Schools to keep online format for fall semester

Briana McDonald, Contributor

College campuses across the country reconsider in-person classes as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.

“In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open and when it must close, but learning should never stop,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said during the press conference. “Students, staff and parents all prefer in-classroom instruction; but only if it can be done safely.” 

San Jose City College plans to continue online learning into the fall 2020 semester. 

“All of our classes are going to be back online, and our football season is also getting canceled for now. It is what it is,” said San Jose City College student athlete D.J. Combs. “There is only so much we can do. I think the smartest way to approach this semester is to stay home.” 

Many educational institutions had announced an in-person or hybrid fall semester, but they have now re-adjusted those plans to being entirely online.

“After weeks of developing a very elaborate plan for a hybrid model in the fall, we decided after a serious fraternity outbreak (of COVID-19) that it was just too risky to teach face-to-face,” Chancellor Carol Christ said at a Chronicle of Higher Education event on July 20. 

However, some U.S. universities still plan to hold in-person classes on campus despite rising coronavirus infections.

South Florida is quickly taking its place as the epicenter of the nation’s COVID-19 surge. 

With reports of record numbers of COVID-19 infections, the University of Miami is leaving it to their students to decide if they would like to study on-campus or have a fully remote instruction. 

“The choice before us is not a binary one — keep campus closed or just open it,” University of Miami President Julio Frenk wrote in a July 21 statement. “Instead we must creatively devise intermediate solutions that are both adaptive to the current circumstances and responsive to the varying needs of our students.”

“I am more nervous than excited to go back to campus in August because as much as the university is describing the ways they are going to stay safe, I don’t know what that is going to look like,” said Collette Thomas, a sophomore at the University of Miami, one of the schools that plans to move instruction back on campus. 

Most schools and universities, planning to reopen, have health and social distancing regulations in place. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, some regulation considerations that schools should have are: 

  • testing and screening, 
  • hand hygiene
  • face coverings
  • proper ventilation 
  • adequate supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues and disinfectant wipes. 

College of San Mateo student Julian Morian said he likes onlines learning but misses some aspects of in-person classes.

“I enjoy doing my classes online,” Morin said. “I also like being on campus and interacting with people so not having that is a minus. Being at school, I miss that.”

Briana McDonald, enrolled in JOURN 22 News Writing and Reporting course, was a journalism student at San Jose City College this summer.