Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Eastside has suspended all in-person classes and activities through the end of the school year, Friday, May 29th, in accordance with state and county guidelines. In order to ensure that our students’ education is not interrupted during this time, we have transitioned to a distance learning model.
The key to reducing transmission of COVID-19 is extreme social distancing, which is impossible to achieve in a school setting. While we did our best to implement health and safety protocols on campus, it quickly became apparent that more drastic action was needed in order to slow the spread of this virus.
Four days after we moved to distance learning, six Bay Area counties issued “shelter in place” orders, requiring that most residents remain at home except for when doing necessary activities such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy. The state of California has now introduced similar regulations, telling residents to “stay home except for essential needs.”
Eastside’s faculty and staff have been hard at work, quickly adapting curricula and coming up with technological solutions to ensure that students can continue learning and making progress. Our students have responded enthusiastically, and remain engaged in their coursework from a distance.
We recognize that although shelter in place measures are critical for public health, this time period has also been financially difficult for many people in our community. We are working to support our current students, alumni, and their families in the following ways:
2. Providing technology: Some of our students lack the technology needed for distance learning. We are quickly working to fix this by providing computers and ensuring that all of our students have good internet access.
3. Providing emergency support to alumni: The COVID-19 pandemic has put many of our recent alumni, now college students, in precarious financial situations. Some were working part-time jobs to support themselves, and are now unable to go to work and struggling to stretch their budgets through this crisis. Others have been faced with dormitory closures and suddenly had to book flights home, which was an unexpected expense. We have provided emergency funds to alumni who need help paying for essential needs or travel home.
It is difficult to predict when the spread of COVID-19 will begin to slow in the Bay Area. In large part, it depends on how well people follow shelter in place guidelines. We will continue updating our plan based on governmental regulations, the advice of major health agencies, and the needs of the students and families we serve.
The emergency assistance we have been able to provide during this time has been made possible by the ongoing support of longtime donors, as well as recent contributions to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund*.
We are so grateful to our broader community for stepping in and helping us push through this crisis and make sure our students are safe, healthy, and continuing to learn.
*Note: Any unused funds in this account will be applied to our general budget for the 2020-2021 school year and support our mission to help students who are historically underrepresented in higher education.
To learn more about coronavirus, preventative measures, and the importance of social distancing, please visit the following links:Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):