Is Returning to School Worth it?


Photo provided by Google Images.

Cassidy Lo, Staff Writer


  Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) Superintendent Kirsten Vital reported that 80 percent of students, according to a survey, wanted to return to school amongst the pandemic; but it is apparent that the majority of students, in fact, do not wish to return to campus. 

  Even if 80 percent of students were to return, would that be a good idea? Would it be safe? Would teachers and students be able to adapt to the new schedule? Would students be able to effectively learn, more independently than ever before?

  To put it simply: no. Aliso is overpopulated and to have half the students on campus is the equivalent of the number of students the campus was originally built for. 

  The new schedule is built with 25 minute passing periods and staggered release. That would leave some students standing by their next class or roaming the halls for an upwards of 20 minutes. Not the best idea. It also leaves teachers little time to properly sanitize their classroom.

  Students are also expected to eat lunch on campus. Sitting six feet apart from peers without masks in our over-crowded lunch area and cafeteria is not realistic. 

  The new hybrid schedule also leaves students with reduced class time and no tutorial to ask teachers questions or complete make up tests and quizzes. Students will largely work independently. It can be anticipated that students will not be able to absorb the information their teacher presents and may not understand it, especially those taking AP and honors courses. 

  At the last board meeting, two teachers from Aliso spoke against the return to campus, but their concerns were brushed aside and went unaddressed. 

  The hybrid program places unnecessary stress on both students and teachers and the success of this option is unlikely. Most districts that have experimented with a hybrid program have experienced failure and a spike in COVID cases in their area. Our poor potential schedule with long passing periods accompanied by insufficient space would only be harmful for students.

  Keeping the current system with everyone online is clearly the best option, but the district board seems oblivious to the opinions of the majority of students and teachers.