With just two months left into the school year, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plans to reopen campuses are absurd. Although students will be able to retrieve a small part of their high school experience, everything will still be managed online, through a screen.
This change will undoubtedly cause disturbances to the routines of both students and teachers. Students have already adapted their sleeping and working schedules to fit distance learning and earlier start times as Advanced Placement testing begins may lead to higher stress levels and underperformance.
Students still won’t be able to return to regular in-person classes. Each student will sit in their advisory teacher’s room all day while they still participate in their classes through Zoom. Essentially, the students are going out of their way and potentially putting their families at risk for COVID-19 just to attend Zoom classes from a different location.
All returning students are expected to stay in the same seat in their class for the entire day. Students who have become accustomed to the relative freedoms distance learning grants will be expected to stay in the same spot for the entire school day and may lead to students becoming easily distracted.
This still doesn’t address the questions students, faculty and families have about the handling of the students while on campus. We’ve become accustomed to eating between sessions and using the restroom regularly. Although LAUSD has mentioned cleaning the restrooms at night, there’s still the question of how often we can be let out and how many people could be out at a time.
LAUSD can not reasonably expect students and teachers to easily accept and adapt to these new changes. After a year of learning from home and taking regular, flexible breaks, students will be expected to change how they learn and teachers will be forced to teach their own classes while monitoring other students.
Although distance learning has posed many difficulties to students, this sudden change will cause even more unnecessary stress. It is more sensible to finish this semester at home and reopen at the start of the next school year when students and teachers can return and adapt to changes for the entire semester, not just a few weeks.
These plans are underdeveloped and show no consideration for the people who will have to adapt to them in a very short time. LAUSD’s rush to reopen displays a lack of critical thought and consideration of how stressful events and possibly dangerous environments will negatively impact the community it’s supposed to serve.