Coronavirus extends spring break at all GUSD schools


GUSD Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian sent out the schedule for GUSD schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to diffuse around the world, the Glendale Unified School District announced on the evening of March 13 that spring break for students would be extended through March 27. In an email sent out by GUSD Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian, Dr. Ekchian said that in addition to the extended break, GUSD students will participate in enrichment activities that are off-campus from March 30 to April 3. According to the email, all classes are expected to resume normal operations on Monday, April 6.

The extended break announcement follows California governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order on March 12 which recommended that gatherings of more than 250 people be cancelled and social distancing be kept to at least six feet. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, making it the first pandemic to be caused by a coronavirus. On March 13, President Donald Trump also declared a national state of emergency in response to the outbreak.

The extended closure of schools brings joy for some students, but also concern. “While I am happy about a longer break, I’m personally worried about the safety and daily commute of my own life,” said Clark junior Jannice Rigor. “Even though the whole purpose of shutting down schools is meant to fix these problems and make sure our school environment is safe and healthy, it seems odd really living out a time where we’ve needed to take a drastic step as shutting down schools for a big pandemic,” Rigor added. 

“I am honestly happy to have a bit of break from school, but I understand the greater implications of the school shutting down due to the virus,” said Clark junior Andres Hermina. “However, I would prefer the break not be extended.”

During the extended break and off-campus enrichment periods for students, all GUSD teachers and staff are expected to return to their campuses, according to Dr. Ekchian. “If our local government health officials deem [coming into school] safe, then I’m going to trust them,” said Clark U.S. History and Tech Lit teacher Eric Kursinski. “The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the fact that the school will be empty for a week.”

The extended closure of GUSD schools means that students will need to participate in off-campus activities so that the instructional period of the school year can continue. “I’m still figuring out how [to keep students engaged and learning]. Part of the reason teachers are going back earlier is to plan for distance learning and to figure out how to [keep students engaged],” Kursinski added. “Our students learn a lot from the internet already, so maybe this could be an opportunity to help our students figure out how to better utilize it.”