Some students come from the bus, others from the parking lot. All of them wear masks. The first big changes to the inside of the building are the clear plexiglass dividers. They separate students entering the building from those leaving. A lone chromebook is tucked at the side of the entrance on which students fill out a health check in. As a second layer of protection, a heat-sensing camera is trained on the atrium to make sure no student has a fever. A steady stream of students works their way through the entrance, many trying, and failing, to stay six feet apart.
“I felt like I was going through the TSA,” said Nate Strong, a senior.
For other students, they are more worried about the possibility of fellow students having Covid-19. “The guy in front of me didn’t make it past the screening,” said Alec Benedict.
U-32 has had to make several large scale changes to adapt to the pandemic. On top of the physical distancing and masks, students have also seen a dramatic change in how the school day functions. Despite these changes, U-32 boasts a 97% attendance rate.
This year at the Chronicle we will be focusing on three important questions:
How has U-32 adapted to the pandemic?
How have these changes impacted the students?
What does the future of U-32 look like?
Experiences from the first few days:
After TA, students go through their classes. “It seems like school is just normal school, but with masks,” said Alec Benedict, a senior.
Before school started, Steven Dellinger-Pate sent out a series of videos explaining how different parts of the school, including lunch, would work. At school, every student has a lunch band where they can either bring their own lunch or pre order it. Some students found this process confusing.
“I think you have to sign up, but I haven’t done that yet,” said senior Jacob Miller-Arsenault, “I watched the demo, but the resolution was too bad so I couldn’t tell what Steven was doing.”
Lunch was not the only area of confusion for students.
“I didn’t understand the parking,” said Ruby Singer, “I went around like three times. That was bad.”