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SCHOOL WATCH

A newsletter by high school students in partnership with the Ventura County Star V E NTUR A: BUENA SPE A KS, T HE CO UGA R P R E SS, T H E FO OT H I L L D R AGO N PR ESS • C O N EJ O VAL L EY: PA N T H ER PROW L ER • OA K PA RK: TA LO N • OX N AR D/CAM AR I L LO: T H E ST I N GER

COVID-19: A YEAR UNLIKE ANY OTHER

This e di t i on fe a t u re s p i e c e s w ri t t en between Janu ar y and M arch , prior to th e st a r t of hy brid l e a rn in g, focused on differen t a sp e c ts o f the p a nd e m i c.

Campus of memories It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since students, teachers and faculty were first sent home as the COVID-19 virus spread across the globe. Yet as many have become accustomed to staying at home all day, avoiding close contact with other people and turning digital for work and communication, a new ‘normal’ way of life was created — so much so that to think about the ‘normal’ way of life before the pandemic may seem jarring or unimaginable. When I walked on campus on that warm sunny afternoon in late February, all the way from the library to the field, I recalled traces of the pre-pandemic ‘normal.’ Students conversing by the lockers during breaks. Sports teams sharing various parts of the track and field. Teachers’ classrooms filled with students chatting and eating lunch on rainy days. These memories seemed to emanate from the very structures on our campus, even though in reality the school was comparatively empty. Soon the campus will be filled with (although not as much as before) people coming back for

BY MINA JUNG / TALON

hybrid learning. Teachers will see some students face-to-face, students will actually walk to different classrooms alongside peers who continue to use Google Meets, and the campus will no longer be a silent slab of concrete. The future is uncertain, yet we can all look at our campus and feel some sense of unity. Seniors can hope for a sense of normalcy in their final year, freshmen can hope for an actual taste of high school and years in between can hope for a continuation of years prior. While more than 365 days have passed since we went to a ‘normal’ day of school, one thing is for sure — the campus will always embody the highs and lows of Oak Park High School, and will be waiting for our return.

PHOTO COURTESY MINA JUNG / TALON

CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 Top right: Students once walking across campus to get from classroom to classroom are now replaced by changing tabs and inputting different codes enter class Google Meets. The campus may look like its former state now that OPHS reopened in hybrid learning format. Bottom right: In February 2020, students celebrated Chinese New Year on the Great Lawn. Activities included arts and crafts, traditional food and a group dance performed by Chinese language students.

PHOTO COURTESY SAWYER NICOLL AND MINA JUNG / TALON

Canvas and the end of a semester online BY BELLA MEZA / THE FOOTHILL DRAGON PRESS On the brink of a new semester, students and teachers alike have been navigating Canvas and Zoom for the past five months. As Ventura County still hangs in the purple tier and COVID-19 cases remain on the rise, the hopes

of potentially returning back to the classroom in a hybrid model disappear beneath the horizon. Students and faculty will have to carry on with the platform for the foreseeable future. Alongside her peers, Kiersten Falat, class of ’23, has learned how to successfully manage a distance-learning world. Teachers have had to learn

how to adjust their curriculum in order for it to be taught online, Foothill Technology High School English and drama teacher Jennifer Kindred has been able to keep her students engaged through a screen. The online learning platform, Canvas, has been manageable for the time being, but it could be

more “user friendly,” Falat said. Although she may have disliked the platform at first, Kindred has tried to replicate her in-class curriculum to fit a Zoom class allotment of 60 minutes. Canvas enables teachers to provide feedback on assignments, but for teachers who like to “retreat CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: CAPITOL STORMING (2), VACCINES (4), ZOOM + CULTURE (5), MASTHEAD (7)


2 • SPRING 2021

Opinion: Capitol storming, a blow to democracy BY SHAHBANO RAZA / THE STINGER Although I was expecting political and social unrest on Wednesday–due to the inevitable chaos that would ensue following Democratic domination of the Senate–I never fathomed that violent protesters would be storming the Capitol Hill, forcing lawmakers to flee and jeopardizing innocent lives for a misguided, unjustifiable cause. What can only be viewed as acts of sedition, these violent protests further stain our nation’s

democratic values which are currently on the brink of extinction as numerous political leaders augment citizen unrest through their continuous denial of the verified outcome of the tried and true 2020 election and their adamant refusal to allow for a peaceful transition of power. As a member of a generation heavily immersed in the political atmosphere, it was no surprise to me that after news of the violent protests broke, many of my peers were posting on their Instagram

stories, publicly voicing their condemnation of the storming of Capitol Hill. Kaitlyn Wagman, a senior at Cam High, was amongst those voicing their concerns over social media, and she raised several valid points in regards to Wednesday’s attempted coup. Some began drawing parallels between the Capitol Hill incident and the wave of protests associated with the Black Lives Matter movement (commonly referred to as its shortened acronym, BLM) in

order to justify the actions of the Capitol Hill rioters, but Wagman quickly shut down the comparisons. “The only connection that should be made is the contrast between how police handled the situations,” said Wagman. “The BLM protests did get violent, but many times (not including select cities) the vandalism and violence was by those taking advantage of the movement, and not by the movement itself.”

computer, “I don’t fault students for any attempts at short cuts. I totally understand why they would want to do that.” Kindred understands that a lot of in-class activities have the ability to translate over to Canvas but this can be a chal-

classes become less hands-on,” Kindred stated. Falat enjoys the fact that Canvas has everything in one place, you don’t have to switch through multiple open tabs on your computer to get an assignment done, which makes it easier to find assignments

shock to herself and her peers. Utilizing Canvas and Zoom has forced students to change their habits and develop more self-motivational, “it takes a while to get the hang of which can be kind of frustrating because you know you want to be on top of it and stuff,” Falat said. Kindred wants parents to understand that it’s difficult to stay engaged participating in a two-dimensional space. She says that there are two different types of students that she teaches. Students who had been originally shy in in-person classes appear to be thriving and that she constantly gets well thought out comments in the Zoom chat and messages sent to her email. On the other hand, the more social kids are having a harder time paying attention and learning without the social interaction that they’re used to. An entire semester of online learning was a possibility most students couldn’t even imagine months ago. Today, it’s reality. Edgenuity is in the past, but Zoom and Canvas are here to stay possibly through April, or further. Through its many functions, the platform allows students and teachers to interact even though it may not be through the medium they’re used to.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

CANVAS, FROM PAGE 1

from technology” like Kindred, it can be challenging to convey emotion through a typed format. “When I write on somebody’s paper I feel like I’m having a conversation with that person,” Kindred mentioned. For a student on the receiving end of a comment, Falat enjoys reading her teacher’s feedback, “but even then it’s not the same as being face to face and them actually being able to point out what’s going on.” Depending on how long the file is, submitting an assignment on Canvas can be tedious at times. Without being able to physically turn in a paper copy to your teacher the next morning, “a lot of things can go wrong,” Falat stated. Clicking Canvas buttons for hours can be tiring and Kindred finds it mind-boggling that the submission button is at the top of the assignment page instead of the bottom! In order to shorten the time spent on Canvas assignments, some students choose to skip around Canvas modules and only complete assignments that need to be submitted for a grade. In this process, important videos and pages can be missed that would otherwise prepare them for future assignments. Kindred can find this frustrating but she understands hours wasted on the

ILLUSTRATION BY KAELYN SAVARD / THE FOOTHILL DRAGON PRESS

lenge for some elective classes. For example, she mentioned how difficult it must be to try and learn a new language, like Spanish, in a distance-learning environment. As the Foothill Tech drama teacher herself, it’s been hard for her students to learn new concepts when they’ve lost in-person peer interaction. Unfortunately, for the time being, “those hands-on

and navigate the platform. On the other hand, Falat mentioned that “even when we did like the introduction and it showed you how to go through everything that wasn’t super straight forward.” A component that she’d like to see added to the platform is a large clock icon that counts down when the assignment is due. Having spent five months outside of the classroom has been a


SPRING 2021 • 3

CAMPUS, FROM PAGE 1

PHOTO COURTESY LAUREN BATTIN AND MINA JUNG / TALON

By the end of the 2019-2020 season, the OPHS varsity girls’ soccer team finished third place in the Coastal Canyon League and continued to the first round of CIF playoffs in early February 2020. During lockdown, some students practice their sports on the field which is open for certain hours.

PHOTO COURTESY SAI BHARGAVI, LAKSHMI NARASIMHAN AND MINA JUNG / TALON

In celebration of the Hindu festival of lights Diwali in December 2019, OPHS students came to school wearing chudidhars, kurtas and other pieces of Indian clothing. This commemoration photo was taken by the G-buildings.

PHOTO COURTESY LUCY-HEINE VAN FOSSEN AND MINA JUNG / TALON

As OPUSD hosted a parent meeting regarding new gender diversity grade school lessons on Sept.10, 2019, news trucks parked behind the B-buildings to report. The parking lot remains mostly empty as most school events are now held virtually.

PHOTO COURTESY BLAKE HANLON AND MINA JUNG / TALON

OPHS alumnus JD Slajchert sold copies of his book “Moonflower” and talked to students during lunch on Sept. 13, 2019. Senior Shoshana Medved and OPHS alumna Leonie Humig interviewed Slajchert about his debut novel in front of the front entrance to the gym.

PHOTO COURTESY MINA JUNG / TALON

Bleachers filled with student and parent spectators, band members and others, along with cheerleaders on the field and snack vendors by the lunch tables, were a common sight at OPHS football games. While those bleachers have remained empty for over a year, OPHS’s football team has continued to practice.

PHOTO COURTESY SAM-BARNEY GIBBS AND MINA JUNG / TALON

The aftermath of rally days often involved colored banners littered across the floor, such as after the rally in September 2019. While school rallies may not be possible in the near future, ASB has organized various events including virtual homecoming.


4 • SPRING 2021

Teacher vaccinations provide hope for hybrid BY SAHEL SCHAAB / BUENA SPEAKS With the reopening of schools right around the corner, there are mixed emotions among teachers and students alike. Teachers have begun to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in preparation for the return to in-person instruction on March 31. “…my husband and I both; because we are both teachers, were able to both go on Friday [Feb. 26] up to Nordoff and get our first vaccine,” English teacher Katherine Loughman said. Adults who are considered “frontline essential workers” and those who work in the “educational sector” were among the phase 1b group to receive the vaccine, according to the CDC’s vaccine rollout recommendations. This group includes some of our very own Buena staff. “I was anticipating having to wait for the district to do their big vaccination jamboree, but as it was, I managed to sneak in a little bit earlier…my wife is also a teacher, so the two of us managed to snag a couple slots earlier than anticipated,” librarian Joel Levin said. “It was such a relief. I know a few people who got vaccinated who were like, ‘It feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.’” Receiving the vaccine is more than a safety measure for many; It symbolizes human advancement and even allows for a newly found peace of mind among families. “I think the creation of this vaccine is a triumph of science. For me, it means that after my second dose, I can visit with my parents and my 90 year old grandparents again without the fear that I will get them sick,” English teacher Karin Childress said. “It means that my

daughter can go back to school soon. It means that I can work with my students again, which I believe will boost my spirits a great deal.” Opinions on returning to school in-person vary, but many feel it will be safe to do so once they have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’m still nervous about it. Hopefully I’ll get my second shot at the end of the month…I do worry about the safety and well being of the students and I’ll feel a lot safer myself knowing that I’ll be fully vaccinated at that point,” Levin said. There is an increasing sense of security as a result of the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine among educators. Teachers and staff have begun to feel that safely returning to in-person instruction can become a reality. “Since I will have my second dose two weeks before I will potentially be back in person with students, I do feel much safer returning to school. I was very concerned about potentially catching or spreading COVID to students, staff, or my family, and the vaccine gives me more security,” Childress said.

ILLUSTRATION BY SAHEL SCHAAB / BUENA SPEAKS

Studies have shown that Americans are becoming more hopeful in regards to the potential success of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Pew Research Center, “the share of Americans who say they plan to get vaccinated has increased as the public has grown more confident that the development process will deliver a safe and effective vaccine.” “…the foundation of the COVID-19 vaccine was already in place, people have been spending years, and years, and years working on a similar kind of vaccine set up. They had the Bisquick ready to go. It was just a matter of adapting it to specifically target COVID-19…I trust the science, I trust the scientists,” Levin said. Distance learning has undoubtedly created a new set of obstacles for teachers, students, and families. Although returning to school would provide some sense of normalcy for students, there is growing concern about their personal safety. “I think that returning to in-person learning is irresponsible and not only endangering people at risk but students as this virus is possibly deadly towards young people too,” senior Eric Aranda said. “A ma-

jority of young people won’t be able to get vaccinated for months, it’s very risky.” Mental health has also taken its toll on students’ desire to return to campus. With virtual learning becoming the new normal, students are not convinced that in-person classes are necessary. “Unfortunately the pandemic [has] been consuming quite a bit of our social experiences and had definitely deteriorated my interest in ever returning to campus,” senior Lezanne Touma said. “Not only did our mental health and ability to learn change, the way in which our teachers produced their curriculum changed drastically as well.” Hybrid learning will commence at the end of the month, with proper safety precautions in place. Students will be required to wear a mask at all times, implement proper social distancing protocols, and are expected to conduct their own wellness check before coming to school. Even with these safety precautions in place, uneasy feelings among students are common. “I’m a little skeptical on whether or not this whole thing will work out,” senior Diego Ramirez said. Despite the mixed feelings about hybrid learning, the common goal still remainshelping students reach their educational goals and providing a supportive learning environment. The availability of vaccines for teachers will provide a sense of security for the health and well being of students and staff. “Stay strong Bulldog nation! We will prevail over all of this and be stronger for it in the end. I believe Buena has heart and through these tough struggles we are building a stronger community,” Childress said.


SPRING 2021 • 5

Zoom sabotages are the new class disruption BY GRETA PANKRATZ / THE COUGAR PRESS The average high school classroom has its share of jokes and disruptions, but they seem to be following students through the switch to online learning. Due to the new virtual platform, people can now hide behind turned off cameras and, in more severe cases, even fake names. Responsibility can be hard to assign, and therefore punishment doesn’t pose as great of a threat as before. Not only this, but because teachers are still navigating the new virtual world, their classes are vulnerable to security issues. Disruptions can be anything from personal obstacles, such as a cell phone or siblings, slow technology, or even zoom sabotages from troublesome students. Zoom sabotages can include students who join a class they don’t belong to, or even just disruptive kids on their own zooms. By blurting out inappropriate words or noises, the interruptions waste

time and make the other students and teachers feel uncomfortable. Although it’s hard to expect complete focus from students at all times, junior Tess Luoma de-

ILLUSTRATION BY GRETA PANKRATZ / THE COUGAR PRESS

scribed the difference as, “When someone is obviously on their phone or talking to someone or always has their camera off, I think that’s rude. Being on your

phone sometimes is ok, but when it’s out in the open or interrupting the teachers that’s not the best.” After staring at a screen day afCONTINUED ON PAGE 7

Opinion: Culture contributes to COVID-19 spread BY PRASHEETHA KARTHIKEYAN / PANTHER PROWLER It seems like the U.S. can hardly catch a break with its COVID-19 cases. We are still topping the COVID-19 World-o-meter and with little evidence of this slowing. This is especially upsetting considering that some nations, such as New Zealand, are COVID-19 free altogether, and many others, such as Singapore, have daily case numbers in the double digits. It becomes apparent that there is a correlation between the COVID-19 response of a country, at both a governmental and individual level, and the cultural views held by the country. In the U.S., we have bred a

culture of individualism as a byproduct of our capitalism. While there are a wide range of opinions as to whether or not this is a good thing, it is irrefutable that this has driven us into an “every man for himself” type mindset. Normally, this mindset is found in the context of socio-economic mobility. Now, that idea has been translated into not catching an illness. If capitalism is to individualism, then socialism is to collectivism, due to the analogy of government system to mindset. Americans have become so conditioned to be afraid of collectivism and social coordination due to its close links to socialism to the point where we care more about our “personal free-

doms,” such as not wearing a mask, than saving the lives of others. The most dangerous statement told to our individualistic nation at the beginning of the pandemic was that masks are to be worn to protect those around you. Although studies have since proven that wearing a mask protects the user as well, this initial sentiment turned many off from wearing a mask to begin with simply because of the impression that it does not affect them. It is terrifying the little regard for others some of the people around us have. Conversely, this issue does not seem to pop up nearly as much in other countries, especially those who hold more of a collectivist mindset. New

Zealand, for example, was able to lock down without major opposition. Harvard Political Review reported on a study from the University of California, stating that “countries with a generally collectivist framework have a faster, more effective response, as their citizens are more likely to comply with social distancing and hygiene practices that help reduce the spread, while individualist countries respond less successively.” Similarly, a study conducted jointly by two University of California professors and a Kent State University professor after the Ebola outbreak tested protection efficacy, the feeling that one could protect CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


6 • SPRING 2021

CAPITOL, FROM PAGE 2

Yes, as Wagman stated, there were several instances of the Black Lives Matter protests that should be subject to scrutiny, but there is no doubt that the prompt, aggressive, and militant reaction of law enforcement to the overwhelming peaceful protests that accompanied the Black Lives Matter movement is a stark contrast to their chaotic, disorganized, and largely unsuccessful attempts at subduing the violent protests at Capitol Hill. “Now we have this riot at Capitol Hill, in which there was obvious violence from rioters, yet the National Guard was not called until much later, and police tried desperately to be peaceful, most rioters not facing any consequences for their actions,” Wagman noted. Another point to note is that the Black Lives Matter protests revolved around what many would agree is a humanitarian crisis that plagues our nation: the systemic racism that the Black community is subjected to on a daily basis. However, the protests at Capitol Hill have nothing to do

with socio-economic disparities or racial inequity, and everything to do with the president’s inflammatory rhetoric and the rampant consumption of misinformation and conspiracy theories that continue to fuel the grave misconception that the 2020 election was fraudulent and corrupt. As stated by the Associated Press, “Trump’s allegations of massive voting fraud have been refuted by a variety of judges, state election officials and an arm of his own administration’s Homeland Security Department.” Allegations of voter fraud have been debunked and campaign lawsuits tossed out of court. After the violent mob was cleared and building secured, congressional leaders returned to Capitol Hill to resume counting the electoral votes that would certify president-elect Biden’s election victory. “It took until deep in the early hours of Thursday morning, but Congress eventually counted and certified Biden’s election win,” CNN confirmed. So, was this attempted coup an acceptable, justified

demonstration of the first and second amendments, or was it a violent, unwarranted attack on the American people and their democracy? If you accept the facts of the 2020 election and respect the democratic foundations of our nation, you, like Wagman and I, most likely believe the latter. “People have the right to peaceful protest, but to storm Capitol Hill and endanger all of our political leaders for something that has been contested and settled is not at all justifiable,” Wagman said, perfectly encapsulating a perspective that surpasses the limitations of partisanship and extends to all those who value reason and morality over the desire to incite hatred and violence because of political dissent. The hypocrisy is clear as day. The so-called patriots who rioted within the walls of Capitol Hill are the very people who threaten the democratic system that enables their patriotism in the first place. By threatening the safety of others and disrupting the democratic proceedings that dictate the state of

this nation, this mob of protestors insulted the principle of democracy that paved the way for the very civil liberties that allowed them to be armed with more than just an arsenal of words. What took place on Wednesday reminded me of the stories my parents would tell me about the coups and civil unrest that characterized their childhood spent in Pakistan, a third-world country that is often demeaned and ridiculed for its overt lack of proper democracy. But who are we to criticize the tumultuous political proceedings of other nations when our own country, a first-world nation that prides itself on its esteemed democratic standards, is unable to shield itself from the looming threats of anarchy and autocracy? This historic storming of Capitol Hill was a nearly fatal blow to democracy felt not only within our nation but across the globe as surrounding countries watched with a blend of disbelief, disdain, and dread as the pillars of the American republic shook from the brunt of ignorance and contempt.

a perceived risk, tend to have a higher sense of efficacy, meaning that my group will do something to protect me or my community. And those protective processes are coordinated and work together.” Evidently, other countries

don’t experience the same political turbulence associated with collectivist efforts as the United States does. The matter here has become political whereas in other places it has remained what it is: a human rights issue. Culture is a ma-

jor determinant of the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, and the lack of social coordination is preventing improvement of the situation.

CULTURE, FROM PAGE 5

oneself from the virus, in a number of Asian collectivist societies. The protection’s efficacy was measured at three levels: personal, community and country. The results found that “collectivistic people, especially in the face of

L I K E W H AT YO U S E E ? You can check out student newspaper websites for more content specific to the school and area of Ventura County:

(Oak Park) TALON: oakparktalon.org (Camarillo) THE STINGER: achsstinger.com (Oxnard) ISLE FILE: islefile.org

(Conejo Valley) PANTHER PROWLER: pantherprowler.org (Conejo Valley) THE LANCER: tohsthelancer.org (Ventura) THE FOOTHILL DRAGON PRESS: foothilldragonpress.org (Ventura) THE COUGAR PRESS: thecougarpress.org (Ventura) BUENA SPEAKS: buenaspeaks.org (Simi Valley) THE PLAID TRUTH: plaidtruth.com


SPRING 2021 • 7

ZOOM, FROM PAGE 5

ter day, losing interest in zooms isn’t uncommon. In a rating scale posted on the Cougar Press Instagram on Oct. 6, 2020, the question “Do you ever find it difficult to take zooms seriously?” was asked with the levels of “nope,” “sometimes,” and “definitely.” Out of 139 VHS student responses, the average result was directly between sometimes and definitely. While this doesn’t necessarily mean a complete loss of respect for the Zoom class, it can be inferred that small at-home distractions are prevalent. Senior Jordan Wagoner even commented, “I think it’s funny when kids just join the call and go back to sleep.” The simplicity of turning the mic and camera off allows for this level of zoning out. While not directly harmful to the teacher and classmates, tempting opportunities like this could potentially be damaging to students’ grades and understanding. As many students may have experienced, poor connection can play a large role in feeling disconnected from the class and teacher. Being too glitchy to speak, not being able to hear, or watching a lagging screen share are all factors that can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. Sophomore Carlos Garcia-Benitez expressed, “In Zoom, I’ve been kicked out of meetings due to my internet connection. I once had a presentation on Google slides and when it was

my turn, I was on mute for the first two slides I presented.” Wagoner has experienced similar technological obstacles. When asked what problems she has faced, she said, “When Zoom went down and all of the teachers had to use google meets, or when my Spanish teacher got kicked from the call and one of the students was the head of the call.” Disruptions like these are issues that students have never had to deal with during in-person learning, and they may be a factor in why students have trouble taking zoom classes as seriously as traditional school. A distraction that seems to have adapted to fit online learning is disruptive students. Kids can hide behind a grey screen and act out before a teacher has the chance to kick them out. Gwendolyn Neger, a junior, stated how she felt, “It’s pretty immature but I guess people are bored and want to have some ‘fun.’ I experienced disruptions from a few boys that thought it was funny to talk, make noises, and shout inappropriate things in the middle of math class. These boys were especially rude to one of the girls in my class that was just trying to learn.” It has come to the point where classes are not only being interrupted, but students and teachers are being harassed with crude language. Luoma, who had experienced being called out directly, described, “Whenever someone hacks into the zoom

meetings they make inappropriate noises and cuss. It’s so rude and there’s no point to it. In both the junior counselor meeting and my Spanish class the same person interrupted, but in Spanish even called me out inappropriately. He was using fake names of the students that were missing to get in. He listened through attendance and once he got kicked out, tried to come back in as one of the absent kids.” People who do things like this are determined to cause a scene. They go to the extent of using fake names that they know will work just for the purpose of disrupting the class. The teachers, who already have a limited time each week with their students, must then take their focus off of teaching and instead worry about the security of their class. In an attempt to stop outside hackings, Ventura Unified School District took the step to allow only Ventura.edu email accounts to access our school zooms. Garcia-Benitez commented, “I think the school did a good job with having students log into zoom with our school emails.” However, although this protects from outsiders, it doesn’t stop kids from messing around. With our current online abilities, it would be difficult to stop these attacks. With a VUSD account and a zoom meeting password and ID, there isn’t much that can stop those with a troublesome agenda. As Luoma

explained, “I don’t really think there is a way to prevent it because even if teachers change the code, students will still leak it.” In addition to this, the simplicity of staying anonymous has lessened the threat of punishment, not only for the sabotager, but for those who leak the codes as well. “I don’t think it’s easy to punish someone for letting a random person into a call because you don’t know what student sent out the ID,” explained Wagoner. With our current system, teachers just have to rely on kicking the students out. Fully online schooling is a system that is different from what most VHS students have experienced. Because it isn’t what kids usually associate with learning, it may not feel official or very serious yet. It will take time to adapt, and the second things start to click, we could be switching into a new hybrid system. High school students right now are learning in an environment unique to one that has ever existed before. There are bound to be issues because it is a learning process for everyone. The school asks the students to cooperate, and in return students rely on the board to make decisions with their interests in mind. Our system, for the time being, isn’t perfect, but in order for it to be its best, it takes respectful students and understanding teachers. Effort must be seen from both sides if we ever wish to return.

This newsletter is part of a project started by Shivani Patel, the education reporter for the Ventura County Star through the Report for America corps program. Report for America is an initiative from the nonprofit GroundTruth Project.

PANTHER PROWLER Newbury Park High School Adviser: Michelle Saremi Contributors: Carter Castillo, Prasheetha Karthikeyan, Adalia Luo, Hayden Meixner

THE COUGAR PRESS Ventura High School Adviser: Margaret Sellers Contributors: Anna Guerra, Caroline Marsden, Yasmin Myers, Greta Pankratz

TALON Oak Park High School Adviser: Caitlin Fowler Contributors: Daisy Calderon, Oliver Carter, Jay Dugar, Emily Francis, Ellie Hand, Mina Jung

THE LANCER Thousand Oaks High School Adviser: Tasha Beaudoin Contributors: Kyle Lobenhofer, Molly Norton, Finn Swanson, Natalie Venable

BUENA SPEAKS Buena High School Adviser: Jessica Castaneda Contributor: Sahel Schaab

THE STINGER Camarillo High School Adviser: Mark Storer Contributors: Garrett Nagode, Shahbano Raza

The content — articles, photos and illustrations — in this newsletter has been produced by students for their respective publications. They have not gone through additional fact-checking by The Star. Students and advisers listed have also participated in monthly meetings.

THE FOOTHILL DRAGON PRESS Foothill Tech High School Adviser: Yiu Hung Li Contributors: Bella Meza, Chloe Scofield, Sean Quinn

THE PLAID TRUTH Royal High School Adviser: Rita Longo Contributors: Alex Edgar, Daisy Popick

ISLE FILE Channel Islands High School Adviser: John Grennan Contributors: Lhayla Ceraos, Rachelle Feria

Profile for Shivani Patel

School Watch — Spring 2021 edition  

School Watch is a newsletter by Ventura County high school students in partnership with the Ventura County Star. The spring 2021 edition fea...

School Watch — Spring 2021 edition  

School Watch is a newsletter by Ventura County high school students in partnership with the Ventura County Star. The spring 2021 edition fea...

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