New school year, students have mixed feelings


Staff and students are encouraged to socially distance six feet apart while at school. The Chandler Unified School District strongly suggests students and faculty to wear masks in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The commencement of the 2021-2022 school year ushers in many changes from last school year; most notably, the return to regular schedule and no mask mandate. The return to the traditional schedule also means that clubs now have conference blocks to meet. 

Similarly to last year, mitigation measures include quarantining students that sit within six feet of someone who tested positive for COVID-19; their quarantine will last 10 days. Students will be allowed to forgo their quarantine by providing proof of vaccination, or if they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days. If students test negative for COVID-19, their quarantine will shorten to seven days. 

Students are permitted to work in small groups if necessary while maintaining social distancing measures. The school has placed arrows in the hallways to help with the flow of students. But the school also placed the arrows in the opposite direction of the past school year making it more confusing for students to follow. 

Some students believe that the current mitigation efforts against the virus are sufficient. “I feel comfortable and content with the covid restrictions,” junior Dusti Ellsworth said. Another junior Issaiah Concho said “I really don’t care, I mean as long as I am safe, you can do whatever you want…” about the school’s current procedures.  

The restrictions are slightly inconvenient for some students. “In art we can’t sit next to each other, so I got moved away from all my friends, which sucks,” said sophomore Amelia Mortenson. She continued, “But I’m completely comfortable with the COVID-19 restrictions.” 

Other students feel that there is a middle ground between current restrictions and the restrictions from last year. “Last year was pretty rough with the block days. I  never wanted to come,” said senior Maddy Jex. “But I don’t feel super comfortable. I feel like there are vaccinated people and people wearing masks, so I think it’s decent, but it could be better. The regular schedules are fine if we just all wore masks.” 

There are students who feel that the current restrictions are not enough to protect against the coronavirus. “I feel pretty uncomfortable. COVID’s been spreading really fast around school, and people aren’t taking the right precautions to keep it contained,” said freshman Lauryn Pallas.   

The district has a COVID-19 dashboard with all the schools and active cases. They also have additional mitigation measures in the scenario that COVID-19 cases continue rising within the schools and community.