Eyewitness: Coping With the Pandemic in California

Jaxon, 12, is attending school remotely in California. 

Editor’s note: During the coronavirus pandemic, our 50 Kid Reporters around the world are covering the news from home. We’ll be sharing their individual experiences on our Kids Press blog in the weeks ahead. Stay safe! 

According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, schools in our West Coast state will remain closed for at least the rest of the school year. Like many kids across the country, I’m now attending school via online classes. 

The practice of social distancing is a particular challenge for my school, which is built on the expeditionary learning model and relies on a great deal of field work and social interaction. 

Due to the pandemic, all of the field work my class was scheduled to do this spring has been canceled. This includes a field trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to explore a new business model called the “triple bottom line.” The model encourages companies to focus on social and environmental concerns in addition to profits.



Although my classmates and I are disappointed about these cancellations, our teachers are finding ways to make learning as fun and engaging as possible. In addition to attending classes in a virtual environment, we’re using Internet-based tools to enhance learning.

In science, for example, a recent lesson about maximizing small spaces involved using Google SketchUp to design houses made from recycled shipping containers. In social studies, we’re preparing a podcast about an issue that areas of conflict might face. We even take gym class online, with our teacher coaching us through exercises via Google Hangout. 

Maybe the most interesting part of distance learning has been the realization that we actually miss going to school. “I never thought I would say this,” said Finn Mulholland, a sixth grader. “But I really miss it, and I can’t wait until we get back to school, and I can see my friends.”  


Photo courtesy of the author