By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Wasco school district to continue distance learning for rest of year


Last updated 2/6/2021 at 7:36am | View PDF

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

Wasco schools Superintendent Rob Cobb

Wasco Union High School District Superintendent Rob Cobb addressed all students, parents, families, teachers and staff members about the difficult year everyone has encountered with the pandemic.

Cobb shared the district's reopening plan and what the district is doing to keep students and staff safe from the spread of covid-19 and what everyone can anticipate as the district looks forward to the end of this school year.

"I first want to emphasize that our district considers the covid-19 pandemic a serious issue not to be taken lightly," he said. "Many families in Kern County and even our local community have lost friends and loved ones. Even more have been sick with covid or even hospitalized. This is a serious illness and we should all agree that reducing the spread of covid will help move our society back to the structures and routines we were comfortable with."

Cobb added that he believes everyone can agree that distance learning is not the best form of learning for all students, yet many have found a way to be successful. He also said he believes the continued isolation of students at home has added extra challenges and for some students, distance learning has had a negative impact on their mental health.

"Many students are losing motivation and may miss the structure of the school day and sadly, some have already given up," Cobb added. "The continued isolation of students who have lost the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, socialize with their teachers and friends, or compete in sports has had a negative impact on their mental health and we look forward to the day when all students can return to on-campus activities."

Cobb said that the district is committed to distance learning for the remainder of the school year, but also have an opportunity to provide extra support for those students and families that need in-person connections to keep working through the challenges.

"This week at Wasco High School, approximately 300 students started our Homeroom Support Schedule where small groups of about 10 students each spend 3 hours on campus each day, Tuesday - Friday to work on distance learning assignments in a safe, structured environment supported by a classroom teacher," he said. "The teacher is simply there to encourage students, answer questions, provide a supervised place to work, and support the healthy interaction between students that many have been missing since last March."

At Independence High School, approximately 90 students returned for in-person support once a week with half attending on Tuesday and the other half on Wednesday. Athletic conditioning resumed last week for fall (or Season 1) sports and Season 2 (which is winter and spring) sports begin conditioning next week.

As for safety measures, all students and staff are required to wear masks, keep six feet of social distance, wash their hands frequently, and most importantly stay home if they feel any of the symptoms of covid-19, including a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or any other cold or flu-like symptoms.

If students are exhibiting symptoms or need to quarantine, they can connect to their homeroom or distance learning class from home using their Chromebook and a wireless hotspot if they need Internet access. Also, students that did not choose to attend an in-person homeroom were assigned a distance learning homeroom scheduled during the same time.

If anyone has any questions, contact the school at 661-758-4946.


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