California high schoolers are reluctant to return to campus

Many high school students prefer remote learning over in-person classes.

By Anthony Lopez, Staff Writer


Ulysses S. Grant High School student strolls onto campus as students return to school for the first time in more than a year. Students and staff attending in-person classes answer daily health check questions and are sent a Daily Pass. Once complete, they present their Daily Pass to the school staff and receive a temperature screening. Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Stephen Castaneda /The Valley Star)

As schools begin to offer more classes in person, many high school students are hesitant to return to campus and are choosing to continue remotely instead.


According to the Los Angeles Times, only 7 percent of high school students have returned to campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where extensive safety measures have failed to lure the majority of students back to the classroom in the final weeks of school.


California is now in the yellow tier, which means more places are starting to open up including stadiums, hair salons, gyms and restaurants. In this case, schools are now able to reopen for in-person instruction, as a result of California’s second week in the yellow beginning May 11.


In LAUSD, middle and high school students are on campus for a full day in a schedule that alternates two-day weeks with three-day weeks. This new method for in-person learning is called “Zoom in a room,” a format for high schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The way this method works is that students report to an assigned room, where a teacher is present right in front of the classroom, and log on to Zoom as they would at home. Seating will be socially distanced as well.


The majority of the district’s more than 600,000 students have not had in-person classes on campus since March 13, 2020 — most of that time due to pandemic-forced school closures, but most recently by choice.


“I think the re-opening of campuses is a very stupid and highly illogical idea,” said a male Grant High School student who requested anonymity. “It’s practically pointless.”


High schoolers are not the only ones worried about the campuses opening up again, parents are also concerned. According to a survey conducted by the LA Times, LAUSD parents indicated that about 17 percent of high school students would come back to campus.

Ulysses S. Grant High School student strolls onto campus as students return to school for the first time in more than a year. Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Stephen Castaneda /The Valley Star)

Although most students disapprove of going back to in-person learning, others have different opinions in regards to their education. According to Maxwell Garcia, a 17-year-old junior at Grant High School, going back in person would not only benefit him, but also his education.


“It helps me focus more to be in a more school-like environment, not in the comfort of my own home,” said Garcia. “In-person learning is beneficial to me because it is a lot easier to have the teacher right in front of you and for them to see if you need help or anything.”


According to data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, “By mid-May 2020, more than 1.2 billion students at all levels of education worldwide had stopped having face-to-face classes.”


A year later, campuses are reopening again. It remains to be seen how students will return by the end of the school year.


“The reopening of campuses and the return of in-person learning benefits those who struggle with online learning,” said an anonymous sophomore female Grant student. “At first I was a little hesitant to continue my education on campus, but now I am glad to be back.”