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El Camino Real students make it through first day of online classes

El Camino Real catcher Josh Klein had his first day of online learning from home on Monday.
El Camino Real catcher Josh Klein had his first day of online learning from home on Monday, the first day of the new semester for students at the Woodland Hills charter school.
(Abby Spencer-Knerr)

Monday was the first day of the school year at El Camino Real, an independent charter school in Woodland Hills.

Junior catcher Josh Klein woke up at 7:45 a.m., took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, and then turned on his school-supplied Lenovo laptop at 8:45 a.m. for his first day of online classes.

The first part of the day ended at 12:15 p.m. for a 30-minute lunch break, and his remaining classes ended at 2:15 p.m. Using Microsoft Team, he had classes in Spanish III, English, math, honors chemistry, baseball and advanced placement U.S. history.

“Today was getting used to classes and going over curriculum and how online distance learning is going to work,” he said. “It’s self-driven. You learn as much as you put in. I wasn’t expecting much. I didn’t have the highest expectations but they came through.”

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He used his camera for several classes. Each class the teacher took roll and the student had to hit the unmute button to answer, “Here.”

“There weren’t many tech issues besides a little static,” he said. “For some teachers the quality of the camera wasn’t the best. I felt comfortable.”

Klein said baseball was his favorite class because he was able to see teammates.

“I would definitely prefer to be in school, especially because it’s my junior year,” he said. “It’s the most important year of high school. I miss the atmosphere. I’m not a stay-at-home-guy. I like being with my teammates. It’s something we have to do and is what the world has given us.”

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Baseball coach Josh Lienhard said he worked from home as his children ages 9 and 3 were being watched by his mother-in-law. He had four P.E. classes, along with the baseball class.

“Today was explaining what this offseason will be like,” he said. “Hopefully we get through this and get on the field at some point this semester.”

Klein had 30 minutes for lunch. “I heated up leftovers,” he said.

After his school day was finished, he headed for his backyard to work out with some lifting equipment. A teammate has a batting cage, and he hopes to use that too.

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So the first day of online learning was completed without any major issues. The internet worked, the computer didn’t need to be rebooted and the teachers taught.

“Mentally it’s a change but it’s manageable,” Klein said. “Teachers had good control and could mute anyone they liked.”

El Camino Real Executive Director David Hussey said there were about 50 teachers and staff working at the campus on Monday. He’d rather have students there. “I got into education to work with students,” he said.

Athletic director Richard Yi said in a text, “It was an intense back and forth. We scored more points than we gave up. Some need an extended spring training. We got another game tomorrow. Lots of lessons. It will be a long season but it was a good start. We expect victory in the end.”

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Now, if only Klein could break out the bat and glove for a lunchtime recreation.


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