All Your Questions About the Return to School, Answered


Eric Lee, News Editor

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As Venice prepares to host in-person classes for the first time in over 13 months, school administration and staff have worked tirelessly to prepare for the return of students to campus. Last week, Principal Gabriel Griego answered a variety of return-to-campus questions that students may have so we’re ready for this milestone.


How many students are planning on returning to school?

“We’re looking at about 150 students and families that have committed to come back. We’re hoping they get their baseline test because they can’t come back unless they’re tested and we have a positive or negative result on our records.”


How will the school campus and classrooms be different?

“Each advisory teacher will have anywhere from three to five students, and we have mapped up the campus with arrows in the hallways for direction. Of course, the desks are separated six feet apart and students will be wearing masks, but there’s only going to be four or five kids in each of the rooms.”


Will students be able to socialize outside of their advisory cohort?

“Unfortunately, we have to keep everybody in a cohort. That’s the rule. So everybody’s got to stay with their group from the time that they get on campus to the time they leave, with those same kids, to the best of our ability. They’re going to be with one group of kids, the whole day with their teacher.”


What will lunch look like?

“We have designated lunch areas outside where everybody will be sitting with their advisory students near their building. For example, students in the Walgrove building will sit closer to that building, and students in the East building will sit by the East building.”


Will there be a daily check-in procedure?

“There’ll be the check-in from 7:30 to 8:30 for staff, and then from 8:30 to 9:00 for the students.  We’ll have four different stations based on grade and academy, and one for our special needs students. Students will hopefully come in with their Daily Pass so we don’t have to go through a list of questions and make sure they’re safe to come on campus.”


How do I access Daily Pass?

“Students will need to go online, and once they get their information online, they’re able to access it through their phone. Then, they answer a few questions digitally, and a QR code is generated for them, which is scanned as they’re walking on campus.They can print out the QR code as well.”


What if I need to use the restroom during class?

“We have runners who will escort students and staff to restrooms. Whenever a student wants to go to the restroom, the teacher will call the office and we will set somebody up to escort them to the restroom and back so that way they’re properly supervised.”


What if someone gets sick at school?

“If there’s a situation where a student is feeling sick, there’ll be a runner who will go get the student and take them down to the health office to see what’s going on with them. If they have COVID-19  symptoms, they’ll be moved to an isolated area, and then we work with them and their parents to pick them up and get to where they need to go.”


How will discipline be handled?

“Teachers will have an extension directly to the dean’s office. If there’s any issues, we will escort students out, and we’ll be dealing with those students at that time. We don’t anticipate a lot of that, but if that occurs, the teachers have that extension that they call so we can get somebody up there to pull that kid out of class and deal with the situation.”


What will school look like at the start of next school year?

“It will probably still be the hybrid model, but it might be different in August. But I think it’s possible that the teacher will be able to teach their own students, so it’s not going to be where we have to be in one class all day, we’ll be able to move. Campus will still be cut in half in the sense that half the kids will be there one day, and half the kids on the other. But the kids should be able to rotate their classes.”


What will happen for students who are unable or unwilling to get vaccinated when the vaccine becomes more widespread?

“They won’t be allowed on campus, but they will still be able to do the remote learning until they’re ready to come back to school. As of now, all they need is a baseline test because not all students can get vaccinated, only 16 and over. That’s the rule right now, but it’ll be a mandate, so they will not be able to come in person until they get it, just like the other shots they have to get.”


Are you confident that the reopening will be a success?

“A compliance taskforce group of teachers and administrators at campus and our head of campus maintenance have been meeting every week for about two months now just to make sure we’re all ready to go. We had our official walkthrough today with Dr. Ernesto Guerrero, our Operations Coordinator, and that went very smoothly. He gave us some suggestions that we can do to improve, so we’re going to make some adjustments. But overall, yeah, it’s looking good.