More choices in school re-opening
K-12 schools and universities have been going through a very stressful Fall planning for re-opening due to Covid-19. As this whole dilemma unfolded this summer, I realized, as other school officials did, that there is no one size-fits-all solution, due to school district dissimilarities in size, space and faculty numbers and training.
In addition, there are the current infrastructure capabilities not just with the schools, but community spaces and parental resources. The current choices for a learning environment seem to be the following:
- Home learning online (limited by hardware, internet access and parental availability and parental capabilities in assisted learning).
- Home schooling (can be traditional paper-based modules or can be online tech company provided modules)
- In school learning (self-explanatory)
These hardware, software and human interaction dependent modes of learning, especially for K-12 are challenging. There is another potential resource that may be done by some communities currently that may be unique to those communities. Some Districts can utilize non-school buildings to expand social distancing, but on a national scale, this is being done in a minority of cases.
What we can do differently?
- Expand home schooling by encouraging those parents who have this capability but are not currently, to do so. There could be some assistance by a dedicated school system administrator to get these parents at least started, for those who have never done this before.
- In school learning as mentioned before can be staggered to provide some very needed social interaction, especially with special needs children, like my daughter when she was younger.
- Non-school premises can be utilized by some communities as I mentioned above, either with school faculty or vetted retirees and other options.
My idea to expand online supervised learning which would be an expansion of #3 and it’s costs I will outline below. This I feel, is the crucial piece missing from this pandemic schooling puzzle, but I will show how it can be a long-lasting improvement.
If we built 500 internet libraries on average, per State, and, I would add 50 for Puerto Rico and 25 for DC, at $400,000 each that would cost $10.03 Billion. These internet only libraries would be bookless, have scientific social distancing requirements, and staffed full-time and part-time by a combination of school staff and vetted volunteers which could include retired teachers with some extra benefits added.
I would spend $10 Billion on increasing the number of internet satellites because fiber would take too long. This should have been done months ago or at least started weeks ago and neither POTUS candidate has had this idea. The more ideal setting here is to have paid and volunteer adult staff to assist in watching and helping these kids go to school while the parents are able to work and don’t need childcare. This last point is desperately needed to re-open our country economically and educationally. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, 33.4 million families, or two-fifths of all families, included children under age 18. We need to get these people back to work so they are not home trying to tutor/supervise their kids with their online learning, many of whom are not qualified to do so.
If the day is staggered then the work schedules for the parents can be taken into account. These would be open early a.m. to late in the evening. It’s the best we can do at this point. For overnight workers, there would have to be special arrangements.
The details of the above can certainly be hashed out, but this needs to really happen prior to January of 2021 to radically change our above declines. I include a clip of a 57-story building being erected in China in 19 days. We can certainly build a no-nonsense internet library in a week if needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6f_sayw0mM Go to YouTube and type in (Watch a 57-Story Building Go Up in 19 Days) the search menu to find this short video.
I welcome any feedback and I urge you to write me in on November 3rd in order to have a person in Congress with problem-solving skills vs the candidate and the incumbent you would vote for on the current ballot.
Dr. Scott Noren (Scott Noren write in name)
PLEASE READ MY COMMENTS ON THE COVID PANDEMIC
Covid-19, the U.S., NY and the Southern Tier
Covid-19 impacted my family personally and if you email me, we can share experiences.
The handling of the Covid pandemic was definitely a learning curve and still a work in progress. One good outcome is that people in general, are much more careful about nasal, oral and hand hygiene than before this started. My hope and that of other fellow health professionals is that this continues in some fashion permanently. Whether that means remembering not to touch your face after shaking someone’s hands or other measures, remains to be seen. This isn’t the first viral outbreak and may not be the last. However we are more equipped in some areas to mitigate this should we encounter a new pathogen, or resurgence of an old one. I truly hope people are more diligent about getting their regular flu and pneumovax vaccinations regularly as well.
I will comment on a couple events that I feel are worth addressing and end with my advice as a health care professional on what I feel isn’t being done and what should be done moving forward.
The initial surge of cases involving elderly absolutely necessitated that any facility they were treated at, namely hospitals should be equipped with the necessary personnel and PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment). What Governor Cuomo and the NY State Department of Health did next was truly negligent. He forced many of these elderly patients from hospitals without Covid testing, into nursing homes that were ill equipped to care for these patients. As important, there were inadequate PPE supplies to protect, other clients, visitors and staff at these homes. This led to the unnecessary deaths of thousands of clients. I called for the 100% testing of all nursing home employees March 24th. See my Twitter feed:
I pleaded by email and Twitter and Facebook to Governor Cuomo, Chris, his brother on CNN, and other reporters that this was a disaster waiting to happen. The healthcare, police, fire EMS and nursing home workers in the trenches knew this and the psychological trauma of seeing all these people die and stacked in truck trailers was enough to create PTSD literally, in many of them. Tom Reed was nowhere on this issue as he should have been, and no demand to immediately test adequately and supply PPE’s. Instead, the Javits Center and the USS Comfort were grossly underutilized. Not only did the Governor wait weeks before having 100% testing of all nursing home employees, he made it twice a week! That placed some employees in the position to have to come to work on OFF days just to get tested or get fired. Messed up….
We need leadership and in fact, more healthcare providers in Congress; NOT TOM REED or TRACY MITRANO…Lawyers!
What do we still need to do? NOT THIS: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fact-check-trump-blames-testing-spike-covid-19-cases-experts-n1228671
The re-open cannot be perfect. But you need to have a starting point.
- Before re-open, a business should 100% test all employees and advise them that until we get a vaccine, they should conduct themselves as safely on off hours as possible and use good judgement in social situations. If they go on a trip, retesting would be indicated and testing should be at least monthly until vaccines or valid treatments come into play.
- The business, as best as possible, should be ‘Covid-proofed’ again as best as humanly possible per guidelines before the re-open.
- This last point is aggravating; the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website is antiquated in many areas. They have PDF documents as guidelines in some cases that are 10-17 years old and have never been updated. Tom Reed and Tracy Mitrano are clueless on this and would never have brought this up. If I take this Congressional seat, I will kick the CDC’s ass in the press and pressure them to revamp their website especially for healthcare workplaces. I have shamed them on Twitter and they have called me and left a message saying they are getting to do this. Not happening fast enough. I have much more to add but if you’ve read this, you’ll get where I’m coming from. Again, don’t waste your time with Tom or Tracy.
WRITE ME IN: SCOTT NOREN
My Comments on the George Floyd murder
His younger brother spoke to Congress recently: “I’m here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain,” an emotional Philonise Floyd, 42, told lawmakers. “George called for help and he was ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family and the calls ringing on the streets of all the world.
“The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough.”
Emotionally he added: “His kids had to watch that video. It just hurt… you don’t do that to a human being… His life mattered. All our lives matter. Black lives matter. I just wish I could get him back. Those officers, they get to live.”
My brief comments…Dr. Scott Noren
“I echo this. And we need to get to a point where young and old, people of color and not, get better at coping with problems, and finding good solutions to problems instead of hate, crime, oppression, resentment and stereotyping. This applies to civilians, government including law enforcement and public officials and political parties. There cannot be peace however, if people take the law into their own hands regarding respect for life and property. That created more mistrust, anger and chaos. That is not what George or his family wanted. To quote Martin Luther King:
“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We cannot keep prescribing opioids the way we were”
“We cannot throw poor people out of their family homes to pay back Medicaid; that’s not MY America” – Scott Noren
I Support Indigenous People’s Day
Make it a Federal Holiday 2nd Monday in October to replace Columbus Day
Tom Reed is a failure as a legislator and you can see this here.
This is the sum total he’s passed in 8 years…what a waste of our taxpayer money.
So, you have 2 bum candidates..
As Val Kilmer said in Tombstone, I’m saying now: “I’m your Huckleberry!”
Health Care IS a Human Right!
- February 16th, 2020 – Chautauqua President’s day winter festival
- January 15th, 2020 – New York State Union of Teachers. (100 West Church Street, Elmira, NY)
- January 15th, 2020 – Tompkins Farm Bureau Chapter CCE
- Tuesday, January 14, 5:30 pm – Chemung County Democratic Committee (415 W 2nd Elmira NY) – Meet and Greet then talk to the committee
- Wednesday, December 11th – Met with many Union leaders at the Sheet Metal Worker’s Int’l Association in Elmira, NY
- December 2-4 – New York State Farm Bureau Meeting, Binghamton New York
- November 26 2019 – Meeting with IBEW #139 Elmira
- November 26 2019 – Meeting with Tioga County NY Democrats Evening
- November 19th 2019 – Met with the Executive Board of the Cornell Democrats
Rachael Noren is Scott and Michelle’s special needs daughter.
She was 1lb and 4 oz at birth at 24.5 weeks. She is autistic, has a seizure disorder, mild cerebral palsy and is a delightful young adult now.
We have been through massive numbers of IEP’s during her schooling and are subject matter experts on special needs issues.