Culver City High School’s, CCHS, return to in-person learning was marked by a sense of students’ appreciation for the real-life privileges of school, such as extracurriculars, school sports, and even something as simple as talking to friends. However, despite some of the anticipation of in-person school, there were also obviously COVID-19 concerns and risks of returning amidst a pandemic.
However, despite these concerns, Culver City High School and Culver City Unified School District, CCUSD, schools in general have developed a strong COVID-19 safety culture to ensure that everyone on campus is as safe as possible.
For starters, CCUSD became the first district in the state to mandate student vaccinations for those 12 and up, sparking a rise in vaccination mandates as California announced on October 1st to be the first state to require vaccines for most students. Culver City itself has a 90.4% vaccination rate for those 12 and up, highlighting how vigilant the city in general has been to attempt to keep COVID-19 a low concern.
Not only have Culver City Schools required eligible students to be vaccinated, but the students at CCHS in particular have in their own right developed a COVID-19 safety culture. While the school only requires the use of face masks indoors, walking around the campus would tell one otherwise; despite the vaccine mandate, the majority of students have worn masks both in classrooms and outdoors with the exception of actively eating or drinking.
In regards to eating, it is also generally prohibited to eat in classrooms. Many students have also adhered to the idea that they should only take off their mask to drink water outdoors. On September 27, even with a vaccine mandate present, CCUSD also required weekly COVID testing for all students to add an extra level of safety for everyone on campus.
While many of these safety protocols, especially mask wearing, should seem to be the norm for most schools, they most certainly haven’t. Across the country, there are still widespread protests against mask and vaccine mandates. However, in Culver City, despite some opposition to mandating vaccinations, there still appears to be a general consensus that all the necessary COVID-19 protocols should be in place to ensure that students and staff are as safe as possible on campus.
With mask, vaccine and COVID testing mandates, along with COVID-19 safety precautions taken by the vast majority of students and staff at CCHS, the return to school has been even more valued by all.
Jonathan Kim, Grade 10
Culver City High School