Just as the students and staff of Camas High School were getting acclimated to the new hybrid schedule after a turbulent start, a new set of CDC rules were put into play. This means the mostly empty hallways of CHS will double the number of people on campus each week.
In an email sent out Friday afternoon, Camas School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Charlene Williams informed the student body that the days in person will double, taking place for all in-person students four days a week.
The schedule change begins Monday, April 19th after the Washington State Department of
Health adopted the CDC’s new guidelines of three feet apart with masks worn.
CHS students explained how they feel about the new guidance.
CHS Senior Piper Stroh said, “I think it’ll be a good opportunity for everyone to see each other again. I’m sure everyone will stay safe because people that are going back, want to go back and stay in person. It’s a good reminder to everyone that if we keep staying safe then we truly can move forward and be semi-normal.”
CHS Sophomore Wilson Nevin said, “I am excited everyone will be together and there will be more people. ”
CHS Junior Tina Lai said, “It would be nice to see people from cohort A, but I feel like that is a lot of people.”
CHS staff members expressed their thoughts as well.
CHS speech pathologist Sandi Taylor said, “I’m nervous to go back to four days of school because I want to be sure that students at home are able to participate in an equitable way, and I want everyone to stay safe.”
CHS student Paraeducator Margaret Guisti said, “We’ve been going all year long, and it has been going fairly well, but I feel like advisory is pretty long.”
History and English teacher Sam Greene said, “Well, I honestly do not know what it all entails yet because we haven’t been given any information, and I just have lots of questions about if we’re still going to be providing remote instruction and exactly how do you measure three feet, and what if the students are 18 years or older? Does that mean they’re an adult and therefore they need six feet? There’s just a lot of questions right now, for me.”
CHS staff members on campus are still required to stay six feet apart from both other staff and students.
For the majority of the time, CHS students and staff will be masked up. However, when students are eating in the cafeteria, they will be without a face covering, so CHS admin decided to keep the current protocol; a clean six-foot distance when consuming food and beverage.
CHS Principal Tom Morris explained that they are still in the process of planning, and are currently reaching out to families on their personal decisions on staying in-person or remote.
CHS Associate Principal Tim Fox said, “Moving to 4 days a week was not necessarily a shock to us, but a shock that it came so quickly.”
Originally the schedule was going to switch on April 12th, but they pushed it back to the 19th because of spacing issues that need to be resolved.
“I have tried to organize these lunches, so that was a challenge in itself with 2 cohorts and 3 lunches, its almost perfect with the amount of space we have, so it’s going to be really challenging. We’re going to have to get creative with a schedule and get creative with the spacing,” Fox said.
He added, “We’re very thankful that the school board changed it from the 12th to the 19th,” Fox said.
The Assistant Superintendent recognizes that the decision may come as a surprise, but feels that it is the best path forward for students.
Dr. Charlene Williams said, “Our hope throughout this pandemic has been to increase learning for all students as often as is allowed by local and state guidance. This change, although late and unexpected, gives us yet another opportunity to expand learning opportunities for students. ”