Around Bosco: Bosco Community Rejoices As On-Campus Learning Returns

by Aydn Morris

After a long 522-day wait, St. John Bosco High School has finally completely reopened for on-campus learning.

On May 13, 2020, St. John Bosco closed their school campus due to the spread COVID-19. As of Aug 17, 2021, St. John Bosco has officially reopened their whole campus for all students and staff, but still has to hold strict restrictions due to the Los Angeles County Health Guidelines.

As everyone would expect, the school wants to be able to have the campus open for the entirety of the school year. This would mean that there will have to be health and safety restrictions and complete cooperation between students, teachers and staff.

“The best way to keep everyone safe is to follow the rules with mask and if there is  any sort of symptomatic feeling of COVID-19 to not come to school because it would be safer for everyone, even if it feels like it’s a sacrifice to make,” said newly appointed Vice Principal of Student Affairs, Mrs. Jen Schnorr.

The school is asking for this because if anyone were to come to school with COVID-19, it could very easily spread and become unsafe for the students to attend school on campus. A COVID-19 outbreak is considered 3 or more cases that are linked together. If an outbreak were to ever happen the whole school would have to go into quarantine and switch back to online. This could heavily affect the students that are involved in any sports, clubs and student activities. 

“Having an outbreak would mean that sports teams could have games postponed or even cancelled, and senior activities as well could be cancelled or postponed. But as long as everyone can stay safe, all activities will go as planned,” said Mrs. Schnorr.

Although the vaccine is not required to attend school, there is a difference in the close contact guidelines for someone who is vaccinated in comparison to someone who is unvaccinated. 

“If you are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 [anyone who has been around them for 15 minutes and six feet away], you would have to be contact traced by the school. If you are vaccinated, you are cleared to stay at school as long as you don’t come up with any symptoms. If you are unvaccinated, you automatically have to go in quarantine for eight days, even if you don’t have any symptoms and come up with a negative test,” said Mrs. Schnorr.

The upside to being vaccinated would be not having to miss any of school, practices or games if the student tested negative for COVID-19, but the student still will have the same restrictions in keeping their mask on at all times. The school is doing their best to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 by holding all events outside, such as pep rallies, mass, homecoming and dances. Also, every L.A. county student-athlete has to get tested weekly, vaccinated or not.

In the 2021 Spring semester, students and staff were allowed back on campus but not at full capacity. Not having the school at full capacity really diminished the Bosco brotherhood because not all students had attended at the same time, which led to less communication between the students. 

“The reopening has strengthened our bonds again because being away for a year and a half has definitely pulled us apart brotherhood wise so it definitely affects us in a positive way,” said junior Manuel Huerta.

Not only was the Bosco brotherhood and communication affected by online learning, but the students’ grades were impacted, as well. Many of the students have said that learning online brought up too many distractions and temptations to overcome. Most, if not all, of the students and teachers prefer face-to-face interactions with each other, rather than looking at a screen.

The reopening of St. John Bosco has been fantastic so far. If any students are having trouble with the rough times, there are always people on campus who are available to help, such as Counseling Partners of Los Angeles (CPLA) and the counselors.

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