High School Not Open to Students until 8:20

The new schedule creates gatherings before school

Large gatherings of students form outside of the front doors at the high school before classes.

The lower cafeteria doors open at 8 a.m. where students can choose to sit in the cafeteria until 8:20 a.m. when the rest of the school opens. Most students choose to wait outside the building till the rest of the school opens.

This crowd is preferable to having students inside of the school earlier, according to high school principal Eric Juli. “If we just let people into the building, it would decrease the number of people who are outside, but it would mean that for contact tracing purposes, I can’t necessarily account for where everybody is and who everybody is with.”

Juli also said that he thinks the amount of students gathered will decrease once the construction is finished and drop-off becomes easier.

Once the weather gets colder, waiting outside won’t be an option. Juli said that the high school plans to open the upper cafeteria as well as the lower cafeteria, with a sign-in system for contact tracing. “That is far easier than saying, y’know, go wherever you want in the building,” Juli said.

This schedule will probably be here to stay. “Some version of this will exist all year,” Juli said. “Once anyone steps into the building, we want to be able to contact trace them, should we have to.”

However, he assures that the high school will never keep students outside in poor weather, and students who have meetings before school will still be able to enter.

The front door is also not the only entrance for students. At 8:20 a.m. students can enter through doors all around the school. However, the front of the building is where most students are dropped off but the lower cafeteria, egress and auditorium doors are available for student entry.

This schedule of classes beginning at 8:30 a.m. is new to the high school. In previous years before COVID-19, classes began at 8:05 a.m., and doors would open as early as 7:30 a.m. Last year, with the hybrid schedule, classes began at 9 a.m., and the school opened at 8:45 a.m. There were also far fewer students coming into the school, as many stayed online for the entire year.

Students don’t really mind waiting outside. They can talk with their friends and enjoy the fresh air. “I felt like it was fine because the weather was nice,” junior Lia Polster said.

As long as the weather stays nice, it seems like students will continue to wait outside. When the construction is completed, student drop offs may spread out, but it is likely that people will still congregate outside of the front doors until 8:20 a.m.

Juli thinks the crowd is a better alternative to opening the building earlier. Juli said, “I think overall, it’s far safer than people having free rein of the building, and me not being able to contact trace them.”

Comment using your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account