In the United States there are over 7.49 million people infected with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). 128,000 thousand of those cases are in Indiana alone, and of those numbers Monroe County harbors almost 3,000 of them. This makes it, making it the 10th most infected county in all of Indiana. Out of those infected in our community, 41 have died from it. However, in the midst of all of this the MCCSC school board is asking an alarming question: When should we go Green?
‘Going Green’ is a term the MCCSC school board is using to refer to opening the secondary schools back to all five days of the week. This would bring people who are split between their days on a hybrid schedule together all days of the week, and almost double the amount of people in the building. That being said, the people who are fully online could choose towould stay fully online, or go back to in-person school. Currently, about one third of South students are fully online.
Although many can argue we must get back to a normal schedule as soon as possible for the sake of students grades, Assistant Principal Joe Doyle reveals that, really, thing are beginning to look up in regards to grades, and that students whose grades were less than desirable in the beginning of the school year are starting to seek help, and improvement in grades has been seen, especially the last three weeks.
According to Doyle, student morale is different as well. “Things are taken for granted,” Doyle he stated in an interview with Optimist Staff, referring to the things we get being fully here without any required safety precautions. Doyle also reports that people are asking to go Green and be here five days a week.
However, the staff at The Optimist at BHSS strongly believes due to health and saftey concerns that this isn’t the time to be going Green. Hybrid seems to be working rather well for South. According to the Indiana Covid-19 Data Report, so far, there havehas been eight confirmed student cases since students have returned, and generally the system seems to be doing it’s job. The students who were confirmed positive were contact traced, and all those who qualified as being possiblyility exposed were askedsent to quarantine. Doubling the number of people could easily double the number of cases within the building or worse. Additionally, contact tracing would be muchmade harder, the hallways would be more crowded, and all in all the infection rate would be higher, even if masks stayed on at all times. Lunch would also have to be set up much differently. To put it simply, there’s not enough space that, under the current guidelines, students could be safely and properly distanced from one another.
Overall, keeping safety in mind, due to the risk of further spreading the outbreak of COVID-19 in our communities and families alike, The Optimist strongly believes that at this time going Green would not be a smart decision for the MCCSC school board to make.