The Reality of Returning to School

With students coming back into the school, the teachers and staff members had to prepare for the risks and challenges ahead. The school has implemented multiple policies in an effort to keep students safe during the next few months.

“The most important rules are to make sure that you’re wearing your mask at all times and trying to maintain social distancing between class periods,” Jessica Chambers, health science teacher said. “Because as teachers, what we have come to understand is that we can only control what we have in our area. Within the classrooms we have tried to social distance based on desks. Outside of the classroom we can put up signs, and arrows to try and provide as much instruction as we can.”

As well as maintaining social distancing throughout the day and wearing masks, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, going straight to class in the mornings, and using one-way hallways are some other policies that should be practiced consistently in order to help stop the virus from spreading. We still don’t know how much longer we will need these rules.

Out of the 2,200 students at the school, 65 percent of students are going back. However, these numbers could decrease over the next couple weeks as students rethink their decision to return or decide that they could be doing things at home instead. 

“I’m hoping that that’s not the case, and that they do come to school,” Chambers said. “That’s where we want them, but that is one thing that might change over these next couple of weeks.”

The virus is unpredictable and with the increase in globalization since the last pandemic, we can’t accurately predict when we will have the virus under control. If the severity and spread of the virus become worse, there is a possibility that students may all be moved back into fully remote learning, but since there has been so much planning done it isn’t likely to happen.

“When we get a vaccine and we get to a point where enough people are immune then we won’t be in this situation,” committee member Kristen Adams said. “But it’s hard to know how long that’ll take. … If there is an outbreak we’d have to do what’s safest for everybody.”

While we do have these rules in place, it is likely that some students and teachers will be infected. The faculty will use the seating charts as a way to track cases and keep others from spreading the virus unknowingly.

“We are looking for who that student has been around for longer than 15 minutes, or within six feet for an extended period of time. Then all of those students would have to be home so they couldn’t spread it until they could come back with a negative test or show that they were symptom free for a certain amount of time,” Adams said.

Both students and teachers expect things to get easier with more repetition and exposure. Although students have been excited to see each other and have been talking and forgetting some safety guidelines, they believe that with time students will fall into a pattern and be more relaxed.

Freshman Jaiden Stankard said, “I think that us students … will be more comfortable with talking and putting our ideas together. … Another thing I think, and hope, will happen is having more activities for students to participate in, and to raise school spirit.”

By Mallory Neff, Staff Writer

Featured photo by Jessica Stamp

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