Due to the campus closures caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, all schools in the Walnut Valley Unified School District will be holding online classes for the remainder of the school year starting April 20.
WVUSD superintendent Robert Taylor announced this on April 1 after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Los Angeles County school districts to remain closed for this school year. The reason behind the closure is to help enforce social distancing, which helps prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus as large gatherings greatly heighten the chances of spreading it.
Before Spring Break, which began on April 10, DBHS was offering phase one of WVUSD’s Extended Learning Plan, where teachers provide their students with optional learning material.
“Our phase one Distance Learning Plan was meant to minimize the learning gaps during the initial school closures and maintain, to the best of our ability, the students’ prior knowledge,” Taylor wrote in an email sent to all families.
Phase two will consist of mandatory work that students can access online. If a student does not have access to a computer, they can borrow one from the district after filling out an online form. Students also picked up their belongings and a laptop from school on April 8-9.
The new Extended Learning Plan will not follow the normal bell schedule. Instead, 90-minute blocks have been designated for teachers to hold live class discussions or provide other types of online instruction. Teachers are still in the process of deciding on which distance learning platforms to use such as Google Classroom, Google Meet, the school website and email.
Many students are hesitant to give distanced learning a try as it comes with many complications that are not found in a traditional classroom.
“I think online learning is ineffective and useless cause everyone is obviously going to be distracted,” senior Bradley Yeung said via Instagram. “It also all depends on how good your connection [to the Internet] is.”
Some seniors are also especially dismayed at the school year being cut short since they will be missing out on many senior events such as Grad Nite and graduation. Though school officials are working to provide some type of virtual graduation for the seniors.
“I think I will miss Grad Nite the most ‘cause that would have been the official goodbye to all our classmates,” Yeung said.
However, other students prefer distanced learning as it helps keep them safe and lower the chances of catching the virus.
“I prefer online learning for now because of the coronavirus,” senior Vivek Kandhari said via Messenger. “It will be safer and is a good temporary solution to the corona issue.”