On Monday, the third of four House of Representatives meetings took place. Fountain Valley High School administration resumed answering questions and addressing students’ concerns.
Here are the topics that were discussed in the meeting.
When will school be back to normal? Is a fully in-person return a possibility?
Currently, FVHS is planning for a full return to traditional, in-person learning in the fall. With a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County and a hopeful transition to the next tier, going back to a normal school year could be accomplished smoothly and safely.
Depending on the status of cases in the county, the community will be notified with any new updates on whether or not a traditional schedule will be implemented next year.
How will the school carry out the transition next year in case of a full return to school?
Just like a regular school year, students would go through registration over the summer, receive their schedules and attend school in-person in case of a full return.
Keeping in mind that not all families feel comfortable with returning, administration is navigating options of whether FVHS will be able to have a full online course offering versus having a district-wide course offering. How exactly the next school year will be planned out is yet to be determined by the district.
Summer activities will also have a more gradual schedule for return depending on the guidance of the California Department of Health.
How is the school accommodating for the return of the teachers who have been on a leave of absence?
Some teachers are able to return this week from leave. Others have been teaching on campus in a separate environment from students while a substitute is in their classes, which allows them to remain virtual.
Principal Morgan Smith explained that some teachers are waiting to receive their vaccination to return to campus, but many have already received their first or second shot of the vaccine. This will help teachers who were on leave or teaching in a different format return to teaching fully in-person.
Why do teachers have assignments due right when school ends?
Still a major concern since the first House of Reps meeting, the amount of work assigned and when it’s assigned seems to be a persisting issue many students have.
Smith recommends that students get in touch with their teachers because the workload varies with different teachers. Checking Canvas and communicating with teachers is the most effective way since there is no specific policy about when they can assign homework or when assignments can be due.
Some teachers assign little to no homework while some assign an overwhelming amount of homework; are teachers aware of their students’ workload and how hard it is to balance school at home?
Students expressed their frustration at the imbalance between teachers and classes in the amount of work being assigned.
Smith clarified that a survey given out to students about this topic has helped a lot of teachers adjust their syllabus and instructional style to support their teaching. Depending on the class and teacher, the workload will vary in intensity. For instance, an Advanced Placement (AP) class would have a lot more content to be covered compared to a regular class.
If a student feels that the amount of work assigned is unreasonable, Smith recommends reaching out to the teacher to let them know it’s overwhelming. If the teacher is unresponsive, letting parents know to reach out to the teacher would help. If the student and parent need further assistance, reaching out to an administrator is always an option.
Will AP classes take exams in the same block of testing dates or will individual teachers be allowed to choose?
College Board created three exam administration windows and determined that some exams will be in-person, taken with only a pen or pencil, while others will have a digital option with one or two windows to choose from.
Assistant Principal of Curriculum Josh Lamar has been part of a planning committee with other school sites and the district to come up with a student- and teacher-friendly solution.
Lamar says that the committee will try not to choose the paper and pencil only option unless it’s the only one available, which is the case for AP Spanish, AP Japanese, AP French and AP Music Theory. For digital AP exams that have one or two windows, teachers of the subject area will decide amongst themselves for the best date for their students.
Lamar will share all the necessary information regarding every AP test date on ParentSquare. If students have any questions, Lamar is open to take any regarding curriculum.
When are we picking classes again?
Every Monday starting March 8 through April 19, guidance counselors will be visiting English classes and meeting with students to decide on schedules for next year.
When can students start to sign up for summer courses?
Summer school options for course remediation will be developed this spring for students who need to make up classes during the summer.
Golden West College also opened the window for registration for summer classes.
Will the Bell Game be live-streamed?
FVHS has created a link for live streaming that has a schedule to broadcast home football, baseball, track, tennis and water polo games. This is a chance for students to watch at least one sports game.
Will spring sports get a season?
As of right now, almost every sport is scheduling games, including swim, soccer, and softball.
Will there be dances this year?
Assistant Principal of Athletics and Activities Kelly Skon explained that as soon as new state guidelines like moving into the next tier are received, the school will try to plan events to bring students together.
Although it may not be a traditional event, an outdoor carnival where students will be wearing masks and social distancing may be an opportunity for students to socialize and have fun.
When is graduation and what will it look like?
Graduation this year will be on June 16. All assistant principals of activities district-wide meet weekly to plan the best possible graduation. The ideal graduation would be as close as possible to a traditional one while following CDH guidelines.
There isn’t a clear format for graduation as of right now. Specific details about graduation will be released mid to late April.
To recognize seniors, the school will be distributing lawn signs, senior awards and more. To stay updated on senior events, students should check Canvas and their emails.
How long will it take until each athlete is allowed more than two spectators at their sporting events?
According to guidelines, only immediate household members are allowed to attend sporting events, and the school has to maintain appropriate social distancing capacity limits. The two spectator limit per athlete also applies to theater shows.
When the school is notified by state guidelines to allow for higher capacity limits, the school will let the community know.
How will the school handle students who post harmful things on social media?
The school is not able to disclose any information about any recent incident. Smith sent out an announcement with resources for students who are in need of help, whether it is for bullying or mental health.
In the case of students posting harmful content on social media, the school works closely with the district office and a resource officer from the Fountain Valley Police Department along with legal counsel from the Orange County Department of Education.
Smith says that the school will strive to structure a more inclusive and safe environment on campus. Upon students’ return to school in the fall, the school will create activities to address behaviors like racism and sexism.
Assistant Principal of Supervision and Athletics Elliot Skolnick also mentioned the upcoming Days of Dialogue event dealing with important topics that are very timely. It will take place over the span of four days from March 23 until March 26.
Teachers will be able to sign their classes up for different sessions held throughout the four days.