East Returns to In-Person Learning

By Kayla Dunlap

After DPS’s return to school has been delayed time and time again, students have finally gone back to in-person classes. 

On January 14th, East administration sent out an email detailing the procedures being put in place to mitigate the risk and how this would affect the students opting to continue school online.

For those going back, there is a lot being done to keep both them and the staff safe. For starters, before even being able to enter the building, everyone must fill out the SafeAccess health screening. Depending on the first-period class, there is a specific door for everyone to enter and all hallways have been changed to one-way walkways to help promote social distancing. Additionally, and probably most obviously, everyone on campus is required to wear a mask at all times. All teachers also have plexiglass shields around their desks and extra masks.

On top of all that, bathrooms will be limited to five people at any given time. There will be no access to lockers, and every classroom is paperless, so students going back in person need to bring a school-provided Chromebook or other laptop to do their work. No visitors are allowed on the premises. 

The clinic at East will be providing free tests for all students and their families, and in a video shown during the synchronous time on January 21st, it was recommended that all students going in-person get tested once every 2 weeks to help catch possible outbreaks quickly. If someone in the building does test positive, there is a procedure in place. First, the DPS Covid-19 Task Force will be contacted, and everyone who is determined to be in “close contact” and their parents will be contacted. Everyone affected will be put into quarantine.

Many students have been looking forward to finally returning to school. Senior Will Grawemeyer says, “Having structure to my days and being in a better learning environment is better.” However, he continues, “It also puts me at a higher risk of getting and/or giving COVID to unvaccinated teachers.”

With East now being open for over a month, though, things are certainly starting to look up.