East Bay school considers online classes if coronavirus causes closures

Schools in the Bay Area are making plans in case they're forced to close temporarily due to coronavirus/COVID-19. In Moraga, the Saklan School is starting to make contingency plans.

What if the coronavirus forced the private preschool-to eighth grade program to shut down for two weeks or so?

"You think about what is the worst case scenario. What would you have to do," said principal David O'Connell.

One option school officials don't want to consider is having students sit at home with nothing to do. So they are exploring running classes online.

"[We] started exploring it this week and are taking a look at what it looks like. We will see how it will works out," said O'Connell.

O'Connell said he is considering the San Francisco-based company called Outschool.

Outschool not only offers its own array of online classes, but it also allows individual teachers to use its platform to run their own classes.

Students could log in and see their teacher. Fifth grade teacher Liz Peters likes the idea if it becomes necessary.

"I can explain things. I can introduce lessons. Also, the students have access to talk to me. They can email me about anything they are doing," Peters said.

"If she doesn't want you to talk while she's talking she can mute you too," said one third grader who said he is familiar with online classes.

As a response to the coronavirus, Outschool recently announced it would offer free training and resources to teachers to help them use the program.

"If we do have to close school I think it would be one of the options we would offer teachers and parents," said O'Connell. "We don't want our students to fall behind," said Peters.