By KYLIE YEATMAN
The days following the school shutdown on Jan. 17 due to storm-related power outages at CHS were filled with complaints from students and faculty alike regarding the hole that a lost day left in the majority of lesson plans on campus—and when accompanied with two days in the first semester entirely devoid of Wi-Fi, which left a number of teachers unable to do in-class work online, a puzzling scenario has made itself clear, and a need to address these issues is obvious.
The swift cancellation of after-school activities preceding the school shutdown last month was a source of irritation for students and faculty with indoor activities planned and came across as hastily thrown together without careful consideration given towards individual events. With meetings canceled and a vast time crunch created, teachers were left to plan for themselves how they’d make up for lost time.
Though CUSD director of facilities Dan Paul has explained that small generators do exist throughout the district, he says that providing power across the district would be a difficult feat. Paul describes that roadblocks to the implementation of on-campus generators include the need for a trailer-mounted generator, a full site analysis, roughly five hours to set up the trailer on campus and close coordination with PG&E, a laundry list that calls into question our district’s capability of making such a lofty task come to pass.
In response to issues regarding the Wi-Fi outages that plagued the 2018-19 school year’s first semester, it was the quick assertion of many that teachers should be able to teach their lesson plans without the use of the internet–and though for some this is certainly a realistic prospect, for classes entirely reliant on the use of computers to get our jobs done (take Newspaper, for instance,) it’s a far more nuanced concern. The push for teachers to digitize their curriculums and increase reliance on technology only complicates matters further, making it harder for adjustments to be made in the classroom without the availability of students’ Chromebook laptops.
Considerations have certainly been made regarding the issue, and while it’s admirable that the district-touted Project 2020 has committed itself to increasing the speed and accessibility of Wi-Fi on campus from several angles, improvements to the speed and connectivity of Wi-Fi have minimal correlation to the functionality of the service itself. Simply put: Before improvements can be made to our Wi-Fi speed, it needs to be certain that it’s not going to shut down and leave classes stranded.
This issue begs the question: What solution would mitigate this daunting pattern?
While Principal Rick Lopez expresses that the district is in talks regarding the prevalence of technology issues on campus, these discussions must happen quickly and with decisive purpose. An improvement in on-campus infrastructure is imperative to prevent the disruption of classes and, on a personal note, allow this issue of the Carmel Sandpiper to be released in a timely fashion—all of which is in the hands of functioning technology.