Letter Campaign to Keep Montclair Students and Staff Safe, By Continuing Remote Learning

Montclair Education Association released a statement, calling for Montclair Schools Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds to postpone hybrid learning, citing rising cases of COVID-19.

Now the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) has sponsored a letter campaign calling for Montclair Public Schools to continue remote learning, asking for letters to be sent to Dr. Ponds as well as the Montclair Board of Education and Montclair Health Dept. recommending that the district wait until school staff have the opportunity to be vaccinated.

NJEA calls for letters to be written to Dr. Jonathan Ponds (pictured) urging him to continue with remote learning in the Montclair Schools District.

As positive cases of Covid-19 are increasing daily by triple digits, the administration of Montclair School District believes it is time for Montclair schools to transition to in-person education. However, this is quite possibly the worst time to return to buildings. Exposures and transmissions from holiday gatherings and travel are just now hitting the population, combined with a new variant from the UK, introduced in our state and our community, that make it simply too dangerous to begin in-person instruction in the coming weeks.

Please take a moment today to email Dr. Ponds, the Montclair Board of Education, and the health department.

Urge him and the Board to implement virtual education in Montclair schools at least until the staff has had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Reopening for in-person instruction should only happen when the current risks have subsided enough to make that safe. Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our students, our staff and our community, and our schools should take the lead in helping to protect all of us.

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  1. In the meantime if you see MEA members posting on social
    media their holiday gatherings, trips and outings to restaurants with multiple families like I do – let them know that it’s this very behavior that keeps schools from opening. And it’s that behavior that spreads the disease and kills. The reason schools won’t be safe is because of people’s inability to adhere to the CDC guidelines. Some pay the price for others. Is New Zealand taking guests? Nah, they don’t want Americans.

  2. So…you saw a couple of social media posts of teachers allegedly celebrating the holidays with family and on the basis of such empirical evidence, it’s the MEA’s fault that the virus has massively spiked and schools can’t open. In any language — French, English, Trumpese — that’s rich.

  3. The virus waxes and wanes MP. Just look at the trends over time. There’s no reason montclair should be any different than other school districts across the state ( an country for that matter). They have found ways to deal with it as montclair should with the science behind the measures to mitigate and then contain should a cluster or outbreak occur ( which is under the realm of the local health departments in communication with the district). The children are suffering because of this. It should be more about them than the union’s position on behalf of their employee members. If parents choose for their child to avoid in person instruction they may do so. All other essential employees that provide a service to the public have had to do their duty. I don’t take that lightly and those at higher risk and/or higher levels of fear about coming down with covid can have a medical exemption. And yes ppe and safety protocols should be in place for those who must work in person in public settings during the pandemic.
    But this really must be about serving the needs of the students

  4. SnT, you seem to think that Montclair is alone in its full remote learning. Is Bloomfield back live? West Orange? Clifton? Maplewood/S0? Passaic? Newark? Jersey City? I could go on and I would venture to say that Montclair trends closer to these aforementioned districts in its challenges of returning to hybrid or full live school than to, say, Glen Ridge or Little Falls. There’s no question that this has been a tremendous hardship on parents and children and, yes, teachers. But if you think they are getting away with something, which you imply, I’d like to invite you into the remote work week of a teacher to actually see what it’s like. Vaccinate them as the essential workers they are and you can bet they’ll return in a Montclair minute. Until then, be angry at Gov. Murphy for placing smokers–FREAKING SMOKERS–ahead of educators, who in Montclair are being asked to spend 7-8 hours a day in 100-year-old buildings for a district that has not shown any proof of remediation. A couple more months to get teachers vaccinated, get us out of the holiday/winter season and hopefully reduce community spread isn’t going to kill anyone. Reopening schools now just might. Waxes and wanes? Our state has more cases now than last spring, when we were all hiding under our beds. And for goodness sakes, stop with the nonsense about how the data shows school to be safe. They have no way of calculating the spread that begins in school and continues in homes. If this country had any idea of what it was doing with the virus under this (thankfully former) administration, we wouldn’t have 400,000 dead.

  5. Well said MP, took the words out of my mouth. Waxes and wanes? SnT, you might want to change the channel. There is no waning, the cases are going up and up. Ok, so maybe not exploding but tell that to the people contracting Covid in Montclair on a daily basis.

    Higher level of fear and / or risk can get a medical exemption? What is the color of the sun in your world SickNT. There are no medical exemptions, that’s been made clear. You can take an unpaid leave but no exemptions of any kind that I can see. Maybe one or two but I don’t even think that. And MP is entirely correct in that there is no proof of remediation. I’ve been asking for proof for months now and what go I get? “Oh it’s ok, the BA did a walk around and said everything is perfect..” The BA? How about an engineer, building inspector, anyone with credentials?

    I’m not sure who you are affiliated with but you’ve been mislead and are now misinformed. Get teachers AND staff vaccinated and reopen in September. Enjoy the spring and summer we lost last year. Talk about serving the needs of students, that would go a long way.

  6. Why do you assume a traditional Summer break? Why, if ventilation is the big driver here, would you keep schools closed during the best windows-open days? Where schools have acres of open space? Why wouldn’t we use some portion of Summer to extend the school year to compensate for what people believe is the lost time? Failing that, why wouldn’t we offer optional Summer school, e.g. 5 weeks, for make-up or one-time grade prep for rising students? Why do we insist in staying in our self-imposed, rigid boxes? Imagination & innovation? What is the point of our diversity? Seriously?

    People here will say they have all this Open-To-Listen. But, they will use time as we always do. Always look at time.

    We can’t plan & communicate in May, can we? Everyone needs notice. Yes, that is impossible with our education system. I get it. So, let’s do traditional/conventional Summer break like we have done since the Roaring 20’s. Brilliant. Leadership.

  7. And the MEA has to own this. No excuses on this one.

    If this is truly about the children, which I don’t believe for a NY second, then I’m sure everyone can find that solution to Time. But, it is not, is it?

  8. Right Frank.
    LL & MP: you really need to spend time analyzing the data presented about schools and transmission on the nj
    Covid hub. It has all of the protocols for schools to follow should cases develop in many different scenarios that might occur.
    It also has a graph depicting the trends since the beginning of the pandemic ( the wax and wane I refer to). The latest data show the state (entire) to be at an orange level ( red being the highest). Actually the middle regions are experiencing higher levels right now than we are. Again fluid situation, but we are expected to be at a peak now following the holiday activity.
    You will also see that montclair levels of covid are not in the same category ( color coded) as clifton, Bloomfield, West Orange. Those districts are dark blue. Montclair is trending lighter blue. I’ll post the links. Have to go to Schools, trends, and basically browse the data a bit to see it.
    Medical exemptions are being used. A doctor’s note for sick leave if one has high risk underlying conditions. More so in schools than other “essential employees” categories such as food stores and health care settings.
    Links: (but need to spend a bit of time perusing)–

  9. I’ve heard on the grapevine there is a new strain around us that is suppose to be 50% more transmissible. That must mean that if this strain happens to come here, and we maintain the same protocols as we have now, then the most the cases can increase is by 50%, right? Yes, that makes sense. And there is a good chance the increase in cases will be less than 50%, right?

  10. And, if the cases increase by 50%, it won’t impact our testing capabilities, right? We’re testing widely now, so it would be just a matter of some more positive results, right? And, even if we had to test a little more widely, we have a reserve of testing capabilities to handle this 50% (max) increase, right? In the same turnaround time? OK.

  11. The summer and fall were missed opportunities,when rates were low, for the kids in Montclair to have some meaningful hybrid instruction. But even now so many districts are doing it with higher transmission rates. The dashboard for school transmission data for the entire state is there to be viewed and it is current. But Montclair has a very strong Mea.

  12. The dashboard is almost meaningless as a tool. We don’t have cooperation with contact tracing in addition to the paltry testing levels. This is why every district is on its own to make the call. I agree. All that Home Rule stuff.

  13. Frank, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about than your usual MEA-bashing. So there’s that.

  14. Fair criticism. Especially as I was supporting keeping remote learning until the community spread demonstrably declines. I have to work on my writing for understanding.

    I can see the other side of the argument, but I learned my lessons well from this pandemic. Wishing & hoping just end up killing more people.

    I generally find the MEA leadership lacking, but I find the BoE to be similarly endowed.
    Both have worked very hard to maintain my low opinion of them.

    The rank and file are a different story. However, I disagree that 100% are meeting expectations. It cracks me up. I’ve moved away from the pixie dust and the rose-colored glasses.

  15. Prediction: The FAIL parents will be the first to complain about their taxes going up to cover the municipal costs of the inevitable lawsuits after people get sick either in school or at home following contact with asymptomatic students.

  16. Speaking of uncapped expenses:
    They should be concerned about all those rubberized, imitation slate roofs on all those buildings getting solar panels…because all those 50-70 year warranties get voided. How much did we spend on masonary repairs in the last 24 months?

    At least the rubberized slate was cheaper than real slate…and it is the same historic slate-look they use at Disney World. Let’ use historic preservation to protect the rubber slate roofs. Edgemont’s atrociously inappropriate window replacements should be be re-replaced with COVID rated ventilation. In vinyl.

  17. @SnT Here is the latest that I could find: https://patch.com/new-jersey/across-nj/nj-hits-highest-covid-19-weekly-case-totals-key-metrics-jump
    Basically it’s the highest positivity rate in NJ ever! The schools are not safe. There is no ventilation other than opening a window 6″ in the middle of winter and freezing everyone in the room. That is not a solution. And you think the MEA is a strong union? Seriously? Have you ever sat in one of those union meetings or read through them? What Montclair does have, however, is a strong staff of teachers dedicated to teaching, learning and the health and well being of the students. They work these buildings and know they are not safe in general and not in the least bit safe for ventilation required by the CDC. If it weren’t for the teachers the schools would be open and within a week or two closed again.

    As for medical leaves of absences show me one approved leave in the past 3 months. You can view it on BOE addendums. How many have applied due to risk factors such as age, diabetes, preexisting conditions etc.? How many approved? Zero? So please spare us the outrage at the teachers and union. I only see two options now. Hide your head in the sand or admit the mistake and state the buildings are really not safe in their current condition. Get some State money to fix them, now is the time. Might as well fix all the leaks, heating and plumbing, and crumbling staircases while you’re at it.

  18. “What Montclair does have, however, is a strong staff of teachers dedicated to teaching, learning and the health and well being of the students.”

    I’ll second that.

  19. Thanks LL for the link. No surprise that right now ( this picture in time) is at a high point after the holidays. We were all warned that this would be the results of our holiday gathering. But did you see the “CALI” timeline depicted near the end of the articlel? It reflects the waxing and waning of cases in response to conditions that affect transmission.
    Also check out Montclair health department website that Frank referred to earlier and the ” squiggly pink line” on the case trends chart.
    I’m not denying the state is high now, just that schools remaining closed for this long is really detrimental to the students and that there are ways ( while not perfect or full proof) to function to mitigate the harm to so many students, that many districts around the state and elsewhere have chosen to do ( or at least try to do for the good of their students), that the MEA in Montclair has never even been willing to consider. The metrics of that reflects poorly on the union.
    And BTW, I know of 2 personally that have taken leave and or have/had Dr. Write for medical leave and use of sick time. I will never name names. That is personal but I know of at least 2 and I’m sure they are not alone.

  20. Isn’t it interesting that the parents who are demanding that teachers/staff/students run back into these old and ventilation-challenged buildings were not that long ago furious to hear that stairways were collapsing and inspections were revealing various health hazards?

  21. Many school systems are operating, many people have front line jobs, and many quit front line jobs when the nature of their jobs changed, due to the pandemic.

    Teachers should go to work or take early retirement. Life’s unfair. It’s unfair that things changed and that some of the teachers and staff do not feel comfortable, but it is what it is.

  22. That’s the spirit! Let’s add a reading of The Charge of The Light Brigade on each morning school bus route. The buses home would have readings of The Last of The Light Brigade. We could coordinate with readings on the NJT buses, too.

    PS: Lord T recorded himself reading The Charge on….an Edison cylinder record in 1890.

  23. SnT, I stand corrected regarding medical leave. So if you have diabetes or heart disease, overweight or some other Covid high risk condition you can simply apply for a medical leave, use your sick days and it will be approved just like that? I do see that President Biden has issued or will shortly an EO stating that if you feel uncomfortable in your work environment you can apply for unemployment benefits and will get them. We shall see how Montclair handles that.

    Now townie, think about what you said. Life’s unfair, it is what it is. If you don’t like it lump it. (my interpretation) But the kicker is “..take early retirement.” Ok so you are a teacher with perhaps 6 or 7 years in the district, spent oodles to get your masters degree are 32 years old with 2 kids of your own and now you either take your life in your hands or retire? No pension, no health care, no income. Wow.

    But the very best line so far in this thread is by MP. “Ventilation challenged” A classic. And to all, open windows in the middle of winter is not proper CDC regulation ventilation. I’m not sure why Dr. Ponds is taking such a hard stand on this but it is creating division between parents and teachers. A good administrator will never allow that and will take it upon themselves keep the peace. It might not be comfortable but it is what it is.

  24. 1. I am a parent, and I can assure you that some teachers have received ADA accommodations to teach from home…. because I received notice that my child’s homeroom teacher would be teaching from home. They do not use sick time if they are entitled to an accommodation.

    2. If you are not entitled to an accommodation, because you are just afraid or nervous or live with elderly or at risk people… I am sorry, but you do not qualify for an ADA accommodation for that. So if you want to stay employed you would have to take sick leave.

    I wish the MEA would let the teachers come and walk through the buildings to see all the changes and arrangements. That’s all. In the words of a 6 year old who spoke at the BOE meeting this week begging to come back…

    Peace Out. 🙂

  25. I was pretty much done with this thread but LL just said something that I feel needs to be rebutted.
    ” I’m not sure why Dr. Ponds is taking such a hard stand on this but it is creating division between parents and teachers. A good administrator will never allow that and will take it upon themselves keep the peace.”
    Sorry that it’s creating division between teachers and parents, but you just don’t seem to be able to see the other side. It’s not just about the teachers interests here! Why such a sense of entitlement? Children and families who educators have signed on to “serve”, (yes, like doctor’s and nurses and police and first responders,and other deemed “essential employees” ) are suffering due to remote only learning! The AAP and others have concurred that this is true! Parents can’t go to work at their jobs ( some of which are essential), the kids are being short changed and why? Because the teachers unions in some districts are fighting a return to any in person instruction? Why should this group of”essential employees” have special treatment from the others deemed “essential”? Again the sense of entitlement is troubling.
    I don’t discount the worrying and fear that some have about returning to inperson instruction, but mitigation measures have been put in place, many districts are doing it successfully, and if one is truly high risk there are options for them with medical leave.
    Ponds is doing the right thing. He shouldn’t cave to the union. He has the science based recommendations in his court and there are options for those who are truly at risk and for those families that want their children to remain remote. Cave to “keep the peace”??

  26. Cave to keep the peace? Who said anything about caving? Taking responsibility is not caving. And which “science based recommendations..” are you talking about? Pitting parents against teachers is unbecoming and not befitting a true administrator. But as Frank says “rarely good leaders in a crisis.” Proving his point.

    Why the buzzword “entitlement”? What does that even mean in this discussion? Whose entitled you or the teachers? I’m sorry SnT you’re all over the map on this. Kids are being shortchanged because teachers don’t want to get sick and die? No. They are being shortchanged because we are in the middle of a global pandemic that is perhaps mutating to become more contagious and lethal. But tough luck teach, you signed up so take your lumps. What are you thinking?

    Mitigation measures? Yeah like what? Show me, prove to me that it’s safe and not by opening a window 6″. You really don’t have any idea what is going on in those buildings and neither do I which is basically the problem. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, it seems I need to say that over and over so that it sinks in. This is not about the union, about the kids, about the teachers or essential workers. This is about life and death. Dr. Ponds has no choice, he must keep the schools closed.

  27. LL– you just are incapable of seeing the big picture and both sides in this matter, obviously. Science based recommendations from the CDC for reopening schools! Again sooo many are have and continue to be open successfully. The super is not trying to put teachers against parents! That’s crazy. He’s just trying to make the best decisions for the students in a very difficult situation. LIKE OTHER DISTRICTS have. Why not montclair I’ll ask you again? Because the teachers union says so? One sided. I get the fear factor that seems to be guiding your perspective here but use your options then for staying out of work like what has been suggested. Take a leave or get an accommodation like the poster above shared. Stop blaming the superintendent for trying to do the right thing. Yes it’s entitlement when there is a double standard regarding “essential workers”. That others are putting their life on the line ( as you see it) but MEA employees shouldn’t have to, yes that’s being “entitled”.
    So done.

  28. Whoa!
    I don’t know which camp Dr Ponds falls in.
    I hope he falls into the good leader category. Like Presidents, Generals, Captains, Chairpersons, Head Coaches, and Causes.
    No offense to an Administrator’s title, but it doesn’t inspire!

  29. I feel badly for Dr Ponds. The CDC just hung a few thousand school district leaders out to dry. Leaders that hitched their wagons to the CDC. The CDC keeps changing their recommendations and revising their guesses, and continue to be more wrong than right. I have to say they are a shell of their overstated reputation and have mangled this pandemic response from the beginning. Trump made it worse, but the new administration just shows they are second-rate. Hard to swallow as I want them to be better than the WHO. They have less constituencies to serve.

    My Basic Law now is to devine my own guidelines based on an a worldwide consensus of countries that have show periodic success…and simplicity. It is simply too risky to follow a governmental laggard in best practices and projections. That is the lesson for today: consensus and simplicity.

    Of course, I have no idea who is in charge here in Montclair. The vision & policy people are home watching tv. The Mayor really wants to lead both worlds. And poor Dr Ponds. Life does suck. I think the elementary school teachers were the leaders today.

  30. Now the MEA is choosing to follow the path of the Chicago teachers union??
    An excerpt: “Difficult as the decision may seem for many teachers, it is one of the union’s own making. By refusing to acknowledge the scientific data and the success other schools have had in re-opening – including those in the Chicago area – CTU has instilled a culture of panic, with teachers unnecessarily fearing for their own lives.”
    The full article: https://www.illinoispolicy.org/chicago-teachers-refusing-to-return-to-school-face-discipline-up-to-firing/

  31. Oh yeah. Let’s take 1/6th of Montclair’s population in Community Spread, with most of any infected likely asymptomatic, bus them criss-cross around the town’s 6 diversity zones, and put them in 11 congregate settings, among 800 teachers and aides, half who also live here, among the UK variant assumed to be here, with testing slots a week or more out. Further, we will close those congregate settings if we find 2 linked cases within a week, that each take a week to test and 3-4 days at best to get results. And we are going to control this virus because we are Montclair. That basically sums it up.

    I got a letter from an Essex County assisted living facility dated March 10th. I recall the Council decided to keep their public meeting that March 10th evening. The letter said the State had identified Community Spread and so restrictions now against visitors, etc, etc. Remember how fast that spun out of control? And that strain was half as virulent. Three words: Contain Community Spread.

  32. Frank, please stick to the topic. You’ve hijacked it to tying open schools to community spread. All of the evidence to date across the country have time and again not supported the narrative that schools are a significant driver of transmission. Just peruse the evidence on line…. Some cases yes have been linked, but all conclude NOT a significant driver! That’s the data to support in person school with proper mitigation measures in place. But you seem to be in the same camp of fear that the MEA is pushing. Ignore te data and science. Buck the superintendent rather than unemotionally looking at and comprehending the evidence out there. Montclair will continue to have community spread regardless of the schools being partially open. That is due to the other human behavior that is and has been all along the driver of transmission and community spread.

  33. I think I have established myself as independent of the MEA and the school district as one can be in this town. Regardless, I know what I know and one of those things is quality control. And, to be simplistic for you, if you don’t test for it, you won’t find it…at least until you are far down the path. I understand that most people don’t understand this. I understand most people are not that good with math or statistics.
    I’m not, but I know enough to know in this pandemic, when people quote science and the data, it is, at best incomplete. If you don’t know how to read the data, you get erroneous conclusions. Now, I think we’ve seen most people in positions of authority say ooops way too many times. We have underestimated this virus at every step. We will have, if you believe a President, well over 600,000 Americans dead within 18 months. Now I understand we have children acting out with a lack of stimulation. But, really, have we shown much imagination in Montclair to counter the problem? Really? Because I don’t think so. Have we ever offered a Plan B to overcome the impact of the virus on the students? Do you think they will magically go back to performing at grade level once back in school for a year? They weren’t performing at reading and math levels before the pandemic. I had to point out to the parents, the BoE and the District what their own math scores showed. Because, they missed it. Right in front of them. Their own data. And it was pretty ugly. Depressingly ugly. So, why don’t all the stakeholders take some time and reflect…objectively…and just maybe, there is more than one way to educate.

    OK, that was close to hijacking the thread.

  34. And my favorite new recommendation this week was for double masking. Just brilliant! Think about that one for a NY Minute. The hindsight implications, the present day implications, and going forward. OK, yeah, the mutations, right? Think a little harder. Challenge yourself.

  35. Noted & appreciate, sickntired.

    We get causality and death numbers based on estimates, extrapolation and maybe a little art. Montclairions should know the New York Times national death count at this moment is 414,070. The number of that magnitude, for the tragedy it measures is hard for me. It scares me. It increasingly overwhelms me.

    I wish the reporting entities such as the NYT would trade a little of their numerical accuracy and just add 1…so to always end their count in 1…to remind us the 1’s we each remember.

  36. First let me congratulate you Frank on nailing it once again. “The elementary school teachers were the leaders today.” Not that it was easy or comfortable but I’m sure a lot of tears and stress went into their leadership roles on Friday. (seems like a month ago) Credit where credit is due.

    And off we go again. SnT, why when someone disagrees with you they are hijacking the thread or are entitled? Just argue your points. Within all the rhetoric I believe that you feel the science says Montclair students can come back to school safely. Prove it already. Saying the science is conclusive or overwhelming does not make it true. Show me the CDC certification that the buildings are properly ventilated. Open windows does not ventilation make. Fogging the inside of a building with chemicals designed for outside use only does not decontaminate a building nor make it safe.

    The fact that we have over 400k deaths and 4000 new cases yesterday is not a scare tactic. It’s a fact. The MEA and NJEA are not my favorite charities but they did good on this one. They stood up for the teachers and staff when entitled (oops) parents demanded their children go back to school and teacher safety be damned. Yeah, I remember, retire.

    Community spread is multi faceted. It’s not abhorrent or selfish behavior only, although that does account for a lot of it. It’s being in close quarters for over 30 minutes with no ventilation to speak of and coming into contact with a carrier whether symptomatic or not. It’s not having gloves and working sinks to wash in. It’s putting your head in the sand and saying it will magically disappear. It’s placing people at risk in a dire situation that they might not be able to get out of. It’s not acknowledging that there is a more virulent and contagious strain making its way through the world. Do you know that some of these special ed rooms used to be closets? How do you prevent spread in a closet with no AC, windows or ventilation whatsoever?

    Yes, Frank, Dr. Ponds is in a no win situation. But taking the MEA to task is not the way to turn it around. Taking teachers to court is not either. I have a suggestion for him. Sit down with the union and teachers, don’t make them wait all afternoon for you to cancel the meeting, show some concern and respect and work on solutions. Or better yet, lobby Trenton to get all your staff vaccinated ASAP. How nice would that be? Then SnT will only be tired and can change her name. How nice would that be? (just kidding SnT.. )

  37. You’re objecting to me taking a salaried employee making $112,000 to task?

    I’m one of the outsiders the stakeholders refuse to let have a say. They do need to get their act together. They had a very good and commendable stand. A little late, but still a good moment. On the flip side, they need to stop advancing children that can’t read. Like, call out your colleagues since you have these leadership qualities.

  38. LL, I’ve provided many links. ( Prove it you say). I’ve closely followed developments on the pandemic from the beginning and have critically thought about it hence my opinions. It’s very easy to become emotional about it, which then clouds logic.
    Maybe you should revisit the definition of entitlement. In this scenario it’s certainly teachers unions around the country displaying that here with their refusal to return to in person teaching. Remember the medical workers, police, grocery store essential personnel that you like yourself to as being essential and therefore a priority to vaccinate which you seem to want mandated? Well they’ve been out there ” risking their lives” as you like to call it, but yet somehow you deserve special treatment or an exception to stay totally safe? That’s an entitled attitude. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
    I have no problem with you disagreeing with my posts so don’t intimate otherwise. I’m simply sticking to my opinion and points. You have begun to be flippant here not me.
    Lastly why do you assume female gender here?

  39. Medical workers are gowned up in an environment basically sterile. Even grocery workers, although really not in the same category, work in stores with actual ventilation and AC. It’s really about the buildings SnT. They are not safe, bottom line.

    Good article in the NYT yesterday about schools and children in Las Vegas. Sad story so they basically had to open up the schools. We’ll see what happens with transmission but even so how do you compare the teaching conditions without having some data? Anyway, we’ll see what happens in the coming days. I really think if the engineer’s report comes back positive, and I very highly doubt that since they have to have a custodian come two hours prior to open every window, then the atmosphere might change. That is the missing piece here. We can discuss every option but until the buildings are certified safe we are just spinning our wheels.

    And now as for why I assume female gender? That is a very good question. I really have no idea although it must be some stereotypical holdover. For that I apologize. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  40. At the beginning of the pandemic medical personnel did not have enough supplies to protect themselves ( PPE). Thank goodness that has been resolved. The data about school transmission cases that have occurred is listed on, and updated, on NJ covid hub as I’ve said. Click on schools. For ” scientific recommendations” google the cdc and the AAP websites on the matter of schools. I thought I posted the link already from CDC, but maybe not and it’s easier to just google. Hopefully like comparisons can be made by the district and MEA with other comparable districts who have done so successfully today and learn from them? What they did etc.
    Ok so fair and square, yes wait and see what this engineer’s report will conclude. Wait and see.

  41. In the NYT article Dr. Ponds was quoted: “Every school in New Jersey is mandated to offer in-person instruction,” he said in a statement last week.

    Is this true? I see that about 250 districts in NJ still are fully remote. So how is this statement a fact? One thing I also saw, albeit from Israel whose vaccination program leaves much to be desired, that the African and British strain is infecting children at a greater rate than adults. I believe they said 5 – 10 year old. But I’ve not seen confirmation on that so take it with a grain of salt. And lastly a report that it would take 14 million to fully properly ventilate the Montclair schools. Is that a fact as well? It’s not getting better folks be aware.

    And really really lastly, Fox News is saying that if teachers don’t get back to the classroom they should stop vaccinating them. Now isn’t that special.

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