The Mirror-Mar2021-ISSUE 3

TheVNHSMirror

The student-produced newspaper at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, California. Awarded the prestigious NSPA Pacemaker Award, the CSPA Silver Crown and 2021 1st place SCJEA Newspaper.

12 | MARCH 2021 |

| C O V E R S T O R Y |

theMIRROR

INFOGRAPHIC | THE MIRROR

How an LAUSD hybrid-model classroom might look:

In the classroom: Students are taught with a

lesson delivered by the teacher over Zoom in

a quiet space with a stable internet connection

provided through the school WiFi.

Teacher teaches: The teacher delivers their

lesson online to all students via Zoom, even

if students are in the classroom. There will be

little to no individual interaction with students

in the classroom.

SOURCE | LAUSD

At home: On alternating days, students

continue to learn online through a lesson

delivered over Zoom and complete independent

assignments from home.

Back to the BASICS: Continued from p.11

safety upon returning to school.

So while students will be in the

classroom with their advisory teacher,

all direct teaching will be prohibited

except for the advisory period itself.

Instead, students will attend their

online classes with provided Chromebooks

and noise-canceling headphones.

Teachers will also be teaching

their classes through their laptops

with their masks on at all times.

Students will not actively participate

in P.E. or other physical activity

classes, like music or dance in the

hybrid model to avoid chaos within

the classroom. They will complete

alternate assignments instead.

“It will probably need some getting

used to,” Principal Gardea said.

The primary purpose of reopening

schools is for students to have a stable

internet connection and a quiet space

in which they can concentrate on

participating in all their classes.

“Coming to school will allow them

[students] to use the internet at

school and make it so they don’t drop

from class and can use both their

video and audio at the same time,”

Principal Gardea said.

Students whose Advisory teacher

has not yet returned will be grouped

with a teacher who is on campus.

Breakfast will be served in a Grab

’n Go bag from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

For lunch, students will be dismissed

by building to pick up food from the

cafeteria and will eat it outside while

maintaining social distance.

Along with ensuring classrooms

follow social distancing guidelines

of a six-feet between chairs to limit

the spread of covid-19, the school will

also be adding designated routes for

student entrance and exits.

Chairs, tables, doorknobs, light

switches, handrails and other hightouch

surfaces will be sanitized daily

along with classroom materials and

supplies and restroom surfaces and

sink handles. Air conditioning filters

will be changed monthly for proper

air circulation.

All drinking fountains will be closed

and may not be used.

If a student on campus tests positive

for covid-19, everyone within

the same cohort and building will be

notified immediately and asked to

quarantine. Additionally, everyone

on campus will be notified. Contact

tracing through the Daily Pass app

will ensure everyone in contact with

the individual is notified and quarantined.

Los Angeles County officials announced

a timeline for students

under 18 to be vaccinated on March

17. All students ages 16 and over will

become qualified for the covid-19 vaccine

starting May 1.

This may open the possibility of hybrid

learning including direct teaching

although LAUSD has yet to release a

statement in regards to the matter.

As of March 19, of the 1375 surveys

that have been returned, only 17

percent of students have chosen the

hybrid-learning model.

While, so far, a majority of parents

are choosing to continue the online-only

learning model, schools will still reopen.

Although there is no set date for

reopening, there is still the possibility

that schools will reopen even later

than April based on changes to levels

of the virus in coming weeks,.

OPINION I’m not risking my health just to

attend online school in the classroom

FATIAH LAWAL

Guest columnist

What seemingly started as an extended

spring break turned into a year-long

debacle. But now there seems to be light

at the end of the tunnel. Except, that light

doesn’t shine as bright as I’d hope.

Upon hearing our school was going to adopt a hybrid

model, I was excited. I’d finally get the chance to be back in

the classroom and receive in-person learning.

Soon after I realized that the hybrid model is still virtual

online learning but at school.

Students are going to be locked in one stuffy classroom

all day just to be sitting in front of the same laptop screens

with headphones in their ears. Teachers will lose the luxury

of teaching from the comfort of their own homes and

instead will have to wear a mask the entire time all while

‘‘

trying to engage students virtually.

Teachers and students will all be in the same room but

they will still be distant, just as before.

As someone who has the privilege of a relatively stable

internet connection and a quiet workspace, there is no

point in me returning when I can be learning from home

instead.

I also don’t want to lose the opportunity to dance which

I wouldn’t be able to do with the hybrid model because students

in the classroom will not participate in P.E. or other

physical activities.

I’m also concerned about the safety of teachers. While

they aren’t required to return until they receive a vaccine,

they are definitely feeling the pressure from the district. It

seems absurd for teachers to put their unvaccinated family

members at risk to not even directly teach in the classroom.

While I do not see the purpose of returning to school

without direct teaching or social interaction, I understand

why some other students are choosing to return. Some

homes are too noisy to focus in, or the internet connection

is unstable or the household is simply toxic.

I hope that schools will reopen soon but in a way that is

worth risking my wellbeing for: receiving direct teaching

from all of my teachers.

It seems absurd for teachers to put their unvaccinated family

members at risk to not even directly teach in the classroom.

Returning to

the classroom:

voices

How do you feel about reopening?

‘‘Student

“It is not for me but I think it’s a good idea

for students who don’t have the space

to do virtual learning at home.” — Junior

Fatiah Lawal

There’s no point if we’re doing the same

thing we do at home at school.”

— Junior Anyia Holts

“I feel a bit surprised that they opened so

soon considering the fact that although

cases are going down, the number of

cases are still high. If kids have to go to

school and Zoom there, it is basically the

same thing as now except in a different

location and it just proves we aren’t ready

to be open.” — Junior Isabella Rivera

“I’m glad that school is reopening. I think

it’s beneficial for the students who are

struggling at home because of a toxic

household or because it’s genuinely hard

to concentrate when you have easy access

to your devices.”

— Senior Nicole Nazaire

What would it take for you to return

to in-person learning if you are not

going back in April?

“A better hybrid model that allows you to

actually go to class instead of just online

school on campus.”

— Senior Tristan Timpers

“I would need the number of COVID cases

to go down in order to go back and feel

safer. Teaching would have to be the way

it was before COVID, not Zooming at

school.” — Junior Isabella Rivera

“I would only return if there was no hybrid

learning; if everything was in person.”

— Senior Gasia Excel

“Once everyone gets vaccinated.”

— Senior Maahir Shaheed

17%

HYBRID

(Plan to return)

83%

ONLINE ONLY

(Continue online)

INFOGRAPHIC | THE MIRROR

Choices, choices, choices

Students share whether they will return to campus

with the hybrid-learning model in late April

or continue the online-only learning model.

SOURCE | VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL SURVEY OF 1,375 PARENTS

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