WEB EXCLUSIVE The elementary schools are turning to high school volunteers to aid in ensuring COVID-19 protocols are met during drop-off and pickup of their youngest students.
“Having a lot of people to help with this process has been really helpful and a really good thing for the adults especially,” Community Life Chair Michael Buckley said. “The total amount of work that was falling to teachers went down a little bit when we got some high school kids to help out.”
High school volunteers are in charge of making sure that younger students remain properly distanced in line, and they open car doors for children as well as help them get in and out of vehicles.
“The best part is definitely talking to the kids and asking them about their days while they are waiting for their parents,” junior Shelby Low said. “It is all about timing and not missing their cars since I can get pretty caught up talking to the kids.”
Volunteers are also helping the elementary schools during lunch and are responsible for making sure children are socially distanced in the lunch line and that they sit on their designated polly spots while eating.
“Since I have a free period, I think that this is a good way to use my time and give back to my community,” junior Anneli Dolan said. “I’ve noticed how much of an impact keeping kids in line and apart makes of the cafeteria staff and teachers.”
Pickup is the most complicated and demanding time for volunteers out of the three time slots, according to Buckley. High school students use radios to inform teachers when to dismiss students, and the older students escort the younger ones to their parents.
“The most difficult part is reminding the students to spread out,” junior Anneli Dolan said. “As a student myself, I understand how hard it is to maintain distancing and not chat closely with your friends. It is even harder for younger kids.”
Buckley says students are still needed to work the three shifts: 8–8:45 a.m., 11:15 a.m.– 1:15 p.m. and 2:30–3:30 p.m. Interested students can contact Buckley via school email.
“Drop-off and pickup is actually not as easy as it sounds,” Buckley said. “Having those high school kids there to open the door, help those children get out of the car and make sure that they’ve got all their things makes it go a lot faster.”