EUGENE, Ore. – A normally bustling campus at Marist High School in Eugene has gone silent.
Most students are out of class across the state, and with Gov. Kate Brown’s latest order, they won't be returning until April 28.
But Marist Principal Stacey Baker said education for her student’s won’t be taking a break. In 2015, the school began a program to teach students with iPads. It was intended as a short-term solution for snow days or other temporary school closures, but now it has become an asset during the coronavirus outbreak.
"This is an unprecedented situation,” Baker said. "We are running a normal bell schedule that they would be on if they were here at school,” Baker said.
Monday was the first day the Catholic school switched to remote learning full-time. Just like at school, attendance is mandatory. But the kids are at home, the classes are online and the lessons are prerecorded.
English teacher Bill Ferrari said, in his class, students are assigned readings and participate in a discussion board during his class period.
"This is going to be the new normal for our students for a while,” Ferrari said.
Students said their normally busy school day has been turned upside down.
Henry and Ellie Gonyea are both students at Marist. They said going to class online gives them structure in their day, but a keyboard and a screen aren’t able to give them the social interaction that they need.
"The social aspect of school is definitely taken away, which also makes the days feel quite a bit longer,” Henry Gonyea said.
Another concern on the mind of staff and students is graduation.
"Just graduating on time is one concern. Having an actual graduation ceremony is another concern,” Ellie Gonyea said.
Baker said she’s thinking about different ways to still have a graduation, but no decision has been made.
Ferrari said there's one thing that will never change.
“We are still absolutely here for you and ready to respond to you however you need us to respond,” Ferrari said.