By Staff Writers, Michelle Liu and Michelle Tang
The SFUSD has decided to close all schools for 3 weeks starting March 16th through April 3rd, due to the growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will be off from school for the next 2 weeks, and another week, which is the regularly scheduled spring break. While the announcement was made on Thursday, March 12th, school is still open Friday, March 13th, but Galileo classes have been noticeably smaller, with some students believing that close to half the students in their classes were absent.
Galileo administration have mixed feelings about school’s closing. Assistant Principal Mr. Panjabi, said, “I think there’s pros and cons. The pros are that students will not be in close contact with each other, which means, if they were, that students who are carrying the virus, will likely transmit it to each other. More importantly they won’t transmit to their elderly and relatives who are most likely to get sick.”
He went on to say, “Now the negatives are pretty strong as well. It will impact their 2 weeks of education that they’re not getting especially for those who are in AP classes. It’s not clear how those 2 weeks are going to impact their ability to take the exams. I’m not sure if the College board is going to change the dates for the exams so students may be stuck with taking the exams with 2 fewer weeks of instructions. The other negative is that I know some parents depend on schools to take care of kids. There’s a lot of other families who are not educated. They have to figure out how to take care of their young kids so that’s going to be a challenge.”
ASB advisor and science teacher Ms. Kwan echoed Mr. Panjabi’s thoughts, saying, “There’s pros and cons for the school to shut down. It puts effort in on families like the younger kids/elementary kids because they have to find childcare and so I know a lot of parents will have to take time off work and then they will be losing out on their paychecks so that’s really hard and then on the other hand there’s community health.”
Some students believe in what the school district is doing. Junior Kristy Ma said, “I think it’s necessary because as more cases show up it will soon affect the school community. It already has affected smaller schools. So shutting down the school is the right thing to do”