As companies and organizations work to adapt to an era of social distancing, the issue of schooling and returning to campus has been widely debated.
According to the CDC, children are far less likely to grow dangerously ill if they contract the novel coronavirus. A greater concern is the role that children will play in spreading the disease amongst adults even if they are asymptomatic.
On a local level, the Sacramento City Unified School district recently released their 3-phase plan to reopen this fall and collect community feedback. Student and community organizations are now working to gather the opinions of students and their families.
Many students remain cautious about the prospect of returning to campus this fall. Rising West Campus senior, Abigail Morioka explained, “I appreciate that SCUSD is making an attempt at following SCOE’s COVID-19 guidelines but with the recent spike in COVID-19 it feels as though the district is pushing students and faculty to go back to schools with unsafe regulations and little to no instruction.”
A common consensus thus far is that classes this fall must have modifications to promote social distancing to insure the safety of students and their families. Rising West Campus senior Ryan Durrett explained, “It would be naive to reopen schools to full capacity right away, but I hope we can compromise with staggered class times and social distancing guidelines. If class sizes are minimized and students/staff are required to wear masks, I hope we can go back to school in a hybrid setting instead of completely online.”
One other concern of students is the fact that returning to campus may not be safe or accessible to students with immunocompromised family members. In addition some students and their families may simply be uncomfortable with sending their children to sit indoors with dozens of other children.
Morioka continued, “I also know my peers and know that a lot of people will not be able to follow the new guidelines for a variety of reasons which makes going back to school within the next few months feel very scary and unsafe.”
One of the most important aspects of forming a reopening plan is collecting community input. Durrett emphasized this, explaining “The SCUSD administration should listen to the concerns of students, parents, and staff alike as we transition into this coming school year. as much as we all should have a voice in this reopening, it’s critical we also follow national and state health guidelines as well.”