So long, seahawks

Redondo Beach Unified School District closes schools for the remainder of the academic year

So+long%2C+seahawks

Photo by Tyler Shaun Evains

The Redondo Beach Unified School District has closed campuses for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Students will begin Phase 2 of the RBUSD Instructional Plan after Spring Break, on April 13th, and new material will be introduced as teachers move forward with their lesson plans. The decision to close all public K-12 California campuses was announced April 1st by state officials, such as the Los Angeles County Office of Education Supt. Dr. Duardo, Governor Gavin Newsom and State Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. Governor Newsom had previously already expressed doubts about the likelihood of schools reopening during a briefing on March 17th, and many families and school districts were already preparing for the worst. 

While campuses are closed, the school remains open from a distance as teachers and students navigate working and learning from home. This process is not easy. Teachers are wrangling glitchy websites and the IT issues of students, while students are forced to work on their time management skills to avoid falling behind. It is also safe to say that many people are also facing the struggle of social distancing and isolation at the same time. 

“Honestly, I’m not too happy with the school closure. As much as I love the amount of time I have on my hands, I’m lonely and I want to see my friends and I want to have human contact,” Junior Jonathan Hillis said. A quick scroll through social media reveals how many other students echo Hillis’ sentiment. “A lot of my friends are unhappy about it.” 

School closure also means that seniors graduating this year are unable to participate in senior excursions such as prom and senior rally. 

“I’m feeling sad and angry about not being able to experience lots of events that I’ve looked forward to since freshman year, as well as not being able to run with my track team and go to meets,” senior Jackie Steenson said. “Senior activities to me are important because we get to see everyone before graduation, and we get lasting memories with everyone.” 

For Steenson, activities like senior rally may have been the last chance for her to be with her friends who are not seniors. Seniors may also be unable to attend an in-person graduation. In the COVID-19 update, Principal Jens Brandt, Supt Steven Keller and the Board of Education promise to do “whatever it takes” to give seniors a graduation, though when or what it will be is undecided. 

“It would have been fun to experience prom for the last time,” Steenson said.