Timeline of a year in remote learning

From+classes+on+Zoom+to+a+car+parade+for+high+school+graduation%2C+much+has+changed+in+the+Lynbrook+community+since+March+13%2C+2020%2C+the+day+Lynbrook+closed+due+to+the+COVID-19+pandemic.

Graphic illustration by Rachel Wu

From classes on Zoom to a car parade for high school graduation, much has changed in the Lynbrook community since March 13, 2020, the day Lynbrook closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rachel Wu

March 13 marks one year since FUHSD announced that schools would close, and hope of returning dwindled as the school closure extended from April 3 to May 1, then to the rest of semester and rolling into the next school year. With schools operating online, many changes have been made, from a new bell schedule for the 2020-21 school year to modifications to the athletic seasons. Now that an entire year has passed, and there are current plans to implement an in-person hybrid model on April 19, take this opportunity to reflect on everything that happened in this past year of remote learning at Lynbrook through this timeline.

 

On March 13, Principal Maria Jackson made an announcement on the school intercom that school would be closing due to COVID-19. (Photo by Kaylin Li)

March 13, 2020 

During 4th period, Principal Maria Jackson made an announcement on the school intercom that school would be closing due to recommendations by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD). The bell signaling the end of the school day was followed by a mixture of loud cheers and conversations among students, who were both joyous and anxious for what was to come. Starting on March 23, learning shifted from being in classrooms to on-screen instruction with teachers using platforms such as Zoom to conduct their classes. 

FUHSD sent out an email to families on the same day, announcing that the board, in partnership with SCCPHD and the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), had decided to close schools to students for three weeks from March 17 to April 3. The board had also sent an email to the FUHSD community a day before, announcing that all athletic games and competitions would be postponed, effective March 13 until further notice.  

 

March 16, 2020 

Santa Clara County (SCC) released its Shelter-in-Place order which mandated that all individuals currently living in the county were to shelter at their place of residence and maintain a distance of at least six feet from any other person when they were outside of their residence. 

 

On March 21, students held a virtual junior prom using Zoom after it was announced that junior prom was cancelled. (Photo used with permission of Amy Sun)

March 21, 2020

The Class of 2021 hosted Junior Prom, a highly anticipated event among juniors, over Zoom. While the theme for junior prom was originally Under the Moonlight, when the event transferred to Zoom it was nicknamed Under the Zoomlight.  

 

March 25, 2020

In partnership with five other Bay Area counties, Santa Clara County (SCC) decided that school closures would be extended through May 1. In accordance with that decision, all schools in FUHSD remained closed through May 1. 

 

April 1, 2020 

In a letter to Santa Clara County School Communities, SCCOE extended remote learning through the remainder of the school year for all schools in SCC, in accordance with school campuses throughout California. 

Letter: https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1585783025/fuhsdorg/ea6dsynbzzdz1waydzux/SCCOEMessageApril1.pdf 

 

April 11, 2020

In an email, FUHSD announced its decision to drop letter grades and move forward with a credit or or no-credit system for the second semester of the 2019-20 school year. This controversial decision was met with relief and gratitude from some students, as well as disappointment and outrage from a number of parents and students.

 

April 29, 2020

Following the announcement of the new grading system, FUHSD heard from more than 100 speakers, including parents, students and staff, on their perspectives regarding grading in board meetings. To address concerns about encouraging students to stay engaged in distance learning and accurately representing students in the college admissions process, FUHSD announced changes that included sending each student an additional progress report showing the student’s grade at the time of school closure, providing a section for teacher comments in the report card and expanding access to letters of recommendation for seniors by allowing multiple teacher recommendations for colleges that require just one but allow two or more. 

 

 

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June 4, 2020

To recognize the graduating seniors, Lynbrook conducted a car parade for the Class of 2020, which was followed by a virtual graduation ceremony. Starting at the Congregation Beth David parking lot, cars, decorated with colorful drawings, posters and balloons, were met with cheers from friends and family on the sidewalk and staff and photographers at the school parking lot. While the event could not compare to traditional graduation, the car parade was one highlight amid many missed senior events. 

Invite through email: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#search/noreply%40fuhsdorg.myenotice.com/FMfcgxwHNWJRrtSJGpNlgrQftzcwJdNw 

https://lynbrookhs.smugmug.com/2019-20-/Class-of-2020-Graduate-Parade/ 

 

The daily schedule sent to students at the beginning of the school year. Each week consists of four block-day schedules, in addition to Homeroom every Wednesday. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

Aug. 4, 2020

FUHSD released its remote learning schedule for the start of the 2020-21 school year. Each week consists of four block-day schedules, with periods 1, 2, 3 and 7 on Mondays and Thursdays starting at 8:00 a.m., and periods 4, 5 and 6 on Tuesdays and Fridays starting at 9:00 a.m. On Wednesdays, students meet with their 5th period classes for Homeroom to participate in bonding activities and educational modules on topics including sexual harassment, racism and mental wellness. 

https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1596577618/fuhsdorg/ftinm6ecbmp47kiuvlmw/FUHSDRemoteLearningScheduleFall2020.pdf 

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1/#search/noreply%40fuhsdorg.myenotice.com/FMfcgxwJXLcWrGqBjJJCrXhDMXfGWsnF 

 

On Aug. 7, 2020, CIF and CCS released statements regarding athletics for the 2020-21 school year. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

Aug. 7, 2020

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and Central Coast Section (CCS) released statements regarding athletics for the 2020-21 school year, which included a two-season sports schedule with practice-start dates, competition-start dates and season-end dates. Season one’s practice-start date was scheduled for Dec. 14, but the season would be later postponed for FUHSD athletes after it was announced on Dec. 1 that sports practices and conditioning would be canceled through Dec. 21. Although student athletes were understanding of the need to take health precautions, they were still disappointed as the wait for school athletics continued. 

CCS: https://d2o2figo6ddd0g.cloudfront.net/7/j/8x7fkabjpgvs2h/2020-21_Sports_press_release_for_website.pdf

CIF: https://cifstate.org/covid-19/7.20.20_release 

 

Sept. 21, 2020

The Lynbrook App, developed by junior Oliver Ni, junior Joe Lin and senior Michael Zhao, was officially released on the App Store and Google Play, available for all Lynbrook students to download on their own devices. Released in time for Lynbrook ASB’s event: Battle of the Class, the app kept track of students’ spirit points which were earned by submitting photos of a designated theme such as scenic and street. The app also offered many features including school and club announcements, bell schedules and event calendars. With students physically distanced in their homes, the app provided a virtual platform to build participation in school events as well as social connections within its student body. 

 

 

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Sept. 24, 2020

Although SCC had moved from the purple tier into the red tier on Sept. 8, which gave schools the ability to reopen, FUHSD announced in an email that remote learning would continue for the rest of first semester.

 

 

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Nov. 7, 2020

FUHSD held SAT exams at all five of its schools, including Lynbrook, to increase availability of SAT testing locations for its students. In their assigned rooms, students sat in desks six feet apart and wore masks during the exams. Many students expressed gratitude for this opportunity after the closure of many test centers in the spring

 

Nov. 16, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that, due to an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, SCC had moved back into the purple tier, the most restrictive of California’s four COVID tiers, which meant that schools could not open for in-person instruction for regular classes and had to continue distance learning. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, returning back to in-person seemed like something in the distant future. 

 

The schedule of first semester’s Opportunity Week, a substitute for the typically stressful Finals Week students experienced in person. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

Dec. 14, 2020 

Students and teachers began the week with the first day of Opportunity Week, a substitute for the typically stressful Finals Week students experienced in person. As opposed to following the traditional finals format which consisted of big projects and exams that account for roughly 20% of the student’s grade for the class, many teachers provided their students other alternatives to conclude the semester: a typical final exam weighed less on the gradebook, a final project, a cumulative exam the week before or nothing at all. Each day of Opportunity Week, from Dec. 14 to Dec. 17, consisted of one or two classes followed by a 90-minute period for Enrichment time when students could meet with their teachers to ask questions. 

 

 

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Jan. 25, 2021 

In an email, FUHSD announced that the Food Services Department would be offering seven days’ worth of breakfast and lunch packaged in meal kits for anyone under age 18 every Wednesday. This was an increase from the former five days’ worth of meals. Meal kits consisted of a wide array of food items including pre-cooked breakfast burritos to fresh produce such as potatoes and carrots. 

In addition, Lynbrook announced in a separate email that the SCVAL board of managers had decided to move away from the proposed CCS two-season sports schedule and adopt a three-season sports schedule. There is still discussion about whether certain sports teams will be able to participate in the CCS playoffs or state competitions. 

 

On Jan. 26, Lynbrook offered a test administration for the PSAT/NMSQT exam to juniors. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

Jan. 26, 2021 

Lynbrook offered a test administration for the PSAT/NMSQT exam to juniors, later doing the same for sophomores on Feb. 26. With their pencils, calculators and ID cards, many juniors and sophomores stepped foot onto campus, physically coming back to school and entering classrooms for the first time since school closure. 

 

Feb. 5, 2021 

FUHSD announced in an email that its schools would remain in distance learning through April 9, the next seven weeks of the semester, due to the inability of grade 7 through 12 schools in purple tier counties to reopen for in-person instruction. 

 

On Feb. 22, FUHSD released its AP testing schedule for the spring. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

Feb. 22, 2021 

FUHSD released its AP testing schedule for the spring in addition to the option for students to cancel and receive a full refund from College Board. Due to current state and county restrictions, FUHSD, unable to offer the full schedule of AP exams, will be having a hybrid-style test administration with most AP tests conducted at home and Music Theory and Language and Culture exams conducted in person. For all exams administered in person, wearing masks will be required for the duration of the exam. 

FUHSD AP Testing Schedule: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11gUzkMavJTw8Q6IntLBS0LmHPbk_UAQ9/view 

 

March 3, 2021

As COVID-19 cases decreased throughout the county and across the state, SCC entered the red tier, allowing K-12 schools the ability to reopen for in-person instruction after five days out of the purple tier. 

 

On March 7, FUHSD sent out a survey to parents to gauge the level of interest in returning to campus. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

March 7, 2021

FUHSD sent out a survey to parents in which parents could indicate whether they would like to have their children return to campus for the remainder of the school year for an in-person, hybrid model of learning. Parents were given three of the following options to choose from:

  1. To remain in the Remote Learning at Home option for the remainder of the 20-21 school year
  2. To enter into the Hybrid Learning at School option for the remainder of the 20-21 school year
  3. To remain in the Remote Learning at Home option for one or more children and the hybrid Learning at School option for one or more children 

 

Screenshot of FUSHD’s Parent and Community webinar held on March 7 regarding the district’s plans for the remainder of the school year. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

March 9, 2021

FUHSD announced its decision for its schools to return for hybrid, in-person instruction on April 19.

The day before, on March 8, FUHSD hosted a Parent and Community webinar which covered the district’s plans for the remainder of the school year including vaccinations, reopening, athletics, senior activities and CAASPP and AP testing. All students and families will have the choice whether to remain in distance learning or return for the hybrid, in-person model. The hybrid, in-person model would follow safety expectations and guidelines including no more than 12 to 14 students in a classroom and all students and staff required to wear masks at all times. During this, many teachers have received their vaccinations from various vaccination sites, a step closer toward returning back to in-person learning. 

 

The new bell schedule for In-Person Hybrid Learning, which will begin on April 19. (Photo by Rachel Wu)

March 12, 2021

FUHSD released its finalized bell scheduled in anticipation of the start of in-person hybrid instruction. Due to more students planning to return for in-person instruction than schools could accommodate for four days a week while maintaining the distancing requirements, students will be split into two groups, with the first group attending in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays and the second group on Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, all students will be participating remotely. A key difference in the former and new bell schedule is a 15-minute brunch between first and second period as well as fourth and fifth period, as opposed to a 5-minute break.