2020 03.30 School Messenger Letter to Students from Zachary Patterson, Student Board Member


2020 03.30 SchoolMessenger Letter to Students from Zachary Patterson, Student Board Member

Hello fellow San Diego Unified students,

My name is Zachary Patterson, I am a sophomore at University City High School and your representative on the Board of Education. I write to all of you as we deal with a crisis in our community, and in our world.

There is no denying that COVID-19 is drastically changing how we live our lives, I am sure none of us expected a Spring Break like this one. We are no longer in school, playing sports or enjoying extracurriculars. Like many of us, I want to be able to see friendsagain, play sports, and return to my normal life. However, I know that this is only going to happen if everyone in our community is willing to make a change.

While early studies indicated young people seemed to be at lower risk of developing a severe case of the disease, recent data indicates that may not be the case. Just in San Diego County alone, two young residents between the ages of 10-19 have been diagnosed with COVID-19. All of this points to the fact that we can easily spread the virus. This means that for the sake of our community, it is critical that we all choose to listen to the best available science, and practice social distancing.

I know staying home is boring, but there are many ways to fill that time. First and foremost, being active is essential to staying healthy. Taking walks and runs are still allowed as long as social-distancing guidelines are followed. There are also many workouts that can be done from home, like the ten-push-up challenge on Instagram.

Besides physical activity, personal connection is so important in this time. Whether that is arguing with family members, or venting your fears and frustrations with friends, it is critical to keep talking with others. Stress and anxiety are a normal feeling at this time. There are many resources out there to assist us. The crisis text line is available as a resource to all of us. To reach them text HOME to 741741.

Regarding school, there are many educational resources available to us. The district has launched a website providing content for online learning, and teamed up with KPBS to provide grade level educational activities via television. In addition to this, the College Board has begun providing course-specific daily instruction to all AP students. In the coming days, we all will begin a transition to online learning.

Starting April 6, teachers will start training for online instruction, and will work remotely with those of us that can participate. Those of us that are not able to take part will be identified and supported, so that every single one of us is prepared when assignments become graded. Formally graded online learning will start on April 27 for traditional schools, and on May 11 for year-round schools.

Being a generation that has grown up with technology, we should be best prepared for the changes that come with this shift. However, this is not the case for many of our teachers. As teachers adjust to online learning, I ask you to be patient as they learn these new tools. If you have ideas or feedback on the transition to online learning, please feel free to email me or simply let your teacher know. We are all aware that this process will take time.

I know this is not the ideal situation for us. We are all going through very difficult times. Despite this, I have no doubt that we as a collective student body can get through this. I want to assure all students that the district is working non-stop so all of us learn the necessary information for our courses, receive credit, and graduate on time. No student will be left behind as we push through this difficult time.


Zachary Patterson, Student Board Member

San Diego Unified School District

Instagram: @the_zacharypatterson