Since the start of the pandemic, FCPS has been working to get students back to in-person instruction. AHS has been in-person since the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. Through contact tracing and students and staff following Covid guidelines, AHS has been able to keep their Cvoid cases low.
“Going back to school has definitely had its pros and cons. I feel that I am learning better, however, managing my time was far easier while we were online,” senior Camily Salvador said. “I would 100 percent say the hardest thing is wearing a mask all day. However, I will continue to happily do my part and wear my mask until necessary.”
So far, there have been no confirmed cases that have originated from AHS. The students who have tested positive have gotten Covid outside of school.
This is thanks to contact tracing. Contact tracing has been very helpful in identifying close contact students (students who may have been exposed to covid by having close contact with students that tested positive).
“This school year has had many challenges since covid. It is weird to be back in person after 17 months of virtual learning,” senior Kate Chrestman said. “I think that the teachers are being very flexible with everyone making this school year start smoothly.”
When AHS gets information about a positive Covid case, Covid contact tracing coordinator Nathan Park enters it into a system called Red Cap. Red Cap notifies the health department and FCPS about the case.
Park then goes through the students schedule and class seating charts to find other students that might have been infected. Those close contact students and their families are notified and they work with the health department to get back to school.
The turnaround time for close contact students getting cleared is around a day or two and sometimes even hours. This makes it much easier for students to stay in school.
“Our students have done a remarkable job. They have been doing great wearing their masks,” AHS Principal Shawn DeRose said. “Students are doing a relatively good job with lunch. Lunch has been an area of focus for us and the other schools in the area. We try to set up outdoor seating to give students more options. Thus far we haven’t had any kind of data that suggests that students have been impacted or affected with covid in the cafeteria.”
StreamIN/CheckIN is FCPS’ solution for providing “meaningful instructional support” to students who are paused, quarantined, or isolated due to COVID-19. These students can be out for up to two weeks and FCPS believes just asynchronous work is not the answer.
StreamIN/CheckIN includes live streaming (StreamIN) of direct instruction via Zoom or Google Meet, asynchronous access to class assignments, and interactive check-ins.
This has been in effect since Sept. 27 and teachers begin live streaming no later than day three of a student being paused, quarantined, or isolated.
“I feel that the school year has been going pretty well. I’m glad to see that everyone wears their masks and is good about sitting in the right spots for contact tracing,” senior Finn Scott-Daniels said.