The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Staff and Students Enforce COVID-19 Protocols on Campus

Photo by Helen Hao
After the school day, most students have left campus but the signs telling people masks are required indoors remain. Masks are required indoors but optional outdoors.

On Aug. 24, all Sage Creek staff and students returned to campus after over a year of remote and hybrid learning. With an increase in capacity, new measures and plans have been put into place for a safe, successful year.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least three feet of distance between students in a classroom. When that isn’t possible, additional measures become even more critical. 

As of Oct. 30, 2020, the Carlsbad Unified School District has invested approximately $126,5000 to provide HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air [filter) air filtration units for all classrooms, brought on board 16.5 custodians, as well as other measures to prevent virus transmission. 

The COVID-19 testing center located in the school parking lot provides free COVID-19 tests for staff and students. Testing is available before and after school. (Photo by Helen Hao)

“We have our health techs, the screenings,” administrative assistant, Olivia Fairclough, said. “Every time someone comes through with any symptoms they have to come back with a negative test. We have that testing center out there in the parking lot that’s so convenient, that so many families have taken advantage of and it’s been able to rule out and discover cases and I think it’s a huge thing.”

Students and staff are required to wear masks indoors at all times, but they are optional in outdoor spaces. 

“Honestly I’m quite used to it, I double mask a lot and it’s no big deal,” freshman Carissa Lu said.

Returning to campus elicited a sense of relief and excitement from staff and students alike. 

“I am so happy to be back on campus,” dance and English teacher Sarah Eichler said. “Teaching without being able to really be able to interact with kids just takes away the joy and heart in teaching.”

Distance learning has been a challenging experience for both staff and students.

“It feels great to be back on campus, especially to see my friends and many people,” Lu said. “I feel not as stressed as before because online learning you’re technically doing double the amount of work compared to in-person where you’re doing actual and you feel more invested and you feel more involved compared to online.”

In the two or three days before school starts, teachers and staff meet as a district and as a school to provide teachers with what they need to know for the upcoming school year. This year it was done virtually.  

“For me, the district didn’t need to do a lot,” math teacher Domenic Manente said.  “They just needed to let me back on and they did.” 

For some, staying safe while at school is more of a concern. Lu raises concerns about the lack of social distancing in many outdoor areas in the school especially since many students don’t have masks on.

Students hang out with their friends and snack during brunch. Masks are optional and social distancing isn’t really enforced. (Photo by Helen Hao)

“I’m more concerned about the spacing of people cause covid or not it’s important to be spaced out during a pandemic,” Lu said. ”We don’t know if [someone] has covid or not so it’s better to take safety precautions. And I think we should sanitize our classrooms better cause in our middle school we sanitized our own desks and it felt a lot more safety precautioned.”

On Sept. 19, 2021, there were 39,203 new reported COVID-19 cases with the 7-day average being 148,202 cases nationwide. California made up 10,137 of those cases, with a 7-day average of 7,068. The coronavirus has evolved into many different variants including delta, which is more than twice as infectious as other variants, and the Epsilon which has caused 31,055 cases in California as of Sept 15, 2020.

With the COVID-19 situation still uncertain, it is essential to follow the safety guidelines set up to prevent the spread of the virus. People may differ in opinion regarding the pandemic but one thing is for sure: we need to maintain a sense of normalcy and for that, we will need to depend on each other.

“I think a priority is definitely moving forward, continuing,” Fairclough said. “Trying to know what we know and deal with what we have to deal with but still making it awesome, as awesome as it can be.”

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