Local public and private school coronavirus updates

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Abby Cason, Staff Writer

Since both public and private schools throughout California have officially closed due to the coronavirus, there have been many changes in the lives of both students and teachers. For many, lessons are now being taught through a completely new medium with altered daily schedules. I talked to a few students attending schools throughout San Diego to ask them how their school is responding to coronavirus, if it is an effective learning method, and if they are enjoying it. 

Students at La Jolla High School, which is a public high school, use Google Classroom as well as other educational sites (i.e. GoFormative, TurnItIn.com, and ALEKS) to conduct online learning. During most of April, the students were typically assigned work on these different sites to turn in or just practice because they could not receive graded assignments until April 27th. And even after this date, their grades cannot be lowered beyond how they were on March 13th, which was the end of their quarter 3. 

I talked to one student from LJHS, and they said each of their classes has one Zoom call per week where the teacher discusses what their plans are for the coming week and so forth. They also have designated office hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They said that they are enjoying it right now but would never want to have to resort to this type of learning again after this school year. 

Students at the School of Performing and Creative Performing Arts, which is a public performing arts high school, regularly attend lots of arts classes including singing, dancing, and theatre. Now, during quarantine, different teachers have differing teaching alternatives depending on the nature of the course.  For the dance classes, they usually do Zoom classes and do typical warm-ups and stretches. The teachers send videos of choreography to learn, and they have to present their dancing over Zoom. For singing classes, they have to record themselves singing a song based on the specific requirements of their teachers. The academic classes are just doing regular Zoom classes. 

At Cathedral Catholic High School, a private high school, students have been partaking in asynchronous learning for all of their classes. Their attendance is based on the submission of their assignments. They can meet with their teachers and ask any questions during certain times, which is very similar to the LJCDS office hours. However, they have no formal classes over Zoom, and their independent work is the substitute.

Students at Canyon Crest Academy, which is a public San Diego charter high school, said that some teachers use the Zoom meetings for their classes, while others just assign homework and classwork on Google Classroom and give independent class time instead of Zoom meetings. The student who I talked to from Canyon Crest Academy said that school is pretty busy right now because of the amount of work being assigned. 

Even though the teaching methods at each of the schools are slightly different, the overall feelings toward the new schedules and learning methods are very similar. The changes in the schedules have been hard to adjust to, but people seem to prefer the more lenient schedules. On the other hand, many of the students that I talked to said the additional work that teachers have been assigning has made them even busier than before, making them more stressed out. Even with these complaints in mind, we all know that schools are doing their best to balance continued learning with a need to be flexible during these stressful times.