On-Campus Learning During the Pandemic

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Santaluces campus opens for students

Chwoeger Charleston, Staff Writer

Buses and cars drove into their loops with students for the first time since March on the first day back at school. On that day only 411 out of 2,500 students returned to campus for brick and mortar instructions. Along with students, all teachers were required to return unless they had a serious medical condition.

It seemed as if very few juniors and seniors decided to attend school and chose to remain in virtual learning.

“I don’t recognize most of the kids that came so I assume it’s mostly freshmen and sophomores right now,” said Senior Jimmy St. Juste.

A typical school day for students at the physical school starts at 7:00 am, which is when students are allowed to start entering the school. Buses and cars are not allowed to let students out until that time, even if they get to school early. One bus has only held a maximum of three kids so far. 

Students can still get free breakfast from the cafeteria or carts located all around the courtyard. This is one of the only times students are allowed to take off their masks. They usually serve a cold donut or pop tart with fruit, juice, and milk in plastic bags similar to the ones given at grocery stores. 

No one is allowed inside the buildings until the first bell so students have to stay socially distanced in the courtyard or in the cafeteria. The concrete benches and floors are labeled with an “S” to show the students where they are allowed to sit and stand. The red tables near the cafeteria, as well as the tables inside the cafeteria, are marked with an “X” to show students where not to sit. 

Only one person is allowed per table, making it very hard for students to socialize in groups.

“Ms. Mawali made me and my friends stand in a huge circle just to talk to each other in the morning,” said Senior Bradley Tuliscar.

When the first bell rings, everyone heads to their first period. The hallways look exactly as they did in Principal Robinson’s Open House video, with arrows and signs to show students what direction they can go and what doors to use.

One thing that did not change, however, is the large amount of confused and lost freshmen with schedules in their hands trying to find their classes on the first few days. 

In most of the classes, teachers have Smart Boards where their distanced students are on display. Students are not usually required to join the Google Meet as long as they follow along with the rest of the class at home.

There has definitely been trouble for the teachers the first day but it seems to be getting better and easier for them every day. 

“Teaching in person and virtually has been a challenge this year, as all new things usually are. The first day of school (when everyone was virtual) was something new and different, but it got easier each day as we got used to it. I think the same will be true for in-person/virtual learning,” said Math Teacher Mrs. Bower.

There are two lunches now rather than the one lunch when everyone was virtually learning. During lunch, they also give lunch in a bag, which is usually some sort of cold sandwich with a fruit, vegetable, milk, and juice.

Senior Charles Duvall is not happy about the lunch.

“It was pretty disappointing to find out that this might be what I might be eating for the rest of the year. I’m not gonna lie, one of the things I was looking forward to most was the food,” he said. 

After lunch, there are two periods left until school is over. Seniors still get to leave early if they have senior privilege.

Nicolas Annalora is one of many seniors enjoying this privilege.

“It’s amazing. I like having more time to do fun things outside of school and it gives me more time to do homework,” he said.

At 2:38 pm, school is finally over and students are dismissed when their mode of transportation is called, rather than releasing everyone all at once. The APs and other administrators are all over the school, bus loop, and car loop trying to completely clear the school of any student who does not need to be after school.

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