Stella Madsen is sophomore journalist at Encinal High School.
A Student Journalist’s View
A Student Journalist’s View
The discontinuation of the Acellus learning program is yet another obstacle that the students of Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) have faced while transitioning back into the school year. At the moment, students and teachers are expecting that online learning will be in place for the rest of this semester. Epidemiologists predict students in California may not be able to fully return to school campuses until late 2021.
Most students are eager to return to in-person school once it is safe, but there are some students that plan to learn from their homes all year, even when the county decides it is safe for students to return.
These students are learning through the Remote Learning Program. They are not enrolled in any classes at their respective schools. Instead, they took classes through Acellus, an online learning program that has been used by AUSD students for years to recover credits for graduation.
There were no complaints about the Acellus system until a school district just outside of San Diego noticed issues involving racist, violent and sexual content. AUSD received complaints about Acellus just a few days after the school year started, and the program was discontinued within the district on Aug. 31, after “much deliberation and discussion,” according to a press release from AUSD Superintendent Pasquale Scuderi.
Districtwide, about 1,000 students in AUSD were scheduled to use Acellus this fall.
The coordinators of the remote learning program have been “a bit unorganized, but it’s understandable due to the constantly changing conditions like integrating third party systems and having to organize students from AHS and EHS,” said Marc Pingul, a senior at Encinal High School (EHS). “In my opinion, it’s much more enjoyable than live classes because it allows students to always have access to their teacher if they have problems and learn at their own pace; its pacing is much more friendly in comparison.”
As the district transitioned to a new online learning platform, students had to wait to receive new classes.
“There aren’t any strict deadlines yet and the advisory work is easy,” said fellow EHS senior Fiona English. “But we’re a little behind as our classes haven’t started yet.”
The school district has decided to use Edmentum as the new Remote Learning Program curriculum provider, but most students have not gotten their class schedules until this week.
However, most students feel that the district responded appropriately.
“The cancellation of Acellus was justified,” said Pingul. “It’s disappointing that outdated ideas are being taught at all right now, considering how much traction movements against it have; you’d think that these types of companies would be more flexible and inclusive.”
The district was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.