Distance Learning is the reality for Fall 2020

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate began with Distance Learning

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 school year began with distance learning measures on August 17.  The weekly schedule includes four days of block schedule on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, on which students attend three of their classes.  On Wednesdays, students attend periods 1-6.

New this year, is a seminar class, too, to help orient students.  The seminar class, called Tiger Connection, occurs on every block schedule.  “Seminar is basically a check-in with your counselor,” said eighth-grader Andre Macias.  Each Seminar period does begin with a Google Form in which students rate their emotions and, if necessary, request help from their counselors.  Seminar also includes school announcements and social-emotional learning activities, too.

To prepare for the school year, Program Verification was on August 6, 7, and 11.  Program Verification ensured students had a Chromebook and textbooks.  The socially-distanced line was going around MacArthur and while students were there, they could also order the new gear that MacArthur has made including eighth-grade class sweatshirts. 

This year’s program was very different from the previous years because students were not able to take your ID pictures and were not able to purchase P.E close as well as your locks, since lockers will not be used.  

Once school started, daily classes began at 7:50 AM and ran until 12:05 PM, except on Wednesdays when they went until 12:15 PM.  On block schedule, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, students alternately attended periods 1, 2, and 3; then periods 4, 5, and 6.  On Wednesday students still started at 7:50 AM, but not with 0 period.  Instead, students began with their first period and went through until sixth period, ending at 12:15.  

Aside from seminar, office hours also were added to the daily schedule. 

“Office hours are like tutoring with your teachers,” said eighth-grader Marie Gonzalez.  The office hours are optional; students can make up missing assignments and ask for help in that period of time.

Classes themselves are conducted through Zoom videoconferencing tool.  By the end of September, the Santa Ana Unified School District purchased the fully-licensed version of Zoom, meaning all users had to be authenticated to join.  To authenticate their accounts, students had to log into Zoom with their sausdlearns credentials.

Students have not attended classes in person since Friday, March 13.