Westside Administration Discusses COVID-19 Safety Measures

Westside Administration explains COVID-19 safety measures with reopening at 100% capacity.

Westside Administration explains COVID-19 safety measures with reopening at 100% capacity.

On Sept. 17, Westside High School returned to full capacity. Social distancing and other measures, including a mask requirement, are in place and will remain in place throughout the reopening. All of the in-person students returned to the classroom,  while those that are signed up for Extended Campus Learning remain at home. According to Superintendent Mike Lucas, the reopening should be safe under the guidance of local health officials. 

“We feel comfortable with our plan as we have worked for [over four] months on it with medical experts,” Lucas said. “Our ‘100% Plan’ is really more of an ‘80% Plan’ since we have offered extended campus [learning] as an option, and about 20% [of students] have pursued that offering. We meet weekly with leaders from the Douglas County Health Department and they have indicated [that] they have been encouraged by the low level of confirmed cases throughout schools across Douglas County.”

Lucas said that measures being taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 made a reopening feasible. 

“With our efforts to de-densify high traffic areas, stagger dismissal bells, elongate lunch periods, add extra seating in non-traditional lunchroom areas, add plexiglass, improve air filtering systems, increase the space between students in classrooms and numerous other measures in our Pandemic Plan that we have shared with our community since July, we are ready to try this next phase.” Lucas said. 

Principal Jay Opperman shared some specifics through an email on de-densifying, including information about de-densifying

“[We will use] a one minute delay for some classrooms to pass to the next class,” Opperman said in the email. “This will spread people out during passing [periods] a bit without having groups waiting at the destination for the next class. The sports mall construction will now allow [students] to use this hallway to move from the Courtyard and auditorium areas to the 100 classrooms. This will help the 200 hallway traffic. The landing will continue to be one way North and up the stairs. [There will be] no entry to the landing from the North 200 hallway or the 300 hallway.” 

Opperman also said that despite not having room for a full six feet, he feels the social distancing measures in place will help.