By HALO KWOK
The Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District (HLPUSD) district hosted their weekly virtual board meeting to discuss plans to reopen schools on Feb. 25.
The school board decided that the next 11 weeks of school will be held online. Parents and students took surveys throughout the school year and provided their thoughts on the district’s approaches to defeat COVID-19. The district considered three models: In-Person, Hybrid and Distance Learning (DL).
Though athletes from selected sports are allowed to return on campus for in-person practices, the rest of the student body will not be able to do so due to the overwhelming health and safety concerns that exist within larger bodies of people.
In the words of assistant principal Samuel Sanford, many aspects need to be looked at before commencing school reopenings.
“Reopening schools depend on a lot of factors, including how many people get vaccinated and what the other conditions are like. Currently, the district does not [know enough] about the situation to make decisions though it has been months since COVID-19 began, so most of their job [involves] battling the unknown. With the virus, everything is [subject] to change and nothing can be easily predicted,” Sanford stated.
Additionally, students must adhere to safety guidelines once in-person instruction is permitted.
“Once students return to school, they would have to [participate in] all of their activities [on campus] while [practicing] social distancing. The district would [still] have to put strict protocols in place for an indefinite amount of time even after COVID-19 calms down a bit,” Sanford said. “This is just to ensure that the entire pandemic [situation] does not spread even more due to reopening.”
As stated by sophomore Dane Kith from Los Altos high school, attending school in-person is more enjoyable when compared to DL.
“I look forward to [going to] school in person when COVID-19 calms down since it is hard [to stay] motivated when you attend school [virtually.] However, I do not feel disappointed [that I] experienced going to class online since people will now be more grateful [for what they have] when life returns to normal,” Kith said.
The 2020-2021 school year will continue virtually until May 20.