Under the shade of a large oak tree, an unusual sight: A classroom set up on a front lawn.
The students were taking a week-long class to prepare them for their first day as 7th graders.
Being in a real classroom wasn't an option for teacher Samantha Karsh.
"This year we are outside," she said.
For nine summers, she's offered a prep program to get students geared up for their new experience. They wore masks, stayed apart and sat at sanitized desks. A small price for an opportunity to be in a school setting.
"There wasn't one person who didn't want to come," Karsh said.
These students are making the jump from elementary school to their new middle school on the La Canada High School campus. It's a daunting thought, but many here find online learning even more challenging.
7th grader Lori Yacubian said, "It's harder because no one is there to correct you."
"It's going to be very hard and difficult, but I was concerned that I didn't know everything about what to do on the computer like all the tricks," said 12-year-old Molly Gross said.
While all classes are going to be online this fall, kids still have questions about what it'll be like when they return.
Student Madison Warner said, "I don't wanna wear a mask everyday for six hours. I'll just get tired."
When schools will switch to a hybrid of online and in-person learning remains unknown. Karsh believes teachers have done a tremendous job of adjusting to virtual classes, but she's tutored many over the summer and says students seem depressed.
"I'm more about their emotional and social well-being," Karsh said. "We're supposed to be out and be with people so as soon as we can do that will be the best scenario for the kids."
Warner said, "It will definitely be different."
The first day on a new campus will have to wait, but being in this outdoor class gives students hope.
"We'll get back as soon as we can get everybody back," Karsh said, "We want you there learning, happy and healthy."
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