By: Young Kim
It seemed like only yesterday when the whole world shut down. Students were cheering all across the world at the thought of being able to attend class in bed. To others, they were anxiously waiting to return to attend physical classes. As the months slowly passed during quarantine, students slowly began to realize that maybe classes with social interaction weren’t such a bad thing after all. Everyone suddenly became anxious waiting for the announcement that school would reopen and they could step onto the campus and return to a normal world.
Unfortunately, the awaited announcement at the end of summer never came. Instead PYLUSD made the calculated decision to hold off on in class teaching until the pandemic was contained enough that it was safe for students to return to campus. The district also announced that when schools did return to in person teaching they would start the transition through smaller hybrid classes in order to uphold social distancing as much as possible. So that begs the question: what would school look like if we returned?
As of now, the district revealed that there have been extensive efforts to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spreading throughout the school. A few changes include: additional hand sanitizing stations throughout campus, desk shields, air purifiers for classrooms, and accessible masks for students and faculty. There will also be directional arrows to guide students through the campus to minimize traffic within the halls. Fortunately, busses will run with a spaced out format. Families have also been tasked with the responsibility of reacting to symptoms of COVID-19 with care. While these are preliminary plans, a full report detailing the full extent of changes is reportedly going to be announced as soon as the district is cleared to reopen.
Social interactions between students will also most likely be different. While people are used to the close social environments of lunch and break, students must remember to keep their distance as they mitigate physical interactions. As abnormal as this may be for many students, we all play a role in maintaining our families’ safety.
So far all school events have been postponed, which means that the annual Bell Game and school dances have been canceled until further notice. While this is devastating news, it reminds us the importance of social distancing so that we can return to our normal lives.
With both students and faculty eager to return to a “physical” learning environment, it is important that the reopening be handled with extreme caution. The health and wellness of families should be the main concern before deciding to open up social interactions. In order for the transition back to a normal school setting to be possible, we must all play our roles in minimizing the risk involved by social distancing and getting tests periodically.
To conclude, here are a few encouraging words from Ms. Yaung, our school principal, “While we cannot be together in person, please know that your teachers have dedicated their summer to creating effective learning environments for you. We are all working diligently behind the scenes to create a safe and healthy environment for you to return to and we cannot wait to welcome you back. Though the landscape of school has changed, our care for you has never wavered. We will navigate these times together and we will come out of it stronger and better than before due to the empathy and resilience built. Stay strong, Tigers.”