The personal school has been open to Bakersfield Christian High School students for months. Luke Perri, junior at BCHS, recalled the gathering where the administrators told them that their collaboration with protocols like mask wearing, social distancing, and socialization would help them keep their school open.
“It was just kind of a wake-up call,” he said. “Children our age aren’t really at risk, but we have parents and grandparents so we take this really seriously.”
Jilian Andreeson, junior at BCHS, said her diligence in following these precautions has not waned since the reopening. “We as students are willing to obey these rules because we see what we have and we don’t want it to be taken away,” she said.
BCHS President John Buetow said the school voluntarily took a short hiatus in November when their cases jumped to 14-15 in 14 days, which he believes is below five percent below state requirements at the time of cases of the school population.
According to Buetow, the BCHS had a total of 40 cases among the 620 students, staff and faculties. This is lower than the national percentage and none of the cases resulted in hospitalization.
Although BCHS is a private institution, Buetow explains that the school still needs to adhere to the same public health regulations to stay open as public schools.
Recently, BCHS had a COVID-19 case among about 620 people on campus between students, faculties and staff over a 14-day period.
“All schools have a gym, don’t they? They have a wrestling room, a library, a theater. And it’s the same room regardless of the number of students you have, ”said Buetow. “So we can use these rooms and meet the needs of our 560 students, while 2000 you can’t have students in the same rooms.”
The CDC mentioned on the White House COVID-19 Response Team Monday morning that the data reflects more school cases resulting from violations of the Covid community than the transmission between students.
“Schoolchildren between the ages of 14 and 18 are far more exposed in their free time: Saturday nights in the park, where they play sports for fun. Hanging out with friends during the day, so we think school is by far the safest place for our students, ”said Buetow.
According to Buetow, BCHS also has a leadership team that students and parents contact when there are COVID symptoms, close contacts, or actual cases. They are following the cases of students and immediate family members. Every Friday the school reports to the school community which cases the school has had over a fortnight.
Buetow added that non-contact sports have also resumed, and the students mentioned that they are excited to return to some clubs safely. According to Buetow, virtual learning was available to the students. 40 students have currently chosen this path.