Reopening Dilemmas Faced by Schools

Educational institutions face reopening dilemmas that require plans for addressing not only health safety issues, but also their capabilities to earn revenues.

Unless a vaccine is already in place, schools cannot just reopen without instituting plans for addressing prevention and control of coronavirus spread.

Such plans must be built on three basic necessities: safe-distancing, testing and contact-tracing. If schools are to reopen, they have to consider the number of students in each room, which of course must conform to safe-distancing measures of at least 6 feet apart.

The Impact of Safe-Distancing Measures on School Revenues

Instituting safe distancing measures means limiting the total population of students who will be occupying the existing number of classrooms available. As a consequence, bringing down the student population number will likewise yield revenues that might not even be commensurate in meeting overhead costs.

After all, private educational institutions are tuition-fee dependent, and can operate profitably only if the number of students enrolled for each semester, will bring in tuition fees that will exceed total operational costs for the year.

Given that advancements in videoconferencing technology can now support the holding of remote classes, many students, particularly those belonging to the low-income bracket do not have access to reliable Internet connection. Moreover, not a few, face living conditions that cannot provide them with spaces conducive for online or distance learning.

As a result, many students could forego attending classes and  instead, simply wait when everything goes back to normal; or when an anti COVID-19 vaccine is already available.

Changes Could Intensify Problems Faced by Schools

Smaller Class Size but with Increased Class Sessions Per Subject

Educators will also feel the impact of potential changes since subject lectures and discussions will spread thinly across several class sessions. If the number of students attending each session is reduced, the number of sessions presided over by every subject teacher could double, or even triple. In effect, it also increases efforts exerted by teachers. Since revenue generation will become an issue, hiring of additional teachers will be out of the question.

Increased Efforts in Instilling Discipline

School administrators and teachers will have to intensify methods and efforts in instilling discipline among students, in and outside of classrooms, campus, and dorms.

Students coming in and out of the campus must be constantly monitored for signs or symptoms of coronavirus infection. Schools therefore must have a quick-response team trained to handle situations whenever monitoring results reveal potential signs of infection.

Decisions for Reopening School During an Ongoing Health Crisis

Although the decision to reopen even during an ongoing health crisis is up to the school board officials, any decision to do so must be backed by commitments of enrolling students and their parents in abiding with new rules that the school will impose. That way, school administrators will not be detracted from carrying out their core mission of providing education, albeit under modified teaching conditions and environment.

Moreover, resource availability is also a determining factor for reopening decisions. Availability of technology for providing safe and efficient approaches to learning amidst a coronavirus crisis, are factors that college students will consider before deciding to enroll once the school reopens this fall semester.

Even faculty members and administration staff will have to weigh the safety and workable situations in which they are expected to function as educators and support personnel.

In the meantime, school administrators can consider collaborating with a provider of call center outsourcing service to handle incoming and outgoing calls. Putting in place an efficient crew who will be in charge of answering queries with reduced wait-times, and on a round-the- clock basis immediately sends a sign of a school’s preparedness. Besides, there are local call center outsource firms that render their service under a no-contract agreement in order to make a low-cost arrangement flexible.

Saugus High School Shooting Tragedy Indicates Need for Further Study

The recent school shooting incident that occurred in Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California last November 14, 2019, has once again sowed terror and fear in the hearts of students, parents, teachers and school administrators alike.

Despite previous studies that aim to strengthen school security measures and early detection of potential perpetrators, questions on how and why such incidents happen remain unanswered.

Where schools already implement varying methods, as well as impose rules and regulations governing student conduct, it became apparent that anti-bullying programs, student counselling of troubled-students and closer mediation, are not complete solutions that can prevent school shooting incidents.

Whereas before, bullying was pinpointed as the foremost reason on why young victims harbored hostility that drove them to counter with violent reactions. The Saugus High School shooting incident made it apparent that more research is needed to determine not just a single factor but all factors that combine and lead to school violence.

Saugus High School Shooter Baffles Friends, Teachers and Police Authorities

District Supervisors and school administrators are tasked to utilize as many resources as possible, including increasing security guards, using metal detectors, CCTVs and performing student-profiling.

Yet after 16-year old Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, a student of Saugus High School took a gun to school to commit one of the most dreaded acts of aggression, including suicide, school administrators are once again in a quandary. The incident is said to be the 30th crime that transpired within a school premise, this year.

Friends and neighbors knew the shooter from childhood as a smart and non-violent kid, albeit of the introvert type. There was hardly any indication that the young man had the potential to turn hostile and violent.

 

Authorities are baffled about young Berhow’s motive since he never figured as a victim of bullying, nor manifested support for violent ideologies. He lived in a modest home with his mother, while his father died two years earlier.

However, investigators found a number of unregistered guns in the Berhow household, in addition to the licensed firearms owned by the young man’s deceased father. The shooter’s father who was described as an avid hunter, was said to have a history of chronic alcoholism and had been jailed before for domestic abuse.

Not even young Berhow’s girlfriend had an inkling that the boy was harboring thoughts of comitting a crime and later suicide right, on the day of his 16th birthday. Up to this date, the young man’s motive was still unclear.

Saugus High School administrators temporarily suspended classes up to December 02, but took to addressing the trauma experienced by their students. They invited school-shooting expert, Dr. David Schonfeld of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, to help students, parents and teachers cope with tragic incident upon resumption of classes.

Teach Children How to Know if Water is Safe to Drink

Parents often times make it a point to stress the importance of drinking water in order to stay in good health. However, when on his or her own at school, in camps or in any place away from home, will a child know if the water he or she is about to drink, is safe?

It is important therefore to give children, at least some basic guidelines on what to drink or not to drink.

Safety Pointers that Children Must Know When Drinking Water

Most adults know that for a drinking water to be safe, it must not contain metals, chemicals, bacteria, fluoride, chlorine and other similar contaminants. When on their own, children do not have an inkling how to know about those..

The best way therefore is to orient them about the sources of safe and unsafe drinking water, in addition to explaining what makes a source safe or unsafe.

  • Let your children know that schools in the US are required to provide clean and safe drinking water. Water must be derived from protected sources such as piped water, dug wells, tubewells, or by way of commercially delivered purified water.
  • As part of their knowledge, make them aware that a water source is not protected if it shows signs of leakages. In most cases, contaminants coming from wastes have potential to enter through a pipe breach.
  • Tell children not to drink from the protected water source if there is flooding in the area. As parent, it is your responsibility to provide them with safe drinking water that they can bring to school. Do this until you have ascertained that school administrators have had water coming out from protected sources, checked and tested as free from contaminants.

  • When eating in malls or fast food outlets, advise them not to drink water provided by the establishment. Even if water comes from a protected source, or even if purified water is served, they might drink from tumblers that have not been properly washed, or stored protected from crawling insects. To satisfy thirst, it would be better to buy bottled drinking water to stay safe.
  • Children often spend their vacation outdoors, usually swimming with friends in community lakes, or in a friend’s private swimming pool. Instill in your children the importance of not taking chances in dirty bodies of water or in swimming pools that have not been cleaned and treated. Contaminated water entering through any body openings will allow microorganisms to invade their body. The important microorganism to avoid is e.coli, because having them in one’s bloodstream can result to severe health disorders.

In time, as your children get older, they will have learned how to determine if the water they are about to drink is safe or not.

When Will Students Learn the Consequences of Bringing an Airsoft Gun to School?

Despite stricter laws imposed by state governments regarding replica firearms such as airsoft, air or BB guns, incidents in which a realistic-looking airsoft gun is brought to school, still happen.

 

Apparently unaware of the consequences of such action, some students still cause alarm and apprehension to fellow students by bringing a replica gun to school even if for a harmless reason. As a result, other students will send text messages to their parents or to a school authority, or approach an adult in charge.

In 2 separate school incidents in Michigan, school authorities alerted the local police after receiving text messages that a student brought a firearm to school. One of which took place in Lapeer County’s Almont Community Schools in Feb. 20, 2018. The other incident happened in Mt. Morris City at Montague Elementary School. The Mt. Morris City Police Department school liaison officer was able to immediately get hold of the replica gun.

In both cases, local police authorities handled the confiscation actions and investigations, and if called for, the student’s detention.

The Mt. Morris officer stated that even if the gun was found unloaded and inoperable, the state prohibits the act of bringing any type of gun to school. Severe school disciplinary actions must be carried out, even if necessitating the involvement of law enforcers.

Apparently, not a few children are aware that in Michigan, the penalties for bringing a replica or real firearm in school include up to 93 days imprisonment, 100 hours of community service, a fine of up to $2000, which in all probability will be imposed on a parent if the erring student is a minor.

Why the Presence of Airsoft Guns in School is Not a Trivial Matter

 

The bringing of a replica gun to school is no longer treated as a trivial matter that can be addressed later. First off, it is not easy to instantly tell if a gun in the school premise is only an imitation firearm. Mainly because airsoft guns are intentionally designed and built to resemble a genuine firearm. If a brand or edition of an airsoft rifle is touted as the best airsoft sniper rifle, then it practically looks the same as its real-life counterpart.

Secondly, there were past incidents of school mass shootings that could have been prevented, had school and law enforcement authorities, been notified as soon as the assailant’s firearm was spotted. That being the case, parents and school administrations have raised children’s awareness about the criticality of alerting school authorities, once they see or detect the presence of a firearm; regardless of whether the students think the gun is real or not.