by Paulina Vvedenskaya Lately, the coronavirus, COVID-19, has made a huge impact in Santa Clara County due to its rapid spread. In the last three days, the number of infected people has jumped exponentially. Many colleges such as Stanford and UCB have been closed due to the Coronavirus. However, at the moment, most schools are choosing to remain open.
In an interview with Principal Mrs. Narula, she told us that “[Possible school closures] are very coordinated. All of the schools will have a calm, and systematic response. We will take guidance from the Santa Clara County Dept. of Education and the CDC for any school closure.” Currently, LASD does not have any plans to close any of the district’s schools.
However, some large gatherings have been cancelled after Santa Clara county issued a statement. According to Dr. Sarah Cody, the county’s director of public health, people should practice “social distancing” to slow the spread of the virus. Santa Clara County has banned all indoor gatherings with more than one thousand people. At Blach, there are only about five hundred students, so school will not be cancelled.
In the event that a student or staff member comes into contact with an infected person, he/she will be quarantined and the school will shut down, but students will continue learning online from their homes.
On Thursday, March 5th, teachers had an informational meeting on how to teach online. They practiced using Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and other online teaching platforms. “I don’t generally use Google Classroom, but I have spent the last few days learning how, so now I feel pretty confident. I have three days of lesson plans already prepared,” said Mrs. Mackenzie, an eighth grade English teacher.
If the school closes, the students will still be learning the information, but in a modified way. The assignments will be slightly different, to accommodate the students learning at home. This could mean that a group project will become smaller and less complex, because the students will be working on their own.
Many students wonder about how tests will be taken. “We will have to rely on an honor system. . .” said Mrs. Narula, “students will have to be honest about not cheating. However, I don’t predict a problem with this. Blach students are honest.”