Covid-19 cases have been skyrocketing in the past couple of months which leads to the question of whether or not schools will shut down and go back online, develop a hybrid plan, or stay in-person. Many districts in the Midwest, as well as some on the East Coast, have shut down their schools due to Covid-19 cases rising higher and higher each day.
There have been many absences due to people contracting the virus, including teachers and students. This has caused many quarantining for students and teachers which led to a great amount of shortages in staff. There has also been a shortage of substitute teachers. Senora Miranda, a Spanish teacher at Mayfair, has been impacted by the virus and said, “It’s a lot of work for us as teachers when we do complete distance learning because it's hard to communicate with students when everyone had different wifi and sometimes people lose connection, a lot of students get disengaged because they can’t process the information they are being taught, personally for me, it is very stressful.”
Online school sounds like the best option during these situations we are in right now, which many students seem to prefer. As more and more students contract the virus from other classmates, more students are having to stay at home. A person on campus who has Covid-19 has to stay at home for at least 10 days. If they are exposed, and don’t have Covid and they feel well, then they have to stay at home for 5 days. Junior Donny Brooks’ opinion on the possible shutting down of schools is, “I think school should shut down because there are over 30 teachers absent and many of the students in my class are absent and it’s for teachers to concentrate on people who are in-person and those who are quarantining.”
Some students struggled last year with online learning which makes them think if they will have to struggle the same as last year. Many seniors want to spend their last year of high school in person rather than online or hybrid.
Junior Lee Salvador said, “I think it’s fine and it’s a very safe choice of limiting a soon to be expected spike of the coronavirus” he continues by saying that “if possible, I will feel totally okay going back online because last year I was at home being secured and I wasn’t exposed to anyone around me who was tested positive. Overall, it is a safe move but education-wise it’s going to damage a lot of students.”
The following was emailed to us by our superintendent, Tracy McSparren. Regarding AB130 as it pertains to schools NOT being able to shut down:
“I want to share that despite the surge in cases in Los Angeles County as we engage in calls with other educational officials, there is no intention or plan for schools to close and switch to remote learning. Remote learning from last school year is no longer allowed. AB130, which allowed distance learning, was limited to the 20-21 school year. BUSD strongly supports keeping our schools open. We know that our students need school not only for academic reasons, and also social emotional health. Students who are out due to testing positive or close contact, do have the option of participating in short-term Independent Study through their school site.”