Schools reopen, no surge

Joanne Jacobs:

Florida reopened schools for in-person teaching in August. The feared coronavirus surge didn’t happen, reports a team of USA Today reporters. “The state’s positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July.

More than half of Florida families returned their children to school in-person, while the rest chose remote learning. “As weeks ticked by and a surge of school-linked cases did not materialize, requests to return remote learners to the classroom have surged in some places,” the team reports.

Caitlynne Palmieri was among the Martin County parents wanting to return her child to the classroom. She initially enrolled her 9-year-old in the remote learning option because of high community infection rates. Her son, a fourth grader, had trouble focusing on schoolwork from home. When she saw how safety measures were  implemented and adhered to, Palmieri sent him back to the classroom.

“I knew it was right for us,” she said. “He wanted to be back, and I felt safe.”

Cases are up for young adults in some counties. But not schoolchildren.

In Belgium, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, coronavirus outbreaks in schools are rare, report Michael Birnbaum, Loveday Morris and Quentin Ariès in the Washington Post. “So despite rising coronavirus cases, and although universities have emerged as sites of concern, European countries remain wholeheartedly committed to in-person learning for primary and secondary schools.”

Belgian health officials think in-person classes might “be safer than virtual schooling, assuming students tend to be less rigorous about social distancing when they’re not being supervised in classrooms,” they write.

Many countries in Europe have dropped rules about wearing masks in schools, reasoning that it’s difficult for students to concentrate when they have them on all day. Public health authorities have spent more energy devising ways for children to study within relatively small cohorts, so that if quarantines are required, fewer people will be affected.

“The view in Norway is that children and youth should have high priority to have as normal a life as possible, because this disease is going to last,” said Margrethe Greve-Isdahl, a senior physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Run for office. Spring 2021 elections: Dane county executive.

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration