COVID-19’s Impact on Barstow Education

Faizan Khalid
By Faizan Khalid
The recent influx of COVID-19 cases nationwide has made navigating this school year complicated.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, schools have found difficulties in maintaining the same school environment while also prioritizing the interests of the students’ education. As the number of COVID-19 cases exponentially increases, the question arises of how and when schools should open. Some universities, including Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles, have taken the approach of sending out pre-recorded lectures to students, allowing them to pace themselves and create a relaxed environment while also instructing the full curriculum. 

Barstow has taken the initiative to provide a hybrid approach to learning that is exclusive to this area: offering students and families the daily choice between virtual and in-person schooling. Students are not only allowed to attend classes in-person, but they can also go to school for the morning classes and come home for the afternoon and vice versa. Using the guidelines recommended by the CDC and state and local officials, Barstow opted for a solution that supports its mission of developing mind, body, and character, and considers the best interests of the students, faculty, and overall educational experience.

In order to recreate the conventional, casual school environment, the Barstow administration has taken several steps to fully adapt to the learning conditions. For example, desks in classrooms are now spread apart, and during breaks, students are encouraged to either go outside and get some fresh air or stay in a classroom monitored by faculty. This approach has allowed for the six-feet social distancing requirement to be fulfilled, which minimizes the risk of contracting COVID-19. In each of the classrooms, the students are separated from each other, and students from home can gain a superior sense of learning through the Swivl device. This approach has created an efficient structure for the hybrid learning system as online and in-person students can feel a sense of connection through the digital screen. The Swivl is programmed to follow the instructor, allowing for better communication and coherency.

School lunches have been replaced with lunches brought from home, and during free periods, students must report to the Brookfield Gym in order to limit the spread of germs in the school. Masks must stay on for every minute of the school day with the exceptions of outdoor breaks and lunchtime. Temperature checks are conducted every morning before students can enter the building. If a student has a temperature north of 100.4, they are not permitted to attend school in person as it could risk the safety of their peers. While schools are beginning to close due to large spikes in COVID-19 cases, Barstow has stayed open, requiring those who contract the virus to quarantine at home for two weeks. This system has improved the education standard and allowed students to gain the most out of this situation. Overall, the guidelines implemented by Barstow have proven efficient and productive, while prioritizing the safety of the students and faculty.

Although many schools have constructed an organized and effective system of learning and teaching, the question arises of what the future holds for schooling during a pandemic. Recent trends show that cases have only escalated in the past few months and that schools are finding difficulties in finding the best solution to effectively teach the curriculum, while also prioritizing the students’ safety. Barstow has applied numerous precautions for the safety of each person that steps onto campus.


B-Line students write articles that capture what it means to be part of the Barstow community, and record, review and analyze current events.

B-Line's origins date back to 1897, when students published "The School Paper," from Barstow's Quality Hill campus. It was published under various names in following decades, including "The Cornpatch," when Barstow moved to State Line in 1961. Today, B-Line is primarily a digital publication.
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