Although you couldn’t tell it so much from looking around school campuses in Riverbank during the past week or so, classes began for the new school year as scheduled last week, on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Monday through Wednesday last week, Aug. 3 through 5, teachers were in their classrooms and in meetings, organizing themselves for what is expected to be the ‘new normal,’ at least for the fall semester. Distance learning is the platform for all Riverbank Unified School District students and, in fact, is in place throughout Stanislaus County.
The halls of the Riverbank High School campus were devoid of the normal hustle and bustle of school attendance, since students were at home, glued to their Chromebook computers. In the meantime, teachers were broadcasting from their classrooms, via the internet, trying to keep things as much like the past as possible. Class period schedules were the order of the day, including a break for lunch, as usual.
In addition to the quiet in the hallways and byways across the campus, there was a marked quiet evident in the front office, where attendance, campus visitors and other administrative activities typically occur. Just staff members were present, since the normally noisy students were nowhere to be found.
While regular classes, like math, science, history and languages, are relatively the same over the internet, there’s no official word yet on how more artistic classes can be taught. Performance classes, like band, or drama, seem more difficult to present, as are the building construction classes.
And there’s been no word on physical education activities; how and when they might be scheduled.
Also, with the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, high school sports in the area are being postponed, with a scheduled start of the fall season not planned until January 2021.