NPR

8 Things Parents Should Know About The Coronavirus: Life Kit : NPR

Coronavirus And Parenting: What You Need To Know Now

The coronavirus is raising a lot of questions for parents, like what does it mean to work from home while parenting young children?
Westend61/ Getty Images
We are education reporters by day and parents by night (and day). But, in recent weeks, our two worlds have collided, with parents and educators equally concerned about the spread of COVID-19. So here's a quick rundown of some of the great questions we've heard from listeners and readers and the answers we've been able to explore in our reporting. For even more, you can listen to this new episode of NPR's Life Kit podcast.
Q. What's the single most important thing we can do to protect our kids?
Make sure they understand that hand-washing isn't optional. And that means showing them how to do it properly: using soap, warm water and time. Washing should take 20 seconds, which means you may need to help them find a song they can sing (in their heads, maybe twice) — like the ABCs or "Happy Birthday" songs. Be sure they wash whenever they come in from outside, before eating, after coughing or sneezing or blowing their nose and, of course, after using the bathroom.
For younger kids, it can't hurt to remind them that nose-picking is a no-go, and that they should cough into their elbows. If you're feeling ambitious, clip their fingernails frequently, as they provide a sneaky hiding spot for viruses. Hand lotion keeps skin comfy and unbroken, which also helps prevent the spread of infection.
A few more ideas: Try laundering things like coats, backpacks and reusable shopping bags more frequently and take off shoes when you come inside. For cleaning the CONTINUE READING: 8 Things Parents Should Know About The Coronavirus: Life Kit : NPR

Clarifying the Movement History of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, or #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool – Black Lives Matter At School

Clarifying the Movement History of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, or #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool – Black Lives Matter At School

Clarifying the Movement History of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, or #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool

We appreciate the mainstream press we have received this year from such widely read publications as TIME and yet find it necessary to reiterate the history of how we got to the 3rd Annual Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action to include a variety of significant actors, organizations, and gatherings in to the story. This is not the full story, but a timely corrective. This will be integrated into the website soon, but published here for speed.

In September 2016, teachers at John Muir Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, organized a day of community uplift and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Aiming to convey that “Black lives matter!” at John Muir, teachers wore T-shirts reading “Black Lives Matter/We Stand Together/John Muir Elementary,” and stood alongside dozens of Black men who lined the school’s walkway “giving high-fives and praise to all the students who entered” (included in Teaching for Black Lives). With a contentious, racially charged election looming in the background, this seemingly innocuous event was met with right-wing denouncements, hate-filled emails, and a bomb threat.
It was this pushback to the Seattle educators’ open valuing of Black lives that sparked Philadelphia’s social justice union caucus, the Caucus of Working Educators (WE), to CONTINUE READING: Clarifying the Movement History of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, or #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool – Black Lives Matter At School

DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG CATCH UP NOW - Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all


 Diane Ravitch's blog 

 A site to discuss better education for all

Coronavirus Crisis: Nearly One-Quarter of Schools Have No School Nurse

Jersey Jazzman documents a crucial shortage in school nurses, who serve multiple roles in protecting the health of children in school. He writes: As the coronavirus threat increases in the United States, policymakers are assessing our nation’s capacity to handle a pandemic. One of our first lines of defense — and one I’ve yet to see discussed — is our school nursing workforce. Ask anyone who has
Why Won’t Trump Declare a National Emergency?

Because he doesn’t want to admit he was wrong when he compared the coronavirus to the flu. James Hohmann of the Washington Post wrote: Democrats want Trump to declare the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency. He’s hesitating. President Trump declared a national emergency last February to divert billions that had been appropriated for the military to fund construction of his wall along the so
Jeanne Kaplan: What’s the Matter with the New Denver Board of Education?

Jeanne Kaplan served two terms on the elected board of education in Denver. She has been an outspoken critic of the Disruption policies of the Michael Bennet-Tom Boasberg era, and she worked with other parents and activists in Denver against the monied interests that promoted Disruption, high-stakes testing, and charters in that city. Miraculously, a new board was elected last fall which had a ma
Teacher Responds to Review of SLAYING GOLIATH in “The New York Times”

I confess that I was very disappointed by the review of my new book in the New York Times. The reviewer thought that I should have presented “both sides,” not argued on behalf of public schools, which enroll 85-90% of American children. If we starve the public schools that enroll most children, we harm them and the future of our society. I debated whether to respond on this blog but then decided
K-12 Teacher: Why I Oppose the Common Core Math Standards

This anonymous K-12 teacher wrote an extended explanation of why he or she opposes the Common Core mathematics standards. The essay was a guest post in David Kristofferson’s blog. The teacher writes that the math standards claim to stress “deep understanding” in addition to procedure, which sounds like a good thing at first, until you take a closer look at how this goal is actually approached. To


Watch the Brilliant Katie Porter Force the Director of CDC to Guarantee Free Testing for Coronavirus

This tape takes about four minutes. Watch the amazing, brilliant Congresswoman Katie Porter question the director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, to use his legal authority to assure that every American is entitled to receive free testing for coronavirus. Watch Dr. Redfield duck and weave and obfuscate, trying to avoid to making that commitment. Watch as he finally says,
Los Angeles: UTLA Calls on Superintendent and Board to Close the Schools and Create Support System for Students

The United Teachers of Los Angeles issued this statement tonight: UTLA calls for LAUSD to close schools Tonight UTLA called on LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner to take decisive action to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “We are calling for the rapid, accelerated, and humane closure of LAUSD schools,” UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl said. “Other countries have shown that a proactive — not r
Ohio: Governor DeWine Announces Three-Week Spring Break and Says Don’t Worry about the State Tests

Governor Mike DeWine acted decisively to close all schools in Ohio, starting at the end of the day Monday. Some schools will close sooner. COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that all Ohio schools will have a three-week spring break – starting next week – as precaution against the spread of coronavirus. Ohio K-12 schools will be closed from 3:30 p.m. Monday through at least
Democrats Propose a Response to the Coronavirus. Republicans Say No, We Need Tax Cuts.

Last night, House Democrats introduced the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes: Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured; Paid emergency leave with both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave; Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers; Stren
St. Paul, Minnesota: Teachers Strike to Demand More Investment in Services for Their Student

(FORGIVE MY SENIOR MOMENT–BEING SO UPSET WITH THE DAY’S NEWS, I MISTAKENLY PLACED ST. PAUL IN THE WRONG STATE, WHEN I KNOW IT IS ONE OF THE TWIN CITIES OF MINNESOTA. I HAVE LEARNED TO OWN MY MISTAKES.) The teachers of St. Paul, Minnesota, are on strike. Their number one demand is the expansion of mental health services and counseling for their students. The #Red4Ed movement continues, as teachers
Critic of NPE “Asleep at the Wheel” Advocates for Vouchers with Weak Reasoning and a Mathematical Error

When the Network for Public Education issued two reports scrutinizing the failure of the federal Charter Schools Program, the second report was criticized by one Will Flanders of the far-right think tank Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, whose critique was published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper. Flanders recently wrote a proposal to expand vouchers in Wisconsin and claimed
California: Appeals Court Rules That Non-Profit Charter Schools Are Not Exempt from Taxation

This decision was announced on March 11 : Metropolitan News-Enterprise Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Court of Appeal: Nonprofit Chartered Schools Are Not Exempt From County Property Taxes, Assessments By a MetNews Staff Writer The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday affirmed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Monica Bachner’s determination that a nonprofit charter school is not impliedly exempt
Florida: Republican State Senator is Tired of Micromanaging Public Schools While Focusing Only on School Choice

Now here is a refreshing story from Florida. Republican State Senator Tom Lee says he is fed up with the legislature’s micromanagement of education policy. Moreover, he actually noticed that the Legislature spends most of its time on 20% of the state’s students while ignoring the other 80% who attend public schools. “As I talk to members, I don’t think there’s anyone quite where I am yet, but I’m
Florida: House Passes Bill to Protect “Parents’ Rights” vs. School System

The Florida House passed a bill to protect “parents’ rights” against decisions by the school system. The House advanced sweeping, if aspirational, legislation codifying a parent’s “bill of rights” on Monday. The vote in favor was 77-41. The House version (CS/HB 1059), sponsored by Rep. Erin Grall, now includes a technical amendment that reaffirmed parental rights to any type of school (public, pr
Florida: House Rejects Bill to Ban LGBT Discrimination in Voucher Schools

On January 23, the Orlando Sentinel published an investigative report that nearly 160 religious schools receiving public money for vouchers openly discriminated against LGBT students, families, and staff. The Florida House just rejected a bill to make such discrimination in publicly funded schools illegal. To make it plain, the Florida House sent a message to religious schools that it is just fin

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