INDIO (CNS) – How local schools are handling the transition to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic will be among the discussion topics during a free webinar scheduled Wednesday that will feature superintendents from three Coachella Valley school districts.
The panel discussion over Zoom video conferencing is the first part of a multi-part series titled “Destination Talent Coachella Valley: 2020 Education Workforce Series.”
The series is a collaboration between OneFuture Coachella Valley, the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
While the first discussion concerns the local education system generally, the superintendents are also expected to talk about how virtual education is impacting this year’s graduating seniors, and how the districts are planning for the upcoming fall semester.
Superintendents Maria Gandera of the Coachella Valley Unified School District, Scott Bailey of the Desert Sands Unified School District and Sandra Lyon of the Palm Springs Unified School District are among those slated to attend.
The discussion comes as all schools remain shuttered until at least June 19 due to an order by Riverside County’s public health officer, effectively closing schools until the end of the academic school year, although it remains unclear how local seniors will cap off their last year in high school.
None of the three school districts has released plans for how graduations will proceed, besides confirming no graduations — or other in- person campus activities — will happen before June 19.
The Coachella Valley Unified School District’s latest update on its website said “no definitive plan has been developed at this time.
“The district will work with the Riverside County Health Department and governor’s regulations on mass gatherings and social distancing when determining next steps,” the website reads.
Lyon of the Palm Springs Unified School District released a statement April 8 confirming no graduations, proms or senior trips will be held until after the academic school year ends, but stopped short of committing to alternatives.
“Our high schools will contact seniors soon to arrange for payment refunds for these activities, and we will be determining alternate ways to celebrate our seniors and be in touch on that as soon as we make those determinations,” she said.
And Bailey of the Desert Sands Unified School District said in a statement dated April 1 that the district will be addressing the graduation question “in the coming days and weeks.”
To register for the 11:45 a.m. webinar, visit www.gcvcc.org/dtcv/.