COVID-19 has rocked the world disrupting schools, government, restaurants, movie theaters, and all social life. A team of administrators and counselors met each week this summer to create a plan to return to school in person.
They decided to focus on three big precautions: masks, sanitizing, and social distancing. With the implementation of masks and the social distancing standard, there are also temperature checkpoints and a heightened sense of awareness for everyone.
“Our goal is to make it to May,” dean of students Dave Cormier said. “How likely that is, I don’t know. Every day, every week we get is a win for us.”
With the goal set before them, students have adjusted to the protocols set in place.
“Masks haven’t really been bad,” Cameron Mallisee ‘21 said. “I mean, it sucks when it’s hot out and they get uncomfortable, but it’s bearable.”
All that is required is to wear a mask all day, every day, except during sports and in a student’s own dorm room. If masks aren’t on, then social distancing is expected.
“I think we’re doing outstanding, personally,” COVID core team member Dr. Thomas Rzemyk said. “We’ve been planning this since late January/early February so we’re very well prepared. It’s not easy to wear a mask to class and teach, but we’re doing a great job of it.”
With all of the precautions taken, COVID-19 can be kept isolated and away from our school. However in the event that school does go online, it will be a familiar situation.
“Everyone has already done it, so it’s not new, but we know a lot more, so the transition should be smoother,” biology teacher Dr. Randy Crnkovich said. “I’m hoping we don’t have to, of course.”
But, a few changes have been made to make it easier for students to manage coursework, such as the new learning management system[lms] Canvas. With this new system, some things about remote learning may be different
“I think you’ll see a lot more live lectures,” Rzemyk said. “We want it to be as synchronous as possible. The goal is to make it exactly like a real school, just over a video camera.”
Possibly the biggest worry running through many minds is if they will get sick or not. But, students should know there is protocol for dealing with symptoms and potential cases.
“Immediately report it. One symptom may not be it, but two means an immediate send home, and testing,” Cormier said, emphasizing the importance of urgency and awareness.
With the school year starting up in full, the hope is to stay on top of the Coronavirus and have a full year in person.
“I think we’re doing pretty well,” Cormier said. “There have been a few demerits, but I’m proud of our student body with how they’re respecting the mask policy.”
The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.