Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 8

How Are AUHSD and Other School Districts Handling COVID-19?

by Mateo Requejo-Tejada

Graphic by Marco Perez-Lorente

With the global pandemic disrupting daily life, schools across California and the U.S. have tried to adapt to the chaos as quickly as possible, and make changes accordingly as updates on the virus can alter decisions and actions taken by those running the government on a daily basis. In our district alone we have seen how fast those in charge of education have had to quickly alter the way students receive education. Teachers have had to completely change the manner in which they educate students because they can no longer teach from face to face but rather face to screen. Educators all over the Acalanes High School District have had to switch their course material online as well as other School Districts in Contra Costa County. In order to face some of the new challenges of online learning our district has been giving out Chromebooks to those that don’t have access to a computer. Mt. Diablo Unified School Diistrict has also been handing out Chromebooks to those who need it and provided other resources to those that may need it. The District is providing free meals to those that are in need, at select schools and cancelling recurring payments from their food department. Several other districts like San Ramon Unified School District, Liberty Union High School District, and our school district, have also been providing free meals. These free meals can be found at schools like Foothill Middle School (Mt. Diablo Unified School District), Campolindo High School (AUHSD) and at Las Lomas High School (AUHSD). There is still a lot that many districts have yet to determine, like graduation ceremonies and events. Monte Vista of San Ramon Unified School District has decided that they will hold a virtual graduation ceremony and seniors can come pick up caps and gowns from the school, but events like Grad Night have been cancelled and they are offering refunds. Las Lomas, and other schools, have yet to announce cancellation of events as they wait for updates from health officials and the California Department of Education. College Park (MDUSD) has not cancelled events like Grad Night and still offers tickets to the event on its website. College Park’s website reads “In these uncertain times, we are trying to remain flexible and hopeful that we can still have a Grad Night celebration. If and when the Shelter In Place regulations are lifted, the location will be Dave & Busters in Concord.” Summer School programs are still uncertain throughout all districts and their schools, however it is speculated that summer school in the Acalanes High School District could be held through virtual learning. On what summer school will look like, the AUHSD website says “We continue to monitor the guidance provided by County Health Services and a decision has not yet been made as to whether Summer School will be online/distance learning or traditional face-to-face instruction.” The other districts websites didn’t make it clear as to what the situation was with summer school.  With constant updates from health officials in response to the pandemic it’s incredibly difficult for the schools to make plans based on an uncertain future. But with each new challenge our school district and others throughout California will continue to do everything they can to overcome these challenges and ensure every student gets the education they deserve.