A Brief Look at the Classroom | Isabella Kwon
Quarantine period that we had initially assumed to be an extended spring break has stretched from weeks to months, swallowing nearly all of our second semester. We learned the pains of online AP testing and frankly, most everyone is sick of the depersonalized, drawn-out distance learning school day we are trudging through (it almost seems longer than an actual school day). However, the decision to reopen the district was quite abrupt and unexpected. Yes, we did see a growing number of parents expressing vocally their desires to allow their son/daughter to return to school, but for the district to act with such haste when the identification of new COVID cases in San Diego alone are still in the thousands was quite unusual.
Anyways, regardless of whether or not the students are ready to accept the fact that the schedule that they’ve finally acclimated themselves to might go flying out the window, in-person learning is here.
SDUHSD has yet to release a cohesive plan that entails the significant details such as the schedule of a student who has returned to campus (will school hours remain the same?) or how they plan to prevent the spread of COVID in interactive classrooms (like art with communal supplies), but with the information that they have released, students and teachers alike are able to get a feel for the classroom they will return to.
A mask is now your best friend. The district has mandated the use of facial coverings for both staff and students on school campuses and noncompliance to this regulation may result in the removal of a student from school grounds. For those unable to wear one due to a preexisting condition, facial shields are an acceptable substitute. But don’t fret too much if you forget your mask at home, the school will provide you with an approved one if you forget.
Hand-washing has become heavily emphasized under the new district policy. Each classroom is to be stocked with a medically-approved hand sanitizer for students to sanitize their hands upon entering and each room with a sink is to be stocked with paper towels and soap. Also, Portable hand-washing stations are to be placed around campus for better access. Say what you must regarding these regulations, but I, personally, see this change as a victory for those sick of using those meek, useless blow dryers; we may finally be able to know what it feels like to walk out of the restroom with dry hands.
Even entering through those silver gates will no longer look or feel the same. All students will be required to consent to a daily-symptom check upon entry into the school.
Now, the classrooms themselves will most definitely have a different feel to them. RIP to triangle tables. The great effort you put in to encourage interaction will remain only in cherished memories this year. The once clustered table settings that were so common in the Canyon Crest Academy Environment is to be done away with as our district, in accordance with the County of San Diego Public Health, will implement distance learning in all student spaces, striving for 6-feet between each student. Plexiglass barriers may even be installed in students’ workspaces. Very cubicle-esque.
This change has had a mixed response from parents, teachers, students alike. Some praise the district for taking its first steps to normalcy when the pandemic has turned nearly every aspect of our lives on its head. Others are fearful and dubious of the consequences of the seemingly rushed and independent decision made by them. And for such individuals, remember that distance learning will be an option for the rest of this school year. Whether 6-feet apart in-person at school or at home in our pjs, we’re in this together. Go Ravens!