DPMHS students worry about possible school closure for the rest of the year


Alondra Nuno

Starting on March 18, LAUSD has partnered with the Red Cross to open 60 ‘grab and go’ food centers that will provide breakfast and lunch to students. Families can stop by from 7-10 a.m. to pick up meals. This food center is located at Maclay Middle School and there are 15 other centers in the San Fernando Valley.

By Valery Barrera, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School

Many students, especially seniors, are not happy with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that schools will most likely remain closed for the rest of the school year.

“Don’t anticipate schools are going to open up in a week,” Newsom said in a March 17 press conference at the state’s emergency headquarters. “It’s unlikely that many of these schools – few if any – will open before the summer break.”

Along with having to stay indoors to minimize the spread of the coronavirus and the unlikely chance schools will be open before the summer break to keep students from contracting the virus, seniors have mixed feelings toward this decision.

“Years going through my education experience for my last senior activities to be potentially canceled, stings,” senior Anna Equils said. “School has social parts to it, so becoming isolated from those I’ve spent quality time with is very new to me. But I am not mad at the virus. Everything happens for a reason.”

As of now, senior events have not been canceled but seniors are aware that it’s a possibility.

On day three of the schools’ closure, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) opened 60 “grab & go” centers, which provide two meals every day hoping to feed more than half a million families. The centers, including 16 in the San Fernando Valley, are in partnership with the Red Cross.

The coronavirus has greatly impacted many lives of families and students. The sudden changes in academic learning are one of the major factors students and teachers must now adapt to.

Pierce College, which offers a Theatre 100 class to Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) students during period one, recently sent out a statement informing students that all in-person classes have been suspended from March 16-28. All classes will begin online education on March 30 through the end of the spring semester. Many DPMHS students also take courses at Pierce outside of the one offered on campus.

“Honestly, I feel like it was coming but it doesn’t really hurt until you realize that you’re going to most likely not walk across the stage and get your diploma,” senior Mia Garcia said. “I think that’s the toughest part for me, not prom or grad night, just walking across the stage, hearing my name.”

Newsom’s announcement comes as students and teachers are adjusting to remote learning.

Biology and health teacher James Morrison is aware of the effect online learning can have on his students. He hopes to familiarize himself with Schoology when it comes to online learning and testing.

“(Online learning) will have a negative impact because (students) will be forced to work and understand like responsible college students, which most of them are not mentally ready for,” Morrison said. “Also, they will not be able to ask questions as in a school setting. The lack of human interaction will also start to sap the mental strength of a lot of the student population.”

These new adjustments hold a great impact on the way students must individually focus on their assignments. Instead of learning with a teacher present, students must learn alone. Some students enjoy the liberty of remote learning, while others don’t.

“Working at home gives me a more calmer work environment and it allows me to work at my own pace,” sophomore Chareena Pascua said. “Still, it goes back to not always understanding my work because I don’t have a teacher to show me visually.”

Pascua is one of the many students at DPMHS awaiting to take an AP exam in May. College Board announced that on March 30 they will hold a meeting where they will discuss finalizing streamlined AP exam options that would allow students to test at home. As for the SAT exams, the March and May testing dates have been canceled but the plan to continue providing future test dates.

“It’s so much easier to study or learn about a subject when I’m in class and not behind a computer screen or working on a large packet,” sophomore Diego Hernandez said. “ I’m known to procrastinate and especially now I’ve become more irresponsible. I need someone to anchor me to my studies.”

Staff Writer Valeria Luquin was a contributing writer to this story.

This story was originally published on The Pearl Post on March 19, 2020.