Illustration by Alex Roberson and Kalyn Giesecke
As summer approaches its close, Prep’s administration has announced its new plans for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. This includes four separate plans for how the school could be conducted, including the regular, revised, hybrid, and remote plans. The regular schedule entails a normal school with no restrictions, and the revised schedule has some restrictions. The hybrid schedule will include full social distancing and hybrid learning, which includes a rotation between in-school and remote learning. Finally, remote learning will be an entirely online learning experience for the students.
Prep expects that the school will begin the school year using the revised plan, which includes some restrictions and guidelines to provide some safety from COVID. One of these restrictions includes an app that every student will have to interact with each morning before school to ensure their health.
Every student, teacher, and faculty member will be required to have face coverings while in any indoor facility on campus. Any students on campus without a face covering will be required to buy one from the senior high or junior high office. Another change due to COVID will be that every student will be required to have hand sanitizer and to use it before every class period. Classrooms will be sanitized in between classes as well. (SEE SCHOOL BULLETIN BELOW)
The hardest struggle for Prep families will face is being held accountable for checking in on the Ascend health app, said Senior High principal Dr. Luke Nealey.
“Using the Ascend app will be a challenge for everyone to get used to, but hopefully with the Reminder notifications, it will be easier to remember,” Nealey said. “This will be a balancing act of ensuring the safety of the students and faculty, while trying to continue going to school.”
Students will not be allowed to gather in common areas during school, such as the pods, halls, and foyers. The cafeteria will also be experiencing some changes as well. Students will only be able to pay online through their badges since cash payment will no longer be accepted. Also, steps will be taken to avoid close contact while in the cafeteria. Water fountains will be turned off on campus, so students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
Doctor Nealey explains that the biggest adjustment for students and faculty will be wearing masks full time during the class periods. “To adapt to the new plan, inside will strictly be for class time only; the school is in agreement about having longer breaks in between classes for students can go outside and enjoy the fresh air.”
Back to School Night will now be held virtually on August 18 at 6:30 P. M. through the remote learning platform, and Meet the Patriots has been canceled. Final plans for the school year will be announced the week of July 27 as new information becomes available.
As the weeks and months progress, Prep will continue to coordinate with state and local governments along with health officials to decide on the best method to coordinate education, athletics, and other events.
-additional reporting by Lauren Anne Smith