Students Return to Poly’s Campus After Over a Year At Home

The students of Poly High School returned back to in-person instruction on August 31 after an entire year of online learning due to Covid-19.

After a school year of distance learning, students have mixed feelings about the transition into the new school year. Some students have found it difficult to return back to school since they have gotten used to the more independent environment of online learning, yet others are enthusiastic about being able to socialize in the classroom once again.

Most students have not been at Poly for in-person instruction since March 13, 2020 when the district sent students home due to growing concerns regarding the virus. Instruction was moved online and students were forced to navigate their way through a new system of online schooling.

Even during the “calm” after the chaos of figuring out how to begin teaching online for all the students, it was hard for many students to keep up with school. It seemed that there were just too many distractions on the computer, and in the students’ homes. “My grades were [bad] online,” said Poly freshman Javier Pineda Marquez. “I got distracted because my mom played loud Selena Gomez music while she was cleaning. I also played games with my screen off and on mute.”

Another freshman, Alfonso Martinez said “I got distracted by the T.V and my sister’s class going on right next to me.”

As conditions improved over the past year, the school district resumed normal in-person classes beginning on August 31, which students have had mixed feelings about. 

Vanessa Marquez, a junior in CIC, said, “It’s been hard having to wake up early and actually go to school and pay close attention because I’m not really used to it.” Most students were able to wake up later during online school, like Marquez, and are having trouble getting up on time everyday. 

“It’s been hard doing a lot of work during class and it’s very tiring,” said Angela Reyes, a junior in CIC.

However, some students are excited about the return to the campus. Malia Ocubillo, a junior in CIC, said that being back in school has been better for her since she is able to interact and socialize with people she hasn’t seen in a long time.

With students being back on campus, there are rules in place in order to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible, such as wearing masks at all times. Students are urged to frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

LBUSD also required all students that were to return to school register for Covid testing if they hadn’t yet received the vaccines as part of their safety precautions. For the Covid test, Poly High School uses a nasal swab procedure that is painless and lets students test themselves. If a student happens to test positive for Covid or have been potentially exposed to Covid, they will have to quarantine or test negative before coming back to school. 

Over 60,000 tests have been given to LBUSD students this school year, which resulted in a low positive rate under one percent. “This low rate is a testament to the hard work families, students and staff have put in over the last few weeks,” said LBUSD Superintendent Dr. Jill Baker in the statement. 

The district also required all staff to have the vaccine or take part in weekly covid testing. According to a district statement, a study even said LBUSD is a model for Covid safety. 

“I think it’s very nice, the Covid precautions are being taken very seriously…Although I wish we would have gotten back sooner, we know that the district was doing all that they could,” said 9th grader Tika Jonnum.