All over the country, Governors have been in talks with their Schools Superintendents to determine the right course of action regarding the remainder of the school year amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The immediate switch to distance learning or online learning is affecting all involved; students, teachers and parents, especially high school and college seniors. Unfortunately, high school and college seniors expecting to graduate this year won’t get to experience all that comes with being a senior.
In the DMV area, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on Monday, March 23 that all public and private school buildings will remain closed until the end of the year, the second state in the U.S. to make this move (Kansas was the first). On April 17, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that DC public schools buildings would remain closed AND the school year will end three weeks early, on May 29. Bowser said “Closing our school buildings has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in this pandemic. We know schools are a safe place. We are very focused on how to get back to school and how we do that in a safe way.” In Maryland, Superintendent Karen B. Salmon extended school closures to May 15 (as opposed to April 24), saying the state will use the next month to decide how to move forward. Although school buildings across the nation are closed, learning is continuing in a different format, online.
How do high school and college seniors feel about not being able to participate in a traditional graduation ceremony? How are teachers adapting to online teaching with no prior training? How are parents adjusting to assisting their children with distance learning?