Coffee Talk 07.26.20

Greetings on this last Sunday in July! I am so not ready to face the fact that fall is looming… anyone else?

I know, I know. We still have August, but once R starts band camp next week, it will feel like the new school year is upon us, even though our district doesn’t officially start back until the end of the month… if the kids even go back to school at all.

Although, I have to say, we’re about ready for band camp to start because we’ve all been at home since March, and R is dying for structure and routine. So maybe it will be a nice change of pace… for her, anyway. I’m still in denial that summer has to come to an end.

C and D both have jobs, so that is keeping them somewhat occupied and helping to break up their long summer days. And of course they can drive themselves, so it doesn’t disrupt my schedule.

It will be very interesting to see how this fall shapes up. Those of us with school-age kids are pretty much consumed by school choices for the upcoming school year. While each school district scrambles to make plans and put options in place to accommodate this unprecedented pandemic, a new edict from our governor could put a kibosh on all of it at any time.

Everyone I know says they will be surprised if we aren’t all back to remote learning by October, so I kind of wonder why we are even trying, but I get it. There are a lot of kids who really need to be in school.

D’s college has already decided to go virtual for the fall semester, although the campus is open at 50% capacity. How they are going to monitor that, I have no idea. He has an off-campus apartment that we are paying for whether he stays there or not, so he will probably use it. At least he’ll be able to be with his friends and have some semblance of a college experience, even if his classes are online.

C has been enrolled in a cyber charter school since 8th grade, so her senior year won’t be altered too much. It was already going to be unconventional. It’s weird and kind of sad not to have all of the usual senior year milestones that we had with D, but I’ve had plenty of time to get used to that idea, and at least it’s her choice and not because of Covid.

For now, college visits are on hold, but she wasn’t really excited about the prospect anyway. At some point, we will have to figure out her next steps, but I guess everyone’s plans are a little up in the air right now.

I’m the type of person who likes to do things by the book, so to speak, but I’ve learned to adjust my expectations and accept that she isn’t going to do everything the usual way, and that’s okay. There is no one right route for everyone.

R was excited to start high school this fall, but it’s looking more and more like she will be staying home.

We’re still waiting to get the final plan from our school district and see what the options look like, but the more we talk it over, the more we think she will be happiest if she just stays here. They’ll probably all end up at home eventually, and if it lowers our risk of getting Covid or having to quarantine due to possible exposure, it’s probably worth it. She will learn fine either way.

I know I’m blessed to be in a situation where either choice is going to work for her and for us. I truly believe that there is no right or wrong answer for most people. We all just have to do our best with the info we have at the moment.

So, what’s the school year looking like where you are? Have you made your school decision(s) yet?

I need to get my walk in, and then I’m off to church here in a bit. I hope you all have a relaxing and blessed Sunday!

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28 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 07.26.20

  1. I really feel for working parents of small children who can’t be left alone all day if school does go to remote learning again. I know of someone who said she might have to quit her job if their district decides homeschooling is the way they’re going, as there would be no way she could juggle her job and four kids schooling. It’s sad. My son is a high school band director in a large district in our state, and let me tell you, band is going to be super weird this year! He’s a little nervous about how this year is going to work out, and they fully expect they probably won’t have a marching band season. We’re all still just rolling with the punches! Good luck to Becca at band camp next week! It was always a fun time of year for kids, and I hope it’s a bit of “normal” for her. 🙂

  2. Our school year is still uncertain. My daughter is a teacher and my daughter in law a speech pathologist. We watch my granddaughter when there is school, so we’re waiting to hear. I don’t think they should go back until there’s a vaccine, it’s too much risk for staff and families, but we love having our granddaughter, so wait is the word of the day.

  3. We are in IL. My daughter is also a junior in college and although all of her particular classes are online she just moved into an apartment near her campus. She needs to be with her peers and and will learn a lot of other necessary things on her way to adulthood. Her and her roommates have been very careful both before moving in together and now which is reassuring. It helps that she is only an hour away if anything happens. My youngest is going to be a freshman at a college just over the state line from us so a little over an hour away. It’s a very small school and they are committed to having their classes in person with a lot of requirements for masks, temperature checks and social distancing being enforced. I work in an elementary school and we have provided our district families with a 5 day a week in person option or an online only option. We know we will all be remote at some time so we want to get our students as much face to face time as possible, especially our youngest learners. We still have a month until our students are back in the building and so much can change between now and then. It’s overwhelming for sure. 

  4. Strange times indeed.  As a grandparent I don’t have the “concerns” parents are all going through now.  However, our daughter as a school teacher in a different district than the one we live in, is facing a lot of challenges…..especially since there isn’t any consistency between school districts.  What will be in place for our home district, will not necessarily be in place for hers. And that’s we were come in, since we made a commitment to help our daughter’s with childcare years back.  So she is seriously thinking of enrolling her 2 in cyber school for the year, to give them consistent learning.  Which is where we come in.  If she finds out that she has to be at her school, do we want to make the commitment to oversee our 2 grandkids for the school year while they cyber school. If it turns out that she also has to teach from home, it won’t be an issue, but again, decisions have to be made beforehand…..Lots of praying going here regarding the upcoming school year!!

  5. I can’t even imagine the anxiety that many families are experiencing. We are thankful that that’s one thing we don’t have to worry about with our own children as they are 23 and 26. Our sons last year of university will be done at home on line (well at least until January) when a new decision will be made. I desperately hope he will be able to have his graduation next spring. Our public schools here for primary to grade 12 announced that they will be going back but with smaller classes, masks on buses, and open spaces and will be having lunch etc all within their own classrooms. Cafeterias will be closed and lunches delivered to the students. It’s certainly going to look very different! No parents will be allowed at the schools either. They will be limiting the number of people entering the schools. No group sports either. Not sure about band but I am assuming not. On Friday our province announced that effective July 31 masks are now mandatory for all in door spaces. Mask wearing has always been encouraged ( and mandatory for certain fields, dentist, physio, hair salons, etc)  but now mandatory. At least it will take the guess work out of the equation 🤷‍♀️.   They are preparing for the second wave which should hit in the fall.. but we may be able to avoid shutting down this time.  Our current Covid cases is at one and was travel related. Prayers for all who are awaiting these important decisions:)

  6. My granddaughter just  turned 5 and was excited for kindergarten but her district in Va  has gone virtual. She has a one year old brother and both parents work so they are trying to figure out plan B! 

  7. We are in IL, and our district will be voting on how to open tomorrow night. Regardless of what they decide, they’ve offered an online academy staffed by district teachers. My husband is diabetic, so per his doctor, our 8th grader will be going online. I hope she can be in school for the 3rd trimester, but she handled ELearning so well in the spring. 

    Our family has agreed we are going on a big vacation next summer! (Fingers crossed.)

  8. I told Larry last night that I’m done with summer and can’t wait for fall.  Both of us are looking forward to needing to wear long sleeves when we sit on the front porch.  Our bodies just can’t tolerate the heat, so we are literally stuck inside.  Thus far the schools in our county start back on Aug. 3.  The parents have the option for the fall semester, to either send their kids to school or let them do online learning.  Because we are in a very rural area where so many homes do not have WiFi access, I suspect the majority of the students will be in the classroom.  With the number of positive cases on the rise in our county, we will not be surprised if they have to shut down before Thanksgiving.  Have a blessed day!

    1. I totally agree, I’m just not a warm weather person…can’t wait for fall…love the clothes, boots, smells, etc…..

  9. It’s still summer vibes here! I’ll think of fall come September.  I do enjoy the What’s Trending for Fall 2020 though. 

  10. My grandboys are in CO entering grades three and K. They will have the option of online or hybrid which is M/W and alternate Fridays or T/Th and alternate Fridays. As a retired first grade teacher, I have serious concerns about the early elementary students and learning to read. Reading instruction requires leveled books which parents don’t have and schools don’t have enough books to send home for instruction. I know “it is what it is” but we are in a big mess. I am thankful to be retired and not having to decide what I will do. Blessings and prayers for all the teachers out there. The parents now have some inkling of what we deal with times 20 (students in a classroom)!

  11. It really does seem like there are no great answers at this point. For those parents who work outside the home, they *need* school to take place in person. But at the same time, those of us who work in schools and have loved ones who are at risk are also extremely apprehensive. I’ve read over and over that children are less at risk, but yesterday I read an article that actually said children who are ages 10-19 actually have the same transmission rate as adults. I feel like my district (I’m a teacher) is trying their best to accommodate parents, and to keep staff and students safe by requiring masks and social distancing. Unfortunately there is already a petition to fight the mask requirement for students. Which is very disheartening for those of us who are concerned for students, staff, AND their families. We have many families who have grandparents living in the same household, and I think it’s so important for everyone to show consideration and care for others.

  12. I live in Oregon. My school district is offering several choices. One option is full on line. The other option is school 2 days a week and the rest online learning. I have two high school kids. For different reasons they each want to go back to school. 
    Such serious decisions and as their Mom I want to offer guidance but as this is unprecedented times I don’t have any past experience to draw from. Such a weird feeling. I am glad God is walking with us through this. 

  13. I am an occupational therapist working in the schools, and in a normal school year I see about 65 kids a week at 3 different schools. I have no idea how this school year will work. Only a small fraction of the children I see can do teletherapy. Most have significant language and cognitive impairments. They don’t understand covering a cough let alone wearing a mask. I want these students to be able to come to school every day. I worry about how much they have lost because of the closures. I know how much the parents have struggled. I also worry about these children and their families getting sick — of course I worry about myself and my family too, but we are not in any of the high risk categories. These children and their families are often in several high risk categories (many of the children that have died have had the same “pre-exiting” conditions that my students have). This is such a tough thing because many of the children and families that need in person instruction the most are also some of the most vulnerable populations. 

  14. My son’s college is restricting the number on campus by having freshman and sophomores live on campus for the fall semester (everyone will have a single room – no roommates) and then they’ll flip it to juniors and seniors on campus in the spring if everyone can’t come back. Classes are a mix of online and in-person.

  15. Good morning.l.our schools are in the decision making phase county by county here in Texas,  so who knows what the outcome will be.  

    I’m scheduled for knee replacement surgery on my left knee on Thursday, July 30th.  Would you believe it was actually scheduled for the week before, but it was rescheduled as not one medical professional told me to stop my meds 5 days before surgery.  But I had kept saying I wanted the date to be the one God brought about…so I’m praying it’s actually on the 30th.  I’m ready for some relief. 

    Have a great weekend…enjoy your family!

  16. My daughter is a rising freshmen starting HS in a few short weeks! School was supposed to start August 6 ( it’s sooooo early every year) but they delayed it a week. Our new start day as of now is August 13. We had a choice to do virtual or in person and we ( my husband, daughter and I) collectively decided she’d go in person. We would have been fine with either way but she wanted to be able to meet her teachers and have as much as a “ normal “ high school experience as possible. Will see how long this lasts. Many think that we will be back to virtual soon after and we’re already dealing with teens around here testing positive and practices that started for sports teams having to pause again.  It’s still quite a mess. My 20 year old son returns to school as a junior and his college is going back in person. He’s been living, for the most part, in his apartment by school and working.  I’m down in GA where we are still seeing new cases every day. Definitely strange times. 

  17. Since my husband works from home and I am a stay at home housewife, things aren’t terribly different for us, other than not seeing our friends.  We both discussed last evening that we are happy that our kids are finished with college (as of last year) and we don’t have to make the decision whether to send them to school or not, and we are grateful that they were able to have the high school and college graduation experiences that many are not able to this year. I sure hope that things will return to normal or at least till we figure out the new normal in a world with Covid.  I feel for you.

  18. Here in Nebraska we are planning on starting school as usual.  We will have certain protocols to follow.  It is important for kids to be back in school.  Many rely on the school for stability and meals.  It is time to move our country forward and with precautions we can do this!  Also many working parents have no other option for kids if they are home.  No work equals no pay. 

  19. The next school year will be a challenge. But everyone nationwide is in the same situation.
    Worldwide even. It is going to effect all students one way or another. In some ways, it seems like a “gap year” for everyone. Thanks goodness for computers, and online instruction. At least it will keep stimulating our minds.

    1. Yeah, I have been saying we should all just take the year off. Or a friend today suggested anyone who wants to repeat the year should be allowed to. I realize both of those scenerios are easier said than done, but surely there is a creative way to take the stress off and allow people to handle it the best way for their families.

  20. It’s so hard for kids/ young adults in transition right now!  My oldest is transferring from a community college to a 4-year school.  My second oldest is a senior in high school.  Who could have predicted all the unknowns they are facing?

  21. Our kids are staring school on time, but on-line for at least the first 4 weeks. Our district had some hybred options but the state education agency says it’s either 100% on-line or 100% in-person. We’ll probably go in-person if it’s an option.
    My daughter’s comment was that it’s hard to make friends in your class on Zoom. My son is starting middle school, so I’ll be interested to see what remote band looks like.

  22. Hi Jo-Lynne!. Your comments about Caroline struck a cord with me. When children don’t choose a traditional route, you really do have to adjust your expectations. Our son always wanted to be a Marine and so he enlisted at 18 during his senior year of high school. We were really disappointed (our first born) and frightened as well. But looking back now, he always seemed to know what was the right thing for him. We have to remember that it is their journey-not ours. Our son did get sent to Iraq and returned with PTSD and bone cancer, but he’s in a good place now. While we mourn the person he was, all of this had made him the man he is today and that’s pretty special.

    1. Wow, that must have been really hard. And you’re right, it is their life, not ours. I’ve learned that several times over already, and I’m sure I’m not done learning it yet. 🙂

  23. Playing catch up here a day late. I have 3 teachers in the family, here in California. My son is a high school history teacher and will be teaching online from his classroom as required by all staff; his wife a high school biology teacher (different district) will teach remotely from home; my daughter, a 3rd grade teacher (another town/district) was teaching summer school with 13 kids in the classroom, all with masks for 2 weeks with no cases/problems in the entire district and the government forced the district to shut down with 5 school days left. Her school year teaching looks to be remote but hasn’t been finalized. Her husband, a farmer, has had his struggles just keeping employees. Whether scared of Covid-19, even though all safety regulations/concerns were implemented or more money could be made collecting unemployment.

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