Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Valley students, instructors and staff share their concerns about moving the majority of in-person classes online after COVID-19 causes the switch throughout the LACCD.
By Savannah Simmons, Opinion Editor
In light of LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez’s announcement Wednesday that many in-person classes throughout the district will move online due to the coronavirus, Valley is left with questions about the process.
“I never took online classes, so I have no idea what to expect or what I should do,” said nursing student Elena Sheynis.
All classes at Valley will be canceled March 16 and 17 for faculty and staff to prepare for moving the majority classes online. Most classes will transition to platforms such as Canvas or Zoom on March 18, with the exception of some classes that are hands-on labs, performance, adult education or physical education, according to the chancellor’s press release. This phase will be in effect until at least April 13.
“We need face-to-face contact,” said biology Professor Lynn Polasek. “We need the hands-on experience, particularly in lab classes. Clearly you can’t make it the same and you can’t work with live microbes in an unsafe setting. You need the right protocol and cleanup. We’d have to do more theoretical type things.”
Canvas is used by many Valley students who take online or hybrid classes and every student has a Canvas account. According to the press release, LACCD will activate an online learning call center to help students and faculty with specific online education questions or concerns. The call center will be open starting Wednesday, March 18 and will operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students and faculty can call the toll-free number: (844) 695-2223.
Valley will let students know which class will move online no later than Monday, March 16 according to an email sent to students from Valley President Barry Gribbons.
“There will be some exceptions for courses that do not lend well to an online format, especially for career education programs,” according to the press release. “Exceptions and other modifications are under review for hands-on labs, performance classes, adult education classes and physical education/kinesiology courses.”
The district and Valley “will remain open, subject to the direction of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) or the California Department of Public Health,” according to the press release.
“I think about when the fires happened — how we were shut down for a week and we all just figured it out,” said Samantha Jaffarey, costume shop manager of the Theatre Department.
with contributions from Aimee Martinez, Gabe Braunstein, Sarah Best, and Cassandra Nava