From Students to Staff: Thoughts on Returning Back to the Building Safely


Getty Images

High school students at school, wearing N95 Face masks. Sitting in a classroom.

Sasha Sehgal, Staff Writer

As staff and students head back into the building after a year of distance learning, the number of reported COVID-19 cases at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS) slowly increases. Some students are overjoyed by the transition back while others are still a little wary about the return back with COVID-19 cases still rising in the nation, especially with the highly transmittable Delta variant spreading. 

The transition from in-person schooling to virtual learning back in March of 2020 was a difficult change for students and staff, especially teachers. However, the transition back was one that had some hardships as well. Dr. Stewart, the School Counseling Chairperson, stated that she thinks, “it was a good thing” however she wishes that “it was gradual versus full throttle” when asked about how she felt about coming back to school. She elaborated by saying that isolation isn’t healthy for anyone and that we are creatures that need to be around each other. To add on, Dr. Stewart stated that having Wednesdays off last school year was beneficial to all students, both those who opted in for hybrid learning and those who completed the rest of the 2020-2021 school year virtually. She stated that something that could have improved the switch back to full in-person learning was leaving Wednesdays off, as they acted as a sort of “brain break” that benefited not only the students but staff as well. 

Additionally, students and teachers do not feel so comfortable in the packed environment that we are exposed to every day. When asked about how he felt about the rising COVID-19 cases at ERHS, Sophomore Samuel Schultz stated that he didn’t feel great about it. “I have yet to go through a year of school where pink eye or the flu or some other thing didn’t spread to at least a couple dozen students.” By the end of the year, or by “when we go virtual, I’m guessing COVID cases will have risen dramatically.” So far there hasn’t been a surge of cases, but students and teachers have taken precautions to keep themselves and others safe from the virus. 

French teacher and sponsor of the French Honors Society, Mrs. Cherubin, has created a filter that blows through the classroom to circulate the air because of the lack of windows in the building. It is made up of a box fan, Merv 12 filters, and cardboard, all combined to allow air to filter through the classroom which helps reduce airborne contaminants. The lack of windows in the building is a major issue that is often brought up in the conversation when relating to reducing the spread. How to make the Corsi-Rosenthal Air Filter can be found below:


Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines by wearing your mask, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining social distance are the best ways to stop the spread, keep everyone safe, and allow for in-person school to remain in session.