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In-person learning at Gilpin School

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Students like the new block schedule with longer instructional times

By Esmee Halsted

Gilpin Secondary students just started their third week of in-person school. Starting on September 23rd, they went completely in person with safety procedures in place. While many students from elementary and secondary went back full-time, some chose hybrid or remote learning alternatives. The last three weeks highlighted how Gilpin in-person would work with COVID-19 still spreading in the US.

First off all, a block schedule, or four classes a day that meet twice a week, has been established to limit the amount of exposure. Additionally, students are wearing masks, taking breaks outside, and staying 3-6 feet apart. Staff provides daily temperature checks on arrival, and everyone partakes in regular sanitation. This new way of learning is very different from what students are used to. The safety procedures are affecting students at school and also in everyday life.

Along with the safety procedures above, students do other things to keep safe. Kennedy Perez, 11th grader, noted the stair system. “We have to wear masks 24/7 in the building. We have separated stairs to use. We use the staircases closest to either ends of the school to go up, and we use the middle staircase to go down. We also take mask breaks before every block period.” Other students shared that they cannot share food and that their desks are spaced 6 feet apart. These safety procedures work well to keep students safe at school. In fact, Kennedy Perez says, “The school takes more precautions to keep us safe while not being overbearing.” As for outside of school, all students interviewed reported wearing masks in public. They also mentioned social distancing, and hand washing.

Most Gilpin students are used to eight classes – about an hour long, four times a week. As such, students have their own opinions of the new system. Overall the interviewees had a very positive response to the block schedule. Kennedy Perez explains, “The block schedule is nice and keeps us separated in case one of us gets COVID.” Andal Innis, 11th grader, commented that the block schedule is “way easier to be honest.” With more instructional time, a longer lunch, and more breaks, the new schedule is working well for Gilpin School.

In-person learning is going spectacularly. The changes put in place are benefiting the school nicely. Safety procedures are keeping students and staff safe. The block schedule is both helpful for socializing with other students and for their education. All is well at Gilpin County Secondary School.

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