Classes

California colleges can reopen with a ton of restrictions, limited dorms, online classes

USC and other California colleges and universities can reopen this fall with some in-person classes and limited dorm life, according to state guidance. <span class="copyright">(Perry C. Riddle / Los Angeles Times)</span>
USC and other California colleges and universities can reopen this fall with some in-person classes and limited dorm life, according to state guidance. (Perry C. Riddle / Los Angeles Times)

As California colleges and universities reopen this fall they must adhere to strict limits on in-person classes and greatly restrict dorm and campus life, state public health officials said Friday in long-awaited guidance for how campuses can operate amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The delay in state guidance had frustrated campuses, which have scrambled to create varying reopening plans without knowing what ultimately would be approved by county and state public health officials and how that would affect thousands of students just days from starting fall semester.

Most colleges, including the vast UC and Cal State systems, have already announced they were planning to start the fall with mostly online classes. The state’s strict rules prohibit indoor lectures for

Read More

Schools seeking alternative to remote learning move classes outside

DETROIT — With just days to go before the start of the new academic year, schools around the country are rushing to gather materials they never thought they would need: plexiglass dividers, piles of masks and internet hot spots to connect with students remotely.

And then there are schools that have an even more unusual list.

The Detroit Waldorf School in Michigan is buying carriage bolts, berry bushes and 8,000 square feet of cedar wood.

The San Francisco Unified School District has been busy gathering tree stumps.

And the Five Town Community School District in Maine is buying tents, yurts and enough all-weather snowsuits for each of its elementary school students.

These schools and districts are all laying the groundwork to move at least some instruction to outdoor classrooms. They’re making a bet that the lower risk of disease transmission in the open air, and the extra space outside for

Read More

ICE bans international students from entering U.S. for online classes

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Friday that international students who plan to solely enroll in online classes this fall will be barred from entering the country. The announcement came as the U.S. topped 4 million coronavirus cases and as colleges and universities roll out plans to shift to online learning for the fall semester.

“Nonimmigrant students in new or initial status after March 9 will not be able to enter the U.S. to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online,” ICE said in its press release.

The department also mandated that designated school officials are not to provide new international students with an I-20 form that declares their legal student status. This guidance includes new international students who are outside of the U.S. and want to take online-only classes

Read More

College Is More Than Classes

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally restructured higher education for at least the next semester. Come fall, many college students are yet again facing a life off-campus, sitting in front of a screen. Despite the obvious differences between online and in-person education, colleges and universities are largely set on maintaining — if not raising — tuitions. This raises the question: Is an online education worth the same as one in person? It also raises a broader, more important question: What is the value of a college education?

Before I try to answer them, let me show my cards. I am a rising senior at Harvard, where only first-years and students with extraordinary circumstances will return to campus in the fall and only seniors will return in the spring. Harvard’s residential capacity has been topped at 40 percent, and all classes for all students — including those living on campus —

Read More

Trump administration drops plan to deport international students in online-only classes

Two of the country’s top universities won a major victory over the Trump administration on Tuesday, after the government agreed to halt its plan to deport international college students who only use online courses to study this fall.

The decision marks a stunning retreat for the Trump administration, which left schools and students reeling following a July 6 announcement that spurred lawsuits and condemnation from a growing list of states, schools, politicians, labor unions and tech sector giants. That included the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which announced it was “pleased that the Department of Homeland Security rescinded its ill-conceived policy regarding international students” following the decision.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued both DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, days after the government warned schools it would begin to reinstate tight restrictions on the number of online classes foreign students are allowed to take while

Read More

Trump administration drops rule barring foreign students from taking online-only classes

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s administration agreed Tuesday to rescind its controversial rule barring international students from living in the USA while taking fall classes online, a sharp reversal after the White House faced a slew of lawsuits challenging the policy.  

A Massachusetts judge announced the decision during a federal court hearing in a case filed last week by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Judge Allison Burroughs said the universities’ request for the court to block the rule was moot because the government agreed to rescind the policy. 

Monday, 18 state attorneys general had sued the Department of Homeland Security over the rule, which would have forced foreign students to leave or face deportation if they were enrolled in only online classes this fall, when experts fear expanded outbreaks of COVID-19 cases. 

An international student at Indiana University waits for a bus near the university on March 20, when classes first went online because of the pandemic.
An international student at Indiana University waits for a bus near the university on March 20,
Read More

Herndon Yoga Studio Slowly Adds New Classes Following Coronavirus

HERNDON, VA — Like many other small businesses in the Herndon community, The Health Advantage Yoga Center was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Susan Van Nuys, who has owned and operated the yoga studio at 1041 Sterling Road in Herndon since 2001, told Patch back in April her core business was walk-in traffic. That pretty much stopped when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered all non-essential businesses to close in March.

Just like other business owners, though, Van Nuys found a way to adapt and has managed to keep her business afloat through the state’s closure and the early stages of its phased reopening. Now that the state is in phase three, gyms and fitness centers can operate at 75 percent capacity, and recreational sports will have continued physical distancing requirements.

Van Nuys recently answered a few questions about how well her business has weathered the pandemic and the first

Read More

Los Angeles, San Diego to have online-only classes in fall

Districts will provide teachers and students with additional training for a better online learning experience

On July 13, the San Diego and Los Angeles Unified School Districts released a statement that they will begin their school year with online-only classes this fall.

Like many school districts in the country, the California network of educators have decided that digital learning is their option for the upcoming school year.

READ MORE: US debates school reopening, WHO warns ‘no return to normal’

The statement began, “on March 13, four months ago today, we made the difficult decision to close our schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.” The district acknowledged that much has changed since that time, “new research is available, additional information on school safety experiences from around the world, and updated health guidelines from state and county leaders.”

However, it notes, “Those countries that have managed to safely reopen schools

Read More

Los Angeles schools to offer classes online only this fall

The superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District announced Monday that students will not return to the classroom when the fall semester begins next month because of the surge in coronavirus cases across Southern California, CBS Los Angeles reports. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said that the fall semester will begin on August 18 — but student learning will begin online only, with no students returning to in-person classes.

LAUSD employs approximately 75,000 people and serves almost 700,000 students. It’s the second-largest school district in the country. 

Along with LAUSD, the San Diego Unified School District will also be beginning its fall semester in a virtual format. The two districts released a joint statement confirming the move.

“Both districts will continue planning for a return to in-person learning during the 2020-21 academic year, as soon as public health conditions allow,” the statement read.

Beutner did not provide an estimate regarding

Read More

LA and San Diego school districts will start fall classes online only; California orders statewide closures

Two of the largest school districts in the U.S., the Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, said Monday that their academic years will start with only online instruction, as California continues to fight a surge of COVID-19 cases.  

The districts made the announcement in a joint statement and said their academic calendars will begin as scheduled – Aug. 18 for Los Angeles and Aug. 31 for San Diego. The statement added that both districts will plan to resume in-person learning “as soon as public health conditions allow.”

Also on Monday, Florida reported another alarming number of new coronavirus, as President Donald Trump displayed his frustration with the CDC and the World Health Organization’s director warned that the global pandemic is worsening.

“We need to reach a sustainable situation where we have adequate control of this virus without shutting down our lives entirely,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday, adding

Read More