When Will Students Return? The Unforeseeable Future

Angel Luevano

When students and staff initially switched from in-person learning to complete remote learning, it was unsure exactly when students and staff would return on campus. Recently, Da Vinci School announced that all Da Vinci schools will continue with complete remote learning until at least April 9, 2021. 

Students have been forced to stay away from the Da Vinci school campus since Friday, March 13, and many students have been wondering when they are going to be able to return to campus. There have been many challenges throughout this whole situation from students struggling with mental health to students struggling to attend and focus in school virtually.

There are many ways for students to return to school although most methods have to start small by introducing the hybrid school system which will likely be introduced in five different phases, however, it has been stated that it is unlikely that staff and students will return to school anytime before Spring Break. 

“The five phases sit in between the two ends of the instruction model spectrum, from total distance learning to total in-person learning,” said the Wiseburn Unified School District (WUSD). “Starting with phase one and through phase five, we will employ a hybrid learning model of instruction, which blends distance and in-person learning.”

Before officials can reopen Da Vinci for in-person learning, the county has to get out of the red on the tier list that shows how many Covid-19 cases have been reported and how many people have the virus at that time in your country.

 “Schools located in counties that are on the Monitoring List must not physically open for in-person instruction until their county has come off the Monitoring List for 14 consecutive days,” said WUSD. “Schools in counties that have not been on the Monitoring List for the prior 14 days may begin in-person instruction, following public health guidelines.”

In order to return to school, the administration will have to change some aspects of the conventional school experience to ensure that students, teachers, and faculty will remain safe. There have been new stations to sanitize for everyone’s safety along with hand sanitizers in every single classroom. Da Vinci custodial staff has been equipped with electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. It has been ensured that the cleaners that we’re using on disinfectants are safe. 

  “We’re also making sure that our air conditioning systems… are intact and will meet the kind of indoor air quality and we want to make sure it is adequate,” said Chief Administrator Vicente Bravo. 

It should also be noted that there are certain destinations for students and staff and the new rule of people having to come completely used to wearing their masks all day. Some claim that the masks are very uncomfortable, but it’s just going to have to be something students acclimate to before physically attending school. 

“Well, one I know for sure is masks and staff will need to be wearing masks and students will need to be wearing masks at all times in the building, I know that there’s also additional hand sanitizing stations that are already in place throughout the building,” said Principal Erin D’Souza. 

There are also going to be more strict guidelines about entering and exiting through certain doors and going in certain directions so that there’s not a lot of cross traffic.

Administration still has to consider the fact that students, staff, and parents have really been struggling from their mental health to trying to get used to staying away from people and also just getting used to staying home all day.

“One thing I’ve already been doing is that I met with the ninth and eleventh graders, to talk a bit about anxiety. I do meet with students individually to teach them coping skills for anxiety, say students, parents and who else, and staff,” said Counselor Artia Thomas. “To provide skills so that students, parents, and staff have just a toolbox of things they can do when they encounter [anxiety].”

Although there are all of these plans to stay safe and to be prepared to go back, the school district is still trying to figure out how to help these students, staff, and parents cope with all of these situations and on how to be healthy within themselves.

“Anxious feelings that can be paralyzing, but also we have outside resources like therapy interns from Pepperdine, who meet with our students,” said Thomas. “We have a school psychologist who is able to do training on these things as well as myself and the other counselor.”