SAN ANTONIO – Students returning to in-person learning this week are not only seeing fewer classmates in school but also learning new protocols.
Only 50 of the 500 students enrolled at CAST Tech High School are on campus this week.
“I’ve been in the classroom where everyone’s on the Zoom call at home, and I’m in there by myself. It’s really different,” said Corey Castillo, a senior at CAST Tech.
Castillo returned to in-person learning this week.
“Not seeing any of my friends in the classroom and not being able to socialize, you know, normally with the teacher, with other students, it was really hard. And it’s still hard to try to adjust to all the procedures they put in place for us,” Castillo said.
Students and staff members on campus must wear a face covering and get their temperature checked every day.
The San Antonio Independent School District said the principal and secretary check temperatures for staff members. Teachers and administrative staff check temperatures for students in the morning.
“When students come into the classroom, the teacher also sanitizes their workspace, and so students can wipe that again. But also, the last five minutes of the class period, we’ve taught our students how to sanitize their workspace again,” said Melissa Alcala, principal at CAST Tech.
Alcala said students are also spread out.
“Right now, we’re capped at five students per classroom, and our students are used to having 24 students in a classroom,” Alcala said.
She said they plan to increase the number of students on campus from 10% to 20 % on Sept. 21.
Health officials recommend in-class learning to involve six or fewer students in a classroom.
As the overall risk meter has improved, so has the graph tracking in-class learning. The city has moved further away from the high-risk level for schools but remains moderate. The positivity rate for San Antonio is at 6.7%, but the mayor said it would need to drop below 5% before the meter moves into the safe level.
A teacher was not available to speak at the time of KSAT’s interview, or at the time we were on campus.