In-person school starts with COVID-19 precautions


Madison Halse

The band practices during sixth block outside, near the band hall.

Anuoluwa Asubiojo

After being shut down for five months due to COVID-19, in-person classes resumed on Sept. 8.

“Being back in person is exciting, it finally gives me a chance to go back to school,” junior Savannah Martinez said. “Physical school is way different because you’re actually able to interact with people and be enriched with the environment full of people. It’s very calming to be around other people.” 

Students were given the choice of continuing virtually or returning in-person. The choice for Martinez to switch back to in-person was easy.

“During online school it was super boring, and there was no social interaction,” Martinez said.

Online school had nothing fun about it. It was just get your work done, and log off.”  

Others like sophomore Xandrya Coleman were happy to be back in the classroom. 

“I felt excruciating happiness; I’d rather be here then home,” she said. “It makes me feel better that I get to see people that are going through the same things as me.”

Leaving her bedroom was among the most exciting things about returning, Coleman said.

“I need to be in an environment that isn’t my bedroom because I have my bedroom assigned with the idea of going to sleep and resting, not working,” she said. “I just work better in an environment when I’m not by myself.”

She said she works better on campus.

“I don’t have the work ethic at home that I have at school,” Coleman said. “I hated virtual school because it gave me anxiety and I knew I wasn’t gonna do the work because I was just gonna put it off.”

Safely returning to school was a concern for most students.

“It’s much safer (here) than what everybody thinks it is,” junior Mariana Ramos said. “There’s so many precautions for the classrooms to help others feel safe, and it helps with sanitizing everything to stop the spread of viruses.”

Ramos said that students and teachers have been working together to clean.

“I like the idea that some teachers have us clean our desks ourselves, even though occasionally there are slip ups and people forget,” she said. “If the teachers were the only ones able to clean the desks, then I would feel bad.”

Coleman said returning to school is less exposure than she had this summer when she worked at Six Flags.

“There are a lot more people there then at the school, so it’s ironic,” she said. “There were 11,000 people there but no cases tied to Six Flags, but there are 900 people here but there have been three cases reported.”

Safety measures include QR codes placed on lunch tables and in the library for contact tracing if someone comes down with COVID.

“I feel like not everyone is using them and they need to be enforced (better),” Ramos said.

The lunchroom also features plexiglass dividers between students.

“It’s like you’re going to see someone at a prison,” Coleman said. “It’s really hard to talk to someone on the other side of the divider but I’m okay with it because it’s gonna help keep me safe.”

The environment at lunch has changed, Martinez said. 

“The dividers make me feel trapped in them,” she said. “Lunch is usually super social and people are talking the entire time but with the dividers, people are a lot more quiet and talk way less.”

The individualized cleaning is something Ramos thinks should continue in the future. 

“It’s nice that the school is doing this because it helps keep the area clean,” Ramos said. “We honestly should do this, even when this whole COVID situation is done.”

Mask will be required on campus until Tarrant County lifts the executive order. 

“Cases here made kids really scared that they could get it easily and die,” Coleman said. “I see kids wearing masks all the time now but people weren’t taking it that seriously at the start.”