Private schools in Los Angeles prepare to open classrooms with new COVID-19 measures

UNTV News   •   July 15, 2020   •   245

While most public schools across the country will begin the new school year with online education in the fall, private schools in Los Angeles are preparing to open their classroom doors to students for face-to-face learning.

At St. Benedict School in Montebello, one of 200 private schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, classrooms have been adjusted for social distancing, with cardboard partitions on top of desks to keep students apart. Class sizes have also been modified and temperature checks will be carried out when lessons resume on September 9.

Principal Frank Loya Jr. told Reuters on Tuesday (July 14) his teachers are eager to return to school, after facing difficulties teaching from home.

“Very challenging because the majority of my teachers have children. So, they’re also teaching their class, their students in their classroom. Plus, since their children are at home also, they had to be teaching, directing them. Some of their children attend public school and some of them attend St. Benedict also. So, all that adjustment, I think, as teachers were very stressed,” he said.

A few miles away at St. Joseph School in La Puente, classrooms, restrooms and water fountains are being rebuilt to comply with new COVID-19 guidelines. The school had already planned renovations prior to the pandemic but with additional funding, they decided to expand further.

St. Joseph School currently has 200 students enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year

“Education isn’t the same when you’re not in a classroom setting,” said principal Luis Hayes. “When children are at home, it’s hard to have classroom management, and the student level of engagement changes. So, when you’re in a classroom setting and when you’re with the teacher, you have the classroom management and you have the engagement piece,” he said.

Hayes said there’s an vitally important emotional that comes with in-person instruction.

“For students to come back to school, it’s important that we give them that social emotional aspect and we give them time where they know how to socialize, but they know how to do it safely. And we practice all the social distancing,”

There are approximately 73,000 students enrolled in 200 schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the new school year.

Tuition cost ranges from $5,000 for primary schools up to $11,437 for high school. (Reuters)

(Production: Alan Devall / Norma Galeana)

Coronavirus crisis may get “worse and worse and worse,” warns WHO

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020

The new coronavirus pandemic raging around the globe will worsen if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday (July 13).

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from the U.N. agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

Global infections stand at 13 million, according to a Reuters tally, with more than half a million deaths.

Tedros, whose leadership has been heavily criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump, said that of 230,000 new cases on Sunday (July 12), 80% were from 10 nations, and 50% from just two countries. The United States and Brazil are the countries worst hit.

Tedros said the WHO had still not received formal notification of the U.S. pullout announced by Trump. The U.S. president says the WHO pandered to China, where the COVID-19 disease was first detected, at the start of the crisis. Trump, who wore a protective face mask for the first time in public at the weekend, has himself been accused by political opponents of not taking the coronavirus seriously enough, something he denies.

A WHO advance team has gone to China to investigate the origins of the new coronavirus, first discovered in the city of Wuhan. The team’s members are in quarantine, as per standard procedure, before they begin work with Chinese scientists, WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan said. (Reuters)

(Production: Ardee Napolitano)

Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash may have become disoriented in heavy fog – NTSB

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in foothills near Los Angeles, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all seven others on board, likely became disoriented in the fog, federal investigators said on Wednesday (June 17).

The National Transportation Safety Board report said pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing, when in fact it was descending shortly before slamming into a hillside outside the community of Calabasas on Jan. 26.

The NTSB said that pilots can become confused over an aircraft’s attitude and acceleration when they cannot see the sky or landscape around them, causing “spacial disorientation.”

“Without outside references or attention to the helicopter’s attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived,” the NTSB said.

The findings came in a “public docket” released by the NTSB as it investigates the crash. The agency has not yet released its final report. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

LOOK: Deped’s proposed class seat arrangement for possible face-to-face learning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 25, 2020

The Department of Education (Deped) has proposed classroom seating arrangements in case face-to-face learning will be implemented for the upcoming school year.

In a post, Deped reiterated there will be no face-to-face learning unless it is safe for students to go out. However, as part of their preparations for the opening of classes, they proposed a seating arrangement that will still adhere to social distancing.

Deped showed layouts for classrooms with armchairs and classrooms with tables and chairs. Both have a 1-meter distance to observe proper social distancing. AAC

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