January 20, 2022 4:16 pm

Covid in the United States: remote classes vs. face-to-face, the debate that is resumed with the wave of omicron

There is anguish and frustration. They speak of “an insurmountable situation.” The last order of New York Times their readers to know how they were handling the return of their children to schools He left several sentences about regrets, impotence and “a new total loss of control.” “When the pandemic started, parenting and teaching while working remotely was difficult. But now we are tired and exhausted, and it’s been two years, ”wrote a Minneapolis mother. And the situation finds extremes in the middle of the omicron wave that hits the United States cThere are close to a million infections a day: Some parents whose children are learning remotely are upset that they are not at school in person. And some parents whose children are learning in person are upset that they cannot be at a distance.

Schools across the country were forced to adapt their plans for returning to class after winter break this week as Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Thousands of schools temporarily changed distance learning mode or delayed return to class. Meanwhile, in some districts that returned to face-to-face classes amid staff shortages, teachers are considering staying home.

Across the country, more than 2,100 K-12 schools will be closed for in-person learning for at least this week, according to Burbio, a company that monitors school vacancies.. Large school districts in Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin They are among those whose plans have been disrupted.

In many cases, plans abruptly changed over the weekend as parents and students prepared for the return from winter break.. Detroit public schools announced on New Year’s Eve that all schools would be closed through at least Wednesday, citing the city’s “high infection rate of 36%”. The district said it would not be able to offer remote classes because not all students have laptops and that it would announce plans later in the week.

In Atlanta, they said Saturday they had reversed their plan to start the year in person. Classes will be held virtually until Friday. While in Milwaukee they said they would switch to virtual learning due to “an influx of positive Covid-19 cases reported among district staff.” The district added that their goal is to resume in-person learning on January 10.

In New JerseySome students will spend half the month remote learning. The Newark school district, the largest in the state, with about 40,000 students, expects to continue virtual learning through January 14. “We will do everything we can to protect our children in this fight against this horrible virus and we will return to in-person instruction as soon as possible,” said Newark School Board President Dawn Haynes.

Chicago public schools canceled their classes on Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote teaching due to the latest wave of Covid, district authorities announced late yesterday. The move affecting America’s third-largest school district was taken amid a growing battle over pandemic security protocols in schools. At the moment it is unknown what will happen with the classes the rest of the week. The union’s action, approved by 73% of its members, called for teaching to be online until “cases drop significantly” or union leaders approve an agreement for security protocols with the district.

“This decision has been made with great regret and special attention to the safety of students and the community,” the group said in a statement.

District authorities insisted on keeping all centers open for face-to-face classes because remote teaching was devastating to students’ learning and mental health. But the union maintains that security protocols are deficient and that both teachers and students are vulnerable. The most controversial issues in the district, which has about 350,000 students, are the parameters that would cause the closure of the centers. Authorities have proposed guidelines for individual closures, claiming that measures such as the mandatory use of a mask, the availability of vaccines and improved ventilation make schools one of the safest places for children. But The group proposed measures to shut down the entire district, citing risks to students and teachers..

Classes resumed on Monday after a two-week break for winter break, and infections and hospitalizations for coronavirus reached record levels fueled by the omicron variant, more contagious. School districts across the country face the same problem, with most opting to function normally.

Chicago Public Schools Director Pedro Martinez said the buildings will remain open, regardless of union voting, for administrators, staff and “ essential services, ” but not for teaching. Mayor Lori Lightfoot noted that teachers who do not show up for work will not receive their salary.

Young children and even newborns are being affected by omicron at a higher rate than what happened with delta and other variants of the coronavirussaid a doctor from North Texas. As they are not yet eligible to receive covid-19 vaccines, children under the age of 5 are the ones who are filling the wards of children’s hospitals in the region, according to reports Dallas News.

Carla García Carreño, head of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Medical Center in Plano, indicated that there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of minors infected with COVID-19 in recent weeks. “We are seeing many children, small babies, under 5 who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine, they are the majority of children that we are hospitalizing,” he said. In the week of December 12, there was a record of 79 positive cases and 12 hospitalized patients. By December 26 there were already 717 positive cases and 87 hospitalized. As of yesterday, a total of 49 children were hospitalized in the Children’s system, due to Covid.



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