The J.O Combs School District will be allowing students that choose to attend on campus learning, to come back onto school grounds on Monday, August 17.
The JOCUSD Governing Board decided in a 3-2 vote to to allow students to return to campus or attend classes virtually. Though the split close to 60/40 in favor of returning to campus according to a survey conducted by district officials, teachers are looking forward to seeing at least some of their students again.
“As a teacher, and also a father of a student on campus. I look forward to actually having kids back in class, I understand the concerns of parents,” Criminology teacher Greg Moyes said, “If people need to socially distance, wash their hands and whatever they feel their parents are best for them. I think it is important for kids to be back, and to socialize enough and not be trapped in their house.
Some parents are concerned about the school reopening too early. Julie Jenkins has been a nurse for 23 years and worries about safety a little more than others. Her daughter attends JOCMS.
“I am very nervous about starting school. I wish in person would be put off until the metrics put out by the health department are met.” Jenkins said, “Working as a nurse in the hospital probably makes me more cautious than most.”
With the decision to allow students on campus out of the way, some students are concerned fall sports will be delayed or cancelled through first semester due to COVID-19.
“The AIA is going forth, and cross country season will start on the 24th officially as long as our district allows us to continue,” Cross Country coach Stacy Johnson said.
With freshman starting their first few weeks of high school from home, Charlotte O’Brien has been waiting to enjoy the experiences of high school for a long time and is going to transition into in person learning.
“I do have a few concerns just because I haven’t been through the campus and I don’t really know much of the teachers or students,” O’Brien said. “But I am pretty sure we will be able to get into a routine very easily.”
Freshmen aren’t the only group finding the start of the school year challenging, some seniors are concerned that learning from home will have an impact on their post-secondary plans.
“I am returning in person because it comes down to it being hard for me to learn online and virtually,” senior Tristan King said, “I’m trying to get my GPA up so I can get accepted into Brigham Young University, but I know learning online wont help me with that.”
The district sent out an email outlining the guidelines and requirements for students the start of in-person instruction Monday.
All staff and students are required to wear a face mask or covering, mandatory temperature checks prior to first hour, and social distancing. Students who will be staying online will have to adjust their schedule back to the day long plan used the first week of virtual learning. Though the decision to stay online cannot be changes until the end of a quarter, students who return to campus can opt to return to virtual learning at any time.