Palatine High School approaches the hybrid scenario on Oct 26. In this it allows 50% of the school to return to classes face to face. PHS students are split into two teams, Palatine and Pirates. These teams will rotate every week to go in between remote and in person learning. Students are also given the option to stay fully on remote, learning via Zoom if they or their parents feel like it is unsafe to go to school.
“I don’t think the school will be able to ensure safety, and are moving into in person learning when it isn’t completely necessary,” Sonja Domanus, a sophomore at PHS, said.
As school begins to reopen, staff and students have different feelings toward this change, some people are excited to get a chance to get out of their house, while others don’t really feel like this is a good choice.
“I don’t think it is exactly safe to go back to school at this time because flu season is also starting soon,” junior Meghana Kondaveeti said.
Other students, however, see it a little differently.
“I do think it is safe because all of the elementary schools have been back for a few weeks now and there hasn’t been a dangerous spike,” a sophomore at PHS, said.
Students also said that they learn better in a Hybrid Scenario, as they are not tempted to go on their phones as often. Even though all of them are a little worried about cases rising once schools reopen, the teachers are fully aware and trust the safety protocols of the school.
“There will be limits to the number of students in a classroom at a time and there will be marked places for students to sit in the classroom in order to keep the proper distances,” Jeanette Prusko, a math teacher at PHS, said. “There will be a staggered class dismissal in order to limit the number of people in the hallways. All rooms have hand sanitizer and spray for cleaning between classes. Wearing a mask is NOT optional.”
She feels confident that if everyone strictly follows the guidelines, cases won’t be easily spread. All of the teachers I have interviewed, can’t wait to be able to see their students in person, but are worried of the fact that their attention will be divided and may not be able to teach as well since they have to teach via Zoom and in person.
White team Assistant Principal, Michael M. Smith feels the same, he is confident that it is the right time to partially open up school.
“We are following all state and local expectations to maintain a safe environment for everyone.” Smith said. “During these uncertain times, doing what is best for you and your family is most important and District 211 will support those decisions.”
For students who are not feeling safe coming into school are most welcome to continue to join class on Zoom.