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Garces Memorial High School prepared for at-home learning

Posted at 7:47 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 22:48:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Garces Memorial High School went from being on campus to a virtual campus in one weekend.

“We are 21st century learning,” said Myka Peck, Principal of Garces Memorial High School.

Peck said their students haven't missed one day of class since schools across the nation temporarily suspended students from coming to campus to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Whatever happens we’re prepared. Right now they haven't missed a day of education and it’s not an education day on their own, it's an education day with their teacher in their living room,” said Peck.

Garces has been a 1:1 iPad program for about 7 years, and has been an Apple Distinguished School for 2 years. Worldwide Apple has 470 schools who have become, Apple Distinguished.

“...Our teachers are trained with being an Apple Distinguished School. The content and everything is already ingrained into our curriculum,” said Gino Lacava, Technical Director at Garces Memorial High School.

Lacava noted that just because a person has a device doesn’t mean they can use it effectively. He said what sets their school a part is the training their teachers receive to effectively use their iPad as a distance learning tool.

“For the last five years its been in our teacher contract for teachers to be Apple certified, which is a teacher training program we go through," said Lacava.

Alexsia Idrulias, a senior at Garces Memorial High School, said going digital is nothing new.

“I think while I do my school work, so from about 8:00 in the morning to about 1:30 in the afternoon not much else crosses my mind. Other than my class work and seeing my friends on screen, seeing my teachers. It really is kind of business as usual,” said Idrulias.

Blaine Geissel, a business teacher at Garces Memorial High School, said the transition has been seamless for his classes and his attendance has been at 99.8 percent.

“On the first day when they logged into class almost all of them had the virtual backgrounds," said Geissel.

Geissel feels that students in his class may even be more focus.

“Literally because they can't turn and talk to their neighbor, I have more of a captive audience I think,” said Geissel.

He said during his class it feels like everyone is still in a classroom but instead of having everybody walk up to the board they're sitting at one.