What will returning back to FHS look like now three feet apart?


Sophia Francisco

A current view of a biology room at Franklin High. Students will be seated on opposite ends of the table.

Elise Ravech, Writer

April 12th is the finalized date for when Franklin High will be having nearly eighty percent of their students back in school. The CDC recently approved that it is safe for students to now be three feet apart in classrooms.

When talking to Mr. Hanna he explains how there are many different safety measures put in at FHS for not only the students, but the staff as well. There will be a maximum of twenty four desks per classroom all measured to be at least 3 feet apart, there will also always be six feet between a teacher and a student.

If at any point in the day a mask break is needed, they can be taken off outside only, not in the building.  Mr Hanna advices to everyone in the building to “consistently wash your hands and keep your physical distance as best as you can.” He also adds that with twenty percent of students being out, “the building will be able to breathe easier compared to past years.” While twenty percent does not seem like a lot, it amounts to around four hundred to four hundred fifty students.

Mr. Hanna references how students are going to take on their own responsibility when it comes to keeping distance similarly to when driving. We have to use our breaks because we can not just run into the back of someone’s car if we feel like it.

An important question asked is how often will the building be getting cleaned? Mr Hanna wants everyone to know that the building will be getting cleaned every day with a deep clean on the weekends. He adds how, “We have learned a lot with the UVGI systems in the air filtration systems, it has been  a big help.” He explains how the air is constantly circulating through the building and these systems are “exceptionally bright lights that kill any bacteria that gets filtered through them.” The cleaning of desk tops are still important of course but the air system helps take the stress off.

Personally, Mr. Hanna  believes there will be an increased number of quarantining. This is due to the fact of one studening coming in with covid, that might sit in the middle of the class then they will most likely have at least four contacts per classroom; around twenty close contacts at the end of the school day. He builds on quoting, “the transfer of the virus is going to increase.” He truly believes that is it safe for students to be back but there will be unfortunately some disrupts to the schedule, but it has to be done. “The scientists and people who are thinking these things through at a much higher level than myself, this is what they deem as safe.”

Additionally, the option to sign in from home part of the day and be in the building the other part is no longer going to be an option. The school is going to need a doctor note or a detailed explanation as to why you are not present, similar to the policy before COVID. “We want to get back to a normal state of teachers being in, students being in, and if you can’t then you need to have a good reason why.” During the winter the attendance was more flexible because if students were truly not feeling well then it was best they stay home, but now with the vaccine and rates being down, “it makes sense to have this expectation again.” Mr. Hanna believes that adding this in now, will have FHS all set to go for next fall, by knowing what works best and what does not.

When it comes to eating lunch students can find a spot in the cafeteria, court yard, other outside dining areas, and

A current view of the cafeteria. (Sophia Francisco)

the auditorium. Mr. Hanna explains that right now the gymnasium is an option when the weather is raining or to cold, however it is preferred to give students with gym their space. There are tents for the courtyard and various benches or tables with chairs. Mr. Hanna wants students to know that “we are going to have to get a little flexible with each other, it will definitely feel like camping.” Additionally he adds that there might even be a schedule with five lunches instead of the current one with four, to keep the number of students in one lunch much more manageable. There will be a minimum of six feet between students at lunch given the fact that they will need their mask off to eat.

Finally, most of all, Mr. Hanna is looking forward to “the real energy that a school has.” He mentions how this has been a very challenging twelve months for all of us and we are tired. The energy of students being able to interact with each other, teachers interacting with students will show enthusiasm and bring back the energy FHS once had. “I think we need it because I personally miss a lot of the interactions that occur in a school day.” He includes how he is looking forward to meeting many more of the Franklin High students. “This will help us feel a little more normal.”