Shelter-in-place: Day, um, five?


Yes. Day five confirmed.

Thanks to market saturation and personal anxiety, there’s no original commentary I can come up with during these unprecedented days. I started to write a fairly detailed post on Facebook about what’s going on at our house and then remembered I actually have a blog for that, so, Heeeeeeey, there. I’ve missed you. Lots. 

I’ve been working from home full-time for years. More than five for sure, but I don’t remember exactly how many. You’d think that would mean living under a mandatory shelter-in-place order wouldn’t really be so different. Or maybe *you* wouldn’t, and it was just me that thought that at first and then was surprised by how uphill both ways this work week was. Lemme be clear: we have all we need, more than we need, honestly. We’re fed, housed, and have health insurance , internet access, and cable tv. We are lucky to live in California where our local and state government took quick action to reduce the fallout of Covid-19 by ordering everyone to stay home. Scuba and I are both working, the kids are not, thankfully, since they work with the public, but they’ve all got some cash stashed away to keep them in art supplies and snacks for the time being. I’m grateful and giving back as I’m able.

The last time this happened, 102 years ago, my mom’s parents weren’t born yet, but my dad’s father was small, about 5 when it began, and my dad’s mother was born in August of that second year, 1919. This means their mothers, my great-grandmothers, were experiencing the same anxious worry I am now, minus the cursed blessing of the 24-hour news cycle. I’m feeling extra connected to them, and since I’m sold on epigenetics, I know some of my programming on how to care for and love my own is thanks to them. I acknowledge that I’m weird. I’m confident hopeful my kids will stay healthy through this. They’re the opposite of the ignorant, murderously selfish college kids insisting on packing the beaches and bars of Florida for spring break. Instead they’re home, glued to their phones for companionship and information, cooking and eating together, sharing memes, playing video games, getting enough sleep for once, and offering to lend support and resources to their peers, which includes turning down invitations to hang out (even though I know they *really* would love nothing more). I grew some fine humans.

Next week, Willow (omg, you guys, she’s the only one still in high school now) will have some classes start back up online. I wanted to share this amazing response from her school (it made me cry, I was so grateful. Don’t get too excited, tho, I’m always crying):

Good morning,

I know you have been bombarded by emails, updates and information so I am hoping I can provide important information in one email. This was sent to students and parents through School Loop and will also be posted on the page we created for our website. There Is a pop up on the main page and it can be found under About Us. We will continue to add to it as we gather more information and resources. And thank you all for being such an amazing community.

What we don’t have answers for:

How long we will be closed: This will be something fluid until it’s not. There is much conjecture about how long schools will be closed. If we get word that it will be longer than the current time, there will be adjustments made to how we approach instruction. Our district cannot make this decision, it will be made by the state.

Grading: The current work is supplemental and meant to sharpen skills and keep students academically focused. The work will not be graded. Students who were absent or have a D or F can work with their teacher(s) on turning in missing assignments, taking assessments or other things that can improve your grade. We will determine how the six weeks grades will be addressed during discussions next week.

CAASPP/SBAC:The State Superintendent held a press conference regarding the possible cancellation of the standardized testing for this year. We will know more soon.

SAT/ACT: Tests for this spring have either been cancelled or rescheduled to the summer. We don’t know if that practice will continue.

Sports: CIF is taking a “wait and see” approach at this time.

Senior Awards: We will reschedule to a later date if that is necessary.

Graduation: It is too early to know if this will be impacted.

AP Testing: We are waiting for an update from the College Board.

Things being offered or will be offered:

Hangout with an Admin: Your Admin team wants to do whatever we can to stay connected to our students so we will offer several Google Meet opportunities to answer questions and provide support. Here is the LINK for Friday at 2:00pm.(Really it’s because we’re going through withdrawals and miss being around the kids.)

Videos on “How To” be an adult, college and career readiness and information: We are working with parents to help us put together some “Adulting” learning opportunities around cooking, sewing, finances, mindfulness, and college/career readiness.

Resources for mental health support: We will be sharing/sending/posting ways to take care of yourself and build good habits for coping with stress/anxiety during any time that is challenging. Here’s a short article with suggestions. If you find yourself struggling emotionally, please reach out to your parents, your counselor or your AP. We have access to our CASSY and Uplift counselors and we can connect you to them.

Impact Driving Webinars: The CHP is offering two webinars for current and future drivers. This is a great opportunity for some different learning. Click the link for the date that works for you and register. I highly recommend parents join their students.

Monday March 23

Thursday March 26

Things not to worry about:

Getting a diploma: If you are a senior passing your classes and are on track with your credits, you will get a diploma. We will not have a class of seniors who leave high school without a diploma.

Colleges rescinding acceptances: Colleges are very aware of what is happening around the world and as long as you work to maintain your academic standing based on whatever we are offering as far as your academic learning, your college acceptance will be fine.

Things to focus on:

Doing the assignments provided by teachers diligently: Stay connected, even though assignments will not be graded. Learning is a muscle and habit that you have to maintain during this time. Participate in the Google Meet Tutorial time and complete the assignments.

Maintaining a schedule: Follow the schedule HERE to maintain habits and routines in your day.

Having “no screen” time during the day: You have got to step away from your screens for at least a few hours in your day. Take a walk, bike ride or hike, read a book, listen to music, cook, meditate…whatever shifts your brain and your eyes from staring at a screen. (Yes, I realize the irony of staring at my screen while I type this.)

Exercising: You need endorphins to help elevate your mood and to stay healthy. Exercise helps your body stay healthy and fight off illness.

Maintaining social distancing: While doing all of these activities, be sure to practice social distancing. We all have to work together and do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19

Updates and Clarifications:

Schedule with new language: The schedule linked above has some changes to the language to help make it more clear. Students will have access to and start work on Monday March 23rd. The first “Tutorials” will be on Tuesday, March 24th.

How to use a Google Meet: You can use Google Meet on your laptop or your phone but you must download the Google Meet app not Hangout. It is better on a computer. Your teachers will send you a link in email or post it in School Loop, Google Classroom or Canvas depending on what they use. This will be used for the “tutorial” times in the schedule to get help or ask questions.

How to behave on a Google Meet: Google Meet is a forum where multiple people will be communicating. There are expected behaviors and rules to make the time safe and productive.

Keep your microphone on mute unless you are speaking

Use the Chat to the side for attendance and to ask questions of the teacher

Chat is not used for student conversations and any inappropriate language or comments which will be followed with removal from the Meet and a referral sent to APs

Focus your questions on schoolwork

Be respectful of airtime to give everyone an opportunity to speak and get help

Schedule for Schoolwork and Support







Staff Collaboration, Department & Teacher Team Meetings


(All teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

VAPA/Physical Education Classes

(VAPA/PE teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)


(All teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

CTE/Special Programs + ASB + AVID Classes

(CTE/ ASB/Special Prog. teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)



Food Distribution 11:30-1:00


Food Distribution 11:30-1:00


Food Distribution 11:30-1:00


Food Distribution 11:30-1:00


Food Distribution 11:30-1:00



Science Classes


(Science teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

Math Classes


(Math teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

English Classes


(English teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

Social Science Classes


(SS teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

World Lang.Classes


(World Language teachers available through Google Meet for 45 minutes)

Note: Teachers who teach in multiple departments may select their afternoon “tutorial” time based on which department makes up the majority of their classes. Example: An AVID teacher who teaches primarily English will host “Tutorial” times for both their English and AVID students on Tuesday/Thursday morning and Wednesday afternoon during the English time.

Students should be adhering to this schedule as much as possible to provide structure within their days. The times noted for subjects should be when students are completing assignments, making up work, and connecting with their teacher(s).

Students who do not have a particular class (9th graders don’t have Social Studies…) should be working on other aspects of their learning or taking a break from screen time and participating in activities that build skills (ie cooking, reading, gardening, meditation) and support you.

Thank you for all you are doing to support your student(s). We will continue to provide information as we get it and resources as we identify them.

It’s likely school won’t resume till August, which is when Willow’s senior year is due to begin. But, maybe they’ll go back in May or June. We’re ’till further notice’d on our whole lives right now.

Okay, so, specific to our house and today: For the last three days Willow’s had a mildly elevated temp. Up to 99.8 at the highest, and 99.3 or so pretty frequently. Then hours of normal, then back slightly up. At the start of all this we kept hearing that kids can have very mild symptoms, so we worried that maybe she was exposed and had a light case? Maybe. Poor kid was understandably shaken, still is. Today, though, we were able to have a video chat with her smart, lovely pediatrician who is 100% sure that she’s fine. I feel better. So much so, that John and I ventured out to Trader Joe’s to stock up on groceries (not gonna lie, we bought lots of beer and potato chips). TJ’s is running a tight ship, with a monitored , Personal 6 Foot Bubble Rule line to get in, a limit of 2 each on all items except flowers, and a cap on the number of shoppers inside at one time. We used our own grocery bags rather than a cart and paid via Apple Pay to reduce exposure, and I still basically held my breath the entire time inside, just taking shallow sips. My brain knows I’m okay. My body hasn’t gotten the message, and I feel as tense as I did in the days following the 2016 election.

I’m planning to capture as much as I can. See you soon. Stay safe.


2 thoughts on “Shelter-in-place: Day, um, five?

  1. Mary McDonald

    Hi Jen,
    I’m so glad for this update. I used to follow your blog religiously. Back when my kids were younger and my life was a hot mess, I typed “” into Google one day because that’s just how I was feeling. Your blog showed up and your life was more complicated than mine, so it was a nice exercise to see how you navigated through the various crises. I was rooting for you through all the kid stuff, the relationship stuff, the health issues, the school issues, your dad… and then blogs kinda disappeared and I was sad. But in the meantime my kids turned into great adults, I patched up my relationship and changed my expectations and I started a really cool non-profit. But today I’m doing a tricky grant proposal and was thinking , “not calm, not calm” so I looked you up and voila! Glad you are well. Thanks for sharing your life.

  2. jenijen Post author

    Oh my gosh, Mary! Thank you so much! Your non-profit looks incredible, and I’m so happy you’ve been able to open back up. Following you on IG now and look forward to keeping in touch. xo


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *