LACCD braces for semester-long remote learning

By Luis Castilla

The Los Angeles Community College District announced Saturday that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will transition most classes to remote learning for the rest of the semester.

Classes that will be held through remote learning will use services like Canvas and Zoom, online platforms professors can use to teach classes without having to meet in person. Administrators said that Canvas will ramp up its servers to keep up with the influx of users.

Administrators said that about 15-20% of ELAC classes are already online, but that number will grow to more than 50% after the transition. 

ELAC administrators are reviewing each course individually to determine eligibility for remote learning.

LACCD chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said in an email that throughout all nine colleges, all classes will be suspended until March 29 and Spring break will from Monday to March 29.

In-person services will also be suspended until March 28. “During this time, there will be many offices at the colleges that will also be closed to the public and some staff will begin to work remotely throughout this period with supervisorial approval,” Rodriguez said.

Remote learning will begin March 30 and continue until the end of the semester.

East Los Angeles College interim president Raul Rodriguez announced during the President’s Town Hall Meeting Thursday that remote learning would end on April 18, but this was changed Saturday during an emergency meeting with the board of trustees.

There have been no reported cases of any student testing positive for COVID-19. Raul Rordiguez said students are at a relatively low risk of contracting the virus, but the district is airing on the side of caution with their decision to shift to remote learning.

ELAC has purchased more than 100 webcams for faculty.

Raul Rodriguez also said Thursday that there are no plans on closing the ELAC campus. “We’re not moving toward closure, but we’re prepared for that,” Raul Rodriguez said.

LACCD will also restrict travel for all of its executives and limit travel for all LACCD faculty and students.

Vice president of academic affairs Ruben Arenas addressed the concerns over students with no internet or computer access. Arenas said the campus would open up its computer labs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. during instructional days. Students will have to sit one seat apart from each other, which will halve the amount of usable computers.

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