Tutorial extravaganza

With an increase in COVID cases RV has turned to tutorial to minimize transmission



RV is trying to avoid over-crowded cafeterias just like this one.

Mkenna Wimberly, Student Life Writer

According to The New York Times, Burlington County has had an average of 861 COVID cases a day within the last week. In an attempt to lessen the cases within RV, the administration has consistently changed scheduling and restricted the areas that may cause the spread of this infamous virus. Mr. Bowker, the school’s assistant principal, sent out an email to the entire school on January 9th, notifying the school of the changes being made to the schedule. His email states:

“RVRHS will be reducing large capacity areas to help minimize transmission rates and contact tracing. Below are the changes beginning January 10th and lasting until January 31st. Only students who are eating breakfast will be permitted in the cafeteria. Once you are done eating you will need to report directly to Block 1 or tutorial. Any student arriving before 7:20 and does not want to eat breakfast will report directly to the old auditorium. At 7:20 all students will report to Block 1 or Tutorial. Any student arriving between 7:20-8:02 is to report to Block 1 or Tutorial. Breakfast will be served from 7:00-7:45.”

Though the best interests of the students may have been on the administrators’ minds when planning, students have expressed diverse opinions on whether or not they agree with the changes made. 

“Since we’re all closer together, splitting us up into the auditorium lessens the chances of COVID spreading, but I also feel like it takes us away from socializing,” said junior Anaiyah Velez. “Just putting us in the first block is kinda unfair because we already have to sit in there for 72 minutes and now we have to be in there for way longer than usual.”

When asked whether she thought cases would decrease with the change in tutorial scheduling Velez said, “No, I still come in here and eat. I feel like shutting down the school for at least a few weeks would work. At least until it’s warmer to lessen the chances of getting COVID because keeping us here isn’t doing any good.” 

 “The administration could’ve gone about it better. Yeah, it will probably reduce cases, but I have to try to find a class every morning and it makes it so that I can’t do my work since I spend the entire morning walking around to find a class,” said freshman Madison Rockhill. When asked what could be done differently, Rockhill suggested assigning places to go or opening bigger areas for people to work in.

Ms. Williams, a long-term substitute who is normally located in the cafeteria in the mornings and for study hall, said, “I hope this is what helps. We have to get control of this, at least in here. This is step number one. Step number two would be making sure everyone is wearing their masks at all times. Hopefully, this will increase attendance for those who need tutorial to actually go. Not to just sit here and talk to your friends, play on your computers or phones.”

“With the amount of students that we have, this was a good idea,” said Mr. Fields, head of security at RV. “We’re able to spread everyone out and reduce the numbers in here so it was the best situation we could come up with for everyone’s safety. In a sense, this will help reduce cases in the school because right now, when people are eating here at close distances to each other, they have a higher chance of spreading that. Even if it just reduces it by one.”

While the schedule change has affected many students, it has not had such a detrimental effect on some staff. “It actually doesn’t affect me at all,” said Mr. Fields. “It gives more time to interact with students actually.” He added, “Our administration here has pretty good planning. I think they’re on top of it. I think this is what they should be doing. We’re getting more kids into tutorial and into classes. Looking at it that way, it’s a win.”

Students and staff alike agree that RV should be taking more precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout RV. Whether they do or do not agree on current or past schedule changes, the RV community and their everyday lives are affected no matter what, all in an attempt to keep everyone safe. While everyone might not agree on the validity of these attempts, it is clear that the staff and administration are doing their best to keep the safety of their students in mind during this ongoing time of need.