New schedule allows students to return to campus for in-person instruction

Ms. Dwyer greets students picking up their schedules on the first day back.

Mahnoor Ahmad, Page Editor

Since April 12, over 500 students have been back on campus and Burroughs has had students on the quad and in the halls and classrooms again for the first time in over a year. Each student was given the option of returning, and now in-person classes are held in the mornings, Distance Learning classes are held in the afternoons, and every student gathers on Wednesdays for online Zoom classes. 

To adhere to COVID safety guidelines, students and staff members are required to maintain social distancing, complete at-home self-screening before they come on campus, and wear masks correctly at all times covering their mouth and nose. 

“To prepare classrooms for daily disinfectant spraying, teachers had to take down a lot of pictures and posters and cover the remaining bulletin boards with plastic sheeting,” said math teacher Katie Wadley. “We also had to put away a lot of items (decorations, pictures, etc.) to make surface disinfecting easier.” 

Many teachers and staff members have been long awaiting the opportunity to be able to interact with students face-to-face. SSUSD Superintendent Dave Ostash finds many benefits in the in-person return. 

“Learning is more than acquiring knowledge; it is also interacting and learning from peers and teachers in a live and dynamic classroom environment,” said Ostash. “The immediacy of feedback and the warmth of human interaction positively impacts the application and synthesis of knowledge.”

Even though this can occur in a Distance Learning environment, Ostash believes that the benefits he describes of returning to school are optimally achieved in person. 

While the schedule has many benefits, hybrid learning has some challenges. Science teacher Melanie Branson is looking forward to labs, but is trying to find a way to make it enjoyable for all of her students both online and in-person. 

“I want to do some fun labs and activities with my in person students, but I have to keep things equitable between distance learners and in-person learners,” said Branson. “Maintaining a balance will be tough.”

With the new schedule already being two weeks in, staff members, students, and parents are starting to get used to the new standard. Principal Carrie Cope and administration have been planning and working for hours to make this shift easy for everyone. She sees that everyone’s efforts have reflected the results on campus. 

“Everything is going well; it is so wonderful to have students and staff back on campus!” said Cope. “There is a lot of positive energy!” 

DATA President and Burroughs English teacher Eileen Poole believes that DATA has an optimistic approach on school returning. 

“DATA is delighted that students and teachers are back on campus and that safety protocol at BHS is being followed so far,” said Poole. “I appreciate the convenience of getting my temp checked upon arrival without leaving my car, and I am grateful to the custodians who put up the plastic sheeting in my room, saving me from trying to figure out how to do it!”

The new schedule is one step closer to returning to what used to be normal. Getting the opportunity to see friends again, being able to learn face-to-face, and seeing the pandemic restrictions easing up are exciting and should inspire optimism.