As Southern California residents approach the midpoint of a three-week-long Stay At Home order, the Diamond Bar High School community is growing increasingly curious of what plans the district has for the second semester.
While the school administration has yet to put forth any formal plans, Assistant Principal Elizabeth Chang confirmed via email that the district has been working closely with LA County Public Health officials to formulate guidelines and discuss reopening options as the pandemic continues to evolve.
“At this time, we do not have updates on in-person plans,” Chang said. “We are following the news closely and attending sessions with the county health office, district compliance teams and site teams weekly while working closely with local agencies.”
According to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, new statistics have shown that coronavirus cases are reaching all-time highs as the state has seen a 1.7 percent growth in the past month. It is due to these circumstances that the district has been more reserved about what information they choose to release regarding the spring semester.
Outside of the administration’s planning, certain aspects of the fall semester have left Brahmas with mixed opinions about distance learning, with many hoping for change in the spring.
“On one hand, it’s pretty nice that school is over earlier and you have more time to do whatever you want,” junior Eileen Zu said by Instagram. “But, on the other hand, it does feel a little depressing to jump between links day in and day out.”
As a way of fixing the mundane consistency of distance learning, many students are hoping that the schedule will be adjusted to allow for more time in each class period.
“I just wish the administration could have allowed for longer class time so that we could learn a bit more, because, truthfully, 40 minutes is a bit [short],” junior Cassie Nam said via text.
Parents of the Brahma community are also anticipating that the school will put a stronger emphasis on opportunities for students to get more involved.
“Being strategically located and wanting community involvement, there ought to be more parking lot drive through events taking place on a monthly basis,” Annalisa Gore, a member of the MAG 7 parent organization, said via email.
An even more pressing issue that needs to be addressed is how a student’s home life can affect their education. Although the school has issued laptops to students in need of them, some students do not have the luxury of a secluded area where they can learn undisturbed.
“A students’ wifi availability, technological limits and overall home situation, whether that be their mental state or health of their family, all have the potential to significantly hinder their learning,” senior Hilal Balik said via text.
Though these limitations are ones that go hand in hand with remote circumstances, there are various practices that many believe the school might implement to minimize the negative effects that one’s home life may have from online learning.
“Rather than sitting at a screen for six minutes straight, giving more time between classes would give students the chance to move and recharge before their next class,” Balik said. (Breaks between classes are actually five minutes.)
However, if the school is given the choice to have in-person classes, some are hoping that the school will opt to resume lessons on campus, once it’s permitted, for those willing to attend.
“Once it’s safe, the students should be allowed to have the option of attending in-person classes,” Gore said. “There should be extra measures of monitoring social distancing and safety while enforcing face masks, handwashing and regularly wiping all common areas down.”
Under the current circumstances, however, many are adamant that the spring semester should remain remote.
“It simply doesn’t make sense to do in-person classes next semester before there is a vaccine or cure that is widely accessible,” junior Nathan Chun said. “We’ve worked hard this first semester to flatten the curve, going back would waste those efforts.”