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Students, faculty share adjustments of new learning system, quarantining at home

With the continuing outbreak of the corona virus, schools around the world shut down to keep students and faculty safe. Many schools, including Fresno Christian, continue education on various online platforms. Utilizing Schoology, FCS teachers continue assigning and grading work.

This week, teachers have turned to the video conferencing platform, Cisco Webex. Webex is a video call system allowing you to have as many people you need for meetings or online classes from anywhere you are.

Courtesy Smith Family

Tyler Smith, ’23, works from home in accordance with Fresno Christian’s alternative learning model.

Taking into consideration the impact of the virus on local and national levels, the Mayor of Fresno, Lee Brand, asked residents to shelter in place until April 12. California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom urges parents and students to be prepared for schools to stay closed for the remainder of the school year. These new ways of learning and societal changes often impact students and parents alike.

School as we know it changed on March 16. For those who still do not know campus administration’s plans for continued academic study, read Superintendent, faculty share updates on school, alternative learning model.

The Feather asked the FC community how they were adjusting, and the following comments were sent in as a part of this join the discussion. This author will continue to add additional comments if they are received via Shane Phillips’ email.

More time as a family
Dorina Gilmore-Young, local author/speaker
March 26, 2020

“This will be a challenging switch, but I’m grateful for the work our teachers and administrators have put in to help equip families. We are exercising together every morning. We are reading books together, writing in journals, cooking meals together and making time for art and rest. I believe these are all important elements of learning beyond the regular assignments given for my girls. We are also going through a family devotional called Foundations by Ruth and Troy Simons. This opens the door to process our faith together in the midst of this pandemic and to meditate on Scripture together.”

Organizing and cleaning
Michelle Logan, FC high school and junior high office manager
March 26, 2020

“I actually really miss going to work and seeing all your faces everyday. It’s hard not being around people and knowing that I can’t go out into the world like I normally would on a daily basis. But on the bright side, I’m sleeping in a little longer than normal and my house has never been cleaner, Luckily, our family likes each other a lot, so we don’t seem to mind the quality family time we are getting. However, we cannot wait for the day that we can have Me-N-Ed’s pizza and Antonio’s Mexican Food again.”

Missing students 
Scott Falk, Vice Principal and Bible teacher
March 26, 2020

“My biggest adjustment is not seeing the students every day, interacting and finding joy with them.  I’m spending a lot of time, actually more time, than I normally do preparing online lessons, grading, and interacting with students via email and our online format Webex.  I am in a routine, yes.  Hours pretty much the same as when school was in session.  I prefer to work out of my office, which I am able to do. Working from home doesn’t agree with me, unless I’m grading assignments on the weekends or evenings in front of a movie, show, or sports game.”

Nice evening with my family
Carston Saelzler, ’21
March 25, 2020

“My daily routine is basically in the morning: I start doing my schoolwork and usually continue on with that until mid afternoon as normal. Then I will barbecue up some burgers, sit by the pool, and play with my dog. After that, I go out on a run around the Clovis area and then enjoy a nice evening with my family watching a movie or something like that. I like it better than a normal school day because I can control my own schedule. Even though I’m not hanging out with my friends, it’s more relaxing and less stressful.”

The following tweet features a Feather article sharing an update on FCS’ new alternative learning system.

Change is never easy
Jeremy Brown, FC Superintendent
March 24, 2020

“Working at home has been an adjustment for me, like it is for everyone. Change is never easy, but I have found that during times of trials people adapt and improve how they do things. The real excitement has been with how our staff and students are using Webex. Our staff has done a wonderful job embracing this technology and making the most of it. A big thanks goes to Mr. (Robert) Hyatt [FC director of technology] has done a wonderful job supporting, communicating and encouraging our staff and community using this platform.”

Changing my daily routine
Tyler Smith, ’23
March 24, 2020

“My daily routine has been me waking up and starting school work, eating breakfast and then playing video games for a while. Lastly I do something active for an hour. It has changed by me doing school online and I really can’t hangout with friends unless it’s over video call. I’m adjusting OK and I’ve been filling time by doing games, art or other activities. I don’t have any additional chores; I just have more time now to do them.”

Quite an adjustment
Macy Little, ’20
March 24, 2020

“Well, with schools transferring to strictly online, it’s been quite an adjustment. My routine has consisted of  waking up, checking my emails 24/7, going on an online meeting for classes, watching movies and then sleeping super late. The adjustment has changed my sleeping schedule the most. When I would go to school, I would wake up at 7:30-8 a.m. Since I can’t really leave the house, I have been going to bed around 4 a.m., and waking up around 3 p.m.! This has made me procrastinate a ton on my schoolwork. And it also puts me behind on assignments that are online because I like to learn person-to-person to really understand.

Courtesy Draper Family

Selah Draper, 22, finishes her math homework after receiving instruction from math teacher Angie Counts through WebEx.

Calling friends
Caleigh Alday, ’21
March 24, 2020

“My daily routine involves staying inside and going to play outside with my dog when I need to get out. I usually get up whenever I have Webex in the morning. It’s changed because my parents are both in the medical field and want me to stay as healthy as possible at home so I really haven’t left at all. Adjusting, I would say has been okay but my life revolves around dance and that has been cut out because of this virus. So far three competitions have been cancelled and my dance classes are crazy! It has drastically changed my life because I feel like being active is what I’m drawn to and I can’t do that or see my team at all.”

Learning new skills
Kyle Clem, ’21
March 24, 2020

“Nowadays, I’ve been getting up at around 9 a.m. or earlier if I have a class at that time and taking a shower to get ready for the day. I like to get up earlier so I can work on any school work I have for the day and then be able to hang out afterwards. I feel like I’ve changed how much sleep I can get each night by being able to wake up later and still get plenty accomplished during the day. I’ve been spending time outside and hanging out with my family more than normal. I’ve also been trying to learn some new skills on YouTube and trying to occupy my time with things like that.”

Enjoying family company
Karoline Sandberg, ’22
March 23, 2020

“My daily routine has changed a lot. I’m sleeping in more and I stay up later. Some days I don’t get out of my pajamas till the afternoon. I’m filling time with playing board games with my siblings and watching a lot of movies. We’ve had more time to enjoy each other’s company and I’ve had more time to just relax. I have a few additional chores now that I’m home more, like vacuuming and doing laundry, but I’m fine with it because I have a lot of time to kill.” 

Sleeping more
Mackenzie Beckworth, ’21
 March 21, 2020

“My daily routine consists of sleeping all the time and having time to focus on my schoolwork. It’s changed everything. I’m filling time with playing instruments and watching dumb movies that aren’t even worth watching. I’ve been writing and reading a lot, too. There are for sure more chores; I’m tasked with dishes and laundry every other day. It isn’t that bad at all and I’d want to do something with my time.”

Avery Jones | The Feather Online

In order to social distance, senior Annabelle Messer’s family observes church from home through a livestream.

More time for other things
Ashley Logan, ’22
March 21, 2020

“My daily routine consists of sleeping in but I try to get up before 10 a.m. I make myself breakfast and watch some TV. A little later I’ll get up and do some school work so I don’t fall behind them. I’ll clean my room or watch more TV. I’ll do some sort of work out with someone from my family. I try to do a little devotion every day. We normally get ready for bed and go to bed around 9-10 p.m. The biggest change obviously is we don’t have to go to school so I have more time for other things like cleaning my room. I’m also on my phone a lot more.”

My weekend routine
Mason Beal, ’22
March 21, 2020

“My daily routine starts at 7:30 a.m. I go outside and prepare the arena (for horses) to be ridden which requires me to water the arena with a 1996 water truck and then I have to drag the pen with a one ton tractor. This is basically what my weekend routine is during the spring time. If this was summer, I’d be starting at 4 a.m. I’m adjusting perfectly fine, this isn’t unusual for me. I have more horses to ride in a day and more ‘chores’ to do but nothing that I haven’t done before. The teachers have been pretty easy. I’m used to doing a lot of work at home, so it’s not a problem for me.”

From busy to relaxing
Selah Draper, ’22
March 21, 2020

“My daily routine looks like waking up at 8-9 a.m., breakfast and then school from 10-12. Usually I go on bike rides or go to the park. My life has changed from being busy to relaxing. I don’t know how to really fill up all my time, so I try to do things that I want to. I do have chores. I have to make sure everyone makes their bed and clean the bathroom.”

Looser routine
Zoe Bull, ’23
March 21, 2020

“My daily routine is much looser, with the option of waking up late, and starting the workload at about twelve in the afternoon. I hadn’t realized the impact school made on my daily schedule, or just how much I would miss it when I was gone. Filling time has never been difficult for me, being an only child and an overall introvert, and I’ve found quite a few ways to get by. I usually plan out my homework and when I should get that done, with my mid-homework break being ‘PE’. Then I usually play video games, clean or go through old toys and draw.”

The following video from the L.A. Times features California Governor Gavin Newsom urging all Californians to stay home, March 19.

More time to myself
Rachel Moate, ’23
March 21, 2020

“My daily routine has turned into a lot of things I didn’t have time to do when school was in. Now I have to sleep in and take more time for myself. Other than that I will do homework the rest of the time. I am filling time by mostly doing homework, but I take breaks and will bake or make myself lunch. I’ve also been periodically deep cleaning my room or redecorating. I don’t really have additional set chores, just mostly things I will do to help out just for something to do, like laundry or picking fruit.”

Everything has changed
Joshua Chinn, ’23
March 21, 2020

“So basically everything about my schedule has changed. I would normally be at school. I now have to also stay on top of my schoolwork or else I will get behind. I’ve filled up my time by sleeping in. I’ve been careful to keep schoolwork in my schedule so I’m not behind on it. Exercising has been a big part that I’ve added in now that I don’t have strength and conditioning at school. And either at nights or mornings, I spend 15 minutes with God. During school, I was very busy and didn’t spend as much time with God as I would have liked, but now I can.”

Spending time with host family
Serena Zhao, ’20
March 20, 2020

I try to still stick to my regular school routine every day. Every morning I give myself the mindset of ‘today is a school day’. I feel like in the morning, I can concentrate more on studying than in the afternoon. With my new free time, I joined a reading group with my friends, and we have online discussions about the book weekly. Also, as a senior, I have more time to navigate all my admitted colleges and narrow my list down to choose my home for the next four years. This is a time to actually enjoy and spend time with family. I will be leaving my host family after graduation to start my new journey in college soon. With that being said, I really won’t get to live with them ever again. So I feel like spending more time with family is essential.”

For an update on Fresno Christian, read Superintendent, faculty share updates on school, alternative learning model.

For another join the discussion, read Join The Discussion: Serve Day 2020.

Shane Phillips can be reached via email.

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