A Comparison of School’s Safety Protocols

Schools are now resuming in-person learning, and in order to do so, different measures are being taken around the valley to keep students safe.


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Which school has the best safety procedures?

Lilly Wolfe, Columnist

With the recent reopening of schools, we have needed to adapt to the pandemic in order to minimize the spread of Covid-19. Protocols to do so include the sanitization of desks, the constant wearing of masks, and physical distancing. Accordingly, there are liberties that can be taken in applying safety to schools. Naturally, how schools go about reopening will be different. 

Kyrene School District 

A Kyrene School district employee (who prefers to remain anonymous) says his school requires masks at all times except lunch, and that during lunch, students sit with their class and there are three students to each six-foot table. He also said that during class, students attempt to remain physically distanced but there is only so much space to make that possible. When asked if he feels safe he answered confidently with “Yes.”

American Leadership Academy

Allyson Gripentrog, a freshman who attends American Leadership Academy, a charter school in Gilbert, says that students are required to wear masks at all times except lunch. She continued to say that lunch is split up into two different periods based on your grade which makes it easy to maintain a safe distance, although sometimes students don’t do this. When it came to transitions, Gripentrog said that social distancing was a challenge. When talking about the sanitization of the desk and materials she stated, “we sanitize after class and in the middle for some classes.” Finally, Gripentrog said she does feel safe during school but during mask-less after-school activities, such as volleyball, participants can feel a certain level of discomfort.

Arizona Lutheran Academy 

Freshman Ari Bublitz attends the private school Arizona Lutheran Academy. During an interview with her, she said that the mask rule is well enforced by teachers. She continued to say masks are not required during sports if you choose to do them. She also shared that desks and other materials used in classrooms are sanitized when students first enter a classroom but not when they leave. Bublitz said that there are six students placed at a six-foot square picnic table during lunch.  However, when asked about physical distancing in classrooms she said, “we can’t really because the classrooms are so small.” In relation to transition periods Bublitz said, “the freshmen and sophomores are sent out first and then we go to our lockers and then after we get to our classes the juniors and seniors go.” All in all, Bublitz said she does feel safe during the school days.

Centennial Middle School 

Sammy Graves attends Centennial Middle School and says that teachers do a good job of enforcing the mask policy during campus classes. She, like the majority of schools, has three to a standard six-foot table during lunch. She also said that her class stays in the same classroom and the teachers change classrooms instead of the students. When it comes to sanitization, desks are sanitized once a day. According to Graves, her school is continuing sports with masks worn during practices but not during games. Graves too feels safe at her school.

Desert Vista High School 

Sophomore Ella Graves tells us the standard procedures for Desert Vista High School. She says that students continually wear masks and rarely is this rule broken. During lunch, her school has four to a table if you eat outside, and if inside, you can only sit with one other person and you have to be facing the same direction. In relation to transition periods, Graves says, “I go to different classrooms and you have to follow arrows in the hallways and you can only go up and down certain stairs.” Her school is also doing sports and has the same policy as Centennial, Arizona Lutheran Academy, and American Leadership Academy. Once again Graves answered “yes,” in regards to her safety.

In these five different examples, we see that not much is done differently between these Arizona schools. In most schools, attempts to maintain physical distancing are maintained fairly well, with transitions being the most challenging time to maintain distancing. We also see similarities in lunch, with a mean of three students per six-foot table with one clear outlier at six per table. One thing all the schools had in common was the response to whether or not students feel safe with a resounding yes, and that is something Arizona can take pride in.