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Under the government's 5 stage plan, schools are not scheduled to reopen until September, with the possible exception of final year secondary school students sitting their final exams which determine which third level course they will be offered. Children are supposed to be much less effected than their elders, and also much less likely to transmit the disease. However it is impossible to think that crowding hundreds of thousands of them into class rooms won't increase the rate of transmission. So I think it is right that Ireland, as one of the more badly effected countries, should delay school re-opening until after the summer holidays. Teaching kids the skills of remote learning isn't a bad thing either.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 06:47:32 PM EST
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by Oui on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 10:30:20 PM EST
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Apparently the Irish authorities contact tracing hasn't come up with any instances of children infecting their parents....

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 10:48:43 PM EST
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I find it inconceivable that COVID transmission does not occur through school age children. In fact they would seem to be the perfect non-symptomatic transmission vectors. But I find the opportunity of a window of in-classroom instruction to have great potential benefit. This would be particularly true were that instruction focused on developing good preparation and study habits in student combined with 'tutoring for mastery'.

In such a mode students could be provided with a half day of in classroom instruction a week to start with skills needed for online instruction. This could at first be supplemented by and later replaced by intensive on line communication between teacher and student. The teacher could thus devote the majority of their time to tutoring. A seven hour day could be divided into ten half hour on line tutoring sessions for three days of the week with the remaining time each day reserved for breaks for the teacher, for prep and records time before and after each session and for extra time for needy students. The remaining time could be used for providing and explaining assignments and discussing errors and corrections, either one on one or one to all.

In this model as few as five or as many as ten students could be in a real world classroom at a time and only once a week during the first week. This would greatly reduce the probability of transmission of disease and significantly enhance contact tracing efficiency when infections do occur. This first week would be a very busy time for transportation providers, but after that week very little transportation would be required.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 5th, 2020 at 04:36:39 AM EST
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Try getting that one past the Irish teacher unions!

But seriously, a move to teach on-line study skills and providing all teaching materials and homework assignments on-line is well past its due date in any case, supplemented by real world sessions as you suggest. However you will find some opposition from supported by their unions, who prefer the traditional classroom environment, and parents who are mainly concerned that the school provide a child minding service while they are at work or otherwise engaged.

The teacher's unions are quite powerful,  militant and blinkered in Ireland.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 5th, 2020 at 09:46:58 AM EST
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If the government determines that it is not safe to have in-classroom instruction in the fall they will have to go with online instruction. How are the teachers dealing with that now?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 6th, 2020 at 03:51:28 AM EST
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New Studies Add to Evidence that Children May Transmit the Coronavirus


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 5th, 2020 at 05:47:53 PM EST
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(From NY Times article)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 5th, 2020 at 05:48:40 PM EST
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From the NY Times link above:
In some of those countries, the rate of community transmission is low enough to take the risk. But in others, including the United States, reopening schools may nudge the epidemic's reproduction number -- the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case, commonly referred to as R0 -- to dangerous levels, epidemiologists warned after reviewing the results from the new studies.

In one study, published last week in the journal Science, a team analyzed data from two cities in China -- Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, and Shanghai -- and found that children were about a third as susceptible to coronavirus infection as adults were. But when schools were open, they found, children had about three times as many contacts as adults, and three times as many opportunities to become infected, essentially evening out their risk.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 5th, 2020 at 05:52:22 PM EST
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