RJUHSD moves to stage 2 mitigation procedures

MAYA BERMAN

RJUHSD canceled all extracurriculars after 3:00 p.m. on campus and all field trips in response to Coronavirus in Placer County, at the Placer County Department of Health’s recommendation.

Events including junior prom, the spring musical, guitar show and jazz performance are postponed until after spring break. Rallies are also canceled. The March 14 SAT at RJUHSD sites will be moved back to March 28, while SATs offered in Rocklin Unified High School District are canceled. The Yosemite trip is also canceled.

Only San-Joaquin Section league and identified preseason competitions with approximately 50 or fewer participants will be held as scheduled. All transportation besides bussing to and from school and to SJS competitions is suspended.

RJUHSD held an emergency board meeting last week to determine the response to Coronavirus in Placer County. As of now, the district intends to keep all schools open in the immediate future, though the plan is subject to change as the situation continues to develop.

Before the meeting, the district sent an email to teachers telling them to prepare to teach online in the near future. According to RHS principal Nicholas Richter, the district is determining course of action based on the recommendation of the Placer County Department of Health. Should it recommend canceling school, he said the district is ready to switch to online curriculum systems.

“In a worst case scenario, we talked about updating on Google Classroom. A lot of the work can be done virtually,” Richter said. “But also we have Independence High School as a model for how we could mass deliver curriculum to students, so we had talked about using a combination of those two methods.”

To prevent spread of illness at school, the RHS custodial staff is cleaning the school more frequently. According to custodian Jonathan Tanner, the staff is now focusing on disinfecting commonly touched surface areas such as tables and doors every day. Tanner also gave presentations to students with recommendations for preventing the spread of illness, including a request that students reach out if soap runs out in bathrooms.

A lot of the work can be done virtually.”

— RHS Principal, Nicolas Richter

“Everything’s on a schedule,” Tanner said. “But since the outbreak, the schedule has been altered.”

According to Richter, RHS staff purchased a stock of cleaning supplies and disinfecting wipes for students and staff while attending school.

“We bought out Sam’s Club, Costco and everything of the Clorox wipes, sanitizing wipes,” Richter said. “If students want to have access to those wipes or the sanitizer, that’s why it’s there… We’re asking commonly touched areas, wipe them down after class periods.”

RHS teachers received an email reminding them to be conscious of students showing symptoms and send them to the office. Students who are sick will be sent home. Nurse Thomas Chadwick asked students who are exhibiting symptoms or are sick to stay home to avoid contaminating others.

“I want [students] to be well informed individuals in helping them to decide when it’s best to come to school or to not to,” Chadwick said. “Typically 101 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a fever. You should be staying at home.”

Certain athletic activities have led students to feel pressured to come to school. Despite being sick for some time, Varsity softball player Makayla Newsom said she came to school to support her team.

“I’ve been sick for 2 weeks…I’ve made a commitment to be on this team and to be there for my teammates,” Newsom said. “If we miss practice, we have to run and we can’t play in our next game until we run those laps.”

Richter offered reassurance to those students who do end up missing school due to illness.

“Remember if you are absent for an illness, it is an excused absence. You will be able to make up that assignment, test,” Richter said. “…Students I know are sometimes stressed out. ‘I have a test tomorrow. I have to come back.’ You will have the chance to make that up.”