Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our school year has been conducted online. Some students hoped to return to campus in person at the beginning of the second semester, but due to the increasing rate of transmission, the possibility of returning was pushed back to later in the year.
The County recently moved to the orange tier that allows for students to be going back in person with safety guidelines and social distancing. According to Santa Clara County purple tier is the most restrictive and mandates stay-at-home orders. Red contains many restrictions on social gatherings. Orange allows us to start going back to school and the yellow tier is the least restrictive while still having precautionary guidelines. Then it is up to the District and the Teachers Union to decide what is going to happen when returning to school in person.
On Monday of this week, those that have been failing, have medical complications, or are freshmen have been allowed to come on campus. The precautions that the school has taken include having sneeze guards on desks, one-way hallways, and having six feet of social distancing. They also have teachers open any or all windows that are unobstructed to allow for fresh air to flow through the classrooms if they are able to. If not there are filtration systems in those classrooms that are up to date or better than the standards that the school and district have to follow. The filtration systems allow for the recommended amount of air changes per hour in the buildings and classrooms.
Students’ schedules have changed slightly from what they have been earlier in the year to allow for the 10 minute passing periods between classes and tutorial. In addition, students on campus have been required to stay in their first or fourth-period classes and log on to the online tutorial session they want to attend.
However, everyone has been offered a chance to go back in two weeks. Many students and families hope that we will be able to go back in person completely next year. We are getting used to the new normal that has arisen and will hopefully be able to change the way we interact with each other for the better should this situation come about again.