School Changes with Covid


Nurse Heidi waits at the entrance with masks and a temperature check

Evan Roney, Reporter

The views expressed in this article belong to the reporter, and do not reflect the views held by Rockbridge County High School, the Prowler Staff, and its members.

The 2021-2022 school year is on track to be the first fully in person school year since 2019. COVID-19 caused a two week break during the 2020 school year but after the increasing fatalities, RCHS became virtual for over a year. This school year is running smoothly but precautions should still be taken and without making any change, history is bound to repeat itself.

Similar to last year, RCHS requires masks inside the building at all times with the exception of lunch, and only when the student is seated and eating may they remove their mask. Due to everyone being back in person, socially distanced desk seating is nearly impossible because of the sizes of the classes. Teachers are required to organize their classes with assigned seating so the school has the ability to know who has been closely exposed to a student who has tested positive for COVID-19 through contact tracing. If a student is considered a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the student is contacted and suggested to either get tested or self quarantine. Teachers are also required to disinfect the desks after each period.

RCHS has been successful in minimizing COVID-19 exposure inside the building however more could be done. Instead of minimization, the school should instead strive to achieve absolute prevention. All students should be required to have vaccination and the school should be able to ask for proof of said vaccination. This would help prevent COVID-19 from being brought into the school as well as further prevent outbreaks. 

The school practiced multiple deep cleans last year during scheduled off days, though the practice did not carry on to this year. RCHS should conduct a deep clean of the school each Wednesday, this would assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19 from surfaces. This break day would also allow students more time to complete homework which would result in less extension requests, in turn this would lower the workload for teachers with their grading.

Overall, RCHS has been very successful in creating and enforcing school rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There has not been a large absence of students due to exposure nor need to shut down the school and prevent an outbreak, but it is better to be safe than sorry.  RCHS should not become lenient in enforcing students to stay safe, schedule changes should be added as a necessary precaution for keeping students and staff safe.