Two Days In, Two Days Out for WHHS Students and Staff

Students were excited to return to WHHS for the first two days of school last week. But they had to exit again almost as soon as they got back.

School was open for orientation last week, and then two regular days. But school officials had to switch the school to distance learning for Monday and Tuesday after positive Covid-19 cases were identified in the school community.

“With the highest priority given to the health and safety of our staff and students, the decision was made to close West Haven High School for Monday and Tuesday of this week to allow for timely and complete contact tracing to take place,” Superintendent Neil Cavallaro said to a letter to the community on Monday. He also said the school will undergo “rigorous cleaning” during the building closure.

Last week students and faculty worked together by doing their best to stay distant while in school. Students are attending school five days a week, but are only going to three classes per day and leave school by 11:50 a.m. The school’s total enrollment is 1,633, but 518 have opted to do all distance learning instead of attending school.

The halls of the schools were mostly lively and upbeat last Thursday as teachers greeted students on their way into class.

Social studies teacher Jeanne Palmer said she’s being as safe as she possibly can.

“I’m a little Covid crazy,” she said, adding that her students are being very respectful of her rules.

Students said they missed interacting with other people during the long hiatus from school.

“I’m happy to get out of the house,” said junior Danielle Ricketts. “I’m also nervous because the social distance isn’t happening all the time.”

Ricketts said she has been seeing crowding in the hallways and in some classes. She is hoping things will get better and she’ll feel more comfortable. But if the crowding increases she will switch to distance learning.

Senior Isabella Ramos agreed.

“There’s too many people in the hallways, it makes me anxious,” she said.

Freshman Jason Alling was feeling more positive.

“I’m very happy that school is back in session and having to wear a mask makes me feel better than I thought I would,” Alling said.

The pandemic has ravaged the world this year, killing about 189,000 in United States so far, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.