Administration aims for efficient return to in-person learning

The+administrators+at+Carlmont+face+challenges+to+ensure+the+safe+return+of+students+and+teachers+to+in-person+learning.+

Niamh Marren

The administrators at Carlmont face challenges to ensure the safe return of students and teachers to in-person learning.

Students and teachers have widely adapted to technology during distance learning, which will ultimately change the way school functions in the future.

At the start of distance learning, much of the staff felt uncertain about using online communication and applications like Canvas to teach. However, over the past semester, the school went from partially utilizing technology to completely teaching through online platforms. Now that they are accustomed to this teaching style, Principal Ralph Crame reflects on how these new skills can be applied in the future. 

“Before we went into distance learning, we were all a little hesitant to dive into video conferencing, Zoom, Google Meet, or whatever medium you use. But this technology has been vital during distance learning, and I think we can continue to find the benefit from it in the future,” Crame said. 

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) awarded Carlmont High School with a six-year accreditation in 2018. With WASC returning for Carlmont’s midterm assessment this January, the administration decided to add another goal to their report: a smooth transition from distance learning to in-person learning. 

With Carlmont administrators hoping for a smooth transition, questions surrounding vaccinations arise.

Aman Chetan, a junior, describes the importance of a complete vaccination before even considering a return to school.

“It would be irresponsible to be in a densely populated situation when there is a chance for anyone to contract COVID-19. I wouldn’t feel comfortable coming to school, and I know my parents wouldn’t feel comfortable letting me go,” Chetan said. 

As the availability of vaccines for teachers, staff, and students is still unknown, the administration must plan ahead to determine whether vaccinations will become an immunization requirement.

The current pandemic has also shifted funding plans for Carlmont as there are not as many people on campus daily. While Carlmont has been able to save money on supplies and energy, they have also contributed more money to technology.  

“It’s crucial for everyone to have proper technology, especially since our entire education is technology-based. All of the student’s tests and assignments are online, and teachers are responsible for instructing students, so lacking proper technology can greatly affect student’s grades and ability to learn,” Nadine Lahlouh, a junior, said.

With the return to school underway, the administration has to determine the most efficient and safe way to bring students back on campus.

“When we return to school, we are going to see a phase-in model. Our biggest priority is determining which group of students would need in-person learning the most and how to keep the learning continuous and effective during this phase-in model,” Crame said.

The administration has yet to finalize which group would be returning to school first and how students can safely return to in-person learning.