Orientation is (almost) here!

Program distribution will take place from August 10-13. Your questions are answered.

By Nooneh Gyurjyan, Staff Writer

What we originally thought was going to be a two-week absence from school has become a permanent leave from on-campus instruction, with no clear consensus on when Hoover students and teachers can safely return to class.

The GUSD Board of Education announced on July 14 that in order to comply with the new state guidelines mandated by Gov. Gavin Newsom, all GUSD campuses would commence with remote learning for the fall semester, with a possibility of reopening schools later on if deemed safe enough.

And now, with just two and a half weeks remaining until this unprecedented form of school commences, program distribution is just around the corner, and will put to the test students ability to comply with rules put in place for their safety,

Here are all your questions, answered to the best of our knowledge!

So what is program distribution going to look like this year?

For the most part, program distribution as we’ve known it to be will remain unchanged. Students will still be coming to campus, staggered over four days by grade level, to pick up their textbooks and any other materials needed for the fall semester. However, counselors will not be available on campus to answer student questions and will instead be accessible through email. Additionally, students will not be able to have their ID pictures taken, and will not receive ID cards either. 

So when will I need to go to pick up my things?

Save the date! The designated days for each grade level are as follows: Monday, August 10 for seniors; Tuesday, August 11 for juniors; Wednesday, August 12 for sophomores, and Thursday, August 13 for freshmen.

There will be more detailed information on reporting times based on your last name as information is provided.

What about my old textbooks I still have from last year?

Make sure to bring all the books and textbooks you still have from last year as you’ll be returning them as you come to pick up your new books.

So I have to drag heavy books to program distribution, just to trudge home with more heavy books?

Yep. Free arm workout!

Will it be safe to go back to campus, even to quickly pick up our things?

All students will be required to wear a mask once on campus during their designated time, and must also practice social distancing. If all students follow these mandates—rules put in place not just to ensure the safety of those involved but to make it as safe as possible— a quick grab and go trip on campus poses no real risk. Cooperation is key in terms of safety.

Come on, do you really think students are going to follow those rules?

That is a question with no definitive answer. However, let’s take last year as an example. At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Hoover High made it mandatory for all students to wear their ID cards around their necks. Very few students actually complied, and by the end of the first semester practically no one was wearing them. Now you tell me what you think, if students refused to wear ID cards, can you really expect them to wear a mask covering half their faces? 

Now, granted, this situation is different. ID cards were not needed to fight against a highly contagious respiratory virus. Masks are the only shield we have against COVID, and certainly students will understand the necessity of protecting their health and the health of their peers. 

But there is no doubt that students will be tempted to have close contact with friends, many of which they haven’t seen since last March, six months ago. And surely, some will feel safe enough in the presence of their peers and will take off their masks and gather in their groups, confident that none of them could possibly have the virus because it doesn’t seem to affect younger people like them. But this thinking will be fundamentally flawed, and puts everyone around them at risk. 

So, will they?

With all hope, yes. Program distribution will essentially be an experiment to see if students are capable of listening to and respecting rules put in place to keep them safe, and will show GUSD administrators just how realistic (or unrealistic) their plan of slowly reopening schools second semester will be. 

What if I need to talk to my counselor about fixing or changing something on my schedule or anything else?

Counselors will be available exclusively through email, and any questions or concerns you have can be answered by contacting them. But hey, it’s better than standing for hours in a line that stretches around the office just to talk to your counselor!

Anything else I need to know?

Nope! That’s it. We’ll have a strange program distribution to kick off a strange school year.

Remember, wear a mask, and stay six feet apart.