Students quarantined by contact tracing

Back+to+Campus+%5C%5C+Sophomore+Patrick+Alderete+%28back%29+revises+his+timed+writing+in+Mrs.+Lauren+Stevenson%27s+fifth+period+English+II+Pre-AP+class+Sept.+22.+Alderete+was+quarantined+for+two+weeks+because+he+was+in+close+contact+with+a+person+who+tested+positive+for+Covid-19.

photo credit: Brie Garrett

Back to Campus \\ Sophomore Patrick Alderete (back) revises his timed writing in Mrs. Lauren Stevenson’s fifth period English II Pre-AP class Sept. 22. Alderete was quarantined for two weeks because he was in close contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19.

writer: Heath Hadley, Editor in Chief

In this time of ever-changing rules and regulations, quarantine is mostly a fond memory of being stuck at home this past spring and summer. For others, like sophomore Patrick Alderete and freshman Bryanna Turner, quarantine means they have to do school from home for two weeks instead of learning on campus.

As part of WISD’s back to school plan for the pandemic, anyone infected with COVID-19 coronavirus will be contact-traced to find and quarantine those who were around them for an extended period of time. This includes Core and Extended groups, which includes the classes of the infected and those who are known to be around said classes.

I find that remote learning and in-person learning both have their ups and downs. While doing remote learning, I was able to sleep in, have flexible seating and I didn’t have to be in dress code. On the other hand, now that I’m back to in-person learning, I have been able to talk to my teachers, making for better communication.”

— Bryanna Turner, freshman

Alderete and Turner were quarantined for two weeks due to contact-tracing. They never developed symptoms.

“I find that remote learning and in-person learning both have their ups and downs. While doing remote learning, I found that I was able to sleep in, have flexible seating and I didn’t have to be in dress code,” Turner said. “On the other hand, now that I’m back to doing in-person learning, I have been able to talk to my teachers, making for better communication. I have also come to the realization that in-person learning has helped me not procrastinate.”

Students who are quarantined still have to do all the classwork assigned by their teacher, but they do it from home. They do not have to attend classes at the scheduled time if they are feeling ill, but they do have to complete assignments daily. If they are feeling fine, they can attend Google Meets just like remote students normally do.

“When a student is quarantined, we notify their parents of the date when they had close contact with someone who has a lab-confirmed positive test for COVID-19,” Assistant Principal Adam Jacobson said. “Then we notify them of the specific date when they are cleared to return.”

Students who are quarantined and complete their assigned work for the day are marked “Remote Asynchronous – Present” by their teacher. If they do not complete their assigned work, they get marked absent.

“Logging on to the Meets was hard,” Alderete said. “It seems simple, but even for the average procrastinator, at least for me anyways, it was a chore. It’s like you kind of want to do it and you have to do it, but since you basically have a choice without getting in trouble, like when you stay in the halls at school, it’s easier to put it off.”

The duration of the quarantine is 14 days, as long as the person remains symptom-free.

“Switching from in-person to remote learning has changed the way I do things quite a bit,” Turner said. “I get to sleep in an extra hour and I have time to eat breakfast. I also don’t have to worry about missing the bus. When it’s passing periods, I get a five-minute break to just relax before starting my next class. While doing remote learning, I found that I had more energy and was excited to learn.”