New rules put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19


Miah Thirion

Cactus Shadows enforces a strict mask policy. Two-time offenders of the rule get sent home.

Several changes and policies have been made to campus since returning back to in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic. The push to open school created challenges with trying to figure out how to work while having to social distance and stay safe.
“All of the new policies are strange but they don’t seem too strict, I don’t mind them if they are keeping me safe,” said Hudson Andrus, a senior.
There are many new policies following guidelines created by the CDC. They made a list of considerations for schools to make before reopening that includes, consideration of food service, ventilation, staggered schedules, and students who are unable to wear masks regarding health conditions.
“The guided pathways are a good idea but I think they’re only working in the main building,” said Andrus.
The pathways all around campus are to help guide traffic between classes and prevent students from getting too close in proximity, but most students do not pay attention to the outside paths. The 100 building has very strict paths to follow, along with only having one entrance and one exit to have a flow of students entering and exiting.
“We wanted to create a flow that worked as efficiently and as quickly as possible, knowing we couldn’t do the social distancing, the other way we wanted to about it was to try to get kids moving as quickly as possible from those areas to open space,” said Tony Vining, principal.
Before the first day back on campus, students and parents were sent the list of guidelines and expectations for returning to in-person. The most enforce rule is that students and staff must wear masks at all times. Mask consequences are similar to ID consequences. Students are given three strikes: first is a warning, second is a call home, and third is a parent pick-up and discipline.
One controversial rule is one against masks having symbols, pictures, or words on them—unless it’s the school mascot.
There are new rules for the classrooms as well. Students are only allowed to drink water, with a certain protocol.
“The eating (in class) rule is annoying, if I can drink water, why can’t I eat a snack,” said Nate Williams, a senior.
There is also no sharing personal items and wiping desks off before and after entering and leaving the classroom. Bathrooms are also limited, with only around three being open at a time, and someone monitoring them during passing periods.
The school has also switched back to having two lunch periods, lunch A after third period, and lunch B after fourth. Lunch A has mostly Freshmen and Sophomore classes, while lunch B has the rest of the Sophomores and the Junior class.
“Two lunches is actually really smart and probably very helpful, I don’t stay for lunch but I would assume there are shorter lines and less of a crowd in the lunchroom,” said Andrus.
The separate lunch schedule has been debated in the past but was only put into effect this year due to the circumstances. Fewer students at lunch has seen length of lines decrease, giving students more time to eat.