By Emmanuel Washington
Eagle Eye Staff Writer
Since the pandemic has started, it has closed most schools. Although some schools have started opening in neighboring counties, most are required to follow strict regulations. El Camino hasn’t reopened yet, but plans to open on Jan. 5, and some school officials are looking at how the school will be able to function safely under new guidelines.
One large issue is keeping staff safe. It has been shown that the virus doesn’t really impact most younger students but has been shown to be more harmful to older generations.
“I’m just guessing, this is just conjecture, that everything would be different so as you walked into the school you would likely see the yellow tape up [to help with social distancing measures],” one of the school counselors Bo Algren said.
According to the CDC, school is between the “medium” or the “highest” risk of transmission, which doesn’t mean EC could not re-open, but students and staff have a higher chance of transmitting the virus.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance and cohort FAQs should use their services to help more students that have disabilities, English language learners because they have a higher risk of learning less. Students at risk of abuse or neglect, foster youth, and students experiencing homelessness. Health Officers of the County of Sacramento are closing all schools in Sacramento County but certain school sites should not exceed 25% of the school’s enrollment size.
An idea thrown around recently is dividing up the entire student population at schools by last name. Vice Principal Evelyn Welborn emphasized that the district is still working out the details.
“The plans that I have seen or that I’ve heard discussed have talked about dividing students alphabetically,” she said. “So the first half of the alphabet one day, the second half of the alphabet the next day and what would probably happen is we would soon be on campus two days a week.”
Monday and Thursday will have last names A-M go to school, then Tuesday and Friday will have N-Z come to school. This will allow for smaller class sizes allowing more room for each individual student. Wednesdays would most likely stay online so that students can work on projects or school work at home and so that staff could clean or sanitize the rooms for the next students.
With COVID-19 being an ongoing issue persisting towards the future, it has canceled most events, but some can proceed with the requirements of mask and sanitization. Clubs are school events that can still go on, but they have to have certain rules to keep both students and teachers safe that are in or joining the club.
“My guess is that you would have all sporting events canceled, all social events like dances canceled, any kind of fundraising like hoops for hope canceled, because large gatherings are what COVID-19 loves,” Algren said.
COVID-19, being a risk for both students and staff, masks will be a required item of the dress code for not only students but also staff. Plastic shields around administrators and teachers are another way people have been talking about using to better protect when in close contact.