Q&A: Principal Dr. Bryan Brockett on schoolwork during closure


Finn Corrigan, Editor-in-Chief

While school is closed, students have been left with many questions regarding schoolwork and their grades. We reached out to Principal Dr. Bryan Brockett in order to clear up confusion.


Lancer Link: Are teachers allowed to assign graded work?

Bryan Brockett: No, not at this time.  Further direction to students and families regarding learning opportunities during the school closure will be sent out from the district office tomorrow.

LL: Will this policy change or most likely remain in place until April 13?

BB: That is uncertain at this time.  We are factoring in both local considerations as well as guidance provided to us by the California Department of Education and the San Diego County Office of Education.  We generally have the capacity to do so, but whether we are able to do so depends on what further guidance we receive and whether it is practical as this situation continues to develop.

LL: How will teachers make up for lost time?

BB: That depends on how much time we are looking in the end.  Assuming that we return on April 13, we will be working with teachers to identify and focus on essential elements of their classes in the time that we have remaining.

LL: Is it possible that school will be extended into summer?

BB: At this point we do not have an indication that any schools would be required to extend the school year.

LL: How will the closure affect the grading period?

BB: We made a determination yesterday to simply forego the first progress reporting period (which ended last Friday).  The next progress reporting period will end on May 1, which would be three weeks after we return on April 13. 

LL: Would it be allowed for voluntary work to count as extra credit?

BB: There shouldn’t be anything assigned right now that impacts a students’ grades, neither regular work nor extra credit.

LL: If learning is optional, why should students still participate?

BB: Great question.  Let me start with the big picture, philosophical aspect of this.  It is my hope that when students leave Carlsbad High School they retain an interest in learning.  As in, just being a curious person who enjoys learning new things and challenging themselves. Our vision is to develop a community where students reach their potential both in the classroom and beyond.  And two of the pillars of our district’s graduate profile are that students are Lifelong Learners and Self-Directed Individuals.  None of that necessarily has anything to do with what we think of as traditional classroom work. It’s about a mindset. This is the perfect time to cultivate that mindset around what it means to be a learner. 

As one example, Coach Cooper and I were talking about this a while back with regard to Skate PE. When a skater watches someone do a trick on YouTube, tries that trick and fails, talks to friends about it, records themselves doing it, refines their approach, and ultimately masters the trick – that’s learning at its best.  And it’s learning something that is relevant and meaningful to that person. For me, I’m a big sports fan so I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with the whole sports world shut down, so I have started reading a book on the history of Major League Baseball. I’m looking forward to learning more about that. A movie buff (or Film Academy student) might take some time to dig into some classic films online or streaming that they have never seen before. 

My point is, learning looks like a lot of things. Regular schoolwork is one of those things, but not the only one. I can understand that a student might not choose to voluntarily do work that looks like traditional schoolwork, but there are a lot of “learning” things that we can do. If someone is at a loss for ideas, I’d suggest starting with just reading a book or watching a documentary on something that sounds interesting.  

LL: Where can students find work so they don’t fall behind?

BB: Guidance on this will be coming from the district office tomorrow.

LL: Will teachers and counselors still be available for communication with students and parents?

BB: Generally, yes. Staff has been asked to be checking email at least daily during this closure.  This situation is having different impacts on families, including staff, with regard to childcare, eldercare, etc. but staff should generally be able to respond in a timely manner.

More questions answered by Dr. Brockett can be found here.