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With COVID-19 still dictating the daily lives of many and a vaccine close on the horizon, University Prep’s COVID-19 task force is preparing for the eventual reopening of school. The task force members serve as coordinators for assessing building readiness for reopening.
“The hope and plan is that, when we start the quarter after the intensives, that we will have some form of hybrid learning in place when the quarter restarts,” said Brian Gonzales, co-chair of the task force.
The general idea of reopening is to be similar to the in-person test that happened earlier this year. The school will be divided into blue and green groups, and each group will have a designated day to come to school. While the basic plan is similar, the task force has been using feedback to make the next in-person day run smoother.
“We listened to the feedback, we collected lots and lots of information from students, from teachers, from families, and the COVID task force observed what was happening on campus,” Assistant Head of School for Academics and Strategic Initiatives and member of the task force Richard Kassissieh said. “I think that when we do release the plan, what you’ll see is that there have been small adjustments in response to the experiences during the trial period.”
While the exact details of this plan are not public at press time, the recent developments by Pfizer and Moderna on a COVID vaccine haven’t seemed to change the task force’s current plan.
“[Our reopening] plan is not contingent on the vaccine being available to our community. That plan is based on the fact that we can run school safely… and we can adhere to the protocols of distance, mask-wearing and not exceeding room capacity,” Kassissieh said. “We haven’t yet discussed the specifics of what a vaccine would do to the plans, but I think we can all agree that it would provide a little more relief and maybe allow us to take another step.”