School in person at other schools
October 20, 2020
As Nebraska moves into phase four of the Covid–19 pandemic, many schools across the state are opening back up full time. Brownell Talbot is an example of what to expect for schools that have not switched over yet.
Ian Jenkins, a student at Brownell Talbot that attends full time, describes the procedures, “We socially distance in every class and stay six feet apart. We also wipe down the desks and chairs every time we enter and exit each room.” He claims, “We are definitely doing a good job of preventing any spread of COVID–19.”
In order to stay as safe as possible, students also eat lunch outside. Jenkins says, “We sit at picnic tables outside with 2 people on one side facing the same direction while we eat.” This is a safe and efficient alternative to crowding into a cafeteria.
The teachers’ jobs are to monitor and enforce safety policies, but Jenkins says, “No one seems to have trouble with the safety rules.” The other job the teachers have is to “adapt to the learning style we have to deal with now.”
In keeping everyone safe, students have the main role. “Students have to be responsible for socially distancing, cleaning up, washing their hands, and wearing masks,” says Jenkins.
Another policy at Brownell Talbot is that if a student’s family member or close friend contracts Covid-19, then they must self-quarantine for 10 days after receiving the news. Students must hold themselves accountable for making the right decision that would keep their peers safe.
As far as sports and clubs go, Jenkins states, “Extracurriculars are pretty much the same other than wearing masks and keeping apart. There aren’t many restrictions other than if a player or their family member tests positive then the team has to quarantine, which happened with the football team.” School teams participate in practice and play against other schools like a usual season.
The environment at Brownell Talbot is “…cheerful but cautious” according to Jenkins. He says, “People are pretty cheerful. They are happy to be back at school.”
In case the school is shut down due to higher Covid-19 numbers, there is a “safeguard” for learning. Jenkins states, “We have iPads set up in every classroom, and teachers have specific zoom codes…” he continues, “We can transfer pretty much instantly because everyone has Zoom downloaded on their computers.”
Brownell Talbot is a good example of what students, teachers, and families should expect for the coming changes in the education environment.