MORONGO BASIN — Students can start taking online classes from the Morongo Unified School District next week and, while the classes are not being graded, the district hopes they will allow students to complete their dual enrollment courses with Copper Mountain College, practice for AP tests and continue learning through the closure.

“No assignments are graded and there are no penalties for failure to submit,” Assistant Superintendent Amy Woods said.

“What we’re trying to do is continue educating students and preparing them for the next grade level. We’re just working as hard as we can to serve students as best as we can.”

Starting Monday, teachers will be hosting live online lessons for students on the Google Classroom platform.

These lessons are intended to help students continue their learning and move them forward in their education, Superintendent Tom Baumgarten said in a press release. They will not affect students’ grades, which were frozen on March 13.

The district is currently working with Copper Mountain College and the state to address advanced placement and dual enrollment course challenges and they predict that they will have solutions to get students credit by next week.

Woods said that, if AP testing continues, the online courses will allow students to prepare for the test.

Standardized testing for students outside of AP testing was suspended statewide on March 19.

Students in the Academy of College and Career Excellence, Independent Continuing Education or Student Achievement Center programs still must complete and turn in the work they were given before classrooms were closed by the MUSD board of education.

They will be required to submit the work after schools reopen.

High school seniors will not be penalized due to the closure. Their individual transcripts will be evaluated by their principal to determine if they would have met the MUSD graduation requirements if the school had not closed.

Students will be contacted with their graduation status during the first week of April.

“Please remember we all need to be patient as we all make progress together in this new way,” Baumgarten said. “Welcome to the world of distance learning as we all forge ahead.”

Families who do not have access to a computer or other device or the internet can contact their school sites for alternative options.

“Thanks to each of you for modeling the perseverance, resilience and just plain guts that it takes to remain both optimistic and hopeful in this situation,” Baumgarten said.

“It is so easy to fall into a negative mindset, but our country has made it through a great depression, horrific wars, and even prior pandemics. We will come through this together.”

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