School Reopening: What UPrep’s Future Holds

What UPrep’s doing now to prepare for in-person school

What is the criteria for reopening our school to a proper hybrid school system? Head of School Ms. Codrington-Cazeau, who’s got to make this decision, has to decide on a way to move forward with hybrid school.

But there’s a risk. On November 30, Washington added 3,842 coronavirus cases to its total, the second highest daily number ever, according to the New York Times. The numbers are changing every day.

The question now is how will the school reopen, safely? UPrep will need to do what the handbook says, “the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families is our greatest concern,” while finding a way to reopen.

UPrep has two main questions that it needs to answer before it can reopen. What is the plan for proper hybrid school? How well did the trial run go and how can we improve?

Codrington-Cazeau thinks that we should be cautious and prepared for UPrep to do more trial runs, then move forward with proper hybrid school.

“I would like to say that there’s a certain number, but I can’t. The research around schools and COVID is changing every day,” Codrington-Cazeau said.

The current leading thing is that children are least likely to get it and spread it. The Infectious Diseases Society of America said, “the data so far are not indicating that schools are a superspreader site,” as NPR reports. But they didn’t close the door on the possibility of children catching and spreading COVID-19, and this could change.

Codrington-Cazeau is also concerned about the buildings and how safe they are during the pandemic.

“We would like to make sure that our buildings are safe and ready to bring large numbers of students back to campus,” Codrington-Cazeau said.

Susie Wu, who’s the head of the middle school, thought that the trial was successful in showing the problems and success of the plan.

“It was very helpful to see what we had planned on paper…and to see play out,” Wu said.

One problem that Brian Gonzales, head of the COVID-19 task force, sees is lunch.

“A big question remains, is how do we sort lunch?” Mr. Gonzales said. “To keep it safe, and to make it feel like a bit of lunch and break.”

Codrington-Cazeau said, though, that the trial run, while it had problems, went pretty good.

“I think it’s going well,” Codrington-Cazeau said. “I’m seeing two things: students are really happy to see each other and faculty, and staff is happy to have students in the building.”

Overall, the school administration is happy about the way that the trial run has gone very well. And from the coronavirus standpoint, according to Gonzales, it has been very good, but there’s room to improve.

“I think we can be a bit more efficient with the Magnus app, but it went really, really well; a lot better than what we thought, in terms of people using the Magnus app,”  Gonzales said.  “I think we can all improve a little bit on keeping our social distance and being used to the reality of what space feels like.”