High school seniors and parents prepare to learn from home

MEDFORD, Ore— The Medford School District started giving out Chromebooks to students on Tuesday. Students are preparing to start the ‘Anywhere Learning’ program.

“We are distributing Chromebooks to all of our seniors who need a technology device in order to work from anywhere,” Assistant Principal, Jaime Hartt, said.

Schools across the country are shut down due to the Coronavirus, which means students are having to learn online and from home.

For seniors, who were getting ready to graduate this year, it hits a little harder.

“It’s a bummer what were losing,” Camerin Calhoun, Senior at South Medford High School, said. “I’ve really enjoyed my really long spring break but like it’s starting to get a little old.”

With schools closed, events like prom and graduation are left up in the air.

“This isn’t an iteration of how kids thought their senior year would end,” Hartt said.

An even bigger concern for seniors other than prom and graduation is college. Students are left wondering how the pandemic is going to affect the future of their education.

“I’m planning to go to ASU and I don’t know whats going on now, if I’m going to have to start online, or if by then this whole thing will be over,” Calhoun said. “I just have no idea.”

Students aren’t the only ones having to adjust to a new way of life. Parents are now taking a new role – educator.

“To have me be the enforcer, I was already the one, ‘have you done your homework?’ Have you cleaned your room?'” Tom Espinosa, a parent, said. “Now to add school on top of it, it’s a bit more of a challenge.”

Although it’ll continue being a challenge, Espinosa thinks it’s one that will benefit everyone in the end.

“There are more avenues and venues for kids to learn not just in the classroom,” Espinosa said. “To have those opportunities for the different learning styles it might, in the end, be a good thing.”

Espinosa says he’s been trying to keep a positive attitude throughout the whole pandemic, and so have Hartt and Calhoun.

“By and large kids are resilient they will be like, ‘hey we got through this, we did this, look what we did,’ and it’ll be a memory,” Hartt said.

That sentiment couldn’t ring more true for Camerin Calhoun.

“It does suck that it’s getting taken away, and I’m losing some of these things but then again in ten years this is kind of a cool story to tell, this isn’t like anyone else’s senior year.”

The Medford School District will continue handing out Chromebooks on Wednesday

Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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