It may not look like it but class is in session at Xavier College Prep High School in Palm Desert.
Teachers are there but talking to a laptop computer surrounded by empty desks.
Principal Chris Alling says this practice run is to get ready in case they have to shut down because of COVID-19, “We’re trying if not on the curve of this thing at least a little bit ahead of the curb of this thing in terms of our preparation and caring for our students and families.”
The campus without it’s 600 students takes some getting used to.
“Yeah, it’s been kind of crazy so the bells have been going off then there hasn’t been the normal hustle and bustle of feet and student noise in between classes,” says Alling.
But teachers say they are adjusting quickly, students get to see them and they still interact with them, they just log on and they’re good to go.
“It’s pretty awesome I can see the kids in live, live-time what they’re doing what they’re answering, who is online, who is idle and then who is inactive, who isn’t even signed in,” says math teacher Natalie Allen.
There have been some issues.
“One kid had a power outage, he was like, ‘I can’t get on,'”says Allen.
But they usually resolve themselves quickly, and judging by the feedback,
“‘I love this, I love that I‘m in bed doing my homework,” says Allen quoting students adding, “‘I wasn’t stressed out, I was able to answer every question, I didn’t feel the pressure of having to turn in my test before my friends or before my friends.'”
The principal is focusing on the positive too.
“We’re saving trees and we’re keeping people healthy and at least that’s what we hope we’re doing,” says Alling.
Online learning will begin on Monday. All extracurricular activities have been postponed.