School Cancellation Lengthened Until May 4 Due to Coronavirus

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Weslie Griffin, Editor-In-Chief

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The district has announced that, due to the continuing growth of the COVID-19 virus, the cancellation of classes will be extended until at least May 4.

“Klein ISD buildings will remain closed until at least May 4, 2020, in alignment with the executive order issued earlier today by Governor Greg Abbott,” the district said in their official COVID-19 update.  “The district will continue to provide instruction and operate remotely during this time.”

This decision, which is the second extension to the original March 4 suspension of classes, arrives as the US becomes the epicenter of the virus. With over 240,000 cases (as of April 3) throughout the U.S., both federal and state governments have begun to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19. In Texas, these steps include the cancellation of all large gatherings, cancellation of all schools, and the closing of non-essential businesses.

“I have issued numerous executive orders and suspensions of Texas laws in response to the COVID-19 disaster, aimed at protecting the health and safety of Texans and ensuring an effective response to this disaster,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. “If you’re not involved in the essential functions of government in the state of Texas, you need to be at home, you need to be off the streets. We have to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

While normal operations on all Klein campuses have ceased, the district is still providing resources for those in need. These include the continuation of Klein ISD emergency services and the new ability of curbside pickup meals for those whose children rely on the school for meals.

“While our school buildings are closed, Klein ISD will continue to provide At-Home Learning and meals for our Klein ISD students and families,” the district said in COVID-19 update #17. “Gathering food supplies is an allowable reason to leave your homes as stated in the Harris County ‘Stay Home, Work Safe’ order. Children 18 and under must be present to receive meals.”

As this situation continues the district has begun to move classes online, with many classes already beginning weekly calls with students.  Zoom calls and eduphoria lessons have become the new norm for many students, who are now facing the challenge of adapting to this new method of learning.

“Getting my schoolwork done is gonna be a challenge because I’m at home where I chill out and play video games and now I have get work done on the same computer I want to play games on,” senior Adam Dommert said. “Personally, I think what the district is doing is good for what they can, because there’s not much they can do. I mean, I would rather go to school but that’s not an option. Overall, I think they’re doing the best they can to help students.”

However, students are not the only ones having to adapt to this new system. Teachers are also having to learn how to navigate this new world of virtual lessons, and how to use technology many of them had never used before. Still, many teachers are worried not for themselves, but for their students.

“I have taught some online classes in the past in a different setting and I think that experience helped a little bit to move to this new format,” physics teacher Mary Amboji said. “My biggest worry is that a few students might get behind and will find it difficult to get back on track. Any kind of online learning requires student to be not only disciplined but also self-motivated.”

While this crisis does not look to be stopping anytime soon, the district is encouraging students and families to keep their hopes up. Learning for students will continue in whatever form possible, and the district will continue to provide new resources for both students and families.

“Despite the challenges we face today, I remain hopeful for the future because I know that we are surrounded by a community of caring people —those who continue to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth and families in Klein no matter what,” Superintendent Jenny McGown said. “Whether teaching remotely, serving food curbside, providing access to technology, or helping in countless other ways, in Klein ISD we always take care of one another and remain committed to doing what is right for our students, staff, and families.