Just about a year ago, schools across the nation had been shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. For many teachers, students, and parents, moving an entire curriculum and lifestyle to a virtual setting was a physical, mental and intellectual shock. Now, after one year, some schools in the United States are starting to return to in-person education. For A.C. Davis High School, they have already held freshman orientations, the first home football game, and in-person classes for all students.
With almost 800 new freshmen entering A.C. Davis High School for the school year, the staff found the main issue to be social-distancing students. To follow CDC guidelines of six-feet distancing, the freshmen were divided into 6 groups with three orientations. All students and staff were required to wear masks and instructed to sit apart from each other. All events that took place during the orientation, such as performances from the cheer squad, dance team, band drum-line, and presentations, were repeated for each orientation.
On March 5, A.C. Davis High School had their first home game against their notorious rival, Eisenhower High School. Similarly to the freshmen orientation, outdoor bleachers were marked with masking tape, signifying the locations available for seating. To avoid crowding, only parents of senior players, along with the cheer squad and dance team, were allowed to physically attend the game. Other students, parents and family members were required to watch a livestream video. The Friday of March 5 was memorable, but different for students and players, as it was a step towards the new normal.
Students in all grades have been returning to school since March 15. Some have the choice to continue school online for the rest of the year– possibly because of high-risk family members or not wanting to risk exposure to the virus. Since it would be unsafe for all students to be at the school every day, the district board has created a cohort-styled hybrid learning schedule. Cohort A includes students with last names A-L, who attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and students with last names M-Z, who are categorized into Cohort B, and will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays. All students are required to fill out an attestation form and present it to staff, along with a temperature check, every morning before entering campus. Although a “normal” lifestyle is slowly being introduced, it is safe to say that the transition back to in-person schooling will be just as shocking as that of online learning.
A.C. Davis High School has seen some considerable changes throughout this past month. The community has experienced their first distanced freshman orientation, home football game, and days of attending school. As one of the select schools in the Pacific Northwest that are opening to in-person learning, Davis High School serves as an example and experiment for those who plan to follow suit, especially for those in Washington state who will begin to see in-person schooling in concordance with Governor Inslee’s encouragement towards it.