San Diego Colleges Move To Online Learning Over Coronavirus Concerns
Speaker 1: 00:00 From local school districts to universities. The spread of the Corona virus is also impacting the classroom. KPBS education reporter Joe Hong joins us with the latest guidance coming from schools and health officials. Joe, welcome. Both San Diego state university and university of California San Diego are taking measures to limit potential exposure to this virus. What are the changes being made? Speaker 2: 00:24 Yeah, so both universities have made a decision to, to move all of their classes online starting after their spring break. So for San Diego state university that's starting April 6th and for UC San Diego, that's starting a little earlier, March 25th Speaker 1: 00:37 so, so how long will this last? Speaker 2: 00:39 Currently it's just through the spring for UCS deeds through their spring quarter, which ends around June, sometime in June. And for SDSU it's for the remainder of the spring semester. Speaker 1: 00:49 And does this mean campus is closed? Speaker 2: 00:51 So know that that doesn't mean campuses closed. Uh, so both of these universities will remain open. SDSU was very clear about that in their announcement that staff faculty should keep coming to campus, uh, dining halls, things like that will remain open. Speaker 1: 01:04 Okay. Cause I'm going to ask, you know, some students live and eat on campus, they depend on that. Is there anything in place for those students who don't have any where else to go or can't afford to go home? Speaker 2: 01:15 Yeah. So, uh, both universities have confirmed that dorms and dining halls and, uh, food courts and things like that will remain open. Uh, it's really just the classrooms that have moved to the virtual space. Um, and for UC San Diego, they've canceled or they're strongly recommending that a events with more than 100 people are canceled. Uh, athletic events will be a quote unquote fabulous. So sports games will still go on without the crowds. Speaker 1: 01:43 And even those students won't be getting the in classroom instruction. Are they still expected to pay Speaker 2: 01:48 full tuition? So that's the big question. You know, I was at UC San Diego yesterday talking to students if they know, you know, they're there, they're at this premier university, uh, and they're paying for the, sort of, the, the one-on-one sort of interaction with the professors. And they don't know if they're going to be paying full tuition. And here's Kristen Jackson. She's a second year student at UC San Diego. Speaker 3: 02:08 Yeah, I do have a roommate and she's from Minnesota and she wants to go home, which means that she's paying out of state tuition for an online experience. Um, so I think she's more frustrated even. Speaker 2: 02:19 So, yeah. A lot of these students, Kristin included, uh, don't know what they're going to do about housing if it's gonna be worth paying rent if they can just be at home. Speaker 1: 02:29 Mmm. What about the San Diego unified school district? Yesterday they adopted a resolution granting emergency powers to the superintendent. What does that mean and what changes may we expect to see? Speaker 2: 02:40 Yeah, so, uh, the school board passed this resolution yesterday night. Um, they are sort of following the lead of LA unified school district, which basically just gives the superintendent authority in the case of an emergency to relocate students, give out extra sick leave for, for teachers and staff, and to enter into contracts without board. So if a school needs to be cleaned or disinfected and they need to hire a company to do that, the superintendent can do that without borders. Speaker 1: 03:07 Has there been any guidance for local school districts from the state department of education on how to address coronavirus concerns, especially when it comes to K through 12 schools and possible closures, like there's been in other parts of the state and even the nation. Speaker 2: 03:21 Yeah, so earlier this week, the state department of public health sent out a, a a list of recommendations and a list of sort of hypothetical scenarios. But sort of the takeaway from that is that is local control. So school districts need to be in communication with County offices and the state sort of uses this loose language where like say you have a scenario where one student has, is, has a confirmed case of the Corona virus, then the school in collaboration with local agencies can consider school closure. So the language from the state is pretty vague and pretty general. Speaker 1: 03:54 All right. I've been speaking to KPBS education reporter, Joe Hong Joe, thank you very much.