TG returns to the classroom

What looks different than public school


Sophia Maccario, Student Writer

Totino-Grace has found a way to safely return all students to the classroom. Their plan differs from local public high schools’ plans. The Dean of Students, Mr. Blake, outlined their plan in coming back to school. 

Totino-Grace will be participating in an in-person flexible hybrid model. This means all students will be in the building five days a week. Classes have been reduced to half capacity, so there are only 15 students in a classroom at a time. Students who are not part of the fifteen will be watching the class virtually from either the commons or the gym. 

Osseo school district is doing things a little differently than Totino-Grace. Osseo is participating in a hybrid plan of returning back on campus. They have split their students in half (randomly, mostly based on families/neighborhoods) and students will either be attending school Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. 

Every student will be learning from home on Fridays and will be distance learning on the days they are not in-person. Osseo delayed their start date by one week to prepare for the hybrid plan. 

Mr. Blake added that staff at Totino-Grace have worked hard all summer long to ensure students and staff could safely return to the classroom. Totino-Grace has implemented many new procedures this year. This includes students taking temperatures at home, completing a health screening during homeroom, wearing masks all day, cleaning surfaces with SAO water, and limiting tables in common spaces to no more than two people. 

Mr. Blake commented, “lunches are the hardest part right now, we want students to be safe but we also understand the difficulty of restricting lunches to only two people per table.” This decision was made because by limiting tables to only two people, it eliminates the need for other students at the table to quarantine if a student has been exposed to COVID-19.

Osseo has also implemented new procedures this year. Upon the student’s arrival at school, parents must screen their children. This includes taking a temperature and staying home if you have one or more severe symptoms of COVID-19. 

Osseo school district is also making changes to its lunchtime procedure. A district employee, Julie Maccario, outlined their lunch plans. Osseo district has ordered individual tables that have been spaced out six feet to accommodate social distancing. There will only be one student per table.

After Totino-Grace went in-person for two weeks they went distance learning for the third week. Mr. Blake said that they knew they wanted to do this from the beginning. There were several reasons why they chose to do distance learning during the third week. They wanted to add ten new wifi spots, have meetings with teachers to understand what is going well and what is not, and they wanted new students to know what Totino-Grace’s distance learning model is like.

Osseo has completed their first two weeks of distance learning and will now begin its hybrid model Monday, September 28th. 

A current high school senior at Totino-Grace also spoke about her opinions on the school’s back-to-school plan. She commented saying she feels extremely safe at Totino-Grace and does not worry about getting COVID-19. The hardest part for her is the lunches being restricted to only two people and class sizes being reduced to fifteen. 

A current high school senior at Osseo High school commented saying she feels her school’s plans of returning to school are safe but is concerned about passing time in the hallways. She is unsure if things will go as planned, but is grateful to be back in school.