WEB EXCLUSIVE The Department of Public Health made an unannounced appearance on Dec. 9 on the Convent & Stuart Hall campuses to evaluate whether students and faculty are abiding by the safety protocols, including masks and social distancing.
Before getting approved to welcome students back onto campus, DPH conducted multiple evaluations and tests on ventilation, distance and sanitation on both the Flood and Pine/Octavia campuses. With students back on campus, DPH will make periodic, unannounced visits to ensure that the necessary protocols are being followed.
“In my Theory of Knowledge class and Environmental Science, DPH people briefly looked in and made sure we were 6 feet apart and had face shields if we were close,” senior Nina Sanchez said. “It was a little intimidating to have them looking into the classroom and kind of analyzing us, but I know it is all for safety.”
With a new shelter-in-place order activated on Dec. 6, maintaining these protocols is crucial to keeping the campuses open in order for students, faculty and staff to function throughout the day safely.
“I think what these site visits do is preserve that sense of mutual accountability between the DPH and the guidelines they are holding and what we have promised to do in order to be open,” Head of School Rachel Simpson said.
The PDH classroom visits lasted less than a minute, according to sophomore Sinead Trevino.
“I didn’t really get nervous that they were going to shut us down because my class and other classes I have seen have all been 6 feet apart and wearing face shields,” Trevino said. “I mean, we were doing everything right and taking all the right precautions so I’m pretty confident we will stay in-person.”
As the school year continues, the community is expected to adhere to any required safety guidelines proposed by DPH to continue to offer in-person learning as an option during the pandemic.
“I was super stressed when I heard they were coming because I love coming to school in person,” Sanchez said. “I really hope that as long as we continue following the rules, I will be able to come to campus for the remainder of my senior year.”