Local schools continue online after new state guidelines

Olivia Sandusky

PALM SPRINGS- Gov. Gavin Newsom and state educators addressed the public with an update on education in light of COVID-19.

His recommendation is to have schools remain closed throughout the remainder of this academic year and turn to online options.

“We believe it is important that all of our schools maximize their efforts around distance learning to help our students,” said Tony Thurmond, State superintendent of public instruction.

Local schools like Xavier College Preparatory are already learning remotely, and Desert Sands Unified begins their online program Monday, April 6.

DSUSD is providing grades second through 12 with a Google Chrome Book, an initiative that is stretching statewide.

“We’re working with a number of philanthropic leaders to make sure that we can provide devices and access to WIFI for many of our students that don’t have them,” said Thurmond.

Education leaders are also trying to support Juniors and seniors worried about graduating.

“All students who were on track to graduate should be able to graduate and I know some districts are going to hold those commencements in the fall,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, the president of the state board of education.

Nationwide, college testing is being waved through 2021 and some schools are able to move A-G courses to a pass/fail option.

“The SAT will no longer be used as criteria for admissions as is just announced today,” said Thurmond.

Local colleges have also posted changes that ease admission requirements to help seniors move on to higher education.

“Everyone is more understanding and everyone is compassionate and lenient as to what the requirements are going to have to be for next year’s college application cycle,” said Sophie Brown, a senior at Palm Desert High School.

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