Burbank School Embraces Distance Learning

The classrooms at Providence High School in Burbank have been empty since the middle of March and will stay that way the rest of the year.
BURBANK (KABC) -- The classrooms at Providence High School in Burbank have been empty since the middle of March and will stay that way the rest of the year.

"It's really hard to say we can't come back together as a school community. But, none of that means it's not the right decision," said Scott McLarty, the Head of School at Providence High School in Burbank.

The school and it's 500 students are embracing distance learning sharing that the key to success is planning.

"We've known for decades that online education can be incredibly effective if you have the right tools and the right training and that's what we've spent the summer doing. We've put together a three week professional development course that our teachers will be putting together soon to help up their game so that online activities are more engaging," said McLarty.

Head of School Scott McLarty says the decision to commit to virtual learning for the upcoming first semester is because administrators wanted to give parents and students some certainty during a time of so much uncertainty. Small groups of students will gather for planned social activities to build and maintain those connections...but learning won't be on site. A catholic school, providence isn't part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles - whose 232 schools are scheduled to resume in-person learning this fall. That includes Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oxnard which will have students eat lunch in their classrooms and reduce class size to 15 students max. They're also rolling out techniques to encourage safe learning.

"It's a necklace that has an alert on it that will buzz if a student comes in close contact with another student wearing that same necklace so we're going to implement different things to ensure there will be physical distancing," said Dr. Anselmo Villanueva, the Principal at Our Lady of Guadalupe School.

Our Lady of Guadalupe's principal says he knows getting 3-year-old's to wear masks will be difficult, so the hope is that the physical distancing necklace and smaller classes will do the trick.
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