Reagan prepares to open doors amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Reagan+prepares+for+in-class+social+distancing+by+spacing+desks+to+a+safe+distance+among+other+methods+to+ensure+a+safe+return+for+school.+Photo+by+Brad+Royal.

Reagan prepares for in-class social distancing by spacing desks to a safe distance among other methods to ensure a safe return for school. Photo by Brad Royal.

Mick Royster and Katie Miller

Life in 2020 has been greatly different from life in the past years. One difference, and possibly one of the greatest, is one that we thought would never change: school.

Since Friday, March 13, North Carolina schools have been shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19. The original course was to take two weeks to clean down the schools, but that quickly turned into a statewide shut down for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

In recent weeks, North Carolina schools are starting to open up county by county. Among those starting to open up is Forsyth County. WSFCS schools have been preparing schools for some type of return for students.

For high schools in the WSFCS district, Plan B, which consists of a hybrid of in-person and online learning, is scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. For Reagan High School, the student population has been divided into four learning cohorts to achieve proper social distancing and provide a safer environment during COVID regulations. 

Learning cohorts have been divided up by alphabetical order of last names. Cohort one consists of students whose last names range from A-E, cohort two groups F-L, cohort three groups G-Ri, and the last group contains Ro-Z.

Around the entrances to Reagan, x’s have been marked on the ground to provide standing spaces to achieve proper social distancing, as certain doors are only for entering or exiting the building.

Inside the school, sanitization dispensers have been placed around the hallways to give students chances to sanitize themselves before and after coming into contact with people and/or surfaces.

During school days, classes have been reduced to a fraction of the student seating capacity, having marked off seats to create social distancing, or putting unused chairs in the back of the classroom, leaving them out entirely.

For students who feel like they are coming down with COVID symptoms, room 304 has turned into an isolation room for people with COVID-like symptoms during the school day.

After over seven months of quarantine from school, students are eager to get back into the learning environment they once occupied for the vast majority of their lives.

“I can’t wait to go back to school,” said sophomore Owen Bounds, “I’ve barely seen any of my friends since March.”

 While the pandemic is still changing our lives and not going back to normal soon, our faculty and staff at Reagan High School are doing everything they can to make school a safe space during these uncertain times.