Office Manager Janelle Fine working behind a protective shield in the front office. (Photo by Elisabeth Rubinfien)
Office Manager Janelle Fine working behind a protective shield in the front office.

Photo by Elisabeth Rubinfien

Survey: Most Students Ready to Return In-Person but Some Remain Worried about Safety

March 29, 2021

Across California, public and private schools have been re-opening in different ways, and Eastside’s administration also has been wrestling with how and when to bring students back to campus. Surveys were sent to families, and county guidelines are being closely watched.

With school administration and staff considering the questions of when and how to reopen school, students are split on the matter, too. In a survey sent to students on Feb. 24 by The Eastside Panther, 79% of the 43 students who responded said they would like to return to in-person classes at this point, while 21% do not feel the time is right yet.

Most of the students who were reluctant to return to school said the main reason is their worries about safety precautions. Others said they feel confident in the ways Eastside has already adapted to the Covid-19 shelter-in-place precautions.

“Health First” sign welcomes you when you enter the front office. (Photo by Elisabeth Rubinfien)

“I would definitely feel safe because I know they’re all taking precautions,” said sophomore Stephany Urbina. “And they’d obviously open the school for a reason because they’re prepared to do it.“

The proper precautions that need to be taken include wearing face masks, staying at least six feet apart, separating desks and more. Vice-principal Helen Kim and staff members have been working hard on evaluating how school could reopen for all students while also staying within the safety guidelines. Some building improvements, such as installing windows that open, have been made, but other parts involve complex arrangements of how people move around campus and use the space they are sharing. 

For some students, returning to school will only make sense when it becomes possible to have the full on-campus experience that existed before the pandemic.

I feel like we’d have to be assured that we’d be safe returning to school as normal,” said junior Arayah Hampton. “I don’t want to go back if we’re still not going to be able to have the normal school environment. Until then I think we should wait until Covid is completely over.”   

Some freshmen who have not been able to experience Eastside in person are eager to return to school due to their difficult home environments.

“Personally for me, focusing at home is very hard,” said freshman Jennifer Cortes. “I’ve noticed that it has begun to affect my grades and mental health in a negative way.”

Other students believe that returning to school would be a difficult transition at this point in the school year. Others worry about getting exposed to Covid-19 at school and bringing it to their homes, if they attend school in-person during the pandemic.

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