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Less than 200 students return to school

By Brian Tang, Staff Intern

School reopened for students and staff on Oct. 13 as coordinated by the county. While students seemed to be indifferent towards the reopening, faculty and staff prepared for a mandatory return to the classroom.

The time for reopening changed multiple times as the school board responded to the state Department of Education’s threat to cut funding if it did not open schools earlier. In spite of protests by teachers, the school board voted to follow the state’s guidelines at an emergency meeting on Oct. 2.

“I feel it is way too soon to open school back again,” sophomore Keanu Silva said. “It should be postponed until next semester”.

Freshmen could return to the school Oct. 13 while other grades started Oct. 15. Fewer than 200 students out of 1,200 had indicated they would be returning, according to English teacher Sandy Melillo.

“Some more bored students may return,” Melillo said. “The earlier schedule may also be a deterrent for return”.

To accommodate the district bus system, the beginning of the school day was pushed back from 7:30 to 7:00. An extra minute was added to each period according to district guidelines. And to adapt to onsite students traveling from class to the cafeteria, five minutes was added on either side of the 30-minute lunch period.

Assistant Principal Lori Carlson had not responded to a request for comment on the school procedures, but signs on the classroom doors indicate maximum capacity, movement in the hallways and staircases must follow prescribed directions, and dismissal at the end of each period is staggered between two groups. 

The majority of students will continue to learn remotely from home as classroom instruction must not give advantage to either group.

“I’ve talked to some of them (students) and saw the results (of the survey),” Silva said. “From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like most of them want to go back”.

Most of the students who returned to school are freshmen, and teachers are planning on teaching them no matter how hard it is to situate live and online school“It is time to begin the returning process for those safe to return,” Melillo said.

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