Strake Jesuit Welcomes Students Back to Campus
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory reopened its campus on Monday, Sept. 14, six months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift to virtual learning. Following Spring Break, the final quarter of last school year and all of summer school were conducted online. Now students have the option of returning to campus in a hybrid model, which has been well received by both faculty and students.
The community aspect of Strake was difficult to replicate virtually. Without the company of friends during classes, lunch and athletics, something felt missing from the school experience. Senior Pablo Flores remarked, “I really enjoyed being able to see my friends in school again. That is definitely what I missed most when school was online.”
Currently, the hybrid model allows students with last names from A-K to attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays; students with last names from L-Z get to be on campus for Thursdays and Fridays.
Strake Jesuit is prioritizing safety throughout this process. Students are required to complete a daily screening via the ReturnSafe app and wear masks at all times while on campus with the exception of lunch. Additionally, the app also contains contact tracing abilities through the student’s iPads. This means that if a student were to catch the virus, those who were in close proximity to him would be notified.
“I am very glad the school is taking the right health precautions to ensure our safety,” senior Leo Engels said. “The last thing I want to do is catch is virus at school and potentially spread it to others.”
Every classroom has had hand sanitizer machines installed and plexiglass barriers added to the desks. Students are required to use the hand sanitizer machines as they enter the room and are instructed to wipe their desks with Clorox wipes. The school has also added tents for outdoor classes because of scientific research that shows the virus does not spread as effectively outdoors.
Students acknowledge that the school they have returned to has quite a different look from the one that they left earlier this year. They never would have predicted the number of health precautions that would enter their daily routine, but the feeling of being back on campus together makes it worthwhile.
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