Students work solo with COVID

Independent study proves to be complicated for students

Hallie Chong, Staff Writer

Whether students are stuck at home because of a COVID-19 exposure or with a 104 degree fever, school work is unavoidable.

After this year’s winter break, at least 91 positive cases were confirmed at Cal High as of Jan. 31. That means nearly twice the total number of cases were reporter in the first few weeks of the second semester than the entire first six months of the school year. 

Cal had 146 total cases as of Jan. 31.

This explosion of cases is one of the reasons a new independent study contract was created on Jan. 18 for students who would be missing class for three or more days. Students who tested positive are required to quarantine for at least five days before returning  to school.  

Before the pandemic, an independent study contract was already in place for students missing class for 15 or more days. Parents would have to contact the district for their student to obtain the contract.

Administrators, parents and teachers would have to sign for the contract to be valid, assistant principal Rhonda Taft said.

The purpose of the new independent study program is for students to be able to complete classwork and learn just as they would in a regular classroom through Google Meet or Zoom with their teachers.

Although the independent study contract is in place for students who are quarantining at home to be able to continue with their schoolwork, some students have not applied for the contract.  

“I just did [the assignments] by myself without the independent study,” sophomore Ibrahim Ridzuan said.

For some, it was difficult for students to stay caught up with assignments because of the new content being taught in class.

“It was hard because I would need to keep emailing [teachers] instead of going to the classroom to ask a question,” junior Raj Kumar said.

The independent study contract system is still underdeveloped because of the amount of students at home because of COVID-19 exposure. Some students have had a difficult time dealing with the program and have instead looked to doing the work on their own.

“It was a little disorganized just because there were so many kids out with COVID,” said freshman Avery Taylor, who went through the independent study process.

But even without the independent study program, students are able to look on Schoology for assignments teachers have posted and complete them on their own. 

“Some things I just search in Google or [do] by myself,” sophomore Jenny Chen said. “Sometimes there were teacher recording videos.”

Although more students are getting exposed or contracting COVID-19 this semester, the school year still has to continue. More classrooms are starting to learn new content and quarantined students will have to do assignments online, which may cause them to fall behind.