With a single step into the High School this year, one can see the stark differences from previous years. These differences come in many shapes and sizes, but all revolve around enforcing COVID-related safety protocols. This helpful guide will cover the intricacies of each protocol so that all students know exactly what they must do to stay safe.
The major issue teachers have faced during these trying times is students not social distancing. While this problem is readily apparent, countering social distancing infractions is easier said than done. Thankfully, The Teachers Pandemic Playbook™ outlined the response succinctly. Palette managed to take a glance at a copy of the protocol: “To break up social distancing, one must come up as close as possible to the students breaking social distancing. Hold their face lightly in your hands (shomer negiah appropriate of course), look deep into their youthful eyes, and kindly request that they separate themselves.” Students acknowledge that this directive has reduced non-social distancing by over 583%.
With social distancing violations curbed by over 500%, the next school policy ensuring student safety is of the utmost importance: cleaning of desks. When entering a classroom, students promptly sit at their assigned desks which have been cleaned by the students before them. When class ends, the students are each assigned a bucket of bleach and a mop to clean their desks and areas around them. The acrid smell of bleach haunts the classrooms of the High School, but students can be sure that their learning realms are sterile. The downside to the bleach is that some students have — accidentally or purposefully — used the bleach to dye their hair. Administrators are investigating these incidents to ensure students are appropriately using the bleach. An anonymous administrator was quoted saying, “I don’t care if they bleach their hair, but if it’s ugly, we can’t let them portray the school in a negative light.”
A third COVID policy this year are the two single-direction staircases. For one who is unaware, one staircase (near the lockers) only goes down, and the other staircase (near the vending machines and Mr. Byron’s classroom) only goes up. This simple system was set in place to ensure that students don’t cross paths when walking up and down staircases. Studies by the Center for COVID Protection (CCP) show that if someone is walking upwards with another person walking downwards, their risk of transmission doubles by twofold. To combat this, the one-way only staircases prevent more cases. But, following the yellow brick road has its downfalls too. Many students have been known to miss the Byron Learning Center on their way to class, only to have to make a u-turn in front of the partition “shower curtain” between the high schoolers and the third graders. Similarly, for AJA’s less direction-oriented students, a new program has developed named “MaZe.” MaZe is an app available on all phones that directs students to their classes. This electronic helper has helpful maps, diagrams, oral commands, and more!
COVID has changed our lives in many ways. We hope that this guide on new school policies lays out everything clearly, and remember that when in doubt, bleach is always the way to go.