District COVID-19 plans are naive and reactive

Our hopes are high this year. After a year and a half of quarantining and Zooming and part-time Zooming, we hope to finish this year on campus, in person, maybe even without masks. And right now, that seems reasonable. While we currently feel safe, there is the possibility of things worsening and we cannot be caught unprepared.
Over the last five weeks, LAHS has had ten COVID-19 exposures. In a school of 2300 students and 150 staff members, that is honestly not that bad. We haven’t had any confirmed on-campus transmissions and we continue to test and stay safe in class. But if things worsen, they will worsen quickly. Transmissions are exponential.
Right now, the District does not have a plan for returning to virtual school if things worsen. They have a plan for how to plan. The District has a plan to meet and confer, but there is no plan as to what to do. And while a plan may not be necessary this instant, there should be at least a couple of loose proposals to ensure the District has a head start and can pass or modify a plan rather than coming up with a completely new one when the need arises.
But as of now, we do have one issue: quarantined students. Students who get COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 10 days and if health issues persist, could miss weeks of school. While teachers may be flexible, missing even a few days of school can set students behind. Quarantined students should be offered some sort of hybrid option to attend school from home for the duration of their absence.
Teachers should try to Zoom students into in-person classes so that they can at least be aware of what’s going on in class, even if they can’t fully participate. The teacher could open a Zoom link for the quarantined student on their laptop and teach class as usual, maybe trying to stay closer to the laptop for audio purposes. The teacher would not have to change their entire class in order to make things just a little easier for quarantined students.
The school should also develop stricter social distancing and masking policies if the pandemic continues to worsen. Currently, the CDC says that vaccinated people can be maskless outside, unless they are in close quarters and have an immunocompromised relative. But should the situation worsen and breakthrough cases increase, we will need more precautions to keep our campus COVID-safe. The District needs to come up with stricter protocols now, before they’re truly necessary, and students need to accept the possibility that they may have to act differently or return to distance learning.
As the pandemic continues, it’s clear that we want to go back to normal life but we cannot sacrifice our safety. The consequences of outbreaks or exposures are enormous. We can finish this year right but deterioration is always possible. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to be prepared.