DCPS’s mask problem solved… sort of. (draft)

Two things:

Thing one, not having a mask policy or having one that is so toothless you might as well say they don’t have one is unacceptable. It could possibly cost lives and it will definitely cause schools to close.

Thing two, it will be impossible to make sure every student wears a mask everyday in every class. These are kids.

So these two facts would make it seem like there is no way to be successful. Well I reject that, and instead think we have to be creative and flexible.

So this is my flexible and creative solution.

Kids wear masks until they get into their classrooms and that’s where they stay and who they stay with all day, that is their group or their pod and yes that does sound pretty bad too but keep reading.

This means all the students in the class will be taking the same class so it’s going to take a lot more planning but this is doable and probably easier in the earlier grades.

Kids don’t switch classes teachers do. We don’t have hundreds of people in the halls who for whatever reason the district has chosen not to control but instead we have a few who we can make sure wear masks.

Being a traveling teacher sucks, you have to bring all your materials, you are in a new room where you don’t know where everything is but it’s manageable.

This is the thing though, we can’t leave kids cooped up in the same class all day long which means electives will be more important than usual. Sometimes kids will be able to go to electives as we control their movement but since we have to allow for cleaning times in between groups this means sometimes the electives will have to come to them.

Then we need to set up outside time for as many groups as we can and as often as we can. We can’t be successful if we make school drudgery which could happen if it is the same group in the same room every day, all day but we can’t be successful if the student body is sick or taking frequent two week breaks either.

In short we make groups smaller, we minimize movement and contact between the groups so now if a kid gets sick, then it’s that group which is out and not the entire school.

Is this plan perfect, no, but it’s better than can’t happen and won’t happen which was what the district’s first bite at the apple is.  

This school year or at least until there is a vaccine we are going to have to be flexible and we are going to have to sacrifice some, but that doesn’t mean be reckless which the district’s plan is.

Now what are your ideas? Unlike the district I want to know what the people actually doing the work think.

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