students

USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes

USC students are being asked to stay home and continue their education online in the fall amid the coronavirus crisis. <span class="copyright">(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)</span>
USC students are being asked to stay home and continue their education online in the fall amid the coronavirus crisis. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Amid the alarming surge in coronavirus spread, USC announced it will no longer bring all undergraduates back to campus for the fall semester and will move to mainly online classes, reversing an earlier decision to welcome students back for a hybrid model.

The decision, announced by Provost Charles Zukoski late Wednesday night, came the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced tougher restrictions on indoor activities. Zukoski recommended that students not return to campus for the semester and instead continue their education online.

“The once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of our lives — the way we interact, work, and socialize — and with each new permutation of the pandemic, we must find ways to thrive,” Zukoski wrote.

“Given the continuing safety restrictions and

Read More

Students react to colleges’ reopening plans with mix of optimism, fear

Arriving on campus kick-starts a year of firsts for college freshmen, and Abbey Shea was excited about all of them. Her first introduction to new roommates who may become lifelong friends, first semester away from home, first foray into independence.

And then her Port Orange, Florida, high school postponed its graduation ceremony because of the coronavirus. Uncertainty set in, and Shea braced herself for “a new normal,” she said — a college experience far different from the social mecca she’d imagined. 

“I’m trying to open myself up more,” said Shea, 18, who selected Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale as much for its diverse student population as for academic reasons. Now, she worries pandemic-related rules will smother her interpersonal goals. “I know it’s not going to be the same.”

Though Nova, a private university, has yet to publish a comprehensive outline for the fall semester, the Florida State University System’s

Read More

Online or in the classroom, teachers and students must show up every day, new rules say

Observing physical distance, first-grade teacher Caitlin Hicks gives an air hug to Sid Solomon, 6, as she meets students one final time in June, when students pick up schoolwork left behind after Center Street Elementary in El Segundo closed in March. <span class="copyright">(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Observing physical distance, first-grade teacher Caitlin Hicks gives an air hug to Sid Solomon, 6, as she meets students one final time in June, when students pick up schoolwork left behind after Center Street Elementary in El Segundo closed in March. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

When it comes to education, the new state budget goes beyond providing $70.5 billion in funding for K-12 schools — it sets fundamental accountability rules for a new era of distance learning in California by requiring teachers to take online attendance and document student learning.

The budget bill, which Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign, anticipates that schools will continue to rely heavily on online instruction when campuses reopen in the fall. It also implicitly acknowledges the deep learning losses of the last semester, especially among students from low-income families, when school systems struggled to get all students online.

The new

Read More

As universities plan for students’ return amid coronavirus, some schools worry about risky ‘culture’

Heather Adams, a rising junior at American University, recently came to terms with a new reality: she won’t be heading back to campus in Washington, D.C. this fall. Though her school announced precautions to help keep students safe from the novel coronavirus, Adams said she wasn’t convinced.

“It feels like they are opening up irresponsibly and for their own benefit to get more money and I don’t feel like they’re really taking our safety into account as much as they need to,” Adams said.

Dana Damiani, a rising senior at Nazareth College in New York, however, isn’t about to miss her last year.

“I decided to go back because I have one year left and I trust my professors and the university to keep me safe,” said Damiani. “I am not going to stay home when I have the chance to be with my friends and take classes on campus.”

Read More

Thousands of community college students withdraw after a lost semester amid coronavirus

Stevie Carpenter, a graduate of L.A. City College, stands in front of the closed campus. Carpenter is planning to transfer to UC Davis this fall, but his withdrawal from an online class could put those plans in jeopardy. <span class="copyright">(Gabriella Angotti-Jones/Los Angeles Times)</span>
Stevie Carpenter, a graduate of L.A. City College, stands in front of the closed campus. Carpenter is planning to transfer to UC Davis this fall, but his withdrawal from an online class could put those plans in jeopardy. (Gabriella Angotti-Jones/Los Angeles Times)

Stevie Carpenter dropped out of high school, earned his GED, enrolled at L.A. City College and at age 25 has been accepted to attend UC Davis this fall, where he plans to study neurobiology.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown another major challenge at him: online classes. Carpenter couldn’t keep up with general chemistry, a requirement for his major.

“I couldn’t take chemistry without a teacher…. It’s difficult to just read a book and go off the examples,” he said.

Instead, he received an “excused” withdrawal, jeopardizing his admission to UC Davis and threatening his plans to become the first in his family of 10 children to attend

Read More

Run-DMC Legend Inspires NYC Students On Virtual Field Trip

NEW YORK CITY, NY — Young people from more than 150 schools who have been isolated during the coronavirus pandemic — forced to embrace distance learning and see dreams for proms, senior days and other long-time traditions derailed —were able to come together last week during a virtual field trip for more than 1,000 New York City students.

The presentation, “Let’s Talk About It,” was hosted by the United Federation of Teachers and Road Recovery, a not-for-profit organization founded by Gene Bowen and Jack Bookbinder. Road Recovery focuses on helping young people “battle addiction and other adversities by harnessing the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge, and resources,” according to the group’s mission statement.

The virtual field trip featured Daryl McDaniels of the groundbreaking hip hop group Run-DMC, who spoke passionately about his experience with alcoholism, fame, recovery

Read More

The search for students who went missing from class during COVID-19

DETROIT — Principal Jacqueline Dungey was searching for one of her kindergartners.

She’d called every number she had for his family. She’d sent urgent notes to his parents. She’d reached out to a social worker who’d worked with his family in the past.

But more than a month after the coronavirus threat forced the New Paradigm Loving Academy in Detroit to move its classes online, the little boy, Legend, hadn’t been in touch with his teachers. His family had not shown up for the meals the school distributes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No one seemed to know where he was.

Dungey was determined to find him.

“I just wanted to make sure he was safe,” she said.

Legend was among about a dozen Loving students who went missing in the weeks after COVID-19 began battering this community. Panic, sickness and death sent many Detroiters into financial and emotional turmoil, scattering

Read More

Tracking down students who have disappeared from class

DETROIT — Principal Jacqueline Dungey was searching for one of her kindergartners.

She’d called every number she had for his family. She’d sent urgent notes to his parents. She’d reached out to a social worker who’d worked with his family in the past.

But more than a month after the coronavirus threat forced the New Paradigm Loving Academy in Detroit to move its classes online, the little boy, Legend, hadn’t been in touch with his teachers. His family had not shown up for the meals the school distributes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No one seemed to know where he was.

Dungey was determined to find him.

“I just wanted to make sure he was safe,” she said.

Legend was among about a dozen Loving students who went missing in the weeks after COVID-19 began battering this community. Panic, sickness and death sent many Detroiters into financial and emotional turmoil, scattering

Read More

When coronavirus closed schools, some Detroit students went missing from class. These educators had to find them.

DETROIT — Principal Jacqueline Dungey was searching for one of her kindergartners.

She’d called every number she had for his family. She’d sent urgent notes to his parents. She’d reached out to a social worker who’d worked with his family in the past.

But more than a month after the coronavirus threat forced the New Paradigm Loving Academy in Detroit to move its classes online, the little boy, Legend, hadn’t been in touch with his teachers. His family had not shown up for the meals the school distributes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No one seemed to know where he was.

Dungey was determined to find him.

“I just wanted to make sure he was safe,” she said.

Legend was among about a dozen Loving students who went missing in the weeks after COVID-19 began battering this community. Panic, sickness and death sent many Detroiters into financial and emotional turmoil, scattering

Read More