The question on returning to school: Face-Off
February 15, 2021
Since the PUSD Student Town Hall on February 3rd, there has been much talk of the possibilities of returning to school in-person this semester. Should we wait for everyone to get vaccinated during the summer then return in the school year of 2021-2022? Is it safe enough for individuals to enter school buildings and learn safely while following precautions? Two students give their opinions on the question of returning to school.
School in-person will bring a sense of normalcy
The talk about returning to school has been up for discussion as soon as the Alameda County area enters the red tier, with elementary schools returning first then following other grades.
Students of all grades have been missing out on daily in-person interactions with classmates and teachers.
“I definitely think that online learning has made a huge negative impact on the social aspect of school. Socializing is nowhere near the same through online class as it in person-we just don’t get the same interaction because a lot of times it’s awkward talking on zoom,” said Kyleigh Leung (‘22).
If we are able to return to school, having a safe environment is most important. Saying that, it is more beneficial for elementary kids to since they really only have one class they go to so there is less exposure towards everyone.
“It is more beneficial because they only go to one class which limits the amount of people interacting. It is way less exposure for elementary schools than middle and high schools because teachers have so many students that go to different classes,” said Ella Gervasoni (‘22).
Many believe that we should wait until students have received the vaccine so that it will be a safer environment for everyone. However, if we take the necessary precautions there is no need also with the help of the red tier.
“I believe we should all get vaccinated but take precautions seriously as well. Vaccinations aren’t necessary, but I would recommend,” said Rylie Palfalvi (‘22).
School in-person is not worth the risk of getting sick
The shelter in place order has been taking place for almost a year, and with hope in vaccines recently being available, it could very well come to an end soon.
Until then, businesses, restaurants, and schools have been finding ways to safely work under the guidelines enacted by shelter in place. This can cause one to wonder if it is safe to return to school in-person.
As much as I’m sure most of the students at Amador would like to return to school, I think it is completely unsafe to return to campus in-person at the moment.
“No. Pleasanton is still in the purple tier. It’s not safe and I think that since we haven’t been to school in a while and seen our friends that people are gonna forget to social distance and cases are gonna start to rise again,” said Joseph H. (‘22) when asked if he thought returning to school at the moment would be safe.
If safety precautions were not created, I would say that being packed into small classrooms with twenty to thirty people would be the worst thing to do during a worldwide pandemic. However, safety precautions would definitely help to make schools more safe during the pandemic, which is a good thing.
While safety precautions like wearing masks, limiting classroom capacity, social distancing, and even more would 100% help keep students and teachers safe, it still isn’t the best idea.
The way I see it, even if everyone was wearing masks and there were only about ten or fifteen students in a classroom, if one student theoretically had the Covid-19 virus, sitting in a classroom for an hour with that student would most likely result in more people getting the virus.
If this were to happen, the virus would spread rapidly throughout the school, then students would go home and spread the virus to their families, and the whole situation would just be a mess, and could result in some deaths too.
On the bright side, the longer we stay in online learning the better student’s sleep schedules are, and the more time we have to finish homework and projects and spend time with families.
“In my personal opinion as a teacher, I do not think it is safe enough yet for high schools to go back to in-person learning. There are a lot of students and staff that could be at risk, as well as all of the families of those involved. Until vaccines are made available for anyone who wants to get one, I think remote learning is the safest option given the current infection/death rates and the new, highly-infectious strain,” said Jenna Hewitt, an Amador English teacher.
Overall, I really want to go back to school, because I’ve always been bored at home all day throughout the pandemic, but going back to campus now just isn’t safe in my opinion. Hopefully the vaccine will spread more and more soon so we can all have a great summer break and a great next year, but until then, I think going to school in-person isn’t the safest idea at the moment.