Education During a Pandemic: Students, Teachers Navigate Virtual Learning and Shifting Conditions

Destiny Viator

By Collin Breaux | Email: | Twitter: @collin_breaux

UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 28, 45:40 p.m.—Capistrano Unified School District campuses could reopen for in-person instruction in mid-to-late September.

Below is the initial version of this story published below on Friday, Aug. 28, at 3 a.m.

Amy Hemphill spent the end of the first week of the new school year teaching in an empty classroom—sort of.

Hemphill, an English teacher at JSerra Catholic High School, a private school in San Juan Capistrano, was conducting a virtual class with her students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A screen of their faces was displayed on a board in her classroom, which was unusually quiet. Hemphill communicated with them through a laptop computer.

JSerra Catholic High School English teacher Amy Hemphill talks to her students during a virtual class on Friday, Aug. 21. Photo: Collin Breaux. 

“For every teacher, this was like being a

Read More

Wildfires Set School Plans Ablaze For More Than 70,000 Students

Destiny Viator

Already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, schools in rural areas like Bonny Doon must now contend with wildfires and related problems like blackouts, poor air quality and damaged internet infrastructure.

Kristie Summerrill immediately began texting her kindergartners’ parents to check if they were safe as the CZU Lightning Complex fires forced mass evacuations in Bonny Doon, the rural community northwest of Santa Cruz where the elementary school had just recently begun online instruction.

Many of her kindergartners’ families, some who’d lost their homes to wildfire, were sheltering at the Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, a mom told Summerrill. So the teacher and her husband drove their van to the hotel armed with seven bags filled with snacks, water, food, games and supplies, unsure if it would even be of any help or comfort to families without homes.

“The moment she (the mom) opened the door and saw me

Read More

‘Who is standing up for us?’- Black, rural students left behind as U.S. schools go online

Destiny Viator

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With coronavirus sweeping through their rural district, the children of Francis Marion School in Perry County, Alabama, started school online this week. But for many, logging on for class was out of the question.

Only about half of the school’s 600-odd students have reliable internet at home and one in five has no connection at all, said principal Cathy Trimble.

“Our district cannot afford to get devices for our students. And then the biggest thing is connectivity. No broadband,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Perry County is one of the poorest in the state, and Francis Marion School ranks near the bottom of Alabama schools on test scores. Ninety-nine percent of its students are Black.

As the pandemic forces schools across the country to switch to virtual learning, a technology gap that has existed for decades has suddenly become visible and of urgent concern.

Read More

13 Gift Ideas For College Students

Destiny Viator

Back-to-school season this year will be a bit different from before. One reason is that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many students are forced to start or continue their studies remotely, as colleges across America are forced to close their doors to avoid the spread of COVID-19. As in the case of previous years, though, they will still need many things that will help make their studies and off-times more fun and engaging.

Be they for students studying on campus or remotely, at home or living in dorms, there are gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on any college student in your life. These range from big stuff such as gadgets and fridges to small trinkets such as pens and notebooks. All are guaranteed to give those beginning or continuing their college life a head start.

The following gift ideas below are sure to help

Read More

Arizonans can file complaints using hotline, website for businesses breaking COVID-19 rules | Coronavirus in Arizona

Destiny Viator

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizonans who spot reopened businesses who are not complying with the restrictions to help stop the coronavirus spread can now send their complaints to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Starting on Thursday, people who want to file a complaint can call the COVID-19 Compliance Hotline at 1-844-410-2157. They can also submit a complaint online through the ADHS website. State officials say local or the state health department will then investigate the complaints.

3 Arizona counties, including Maricopa, could meet benchmarks to reopen businesses Thursday

The businesses that this would impact would include indoor gyms, bars serving food, indoor theaters, and water parks/tubing. The ones that are allowed to be open must have approval from the state.

According to ADHS, Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties are expected to meet benchmarks for businesses to reopen on Thursday. They’ll be in the “moderate community spread level” range, so there will still be tough restrictions. Bars and nightclubs can have 50%

Read More