Middle, high school students in Antioch return to campus at Learning Centers

A substitute teacher gives instructions to students in one of the Learning Center classrooms at Antioch High School.

“it’s been great having them, here” – Park Middle School Principal John Jimno

By Allen Payton

As of Tuesday, April 27 Learning Centers have opened at the middle and high schools in the Antioch Unified School District giving students the opportunity to return to the classroom and receive help with their online classes. The school board voted in March to open the Learning Centers instead of reopening Antioch schools fully or using a hybrid model in response to over 60% of parents surveyed not wanting their students to return to class. (See related article)

Antioch School Board Vice President Dr. Clyde Lewis and this reporter were provided tours of the Learning Centers at both Antioch High School and Park Middle School. The other middle and high schools in the district have opened one, as well. Learning Centers at the district’s elementary schools opened the previous week. (See related article)

The students participate in regular classes with their teachers, like their classmates who are distance learning from home. But they’re in a classroom with support from on-site substitute teachers and aids.

Antioch High School Tour

Antioch School Board VP Dr. Clyde Lewis (left) and AHS Site Safety Coordinator Lynn Bailey speak with Principal Louie Rocha (right) during the campus tour.

At Antioch High School there are six classrooms, four regular ed and two special ed for a total of 160 students, Principal Louie Rocha shared during the tour of his campus.

“Here they can use the WiFi and have support. Some are having trouble at home without private space,” he explained. “We have a Tuesday and Wednesday A group and students on Thursday and Friday in the B group. Special ed students are able to attend Tuesday through Friday.”

Like the elementary schools, the middle and high schools also have a process for students to enter the campus which includes having their temperature checked by a thermographic scanner.

“It can scan five people at a time,” Rocha stated. “This is something we’re going to do when we open in the fall.”

If a student has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, they aren’t allowed to stay for the day.

Dr. Lewis gets his temperature checked by the thermal scanner inside the Beede Auditorium at Antioch High School. His was 98.6 – just right.

Lynn Bailey, Site Safety Coordinator continued as the tour guide, explaining that “the day starts at 7:45 for those with Zero Period. Otherwise, they start at 8:30 and stay until 1:30. All students attend all six of their classes. One day they’re in classes 0-3 and the second day they’re in classes 0-6. The kids get meals for the day and breakfast for the following morning.”

“Each student is assigned a classroom and no talking in the classes,” she continued. “There are substitute teachers in each.”

“I think it’s running really well. The kids seem to like it,” Bailey shared. “We have a lot of freshman who had never been on campus, yet. All of our aids are back, and we’ve put them in the classrooms with the substitutes.”

The classrooms are located in the 400 Wing which was recently renovated using Measure B funds.

“If we have more students we will probably open another hallway. We have the capacity,” she added.

Students get help from the substitute teacher in one of the Learning Center classrooms at Park Middle School.

Park Middle School Tour

Park Middle School Principal John Jimno (left) speaks with Dr. Lewis during the tour.

Principal John Jimno led the tour of the Learning Center at Park Middle School.

“We have five rooms, total going right now and a waiting list for another room which we are trying to get open in the next week,” he said. “Two days on and two days off. We have one full day room four days a week for the special needs students. There are 20 students per classroom. We’re getting more coming each day.”

The students are divided alphabetically by last name and then by grade.

“I wanted to have some normalcy for the students, so it’s been great having them, here,” Jimno continued.
A student named Malachi said he was happy to be back in school to see some of his friends.

“I’m getting so many emails from parents saying their student came home like a different kid,” Jimno stated. “It’s been a fun week being with the kids. Hopefully we will get a few more students so we can fill it up.

“For P.E., the kids walk the track and play basketball. I’m the PE teacher this week,” he added.

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Jimno and Lewis PMS


PMS Learning Center classroom


Lewis and thermo scanner AHS


Lewis Bailey & Rocha AHS


AHS Learning Center classroom


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