School takes next steps towards campus reopening

COVID-19 testing is available for students and faculty

Students+in+grades+K-6+sign+in+to+receive+their+COVID-19+tests+on+campus+on+Sept.+8.+About+500+people+signed+up+for+testing.%C2%A0

Elias Feldman

Students in grades K-6 sign in to receive their COVID-19 tests on campus on Sept. 8. About 500 people signed up for testing. 

Madeline Thiara, Senior Reporter

High school students can return to campus on Oct. 19, pending approval from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, according to a statement from Anne Marie Krejcarek, head of Convent & Stuart Hall’s four divisions.

“It is hard for me to focus during the long Zoom classes so I am happy to be going back to school,” junior Jennifer Surjadi said. “I feel like I will be more engaged and participate more during in-person classes.

The city of San Francisco established guidelines to stagger the return of students to campus. Students in grades K-2 will return on Sept. 24, grades 3-6 will return on Oct. 1, and grades 7-8 will return on Oct. 15, according to Krejcarek. 

“The degree of collaboration in our high school program is so important which is why students will benefit from returning to in-person classes,” Krejcarek said. “The teachers are doing an incredible job with distance learning but it is hard to be isolated.”

The Department of Public Health officials plan to bring back high school students at a slower rate as most high schools have not adapted to cohort-style scheduling, which could increase their exposure, according to Krejcarek. Convent & Stuart Hall’s infectious disease consultant—Capsid Consulting suggested to class cohorting in July.

“In-person classes will give me the ability to better understand the course material since I will be able to easily meet with teachers and work with my classmates,” sophomore Julia Kearney said. “I think that the cohort-style classes will be easier to manage once we are back on campus.”

Administrators have been meeting with Capsid Consulting every week since April to ensure safety among faculty and students and to create a plan for the future.

“We were one of the first schools to work with a company that is in the business of infectious disease control,” Krejcarek said. “Capsid Consulting originally only worked with hospitals and nursing homes, but they now work with quite a few schools and universities.”

In preparation for in-person classes, Convent & Stuart Hall is hosting is COVID-19 testing every week for students and faculty, with four testing opportunities so far. Testing takes place through the company Agile Force and is funded by the federal CARES Act.

“The man that did my testing was very kind and walked me through everything before it happened,” junior Eliza Spaht said. “We talked while he took my blood test and nasal swab which took my mind off of the testing.”

Once in-person classes resume, the school will also offer COVID-19 testing once a week. About 500 people signed up for each of the last two testing dates, which was for grades K-6 and 7-12., according to athletic director Elena Desantis, who helped coordinate the testing. 

“I am excited to go back to school to see my friends and have a more normal school life,” Surjadi said. “It will be nice to not have to go back and forth between campuses as much with the block scheduling.”

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