High schoolers to return to campus

Freshmen, seniors to return Nov. 4, sophomores, juniors Nov. 6


Nik Chupkin | The Roundtable

This graphic describes the changes that Convent & Stuart Hall made to both campuses to reduce COVID-19 transmission in preparation for the return to campus on Nov. 4, 2020. The school also altered the schedule so that students have a break halfway through each block.

By Nik Chupkin, Editor-in-Chief

The San Francisco Department of Public Health granted approval for students to return to campus, with 9th and 12th graders returning on Nov. 4 and 10th and 11th graders coming back on Nov. 6.

Tenth and 11th graders who have classes with 9th and 12th graders, which is common in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, will also be able to return Nov. 4. 

“We are pleased to let you know that our high school has been approved by the Department of Public Health for resuming in-person learning,” Head of School Rachel Simpson wrote in an email announcement to the entire school.

While some students have opted to resume in-person classes, others have decided to continue distance learning due to either worries about health or scheduling conflicts.

“I will not be returning to campus due to conflicts with after school activities and COVID-19 concerns,” sophomore Jack Tarantino said. “I can learn from the safety of my home without the risk of getting the virus.”

To support families who decided to keep their students at home, Convent & Stuart Hall will utilize Meeting Owl smart video conferencing cameras,which have a 360-degree view and sound amplification technology.

“Before I taught at this school, I used to work for a private language class, and I had half the people in the class and the other half on similar cameras,” Spanish teacher Diana Bolanos said. “It worked fine. It will be hard for the students at home, but once we get it, we’ll get used to it.”

In order to return to campus, students need to submit a signed risk acknowledgement form, community pledge and negative COVID-19 test taken during the last two weeks.

“I will be returning on Wednesday,” senior Miles Raneri said, “but then I will have to find another test, which is proving to be an issue.”

Finding low-cost COVID-19 testing can be inconvenient for students who do not experience symptoms, so Convent & Stuart Hall is hosting weekly on-campus testing, which families can sign up for via a link in the Thursday Notes.

The school is hosting weekly COVID-19 testing on campus, which families can easily sign up for, according to Stuart Hall’s Oct. 29 Thursday Notes. The testing company frequently adds testing times as demand rises.

In compliance with the SFDPH, Convent & Stuart Hall has implemented a Health and Safety Plan to reduce the chance of viral transmission at school and has made changes to the schedule as well as pick-up and drop-off routes.

High school students must arrive between 8:30 and 8:55 a.m. to the campus where they have their first class, according to Simpson.

Students must enter the Pine/Octavia Campus through the Main Lobby, the Flood Mansion through the Main Hall and the Siboni Building through Campbell Yard via the Cortile.

Students will also have to complete a daily symptom check form before being allowed to enter the grounds.

“This is each student’s ‘entry ticket’ to campus,” Simpson wrote.

Face coverings must be worn at all times, and face shields will also be distributed inside classrooms.

“It is expected that families will provide masks for their children and that these will be used for one day only and then laundered or switched out,” according to the Back to School page on the school’s website. “Bandanas and neck gaiters are not considered acceptable alternatives.”

To accommodate in-person learning, the daily schedule has been altered to have two blocks, but there will now be a 45 minute break with food service halfway through each class as well as a 20 minute transition period in-between blocks.

With Convent & Stuart Hall preparing for a return to in-person learning, administrators say they are excited to welcome everyone back.

“We are very much looking forward to our students’ return to campus,” Simpson wrote,” and we will work together with these protocols to make our in-person school experience safe, productive and enjoyable.