YLHS Reopening: Latest Update


Courtesy of PYLUSD

PYLUSD releases information regarding the return to school date, as the last date announced has changed.

Riley Pietsch, Editor-in-Chief

March 13, 2020, was an ominous day nationwide. Despite the fact that it was Friday the 13th, this day marked the start of a future filled with unknowns. Schools in cities throughout the country announced their two-week leave in hopes of preventing the spread of the recently prevalent virus, COVID-19. Students left in excitement, as they would be going on what they thought was a two-week vacation, but the reality that would soon strike was nothing to look forward to.

Flashing forward more than sixth months, YLHS students have yet to return to campus. Classrooms are now students’ bedrooms, and teachers appear on computer screens. The coronavirus has struck havoc worldwide, and schools have been no exception to that. Students spend their days on the video-communications app Zoom to attend school, but the question many hold remains: “Will we ever go back?”

Slowly, schools across the country have begun returning to school under restricted schedules. Low-risk counties have allowed for “hybrid learning”, meaning that students attend school 2-3 days a week and spend the remaining days learning online. While many schools have started reopening, YLHS has remained entirely remote. Recently, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District has come out with several announcements regarding the return to school, so here is a breakdown of what the reopening is projected to look like for YLHS:

Many students and staff members were surprised by the seemingly sudden return date released by the district. The first announcement explained that YLHS students would be returning to school with hybrid learning as soon as October 14. In less than a month, students would return to school under safety restrictions after being at home for more than six months. Not long after this announcement, a survey was released for both parents/guardians and employees by the district, to get a better understanding of how these individuals felt about both the return date and remote learning. 

According to the “Return to School Information” document released by the district on September 24, “51.5% of parents/guardians and 62.7% of employees who completed the questionnaire expressed a desire to remain in a 100% Remote Learning Model for all students for the time being.” Therefore, “48.5% of parents/guardians and 37.3% of employees expressed a desire to shift to an in-person Hybrid Learning Model for all students.” 

The survey also showed that “93% of parents/guardians and 93% of employees rated the overall quality of the district’s Remote Learning since the start of the new school year as Excellent, Above Average, or Average.” Consequently, “only 7% of parents/guardians and 7% of employees rated the overall quality of the district’s Remote Learning as Below Average or Poor.”

Based on the results of this questionnaire, the district made the difficult decision to delay the original October 14 reopening date to “further prepare health and safety protocols, develop hybrid schedules at all three levels, and continue to evaluate and implement other school site readiness factors.” The newest date that YLHS is projected to return for in-person Hybrid Learning Model is Monday, November 9, 2020. 

This sudden change in return dates sparked conversation among students, teachers, and parents/guardians. Those who were concerned with the first date announced were pleased to receive news that the return to school would be a little further in the future. On the other hand, those eager to get back to school as soon as possible were disappointed by the November 9 return, as they would have to spend more time working remotely than originally announced.

The return to school has become quite controversial throughout the country, but Olivia Yerkes (12) has summed up her feelings with this simple sentiment: “As long as it is safe and smart for us to go back to campus, I will be happy with any date.” 

COVID-19 has ripped away all senses of normality in people’s lives, and schools have definitely felt that uncertainty. As for YLHS, it seems that students will be back on campus as of November 9 through an in-person Hybrid Learning Model. The return will not be easy, as masks will be mandatory, social distancing will be enforced, and plastic dividers will divide students at their desks. While it will be an entirely new environment, the district has reassured that the health of their students and staff members remains their top priority, and as soon as it is safe, students will be back on campus with hybrid learning.