The Path Towards Reopening

The Path Towards Reopening

Principal Nash has been working alongside the School Board to discuss a future reopening plan for Poway High. The model they are leaning on will allow students to continue learning virtually if they desire but will allow a group of students to return on to campus. This plan will be implemented when both the staff and school board feels the circumstances are most safe, but they are hoping to start in January. Their main goal is to allow students and staff members alike to have a choice to learn/teach where they are most comfortable.

Virtual learning has been rather difficult for many students, parents, and teachers. Principal Richard Nash and the rest of the Poway High Staff have made it one of their main goals to return students in a safe and planned-out manner. 

“We just want you to know we have thoroughly and diligently thought of this plan ever since we went virtual, we know that this is not easy and have not given up on the task, “ Nash said.

There are many students who are eager to get back on campus. Freshman Nicolas Pena, says that although he’s aware of the concerns of returning to school he would most likely choose to go back to in person learning.

 “Since we get to choose, I would most likely go back to school. These past few weeks have been kind of difficult. It’s hard to focus, and I retain information better when I am in person with the teacher not through a screen,” Pena said. 

 Others prefer not to return to campus and enjoy learning from home. Senior Brian Martinez said that he has become comfortable with remote learning. 

“ I personally enjoy virtual learning. It’s a lot more flexible, and since I like to work on my own, I like it much better. It also gives me a lot more time to do things, and I don’t have to wake up really early to make it to school on time, “ Martinez said. 

In the presentation Principal Nash gave to families on Oct. 27 , he mentioned multiple examples of ways students could return back on to campus, and then listed the pros and cons of each. Nash explained how even though Virtual Learning was a good start, in person teaching is the most effective way of learning. 

The plan supported by the School Board is to do Simultaneous or Concurrent teaching. In This format, some students will remain virtual learners while other students who choose to will be able to return on campus.   Virtual and in-person will be on the same Zoom calls with teachers, but not all teachers will be teaching from their classrooms for health/safety, there would be a supervisor while students participate in the classroom via electronic device.

If students choose to return back on campus they will only attend school two days per week in an A/B model, where only about 800 students will be allowed on campus daily. Students will only be allowed to go on Mon/Wed or Tues/Thurs and classes would return to the original start time of 7:30 a.m for everyone, and in person students would need to exit the school by 3 p.m. On days they are not on campus, students will attend classes via Zoom.  School Board said Fridays would be asynchronous.

When students return to campus, there will be only two available entrances to enter and exit, and all students will have their temperatures checked and ID scanned when arriving at the entrances. Students will be required to wear masks at all times, except lunch, and will be asked to socially distance themselves from their peers. 

For students who take the bus, Nash said there are already protocols that will be shared, and temperatures would be checked before getting to school. 

Before officially implementing this plan they would need to solve the funding and technical issues. Covering the costs of VLA teachers would cost approximately about 30,000$-60,000$/ month or 180,000-360,000/ year. There are also technology expenses like teachers laptops, webcams, cables, etc.

Nash said he is eager to have students and teachers return back onto campus and is hoping to do it as  safely as possible.

“We’ll solve the problems that are necessary and ensure the safety of the students. Please hang in there,” Nash said.