The classes at Skyline College resumed last Monday, Nov. 26, after an almost two-week cancellation due to unhealthy air quality.
Smoke from the fires in Butte County has affected the Bay Area, which led to the cancellation of classes at San Mateo community colleges: Skyline College, Cañada College and College of San Mateo, as announced by Skyline College administration through an email sent to the students and faculty members during the night of Nov. 14.
On the morning of Nov. 19, the Skyline College administration continuously monitored the air quality in the Bay Area and decided to resume classes after a three-day cancellation with the hope of better air quality.
Classes were once again canceled at the three San Mateo Community Colleges on the afternoon of Nov. 19 until Wednesday, Nov. 21, due to the worsening air quality throughout the Bay area, along with the pre-scheduled holiday break on Nov. 22 and 23.
“This decision was made by the three college presidents in consultation with Chancellor Galatolo. The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff are our first priority,” the Skyline College administration said in an email.
The cancellation of classes, which totaled four days in two weeks, has affected the professors and students in coping with the class schedule as the end of fall semester approaches. The professors needed to make adjustments to the curriculum and have taken advantage of Canvas in posting announcements, lectures and other resources for the students.
“[I had] more conversations via Canvas and emails [to the students], [I have] uploaded additional reading and study materials on Canvas and reloaded assignments on course websites so that the students are able to study at home,” Hellen Zhang, an accounting professor at Skyline said.
Students are overwhelmed trying to catch up with the schedule and workload from the lessons which should have been covered and discussed during the days when classes were canceled.
“My professor continued with class as normal and we missed out on two weeks of lecture,” said Gina Balke, a Skyline marketing major. “I feel like it’s not fair to have to learn the information on our own and in a condensed time. With finals around the corner, we are already stressed. So having to make up two weeks of work is hard.”
For some students, they have considered the consecutive cancellation of classes as unfortunate and said that it is not anyone’s fault.
“I feel indifferent about it because I know it’s not anyone’s fault for the cancellation of classes, but the end of [the] semester is always a stressful time,” said Lynn Falesoga, a Skyline business administration major. “It is just unfortunate we had to add more pressure to an already stressful situation.”
Some have speculated that classes may be extended a few days to compensate for the days of instruction canceled due to the poor air quality. When asked if she would like another week of instruction, Balke thought it was a good idea.
“I would love an extra week, but at this time, they need to announce it soon because many teachers are making plans for finals already. An extra week would be appreciated enough,” Balke said.
However, professor Zhang heard no such thing regarding the confirmation or denial of the claim. Nevertheless, some students are looking forward to the upcoming winter break and would rather do what they have to do to get to winter break sooner than to extend classes.
“It’s worth it to go through all the madness right now to get to winter break faster,” Falesoga said.
While classes have been disturbed by the recent cancellations, students and professors are progressing to finish the semester in a timely manner.