By: Riley Haltom
As schools begin to reopen, there are some very obvious changes to accommodate for the safety of students and staff. The coronavirus pandemic has created what is being referred to as “the new normal” at Chester County High. Masks being required, socially distanced classrooms and new hand sanitizer stations are just a few of the changes being made at the high school. Students are being asked to self-check for symptoms of COVID-19 at home before coming on campus. A seating chart has been implemented at lunch, students no longer eat breakfast in the cafeteria, but rather in their first period and every class has a seating chart now to aid in contact tracing should someone on-campus test positive. Following exposure, students or staff must quarantine for 14 days and test negative before returning to campus.
I asked both a student and a teacher how they felt about some of the changes here. Stewart Brown, CCHS sophomore, when asked about how his routine had changed, answered “I haven’t been able to go out as much.”
Brown explained his experience with the new school environment after two days.
“It’s been alright, but a bit of a change compared to being stuck at home. [It’s] a bit of an adjustment in seeing so many people after seeing barely any for five months.”
Brown said this of how masks have affected hanging out with friends.
“We can’t meet in the quad anymore. It’s harder to clearly understand people. It also makes it difficult to see people’s faces so you can’t tell if they’re in a good or bad mood.”
Whereas Stewart Brown saw several difficulties in the added precautions, Mrs. Ginger McPherson, who teaches Medical Terminology, Nursing and Clinical Internship, had little trouble adjusting.
“I wore a mask for 16 years during surgery, so it doesn’t bother me much. I’m just trying to be a good example for both students and staff. I try to stay at least six feet away from my students so I can take the mask off.”
McPherson combines her surgical experience with teaching.
“Most of my routine is the same, but with more emphasis on masks, good hygiene and social distancing, as well as educating others.”
Also happening at Chester County High, the return of sports. On Monday, volleyball returned to play in a game against Dyer County at home. The girls showed out in a win over the Choctaws in a Game 5 rally. Briley Thomas excelled on back-row defense with 25 digs. Golf and volleyball both have home games on Thursday and on Friday, Chester County football travels to Fayette-Ware for the season opener.