High schools, colleges and universities in Southern California are joining a growing wave of schools that are canceling in-person classes and shifting to online instruction to help contain the coronavirus outbreak.
UCLA, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount, UC Irvine and UC Riverside are among the SoCal schools that are partly or fully moving to online-only instruction.
The shift also means home sporting events will be held on the UCLA and USC campuses without fans in attendance.
All around the country, other public schools and universities are canceling classes or shifting to online-only instruction in an effort to contain the outbreak.
There have been more than 119,000 cases of coronavirus diagnosed worldwide, with more than 4,200 deaths. In the United States, there have been more than 1,000 cases, with more than two dozen deaths.
Schools like Stanford, Duke, Princeton and Columbia are also shifting partly or fully to online-only classes.
The University of Southern California this week was already testing an online-only model for a week in case it has to shift for the longer term.
Then Tuesday night, USC officials announced the online classes would continue for another week after spring recess, from March 22 to March 29.
“We encourage students not to return to campus during this time, but to take their classes remotely,” the school said.
Sporting events would also be held without spectators at USC, although the school said it would make some exceptions for families of the athletes. The events will be streamed for students to watch.
UCLA also has no confirmed cases at this time, according to Chancellor Gene D. Block.
Still, starting Wednesday in-person classes will be suspended “wherever possible” and switched to online platforms at least through April 10, which is the end of the second week of the spring quarter.
Winter quarter exams will be offered remotely, the school says. The campus itself, including housing, hospitals and laboratories, will remain open, but nonessential gatherings of more than 100 people will be canceled.
That includes sporting events on campus, which “will be largely spectator-free through April 10 and limited to individuals essential to safely and effectively managing events.”
“For our entire community, please also remember that COVID-19 is clearly going to disrupt and change our schedules, habits and lives for the foreseeable future,” Block wrote. “This will not be a perfect transition; however, it will not change who we are and what we do.”
The last day of scheduled in-person classes at Pepperdine University will be on Friday, officials announced Wednesday. Classes will transition to online beginning the week of March 16 and will continue online for the remainder of the spring semester.
All residential students are being asked to move out of their on-campus housing by 3 p.m. on March 15, and all non-essential university events with an expected attendance of 100 or more will be canceled or postponed through the end of March, university officials said.
Additionally, Loyola Marymount announced it is moving classroom instruction to the online format from March 16 to March 31. The school is on spring break this week and faculty members are testing out the technology. The school’s three campuses, in Westchester, Playa Vista and downtown Los Angeles, remain open and operational. There have not been any suspected cases of coronavirus at LMU
Riverside says it has no known cases on campus at this time. Still, the school is also shifting to online-only classes. Some classes will continue in-person during a transition period.
Winter exams will be administered remotely. Spring quarter courses will shift to online through April 3.
Students who live on campus have been offered the option to move back home since they are taking classes remotely.
Large gatherings of more than 150 people are being canceled.
Sporting events at UC Riverside will also be held without fans in attendance.
UC’s Irvine campus is continuing classes in-person this week but is encouraging instructors to shift to online-only teaching. Final exams next week will be administered remotely. During spring quarter, the campus will shift to “remote learning mode,” though exceptions will be made for situations such as working in a lab or studio.
Students who live on campus are encouraged to move back to their off-campus homes and stay there for the spring quarter.
Gatherings with more than 100 people are being canceled.
Athletic events will be held without spectators.
California State Long Beach, meanwhile, will suspend in-person, on-campus classes beginning Thursday and continuing through March 17. Regular classes are expected to resume April 20, with “alternative instruction” beginning March 18. Some courses will continue in-person sessions if alternative instruction is not appropriate, such as some laboratory, performing-arts and physical-education courses.
Though there have not been any confirmed cases of coronavirus at California State University Northridge, officials announced Wednesday the university is switching to “virtual and alternate modalities of learning” beginning March 23 and continuing through April 19. All in-person classes will be canceled Thursday, March 12 through Sunday, March 15.
California State University Fullerton, which has also not seen any confirmed cases, will begin transitioning to online classes beginning Thursday, encouraging its faculty “to commence the delivery of non-face-to-face teaching modalities to the full extent that it is feasible and in service to course requirements.” The virtual classes will be mandatory March 17 and 18 for a technical equipment test, then return to voluntary March 19-20.
All face-to-face and virtual classes at CSUF will be suspended March 23-24, while all in-person courses will be suspended beginning March 25 through April 26.
Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez said as many classes as possible will be moved online at all nine of the district’s campuses, beginning March 18. All classes at all colleges will be canceled March 16 and 17 to allow time for faculty training in the online system.
At Chapman University in Orange, officials announced that classes will be moved online, but the campus will remain open. Orange County Health Care Agency officials say the risk of contracting coronavirus is low in Orange County, but the move to online classes is meant to “minimize the potential exposure on campus,” Chapman spokesman Amy Stevens said.
Chapman human resources managers are “evaluating eligibility and capacity for remote work” for university employees. Sports and other campus-related events with more than 100 spectators will be canceled, Stevens said.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GRADE AND HIGH SCHOOLS:
Buckley School in Sherman Oaks is closed.
Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village will close. At-home virtual learning starts from March 16 to April 17.
Campbell Hall in Studio City will close starting Monday.
Oakwood Schools in North Hollywood and Valley Village will be closed Thursday and Friday. Spring Break starts the next week.
Harvard Westlake in Studio City is closed this week. Online-only classes begin next week.
Las Virgenes Unified Schools is cancelling field trips, but previously scheduled events and sports will remain on the calendar until further notice.
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