Staff and Students Adjust to New Covid Policies


Photo courtesy of Zenith Photographer

As temperatures are rapidly decreasing, covid numbers are inversely spiking. 

Cuyahoga County reported some of the highest numbers of Covid-19 cases in the county since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. 

The Chagrin Falls school district has been feeling the wrath of the new Omicron variant just like the rest of the county.

A total of 140 new student and staff cases were reported during the weeks of December 22, 2021, to January 6, 2022. 

41 total cases were reported on December 30, 2021, the highest number of cases reported on any day so far this school year. 

“The rise in cases is very concerning,” said junior Avery Polcar. 

The high school has reported the most cases out of any school in the district, with the rate of student isolations surpassing the number of student absentees for the first time this school year. 

The high school has had to update school policies to stay up to date with the recent Covid-19 spike. 

The high school shifted from 3 days 8-period bell schedule and 2 days 4-period block schedule to all 5 days having an 8-period bell schedule. 

Every class is 50 minutes on 8-period days. Administers implemented this schedule change in hopes of minimizing the spread of Covid-19 among students. Students are not quite embracing this change.

“I miss block period because it gave us more time to study. I also liked the break in between classes,” said junior Jenna Santamaria.  

The block days would split up the 8 periods into two days so each day would only have 4 classes per day. 

The classes would be 90 minutes in length. This gives students one to two days in between 8-period days for extra time to do their homework or to study for tests and quizzes. 

“Block periods were nice because on Tuesdays I would only have two morning classes and then I could go home for the rest of the day,” said Polcar.

Some students find these breaks very relaxing and almost necessary amidst the hectic semester. 

“The 90-minute periods were very useful for English class because it gave us more time for all of the content we needed to cover. I hope block periods come back,” said English teacher Mrs. Ashkettle. 

Recent outbreaks have also modified school policies in regard to sporting events.

Student-athletes are given three tickets for only their family members in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid at sporting events as of January 5.

“I miss the energy from the student section during my games,” said Santamaria.

She is a junior on the girls’ varsity basketball team. 

These new policies modify home sporting events for the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and the wrestling team. 

The athletic administration plans to revisit and possibly update these policies at the end of January. 

Concessions are also not being sold under these new policies. 

The administration has also decided to postpone the winter formal dance from January 29 to February 26 in hopes that the number of cases will go down by then.

“I understand the policy changes because of the recent surge, but I hope things can return back to normal soon,” concluded Mrs. Ashkettle.