Clubs Get Approval to Start Meeting In-Person Again

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The Book Club had it’s last in-person meeting to discuss “Enchanted Air” over a year ago.

Alex Liu, Copy Editor

School clubs have been approved to hold in-person meetings under the COVID-19 guidelines put out by Orange County. 

Following success with the reopening of sports for the winter season, the decision was made to allow clubs to start meeting in-person. Since the start of this year, all clubs have been run online through Google Meets. The new change aims to improve participation and interaction for students within these clubs.

Each club will be allowed to make their own decision regarding meetings and start times. 

The switch to in-person clubs will be optional. Students will be allowed to pick what they prefer. If a student wants to stay home, then they can still attend the meeting through a Google Meet. If a student wants to come in a day they aren’t in school, they will need to be sent in by a parent.

According to Assistant Principal Mr. McElroy, “advisors will be taking the temperature of any students who were not scheduled to be in school that particular day.” 

If a student needed to be sent home, they would be monitored until a parent or guardian could come pick them up. There will be no after school bus transportation.

One concern brought up was the start times of clubs for both in-school and remote students.

“If they delayed the start of the club, they could also give time for people to get home and join online as well,” said junior Matthew Ebenhoe. 

Some students would rather have a later start time in favor of having more options.

“Starting around 3 p.m. is a bad idea in general because you are forcing the students to decide between sports and athletics, and that might not give students access to certain opportunities/benefits in either choice,” said senior Charles Liu.

The issue with in-person clubs is that if remote students wanted to go in, they would need time after school to arrive at the school and get checked in. Similarly, in-person students who wanted to attend the club remotely would need time to get on the bus and arrive at home. 

“Students should be provided an equitable experience.  The advisers/officers/members should determine how to ensure this occurs,” said Mr. McElroy.

The social distancing guidelines in place should be enough to keep students safe. 

“The numbers are getting better in the county, many staff members have been vaccinated and the students have missed so much academics, social interactions and physical activity this past year that with the proper precautions we can safely get the kids back in,” said Dr. Sassi, the health services coordinator at Monroe-Woodbury. 

Some students feel safe going to school, too.

“I would feel safe going to an in-person club as I don’t fear that I would contract [COVID-19] during school. I would think that masks are generally enough to severely hinder, if not prevent, transmission of the virus in a sanitary, ventilated environment,” said Liu.

Currently, the spring musical is also scheduled to move ahead with small in-person groups.

“We are committed to the safety of our students and staff, so we will be following all safety guidelines and district protocols for in-person meetings. I have been taking very special care with our schedule, trying to limit the in-person interaction of students in different cohorts until it is absolutely necessary,” said Ms. Pacht, the director of the high school musical production. “I think everyone (students and staff) are very excited to be creating theater again, although it looks a little different this year.”

The school musical, “Working: a musical” will be streamed on June 4 and 5 for friends and family to watch.