By June Peers
Despite COVID-19 cases having decreased from the year before, there is still fear amongst students and faculty returning to school, concerning the spread of the virus. In order to address these issues, the 2021-2022 school year has seen numerous changes, many of which have affected our day-to-day school lives.
Many students have noticed that they have not been assigned lockers this year. The reason behind this is safety. If students were to be given lockers, each and every locker would have to be sanitized daily. It is not feasible for the school to have to disinfect such a vast amount of lockers. The virus would also spread more easily with students being in closer contact with each other when accessing their lockers.
However, some students are upset despite the safety precautions behind the decision.
“Teachers give out so much material that it makes your backpack full and heavy,” freshman David Parlo said.
Along with lockers, in order to keep students safe, it has become more of an ordeal to simply go to the bathroom. Instead of just grabbing the traditional hall pass, students are now required to fill out a slip including their name, ID number, grade, room number, the date, and times they are exiting and returning to the classroom.
“If you have to go to the bathroom, the last thing you would want to do is fill out a form,” freshman Victoria Peng said.
The change in the bathroom pass system was due to how having a shared pass will spread germs more easily with everyone touching the same pass. Even though going to the restroom is a less efficient process than it used to be, the slip is a more sanitary alternative during these trying times.
The teachers have more work as well in order to keep students safe. Teachers now record where their scholars are sitting on a seating chart that can be seen by administration. With this, students have permanent seats and are unable to move their seat once the seating chart has been finalized.
This protocol is linked to contact tracing, to inform students if they have sat within six feet of somebody who has COVID. As a result, unvaccinated students are required to quarantine for ten days after exposure. If a student presents no symptoms during this period, they may take a rapid test on the eighth day. If the test is negative, they can go back to class. If a student completes the entire ten days they are not required to test to return. Vaccinated students are not required to quarantine unless they have symptoms.
There are many new burdens regarding the return to in-person schooling. But in spite of the limitations with being back on campus during a pandemic, there are far more advantages socially for students and for some, mentally.
“I’m just glad to be able to be social in a classroom again,” senior Rhythm Cannon said.