WHITTIER – Whittier Union students returned to campuses bedecked in colorful posters with messages of encouragement from April 6 to 9, marking the beginning of the District’s reopening for in-person instruction.
Students lined up six feet apart in their designated entrances, where they were greeted by excited teachers, administrators and staff – some meeting their students for the first time.
“I am so excited to be back in school today,” Frontier High School student Abygail Bruno said. “I am really looking forward to attending class in-person for the first time this year.”
Following the District’s Stage Two Reopening Plan, students are offered instruction through a hybrid model and divided into Cohorts A1, A2, B1, B2 attending school one day a week, Tuesday through Friday, respectively. Mondays are 100% remote learning for all students.
Families who prefer to stay in remote learning have the option to do so for the remainder of the school year.
The return to in-person instruction looked vastly different to years past due to the strict safety procedures and protocols implemented to ensure the health of students, teachers, staff and families.
Prior to entering campus, students receive a health screening to monitor any symptoms they may be experiencing and have their temperature checked. To manage movement, everyone on school campuses follows directional signs and floor markers posted throughout hallways and outdoor areas. Face coverings are worn at all times, and students now use touchless water filling stations to refill their bottles. Additionally, increased sanitizing stations are available around campus and social distancing markers are laid out in classrooms and all other frequently used areas.
Whittier Union has also secured safety equipment and personal protective equipment to be distributed as needed.
During the instructional day, restrooms and student desks are disinfected a minimum of three times per day. Each classroom, including countertops, door handles, student desks and student chairs are further cleaned and disinfected at the conclusion of the school day. Physical barriers have also been installed in the front offices of all campuses to limit face-to-face interaction with the public.
Encouraged by the effectiveness of its Stage Two Reopening, Whittier Union is looking to move toward Stage Three, with students receiving in-person instruction two days a week.
“It has been absolutely amazing to welcome our students back for in-person instruction, a step we have been preparing for since the very beginning of remote learning,” Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “Thank you to our students, certificated and classified employees, families and community members for their patience and support as we worked through the challenges to get to this day. Whittier Union pledges to continue doing whatever it takes to keep our students healthy, safe and educated.”
040921_WUHSD_REOPENING1: Abygail Bruno, a student at Frontier High School, was the first student to arrive on campus on April 6, and was greeted by Assistant Principal Richard Rodriguez.
040921_WUHSD_REOPENING2: A Santa Fe High School student stands in front of the temperature monitor before entering campus during the District’s first week of reopening.