Back to the New Normal

Rachel Strong ‘21, Staff writer

Grosse Pointe South has returned to a hybrid setting this past week, and there are many precautions the school and teachers are taking. Staying on one side of the hallway, only a few people allowed in the bathrooms and drinking fountains are only available to fill up water bottles. This transition is hard for students and teachers but staff is trying to make the transition easy and comfortable for everyone.

“My room has been set up completely different from the past,” Christine Harris said. “Students will have two desks along with a 3 panel divider to add a barrier between individuals.”

Harris said her procedures are strict but it’s because she wants to create a safe environment for her students.

“There will be no eating or drinking in the classroom,” Harris said. “Upon entering my classroom there are sanitizing wipes that each student will need to take and wipe down their student desk and chair. I have also placed hand sanitizer in different areas of the classroom to use at any time especially upon arrival and departure.”

According to Harris, having an interactive class is going to be hard due to all the protocols and procedures the school has put in place.

“Labs are going to be difficult this year,” Harris said. “But in the lab area students will work in the designated area designed to help social distancing and they will also sanitize their work area and equipment before and after use.”

Science department chairperson Jessica Wieseler also wants to make students feel safe while in her classroom.

“The goal is to have students placed six feet apart, but it is difficult, so I offer three panel dividers for students to use,” Wieseler said. “And of course masks are to be probably worn at all times.”

Wieseler also has an interactive class and said she doesn’t quite know how labs are going to work.

“Everything is going to be trial and error this year,” Wieseler said. “I am going to distance everyone as much as possible and everyone will have to wear gloves, but for certain classes labs take more than one day and it is going to be difficult with limited supplies… I can’t have students from other classes use unsanitized equipment.”

Daphne Irby ’21 said she is worried about the safety procedures when going back to school.

“I really don’t know what it is going to be like when we go back to school but I am hoping the teachers will take this seriously and keep me and my classmates safe,” Irby said. “I have received a few emails from my teachers with rules they are putting in place and personally I feel like they are doing the right thing and the best they can under these circumstances.”

Harris said she hopes she is making all of her students feel safe enough to be in her classroom.

“I want my students to be able to come to me if they have any questions or concerns,” Harris said. “The entire school is trying to make this transition as easy as possible and I want to help all of my students to feel comfortable and welcomed in my room, this whole thing is a learning process for everyone in the school.”