Around Bosco: The Bosco Gold Standard Continues With Successful Reopening Plan
by Joshua Hernandez, Editor in Chief and Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor
The St. John Bosco High School community is one step closer to true normalcy. At the start of 2021, the school opened its doors to students for the first time since its initial shutdown due to COVID-19 in March of 2020, albeit in a much different manner than students and teachers are accustomed to.
Before being allowed to return to campus, students who felt comfortable enough to return to school were subject to showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test as well as agreeing to adhere to the standard protocols set by school officials and local guidelines while on campus.
Amongst the protocols and guidelines those who returned must follow are social distancing, mask-wearing, using sanitizers and following passing period walkways set by the school. Moreover, students are subject to temperature checks upon their arrival to campus.
In addition to this, students who returned to school only go to campus twice a week with specific cohorts, or a designated classroom they must remain in. While the students on campus are doing three of their four classes virtually through Zoom, they are under the supervision of the teacher who is in charge of their specific cohort.
Bosco senior Saul Frausto, who returned to campus to take his period 4 Elementary Statistics class with Mr. Salvador Perez, remains in his cohort with Perez and other students immediately following his arrival to campus in the morning, where he remains and attends his first three classes virtually before the start of his final period, where he is instructed by Perez.
“While there is always that risk of getting COVID, Bosco is following all the right protocols and doing a solid job at taking precautions against any potential outbreak. Of course, things such as following social distancing, wearing masks and extended passing periods with cohort-specific maps and directions to walk help. I definitely feel good going back,” said Frausto.
However, the return to campus is more than just allowing students to feel safe while returning to some semblance of normalcy; it allows some students, such as Senior Ramiro Roque, to be in a space that allows them to focus on their studies and escape the often tough challenge of virtual learning.
“Going back to school in person has been much more engaging than virtual classes for me personally due to the fact that it helps me focus with hands-on learning rather than just staring at a screen for so many hours every day while being tired,” said Roque, who shares a cohort with the aforementioned Frausto.
Without a doubt, St. John Bosco High School is reaping the benefits and bearing the fruit of their labor from the countless investments they have made to ensure the safety of their teachers and students as they return to some sense of normalcy.
The efforts of school officials to execute a flawless reopening plan prompted the local Spectrum News 1 to publicly broadcast and write about how the school has carried out a return to campus in line with local health guidelines. Clearly, the Bosco community has always set a gold standard for surrounding schools and communities, and the reopening plan certainly provides the continuity of excellence.
Furthermore, several changes would have to occur in the next few weeks for reopening to expand at Bosco. For starters, L.A. county has not moved out of the “widespread (purple)” margin in the California tier system. In order for a full reopening to occur, the country should move down to “substantial (red)” tier for at least five days before reopening. The trends in recent weeks, however, project promise.
At the moment, the current cohorts can function in the same manner, as the CDC has declared that small amounts of students can go back for in-person learning with limited staff. Many students at Bosco now have the ability to experience the new garden, lunch options as well as revisiting their favorite places on campus before the school year ends.
News of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially in L.A. county, have allowed for more conversations and acceleration for plans of a safe reopening for the whole student body. Many seniors may have the opportunity to enjoy part of their final moments- prom, graduation, grad night and other activities typical of a normal year.
If numbers start to decrease significantly after the effects of the vaccine start to take place, a pre-COVID era could even be achievable close to the end of the current year. People could return to interact with their peers without the need of an electronic device, while teachers can have the relief of their students learning inside of a classroom, where they can better aid them.
While the coronavirus pandemic left a deep wound in our society, one must never stop holding out hope for a better future where things can go back to “normal.” The school year is not over yet and many changes can happen overnight, even allowing for opportunities such as the full reopening of campus to occur.