"To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker." – Frederick Douglass
COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES
April 1, 2020
All of Eye of the Tiger’s COVID-19 coverage in one place. We update this page frequently so check back for more information.
UC schools waive requirements over COVID-19
UC is temporarily suspending the letter grade requirement for A-G courses completed in winter/spring/summer 2020 for all students, including UC’s most recently admitted freshmen. (1/4)
— UC Application (@UC_Apply) April 1, 2020
University of California schools are temporarily waiving the letter grade requirement for A-G classes for those applying to the 2021-2020 term.
A-G courses completed in spring 2020 with Pass (P) or Credit (CR) grades will satisfy the requirements for students applying for the 2020-2021 term.
UC is also suspending the standardized test requirement (ACT and SAT) for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission.
CDE suggests schools focus on distance learning for remainder of year
RJUHSD has not extended the site closures past May 1 despite CA superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond’s message to local officials stating, “it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.”
Without a state mandate, the decision to extend school closures will ultimately be up to the RJUHSD Board of Trustees.
“I believe it’s premature to declare the schools close for the rest of the school year,” said board member Scott Huber. “Whether or not the current closure date of May 1 will remain in place or be extended will be based on the best scientific evidence we have when the time comes to make a decision. The moment for that decision is not upon us.”
Eye of the Tiger reached out to RJUHSD superintendent Denise Herrmann and RHS principal Nicholas Richter but has not received a response at the time of this article’s publication.
RJUHSD school closures to extend through May 1
RJUHSD has extended school closures through May 1, with classes intended to start up again on May 4. Online instruction will continue through this time with a pause over spring break. No decision has been made so far in regard to graduation ceremonies should the closures last longer. According to superintendent Denise Herrmann, there is no set plan as of now for events like senior ball.
RJUHSD closed all schools after midterms at the requirement of the Placer County Office of Education as part of COVID-19 mitigation measures. According to Herrmann, the school closure extension is at the recommendation of Placer County due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the area. Whether the closure is extended further will depend on future recommendations based on the state of COVID-19 in Placer County.
Roseville High School principal Nicholas Richter said that the district is tackling long-term online instruction and assessments in preparation should closures be extended. For final exams, the goal for most classes would be to design shorter assessments that ask more open-ended questions.
“The direction we’ve been giving teachers is to create the kind of assessments that it doesn’t matter if you use resources,” Richter said. “Because in the event that we do go through the end of school, that’s something we’re going to have to address.”
CIF continues spring sports season
Tuesday afternoon the CIF and 10 Section Commissioners met to discuss the status and future of the spring sports season.
While RJUHSD and all other local districts have suspended all athletic practices and contests, CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti said the CIF will not yet cancel the spring sports season and instead will reevaluate the status at their next scheduled meeting which will take place in early April.
“While the time may come when we have to cancel post-season events, today is not that day,” Nocetti said in a statement. “In anticipation of further guidance and directives issued by federal, state and local government agencies regarding COVID-19, the CIF has not determined the future of spring sports events at this time and intends to reconvene with the 10 Section Commissioners on April 3 to revisit the issue.”
Junior softball captain Annie Lemos was relieved to see that the team’s 5-0 season is not yet over and says the team will be ready to finish the season as strong as they started, given the opportunity.
“It was really nice to see that there’s still hope for this season because it’s been really hard for us to stay positive when everything up to this point has not looked hopeful,” Lemos said. “Everyone is still working on their own and we will be ready if we are given the opportunity to finish the season.”
BROADCAST: March 17, 2020
This will be our last broadcast edition until Roseville High School reopens. Even though our site is shut down we want to continue to offer our community with relevant, local updates about COVID-19, RJUHSD and online learning. Please follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and check our website for more information.
Gov. Newsom waives 180 day school year minimum
Yesterday, the California legislature passed emergency legislation that waives the state mandated minimum of 180 instructional days for local educational agencies. This means schools that are not shifting their curriculum online will not be mandated to extend school past their current end date and seniors would still receive their diplomas.
According to RHS principal Nicholas Richter, RJUHSD is still planning to switch online in order to maintain continuity of education for students during the closure.
“We want to make sure students don’t lose a large chunk of instruction… We are putting pieces in place to not negatively impact students,” Richter said.
The emergency legislation also extends the testing window for the English language proficiency assessment by 45 days and the testing window for all other assessments, including CAASPP, by the length of time a school is closed due to COVID-19.
“Without these extensions, it would be very difficult to prepare for the logistics of the test and more importantly, it would put students at a disadvantage,” Richter said. “With the extensions, we have an opportunity to properly prepare students for those exams.”
RJUHSD students have now received Zoom accounts to allow video conferencing and help with online communication. Students can stop by the school for curbside food service and help with Chromebooks and supplies.
RJUHSD suspends all athletic activities
Earlier this evening, the RJUHSD suspended all athletic practices and contests in the district, along with all other after school activities, until April 13. This came as a shock to many student-athletes, parents and coaches, after superintendent Denise Herrmann’s statement on Tuesday protected athletic activities.
According to Herrmann, the district enacted this suspension after evaluating the situation in the community.
“The decision is based on our inability to ensure these events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic,” Herrmann said.
For varsity baseball captain Braden Holcomb, the news came especially hard for the seniors unable to play during their last year as a Tiger.
“We were all devastated when we heard the news, seniors especially,” Holcomb said. “This is our senior year, our senior season, and we were just getting started. It’s hard to think that some of us will never play baseball again if this keeps up, and it was so frustrating seeing it possibly end how it did.”
Similarly for softball, the team had started their season off strong, defeating last year’s D1 section champions, Whitney High School, 8-2 and going 5-0 thus far in their season. After hearing about the cancellations, the players were left to deal with what could have been for their team. Varsity captain Emily Wright found the changes incredibly frustrating and disappointing.
“As a program that includes coaches and players, we are all hurting and in pain right now,” Wright said. “We had such high goals for this season and so much to accomplish and to see that falling part is just infuriating.”
While players are left heartbroken, coaches must answer the questions parents and athletes have regarding the rest of the teams’ seasons. Varsity girls swim coach Paul Stewart was told the news by surprise, but understands the severity of the situation.
BREAKING: All RJUHSD athletic contests and practices have been suspended until April 14.
— Eye of the Tiger (@EOTNews) March 12, 2020
“I’m incredibly bummed for the kids, but we’re trying to be safe and trying to take everything into account,” Stewart said. “This is coming from the district and from the county and the state government and they know what’s best for the students.”
Stewart is now left uncertain of what the rest of the season will entail, with upwards of six meets cancelled.
“We as coaches don’t know what’s going on either,” Stewart said. “We’re just as confused so we’ll see what happens.”
RJUHSD closes all school sites, shifts to online learning
This afternoon the Placer County Office of Education required that all school district close their campuses through April 13. This includes all RJUHSD sites. School is scheduled to resume after spring break, April 14.
Beginning Monday from 11a.m. to 1p.m. RJUHSD will provide a pick-up and delivered lunch as well as a pre-made breakfast for students who receive free and reduced lunch.
A hotline will be open for students that have tech issues or are unable to use Chromebooks away from school. The district is exploring distributing mobile hotspots for students and collaborating with Comcast to provide 60 days of free internet for qualifying families.
The district is planning asynchronous learning. Students would not be required to be online during the hours of a typical school day. Teachers will send work to students and students will be expected to send work back by teacher-specified deadlines.
According to Denise Herrmann, superintendent of the RJUHSD, the shift towards online learning does not mean students should expect an experience any less rewarding than what they currently receive in the classroom.
“We do anticipate high quality learning [over the next four weeks],” Herrmann said.
COVID-19: Answering your questions
Eye of the Tiger wants to answer your questions about COVID-19 and RJUHSD. Ask us any questions on our Twitter, Instagram Stories or Facebook. Check back frequently as we update this Q&A with more answers.
Q: Why is the district waiting to close?
A: As of right now, the district is taking advice from public health officials and will not close schools until told to do so.
Q: When will the junior prom be rescheduled to?
A: While the March 14th date for junior prom has been canceled, student government is actively working to reschedule it for after spring break.
Q: What if you were taking the March 14 SAT?
A: If you were scheduled to take an SAT at one of the RJUHSD sites hosting it this weekend, that test date will now move to March 28.
Q: Where do students go for ROAR?
A: As you may have heard in this morning’s announcements, students will attend their priority period during ROAR. For today, Wednesday the 11th, students will attend second period.
Q: What’s the plan for the play?
A: As of right now, the spring musical, alongside the guitar show and jazz performance, have been postponed. Those dates will be decided at a later date after spring break.
Q: Is the SAT at Rocklin on Saturday morning cancelled too?
A: According to Rocklin Unified School District website, the March 14 SAT is now cancelled. Be sure to check your emails for updates from College Board.
Q: Has independence closed down?
A: While some classes were cancelled today, a representative from Independence High School says that school is still in session.
Q: What are seniors going to do that can’t go on college tours?
A: This will be a school by school basis so if you have a college tour scheduled in the coming weeks. Be sure to refer to that site’s website.
Q: Will I get it?
A: One of the reasons RJUHSD has not closed down any schools is because they are no confirmed cases among students, staff, or their families continue to practice good hygiene and stay home if you are sick.
Q: Is the guitar show cancelled?
A: The guitar show has been cancelled. The event may be possibly rescheduled in the future.
Q: Would sports get cancelled if school got closed?
A: In the event a member of the RJUHSD community tests positive, athletic participation would cease, according to RHS athletic director Emily Dodds.
Q: How will we know if we are in stage three?
A: Stage 3 would mean that a member of the RJUHSD community has been tested positive for COVID-19. This information would come from the district.
Q: Do you think senior ball will be cancelled?
A: Since limitations on activities are only in place until April 13th, as of right now events like senior ball and graduation are still scheduled.
Q: I’m not going to junior prom anymore, can I get a refund on my ticket?
A: In the event that junior prom is cancelled all students who purchased tickets will receive a refund. If you are looking to receive a refund before the event is actually cancelled please refer to Mr. Pipitone.
Q: What will happen with band competitions?
A: According to drum captain Isabella Langley, all band competitions have been cancelled.
Q: Why is Yosemite being cancelled if it is planned for after April 13th?
A: As of right now the Yosemite trip is scheduled for April 17th so if the limitation on activities is still in place by then, that event will be cancelled.
Q: Where can we go during break? Is the cafe still open?
A: While the school is trying to limit gatherings of more than 50 people, the cafeteria will still be open during the break.
Q: Why are all other clubs cancelled but CIF sports are not? Hardly seems fair?
A: The district consulted with the California Interscholastic Federation and came to the conclusion that because sports are interdependent between schools and school districts, athletic contests are still in place.
Q: Who can go to sports games now?
A: According to RHS athletic director Emily Dodds, only immediate family will be admitted into games. For paid events, no students can attend.
Q: Would teachers go live for class?
A: As of right now, all teachers are preparing to move their curriculum online. Whether or not that means going live for their lessons is up to the teacher themselves.
Q: Why aren’t we closing since there had been cases in Roseville?
A: Because the case in Roseville did not specifically occur in the RJUHSD district, the district has not been advised to close down schools.
Q: Is graduation in jeopardy?
A: According to assistant superintendent of business services Joe Landon, nothing has changed regarding the status of graduation.
Q: Is there a chance that sports could start back up sooner?
A: All athletics have been postponed until April 14th, but if school is cancelled for any period of time sports will not be allowed to continue during that time.
Q: If RJUHSD closes down what software/program would teachers use for online classes?
A: This would be up to each individual teacher. Teachers I know personally are looking into using google classroom, blackboard, and possibly (idk what cam said LOL)
Q: Has prom been cancelled?
A: The March 14th Junior Prom date was cancelled but student gov is looking into rescheduling for sometime after spring break.
Q: Why cancel all this stuff while PE is in the gym and lunch in the cafeteria is still going on?
A: According to Principal Nicholas Richter because schools are mandated to offer lunch to students the cafeteria still remains open. As for PE that is a course subject class and so students still must attend that class.
Q: Will there be attendance in the morning or just turning in assignments during the day?
A: Students will not be required to check in for their classes in the morning, but if a teacher has an assignment due at a specific time of the day the student is expected to submit their assignment by that time.
Q: Will we be making up the 3 weeks of missed instruction in June or does online exclude that?
A: Because of the districts initiative to go 1 to 1 with student Chromebooks, students are able to complete their curriculum online. This means that school will not extend past May 28th.
Q: Will our online work have to be completed in the same time span as a normal school day?
A: While deadlines are up to the teachers themselves, the district is practicing Asynchronous learning which means that students can submit their work anytime during the day it’s due.
Q: Do we go to school Monday?
A: No, students will not attend school until April 14th and online learning will begin this upcoming Wednesday.
Q: What if google classroom isn’t set up in one of my periods?
A: Students can expect to receive emails from their teachers if there is not a google classroom set up for that class.
Q: How is the closure going to affect the 4/4 ACT test date?
A: If you are scheduled to take a standardized test at a Sacramento or Placer County school site then that test has been cancelled.
Q: How are PE and dance classes going to work?
A: Right now it is unclear what students will do for PE offsite. As for advanced dance students can expect to upload and view choreography on google classroom.
Q: How will the video form of Eye of the Tiger continue with the closing of the high school?
A: While regularly scheduled broadcasts for Tuesday and Friday will not air while school is closed, you can expect to see a segment on school closure this upcoming Tuesday.
Q: Will we be using the Zoom app like some of the other schools are considering using?
A: As of right now, teachers may choose their preferred platform to provide lectures and assignments. However, the RJUHSD has partnered with Zoom to aid teachers in providing live instruction.
Q: Are the AP exams still happening in May?
A: According to the CollegeBoard, “The AP Exam administration remains as scheduled for schools that will be open on May 4-8 and 11-15, with late testing scheduled for May 20-22.” This includes RJUHSD.
Q: Is the rescheduled SAT on 3/28 cancelled?
A: The SAT on the 28th of this month has been cancelled at all placer county and Sacramento county school sites. Please continue to monitor your emails for communications from college board about the rescheduling of these events.
COVID-19 BROADCAST: March 6, 2020
RJUHSD moves to stage 2 mitigation procedures
RJUHSD canceled all extracurriculars after 3:00 p.m. on campus and all field trips in response to Coronavirus in Placer County, at the Placer County Department of Health’s recommendation.
Events including junior prom, the spring musical, guitar show and jazz performance are postponed until after spring break. Rallies are also canceled. The March 14 SAT at RJUHSD sites will be moved back to March 28, while SATs offered in Rocklin Unified High School District are canceled. The Yosemite trip is also canceled.
Only San-Joaquin Section league and identified preseason competitions with approximately 50 or fewer participants will be held as scheduled. All transportation besides bussing to and from school and to SJS competitions is suspended.
RJUHSD held an emergency board meeting last week to determine the response to Coronavirus in Placer County. As of now, the district intends to keep all schools open in the immediate future, though the plan is subject to change as the situation continues to develop.
Before the meeting, the district sent an email to teachers telling them to prepare to teach online in the near future. According to RHS principal Nicholas Richter, the district is determining course of action based on the recommendation of the Placer County Department of Health. Should it recommend canceling school, he said the district is ready to switch to online curriculum systems.
“In a worst case scenario, we talked about updating on Google Classroom. A lot of the work can be done virtually,” Richter said. “But also we have Independence High School as a model for how we could mass deliver curriculum to students, so we had talked about using a combination of those two methods.”
To prevent spread of illness at school, the RHS custodial staff is cleaning the school more frequently. According to custodian Jonathan Tanner, the staff is now focusing on disinfecting commonly touched surface areas such as tables and doors every day. Tanner also gave presentations to students with recommendations for preventing the spread of illness, including a request that students reach out if soap runs out in bathrooms.
“Everything’s on a schedule,” Tanner said. “But since the outbreak, the schedule has been altered.”
According to Richter, RHS staff purchased a stock of cleaning supplies and disinfecting wipes for students and staff while attending school.
“We bought out Sam’s Club, Costco and everything of the Clorox wipes, sanitizing wipes,” Richter said. “If students want to have access to those wipes or the sanitizer, that’s why it’s there… We’re asking commonly touched areas, wipe them down after class periods.”
RHS teachers received an email reminding them to be conscious of students showing symptoms and send them to the office. Students who are sick will be sent home. Nurse Thomas Chadwick asked students who are exhibiting symptoms or are sick to stay home to avoid contaminating others.
“I want [students] to be well informed individuals in helping them to decide when it’s best to come to school or to not to,” Chadwick said. “Typically 101 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever. You should be staying at home.”
Certain athletic activities have led students to feel pressured to come to school. Despite being sick for some time, Varsity softball player Makayla Newsom said she came to school to support her team.
“I’ve been sick for 2 weeks…I’ve made a commitment to be on this team and to be there for my teammates,” Newsom said. “If we miss practice, we have to run and we can’t play in our next game until we run those laps.”
Richter offered reassurance to those students who do end up missing school due to illness.
“Remember if you are absent for an illness, it is an excused absence. You will be able to make up that assignment, test,” Richter said. “…Students I know are sometimes stressed out. ‘I have a test tomorrow. I have to come back.’ You will have the chance to make that up.”