If on-campus classes return, the school day will be far from normal

Social distancing, masks, and plexiglass would be part of the necessary steps of returning to campus.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, MacArthur students and staff still have not returned to on-campus instruction. According to Principal Mr. Ray Gonzales, the campus will not open before January, although no decisions have been made.

According to Gonzales, Superintendent Mr. Jerry Almendarez will make the decision on when Santa Ana Unified School District campuses reopen.  Gonzales believes that returning to campus will have significant changes.  There may be plexiglass between desks, smaller classes, students will wear masks, and other changes.  Large events like assemblies and dances will not return for some time.

For students and staff, the biggest change would definitely be wearing masks.  This would be an ongoing, day-long change.  Another piece of equipment that students and staff may consider is gloves; however, Gonzales does not believe that gloves would be mandatory.

Gonzales does believe that there may be handwashing or sanitizing stations placed on campus, though. Students may need to use these regularly to keep their hands clean.

Regarding the schedule, Gonzales believes that the bell schedule would be adjusted if the students are staggered on campus. That means only half or one-third of students may be on campus at any given time.  This would require a new bell schedule.

Samantha Schneider, seventh grade, would like to go back to on-campus instruction because “I am getting tired of online classes.”  Samantha would go back to campus for classes because she is able to get out of her house that way she does not have to sit at a table for half of the day.  Samantha feels comfortable with social distancing and wearing masks if on-campus instruction returns.

Similarly, seventh-grader Natalia Prado feels excited to go back to on-campus instruction.  Natalia would like to go back to on-campus instruction because she feels “like online classes are kind of harder.  For that reason, I would go back to campus.”

For now, the students and staff of MacArthur have to continue distance learning until the circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic change.