Schools Reopen: Stories From Across Pandemic America

“They have to be extra careful with a lot of things,” she says after leaving him. “Hand sanitizer and everything — and not be too close with their friends or play like they used to before.” — Ivan Moreno

8 a.m., Santa Monica High School

A cheerleader approaches an entrance gate at Santa Monica High School in a rush, carrying a stepladder painted within the college’s colours, blue and gold. She units it down to point out a safety officer her college ID and a “green screen” on her cellphone, indicating she had handed the day by day Covid screening questionnaire. She’s in a rush as a result of it’s sport day: The soccer crew will play their longtime rivals, Venice High School.

“Are you ready for Venice tonight?” Johanna De La Rosa, the college’s bilingual group liaison, asks college students approaching the gate, as she helps test college students’ IDs and inexperienced screens within the mornings. That wasn’t a daily a part of her job earlier than the pandemic.

“Our teamwork on campus — it has been so key for us to all kind of really understand that we’re really a team, no matter what our titles are, and just pulling together,” she says. Most of the college’s roughly 2,850 college students are additionally examined for Covid weekly throughout a category interval, together with their instructor, as a part of a rotating surveillance schedule.

Amara McDuffie, 14, fills out the Covid screening questionnaire on her cellphone as she walks towards the gate. Her first-period class is artwork. “It’s really fun. I don’t know anyone in the class. They’re a bunch of juniors,” Amara says. “It’s the usual class clowns, quiet kids and stuff. I think I like seeing that again.”

Students start to choose up their tempo because it will get nearer to the 8:30 a.m. first-period bell.

Lara Hunter, a 17-year-old new to Santa Monica High, says she’s been advised any added flurry of sport day exercise “isn’t really, like, a thing,” including: “But I was from an art school, so this is, like, all new to me.” — Jessie Geoffray

8:10 a.m., Herbert Hoover High School

It’s the top of the second week of college at Hoover High and Jason Babineau, the principal, is strolling across the campus shouting “good morning” to college students. He all of the sudden banks proper and catches a flying soccer, then offers an elbow bump to a soccer participant.

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