Will SLVHS Return to School in January? A Soft Opening may be Possible

Written by Kaherdin Clohan Bonnet (News Writer)

Depending on who you are, you’ve either been waiting for this news for months or more likely, dreading it. With a somewhat low number of COVID cases, the San Lorenzo Valley School District has decided to follow in the footsteps of many other Schools in central California and open up for in-person schooling. The current plan is for the students to be in person for a few classes and online for a different few, the online ones likely being non-academic classes such as Physical Education and Electives. 

While this is certainly good news for those who are eager to see their friends and teachers, things are likely to change in order to accommodate such a large wave of students.

However, opting out and continuing to do the same online school which all students have been doing for months, is an option encouraged for those with weaker immune systems, lung issues, or family members with such issues. Parents have received a forum, in which they will mark whether or not their child will be attending in-person classes among other things. This idea of allowing those with a higher health risk to stay home is good for the students, yet it puts a larger workload on the teachers in the school district. Juggling online school has been hard enough, as said by many teachers like Ms. Devin Runneals, who believes that “teaching online alone has been difficult because it’s hard to make connections with the students when we’re not in the same room. I also feel it’s hard to get students to connect with each other, which used to be a very natural part of classroom interactions,” but she also had this to say in response to the question of how juggling online students and in-person students might end up, “I feel like it would be challenging to create a good learning experience for online and in-person students at the same time. I’m not sure how to teach one group without ignoring the other. There’s also a lot of planning that goes into each lesson, and modifying everything so it fits an online platform as well sounds like it will be a lot of extra work.”

Teachers all over the world have already been having their own difficulties with online teaching, and adding in-person students to the mix is sure to make things harder on them. Many students who have been struggling with online school still find that they wish to stay out of in-person school, like Keiran Aguas, a high school Junior, who thinks that online schooling may be much harder on everyone, it would be the safer and preferable option as to returning, or at the very least leaving the school at a limited capacity, which goes hand in hand with the belief of Ms. Devin Runneals, Peter Gonda, and many others who have been asked how they feel about returning. 

The major problem with returning to school in January is that not far before, many people will be returning from their Christmas, new years, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other celebrations, leaving a more than likely large spike in COVID cases, soon before the school district is set to open its doors once more.

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