Editorial: Spring-Ford emphasizes safety in COVID-19 era

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Staff photo

A social-distancing sign is seen outside the cafeteria at Spring-Ford Area High School. Signs like these are just some of the safety measures implemented during the school’s hybrid return.

Jade Weller, Opinion Editor

As the Spring-Ford Area School District and many other schools around the country continue to face another marking period of COVID-19 restricted learning, the discussion regarding school safety is more prominent than ever.

Many schools, including Spring-Ford, have transitioned to a hybrid model that consists of a combination of in-person learning and virtual learning.

However, in recent action, the Montgomery County Board of Health ordered all K-12 schools to go virtual for two weeks starting Nov. 23 through Dec. 6. Due to the rise in Coronavirus cases, the closing of schools was deemed necessary in order to ensure the safety of students and faculty.

Though this temporary move to all-virtual again has taken place, the question of whether the hybrid model is safe enough for students and faculty still lingers. The importance of student sanity and interaction is vital, and in many aspects, virtual learning challenges this ideal. However, to avoid the challenges virtual learning serves, is it the right choice to return to school?

“I feel pretty safe in the hybrid model,” junior Gabe Anoia said. “Everyone is keeping a distance and wearing masks. Also, we don’t have a lot of students in each class.”

Regarding the hybrid model, Spring-Ford has set several policies in order to protect the safety of students and staff. During in-person school days, students are expected to wear masks and maintain a safe distance from others. Additionally, SFASD utilizes EPA approved disinfectants as well as HVAC operations to maintain acceptable sanitary conditions. Overall, Spring-Ford has put its best foot forward to ensure safety in this difficult time for all.

Although many safety precautions have been set, it’s difficult to constantly uphold these regulations in a perfect manner. With a school as large as Spring-Ford, for example, maintaining a safe social distance at all times is a tough task.

Truthfully, as a student, it’s unsettling to continue with school knowing that regular activities we once had are now impossible. There are no pep rallies, dances, or crowded sports events to balance the school days. Although the social interaction among students is at an all-time low, the prohibition of these activities is necessary in order to maintain safety.

Safety, as it should be, is the key word.

Moreover, providing students with a choice to remain virtual or transition to in-person learning is the best option in regards to the conditions of the worldwide pandemic. There is no right or wrong decision when deciding whether or not to return to school. Ultimately, the decision is based on the opinion of parents and students of what they feel is safest.

“Because of the virus, safety was my No. 1 priority, I decided to do school virtually,” junior Matt Mogel said. “It has been harder for me because I frequently spend most of my days in my room isolated, doing schoolwork.”

Schools around the country are attempting to conform to such an irregular routine.

Thankfully, precautions are being enforced, and the discussion regarding school safety continues, especially concerning the adoption of hybrid model learning. As a community, Spring-Ford advances in their preservation of student and faculty safety in hopes of progressing to a more ordinary reality.