NOTE: This article was first published on Evanston Round Table.
Evanston is a city in the Chicagoland area. It is located in Cook County, Illinois, situated on the Chicago North Shore along Lake Michigan.
On July 22, School District 65 announced that it plans to reopen the schools for in-person instruction on Sept. 29, assuming it is safe to do so. At that time, the District provided general guidance on the safety precautions it plans to take, and it provided additional details in a report, “Reimagining Education, A Guide to the 2020-2021 School Year,” which it posted the next day. The District provided still more information in a 90-minute online town hall session at which administrators provided answers to pre-submitted questions on July 29.
“students receiving free or reduced lunch, Black and Brown students, students who received an I [Incomplete] or less than 50% on their report cards, emerging bilinguals, and students with IEPs…”Latarsha Green, Deputy Superintendent, School District 65
Priority for In-Class Learning
Under applicable guidelines, the District said the maximum number of students allowed in each building are as follows: JEH 172; Chute 466, Dawes 354, Dewey 359, Haven 556, King Arts 388, Kingsley 275, Lincoln 486, Lincolnwood 291, Nichols 418, Oakton 335, Orrington 303, Park 181, Bessie Rhodes 343, Walker 276, Washington 416, and Willard 297.
Historically, the enrollment at each school significantly exceeds these numbers.
The second factor that may impact enrollment in on-site learning is the number of teachers who are willing to teach on site, due to concerns about being infected by COVID-19. Some teachers may have a concern based on their own risk factors or of people in their household. At this point it appears that the District is honoring teachers’ decisions on whether to teach on-site or not.
Dr. Horton said the District is not setting teachers up to say, “You must come back.”
Latarsha Green, Deputy Superintendent, said that one of the District’s task forces considered what the District should do in the event more students applied to take on-site learning than there were available slots. She said the task force and administrators decided to give the following categories of students a priority: “students receiving free or reduced lunch, Black and Brown students, students who received an I [Incomplete] or less than 50% on their report cards, emerging bilinguals, and students with IEPs. There are also other categories in relation to students who are not performing according to reading or math grade-level expectations, and students with no comorbidity factors.”
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Health Industry Distributors’ Association: Supply Chain Delays ‘A Healthcare Issue’
The Health Industry Distributors’ Association (HIDA) released harrowing data stating “Transportation Delays Are A Healthcare Issue.” HIDA’s December release states, “research estimates that approximately 8,000-12,000 containers of critical medical supplies are delayed an average of up to 37 days throughout the transportation system.”
The statement continues, “The West Coast port with the greatest number of delayed medical containers are the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The most congested East Coast port is the Port of Savannah.”
An infographic is accompanied with the statement which breaks down the crisis further. 17 is the average number of days the shipments are delayed at the Port. There’s an 11 day average delay by rail, and a 9 day average delay by truck.
In those shipping containers, the infographic states 187,000 gowns, 360,000 syringes and 3.5 million surgical gloves are held. The ports with the most medical delayed supplies are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Savannah, New York/New Jersey, Charleston, Seattle, Oakland, Boston, Baltimore and Houston.
Axios reports under a “Why it matters” headline, that “Per their projections, medical supplies arriving at a U.S. port on Christmas Day won’t be delivered to hospitals and other care settings until February 2022.”
As a result, “that could delay critical supplies at a time when health care is already expected to most need them due to surges from Delta and Omicron.”
Additionally, “The supply chain problems can compound, starting with medical supplies languishing in U.S. ports for an average of 17 days, officials said.”
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