How the school is handling COVID-19

How+the+school+is+handling+COVID-19

Kade Brackin, Activities Editor

COVID-19 has changed just about everyone’s life, especially the students and staff of West Hardin. There are several ways the school has dealt with the virus, including requiring all students to wear a mask and implementing social distancing everywhere from its classrooms to its cafeteria. 

“We brought in an outside company to do deep-cleaning while we were off,” Principal of West Hardin Secondary Schools Tiffany Merriwether said. “We’re encouraging people to remember that we’re doing the safest thing possible for other people. We have staff members and even students that have underlying conditions who could be highly susceptible (to the virus.)”

The school also took some other precautions.

“We were doing temperature checks at the beginning on staff, and then we had a waiver that was signed for the parents to do screenings on their children before sending them to school,” school nurse Tammy Adams said.

Along with the masks and temperature checks, the school has been taking precautions by using quarantining as another tool in their arsenal.

“If (students) have symptoms then they are sent home to do the quarantine phase,” Adams said. “If it’s a close-contact COVID case, and they’ve been unmasked, (people in contact with the student) have to quarantine. That’s why it’s important to wear your mask.”

The school has also offered an alternative virtual learning course to students who don’t want to risk coming to school.

“Every teacher is responsible for putting all of their classwork online so that remote learners can access it from google classroom,” Merriwether said. “As far as attendance, remote learners are required to check-in for every class every day, although they don’t have to do that on a schedule, they still have to do it for all eight periods at some point during the 24-hour period.”

After a rise in COVID cases at the school, they decided to quarantine for two weeks. If that ever happens again, we have a solution.

“If we’re able to switch to remote learning, we wouldn’t have to alter the school calendar,” Merriwether said. “If for some reason we didn’t have remote, then we would look at the COVID days that are built into the calendar, and instead of having those as holidays, we might have to go to make up some of those days.”

Teachers seem to agree with the new rules.

“I feel like they’re designed to keep us safe, and they seem to be working effectively,” speech and theatre director Sandra Peek said.

Some students seem to agree with the new rules as well.

“COVID is bad and I don’t want to get it, so I’m going to wear a mask,” senior Gracelyn Hazelwood said.

Other students, not so much.

“I understand that they’re put in place to keep us safe but sometimes I think that the logic really isn’t there,” sophomore Kimberlann Gilley said.

Regardless, the rules are here to stay, and probably aren’t going away until COVID does.

“I recommend following the guidelines that are put up for everyone and to where the mask and practice social distancing,” Adams said.