Elly’s tips for a productive year: Staying safe at school

Elly’s tips for a productive year: Staying safe at school

Elly Molina


As new COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County are being reported every day, the Carrollton administration, faculty and staff are working tirelessly to remind students to remain vigilant in doing everything they can to stay safe and avoid infection. Mr. Kalkus discussed his concerns to the Upper School in his newsletter writing, “The exposure our students may experience outside of school greatly affects our ability to successfully prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our school.”

For the most part, the Upper School community follows the protocols: mask-wearing, social distancing, one-way/unidirectional hallways, wiping down desks after each class, etc., but lunch and snack time seem to be a different story. Of course, masks must be removed to eat and drink, but then social distancing must be strictly adhered to, and masks put on again immediately after eating or drinking. And that doesn’t seem to be happening consistently. 

Students are not always keeping a safe distance. Then, even after eating or drinking, many keep talking without their masks on. Immediately after you have finished eating, put your mask on. Nurse Useche ’09, stationed on the Barat Campus, was hired to help keep our community safe in coming back to school this August. She suggests, “If you are approaching a friend during lunch, asking them a question, or showing them something on your phone and they are still eating, have them put on their mask before approaching them.” It’s for your safety, but also for the safety of others. Following the arrows around the school, sitting in designated places as indicated  by the Carrollton heart dots, prioritizing the time you have in between classes to wash your hands, wiping your area, etc. are key ways to protect yourself and others as we get back into our “not so normal” routines. 

Nurse Useche adds that, “the faculty is doing everything they can to stay open” as they are cleaning desks, wearing masks, assigning seating in the classroom, etc. However, she warns, “the most important and integral thing that matters is what you are doing outside of school.” She wants students to know, “while socialization is important for your mental health and development, keep your social circle small and intimate and avoid these large gatherings because if you want to stay in school, it matters.” She also suggests students “make sure interactions are short (less than 15 minutes) so that if you or your friend get COVID, you won’t be named as a close contact and have to stay home and get tested.”