California schools surpass 1 year of virtual learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The+Ventura+County+Office+of+Education+in+Camarillo%2C+Calif.+remains+closed+on+Friday%2C+Dec.11.+The+office+has+limited+visitations+due+to+the+COVID-19+pandemic.+Photo+credit%3A+Leslie+Mendez

The Ventura County Office of Education in Camarillo, Calif. remains closed on Friday, Dec.11. The office has limited visitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: Leslie Mendez

By Amber Urban

In March 2020, the state of California decided to shut down all public schools with in person learning. In Ventura County, this occurred a couple of days before Spring Break. The school district decided to cancel classes until after Spring Break had ended, assuming this craziness would be over in two weeks like the government was stating.

Students were ecstatic that school was not in session for 2 weeks. Children could stay at home to do nothing all day. Nobody knew this would be the new normal for the next year. Students of all ages were forced to adapt to this new way of learning.

A brother and sister from Big Springs Elementary in Simi Valley, grades four and six expressed their emotions with virtual learning.

Madison Vasquez, grade four, stated “I miss my friends and being able to play with them everyday on the playground.”

Tony Vasquez, grade six relayed, “Zoom calls are confusing. I miss seeing my teacher in person and being able to ask questions face to face.”

At the beginning of lockdown, parents were overwhelmed with this new change. Not only did adults have to work from home, now parents have to teach the children as well.

Courtney Myers, mother of three elementary school students, found it really hard to cope with this change.

“Having three kids all in different grades was the hardest part. They are all learning different topics but are too young to sit by themselves and focus on the Zoom meeting,” explained Myers. “I feel like their teacher is giving me the supplies and I have to teach my kids myself.”

Parents aren’t the only ones feeling stressed about this situation. Seniors in High School missed out on the best years of their school life as well. 12th Grade is the year of fun filled activities including prom, grad night and graduation.

Due to COVID-19, seniors were unable to attend these events two years in a row.

Zack Collins, a high school senior in 2020 and now a freshman in college, has had a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the past year.

“When school first went virtual I still thought I would have a high school graduation, but sadly that was cancelled. I got accepted into Whittier College for football and was excited to play in fall of 2020 but that was cancelled as well,” relayed Collins. “Now being virtual for a full year, I hope I will be able to attend in person classes with sports in the fall.”

Virtual classes have been a struggle with parents and students of all ages. Since the vaccine has been created and distributed, the school district is hopeful for in person classes for fall of 2021. Some schools have already resumed with face to face learning.