Classes for Wasco High School and Wasco Independent High School will start with distance learning only on Aug. 12.
Robert Cobb, assistant superintendent of the Wasco Union High School District, announced last week that the beginning of school was not what the district envisioned when it had almost completed preparations for the new school year; however, plans had to change with the increase in covid-19 cases in Kern County.
The district realized that their original goal of allowing students a couple of days of in-person class will not be possible for the fall quarter.
“As of now, it appears starting school under distance learning is the only feasible path forward,” Cobb said. “While this is the safest strategy to minimize potential covid-19 exposure and risk, it brings a number of challenges to the learning environment.”
Cobb said the distance learning will be different and improved from the experience of last spring. Regular attendance will be taken, students will need to engage daily during the classroom session, protocols will be placed for students who don’t log on, students are guaranteed internet access, and they will need to pursue a letter grade as opposed to credit/no credit.
Cobb also said distance learning creates a unique challenge for Career Technical Education and hands-on learning. He said that the district is aware that while some classes are compatible with distance learning, others are not, and that “the district will do its best to keep students engaged and provide alternative activities to the hands-on experiences students would have in many courses. Some of those alternative activities may include online simulations and video-based lessons until in-person instruction can be provided.
Cobb said that even though this experience is unprecedented, the district is confident that teachers and staff will continue to provide a quality education and supportive educational environment.
“We all look forward to the return to a traditional school format and the opportunity to open our schools safely when we are allowed to do so,” he said. “Until then, stay safe!”