Connect with us

News

Schools debating whether or not to put students in closer quarters

Published

on

Schools debating whether or not to put students in closer quarters
Schools debating whether or not to put students in closer quarters

Schools debating whether or not to put students in closer quarters

 

U.S. guidelines that say students should be kept 6 feet apart in schools are receiving new scrutiny from federal health experts, state governments and education officials working to return as many children as possible to the classroom.

Even as more teachers receive vaccinations, the distancing guidelines have remained a major hurdle for schools as they aim to open with limited space. But amid new evidence that it may be safe to seat students closer together, states including Illinois and Massachusetts are allowing 3 feet of distance, and others including Oregon are considering it.

Debate around the issue flared last week when a new study suggested that, if masks are worn, students can be seated as close as 3 feet apart with no increased risk to them or teachers. Published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, it looked at schools in Massachusetts, which has backed the 3-feet guideline for months.

Asked about it Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency is now exploring whether children can be seated closer together than was previously recommended. The 6-feet spacing guideline is “among the biggest challenges” schools have faced in reopening, she said.

The CDC included the larger spacing limit in its latest school guidelines, which were issued in February and concluded that schools can safely operate during the pandemic with masks, distancing and other precautions. It suggested 6 feet and said physical distancing “should be maximized to the greatest extent possible.”

Other organizations have issued more relaxed guidelines, including the World Health Organization, which urges 1 meter in schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics says to space desks “3 feet apart and ideally 6 feet apart.”

Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, a national superintendents group, said he expects to see more states and schools move to the 3-feet rule in coming weeks. With the larger guideline, he said, most schools only have the space to bring half of their students in at a time. Moving to 3 feet could allow about 75% at a time, he said.

“There are districts that have been doing 3 feet for quite some time without experiencing any greater amount of infection,” he said.

In Illinois, health officials said last week that students can be seated 3 feet apart as long as their teachers are vaccinated. Before, state officials required the CDC’s larger requirement.

With the state’s blessing, the Barrington district near Chicago plans to reopen its middle schools Tuesday using the smaller spacing rule. Any student will be allowed to attend in-person at the two middle schools, although the district expects roughly 30% to continue with remote learning.

“I’m glad that our public health officials allowed us to move forward by looking at the data and research,” said superintendent Brian Harris.

Questions around spacing have led to a battle in Massachusetts, where teachers and some schools are opposing a state plan to bring younger students back five days a week starting next month. The plan calls on schools to space students 3 feet apart, although many schools have been using the CDC’s guideline.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, a statewide union, argues that seating students closer will increase the risk for everyone in the classroom. It also poses a problem for districts that have agreed to contracts with teachers adopting the 6-feet rule as a requirement.

“They can’t just throw 6 feet out the window. They can’t throw away what has been agreed upon,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the union. “If they can’t make it work, then they’re going to have to come to a new agreement.”

In Boston’s public schools, desks will be spaced at least 3 feet apart but teachers and staff will be asked to keep 6 feet from students and other staff when feasible, said Xavier Andrews, the district’s spokesperson. Schools will also use larger rooms and outdoor spaces to keep students at a safe distance, he said.

“BPS remains committed to working with our union partners and is excited to continue our safe return this month for thousands of additional students,” Andrews said in a statement.

In Ohio, Cincinnati’s school board got an earful from parents and others last month when it proposed resuming in-person learning at the crowded Walnut Hills High School under a model that called for distancing of only 3 feet there while its other schools would use 6 feet.

The critics included Walnut Hills teacher Brandon Keller, who said the plan was foolish and dangerous. He warned the board: “Your decision will have a body count.”

Board members backed off on reopening that school, then weeks later narrowly voted for a plan that included a phased reopening, but also warned the physical distancing might not be as much as 6 feet. Students also have options to continue learning virtually.

Seven superintendents in central Oregon sent a letter to Gov. Kate Brown last week asking the state to relax some of its social distancing rules — including the state’s 6-foot barrier — so that more students can return to class full time.

Oregon’s Crook County School District, which has had students in classrooms most of the school year, has found that what’s most effective in combating the virus are masks, contact tracing and sending home students when they’re showing symptoms, said district spokesperson Jason Carr.

“It goes back to what we know works,” he said. “The 6-feet rule doesn’t make as much sense as the other safety measures.”

“What may have made sense two months ago or at the beginning of the year might not now,” he said.

google news [give_form id="136891"]

My self Eswar, I am Creative Head at RecentlyHeard. I Will cover informative content related to political and local news from the United Nations and Canada.

News

Bo Byram is back. Nathan MacKinnon is returning. The Avalanche’s NHL-leading scoring clip is bound to surge.

Published

on

Bo Byram’s return sparks Avalanche in victory over Nashville Predators

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said if rookie Bo Byram had shot quicker a couple of times on Saturday night, the dynamic young defenseman would have had three goals against Nashville.

Following Colorado’s 6-2 victory, Bednar also could have said if star center Nathan MacKinnon was in the lineup, the Avs could have reached seven goals for the fourth time in eight games.

Bottom line: Colorado proved in November that it is loaded offensively, and has the ability to become more dangerous when MacKinnon rejoins Byram in the lineup on Wednesday at Toronto. The Avs are 7-1 in MacKinnon’s latest absence and 5-1 without both MacKinnon and Byram this month.

They have averaged 5.4 goals in the past eight games to lead the NHL in scoring at 4.00. And their .750 winning percentage in November (7-2-1) is a club record.

What happens when MacKinnon follows Byram in rejoining the lineup in the next game on Wednesday at Toronto? Perhaps MacKinnon will realize he doesn’t have to be the superstar for this team to score more goals than it allows, and that diminished pressure will add to the team’s chemistry.

“He’s one of the best players in the world,” Mikko Rantanen, who had three goals and four points against the Preds, said of MacKinnon. “Getting one of the best players back to the team is only going to help us.”

Byram is certainly an important side piece, and he adds to what already is the NHL’s most multi-faceted blue-line corps.

Byram, who settled for the game-winning goal and four shots in logging 22:00 after missing six games with another concussion, was the second coming of Cale Makar against the Preds. That’s a big statement as Makar, the 2021 Norris Trophy finalist who is on an offensive tear, had seven goals and 12 points in his career-high six-game points streak.

Bednar had high praise for Byram for how quickly the 20-year-old returned to his dominant nature while coming off at least his third concussion of 2021.

google news [give_form id="136891"]
Continue Reading

News

WATCH: Broncos’ Javonte Williams’ 9-yard touchdown run against Chargers

Published

on

WATCH: Broncos’ Javonte Williams’ 9-yard touchdown run against Chargers

google news [give_form id="136891"]
Continue Reading

News

Dolphins crush Panthers behind Tua-Waddle connection, win fourth straight

Published

on

Dolphins crush Panthers behind Tua-Waddle connection, win fourth straight

The Miami Dolphins showed their midseason momentum is real and displayed what can become of the young Alabama connection of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jaylen Waddle.

In a key game to determine if the Dolphins could legitimately swing their sudden surge into a reinsertion in the AFC playoff conversation, they responded. Clicking on all cylinders in a 33-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami won its fourth consecutive game.

The Dolphins, after starting 1-7, now find themselves at 5-7 with home games against the lowly New York Giants (4-7) and Jets (3-8) on the horizon and a path to getting back to .500 looking more and more realistic, especially after demoralizing the Panthers (5-7).

Tagovailoa completed just under 90 percent of his passes, going 27 of 31 for 230 yards and a touchdown. More than half of that passing yardage went to Waddle, the rookie wideout who finished with nine receptions for 137 yards and the touchdown. It all came against a Carolina pass defense that entered Sunday ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

The Dolphins defense held the Panthers to pedestrian numbers. Starting quarterback Cam Newton was 5 of 21 for 92 yards, two interceptions and a rushing touchdown. Star running back Christian McCaffrey was held to 35 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Miami finished outgaining the Carolina, 315-198. The Dolphins held the Panthers to 4 of 12 on third downs, forced three turnovers on defense and even scored on special teams.

A pair of second-quarter touchdowns gave the Dolphins a 21-7 lead. First, Waddle caught a 9-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa that followed an interception and return into the red zone by cornerback Xavien Howard.

Later in the half, Waddle’s 57-yard catch and run over the middle from Tagovailoa eventually set up running back Myles Gaskin to score on a direct snap for a 3-yard touchdown. It was one of two Gaskin rushing scores out of the Wildcat, adding on from 3 yards out again in the third quarter.

Before halftime, The Dolphins were in position to add to the two-touchdown lead, but it backfired when center Austin Reiter skipped a shotgun snap past Tagovailoa that Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu recovered and ran the other way to the Miami 23-yard line. Receiver Isaiah Ford made a touchdown-saving tackle, but it left a second on the clock for a Zane Gonzalez 41-yard field goal. Miami led, 21-10, at halftime.

The Dolphins struck first on special teams when linebacker Duke Riley blocked a first-quarter punt deep in Panthers’ territory that cornerback Justin Coleman recovered for a touchdown. Riley also had a big third-down hit on Panthers receiver DJ Moore that forced the punt.

Carolina answered with a Newton 1-yard rushing touchdown that was set up by a long pass for 64 yards from Newton to Moore, who got open over the top on what appeared to be a miscommunication between Howard and fellow cornerback Byron Jones, both on the same side with no safety help.

Miami’s secondary recovered from there, intercepting Newton twice in the first half. Rookie safety Jevon Holland had the first one while Howard had the later one that set up the Waddle touchdown.

The Dolphins got to the Panthers’ 24-yard line on their opening possession, but former American Heritage High and FSU standout Brian Burns swooped past right tackle Jesse Davis for a strip-sack of Tagovailoa. Davis recovered the fumble, which was followed by a Michael Palardy punt to the Carolina 5-yard line before the Miami special teams score.

Aside from the Howard and Holland interceptions, cornerback Nik Needham had a diving interception late against Panthers backup quarterback PJ Walker. Jaelan Phillips had three sacks, and Emmanuel Ogbah and Christian Wilkins added one apiece.

Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders made a pair of fourth-quarter field goals, but he also missed an extra point off the upright.

Sunday’s game was only the seventh meeting all time between the Dolphins and Panthers. Carolina, a 1996 expansion franchise in the NFC, is Miami’s least-faced opponent in the NFL.

The Dolphins host the Giants next Sunday before their bye week.

This story will be updated.

google news [give_form id="136891"]
Continue Reading

Trending