August 3, 2021: Back To School

The boy starts school on the week of the 16th, which seems to be the norm around here. It should be illegal on the federal level to start school before Labor Day.

54 thoughts on “August 3, 2021: Back To School”

      1. Honest Abe starts on September 9. Enough parents complained about the stupidity of starting in Rosh Hashanah (when students like Honest Abe would miss the first couple of days of meeting so the new classmates) that they pushed everything back.

    1. I don’t think school should start before Labor Day, but I think most of the current rationale for starting after the holiday — seasonal, below living wage employment in tourism & agriculture — lack educational merit (which should be the primary litmus test for school calendars!) and are ironically predicated on older schoolchildren’s status as low-paid workers.

      The pandemic has suggested we re-examine any number of social mores & institutions to see how well they actually serve regular folks, rather than elites, industries, or “traditions.” I think another one of those ripe for reconsideration is year-round school. The last eighteen months have underscored how American schools are not simply places where children go to learn from teachers, but function as society’s triage centers for a variety of necessary supports — adequate nutrition, mental & behavioral health services, dependable childcare, and so on. Schools that are, with exceptions for gymnasiums and other common spaces, largely dormant for two-plus months every year are not using the capital resources as efficiently as they could. (In fact, we should be thinking about schools not just as educational institutions or social triage centers, but as vital infrastructure nodes.)

  1. What's the mask situation for your school? The jalapeno's summer program is through our school district; they had stopped requiring masks in July (because the governor's executive order expired), but as of this morning masks are again required. The jalapeno never stopped wearing his mask (since I'm immunocompromised), but I'm glad that now the staff and all the other kids will be wearing masks as well. We won't know the plan for the school year until late August.

    1. The schools here are requiring masks even though there aren't any mandates. The county recently started recommending wearing them in indoor public places again.

      1. Same here. The district has never stopped requiring masks. The governor's mandate relaxed everywhere but healthcare buildings and schools (plus some others that I don't remember).

      2. I’m glad more than one county in this state embraces sane public health practices. I’d like to see a county-wide mandate, but we know how those will go with this Supreme Court.

        Our district is also requiring wearing of masks indoors. My institution also requires masks indoors, but has quit requiring testing or vaccination as a criteria for building access. In fact, they decommissioned the smartphone app that faculty, staff, & students used to gain building access.

        1. My wife knows the Rock County health director and said she was surprised she was even going with the mask recommendation instead of saying nothing. So Dane county does have a huge leg up on.... every county surrounding it in terms of public health practices and trying to keep this thing in check.

    2. District 196 (Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan) not requiring masks. Not pleased with that decision. The board's position is that they aren't going to do anything beyond what is mandated by the state. I think it's gonna be a wild ride if the delta variant gets into the schools with a bunch of unvaccinated kids and a transmission rate that rivals chicken pox.

      My wife's position right now is that we shouldn't send her to school if that's the case.

        1. Pre-school/Pre-K is a nightmare situation. 3s and 4s cannot be expected to keep properly masked. So all of the burden falls on the staff and on the parents to be vaxxed and to keep their kids home if they show ANY symptoms or have been exposed.

          Those latter compliance issues are proving difficult.

    3. Down here in [southern Minnesota city] we’ve heard it’s pretty much the case that the high school won’t be mandated. I’m guessing the middle school won’t be. I don’t see how they could justify no masks at the elementary level, but I suspect it will be “your choice what’s appropriate for the safety of your family.”

    4. California is requiring masks for all inside K-12 buildings, so our school district has nothing to decide. The district sent out emails to all parents outlining their (reasonable) enforcement plans: If a student refuses to wear a mask in the classroom when told, parents will be called to pick them up. If they have to be sent home 5 times, they will be switched to the at-home education program, which is also being offered to any family who wants to do that.

      But, we live an a very conservative area, and there is a very loud anti-mask contingent pushing hard for the district to just ignore the state mandate. I went to the school board meeting two weeks ago, to voice my opinion that masks need to be required for all, especially seeing as no elementary-aged kids have been vaccinated. I was the only one there who was arguing for a mask requirement. After a large number of anti-mask statements, my 5-minutes of public comment time was filled with the crowd attempting to shout me down. I think I probably had to stop 7-8 times just to be heard (even though I had the microphone), and then I was booed when I walked back to my seat. I've never been booed by that many people before. It was quite an experience, that's for sure.

      My expectation is that the school will require and enforce masks as long as the state (or, less likely, the county) requires them, but I suspect it will end the second the state stops mandating it. I'm hoping that it doesn't happen until after my kids can be vaccinated, but we'll see. The remote learning option may be in our future at some point this school year, unfortunately.

      1. I saw a "let's go to the school board meeting and tell them it should be the parent's choice about masks" post on NextDoor the other day, so this reminds me I should probably go to that meeting next week.

    1. Hahaha.

      Ok, what? Bacon-wrapped items (no starch involved) are sandwiches? Bread bowl items are sandwiches?

      Clearly, there are boundary items in this 3D classification scheme where his classifications are arbitrary. He needs to acknowledge hybrids. Better yet, acknowledge that he has a 3D space and just accept that every item should be characterized by degrees of soup-ness, salad-ness and sandwich-ness.

      His scheme doesn't have a place for semi-solids (colloids like jello "salads") or structural solids/crystalized solids (e.g., cakes, frittatas) where mixed items may be suspended in a stable medium.

      Clearly, a cake or frittata is structurally distinct from a sandwich, in which the fillings (or toppings in an open-face) are not stablely bound in place.

      Boundary item: Chicago deep dish, where the cheese largely binds other toppings in place.

      This bears considerably more investigation.

        1. I will accept the notion that these are, separately, "salad" and "soup" items, respectively. So, a dipped item is just a dressed salad. Whereas items floated in queso would just be soup elements.

          This does expose a problem with the classification scheme, in that how a combination is served can alter its classification. A BLT is a sandwich, but chop it and it becomes a salad. How many cuts determines the change in classification? Is two (quarters) enough?

      1. I concur; hybrids & structural morphology are not sufficiently accounted for in this system. For example:

        Hot dish — it has a crust on top, but no crust underneath. Is it an upside-down open-faced sandwich, a hot salad, or a baked soup?

        Ice cream sandwich — a sandwich when completely frozen, but a soup with crackers when it melts? No ingredients have been added or taken away.

        Fermented foods like yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, kefir, pickles, sourdough bread, wine, & beer appear to be single “ingredients” in some applications, but may be consumed on their own. Since they are all prepared with other ingredients — what are these?

  2. The publishing world is all abuzz about the will of the longtime owner of Scholastic, Dick Robinson, who passed away in June, which apparently gives everything to his lover. I can't access the full WSJ article about it, but here are some great quotes from his sons:

      1. I wonder how far/whether the player contracts/collective bargaining agreement would allow a team to recover losses if a game has to be forfeited because of COVID.

        Because if it were me in management, I would want to make it very clear that any player who is not vaccinated and is partially responsible for a forfeit should have to shoulder as much of that financial loss as I am allowed to put on him. And any player who lacks a guaranteed contract at this point who refuses to get vaccinated, I'm cutting.

  3. University of St Thomas just announced they are requiring the vaccine. Nothing like waiting until it is practically too late. Definitely botched this.

    And I made the mistake of reading the parent comments...

    1. First Avenue did too! Plus Health Partners. I bet we see a lot more business and venue vax mandates coming down the line in the next few days.

      1. I hate wearing the mask. But, although not required to, I started wearing it again in stores/etc. Seem's like the grown-up thing to do right now.

        1. I honestly don't find it that constraining when shopping. Wearing one all day, on the other hand, would be really tough.

          And absotively, it's the grown-up thing to do, just as it has been for the past ~18 months.

          1. I have to wear masks all day at work and can attest to the lack of comfort (+90 + degree heat and 80% humidity...). I've recently begun keeping my mask on outside when I'm in the French Quarter. Too many folks just let go of common sense once the vax was widely available (though, in their defense the reason to come to New Orleans is to let go of common sense....)

  4. And the October 2020 trip that was pushed to October 2021 has now been postponed indefinitely. It's obviously the correct decision, but I'm still frustrated with all the Andrelton SimmonsesKirk Cousinses out there allowing this to happen.

  5. Bulls are doing a sign-and-trade for Lonzo Ball. Basically, they are giving up spare parts, but committing $85 million over 4 years to Ball.

    I was going to make a joke about how Ball Don't Lie and that Lonzo can't shoot, but his eFG pct has risen every season and was at a pretty impressive .537 while attempting a career-high 12.7 FGA/game this last season. And he took a huge step forward in his FT shooting, from Ben Simmons territory to competence (78.1 pct; although he rarely takes the ball into the lane -- attempting only 1.2 FTA/g and completing only 8 dunks). An eFG pct of .537 ranked him 70th in the league this year. For reference, this was just behind Vucevic and just ahead of Gordon Hayward, Bojan Bogdanovic and Devin Booker.

    His improvement basically is all in 3pters, where he shot a credible .378 this season (up only marginally from .375 the prior year, but on an extra 2 attempts/g). 65 percent of his attempts were from outside the arc this year, up from his previous high of 57.5 pct.

    I think we've now seen enough of him that the league has to respect his ability to make spot-up threes. I don't think he is remotely worth $21+ million per year, but what do I know?

    The Bulls shared the ball reasonably well last season (8th in assists), but were 28th in steals and 27th in turnovers. They definitely need an upgrade in on-ball play at both ends.

    This deal puts the future of Coby White into serious question. Kid just finished his age-20 season as the starting PG.

  6. Wild select arbitration for Fiala.

    That means if they don't reach an agreement in the next 2-3 weeks, Fiala decides if it's a 1-year or 2-year contract and the arbiter chooses the salary.

    It prevents a holdout in the fall, but I don't know of any player that wants to go through the process. Hopefully, this gets negotiations moving and resolved on a longer deal.

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