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Home schooling incites Norwalk Facebook tsunami

(Norwalk Police Department)

NORWALK, Conn. – Measures taken to stave off the coronavirus pandemic have catapulted Norwalk students, teachers and families onto an unexpected learning curve.   Online classes, school busses delivering lunch, and parents scrambling to adjust their schedules are the hallmarks of a strange new landscape.  The following excerpts from the “Norwalk Parents for Education” Facebook page offer a candid overview of the situation:

 

Parents discuss techniques

  • “I have an older son also and when he was 12 I asked him how he felt about watching his brother (once in awhile for emergencies) he was ok with it.”
  • “My boss is awesome and will allow him (my son) to come in here and there.”
  • “Common core math is not my math so they’ll be throwing it back to the good old simple ways.”
  • “Doing the best we can. Some lessons have gone well. There have been internet challenges. Some.of my video chats we’ve had to do just audio. The remind app has been very helpful.”
  • “Here is what I did regarding my 3rd grader and it has worked well so far. Got him set up in his room so he’s not distracted by anything in common areas of the house. I separated out what he needed for day 1 with an in order list of what he was to do during that time period, went over it all last night and set up in order, gave him a place to put all completed work, at each change in subject time I call him to make sure he’s moving on. So far so good, lol.”

 

 

Parents on teachers and curriculum

  • “Got through the first school day without anyone killing anyone, but with some hairy moments…To all of the teachers, are you secretly smiling at parents having to deal with their own kids all day? You know you are…you know you are”.
  • “I would like to take a moment to thank all of our Norwalk teachers and administrators for their hard work in creating such a comprehensive remote learning plan. As a fellow educator from another district, I know how incredibly difficult it was to put all of this together under duress and in such a short amount of time.”
  • “I see the packets and thought the teachers did an amazing job of putting it together .. but if that is all my kid is supposed to learn in second grade then my child is screwed because that is not enough. I am hoping my child is learning a lot more than that at school.”

 

 

 

Teachers on students and parents

  • “Being a full time special education teacher and a full time mom of a toddler has been challenging, however, parents and students have been incredible. I have managed to speak to or email with each family and have Zoomed with many of my students. Tomorrow and Thursday I will running my reading groups via Zoom. We need to be patient with each other, technology and ourselves and continue to take things one hour at a time. This has been a humbling experience for so many of us!”
  • “You think you have a difficult job? Try teaching kids online, translating and answering questions for over 80 kids at once!!!  All in a day’s work.”
  • “I just want to give a huge shout out to the parents in my class! I cannot believe the amount of enthusiasm and support they are providing! I am getting an enormous amount of positive feedback and communication. Naramake strong!!!!”

 

 

Student meals program

  • “I went out to meet the bus to see what was going on and was provided a meal, no questions. Two small containers of chocolate milk, two cheerios, an apple, a muffin, a yogurt, and a cheese stick. The driver said that there were not more families seeking meals on the route, but the bus will stop daily at all stops regardless.”
  • “My grandchildren got their breakfast and lunch (supposedly) from the bus driver: Trix cereal, bagel, Trix yogurt and an orange.”
  • “My elementary age child got Cocoa Puffs cereal, milk, cheese stick, trix yogurt, bagel, cream cheese, and apple slices. Middle schooler got applejax, 2 cheese sticks, chocolate chip muffin, white milk, chocolate milk, and an apple.”
  • From an email received by a parent:  “We have received questions regarding parent pickup of student meals. Ideally, students should show their student ID at the time of meal pick-up. However, if a parent or older sibling must pick up the meal, they should bring their student’s ID to show the food service worker. Since we’ve never done this before, there will be a bit of a learning curve as we make adjustments to better serve our community.”
  • “My child’s teacher has all of their IDs. I have never even seen it cause I was unaware they even had IDs until now.”
  • Posted by Board of Education Finance Chairwoman Barbara Meyer-Mitchell: “Questions about meal delivery times or site distribution should be directed to the NPS Transportation Office 203.854.4074 or Dining Services 203.854.4156”

 

Proving online attendance

  • “You have to email your teacher and say your child is present and doing their classwork in order to be present.”
  • “My son was marked unexcused absence at Ponus even though he signed in the proper way and answered the questions.”
  • “This is ridiculous, I am at work, because not allowed to work from home, the last thing I need to do is be worrying about my child being marked absent.”

 

Internet crash

  • “So optimum is experiencing an outage. No timeline for when it’s going back up. I have 3 kids in my house who are needing to do their work.”

 

 

Keeping the lid on

  • “Why are there so many teenagers out and about and playing sports on the fields and basketball courts? This is not the social distancing we should be practicing!”
  • “My daughter says I’m the worst mom in the world and she hates me cause I won’t let her hang out with her friends. I told her that’s fine you can hate me, but at least I’m doing my job to help keep you healthy and alive”
  • “We need to teach our children that their selfish needs of fun cannot be met at this time. My 8 year understands this is necessary.”
  • “All our kids hate us right now!”
  • “Make extra special family time so that everyone can have some good memories during this time and not all bad ones”
  • “Mine wanted to go hang, but for the FIRST time, I’m allowing much more electronic time to socialize.”

 

Clean the schools

  • “While the kids are not in school…what kind of upgraded/deep professional grade cleanings will take place at the schools? And more importantly since we have declared a state public health emergency and possibly now a national-can we lift/override the ban and use BLEACH or similar?”

3 comments

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell March 18, 2020 at 10:48 am

The Superintendent reported that all schools are receiving deep commercial cleaning, and that the city is paying to do this important work. Thank you, Mayor Rilling!

Brenda Wilcox Williams March 18, 2020 at 2:29 pm

NPS has hired outside firms who specialize in deep cleaning to sanitize each school building while students are learning at home. The companies are paying attention to every detail to make sure that everything is properly sanitized. This includes everything from toys in the earlier grades to classroom desks and other surfaces. The product used for sanitizing efforts is a strong disinfectant, applied by a sprayer or atomizer, and then fully washed off from all surfaces after the cure time has set in.

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