Panorama City school navigates new ways of learning amid COVID-19 pandemic

St. Genevieve school in Panorama City gets ready for online fall semester amid coronavirus pandemic
PANORAMA CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- We are entering "back-to-school" season, but for most students, that means staying at home.

That includes students at St. Genevieve Elementary and High School in Panorama City, who are now getting adjusted to starting a new school year. The hallways are empty. So are the classrooms, except for teachers.

"We all really miss our kids and we miss our room and we miss being here," said teacher Samantha Faneli.

It's the first week of classes - online - for St. Genevieve Elementary and High School students. It's a decision the principal says they made back in May.

"Part of the reason was there was so much uncertainty at the time," said Principal Dan Horn. "We wanted to provide some certainty for the community."

Teachers and students talk about what they've done during the COVID-19 pandemic. And they discuss what's ahead: a new way of learning.

"A lot of the kids are telling me they feel nocturnal... they're staying up really late and during the school day they want to sleep so we're trying to force them back into that pattern of normalcy," said Faneli.

Teachers, who can choose to teach from home or in class, are also faced with challenges.

"Online we can't cover the same amount of material. So we have to be realistic about our expectations," said Horn.

If the county allows it, St. Genevieve says it plans to bring students back on campus the day after Labor Day. The principal says some parents have told him they don't want their children in the physical classroom for the rest of the year; but he's also heard from the other extreme.

"We've had some new people apply saying don't call me unless it's to be here back on campus," said Horn.

"I know a lot of us want to come back, we just want to be safe about how we come back," said Faneli.

For now it's a virtual way of learning together - and getting through it together.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.