Preparations in the event of closing school

Preparations in the event of closing school

Austin Hanson, Reporter

With increasing numbers of cases within Salina every day, the thought of bringing school online seems to continually get closer. Schools much like ours around Kansas have already had outbreaks among teachers and students alike, causing them to shut down. Chapman and Abilene closed school Monday, September 28th to have time to notify the families of children who had come into contact with people confirmed to have COVID-19. The Abilene superintendent has stated that about 100 people within the school will be quarantined so far. This means that schools very similar to ours are already seeing the spread of COVID within their buildings. Our case seems to be even more likely, with Salina being so close, and with around 40% of our students living in the city.

 So far, what we’ve been doing has seemed to work, yet we must remain vigilant, as if we don’t prepare and practice for what could happen, it would be a mess of chaos and confusion for time that we are online, meaning unwelcomed stress on teachers, students, and parents alike. It is always best to simply stay prepared and ready in case of the event of a shutdown. 

The practice day on Friday was our first test on what’s to come and how our school will handle online. If we are to go full time online, it will definitely be different schedule wise, as a switch was well needed in order to ensure that students can still pick up the free lunches that we provide, and eat them before their next class. A lot of classes will be affected in their ability to function properly, as many classes such as Band, Vocal, PE, etc. are hindered by the lack of in person instruction. Most teachers, however, do have a good idea as to how they can reach their students online, and still provide a good education.

A lot of students will have a much different environment when it comes to the change of physical and online education, as many teachers feel they need to change their methods in order to ensure students can still keep up. Many classes will be shorter, with thinned lessons and assignments, and some will stay relatively the same. Its best to expect a different way of learning, but to be ready to put just as much effort in classes. Getting used to the change will definitely be a challenge, but the administration has thought over ways to make the switch as stress-free as possible for the students.

Overall, the idea of switching online has gone from an if to an almost guaranteed when. Anything is possible in the next few months, but the fact that Salina continues to rise in cases in record numbers increasingly raises the risks of keeping school in person. A primary reason for keeping school in a hybrid was to allow students a fall sports season in its fullest, and with the three sports coming to a close, the chances for our students to go online increases even more. Inevitably, the best course of action will always be to ensure the safety of the students, and if the risks simply get too high, we’ll have to move onto online learning to guarantee we stop the spread.