Coming into the new school year, students now enter the school having to follow a new set of school policies made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From schedule changes to social distancing, these policies have been implemented as part of the school’s health plan. It has become mandatory for students to wear masks and encouraged to stay home if they show any symptoms. Teachers themselves have taken precautions to fit with the policies by wearing masks, washing their hands, and disinfecting their classrooms. Daily temperature checks at the beginning of the first period have also been put into place.
The school had to go through a process before reopening. The district was required to develop and submit a plan to the Tehama County Health Department. The plan needed procedures to lower the risk of infection, mandatory masks being part of this. The way schedules work has changed as well. Some students now come to school at the beginning of the 2nd period, while others leave at the end of lunch. Gold and green Wednesdays rotate whole class periods depending on the week.
“Our new schedule was also developed as a part of our plan to mitigate the spread of Covid-19”, Principal Hassay said when asked on the changes, “Having fewer contacts and transitions for students on a given day was necessary and with the work of administration and teachers we developed a plan so we could open our doors to students.”
This has become more important as the issue of misinformation has become prevalent. The school gives updates whenever there is new information, as well as teachers informing and talking with their classes about safety and protocol. So far, students have been following the school policies, with masks and social distancing becoming the new normal. It is easy to forget these new procedures are mandatory and there are consequences for not following them.
“If a student fails to follow the guidelines he/she will have a discussion with Mr. Verycrusse to understand why this is so important”, Mr. Hassay explained,“If a student continues to not follow protocol, he/she will be placed on distance learning.”
Both teachers and students can agree this year is drastically different from any other. While these policies may be hard to get used to, it’s the best strategy to deal with this pandemic.