LOS ANGELES - Schools across California are closed for the remainder of the academic year, but Governor Gavin Newsom says he’s confident learning will continue at homes.
“We are increasing class times but increasing it at home and fulfilling our obligations of distance learning and other mechanisms to make sure we’re educating our kids,” Newsom said Wednesday during a press conference.
A mother outside the East Hollywood Middle School had two young boys with her so I was a little hesitant to interrupt but I wanted her reaction to the breaking news that the state of California would keep its schools shut for the rest of the academic year.
"I won't come any closer”, stated FOX 11’s Phil Shuman... it’s the new normal and I could see the relief on her face as we talked from about 15 feet.
She accepted the news like others that I have spoken with, without surprise, with some measure of resignation that this was expected and it just means more hardship and disruption.
But when it's in the context of maintaining social distancing and safety for schoolchildren, teachers, staff, parents, everyone, how can you argue with it?
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Governor Newsom and education leaders at the state and local levels are talking about a renewed emphasis on ''distance learning” like online classes, but we've all seen the reports of how few students are doing that religiously.
Still the governor says “We will continue to educate and feed our kids.''
In LA, the nations' second largest school district, school board member Nick Melvoin says he's already having discussions about extending summer school or perhaps starting the next school year early.
So many unanswered questions... what about SATs, college admissions, graduation plans and even the basics of internet connection. Luckily some help is on the way, Newsom announced a new partnership with Google that will allow Californians to have three months free access to high quality internet access. Google will also be providing thousands of Chromebook to students.
Melvoin might have been speaking for everyone everywhere when he said “we're trying to adapt.''