Regina Dominican Cleans Away Parent Worries of COVID

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Anna Greifelt , Staff Reporter

School is back in session, Monday through Friday, 7:50 am to 3:00 pm at Regina Dominican. This gives students a semi-normal in-school experience that many other high schools cannot provide during COVID-19. Parents are weighing the concerns of having their daughters go to school in-person or remotely.

Maureen Sheehy, mother of Katie Sheehy, a senior at Regina Dominican, says, “It is imperative for students to be in school. School is so much more than just a building.”

While students are wearing masks all day to protect themselves and each other, the school has also invested in wipes for every classroom. Students must take a wipe every time they enter a classroom and wipe down their desk before putting their things down and starting class. 

As well as the wipes inside all the doors to the classrooms, hand sanitizers have been attached to the walls next to every classroom door, allowing easy access for students to clean their hands going into class, or even walking down any of the halls. 

Going to the bathroom during class also has become a bit of a different process. Due to the spacing of the stalls, only three girls are allowed into the bathrooms at one time, once again organizing traffic and lessening contact between students.

Even outside of the classroom, parents can be reassured their girls are staying  safe. Outside the building, two tents have been set up that can be used for many things throughout the day. During lunch, students can eat outside and spread out six feet apart under the tent. Teachers can reserve the tent for classes, so students can spread out and take their masks off while doing their work outside. Also, their are designated ten-minute mask breaks that students take once a day with each class having a designated area.

All of these protocols during the school help the day run smoothly and cleanly, but the biggest advance in safety is the line organization before school for the temperature checks. 

Every morning, students have a twenty-minute window to line up outside of the usual student entrance and are required to stand on an already six-foot spaced dot. This not only keeps the students safe and separated, but the available three lines move quicker and more efficiently.

Once inside the building, teachers or volunteers take student’s temperatures electronically, accompanied by the standard COVID-19 and symptom questions. Making sure that the students are safe to be around everyone else before they even enter the school is Regina Dominican’s first priority. 

After the temperature check is cleared, students report directly to their first-period class. This cuts down on hallway traffic and limits the contact students have with each other, which limits the risk of spreading possible germs. 

As of the fourth week of school, Regina Dominican has not had one confirmed case, which is due to the diligent protocols the school took, as well as the caution that the faculty, staff, and students kept in mind.

For many parents, sending their children to school can be very worrisome during the middle of a pandemic, but Sheehy feels very confident that the school is protecting her daughter.

She said, “I am grateful that Katie can attend in-person classes at Regina. Regina has a well-crafted plan for safety and for successfully reopening and I am so confident they will succeed.” 

The Panther parents at Regina Dominican feel comfortable because the school has been transparent with parents by providing up-to-date information through their weekly parent newsletter and, if necessary, through email.  Above everything else, Regina Dominican has worked consistently to make the community clean, safe, and healthy.