Graphic by Cole Hume
As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the U.S. West Coast, Cathedral Catholic High School administration announced the transition of on-campus learning to an online platform today. Virtual classes will begin on Wednesday, March 18.
“There is no training for this type of situation so it’s been an hour-by-hour deal of responding to new information,” CCHS Principal Dr. Kevin Calkins said. “We are putting one foot in front of the other and trying to figure this all out.”
Next Monday and Tuesday, teachers will come to CCHS to transition to the online platform and to receive training for the weeks to come.
“A lot of our teachers feel very prepared [for the online platform] which is a credit to our tech team,” Dr. Calkins said. “It’s going to be a learning curve for everybody including students and everyone needs to be ready to be flexible.”
CCHS’s timeline going forward will be informed by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, The County Office of Education, and the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, according to an email sent by the Diocese of San Diego.
Preceding the spiral of announcements this week, Dr. Calkins and administration considered the potential of Covid-19 on campus.
“We have talked as an administrative team and decided we need to have a game plan for the chance that [the coronavirus poses a local threat],” Dr. Calkins said last week. “If something did happen we would have an emergency meeting off campus and address our initial game plan and figure out the necessary details.”
CCHS sent an email to parents regarding their intent in creating a contingency plan for the coronavirus last week, and has periodically sent updates as more news emerged. Each email included the most effective ways to stay healthy.
“Administration has been staying up to date with public health and has been listening to our county’s education and health departments daily updates,” CCHS nurse Ms. Kate Pe said. “Staying informed has been our number one concern.”
Moreover, local schools have been advocating for kids with high fevers or concerning symptoms to be sent home. Additionally, students feeling unwell were told to not take exception to their illness and to not try to attend school for a single class or exam, according to nurse Ms. Pe.
Ms. Pe echoed the preventative measures that the CDC and other major health organizations note: good hand hygiene, proper nutrition, and overall sanitation.
“Like our emergency drills, we intend to be prepared when emergencies occur,” Dr. Calkins said. “But until you are in the specific emergency you are not sure of the exact and best way to handle it.”
Currently, the best way to handle Covid-19’s outbreak is transitioning to an online platform and administration will update the community if anything changes, Dr. Calkins said.
Compounding the shift, CCHS spring sports have been canceled, leaving students confused and disappointed.
“We are still swallowing what’s happening as we only heard the news about two hours ago,” track and field athlete Ethan Hughes ‘20 said. “When I heard the news I was just broken. Considering all the work I have put in through the past four years and how excited I was for this upcoming season makes this a very sad time.”
Furthermore, staying in the desired shape for athletes playing next year could pose obstacles.
“I have been talking to some college friends who are coming back from university and we are trying to make a workout plan,” Hughes said. “Ultimately, I will just be in communication with my coach and hearing his recommendations.”
CCHS will update the community when the school has more information to share.
“Everyone hopes to go back to school after Easter break, but there is no clear answer if that is realistic right now,” Dr. Calkins said.