Pelahatchie Experiences Successful Enhanced Traditional Scenario

Desks+sit+six+feet+apart+in+every+classroom+to+practice+social+distancing.+There+is+even+tape+on+the+floor+to+mark+every+six+feet.

Callie Weems

Desks sit six feet apart in every classroom to practice social distancing. There is even tape on the floor to mark every six feet.

Callie Weems, Staff Writer

Schools across the state have had teachers and students who’ve had to quarantine, but Pelahatchie Chieftains are currently in their eleventh week of school without having one major outbreak! 

“As you know, we have worked diligently on our Smart Restart Plan in order to find a way to meet the needs of the majority of our families while keeping students and employees as safe as possible,” Dr. Townsend, the superintendent of Rankin County School District, expressed.

On August, 31, 2020, students at Pelahatchie High School began their first day of enhanced traditional learning. Originally students were meant to begin school on August 10, 2020.   

Dr. Townsend stated,“I’m sure many of you are aware of the Governor’s Covid briefing today where he repeatedly suggested that districts push restart dates.” 

As a result of this change, the start date was pushed back, and students and faculty returned to school on the 17 of August.

During the two week period, between August 17 and 31, students attended school in a HYBRID scenario.

This hybrid way of learning involved students going to school in person two days a week and attending zoom class for the remaining three days.

While attending school in the HYBRID scenario, all students were divided into cohorts by their last names. A great deal of people were able to attend school with their friends while others were not. Since the 20/21 school year has begun, there have been a few changes. While at school, social distancing and masks are required.

On all enter and exit doors, there are signs that display wearing masks and practicing social distancing is required while in the building. (Seanadrian Johnson)

Desks are spread out by exactly six feet, and lunch is required to be eaten in the classroom. When students change classes or use tools such as textbooks and calculators, everything is sprayed with disinfectant.

School custodians also clean and disinfect throughout the day, cleaning frequently touched areas every hour. Many students and teachers dislike having to wear masks. A junior at Pelahatchie High School, Christina Flores, said, “ We can’t work in groups and we have to walk in lines when going to lunch.” 

To lighten the mood, music can be heard throughout the hallways while students travel to their next class. This new schedule gave parents two options for their children. Parents had to decide on whether their child or children should stay home and do CHOICE or go to school in the ENHANCED TRADITIONAL scenario. While the virus is still out, Pelahatchie High school will still, in the words of Dr. Townsend, ‘prepare to pivot.’ In the meantime, Pelahatchie Attendance Center is doing a great job of keeping the virus at bay.