District Update

Sakshi Palav, Co-News Editor

Being the state with the most Covid cases in the U.S., California schools have been instructed to be online, as distance learning is one effective way to ensure a decrease in cases. The Selma Unified School District, while offering hybrid classes as an option initially, is now completely online by using programs such as Zoom, Google Classroom, Delta Math, and more. This is because, as appealing as a hybrid schedule was, it would not only put students in danger of COVID-19, but their entire families as well. 

The SUSD has been very proactive with ensuring our students, and employees’ safety by having to adjust constantly as requested by the department of public health and CDC’s direction,” explained Selma High Principal Guillermo Lopez. 

So, for the safety of the public, it was decided that the fall semester would have to be online. 

However, the district is trying and working towards perhaps opening school for the second semester, where the ideal schedule would be being at school for two days with three days of online classes. As the Reopening Task Force of Selma is striving towards a plan like this, it all revolves around current cases and the health status of California. 

When asked about further plans for the district, SUSD Superintendent Dr. Tanya Fisher, who has been working for Selma for almost six years, emphasized that all plans are structured around prioritizing students’ health. 

“We will remain in the distance learning model until we can safely return students to campus,” Fisher explained. 

The district has been very efficient with handling the distruptances and halts caused by the pandemic, “as this is uncharted territory,” Fisher explained. 

The district’s main focus right now is ensuring that students are receiving the proper education. However, that is difficult when one of the main hardships all schools are facing right now is ensuring Wi-Fi access to all students. 

“Also, based on where some students live,” explained Dr. Fisher, “cell towers make it difficult for them to even receive internet services.”

Since all classes are through Zoom or Google Meet, Wi-Fi is necessary. But Selma Unified is trying to combat this issue by setting up “connection centers” at the school and throughout the town.

Another issue the district faces is getting students to attend classes. Although class is online, daily attendance still matters. 

As for the Spring semester, it is unclear whether or not Selma District schools will be over Zoom calls or blended/hybrid learning. 

“We are expecting for the COVID cases to have dropped low enough and consistently to allow for transition to the hybrid model for the spring semester,” explained SHS Principal, Mr. Lopez. 

In order to have the hybrid schedule as an option, cases need to go down and public health must be ensured. It is important, as a community, to remember to wear masks, social distance, and stay safe.