Written by John Livingston and Katie Williams
Ukiah High Students and parents have all been wondering what the school will look like when it reopens to hybrid learning. UHS News hosted a virtual press conference where the team interviewed Ukiah High Principal Mr. Gordon Oslund about the school’s reopening. Subjects discussed ranged from what schedules will look like, the safety guidelines such as wearing masks and social distancing, and lastly why schools should be allowed to reopen.
Principal Oslund explained that once health parameters are met “morning classes will be held online and the enrichment classes will be placed in the afternoon, on-campus”. Principal Oslund referred to this approach as a “hybrid schedule.” Principal Oslund envisioned the enrichment time as an opportunity for Wildcats to “be allowed on campus for enrichment class and some club activities.”
Principal Oslund addressed the safety guidelines that are in place as Ukiah High reopens. He said that masks will be required, as well as social distancing. In regards to enforcing these guidelines, Principal Oslund said, “If they don’t have a mask or forget their masks, we will have some available.” If a Wildcat should choose to not wear a mask, Principal Oslund said, “The student who can’t or refuses to obey the guidelines set will be suspended into online classes full time and will not be allowed to attend in-person.” Principal Oslund predicted that “social distancing will be hard to monitor” but assured staff would help students “practice and encourage kids to social distance.”
Ultimately, Principal Oslund believes schools should reopen “for the benefit of the students’ mental health.” Principal Oslund had this to say about students currently engaged in distance learning: “They sit and look at a screen all day while being lectured.” When students return on-site for hybrid learning, Principal Oslund said “I don’t care if the enrichment classes are related to school. I just want students to have a place where they can have fun and safe social interactions with others.”
Some of the other factors Principal Oslund and the administration have to weigh when designing this hybrid schedule include transportation and food.
Governor Newsom’s January 2021 budget allocated $450 for every student to return to school. Principal Oslund said Ukiah High’s reopening is not motivated by the funds offered by Newsom.