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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

Students find ways to do classwork during school closures due to Tropical Storm Hilary

Campuses will reopen on Tuesday.

Today, all Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) campuses were closed for instruction due to the potential dangers of Tropical Storm Hilary and to ensure campuses were safe for students. 

“Without the ability to inspect schools, we cannot determine if there are power lines down or tree limbs down, potentially bringing injury or worse to our students or workforce,” LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in an Aug. 20 press conference with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and other emergency officials.

Tropical Storm Hilary brought record-breaking amounts of rainfall in Southern California on Aug. 20. The storm was originally Hurricane Hilary when it originated in the southern Pacific Ocean before it was downgraded to a tropical storm this past weekend. The last time a hurricane hit California was in 1939, making Hurricane Hilary a once-in-a-lifetime event. During the storm on Aug. 20, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in the Ojai area occurred at 2:41 p.m. and was felt throughout Los Angeles. 

“I did know the hurricane was coming but I honestly didn’t take it seriously because it was so surprising for me to process that a hurricane was going to hit California,” junior Ikra Arif said. “So I really didn’t prepare at all.”

On Sunday afternoon, LAUSD made the decision to close schools on Aug. 21 to prevent harm to students and school staff members during the commute to and from campus in case of flooding or unsafe road conditions. 

Such district-wide school closures have occurred before. LAUSD campuses closed on Dec. 15, 2015, due to a bomb threat that turned out to be false, and on Dec. 6, 2017, because of harmful air quality caused by surrounding wildfires in Sylmar, Ventura County and the Sepulveda Pass. Campuses were also closed during the January 2019 week-long teachers’ strike, the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down schools on March 13, 2020 and the Service Employees International Union Local 99 strike from May 21 to 23 earlier this year. 

Students spent Monday doing homework, reading books, playing instruments and remaining busy while cooped up in the house. Despite the school closures, teachers assigned work by 10:30 a.m. via Schoology, the online learning management system that students use to access and submit schoolwork. However, due to the fact that most students keep their books in their lockers, they had to find alternative methods to get the work done.

“I was trying to find some books on Google,” junior Diego Vera said. “I was trying to understand what I needed to do because they gave instructions on what to do.”

Others spent time working on other tasks.

“I plan on searching which university I plan on applying to,” senior Alejandra Iniguez said. 

Although schools will reopen tomorrow, junior Jesse Medrano believes that closing the school was an overreaction.

“I felt that schools took an extreme approach to the storm,” Medrano said. “It wasn’t that bad, in my opinion, but they still closed it down.”

Others, however, feel that the closing of all LAUSD campuses was a necessary precaution and are glad the step was taken. 

“I think it’s good because they are making sure people are safe,” Vera said.

Print Editor-in-Chief Alan Ruiz contributed to this report. 

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About the Contributors
Francesca Sisk
Francesca Sisk, Staff Writer
Francesca Sisk is currently a junior and a staff writer for The Pearl Post. She hopes to maintain her straight A’s this school year and really lean into things she must do in order to get into her dream college, California Institute of Technology. Another goal of hers is to find creative outlets she enjoys and actually make time for them. Although she likes to talk and socialize (a lot), Francesca appreciates the little moments she has to herself when she can gather her thoughts and reset.
Yusuf Syed
Yusuf Syed, Staff Writer
Yusuf Syed is in his first year on the staff of The Pearl Post as a staff writer. He is in his junior year and hopes to get good grades and go to a concert. When he is not at school, he is part of the ISVW (Islamic Center of West Valley) community. He likes to go to the beach once in a while, listen to music and hang out with his friends.
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