After 40 lost instructional days (25 days of delay and 15 days of no accountability/substandard education), here are the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Fantasyland educational “standards” being represented by incompetent Elementary School Superintendent Cindy Marten and backed by the corrupt School Board led by Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera:
- ZERO planning input or involvement allowed from Parent, Guardian, Student or Community Stakeholders.
- ALL Parent, Guardian, Student and Community Stakeholders are to blame for any failures
- No District, State or Federal Testing to measure amount of educational erosion
- No uniform, published, enforced Teacher performance standards – According to SDUSD/SDEA MOU , no disciplinary action can be taken during this Sandimic.
- No Class Scheduling standards…decisions left up to individual School/Teacher
- No meaningful Student grading – grades can only go up.
- No Student or Teacher attendance standards
- No verified/audited/published financial plan for thousands of frantically distributed Chromebook Laptops and Hotspots to Students including associated financial risk.
- No verified/audited/published Computer/Internet access reports for ALL Students by standard socioeconomic category.
- No verified/audited/published class logon or participation reports for ALL Students by standard socioeconomic category.
- No verified/audited/published plan or attempt to make up lost instructional days.
The SDUSD SANDIMIC!!!
PDF Link to List: Coronavirus Education Mirage List 5-10-20
As an ongoing feature especially for the Coronavirus Pandemic, we will begin to show the progress, or total lack thereof, of the SDUSD leadership via relevant LOCAL news articles by LOCAL Reporters (if available) that focus on the SDUSD Sandimic.
Below is an interesting article and other information we received and discovered this past week regarding the Coronavirus impact to K-12 education…
BE WELL…TAKE COVID 19 PRECAUTIONS!
Quote from Article:
Al over the country, states, districts, and task forces of every sort are wrestling with the question of how to safely reopen schools. This scenario planning is daunting, as schools must navigate a minefield of health, safety, legal, and instructional issues, and do so blindfolded by our ever-changing yet imperfect understanding of the virus itself. The AEI “blueprint for back to school” does an excellent job spelling out the major considerations that leaders must take into account, but it stops short of providing specific advice.
With the hope of moving the conversation forward a bit more, here’s my attempt to do that for elementary schools, informed by some of the country’s leading educators, lessons from “early re-openers” around the globe, and the newly released CDC guidance. I’ll consider how social distancing might look, how schedules might work, and other logistical questions currently keeping leaders up at night.
First, though, let me be clear about the three assumptions driving these suggestions.
1. I assume that the goal of social distancing measures in schools is to mitigate the spread of the virus — and avoid any “super spreader” events — not to reduce to zero the risk of transmission. Even if local communities are not experiencing major outbreaks, the virus will still be out there, and will likely find its way into some schools. The goal, then, is to keep any contagion to a minimum, while protecting those children and adults who are most vulnerable.
That has important implications for local policies. Most significantly, it means that students, educators, and family members who are at risk of serious illness or worse must not be put in harm’s way — so learning (and teaching) from home full-time must remain an option. It also means designing approaches that keep kids with the same group of peers at all times, and to avoid mixing groups together.
2. I assume that we cannot ignore the economic imperative of allowing parents to go back to work — which is important in its own right and will help children by alleviating poverty. Thus, plans that require young children to remain at home during the traditional school day (every other day or in mornings or afternoons) are non-starters, though remaining at home must remain an option.
3. I assume that plans must be affordable. While additional resources would create new possibilities for coping with this crisis, the political appetite for that appears to be slim to none. In fact, schools will probably have to find ways to practice social distancing while also coping with major budget cuts, as outrageous and unfair as that might be.
With those three assumptions in mind, here are seven steps toward the successful re-opening of elementary schools:
1. Give students and educators the choice of full-time remote learning for the 2020–21 school year. This is a moral and legal imperative, as some children, families, and educators have underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of serious illness or worse from COVID-19. Plus, some families will simply feel more comfortable keeping their kids quarantined until there is a vaccine, or may prefer the remote learning model to the in-person variety, especially given the modifications that will be necessary. And the more students that stay home, the easier it will be to implement social distancing for the others.
2. Shift to an every-other-day schedule for fourth and fifth graders, while allowing kindergarten through third graders to attend school every weekday. Younger students cannot be left at home alone, so they need to be at school if their parents or other caregivers are going to be able to go to work. Plus, given their maturity level and limited reading skills, they are least equipped to learn much independently. (See #3 for how grades K–3 could attend daily and still do social distancing.)
While it’s hardly ideal, fourth and fifth graders can do some independent work and can be left at home during the school day. An alternating schedule will allow for social distancing on school buses and in classrooms.
If schools or parents are concerned that fourth and fifth graders are too young to be left at home alone, and elementary schools don’t have enough extra spaces to allow for social distancing, then school systems might consider using middle schools or high schools to house fourth and fifth grade classrooms (maybe third grade, too). That would of course mean making the middle schoolers or high schoolers stay home more often, going to an every-third-day-at-school schedule, perhaps, instead of alternating days. But as other organizations and analysts have written, getting younger children back to school on a regular basis should be a top priority.
3. Keep all classrooms to 50 percent capacity, and don’t allow student groups to mix. This is where each school will have to work out its own logistical puzzle. The first key factor (as mentioned in #1) is how many students continue with full-time remote learning. The more who do, the easier this challenge becomes. The second is the physical layout of the elementary school. How many classrooms or other spaces are available that would allow for groups of ten to twelve students, and an adult, to maintain social distance? (This may include gyms and cafeterias that could be subdivided, plus art and music rooms.) The third is the school’s staffing model. How many instructional staff beyond classroom teachers work at the school? How many could be hired, so as to oversee groups of students when their classroom teachers are with the other half of the class? Are volunteers available?
4. Run buses at 50 percent capacity or less. If lots of families choose the full-time online option, and fourth and fifth graders attend school every other day, this should be doable. But schools may want to encourage parents to consider walking, biking, or driving their kids to school, too, at least in communities where that is feasible. If that still doesn’t do the trick, systems might consider allocating more buses to elementary schools than usual, given the imperative of allowing young children to attend school every day so their parents can work. Or they might stagger start and end times every day.
5. Mask up, screen everyone, wash those hands, and tell everyone to stay home if sick! The evidence is mounting that masks can significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. And making little kids wear masks is more likely to succeed than keeping them at least six feet apart from one other. Schools should start looking for manufactured or home-made masks for students who need them. (Though the CDC guidance only suggests mask-wearing for adults.) Frequent hand washing is also critical, and will need to be managed tightly so that restrooms don’t become a source of contagion. That means setting a strict schedule for bathroom breaks for every class, and sticking to it. Schools might schedule hourly “hand sanitizer” breaks, too. Cleaning regimes will need to be intensified. And needless to say, schools should have a zero-tolerance policy about coming to school with any sort of illness. As the CDC guidance indicates, it will be essential to screen students and staff every day for symptoms or signs of exposure.
6. Use a mix of “man-to-man” and “zone coverage” when it comes to teaching. As mentioned above, children should be in the same group of ten or twelve students at all times, except when they are on the bus. And they should stay in the same physical location at all times, too, except for recess. Teachers and other staff, meanwhile, should circulate so as to provide the necessary instruction to students. (But they must be extremely careful to maintain social distancing to avoid circulating the virus themselves!)
Here’s how it could work for grades K–3, whose students attend school daily: Classroom teachers would be in charge of two groups of students — again, of ten to twelve kids each — and split their time half and half. Most likely it makes sense for them to use that time on English language arts and math. When students aren’t with their classroom teachers, they should be with the “specials” teachers (art, music, physical education, media, etc.), in a computer lab setting, or at recess, overseen by an instructional aide or other staffer or volunteer.
For grades four and five, whose students attend school every other day, the set-up is somewhat easier. When they are in school, students’ days will be relatively “normal,” as they’ll spend most of their time with their classroom teacher. They will have one to two “specials” a day, at which point classroom teachers could check in online with their at-home students, plan lessons, and grade student assignments. But when students are at home, they will mostly work independently. (See Tables 1 and 2 for examples of how the schedules might work.)
7. Have a clear plan ready to go if an outbreak occurs. If these suggestions are implemented with fidelity, it should significantly reduce the risk of a “super-spreader” event. But it won’t eliminate the possibility of a student or staff member bringing the virus to school and infecting others.
If someone in the school community tests positive for COVID-19, public health officials will likely require the school to close for deep cleaning. Students or staff who have come in contact with the infected person will also be tested and quarantined at home. Thanks to the social distancing measures, it should be a relatively small number of people who need to do this, not the whole school. Still, local public health officials may want the school closed for two weeks or longer — especially if there’s a flare-up in the larger community — so schools need to be prepared to go back to full-time online learning for everyone. For better or worse, that’s something they now have a lot of experience with!
District Deeds Synopsis:
District Deeds was happy to find an article that laid out some semblance of a plan for re-opening Elementary Schools given the total lack of any type of re-opening plan from the incompetent SDUSD Elementary School Superintendent (ESS) Cindy Marten administration.
Of course ESS Marten and her equally incompetent senior staff are totally incapable of deploying anything close to the “Seven Steps” listed.
In the District Deeds Sunday Reads – March 8, 2020: Special Coronavirus Edition we exposed the total lack of educational planning by Marten and her cronies for the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Even in the 10 FULL WEEKS weeks since we warned all SDUSD Stakeholders, Marten and her Board of Education Trustee cronies led by Richard “Tricky Dick” Barrera been unable to equitably deploy and track any effective type of education plan for the 103,000 SDUSD Students.
However to avoid any and all accountability and to serve their political donation masters, the corrupt SDUSD leadership has embraced “formative assessments” ONLY…NO REQUIRED Summative assessments like:
- Final exams
- End-of-class projects
From the SDUSD Distance Learning FAQ’s, the corrupt accountability avoidance strategy by SDUSD Senior Leadership is fully displayed:
ALL Formative — NO Summative!
The FAQ’s show that:
- There is no actual summative educational performance tracking at ANY level…not for any Student, Teacher, Principal, Area Superintendent, Senior Staff Member, Superintendent or Trustee.
- There are no educational consistency, equity or accountability standards from one cluster to another, one school site to another or even one classroom group to another.
- Clusters, Schools, Principals, Teachers, Students and Families are left to fend for themselves with minimal guidance from supposed SDUSD leadership.
- All of the oversight from SDUSD leadership are platitudes and propaganda and absolutely ZERO data based accountability.
From the perspective of a corrupt, incompetent, unprepared Superintendent like Cindy Marten this is “eternal bliss”!
From the perspective of anyone concerned with REAL, EQUITABLE Education for EVERY Student, this is “eternal suffering”.
And MORE suffering is yet to come…even with something as simple as Graduation.
Given the wide variety of SDUSD school site traditions, cultures and financial resources a Stakeholder might think that a basic universal financial and operational framework of Graduation plan including resources and supports within California pandemic safety guidelines for Graduation ceremonies and events at all levels would be provided.
In this self defeating SDUSD Sandimic, that Stakeholder would be wrong.
There is no plan.
Instead, a favorite propaganda tool by Marten and Barrera was deployed:
The SDUSD propaganda “NewsCenter” highlighted the effort of the Associated Student Body (ASB) to create suggestions for 12th Grade Graduation.
It’s understandable that 12th grade Students wold be getting anxious about their traditional graduation activities give the TOTAL LACK of direction or guidance by incompetent ESS Marten and her equally incompetent “White Women Mafia” Staff.
We are sure that the Students and Families in Kindergarten, 5th, 6th and 8th grades are also getting anxious about their Graduations…but there is no organized Elementary or Middle School ASB to exploit.
Apparently, according to the propaganda press release (PPR) and ASB letter, the High School ASB created and distributed a Survey and received responses from “days of discussion”, and “the direct opinions of over 2,600 high school seniors from our district” out of over 6,000 12th graders (including other District managed schools):
Obviously we salute the High School Students for trying to get some level of closure for planning their special day and we want to commend the Students for giving this huge task an honest effort.
The unfortunate truth is that all the ASB effort has been bastardized by the total corruption of the unethical SDUSD Superintendent and Board of Education who turn every Stakeholder good deed into self promoting propaganda.
And like ALL propaganda spewed by ESS Marten and Tricky Dick, the press release is high on fake emotion and extremely low in any level of accountability or transparency.
Marten was quoted in the PPR as saying:
“A very heartfelt thank you and deep respect for (name omitted) and the work that she did leading this,” Marten said. “It’s truly inspirational.”
WHAT A LIE!!!
Unfortunately NOT inspirational enough for Marten to emulate the High School Student and actually do “the work” she is being paid $330,000 annually to do including the INITIATING and DEPLOYING of district wide oversight and ensure Graduation equity for all Graduates at ALL levels.
And again there was ZERO transparency.
Board Docs for the May 12, 2020 Meeting provide NONE of the critical information like:
- The actual “ASB Senior Survey” document…not available even by a search of the SDUSD website.
- Minutes or meeting recaps from the “days of discussion” by ASB members
- The number of Students from each school that attended the “days of discussion”.
- The number of Students by school that made up “the direct opinions of over 2,600 high school seniors from our district”
LOTS of questions and NO answers.
On top of it all, even after the outstanding ASB effort, Marten and the Board have not provided ANY guidelines for ANY Graduation Ceremonies at any level except that they “are inclusive and meet public health guidelines”
What a HORRIBLE lack of SDUSD Leadership.
The biggest, most important question for ALL SDUSD Stakeholders is:
If Superintendent Cindy Marten cannot even provide real guidance and equitable protocols for a simple event like Graduation, what confidence can any SDUSD Stakeholder have in Marten safely sending all kids back to school?
The answer to this question is clear.
Stakeholders CANNOT rely on Marten or Barrera or their cronies to create a plan to safely send all SDUSD kids back to school and therefore ALL SDUSD Students and their families are at risk.
The ULTIMATE answer to this question is also clear:
Now for our Quote of the Week:
“We must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
ESS Marten Sandimic Motto:
Hardly Work, Act Blind, Lie Big, Make Excuses
- Your family has been injured by the San Diego Unified School District, go to the District Deeds Complaint Forms page to find instructions to fight for your Civil Rights!
- YOU ARE TIRED OF THE COVER UPS AND LIES BY SUPT. CINDY MARTEN…
Please Click the Link Below and sign the Petition Today and READ the COMMENTS to Support the REMOVAL of Marten by SDUSD Stakeholders!